Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kashmiri Leela Poet ...Krishanjoo Razdan in the context of theories of Indian Poetics

Oral tradition is the cornerstone of our cultural mosaic. It is because of oral tradition that we managed to preserve whatever we have of Vedas, Puranas, the great epics and to a large extent –history. One sometimes wonders how our ancestors through the generations could remember what could possibly run into reams of paper if written down. It is then that one realizes that had not our literary works been written in poetic-lyrical or verse form all this knowledge would have been lost to us. The role of poetry can simply be understood by the mere recitation of a simple mantra which our ancestors believed had miraculous powers. The vakh (uttered or spoken word) was thus worshipped as a goddess. Therefore the role of a poet in our society is quite different from the utopian concept of Plato where there is no place for a poet. Poets in our society always had an exalted status and thus responsibility and were not mere writers of literary pieces.

In this paper we would attempt to look at Krishanjoo’s poetry in the context of various theories of Indian poetics. The idea would be to expose the present audience to the variety of bhavas, rasa and alanakras in Krishanjoo’s poetry.We would also look at the completeness of his poetry from the standpoint of a student of Indian poetry.

Rasa roughly translated as ”Emotive aesthetics” is one of the most important concepts in classical Indian poetics. Bharata in his monumental work on Indian drama ”Natyashastra” mentions 8 bhavas leading to 8 corresponding rasas.In his Rasa-sutra Bharata says

Vibhav Anubhaava Vyabichari;
Samyogat Rasa Nishapattih

Vibhav is the emotive situation,Anubhaav is the physical change due to Vibhav while Vyabhichari is the transient emotion. The coming together of vibhav, anubhav and vyabhichari leads to Rasa.
In the context of Krishanjoo’s poetry the following are the prominent bhavas leads to corresponding rasas:
1.Rati(Love) leading to Shringar(Erotic) Ras
2.Shoka(Sorrow) leading to Karuna(Pathos) Ras
3.The third bhava which is seen in some of his poems is the Krodh(Anger) leading to Raudra(furious) ras.

Lale-yi manz bag-e-bagas posh charan chas
Zan Yamberzal bombaras kyuth mushke haran chas.

The longing of the poet as a beloved waiting for her lover clearly reflects rati as a bhav and shringar as a ras.Such couplets make us wonder what Krishanjoo could have been had he opted to write romantic poetry instead of spiritual poetry.The different layers of emotions in a single couplet makes one see the emotive aspect of his poetry which is the central theme of rasa theory.

Zyooth Manzilah kod mae yakhbar;path phernas chum ne vaar
Vate paet chum kale shahmar,Aar yeenay Shumbo

On the path to spirituality (or attainment of oneness) the dilemma of the poet is but evident. The poet surely knows the pit of ignorance that he would fall into if he turns back and thus he pleads to his deity to come to his rescue. The sorrow of the poet (Shoka) is clearly visible through his verse and the pathos surfaces the way the poet pleads to his deity.

The emotional quotient in Krishanjoo’s poems is a definite opium for the connoisseurs of poetry especially the ones who are inclined in Gnostic aspects of poetry. But that apart, his poems convey meanings beyond words. The literal medium is just a precursor to the metaphorical and metaphysical aspect that it covers. The poetry is clearly woven in various layers and words remain no more than a medium and sometimes a source of embellishment.

Anandvardhana’s Dhyanaloka suggests that apart from literal and metaphorical meanings, a real work of art needs to possess the power of suggestion and thus should be able to convey various meanings. Simply put it should stimulate the imagination of the reader.

Anne ghate chaez phoj sangarmalo
Vyothe lalo yoge naendray
Gaashe-taruk gaah pave bale balo
Prakashe chane seet prazzalan aav
Doore-vyoth poore kin pyaeth panchalo
Vyoth nandlalo yoge naendray

The cited verses could convey different meanings to different readers.
For the lover of nature the picture is just perfect ..the sun is rising …the morning star shines on the firmament
For the spiritualist the hour of awakening has come
For the mother it is the time to wake up her son
For the despondent it is hope

Abhinagupta the philosophical genius goes a step further and says the two theories complement each other and thus arrives the theory of Rasa-Dhyani. According to him the aim of Kavya is to give pleasure but pleasure must not bind body to the soul. Wilful suspension of disbelief is a pre-requiste for enjoying any form of art. The poet should inspire the reader to free himself from the worldly connection and experience the supernatural aspect of poetry which has nothing to do with mundane concerns.

Damee dyothum nab nathenonuy,dame poorith obruk thaan
Damee dyothum aane gaate ratas,Damee Chandram gaah travaan

It is in these and many other verses like these that Krishanjoo manages to transport his readers to a different plane of emotions and into willful suspension of disbelief. The reader forgets the transitory physical world around him and ascends on to a spiritual plane where experiences are quite different and surely if one would say “out of this world”.

Krishanjoo was a wordsmith par excellence. He embellished his poems with the use of various Alamkras.It is widely known that when Krishanjoo started writing Pramanand was already an established Leela poet.It is however the diction and the manner in which Krishanjoo choose to write that he out did Parmanand.The use of metaphors and similes lent a special aura of poetic and lyrical authority to his poems. He mostly used common mans’ language and phrases, his rustic lifestyle, his pain and agony, his concerns as embellishment.

Vyozul buth gos yuth aesi naras,zine ambaras hachenas reh
Kroodh mwokh gos yuth kale-samharas,mane kine dharaneyi dharas dhyan

It is through verses like these that he connected to the common man. The use of words like Zine –haet and vozul buth affirms what has been said above. It is this quality of Krishanjoo which confirms what Bahamaha said about poetry”Sabadartho sahitam Kavyam”poetry is that in which word and meaning co-exist.


arun said...


Rashneek said...

Thanks Arun

Dead End

Dead End
The road to what was once my home in Kashmir....zuv chum bramaan ghare gachehae..