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By Siegfried Lienhard; Jan Gonda (Edtior)

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Extra resources for A History of Indian Literature, Volume III: Classical Sanskrit Literature, Fasc. 1: A History of Classical Poetry, Sanskrit - Pāli - Prakrit

Sample text

VI, 67, in which the poet compares Indumati to the flame of a torch. The beautiful princess, the sister of King Bhoja, is about to make her choice of a husband and moves along the line of princely suitors, who are presented to her one by one by her servant Sunanda, the educated guardian of the women's quarters: sarncarinl dipasikheva ratrau yam yam vyatiyaya patimvara sa / narendramargatta iva prapede vivarnabhavam sa sa bhumipalah // 104 This proportion is achieved by employing certain definite stylistic merits (guna)-and avoiding certain stylistic defects (dosa).

On the contrary, it was a matter that concerned everyone with education, and its communicative and artistic aspects were directed precisely at these people. Kavya could also be enjoyed by the poor, but educated and well-read Brahman. Only in readers as highly educated as the poet himself could one expect to find complete understanding of the artistic quality of a literary text and the ability to subject it to a critical analysis. Such readers were well prepared for literature of this kind and could assimilate not only the poetic whole, but also the separate elements which had been welded together into an entity.

Kavya could also be enjoyed by the poor, but educated and well-read Brahman. Only in readers as highly educated as the poet himself could one expect to find complete understanding of the artistic quality of a literary text and the ability to subject it to a critical analysis. Such readers were well prepared for literature of this kind and could assimilate not only the poetic whole, but also the separate elements which had been welded together into an entity. This education went far beyond a mere knowledge of Sanskrit and Prakrit which, as literary languages, were to some extent Kunstsprachen.

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