Ami Upadhyay. Handbook of Indian Poetics and Aesthetics. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2017, Page 177, Price: Rs. 125/-. ISBN 978-81-7977-601-8
Interest in classical Indian poetry is growing, but nothing new seems to have been added or discovered over the past half-century or more.New books by English professors are, at best, repetitive. The renowned scholar of Ananda Coomaraswamy is expected to link Sanskrit poetics to the theoretical developments of the West in this century.
That said, you are welcome to peruse the book at hand, which is, as Ami Upadhyay puts it, “Compendium of Delights”. He is a competent speaker on Indian poetics and aesthetics, including the theories of Riti, Dhovani, Vaklokti, Arankarasu, Ausithia, Gna Dosa, and others. Bharata’s Natya Shashtra was mentioned on the one hand by other Sanskrit poets and theorists such as Dandin, Jagannatha, Kuntaka, Abhinavagupta, Ksemendra Rajasekara, Vishwanatha, Hemendra, on the other hand by Plato, Aristotle, Ananda Koomaraswami and others. It also touches briefly on Europeans. other.
Consisting of three parts, the first part defines aesthetics, poetry and drama (Natya, Nataka, Kavya) and briefly describes the background of Indian poetics. The second part deals with the various schools of Indian poetics and explains the characteristic aspects of the rasas in the Vedas, Upanishads and Ayurveda. Rasa as ananda (joy). Sringara rasa (erotic feelings); Karuna rasa (pathetic feelings); Raudra and Vira rasa (terrible and heroic); Hasya rasa and his Adbhuta rasa (comic and wonderful). Bhayanak and Vibhatsa rasa (Terrible and Disgusting); and Santa Rasa (Tranquility). Ami also deals with the underlying concepts and structures of Natyashashtra in his ten chapters. In the remaining ten chapters of her in the second part, she discusses theoretical and expository contributions from other eminent poets and aesthetes. The third part presents a list of major theorists and their works. A glossary of key terms and selected references.
Coomaraswamy, and a short chapter on Indian and Western Literary Criticism and Poetics, with appendices, invites new scholars to pursue further study of subjects already part of English Literature courses at many universities in India and abroad. It should be useful for
Ami’s handbook is clearly planned and well-written, but it is a pity that her R.S. Tiwary’s A Critical Approach to Classical Indian Poetics (1984) is omitted from her bibliography.