KAVIRAJAMARGA

 

1. kavirAjamArga (ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ)

2. Shree Vijaya

3. Ninth Century

4. Poetics

5. Introduction: Kavirajamarga is the first extant work in Kannada. Surprisingly it is a book on the theory of literature including topics such as poetics, prosody etc. In addition to this the work contains abundant information about the land, people, language and culture of Karnataka. Incidentally it was this work which made a pioneering attempt to define the geographical and cultural boundaries of this land. However this work is heavily dependant on ‘Kavyadarsha’ a Sanskrit work on poetics by Dandi a scholar from South India.                                                                                                                                               The itinerant debate about the authorship of Kavirajamarga is finally settled in favour of Shree Vijaya a writer in the royal court of Amoghvarsha Nrupatunga, a Rashtrakuta monarch who ruled between 814 A.D. and 878 A.D. However there is an apparent agreement between the king and the poet about the material contained in the text as evident by the statement ‘Nrupatungadevanumatha’ (approved by Nrupatungadeva).The work is divided in to three parts based on the content. The first part gives abundant information about the Kannada heartland, the boundaries of Karnataka, the dialectical and the standard varieties of the language. The author comments about the intelligence and the catholic behaviour of Kannada people. He moves on to give a bird’s eye view of Kannada literature up to the ninth century. He mentions many writers who composed poetry and prose. Some salient features of indigenous Kannada literature and enumerates literary forms such as Bedande, Chattana, Onakevaadu and Bajanegabba. The factors that are considered merits and demerits in good poetry are also described.The second part of the work is devoted a survey of figures of speech that work at the phonological and morphological levels of the language. (Shabdaalankaara) The postulates are supplemented by illustrations culled from ancient Kannada literary works. These serve as a redoubtable source to trace the origins of Kannada literature.The concluding part deals with the figures of speech that operate at the semantic level of the language (Arthalankara)                                                                                                                                             Shree Vijaya’s dependence on Sanskrit texts has not come in the way of a meaningful negotiation with the problems that were faced by the Kannada culture during those days. The author does not propound an exclusivist policy and tries to forge a meaningful interface between Sanskrit and Kannada a Dravidian language with its own antecedents.Kavirajamarga has received a lot of attention during the past two decades and it is now recognised as an important influence in shaping the literary tradition of Kannada. Scholars such as Sheldon Pollock, K.V.Subbanna, K.D.Kurtakoti, D.R.Nagaraj, S.Settar and K.V.Narayan have written extensively on Kavirajamarga and recognised it as one of the foundational texts of Kannada.

 

6. Publishing History: 1. nrupatungdEva viracita 'kavirAjamArgam'- Ed. K.B.Pathak, 1898, Bangalore. 2. karnATaka kavirAjamArgam ed. Venkata Rao A. and H.Shesha Iyengar,          Madras 3. Nrupatunga DEvanumatam ShrIv Vijaya prabhutam Kavirajamargam Ed. K.Krishnamurthy, 1983, Bangalore 4. Shree Vijaya kruta kavirAjamArga ed.M.V.Seetharamaiah, 1994, Bangalore

 

7. References: 1. Kavirajamarga prashasti, Ed. Chitaguppi Bheemasena Rao 2. Kavirajamarga Viveka Muliya Timmappaiah, 1973, Mysore 3. Kavirajamarga (Kavi kavya parampare 1) Ed. V.Seetharamaiah 1973, Bangalore. 4. Kavirajamarga parisarada kannada sahitya  M.M.Kalburgi, 1973, Dharawada 5. Kavirajamarga : Sanskrutika Mukhamukhi Ed. Rahamat Tarikere, 2000, hampi 6.Kavirajamarga mattu Kannada jagattu, K.V.Subbanna, 2000, Heggodu, Sagara 7. Shangm Tamilagam mattu Kannada Nadu Nudi  Sha. Settar, 2007, Bangalore  8. Literary Cultures in History By Sheldon I. Pollock  

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