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Indian Poetics (Kāvya Śāstra) and Narratology Towards the Appreciation of Biblical Narrative


G. Ayyaneth

Though the biblical and the Indian literary traditions had independent origin and growth in terms of spatial and cultural milieux, there are literary landscapes of confluence where the literary fabrics of their collective wisdom are interwoven. Both narrative traditions have rich oral and folk prehistoric traditions in their records and this attribute provides a substratum where their narrative patterns and paradigms can find a common ground. A Hebraic reading of the Bible does not exhaust the meaning of the biblical texts; on the other hand, an Indian reading of the Bible could bring more flesh and blood to the living text. Ancient Indian Kāvya Śāstra (Poetics) and its modern rendering narratology being multifarious and mutually integrative will be able to supply a variety of poetical tools and devices with which the great and vast miscellany of biblical narrative can be approached and appreciated. Indian religious tradition is more narrative/story rather than doctrinal or dogmatic. This demands an Indian reading of the Bible endowed with a narratological and synchronic approach to disentangle the biblical narrative from the burden of dogmas and doctrines and to re-launch its primordial narrative/story culture. The application of the canons of Indian Kāvya Śāstra with its narratological elucidations to the biblical narrative has categorically proved that it can open up a new horizon to an Indian reading of the Bible. Various such narrative approaches, heuristic devices and models thus evolved have been applied to selected narratives in the Davidic Episode of the Books of Samuel.

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Chapter Seven. Three Classical Theories of Kāvya Śāstra towards the Appreciation of the Davidic Episode


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Three Classical Theories of Kāvya Śāstra towards the Appreciation of the Davidic Episode

The fourth model which has been proposed by this study consists of three main constructs of the classical theories of ancient Indian poetics, i.e. Rasa, Dhvani and Alaṅkāra. The theoretical part of the same has already been expounded in Chapter 3 of part one. However, in this section, this study undertakes the task of applying those three classical theories of Kāvya Śāstra in the appreciation of the Davidic Episode. Though these theories may have an affinity with some of the Western narrative theories, they offer a unique approach par excellence. It is mainly because they are capable of addressing the issues related to the process of literary creation, expression and reception. Approaching the biblical narrative with the gamut of narrative tools and paramount poetical concepts pertaining to these theories will surely enhance and enrich a meaningful Indian reading of the Bible. ← 207 | 208 →

Rasa (Aesthetic Relish) Appreciation of the Davidic Episode Based on the Puruṣārthas


o Rasa means ‘aesthetic experience,’ ‘aesthetic rapture’ or ‘aesthetic relish.’

o Rasa essentially deals with the various kinds of emotions, and how they are depicted, inferred and transmitted through a work of art.

o Rasa is not merely subjective in character nor objective in nature; rather it is a combination of subjective and objective...

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