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Natyalocanam of Trilocanaditya

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Item Code: NAE613
Author: Amal Shib Pathak
Publisher: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan
Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789381608043
Pages: 250 (5 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 400 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

Citations from Natyalocanam appear in the commentaries of Raghava Bhatta. Vasudeva. Ranganath & Dinakara on SakuntalamKarpuramanjari, vikromarvasiyam and Raghuvansam respectively. These citations lead one to believe that this work focuses on aspects of theatrical presentations and that it is in a away a condensation of Bharata’s Natysastra on the related subjects.

This work is recorded by aufreecht in his catalogus Catalogorum under 1284b. III. 61a. Its date can be tentatively fixed in the last quarter of 13h cen A.D. Publication of Natyalocanam will be an important addition to literature onancient Indian dramaturgy next to Natya Darpana, abhinaya Darpana, Dasarupaka, Samgita Damodara etc.

About The Author

Amal shib Pathak studied for his Ph.D in Sanskrit Literature from lucknow University. His Guide for research was Dr. Atul Chandra Banergee, the then Reader in the Deptt, of Sanskrit, Pali & Prakrit, who later became the Vice chacellor of Faizabad University. The Subject of his thesis was "Stage and stagecraft of sanskrit Plays". He had studied Kudiattam of Kerala under Late Mani Madhavan Chakyar in Ottappalam and had traced its relationship with ancients Indian theatrical practice.

After serving in Stage Bank of India for 36 Year he has taken up studies i sankrit literature. He had edited three unpublished manuscripts viz kama samuha of ananta, sringara kavya of Sankara and Kama sara of Kama Deva which hav been published by Chaukhambha Sankrit Sansthan. He had alo edited nagara Sarvasa of Padmasri which is going to be published in the near future by Chaukhambha Sannskrit Sansthan.


Long ago when I was studying and collecting material for my topic “Stage and Stagecraft of Sanskrit plays” after registering myself under Dr. A.C. Bangergee for my Ph.D. degree in Lucknow University, I came to know about the existence of a work University, I came to know about the existence of work called Natyalocanam of trilocanaditya. There were reportedly two manuscripts of the work available, one at Saraswati Bhawan Library of Vasanaseya Sanskrit visva vidyalaya, Varanasi and the other at Asiatic society of Bangal Kolkata. I procured copies of thse manuscripts and constructed the text of Natyalocanam as best as scripts and constructed the next of natyalocanam as best as I could. Later on I appended it to my thesis for Ph.D. That was 1967. After these many years now, I am presenting this work after a lot of reworking to lovers of Sanskrit Literature.

During my postgraduate years in Lucknow University my Guide to be Dr. A.C. Banergee used to teach us Sanskrit Poetics, Kavya Prakasa of Mammat, to be precise. I was drawn to him both for his erudition and his reserved and yet benevolent personality. Over a period of time, I came very close to him, so much so that I became in integral art of his theatrical team which used to present a Sanskrit play during the annual convocation of the University.

This team invariably consisted of M/s Dulal Das & co. of Nadia Distt. W.B. who used to carry out the elaborate dress and make up of the persons taking part in the play, one old well k known Muslim craftsman called Babban Painter of old Lucknow who used to create sets and props as per Dr. Benergee’s requirements and of course the students and ex. Students of the department. I was his Man Friday, so to say, from the beginning of preparations till the end of the presentation itself. This presentation used to be one of highlights of the convocation each year. Not only the Vice-chancellor and the faculties of various departments but distinguished persons of the city looked forward to witnessing the presentation of a Sanskrit Play. This was appreciatively covered by the local press year after year.

I remember once we were presenting Malavikagnimitram at Varanaseya Sanskrit visva Vidyalaya on their invitation When Dr. Gauri Nath Sastri was the vice chancellor in 1967. Dr. A. L. Basham the renowned Indologist was the Chief gust who at the end of the show spoke very highly about this theatrical production appreciating the artistic and sensitive presentation of the classic by Dr. Banerjea. I consider myself very fortunate to have enjoyed Dr. Banerjea’s affection till his last days. He used to enquire about publication of Natyalocanam whenever we talked over phone, as he was aware that I had taken up the task of publishing the book after my retirement from service. I was cherishing the hope presenting a published copy of natyalocanam with my dedication of it to him. But that was not to be. To my deep regret he passed away in the middle of 2011.


Citations from Natyalocanam in the commentaries of Raghava Bhatta, Vasudeva, Ranganatha and dinakara on respectively. Sakuntalam, Karpurmanjari, vikramorvasiyam and raghuvamsam indicate its wide spread popularity. These citations also indicate that Natyalocanam was favoured particularly for its coverage of Aharya-Abhinaya that deals with make-up, dress stage props etc. thus raghava Bhatta with make-up, dress, stage props etc. Thus Raghava Bhatta writes and quotes extensively the lines on make-up and dress. Vasudeva quotes lines on Raganatha’s tike on vikramorvasryam quotes lines on Nandi from natyalocanam.

It appears that trilocanaditya had also written a commentary on his work Natyalocanam called Locana Vykhyanjana. Oppert had reported this in his “collection of Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Private collections of South India’Vol-I(2695) Madras 1880.m (This was said to be there in the personal collection of His highness the ciria Anujan Raja of Patinnare, Kovilakam-Kolikkatu-Calicut)He had also written a play called “Ramacharitam’ besides the second part of abridgement of Bharata’s Natyasastra called Bharatodaya which deals with construction of the plot of a play and its ingredience etc. which essentially concerns the writers of the play.

Chapter-1 Natya-Prayojana: After benediction to Lord Shiva the presiding deity of actors and dancers the author dwell upon the reason for abridging Bharata’s monumental work on Indian dramaturgy in two parts namely Natyalocanam and Bharatodaya.

Chapter-2 Nandi, Prastavana, Pravesaka, viskambhaka:He takes up the preliminaries of a theatrical presentation-Nandi. He discusses the controversy relating to the expression that appears in play; whether the same actor introduces the play after reciting the Nandi or another actor called Sutradhara enters after the recitation of Nandi is over. He also discusses the issue of required number of verses in the Nandi.

chapter -3 Masi-Vesa: In this chapter the author Condenses the chapter on dress and make-up of Bharata’s Natya Sastra. Thus crowns, turbans, hair styles of various characters in play have been discussed in details.

Chapter-4Sthana: the fourth chapter deals with the conventions of sthana-ways of creating six types of Sthana for men to carry out different actions on the stage and three types of sthanas for women. The actors and actresses will go through these conventional steps an postures to carry out desired actions of the play. Special mention of Sthana for mighty characters like Ravana. Indrajit & aswatthama have also been made.

Chapter-5, Patra Pravesana: The five types of dhruva music which are played at the time of entrance of character on the stage, the merits and demerits of music, musical notes, various beats, Mrdanga drum and other musical instruments that are played accompanying dance pastures feet movements etc have been hurriedly covered in this chapter.

The closing portion of this chapter and the opening portion of the next chapter on Gati & Cari are missing.

Chapter-6 Gati & Cari: Single foot movements (Cari), movements with both feet (Karana) combination of Karanas(Khanda) and Khandas forming Mandala have been explained. Following this sixteen earthly caris and sixteen aerial caris and their usages as per Bharata have been explained in this chapters.

This chapter is complete but for the missing opening portion.

Chapter-7 Rasas & Bhavas: The most important discussion on the aesthetic experience is pronounded under “Rasa” doctrine. This chapter discusses the types of Rasas their underlying dominant emotions called-Sthayibhavas, the various flickering emotions called Sancaribhavas, that embellish and help developing the rasa experience and the role of expressions of deep seated emotions in physical changes like-breaking in sweat, cracking of voice horripliation etc.

Chapter-8 Abhinayas: This chapter deals with four types of acting viz. aharya, Vacilka angika, and sattvika, As much of Aharya has been covered in the third chapter of Masi-Vesa the author quickly passes on the Vacika and Sattvika types of acting. After briefly covering these be takes up angika cting. Angika abhinaya deals with action of various limbs and their usages for conveying various actions, emotions and objects. An Idea of the elaborate details of such movement of various limbs and the conventions of their usages can be had from the following list of actions


Natyalocanam-text and English translation
1Objectives of Natya1
2Nandi, Prastavanda, Pravesaka and viskambhaka8
5Entrance of characters40
6Gati & cari57
7Rasa- Bhava66
8Various types of acting102
9Nayakas and Nayikas159
10States of love lorn heart168
11Havas (Coquettish Behaviour)176
12Determining the meaning of various words of expressions & addresses to charcters in the play190
1List of Karikas and Verses194-220
2Details of Karikas used for filling gaps in the text221
3Select bibliography222-223
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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