(Tamil Heritage Trust)
The Concept of Dhvani in Indian Aesthetics
Dr Anand Amaladass
at 5.30pm on Saturday, October 4th, 2014
at Vinoba Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.
About the topic:
A work of literature is not just for putting forth an idea, which can be analysed through grammar and lexicon. Even prosody (yappu, in Tamil) and metaphors would not lead you to the inner and implied meaning. Suggestions play an important role. This is the soul of literature. In the Sanskrit literature, it is called dhvani. This suggesting element may be a word or a sentence or a paragraph or a stanza or an entire composition, but unexpressed. Considerable sophistication has gone into this area in Indian literature. The 9th century Anandavardhana, the author of Dhvanyaloka is the foremost theoretician in Sanskrit. Tamil tradition has developed its own ‘evocative’ concepts like iraicci, ullurai, tinai, etc. The full enjoyment of a literary piece is not complete without understanding this, and is possible only by those who know not only grammar and lexicon, but also carefully honed their skill for enjoying this essence of poetry. The speaker would formulate a few of the principles from the dhvani perspective, taking examples from Sanskrit and Tamil literatures.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Anand Amaladass SJ, has a Master’s degree in Sanskrit and Ph.D from the University of Madras (1981), and a post-doctoral assignment at the University of Vienna, Austria (1982-84). He is teaching at the Satya Nilayam Jesuit Faculty of Philosophy in Chennai, now part of the Loyola (Autonomous) College, Chennai, from 1984 (now Emeritus). He was the Dean of Faculty and Director of the Research Institute for Philosophy and Sanskrit. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Vienna, in Wuerzburg and in Frankfurt, Germany and at the Gregorian University, Rome.
His publications include a book on the Dhvani theory in Indian Aesthetics (published in Vienna, Austria, 1984), and on the Vishnu Tradition, on the God of Dance, Shiva and on the Goddess phenomenon, with a translation of Abhirami Antati all in German. The Christian Themes in Indian Art (Documentation of how the Hindus, Muslims, Parsis and Christians interpreted Christian themes in India) was published with Gudrun Löwner in 2012. He has written around 100 research articles in English and German.
He lives in Chennai.
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