Dandi (poet)

Dandi (poet)

Sri Dandin is a 6th-7th century Indian Sanskrit author of prose romances and expounder on poetics. Although he produced literature on his own, most notably the "Dasakumaracarita", first translated in 1927 as "Hindoo Tales, or The Adventures of the Ten Princes", he is best known for composing the "Kavyadarsa" ('Mirror of Poetry'), the handbook of classical Sanskrit poetics, or "kavya". His writings were all in Sanskrit.


In "Kavyadarsha", Dandi argued that a poem's beauty derived from its use of rhetorical devices – of which he distinguished thirty-six types. He was the main proponent of "gunaprasthana", the view that poetry needed qualities or virtues such as "shlesa" (punning), "prasada" (favour), "samata" (sameness), "madhurya" (beauty), "arthavyakti" (interpretation), and "ojah" (vigour). Poetry consisted in the presence of one of these qualities or a combination of them.

He is also known for his complex sentences and creation of very long compound words (some of his sentences ran for half a page, and some of his words for half a line).


The "Dasakumaracarita" relates the vicissitudes of ten princes in their pursuit of love and royal power. It contains stories of common life and reflects a faithful picture of Indian society during the period couched in the colourful style of Sanskrit prose. It consists of (1) Purvapithika, (2) Dasakumaracarita Proper, and (3) Uttarapithika.

A "shloka" (hymn) that explains the strengths of different poets says: "Dandinaha padalalithyam" (Dandi is the master of playful words).


*M.R. Kale, 2003, "Daśakumāracarita of IAST|Daṇḍin" (Text with Sanskrit Commentary Various Readings, a Literal English Translation, Explanatory and Critical Notes and an Exhaustive Introduction), New Delhi, ISBN : 8120801717.
*Isabelle Onians (trans.): "What Ten Young Men Did". New York: Clay Sanskrit Library, 2005. 651pp. Facing romanized Sanskrit text and translation. ISBN 0-8147-6206-9.

References and external links

* [http://granthamandira.com/index.php?show=entry&e_no=4 Kavyadarsa - word, pdf]
* [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/P_0201.htm Poetics] — "Banglapedia"

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