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Sangita Raja Of Maha Rana Kumbha Karna of Mewar – Literary Work In Indian Music

Sangita Raja is a voluminous work in Sanskrit on Indian music and dance. This work is ascribed to Maha Rana Kumbha Karna of Mewar. It is also an epithet of Shiva. Rana Kumbha reigned for 35 years from 1433 CE. Sangeeta Raja was completed in 1456 CE. This work is also entitled Sangita Mimamsa.

In Sangita Raja, the topics and subjects are arranged systematically and treated with definition, description and justification.

Sangita Raja has 16,000 verses and five large chapters named Ratna Kosha, which literally means “a treasure chest of gems”. The five chapters are entitled Pathya Ratna Kosha, Gita Ratna Kosha, Nritya Ratna Kosha and Rasa Ratna Kosha, respectively. Each kosha has four ullasas (name of further divisions), comprising four pariksanas (name of subdivisions of ullas) each. Thus the five koshas in total consist of 80 parikshanas.

Pathya Ratna Kosha is the first chapter. Pathya means “syllabic sound related to speech”. In the first chapter, the author introduces himself and the work, and all the topics dealt within it. A comprehensive collection covering all topics, definitions, explanations and their application is the special feature of Sangita Raja.

Starting from speech technique, sound, syllable, word and poetics, the author proceeds to gita (the musicology), vidya (instruments) and nritya (dance) and concludes with ethos and rasa (aesthetic expression), and the heroes and heroines. Kumbha Karna mentions that the veena used by Narada had twenty-one strings, and the one by Matanga had nine strings.