School of Social, Financial & Human Sciences (March 2022)
1. Datta, C. S.(2021), Bengal and the Bengali in Charyageeti in Critical Discourse in Bangla, Subha Chakraborty Dasgupta & Subrata Sinha (Eds.), Routledge, UK & USA, pp. 22–46.
The focus of this essay is on the relationship between Buddhism and its philosophical implication in the late Mahayana period and how they shaped the practices of Vajrayana Buddhism in Bengal between 8th and 12th centuries, as reflected in the Charyapada, the ancient poetry-songs based on Buddhist doctrines. There is also an account of Bengali society and culture of the period as reflected in the songs: Vedic and non-Vedic religions, different Budhhist, Jain, and Tantric sects, philosophical truths, societal system, clash of castes, and untouchability; professions like fishing, weaving, cotton carding, and carpentry; and on a lighter note, hunting, music, theatre, wine, love, and domesticity.
2. Datta, C. S.(2021), The Gaudita Vaishnav Order: Its Treatises on Rhetoric & Rasa in Critical Discourse in Bangla, Subha Chakraborty Dasgupta & Subrata Sinha (Eds.), Routledge, UK & USA, pp. 67–73.
Bharata’s Natyashastra, the earliest available Sanskrit doctrine on poetics, enumerated the possible permanent emotions as eight, and Abhinavagupta (10th century), added the ninth one of Shama. Ancient rhetoricians also acknowledged the influence and impact of Bhakti (love for God), which can be inferred from a verse by Ānandavardhana (9th century), which stated that poets were tired of describing the world, but they continued to remain enchanted with the bliss of the uncomparable emotion of Bhakti. 15th century Gaudiya Vaishnav scholars established Bhakti as a permanent emotion, with its corresponding madhura-rasa. This essay delves into aspects of Sanskrit poetics and its relation to the ideals of Bhakti.
3. Datta C, S. (2021), A Consideration of Literature in Critical Discourse in Bangla, Subha Chakraborty Dasgupta & Subrata Sinha (Eds.), Routledge, UK & USA, pp. 140–143.
This essay is about the intent inherent in language. Any utterance is made with an intent—logical i.e. used for argument or information; emotional i.e. used to inspire feelings and sentiments. Different disciplines need different kinds of utterance. For example, the language of mathematics will be different from the language of literature. Logical utterance demands clarity, while emotional and ethical utterance may rely on rhetoric. For an utterance to be effective, these intents must be applied harmoniously. The essay focuses on the question of language and its function, rather than overtly aesthetic concerns.
4. Datta C, S. (2021), Rasa & the Question of Taste in Critical Discourse in Bangla, Subha Chakraborty Dasgupta & Subrata Sinha (Eds.), Routledge, UK & USA, pp. 144–149.
Since the early 19th century, there remained the persistent question whether anything like literary criticism in the Western sense was ever available in Indian traditions. Scholars attempted to take the rasa-shastra to the general reading public, and to find a relation between Indian and Western aesthetic theories. This essay takes up the question of rasa, and relates it to the psychoanalytical school by questioning the primacy of shringara-rasa in the aesthetic school and that of the libido in the psychoanalytical. The final appeal is for an open-ended approach in criticism and for a greater vision beyond the temporally limited ideals of good and evil.
5. Datta Chaudhuri, S. (2021), ‘The Poetic Mind’ in Critical Discourse in Bangla, Subha Chakraborty Dasgupta & Subrata Sinha (Eds.), Routledge, UK & USA, pp. 150–168.
This article takes three essays by Rabindranath Tagore as the point of departure to seek contemporary literary aesthetics. The enquiry is not limited to Rabindranath’s writings alone but includes those of Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay as well, placing them within a continuity of aesthetic tradition coming down from Sanskrit rhetoricians. Through a critical examination of their works, particularly Rabindranath’s idea of the three fundamental constituents of poetic genius, viz. wonder, love, and imagination or empathy, the essay comes to the conclusion that a poet’s genius is constituted by the three elements of pratibha or genius, vyutpattior knowledge, and abhyas or practice.