1 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 1 Lesson: THE MṚCCHAKAṬIKA by ŚŪDRAKA Lesson Developer: Ved Mitra Shukla Department / College: Department of English, Rajdhani College, Raja Garden, New Delhi
2 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 2 Sanskrit Drama: A Brief Outline In classical Sanskrit literature, poetry (Kāvya) is divided into two kinds: 1) dṛśya ( what is capable of being seen or exhibited ), and 2) śravya ( what can only be heard or chanted ). The drama comes under the head of the first division. In Sanskrit, all sorts of dramatic compositions are called rūpaka and uparūpaka. There are ten kinds of rūpaka (drama). These are: i) nāṭaka, ii) prakaraṇa, iii) bhāṇa, iv) vyāyoga, v) samavakāra, vi) ḍima, vii) ȇhāmṛga, viii) anka, ix) vīthi, and x) prahasana. Uparūpaka (minor drama) is divided into eighteen types. Among these, nāṭikā, troṭaka, and saṭṭaka are the three main kinds of uparūpaka. The drama Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka is a prakaraṇa. All kinds of dramatic compositions primarily carry three essential elements. These are: 1) vastu (the plot of a play), 2) neta (the hero), and 3) rasa (sentiments).
3 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 3 Shastri, S. N., The Laws and Practice of Sanskrit Drama, Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, Print. Authorship and Date of Mṛcchakaṭika The authorship of the Mṛcchakaṭika has been a debatable topic among scholars of the Indian classical literature. Certainly, some interesting details related to the life of the dramatist are given in the prelude of the play. At the end of the Benediction, Sūtradhāra appears on the stage, and he talks about the dramatist of the play. He states: its author was a famous scholar, Sudraka by name, who was the very best of the twice-born (Kshatriyas), and of unfathomable mental caliber. His gait was like that of an excellent elephant; his eyes resembled those of a chakora bird; his face vied with the full moon (in beauty); and he possessed a handsome body. He knew the Rigveda, the Samaveda, mathematics, the (fine) arts (praised by courtesans), and the science of (the training and management of) elephants; and he obtained, through Siva s favour, eyes from which the darkness (of ignorance) (or, blindness) had departed. Having seen his son installed (on the throne) as king, having performed the exalting Asvamedha sacrifice, and having enjoyed a life of one hundred years together with ten (more) days, Sudraka entered the (sacred) fire (i.e. died). Passionately fond of war; free from negligence; chief of those who knew the Vedas; rich in penance; and eager to fight with his two arms the elephants of his enemies such indeed was King Sudraka (Stanzas 3-5). The validity of this note is open to question because these stanzas are taken as an interpolation, inserted after the text was finished. In support of this, there are various reasons given by the scholars. Keith writes that Śūdrka was merely a legendry person, really clearly mythical, and that the author who wrote up the Cārudatta, and combined with a new play, thought it well to conceal his identity and to pass off the work under the appellation of a famous king. 1 On the other hand, Buitenen writes: Śūdrka himself found Bhāsa s [c. 2 nd century
4 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 4 playwright in Sanskrit] play incomplete, whether the author had left it that way or chance had destroyed the latter part; and that he sat out to write the completion of it. The name Śūdrka might then well be a modest gesture showing his indebtedness to Bhāsa from the little servant (literal meaning of Śūdrka). 2 In the Indian tradition there are some scholars who establish Śūdrka as the author of the drama as well as a historical figure. In this regard Sten Konow s views are significant. He writes that Shudraka was the abhira, a cow-herd prince, Shivadatta who ruled in the third century A.D. His son Ishvarasena, according to Fleet, overthrew the last of the Andhra dynasty and founded the Cedi era. Konow s conclusion is based on the incident in the drama in which king Palaka of Ujjayini is deposed by Aryaka, always mentioned as gopala-daraka, the son of a cow-herd, and as such should essentially be an abhira like Shivadatta. 3 This theory is also discarded by different scholars. Here, it is also noticeable that no information regarding time and place of Śūdrka is given in the prologue. Keeping in view a commentary on Kāvyālaṁkārasūtravṛti of Acārya Vāmana (8 th cent.) in which Śūdrka is described as Komati, M. R. Kale writes that Komati is the name of a great trading caste in the Madras Presidency from which it would appear that Sudraka was a native of South India (xxiii). In support of this fact, he also points out some peculiar words and expressions in the play, which are used only in the south. For example, in Act X, a word Sahyavāsinī (p. 382) for Goddess Durga is used by the dramatist. This word is used in south India. It can be said that modern scholars are still facing a great difficulty in confirming authorship and dates of the ancient Sanskrit works. Keeping in view this fact, Sudrka is acknowledged as the author of the Mricchakatikam by different scholars. Mṛcchakaṭika: A Prakarana The Mrcchakatika is ideally called a prakarana. In The Sahityadarpana of Viśvanātha Kaviraja, prakarana is defined as follows:
5 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 5 The story of the Prakaraṇa must be mundane or human, being invented by the poet [the dramatist]. Love should be the principal sentiment in it; and the hero must be a Brāhman, or a minister, or a merchant, of the description called firm and mild, and intent upon meritorious deeds, objects of desire, and wealth, such as are subject to destruction or bring but transitory pleasure here or hereafter, being sought with selfish motives The heroine in the Prakaraṇa is sometimes a woman of family, or a courtesan, or both. So there are three divisions of it, the third of which is crowded with such characters as a cheat, a gambler, the humble friend, and the dependent. Since it has the Nāṭaka for its type, it resembles it in all other respects. ( ) The above mentioned characteristics of prakaraṇa can be easily traced in the Mṛcchakaṭika. The hero, Cārudatta, is a Brāhmaṇa by birth, and a merchant by profession. The heroine is a courtesan. This play also belongs to the third kind of prakaraṇa, i.e. sṃkīrṇaprakaraṇa. This variety of prakaraṇa abounds in rogues. Love is the principal sentiment in this play. And in all other respects, it follows the essential conduct of a nātaka, i.e. vastu (the plot of a play), neta (the hero), and rasa (sentiments). As far as the plot is concerned, some incidents in the play are inspired from the stories of other classical texts. Among these, Daridracārudatta of Bhāsa, Daśakumāracarita of Daṇdī, Bṛhatkathā of Guṇāḍhya, and Kathāsaritsāgara of Somadeva are the prominent texts. Moreover, Kālidāsa s Abhijnānaśākuntalam and Viśākhadatta s Mudrārākṣasa are also taken as sources of some of the other incidents in the play. Therefore, the originality of the plot is often questioned. Keeping in view the definition of a prakaraṇa, it seems necessary to examine the plot of the Mṛcchakaṭika to find out whether it fulfills one of the chief conditions (i.e. originality of the plot) of a prakaraṇa or not. In the Mṛcchakaṭika, there are two plots. The main plot revolves around the love of Cārudatta and Vasantasenā, and the sub plot is about Āryaka s palace revolution. Certainly, in other previously written texts like Daṇdī s Daśakumāracarita (the story of Rāgamaṅjarī s love for a poor brāhmaṇa) and Somadeva s Kathāsaritsāgara (the story of a gaṇikā Rupaṇikā s love for a poor brāhmaṇa Lohajaṅgha), love stories of a poor brāhmaṇa can be found. But these stories are
6 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 6 very different from the love story of Cārudatta and Vasantasenā. Another reason for taking the plot as original is the time of Daṇdī (c. 700 BC) and Somadeva (c BC) that comes after the time of Śūdraka ( BC). The sub plot of the play Mṛcchakaṭika, i.e. Āryaka s palace revolution, can be taken as an influence of the story of Guṇāḍhya s Bṛhatkathā. In Bṛhatkathā, some incidents like a king s dethronement and re-establishment, and the union of hero and heroine with the help of the king are found, similar to the incidents which take place during the revolution in the Mṛcchakaṭika where King Pālaka is dethroned and assassinated, and Āryaka is placed on the throne. This revolution helps to raise the heroine to the status of vadhū, and thus, helps the union of the hero and the heroine. However, this episode is not simply an imitation of Bṛhatkathā s story. In the presentation of this episode, Śūdraka has invented several incidents and articles, charged them with dramatic interest of their own, and thus put new life into the original. 4 As far as influences of Kālidāsa s Abhijnānaśākuntalam and Viśākhadatta s Mudrārākṣasa are concerned, some similarities are noticeable. In both the plays, Abhijnānaśākuntalam and Mṛcchakaṭika, heroines have to face their destiny. Due to the angry sage Durvāsa, Śakuntala finds herself in trouble. On the other hand, Vasantasenā also suffers in her love with Cārudatta because she rejects the proposal of Śakāra. But, the difference is that in Abhijnānaśākuntalam, the hero Duṣyanta takes all the initiative in the love story, and in the Mṛcchakaṭika, it is taken by the heroine Vasantasenā. This shows that the heroine is at the centre of the play. Similarly, the trial scene in the Mudrārākṣasa and the present play can also be compared. The Daridracārudatta of Bhāsa is another classical text that is taken as the source of the Mṛcchakaṭika. However, this text is an incomplete work of only four acts. There is a close similarity between the main plots, but the sub plot is entirely invented by Śūdraka. In comparison with Bhāsa s story, the story of Cārudatta is more effectively and interestingly presented by Śūdraka. Lastly, we can say that it is because of the dramatist s dramatic skill and innovation that the plot of the play sustains its uniqueness. Here, it is noticeable that the dramatist does not follow the general convention in selecting the title of his play. This not only makes the Mṛcchakaṭika different from the nāṭaka but also moves the play away from the specified characteristics of a prakaraṇa to some extent. In Sāhityadarpaṇa, it is said that nātaka should be named so as to indicate the theme of a play, and
7 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 7 prakaraṇa is to be named after the hero and the heroine together ( ). But the present play is titled Mṛcchakaṭika referring to an incident that occurs in Act VI. However, the title, Mṛcchakaṭika, becomes helpful in maintaining the originality of the play. In a book Daśarūpa by Dhanaṅjaya (a poet-scholar of 10 th century A.D.), it is said that the hero should appear in each act of a prakaraṇa. Cārudatta, the hero of the play, does not appear in Acts II, IV, VI, and VIII of the play (3.42). In the same text, it is also mentioned that wife of the hero (kulastri) and courtesan (veśyā) should never appear on the stage at the same time (3.45). But in Act X, both, Dhūtā and Vasantasenā appear together, and welcome each other. In spite of such deviations from the set definition, this play follows most of the characteristics of a prakaraṇa like the principal sentiment of love, hero s caste (Brāhman), profession (merchant) and nature (firm and mild and known for meritorious deeds, etc.), heroine s profession (courtesan), and a gallery of rogues. Therefore, scholars find this play an apt example of prakaraṇa. Title of the Drama The literal meaning of the title Mṛcchakaṭika is the Earthen Toy-cart. Generally, a play is named after the hero or the heroine in Sanskrit drama. The title is also decided with the help of the central theme of a play. But these general conventions are not followed by the dramatist Śūdraka. The incident which provides the play s title occurs in the beginning of Act VI, i.e. the middle of the play. Initially, it might seem an insignificant incident but, undoubtedly, it is in the center of the play. It is also noteworthy that the title of the play is ironic. 5 The very first word of the title is mṛit that means clay. But the story of the play revolves around the golden ornaments. For a very short time, Cārudatta s little son, Rohasena, is shown with a clay cart. Here, Rohasena s desire for a golden cart becomes helpful in the development of the plot. However, the importance of the clay cart cannot be refuted and will be explained in the following paragraphs. In Act VI, Rohasena, Cārudatta s little son, is not satisfied with an earthen toy-cart. He wants a golden toy-cart. Vasantasenā gives him her ornaments by filling the cart to the brim. The title originates from this incident. Here, the noteworthy point is that the ornaments are the same that were given to Cārudatta by Vasantasenā for safe custody in Act I. In reality, her purpose was to
8 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 8 continue the acquaintance with him. In Act III, Śarvilaka stole these ornaments. In Act IV, the same ornaments are returned to Vasantsenā by him. Now these same ornaments were handed over to Vidūṣaka by Cārudatta, for being returned to Vasantasenā; but on hearing on the way that Cārudatta was called to the court, Vidūṣaka goes to the court, with the ornaments in his possession, abuses Śakāra for charging Cārudatta with murdering Vasantasenā, and in the scuffle that ensues, the ornaments drop down on the ground, furnishing the most damaging evidence against Cārudatta. 6 An oleographic print depicting the female protagonist Vasantasenā, a rich courtesan. thasena_(oleographic_print).jpg The union of Vasantasenā and Cārudatta becomes possible because of the ornaments. It also proves helpful in revealing the noble character of the hero and the heroine in the play. In the first half of the play, the ornaments seem blessed for the main characters. On the other hand, in the latter half of the play, these ornaments prove unfortunate for Cārudattaa as he is to be sent to the gallows. Thus, in the development of the whole play, the ornaments prove to be an ironical tool that presents both fortunate and unfortunate aspects of human life. The earthen toy-cart links these two opposite states in the play.
9 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 9 Humour in the Drama The Sanskrit aestheticians talks about nine rasas (sentiments). These are śṛṅgāra (love), hāsya (wit and humor), karuna (pathos), raudra (anger), vīra (valour), bhayānaka (fear), bībhatsa (terror or horror), adbhuta (wonder), and śānta (peace). Rasa is chiefly produced by a dramatic art. In a drama, it is not only words but also mime and gesture, music and dance, costume and jewelry that produce rasa. The play Mṛcchakaṭika is a prakaraṇa and in this kind of play, love or śṛṅgāra becomes the principal rasa, this leads to hāsya (wit and humor), and generally the low characters are the substratums (alambana-vibhava) and the absurdities in human life are the excitants (uddipana-vibhava) of the sentiment of laughter (humor). Punning on words, twisting of words in dialogues, queer situations, out-of-the-way characterisations etc. are some of the forms in which the humour is employed by writers. 7 Traditionally, in a Sanskrit drama, Vidūṣaka (the Jester) is employed to produce wit and humour. But, in the present play, the villain in the play, Śakāra, also produces humour. No doubt, by convention, Maitreya, a jester or vidūṣaka, is presented as the main producer of wit and humor but Śakāra also becomes a source of laughter because of his follies and idiosyncrasies. Banerjee makes an apt comparative note on these two humorous characters - Maitreya and Śakāra. He writes: It is true that Shudraka does not create humor through any particular character but it cannot be denied that the two characters Maitreya and Shakara contribute most to the creation of humor in this play by their words, actions, similes and even when they come to blows in the courthall. Shakara is undoubtedly the most contemptible character in Sanskrit literature nevertheless he is responsible for some best and most enjoyable scenes of fun and humor. His absurd similes are highly amusing and one has to burst into laughter to listen to his highly confused references. Observations of Maitreya are serious but humorous and he is capable of making us laugh even when he is so serious in his approach. His similes are from practical life and hit his objective successfully. 8
10 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 10 At the same time, keeping in view the dramatic form and social background of the play, the dramatist takes the help of other minor characters and incidents like the gamblers love for the dice game, the issue of racial superiority among state officials, etc. to produce wit and humor. About the humor as presented in the play, Kale s remark is noteworthy. In the introduction of the play, he appreciates the dramatist: Above all, he excels in humor, which is an element almost entirely neglected in Sanskrit plays. Sudraka s humor depends for its effect not merely on puns on words, but on the situations as well. It is never coarse or vulgar, and is far removed in this respect from the so-called humor or hasya rasa of Bhanas and similar pieces, in which their interest depends. Sudraka s humor, as observed by Dr. Ryder, has an American flavor, both in its puns and its situations. It runs the whole gamut, from grim to farcical, from satirical to quaint. Its variety and keenness are such that king Sudraka need not fear a comparison with the greatest of Occidental writers of comedies. (pg. lvi) Women as Depicted in the Drama In the play Mṛcchakaṭika, mainly three classes of women are shown. The first is prakāśanārī or gaṇikā (courtesan), the second is of vadhū or kulavadhū (virtuous wife) and the third that of bhujishya (slave girl). Vasantasenā appears as a gaṇikā, Dhūtā as a kulavadhū and Madinakā as the slave girl. The latter could regain her liberty by redeeming her pledge or by paying a ransom to her master or mistress. Following the same way, Madinakā was freed by Vasantasenā, and Śarvilaka accepted her as his vadhū (Act V, p. 139). With the help of these female characters, the dramatist throws light not only upon the social status of women but also upon the other issues related to the lives of women. Women s education (in Act III, p. 105), the institution of marriage, the practice of Sati, the Purdah system (in Act IV, p. 135), dowry system (in Act III, p. 127), slavery in female community, prostitution, etc. are some prominent issues that are raised in this play.
11 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 11 The role and status of gaṇikā are depicted by the dramatist through different scenes. The heroine of the play, Vasantasenā is a gaṇikā by birth but her conduct is like that of a respectable woman. In that society it seems that gaṇikās like Vasantasenā were not satisfied with their position. They aspired to the respectability that was associated with the position of kulavadhū. While gaṇikā s class was not considered a respectable class, reputed persons were acquainted with courtesans. In Act V of the play, Vidūṣaka says to Cārūdatta, A courtesan is just like a pebble got inside a shoe, that is got rid of afterwards with great difficulty. Moreover, O friend, a courtesan, an elephant, a Kayastha (a scribe), a mendicant, a spy and a donkey, - where these dwell, there not even villains can flourish (183). In the play it is shown that some courtesans were rich and prosperous. In Act IV Vidūṣaka describes Vasantasenā s mansion. He is amazed to see the prosperity and says, Oh! How beautiful is this gate of Vasantsenā s mansion!... Its floor space is attractively decorated with the offerings of various kinds of sweet-smelling flowers. It has raised its top to a great height, as if out of curiosity to have a sight of the celestial regions. It is adorned with a string of a (huge) garland of Jasmine flowers which is tossing about and hanging down from it, making one mistake it for the trunk of (Indra s elephant) Airavata (p.157). Vasantasena s wealth gives her a sense of empowerment and also some amount of choice. For Vasantasenā, the merits of a person are more important than his wealth. She says, But it is merit that is the cause of love, and not force (Act I, p. 39). Cārūdatta also appreciates her conduct, and finds her different from other courtesans. While she enjoys economic freedom, what she desires is the respectability that is associated with a kualvadhu, a virtuous wife. We also come to know that a courtesan could be a virtuous wife or a respectable woman by marrying a socially established person. In this regard, Madanikā is an appropriate example. However, it is king Āryaka who bestows upon Vasantasenā the title of a kulavadhū (Act X, p. 402). Keeping in view her social condition, Kale writes about her: In fact, the more one sees of Vasantasena the more one thinks of her as a kulastrī and the less as a ganikā, so far removed she is from the ways that one naturally associates with the latter. And if we find the nature of Vasantasena not rising to the high or sublime level of Sita or Sakuntala that is because the situation and environment are different (p. lxviii-lxix).
12 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 12 As far as the status of kulavadhū is concerned, she was supposed to live in the inner apartment of the house, and to put on a veil. It was the husband who dealt with financial matters. Kulavadhūs were considered dependent upon their husbands in these matters. However, they were independent to use the gifts and money which had been given by their parents (in Act III, p. 127). Thus, while a kulavadhu had a respectable status, she had very little say in the economic affairs of the family. In most of the ancient Sanskrit dramas, condition of widows is not discussed directly. In Act VI of Kālidāsa s Abhijnānaśākuntalam, a minor incident is mentioned where we are informed that after the death of a merchant, Dhana-Vṛedhi, his property could not be claimed as state property because the widow was pregnant. 9 It means that a widow cannot claim her dead husband s property. There is no episode in the Mṛcchakaṭika that can be seen as a direct comment on the widows condition at that time. But the Sati practice that appears in the play draws attention to the deplorable condition of women. In Act X, Dhūtā moving towards the fire speaks tearfully to her son, Rohasena, who is clinging to her skirts, Leave me child! Do not hinder me! I am afraid (to live longer) lest I hear the evil tidings concerning my husband. Vidūṣaka responds to her, As for you, a Brahman lady, the sages have declared it a sin to mount the funeral pyre separately from (the corpse of) her husband. She further says, It is better to commit that sin, rather than hear the evil tidings about my husband! (pp ). In the light of these statements, we can say that in that society, the Sati practice prevailed. Through the character of Madanika, the audience is given an insight into the life of a slave girl. Madanika s conversation with Vasantasena (in Acts II and IV) shows that though she is a slave, she has a friendly relationship with her mistress. She also has a high regard for Vasantasena and is sorry at the time of parting with her. Madanika is also shown to be a practical woman. This is evident in Act IV when she advises an intelligent way out of the difficulty to Sarvilaka in proposing that he should return the stolen ornaments himself as a messenger from Carudatta to Vasantasena. At this moment, Vasantsena, who is listening to the conversation, stealthily commends her, Noble, Madanika, noble! You have spoken like a gentlewoman! (Act IV p.149).
13 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 13 In the ancient Indian tradition, eight types of marriages were prevalent. Manu in his Manusmṛti, which had been written before this play, talks about these. In decreasing order of virtue, these are: (i) Brahma Vivāha (wedding rites followed by Lord Brahmā and by Brāhmanas), (ii) Dẽva Vivāha (rites followed by the gods), (iii) Ārṣa Vivāha (the rite of the sages), (iv) Prajāpatya Vivāha (wedding of the prajāpatis), (v) Asura Vivāha (the system of asuras), (vi) Gāndharva Vivāha (wedding in the way followed by gāndharvas), (vii) Rākshasa Vivāha (the system of the demons), and (viii) Pẽśāca Vivāha (wedding in the manner of lost souls). Among these, three types of marriages can be found in the play. First is the relation of Cārūdatta and Dhūtā that is an example of Brahma Vivāha; second is the relation of the hero and the heroine (Vasantasenā) that is according to the Gāndharva Vivāha; and third is Śakāra s proposal to Vasantasenā with a handsome amount of money that comes under the Asura Vivāha. Courtesans were not supposed to be involved with the marriage institution. Constraints on women s freedom in the ancient Indian society through some practices like Sati, polygamy, etc. are also an issue of debate in this play. In the Indian society from the time of Ramayana, marrying only once in a lifetime has been taken as an ideal practice. But in some cases, polygamy is practiced. In Mrcchakatika the silence of Dhūtā on her husband, Cārūdatta s marriage with Vasantasenā shows that polygamy was very much prevalent in the period of the Mṛcchakaṭika. Such restraint on women s freedom through polygamy can also be seen in Kālidāsa s Abhijnānaśākuntalam where Duṣyanta secretly marries Śakuntalā. But the difference is that Kālidāsa develops the plot on the basis of the ideals of Dharma while Śūdraka tries to follow social behavior and human psychology in the characterization. Recent studies have commented on the absence of any sort of political participation of female characters in the play. In a Gujarati play, Śarvilaka, by Rasiklal Parikh, which is based on the Mṛcchakaṭika, all the courtesans along with Vasantasenā participate in the revolutions. This kind of a play as well as research done by the modern scholars provide new grounds for the analysis of the play from the perspective of women s condition. 10
14 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 14 Conclusion This lesson on The Mṛcchakaṭika by Śūdraka begins with an introductory note on Sanskrit drama, and authorship and date of the drama. Keeping in view the play as a prakaraṇa, the main characteristics of prakaraṇa and Mṛcchakaṭika as a prakaraṇa are discussed here. Humour is discussed as an important sentiment in the play. Along with these issues, the status of women as depicted in the play has also been discussed at length. GLOSSARY Bhujishyā: a slave-girl, maid-servant Dharma: behaviors that are considered to be in accord with the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and right way of living. 11 Gaṇikā: a courtesan Kubera: the Lord of wealth in Indian tradition Kulavadhū: a virtuous wife; a respectable woman Prakaraṇa: in Sanskrit theatre, prakaraṇa is a kind of drama. According to The Sāhityadarpaṇa of Viśvanātha Kavirāja, the story of the Prakaraṇa must be mundane or human, being invented by the poet [the dramatist]. Love should be the principal sentiment in it; and the hero must be a Brāhman, or a minister, or a merchant, of the description called firm and mild, and intent upon meritorious deeds, objects of desire, and wealth, such as are subject to destruction or bring but transitory pleasure here or hereafter, being sought with selfish motives The heroine in the Prakaraṇa is sometimes a woman of family, or a courtesan, or both. So there are three divisions of it, the third of which is crowded with such characters as a cheat, a gambler, the humble friend, and the dependent. Since it has the Nāṭaka for its type, it resembles it in all other respects ( ). Rasa: an aesthetic experience; essence of an emotional sentiment or mood
15 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 15 Sati: the former Hindu practice of a widow burning herself on her husband s funeral pyre Sūtradhāra: a central character in Sanskrit theatre. He is analogous to a modern director, stage manager, and producer. Although the etymology suggests that he held the metaphorical thread. This runs through and holds together the various incidents in a play. Some scholars argue that the term originated in ancient art of puppetry in a very literal sense as string-puller. According to Bharata, he must be proficient in playing the various musical instruments. He should be an expert in theatrical speech, gaits, and movements of different characters, highly convergent with rasa and bhava. He should be skilful in the presentation of natya or theatre and other arts and crafts, learned in all the disciplines of knowledge, and capable of determining the rhythm and time measure to accompany various songs as well as comprehending the essence of prosody. He should himself be an excellent performer and after understanding the play, must be able to impart the training to other performers as well. 12 NOTES 1. Keith, A. Berriedale. The Sanskrit Drama: In its Origin, Development, Theory and Practice. Delhi: MLBD, p Buitenen, J.A.B. Van. Introduction, Two Plays of Ancient India. Delhi: MBLD, p Banerjee, Biswanath. Shudraka (Makers of Indian Literature Ser.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, p Devasthali, G. V. Introduction to the Study of Mṛichchhakaṭika. Poona: Poona Oriental Book House, p Wells, Henry W., A Prakarana: The Little Clay Cart, The Classical Drama of India. Bombay: Asia Publishing House, pp Print. p Karmarkar, R. D. Introduction, Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka (with English translation and notes). Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, p. xiii. 7. Banerjee. p Ibid. p. 90.
16 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka Rajan, Chandra (tr.), Abhijnānaśākuntalam, Kālidāsa: The Loom of Time. New Delhi: Penguin, p Dixit, Ratnamayidevi, Women in Sanskrit Dramas. Delhi: Mehar Chand Lachhman Das, p Retrieved on August 19, Retrieved on December 20, BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Source The Mṛichchhakaṭika of Śūdraka (with the commentary of Prithvidhara, English translation and notes). M. R. Kale. Delhi: MLBD, Secondary Sources On the Sanskrit Drama: The Daśarūpa by Dhanaṅjaya. Trans. George C. O. Haas. New York: New York Univ. Press, Schuyler, Montgomery. A Bibliography of the Sanskrit Drama (With an Introductory Sketch of the Dramatic Literature of India). New Delhi: Asian Publication Services, Shastri, S. N. The Laws and Practice of Sanskrit Drama. Varanasi: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, Shekhar, I. Sanskrit Drama: Its Origin and Decline. Leiden: E. J. Brill, Keith, A. Berriedale. The Sanskrit Drama in its Origin, Development, Theory & Practice. Delhi: MLBD, Wilson, Horace Hayman. On the Dramatic System of the Hindus. Calcutta: Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, The Sāhityadarpaṇa of Viśvanātha Kavirāja. Trans. P. D. Mitra. Calcutta: C. B. Lewis Baptist Mission Press, 1875.
17 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 17 English Translations of the Mṛicchakaṭika: Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka (with English translation and notes). R. D. Karmarkar. Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, The Little Clay Cart. A. W. Ryder, Harvard Oriental Series, Vol. IX Cambridge. Mass The Little Clay Cart. R. P. Oliver. Illinois, The Little Clay Cart. S. K. Basu. Calcutta: Calcutta Univ., The Little Clay Cart. A. L. Basham. Albany: State University of New York Press, The Little Clay Cart, in Classical Triptych: Shakuntala, The Little Clay Cart, Nagananda. Henry W. Wells. Literary Half Yearly Univ. of Mysore, pp The Little Clay Cart, in Two Plays of Ancient India. J. A. B. Van Buitenen. Delhi: MLBD, pp The Toy Cart, in Great Sanskrit Plays. P. Lal. New York: James Laughlin, pp Critical Studies: Banerjee, Biswanath. Shudraka (Makers of Indian Literature Series). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, Bernhard, Betty. Taking a Ride on the Clay Cart: Dynamics of Sanskrit Theatre, a Production Casebook of the Classic Natyashastra Style. Claremont, Calif.: Pomona College, Bhatt, G. K. Mrichchhakatika, Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (Vol. III). Ed. Amaresh Datta. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. pp Preface to Mṛichchhakaṭika. Ahmedabad: The New Order Book Company, Chakrabarti, Prakaschandra. A Treatise on Śūdraka s Mṛichchhakaṭika. Delhi: Pilgrim s Books, Chattopadhya, N. Mṛichchhakaṭika, or, The Toy-Cart of King Śūdraka: A Study. Trans. S. R. Banerjee. Calcutta: Sanskrit Book Depot, Devasthali, G. V. Introduction to the Study of Mṛichchhakaṭika. Poona: Poona Oriental Book House, Monier-William, M. A Sanskrit English Dictionary. Delhi: MLBD, 2011.
18 The Mṛcchakaṭika of Śūdraka 18 Nalikar, Chandramouli S. The Mṛichchhakaṭikam and the Indian Laws. Dharwas: M/S Medha Publishers, Wells, Henry W. A Prakarana: The Little Clay Cart, The Classical Drama of India. Bombay: Asia Publishing House, pp Web Sources: Bharat Ek Khoj Episode 17 The Classical Age. Feb. 10, < Retrieved on July 28, How to write Sanskrit Part 1 Single letters. Sep. 28, < Retrieved on Jan. 28, The Little Clay Cart by Sudraka. Apr. 10, < Retrieved on July 28, Vasantsena. Jul. 20, < Retrieved on Jan. 26, 2016.
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