Shudraka, aka: Śūdraka; 5 Definition(s)

Introduction

Shudraka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Śūdraka can be transliterated into English as Sudraka or Shudraka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Kavya (poetry)

[Shudraka in Kavya glossaries]

Śūdraka (शूद्रक) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—A famous king and dramatist. Who is well-known for his drama Mṛicchakatika (Prakaraṇa).

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Purana

[Shudraka in Purana glossaries]

Śūdraka (शूद्रक).—A Sanskrit dramatist. He is believed to have lived in the second century A.D. The drama "Mṛcchakaṭika" has been discovered as his work. It is divided into ten Acts. It is believed to be the oldest Sanskrit drama. Some people think that Śūdraka was a King. The authorship of another drama, "Padmaprābhṛtakam" is also attributed to him.

(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Katha (narrative stories)

[Shudraka in Katha glossaries]

Śūdraka (शूद्रक) is the name of an ancient king from Śobhāvatī, as mentioned in the fourth story of the Vetālapañcaviṃśati in the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 78. Accordingly, “... there is a city on the earth rightly named Śobhāvatī. In it there lived a king of great valour, called Śūdraka. The fire of that victorious king’s might was perpetually fanned by the wind of the chowries waved by the captured wives of his enemies”.

The story of Śūdraka is mentioned in the Vetālapañcaviṃśati (twenty-five tales of a vetāla) which is embedded in the twelfth book of the Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’). The main book is a famous Sanskrit epic detailing the exploits of prince Naravāhanadatta in his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The Kathā-sarit-sāgara is is explained to be an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā which consisted of 100,000 verses and in turn forms part of an even larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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India history and geogprahy

[Shudraka in India history glossaries]

Next to nothing is known of Śūdraka except that he must have hailed from Ujjayinī. His is the most charming of all prakaraṇa plays (those that are not based on epic material): the Mṛcchakaṭikā (“Little Clay Cart”), the story of an impoverished merchant and a courtesan who love each other but are thwarted by a powerful rival who tries to kill the woman and place the blame on the hero, Cārudatta.

(Source): academic.ru: South Asian Arts
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Shudraka in Sanskrit glossaries]

Śūdraka (शूद्रक).—Name of a king, the reputed author of the Mṛchchhakaṭika.

Derivable forms: śūdrakaḥ (शूद्रकः).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

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