by Sarannya V. | 2020 | 34,082 words
This study analyzes the Annadatri-Carita: an epic poem connected with a regional history written by Prof. K Balarama Panicker. The plot of the drama is based on a Sangam period myth connected with the epic Mahabharata. The author introduces Utiyan Ceralatan as Vancishvara, an ancestor of the last Travancore ruler named Chithira Thirunal Balarama Va...
Annadatricarita: A Critical Study is an attempt to analyzesuch an epic related myth connected with a regional history. Annadatricarita is a short drama, written by Prof. K Balarama Panicker and it was composed as a tribute to Chittira Tirunal Balarama Varma, the last Travancore ruler on his birthday celebration. The plot of the drama is based on a Sangam period myth connected with the epic Mahabharata. According to this myth, an ancient Cera ruler Utiyan Ceralatan had conducted a grand feast for the entire army including both Kauravas and Pandavas throughout the days of Kurukshetra war without any partiality. In this drama the author introduced Utiyan Ceralatan as Udayavarmakulashekhara (Vancishvara), an ancestor of the Travancore ruler Chittira Tirunal Balarama Varma. ‘Annadatricarita-A Critical Study’ is significant in accordance with its historical and political aspects.
The drama Annadatricarita consists of five acts. The first act illustrates the arrival of the Shurasena, the envoy of Yudhishthira into the Vanci kingdom and the depiction of the beauty of Vanci kingdom. In the second act, the author introduces the King Vancishvara and his minister, their meeting with the envoys of Yudhishthira and Duryodhana and the decision of grand feast. The third act deals with the arrangements for the voyage of Vancishvara towards Kurukshetra. The fourth act is a scene from the Kurukshetra. In this scene Shakuni the wicked uncle of Duryodhana, tried to tempt Vancishvara against the Pandavas; but the Vancishvara refuted his temptation and shouted at him. The final act portrays the royal assembly of Yudhishthira after his victory in the Kurukshetra war. In this act, Krishna honoured Vancishvara with the name ‘Mahannadatri’ (great donor of food) and blessed the king that he will incarnate in the clan of Vancishvara on the day of ‘citra’ star in the Kaliyuga. Thus, in this drama, Prof. K BalaramaPanicker amazingly co-related the Sangam myth of grand feast with the contemporary history of Travancore dynasty.
The first chapter entitled The Myth of Grand Feast, deals with following subjects like the concept of Annadana (donation of food) in major Sanskrit resources, the influence of Annadana in Indian society and culture, an introduction to Sangam period and literature, the references of the myth of grand feast or Perumcorru mentioned in Sangam Literary sources like Purananuru, Akananuru and Cilappatikaram and Sanskrit sources like Keralodaya and Annadatricarita. This chapter also discusses the different views of historians about this myth of grand feast.
The second chapter Depiction of Utiyan Ceralatan in History and Literature discusses the narration of the king Utiyan Ceralatan in different textual sources. He was an ancient Cera ruler and the hero of the myth of grand feast. This chapter provided a discussion on the following topics such as an analysis of ancient Cera rulers, depiction of Utiyan Ceralatan in history and literature, especially about his life period, reign and his demise on battle of Venni.
The third chapter An Introduction to Annadatricarita, discusses about the drama Annadatricarita. It provides a brief introduction to the life and works of Prof. K BalaramaPanicker. This chapter elaborately discusses about the different literary aspects of the drama such as the story, narration of the characters, major alankaras and vrittas which are used to enhance the poetic charm of the drama. The adaptations of previous works like Mahabharata, Raghuvamsha and Narayaniyain Annadatricarita are also illustrated in this chapter. The fourth chapter, Dramatic Appraisal of Annadatricaritais an analysis of Annadatricarita based on Sanskrit dramaturgy. It analyses the dramatic features like Nandishloka, Prastavana, Praveshaka, Vishkambha and Bharatavakya. Other major aspects like the story (vastu), the hero (neta), sentiment (rasa) in the drama are analysed and explained in this chapter. Therefore, the Annadatricarita can be identified as a‘Nataka’ type of rupaka. The story of this drama is very popular with the ‘Danavira’ type hero. The main sentiment of the drama is identified as the Vira rasa and the Adbhuta, Hasya and Raudra are the supporting sentiments. As early mentioned, the drama is composed for a stage purpose, that's why the details about the onstage performance of Annadatricarita is also referred in this chapter.
The fifth chapter Annadatricarita–A Critical Study approaches this drama in a critical perspective. It analyses the chapter in three different dimensions viz. the social, geographical and political aspects.. This chapter tried to find answer for the following queries like-why the dramatist has chosen a complicated connection of the myth and history as the theme of the drama? Why he introduced the central character as an embodiment of Kshatra dharma while the history is on the contrary? Why the author applied divinity on Travancore rulers? What was the relevance of this drama during that period when India was just behind a step from the independence?