Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Society in the Ubhayabhisarika’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

Part 12 - Society in the Ubhayābhisārikā

It was the classical and golden age in the Indian history. The people of four castes i.e. Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdras were living peacefully. They were doing their own jobs, according to their caste and laws. Other than the four upper castes, the people of the lower castes like Cāṇḍālas, Pulandas, Śabaras, Kirātas and others were living outside the village, in the forests or in the hillsides. They were doing the meanest work for their survival. They were treated as untouchables and not allowed into the village. Moreover, they were following strictly social rules. The lower caste people were used as slaves in the society. Marriage conditions for lower caste people were different in that period. The girl had to marry before puberty. Sometimes young girls were married off to elder Bridegrooms. The widows could remarry. However, there was also the system of love marriage.

Vararuci has provided a beautiful picture of the society. His description of Kusumapura (known as Pāṭaliputra) city is very accurate. Viṭa Vaiśikācala’s description is marvelous. The cleaned city lanes, decorated with flowers and sprinkled with perfumed water were looking like decorated bedrooms. The entrance of the main market was impressive and crowded with the people, buying and selling their daily requirements. The houses were standing both sides of the lane, as tenfaced Rāvaṇa, looking at each other, as if they were talking to each other. They were full of the sounds of Veda, music and bowstring. When the beautiful girls were watching out from the windows of the houses, they were looking like nymphs on the mount Kailāsa.

The decorated horses, elephants and carriages that were carrying officers, provided transport to the citizen of the city. The well-dressed and ornamented woman, on whom messenger’s eyes were engaged, kept a watch on the young people’s behavior and their movements. The people used to enjoy courtesans who were the beauty of the street. The people used to celebrate various festivals with their favorite gods. From Vararuci’s play, it can be assumed that people got sufficient freedom for their activities and enjoyed their rights. People were helpful to each other. Young girls used to get sufficient freedom for their sentiment and choice. Since it was Gupta period, the people used to enjoy life and helped each other.

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