Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Summary of the Lilavativithi’ 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 2 - The Summary of the Līlāvatīvīthī

The king of Karnataka, fearing the abduction of his daughter Līlāvatī by his enemies, places her under the care of Kalāvatī, the wife of king Vīrapāla of Kuntala. Kalāvatī keeps her out of the sight of the king Vīrapāla fearing the possibility of the development of a love affair between them. The king Vīrapāla and Līlāvatī, however, happen to meet and fall in love with each other. Vaihāsika, the boon companion of the king, comes to know of this and arranges with a Yoginī, Siddhimatī by name to bring about their union by magical means. However, unable to bear the separation from Vīrapāla, Līlāvatī sends a love letter to him along with the signet of her ivory earring, which is unfortunately discovered by the female attendant of the queen, who thus comes to know of this.

In the meantime, the magical art of Siddhimatī begins to work, by which a cobra is made to appear on the spot and bite Kalāvatī, who however later on revives at the approach of Vaihāsika, disguised, according to previous arrangement, as a snake-charmer named Bhadrasiddhi. Bhadrasiddhi is offered a present, but he refuses it saying that he would take it later in due time and disappears. The king and queen meet, but, Kalāvatī would not forgive him. She only torments him by asking her maid to read out Līlāvatī’s love letter. However, the art of Siddhimatī works further. That night the queen is made to see in a dream Lord Śiva appear before her and tell her that it was he who, in the guise of Bhadrasiddhi, saved her from the snakeand, as a reward for it, she should marry Līlāvatī to Vīrapāla, as this alliance would elevate him to the position of an emperor. She agrees and the next morning narrates her dream to the kingand asks him to take the hand of Līlāvatī.

On the day of the marriage, when Līlāvatī was going for worship in the temple, she was caught by the demon Tāmrākṣa, sent by the king of Kaliṅga, the enemy of her father. Vīrapāla fights with him and kills him. The marriage is then celebrated with due pomp and splendor. In the end, Vaihāsika informs the king of the stratagem by which the hand of Līlāvatī was procured for him. (The summary is taken from the itroduction of the Līlāvatīvīthī, 1948, Published by the University Manuscripts-Library, Trivandrum).

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