Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Summary of the drama (Rukminiharana)’ 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 - Summary of the drama (Rukmiṇīharaṇa)

First Act -

Bhagavatī Subuddhī, a teacher, Suvatsalā, the attendant of Rukmiṇī and the daughter of Bhīṣmaka, the king of Vidarbha, came to Dvārakā and informed Kṛṣṇa that Śiśupāla is interested in marrying Rukmiṇī, but Rukmiṇī has already accepted him (Kṛṣṇa) as her husband. Rukmī, the brother of Rukmiṇī, supports Śiśupāla and behaves as an enemy of Kṛṣṇa. However, once, Priyaṃvadaka, an ambassador brought some letters of Rukmī and Śiśupāla, to show to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. After reading the letters, Balarāma gets angry and promises to make Rukmi and Śiśupāla surrender to Kṛṣṇa. After listening, the promise of Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa told Akrūra that they should depart for fighting the next day.

Second Act –

When Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and others were discussing about the fight, Sandhānaka, the ambassador of Śiśupāla, came and presented a garland of emeralds to Kṛṣṇaand informed that Śiśupāla was planning to marry Rukmiṇī in the month of Vaiśākha. Kṛṣṇa then sent the message with Sandhānaka that he would attend the marriage ceremony, at Kuṇḍinapura.

Third Act -

Rukmiṇī becomes worried at the prospect of marriage with Śiśupāla. However, she was consoled with a portrait of Kṛṣṇa. In the mean time, Kṛṣṇa comes and resides in the camp at Kuṇḍinapura. Suvatsalā and Subuddhī come to the camp of Kṛṣṇa and give a portrait of Rukmiṇī.

Further, Suvatsalā tells Rukmiṇī that Kṛṣṇa has already got married with her portrait. Then Rukmiṇī also gets married with the portrait of Kṛṣṇa. Thereupon, Ceṭī Makarandikā drew a portrait of Rukmiṇī, aside the portrait of Kṛṣṇa and gave the same to Rukmiṇī.

In the mean time, all the kings come to the marriage, through the palace of Bhīṣmaka. Rukmiṇī and Makarandikā keep watching them from the window. However, Suvatsalā sends Makarandikā to another place. When Makarandikā left, the portrait slips away from the hands of Rukmiṇī and reaches the hands of Kṛṣṇa. Seeing the portrait of Rukmiṇī and himself, Kṛṣṇa becomes surprised. His portrait is drawn aside Rukmiṇī like a married couple. When he looked up, he saw Rukmiṇī is watching him from the window. Kṛṣṇa appreciates the beauty of Rukmiṇī. At that time, Bhīṣmaka comes and takes Kṛṣṇa away.

Meanwhile, Śiśupāla and Rukmī come in a chariot. Watching them, all the women whispered that Śiśupāla would be killed by Kṛṣṇa. However, Śiśupāla was trying to locate Rukmiṇī, but he was unable to locate her. In between, Rukmiṇī leaves with Subuddhī to worship Indrāṇī.

Fourth Act -

Kṛṣṇa abducted Rukmiṇī at her will, at the time of worship of Indrāṇī. In the meanwhile, the fighting started between the armies of Kṛṣṇa and Śiśupāla. Kṛṣṇa was far away from the fighting place. Balarāma was fighting alone with both Rukmī and Śiśupāla but they started running behind Kṛṣṇa, leaving Balarāma alone. Seeing this, Kṛṣṇa came back. The verbal fighting started between Kṛṣṇa and Śiśupāla. In the mean time, Sātyaki and Balarāma also joined Kṛṣṇa. However, when war reached the climax, Rukmī and Śiśupala moved to the sky and started magical war. The arrows were showered from the sky. Then Kṛṣṇa called Garuḍa. Sitting on the back of Garuḍa, Kṛṣṇa fought with them and brought Śiśupāla down. When the fighting ended, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma left for Dvārakā.

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