Mudrarakshasa (literary study)

by Antara Chakravarty | 2015 | 58,556 words

This page relates ‘Use of Shringararasa (erotic sentiment)’ of the English study on the Mudrarakshasa: an ancient Sanskrit dramatic play (Nataka) authored by Vishakhadatta which deals with the life of king Chandragupta. This study investigates the Mudra Rakshasa from a literary perspective, such as metrics, themes, rhetorics and other poetical elements. Chandragupta ruled the Mauryan Empire during the 4th century BCE, hence this text can also be studied as a historical textbook of ancient India.

3.5. Use of Śṛṅgārarasa (erotic sentiment)

Apart from this in the third act of Mudrārākṣasa during kaumudīmahotsava there is only one śloka which can be cited as an example of Śṛṅgārarasa, Cf.—

bhartustathā kaluṣitāṃ bahuballabhasya mārge kathañcidavatārya tanūbhavantīm/
sarvātmanā ratikathācatureva dūtī gaṅgāṃ śarannayati sindhupatiṃ prasannām//

Here in this verse Gaṅgā is treated as the nāyikā and Samudra as the nāyaka and the autumnal season plays the role of a female messenger, adept in love matters to unite the nāyaka and the nāyikā. But this śloka doesn’t have any direct connection to the main story.

This much use of Śṛṅgārarasa was obvious in this drama because of the absence of the heroine here. But it seems that the writer was not much interested in using Śṛṅgārarasa, otherwise he would have presented it through other minor characters.

Footnotes and references:


III. 9

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