Tales from the Hindu Dramatists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 131 pages of information about Tales from the Hindu Dramatists.

She now prepares to leave her husband after she has seen her boy installed as associate king.  So preparations are made for the inauguration ceremony when Narada the messenger of Indra, comes to announce that the god has compassionately revoked the decree.  The nymph is thus permitted to remain on earth for good as the hero’s second wife.

Nymphs descend from heaven with a golden vase containing the water of the heavenly Ganges, a throne, and other paraphernalia, which they arrange.  The prince is inaugurated as Yuvaraj.  All now go together to pay their homage to the queen, who had so generously resigned her rights in favour of Urvasi.



Agnimitra and Malavika.

We learn a wise sentiment from the prologue.  The stage-manager, addressing the audience, says:—­“All that is old is not, on that account, worthy of praise, nor is a novelty, by reason of its newness, to be censured.  The wise do not decide what is good or bad till they have tested merit for themselves:  a foolish man trusts to another’s judgement.”

Puspamitra was the founder of the Sunga dynasty of Magadha kings, having been the general of Vrihadratha, the last of the Maurya race, whom he deposed and put to death:  he was succeeded by his son Agnimitra who reigned at Vidica (Bhilsa) in the second century B.C.  King Agnimitra has two queens Dharini and Iravati.  Malavika belongs to the train of his queen Dharini’s attendants.  The maid was sent as a present to the queen by her brother, Virsena, governor of the Antapala or barrier-fortress on the Nermada.

The queen jealously keeps her out of the king’s sight on account of her great beauty.  The king, however, accidentally sees the picture of Malavika, painted by order of the queen for her chitrasala, or picture-gallery.  The sight of the picture inspires the king with an ardent desire to view the original, whom he has never yet beheld.

Hostilities are about to break out between Agnimitra and Yajnasena, king of Viderbha (Berar).  The first, on one occasion, had detained captive the brother-in-law of the latter, and Yajnasena had retaliated by throwing into captivity Madhavasena, the personal friend of Agnimitra, when about to repair to Vidisa to visit that monarch.  Yajnasena sends to propose an exchange of prisoners, but Agnimitra haughtily rejects the stipulation, and sends orders to his brother-in-law, Virasena, to lead an army immediately against the Raja of Viderbha.  This affair being disposed of, he directs his attention to domestic interests, and employs his Vidushaka or confidant, Gotama, to procure him the sight of Malavika.  To effect this, Gotama instigates a quarrel between the professors, Ganadas and Haradatta, regarding their respective pre-eminence.

They appeal to the Raja, who, in consideration of Ganadasa’s being patronised by the queen, refers the dispute to her.  She is induced to consent reluctantly to preside at a trial of skill between the parties, as shown in the respective proficiency of their select scholars.  The queen is assisted by a protege, a Parivrajaka, or female ascetic and woman of superior learning.

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Tales from the Hindu Dramatists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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