A Study of Mrichchhakatika as a Prakarana
One of the earliest known Sanskrit plays is Mrichchhakatika, thought to have been composed by Sudraka, a king who is believed to have lived between the third century and the fifth century BC. Drama is a distinct genre of ancient Sanskrit literature. Bhasa, Sudraka, Kalidasa, and Asvaghosa are the famous Sanskrit dramatists. Though numerous plays written by these playwrights are still available, little is known about the authors themselves. Regarding the life, the date, and the very identity of the author king Sudraka, we are eagerly ignorant. Michchhakatika is a play in ten acts based on the love-story of the male protagonist Charudatta, an honest but poor inhabitant of Ujjayini and Vasantasena, a beautiful and pure-minded courtesan of the same city. The play is completely based on the imagination of Sudraka and does not take its material from epics. Mrichchhakatika is unique in many ways within the entire corpus of classical Sanskrit literature. The play is one of the best examples of Prakarana, one of the ten types of â€˜rupakasâ€™. In this present paper, my attempt is to establish the point of view that Mrichchhakatika is a pure Prakarana.