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Sanskrit Drama

With Special Reference to Prahasana and Vithi

Prahasana and the Vithi are two of the major playforms in Sanskrit Drama. Though studies on some individual prahasanas and vithis have appeared from time to time in research journals, there is no comprehensive study of the two playforms on comparative basis, below

About This Book

Prahasana and the Vithi are two of the major playforms in Sanskrit Drama. Though studies on some individual prahasanas and vithis have appeared from time to time in research journals, there is no comprehensive study of the two playforms on comparative basis, undertaken so far. The present book is an attempt to cover all aspects of prahasana and vithi, in theory and practice. It is based on an in-depth study of manuscripts, microfilms and transcripts collected from various sources.
Beginning with the important aspects of Sanskrit drama, the book briefly examines the theories of rasa realization and presents a detailed account of the hasya rasa besides undertaking a study of the theoretical aspects of the prahasana first and the vithi in a later chapter, as sanctioned in the works on dramaturgy. It also presents an account of the shuddha prahasanas that provide a contrasting picture in comparison with the samkirna variety. The work also analyses a few important vithi specimens. The chapter on the Vithyangas is a special feature of the work. Illustrations from well-known dramas serve to explain the textual matter with a rare clarity of thought and expressions.
This volume will interest scholars and students of Indology who are focused on the study of Sanskrit drama and dramaturgy, in particular, and literature, in general. It will also benefit readers interested in ancient Indian theatre.

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124606551
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124606552
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2013
  • Pages : xiii, 498p.
  • Bibliographic Details : Appendices ; Bibliography; Index (Sanskrit and English)
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 900 gm

Foreword – Satyavrat Shastri    
Views of Scholars    
1. Sanskrit Dramaturgy

Origin of Sanskrit Drama    
Types of Sanskrit Drama  

Nataka – Prakarna – Bhana – Prahasana – Dima – Vyayoga – Samavakara – Vithi – Anka – Ihamrga

2. Theory of Rasa : Hasya Rasa 

The Rasa    
Hasya Rasa    
Six Kinds of Laughter    
Is Hasya a Secondary Rasa?    
Position of Hasya among the Rasas    
The Definition of Hasya: A Re-appraisal    
The Divinity and Colour Symbolising Hasya    
A Brief Survey of Hasya in Sanskrit Literature    

3. Theory and Practice of Sanskrit Prahasanas  

Origin and Development    
Characteristics of the Prahasana    
Abhinavagupta's Views on Prahasana    
The Prahasana Elements    
The Vithyangas    
Prahasana Elements and the Vithyangas in Other Forms of Literature    
The Relation between the Prahasana and Other Rupakas    
Characters Appearing in the Prahasanas    
Paradoxical Names of Characters    
Hero and Heroine in the Prahasana    
Vulgarity in the Prahasanas    
Prakrit in Prahasanas    
Rasas Other than Hasya in the Prahasanas    
Number of Acts in the Prahasanas    
Lasyangas in Prahasanas    
Natyadharmi and Lokadharmi    
Theatrical Aspects    
Nandi and the Prologue    
The Bharatavakya    
Stage Worthiness    

4. The Suddha Type of Prahasanas    

The Bhagavadajjukiya  

Authorship of the Bhagavadajjukiya – Bodhayana Kavi – Date of the Bhagavadajjukiya – The Play – Character Study – Literary Merits in the Play – The Sentiment Hasya – Prahasana Elements in the Bhagavadajjukiya – Rasas Other than Hasya in the Bhagavadajjukiya – Alamkaras – Metres – Philosophical Ideas Present in Bhagavadajjukiya – Style of the Bhagavadajjukiya – Dramatic Technique – The Influence of Sruti and Smrti Texts – Influence of Bhagavadajjukiya on Other Prahas – Prakrt in Bhagavadajjukiya – The Commentary – Social Conditions of the State at the Time of Bhagavadajjukiya – Conclusion

The Mattavilasaprahasana

Author and Date – The Plot – Character Study – Literary Merits – Alamkaras – Hasya in Mattavilasa – Prahasana Elements and Vithyangas – Dramatic Technique – The Prakrit in Mattavilasa – Mattavilasa on Stage – Episodes, Allusions and other References – Mattavilasa and Other Rupakas – State of Society as Represented in Mattavilasa  

Hasya Cudamani Prahasana    

The Plot – Character Study – Literary Merits of the Play – Hasya in the Hasyacudamani – Prahasana Elements and Vithyangas in Ha.Cu. – Dramatic Technique – Merits of the playwright – The Influence of BA on Ha.Cu. – The Influence of Ha.Cu. on Later Prahasanas –  Prakrit in the Ha.Cu. – State of Society as Depicted in the Ha.Cu. 

The Madanaketucarita    

The Author – The Plot of the Madanaketucarita – Character Study – Literary Merits of the Play – Hasya in Madanaketucarita – Prahasana Elements and Vithyangas in the Play – Rasas Other than Hasya in the Play – Alamkaras – Metres – Prakrit in MKC – Dramatic Technique in MKC – Epilogue – The Influence of the Bhagavadajjukãya on MKC    

5. The Samkirna Type of Prahasanas

The Well-Known Prahasanas 

The Latakamelaka – The Natavata Prahasana – The Dhurtasamagama Prahasana – The Hasyarnava Prahasana 

The Minor Prahasanas  

The Damaka Prahasana – The Gauridigambara Prahasana – The Kuhanabhaiksava – The Somavalliyogananda – The Kautuka-ratnakara – The Kautuka Sarvasva – The Dhurtanartaka Prahasana – The Prahasanas of Harijivanamisra – Adbhutataranga – Palandumandana – Vibudhamohana – The Sahrdayananda – The Ghrtakulyavali – Hasya in Harijivanamisra's Plays – Venkatesvara Kavi and His two Prahasanas – The Sandrakutuhala of Krisnadatta – The Dhurtavidambana of Amaresvara – The Kuksimbharabhaiksava Prahasana – The Candauranjana – The Mundita Prahasana – The Kaleyakutuhala of Bharadvaja – The Subhagananda – The Vinodaranga – The Hasyakautuhala Prahasana – The Mithyacara Prahasana – The Lokaranjana Prahasana    

6. Theory and Practice of the Vithi  

Vithi and the Open Air Theatre    
Characteristics of the Vithi    
The Vrittyangas and the Vithyangas    
The Relation between the Vithi and Other Rupakas
Characters Appearing in the Vithi    
Rasas in the Vithi    
Lasyangas in the Vithi    
Theatrical Aspects of the Vithi              
Nandi, Prologue and the Bharatavakya

7. The Vithi Specimen  


The Plays of Bhasa – The Plot – Innovations in the Plot – Characters Appearing in the Play – The Rasas in the Play – The Style of the Dramatist – Dramatic Elements in Dutavakya – Poetic Merits of the Play – Vithyangas in the Play – Is Dutavakya a Vithi?    


The Author and His Works – The Text of Lilavativithi – The Dramatic Plot – Character Study – Rasas in the Play – Dramatic Technique – Vithyangas in the Play – Descriptive Powers of the Poet – Poetic Merits – Influence of the Earlier Poets on Ramapanivada – Special Features of the Play 


The Author – The Text – The Plot – The Play – Character Study – Rasas in the Play – Descriptive Powers – Poetic Merits – Dramatic Technique – Sitakalyana as Vithi and Presence of Vithyangas – Influence of Other Poets on Venkamatya – An Overall Assessment of Sitakalyanavithi    

8. The Vithyangas in Sanskrit Drama    

Vithyangas in Bhasa’s Plays

Carudattam – Pratijnayaugandharayana – Svapnavasavadatta – Balacarita – Madhyamavyayoga – Pancaratra – Pratimanataka – Avimaraka

The Vithyangas in the Plays of Kalidasa 

Malavikagnimitra – Vikramorvasiyam – Abhijnana-Sakuntalam

Mricchakatikam (of Sudraka)    
Mudraraksasa (of Visakhadatta)     
Venisamhara (of Bhattanarayana)    
Uttara-Ramacarita (of Bhavabhuti)    
Malatimadhava (of Bhavabhuti)    
Prabodhacandrodaya (of Sri Krisna Misra)    
Karpurmanjari (of Rajasekhara)    
Vithyangas in the Prahasanas

9. Conclusion    


A. List of Non-available Prahasanas & Vithis    
B. Modern Sanskrit Prahasanas & Vithis    
C. Prahasanas in Other Indian Language    
D. The Farce in English Literature    
E. Farcical Elements in the Plays of Kalidasa    
F. Elements of Farce in the Plays of Harsa    
G. Elements of Farce in the Plays of Murari and Jayadeva


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