Indian Classical Literature
BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q 1. (i) Mrichhakatika as a literary text
Ans. Mrichchhakatika (The Little Clay Cart) is a ten-act Sanskrit drama attributed to Śūdraka, an ancient playwright who is possibly from the 5th century CE, and who is identified by the prologue as a Kshatriya king as well as a devotee of Siva who lived for 100 years.
The play is set in the ancient city of Ujjayini during the reign of the King Pālaka, near the end of the Pradyota dynasty that made up the first quarter of the fifth century BCE.
The central story is that of a noble but impoverished young Brahmin, Sanskrit: Cārudatta, who falls in love with a wealthy courtesan or nagarvadhu, Sanskrit: Vasantasenā.
Despite their mutual affection, however, the couple’s lives and love are threatened when a vulgar courtier, Samsthānaka, also known as Shakara, begins to aggressively pursue Vasantasenā.
Mșcchakatika also spelled Mrcchakațikā, Mrchchhakatika, Mricchakatika, or Mrichchhakatika (The Little Clay Cart) is a ten-act Sanskrit drama attributed to Sūdraka, an ancient playwright who is possibly from the 5th century CE, and who is identified by the prologue as a Kshatriya king as well as a devotee of Siva who lived for 100 years.
The play is set in the ancient city of Ujjayini during the reign of the King Pālaka, near the end of the Pradyota dynasty that made up the first quarter of the fifth century BCE.
The central story is that of a noble but impoverished young Brahmin, Sanskrit: Cārudatta, who falls in love with a wealthy courtesan or nagarvadhu, Sanskrit: Vasantasenā.
Despite their mutual affection, however, the couple’s lives and love are threatened when a vulgar courtier, Samsthānaka, also known as Shakara, begins to aggressively pursue Vasantasenā. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Rife with romance, comedy, intrigue and a political subplot detailing the overthrow of the city’s despotic ruler by a shepherd,
the play is notable among extant Sanskrit drama for its focus on a fictional scenario rather than on a classical tale or legend.
Mșcchakațika also departs from traditions enumerated in the Natya Shastra that specify that dramas should focus on the lives of the nobility and instead incorporates many peasant characters who speak a wide range of Prakrit dialects.
The story is thought to be derived from an earlier work called Cārudatta in Poverty by the playwright Bhāsa, though that work survives only in fragments. Of all the Sanskrit dramas, Mịcchakațika remains one of the most widely celebrated and oftperformed in the West.
The work played a significant role in generating interest in Indian theatre among European audiences following several successful nineteenth century translations and stage productions, most notably Gérard de Nerval and Joseph Méry’s highly romanticised French adaptation titled Le Chariot d’enfant that premiered in Paris in 1850, as well as a critically acclaimed “anarchist” interpretation by Victor Barrucand called Le Chariot de terre cuite that was produced by the Théâtre de l’Ouvre in 1895.
Unlike other classical plays in Sanskrit, the play does not borrow from epics or mythology. The characters of Śūdraka are drawn from the mundane world.
It is peopled with gamblers, courtesans, thieves, and so on. The protagonist of the play, Cārudatta, does not belong to the noble class or royal lineage.
Though Vasantasenā is a courtesan, her exemplary attitude and dignified behavior impress the audience. The nobility of the characters does not stem from their social conditioning but from their virtues and behaviour. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
(ii) Themes in Sangam poetry
Ans. The Sangam literature historically known as ‘the poetry of the noble ones’ Cānror ceyyul) connotes the ancient Tamil literature and is the earliest known literature of South India.
The Tamil tradition and legends link it to three literary gatherings around Madurai and Kapāțapuram (Pandyan capitals): the first over 4,440 years, the second over 3,700 years, and the third over 1,850 years before the start of the common era.
Scholars consider this Tamil tradition-based chronology as ahistorical and mythical.
Most scholars suggest the historical Sangam literature era spanned from c. 300 BCE to 300 CE, while others variously place this early classical Tamil literature period a bit later and more narrowly but all before 300 CE.
According to Kamil Zvelebil – a Tamil literature and history scholar, the most acceptable range for the Sangam literature is 100 BCE to 250 CE, based on the linguistic, prosodic and quasi-historic allusions within the texts and the colophons.
The Sangam literature had fallen into oblivion for much of the second millennium of the common era, but were preserved by and rediscovered in the monasteries of Hinduism,particularly those related to Shaivism near Kumbakonam, by the colonial era scholars in the late nineteenth century.
The rediscovered Sangam classical collection is largely a bardic corpus.
It comprises an Urtext of oldest surviving Tamil grammar (Tolkappiyam), the Ettuttokai anthology (the “Eight Collections”), the Pattuppattu anthology (the “Ten Songs”).
The Tamil literature that followed the Sangam period – that is, after c. 250 CE but before c. 600 CE – is generally called the “post-Sangam” literature.
This collection contains 2381 poems in Tamil composed by 473 poets, some 102 anonymous. Of these, 16 poets account for about 50% of the known Sangam literature, with Kapilar – the most prolific poet – alone contributing just little less than 10% of the entire corpus.
These poems vary between 3 and 782 lines long. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
The bardic poetry of the Sangam era is largely about love (akam) and war (puram), with the exception of the shorter poems such as in paripaatal which is more religious and praise Vishnu, Shiva, Durga and Murugan.”
On their significance, Zvelebil quotes A. K. Ramanujan, “In their antiquity and in their contemporaneity, there is not much else in any Indian literature equal to these quiet and dramatic Tamil poems.
In their values and stances, they represent a mature classical poetry: passion is balanced by courtesy, transparency by ironies and nuances of design, impersonality by vivid detail, austerity of line by richness of implication.
These poems are not just the earliest evidence of the Tamil genius. The Tamils, in all their 2,000 years of literary effort, wrote nothing better.”
Q 2. (i) “Perish the sinful thought, why are you out to sully your family’s honour; and to make me fall; you are like a river that crumbles its banks to muddy its crystal stream, and uproots the tree growing by its edge.”
Ans. The Roman Catholic dogma of “Confession,” as with all its dogmas, is based on the mother of all dogmas, the infallibility of Peter, whom they claim to be their first pope, and its sister BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
The Roman Catholic dogma of “Confession,” as with all its dogmas, is based on the mother of all dogmas, the infallibility of Peter, whom they claim to be their first pope, and its sister dogma, the “Apostolic succession.”
The Roman Catholic Church aŭthorises its priests to forgive/absolve sins.
In this regard, John 20:23 is one of the RCC’s texts: “If YOU forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if YOU withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
The Roman Catholic interpretation is that these were all or some of the 11 APOSTLES. Let us back up to verse John 20:19:
 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the DISCIPLES were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
The RCC position is based on the view that these disciples were the Apostles only. But why should this be so? Because this power resides in the Apostolic succession through Peter.
So, to have disciples who are not Apostles in the room (in John 20:19-23 above) would not be good for the RCC. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
I turn to Luke 24, the episode when two disciples meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus and to what happened when they returned to Jerusalem to tell other disciples what they had seen and heard:
33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven AND THOSE WHO WERE WITH THEM GATHERED TOGETHER, 34 saying,
“The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread…44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
So, in the room with Jesus were the 11 Apostles as well as OTHER disciples. The upshot: the idea that “disciples” in John 20:19-23 meant more than just Apostles is extremely cogent.
To return to John 20:23, the passage can only mean this: “Now, says S Lewis Johnson, notice the force of the perfect passive. So, what does this mean then?
“Whosoever sins ye forgive, they shall have been forgiven to them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they shall have been retained.” BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Well, when it’s all put together, the statement is simply this; the church has not been given the authority to forgive sins. She has been given the authority to proclaim forgiveness to the believing and judgment to the unbelieving.
And as long as the church is faithful to the word of God, her pronouncements do simply reveal what has already been determined in heaven.
In other words, God has set forth the conditions by which forgiveness, and by which no forgiveness may take place.
And therefore, the decisions that count are made in heaven, not upon the earth.” (S L Johnson, Basic doctrine, “The forgiveness of sins”). The Apostle Peter, leader of the twelve, was without doubt Primus inter pares, first among equals.
Peter, however, never ever said anything at all like “Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti” (I absolve/forgive you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
What does Peter say to Simon the sorcerer? “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 20:8).
(ii) “No, you yourself must mention it in the right way to Dhrtarastra, the first of the Kurus, O Saubala. I shall not be able to bring up the matter.”
Ans. The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror up to his author.
That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as practicable the manner in which his author’s ideas have been expressed, retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the peculiarities of his author’s imagery and of language as well.
In regard to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
But the endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will strike as ridiculous.
Those unacquainted with any language but their own are generally very exclusive in matters of taste.
Having no knowledge of models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a narrow one.
The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original.
He must represent his author as he is not as he should be to please the narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him.
Mr. Pickford, in the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom and taste against the claims of what has been called ‘Free Translation,’ which means shtressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to whom he is introduced.
In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari’s Niti Satakam and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, “I am sensible that in the present attempt I have retained much local colouring. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
For instance, the ideas of worshipping the feet of a god or great men, though it frequently occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the accidental and remain blind to the essential.
But a certain measure of fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous, is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many translations of oriental poets.”
We fully subscribe to the above although,
it must be observed, the censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather undeserved, there being nothing like a ‘studied dishonesty’ in their efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart.
More than twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate the Mahabharata into English,
I was amazed with the grandeur of the scheme. My first question to him was,—whence was the money to come, supposing my competence for the task.
Pratapa then unfolded to me the details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of assistance from different quarters.
He was full of enthusiasm. He showed me Dr. Rost’s letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the undertaking. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he warmly took Pratapa’s side for convincing me of the practicability of the scheme,
I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a week’s time to consider.
I consulted some of my literary friends, foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee.
The latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance.
The result of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up, and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was concerned.
My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully comparing it sentence by sentence with the original.
About its literal character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore, could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader.
The translation had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all impairing faithfulness to the original. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
My first ‘copy’ was set up in type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native.
All of them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.
Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned, arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity.
I was for it. The reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one person translating the whole of the gigantic work.
Not with standing my resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I might not live to carry it out.
It would take many years before the end could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in consequence of which my connection with the work might cease.
It could not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a succession of translators appearing on the title pages. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
These and other considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct. It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator.
As a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the publisher and the other headedTranslator’s Preface.’
This, it was supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind. No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.
Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa’s work when, in fact, he was only the publisher.
The charge came upon my friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of the world.
He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.
1 Examine the theme of love and marriage in Abhijnana Shakuntala?
Ans.’Waiting is a real sign of true love and patience, anyone can say i love you, but in reality not everyone can wait and prove that its true. These lines are proved true in the play Abhigyana Shakuntalam. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
It is a beautiful tale of love and romance written by one of the greatest poets of India, Kalidasa, one of the greatest Sanskrit poet that India ever had and his life history is absolutely fascinating and interesting.
Perhaps the most famous and beautiful work of his is Shakuntalam.
This is a love drama and we can feel love showering throughout the play. Their love brings us on a journey that makes us laugh, cry tears of happiness and sorrow, and even blows us away by their love. This story basically focuses on the theme of love.
It centralizes on the thought that We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we are not alone.’
It defines love very well as we can feel a very differnent kind of sensation in almost every aspect of this play.
According to me love can not only in between a girl and a boy who are planning to get married, infact love is everywhere. It can be between us and god or between us and our parents. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Similarly even in this play when sage kanava spotted the new born child, surrounded by shakuntala birds then taken by kindness, he decides to take the child home and name her shakuntala.
This shows how love does not bothers about blood relation or anything and can make someone adopt a child out of love.
Even when we move further in this play, we can see how Shakuntala grows up to be a beautiful young lady just like her mother Menaka.
One day, King Dushyant, while returning from a deer hunt, happens to stop by the hermit’s cottage. There he saw Sakuntala engaged in a friendly banter with her friends. Shakuntala found her deer whimpering in pain and tried to comfort it.
Shakuntala very much loved the animals of the forest and her attachment for the animal touched Dushyanta’s heart and he asked her to forgive him for his cruel behaviour.
She forgave him and he asked to stay in the forest for a few days to tend the wounded deer.
They fell in love and they decided to marry. Their love was so deep that for instance at the beautiful surrounding, the inner joy of Dushyanta and of the beauty of shakuntala triggers the feeling of love in him. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Though standing behind the bushes he too is unable to control himself from adoring and appreciating Shakuntala’s magical youth.
On the proposal of marriage Shakuntala asked the king to wait for the sage kanava to return, but the strong love between them did not let them wait as both of them were willing to marry this is when in the absence of the sage,
they secretly married in the ceremony of “Gandharva Vivaha” with Mother Nature as the witness.
After some days, the King got news of unrest in his city and is summoned to return. He leaves sadly, but promises to return soon and take his beloved with him.
As a token of love, he gives her a signet ring and promises to send an envoy to escort her to the palace.
But then the king did not kept his promise and from here begins the waiting period of shakuntala which is the actual test of her true love. Shakuntala waits for dushyanta’s people to come and take her to his palace. But they do not come.
Every love story is not always a straight road which means that in every love story the lovers have to face many difficulties to get their love and become one. It is not always easy to achieve what you want and one needs to fight for his or her love.
Same was in the case of Shakuntala. She was already suffering from so much pain of seperation and waiting, but as said earlier it is not easy to get one’s love, so here comes one more obstacle. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
One day, sage Durvasa, famous for anger, stops by the hut for hospitality. Lost in her love thoughts, Sakuntala fails to acknowledge his presence.
This rises the temperamental sage and he curses Shakuntala, that the one whom she is thinking about will forget her.
Sakuntala begs for mercy and explains her situation.
On the plea of Shakuntala and her friends, the sage agrees and says that if the king sees any significant thing that he gave her, he will remember everything Now we again are confronted with the love of sage Kanava towards shakuntala.
When he returned he knew by his spiritual insight that Shakuntala and Dushyanta were united by gandharva vivaaha and his daughter was pregnant.
The sage puts his seal approval on the marriage as divinely ordained and, in due course Shakuntala delivers a male child. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
After so many months of waiting, when she fails to hear anything from the king, Sage Kanava arranges for the visit of Sakuntala to the court of”King Dushyant.
On her way, she stops by a lake to drink water and unfortunately the ring slips out of her finger and suddenly a fish swallows it.
She reaches the royal palace, but Dushyant did not recognized her because of the curse given to her earlier. She then remembers the ring but realizes that she has lost it somewhere. With disappointment, she returns back to the forest.
As it is very well said that never lose hope and if there is true love then one can even change the lines of destiny from his or her hand.
This belief was proved true because at the time when Shakuntala was very disappointed then all of a sudden a miracle happened and the angler came in the play as if he is a messenger of the God. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
In the play after sometime, an angler finds the ring in the stomach of a fish. He immediately takes it to the king, who on seeing the ring recalls everything and rushes to the hermitage to meet Sakuntala.
There they reunite. At that time this is the message of kanava to Dushyanta concerning shakuntala: “considering us hermits whose only wealth is tapasya, your own birth in a noble family, the love of shakuntala for you in bringing about which her relatives had no role, you, as her husband, should give her an equal status and love among your wives,
Anything beyond this will depend on her bhaagya or luck, the relatives of the bride have no say about that.”
2 Discuss the role of fate and chance in the Mahabharata.
Ans. This theme resonates in the Mahabharata. Lord Krishna, Vyasa, Narada and other great rishis knew that the great catastrophe was predestined.
For instance Vyasa advises Satyavati, Amba and Ambalika that they should retire to the forest after the death of Pandu as otherwise they would be witness to the suicide of their race.
Draupadi is referred to as being born for the destruction of the Kauravas and Kshatriyas. In the Vana parva, Krishna assures Draupadi that the earth would drink the blood of the Kauravas in a future catastrophic war. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
It is as if Lord Krishna was conducting a sacrifice of war in which all the Kshatriyas of the world would be annihilated.
But what was the secret behind this planned destruction of the Kshatriyas? The reason may be that the kshatriyas and kings of the world had developed demonic tendencies of greed, arrogance and unbridled lust for conquest and power.
At the time of the Mahabharata, India was a land full of powerful and ambitious empires bent on world domination.
There were innumerable powerful Kshatriya dynasties which terrorized the world with their armies. Any powerful king would set out with his army and start on a conquest of the four quarters inflicting war on any state opposing their will.
Their conquests stretched as far west as the yavanas (ancient greeks).
The Mahabharata, although a treatise on the utter futility of War, is full of the heroic grandeur of this militarism. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Vyasa doesn’t mince words when he describes a brave warrior crushing his enemy in battle. The Pandavas themselves conquer all lands for Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya.
But a point came when these incessant wars of conquest started destroying the peaceful development of human life and things were so bad apparently that the Lord Himself had to incarnate and destroy this uncontrollable order of conquerors and warriors.
However true to its claim of being as broad a canvas as Life itself, the Mahabharata is a complicated jungle.
The grand drama unfolds on the stage of tragic destiny but the actors are not following prescripted roles. Free will plays as big a role if not bigger in the unfolding of the Gotterdamerung.
There are fundamental reasons stemming from individual beliefs, idiosyncracies, arrogance, egoism and failure which are as much causal in the epic’s grand march to Doom.
Dhritarashtra’s moral blindness and personality warped by perceived injustice, Duryodhana’s flawed upbringing which filled him with envy, hate and arrogance,
Shakuni’s malice, Bhishma’s narcissistic oath obsession, Karna’s suicidal fixation with self worth based on military prowess, BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Draupadi’s never extinguishing fire of hatred for the Kauravas and Krishna’s vision of a Dharmic India purged of the grip of self aggrandizing militaristic dictators are great pillars in the destructive edifice of the Mahabharata.
The consequences of this world war for Dharma were however disastrous for India. A highly developed and prosperous society was subjected to the horrors of cataclysmic war.
The powerful order of the Kshatriyas was near annihilated and the grand combination of thinkers, statesmen and warriors which had made Mahabharata age India an unrivalled powerhouse was obliterated.
All that was left was a ravaged country full of widows, children and degenerate men as warned by Lord Krishna in the Kaurava assembly and as foreseen by the intelligent Arjuna before the start of the grand carnage.
This degeneration grimly manifests as the mass suicidal frenzy of Krishna’s own Yadava race thirty six years after the Great War.
Thus as in Life itself, Fate and Free Will form the two strands which weave the rich tapestry of the Epic. The spirit of the Mahabharata however is not fatalistic.
Vyasa’s vision is reflected in the action packed life of Shri Krishna, the supreme hero of the epic. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
The great poem reverberates with His grand personality and inspires us to be like Him- mighty and full of courage, never disheartened and ever enthusiastic, ready to crush evil and establish Virtue on earth.
And isn’t Arjuna’s annihilation of the Khandava forest with Krishna’s help an illustration of man’s ability to destroy the forest of self limitations with God’s grace and achieve high goals by self exertion.
The heroes of the Mahabharata are the great karmayogis: Bhishma, Karna, Krishna and Arjuna and not the dubious fatalist Dhritarashtra.
3 Comment on the use of metaphors in Mrichchhkatika?
Ans. Let us first think of the important dates in relation to the writer Sudraka and the play. Let us admit, we face specific difficulties in this regard.
It will be useful to keep in mind that the period to which the writer belongs is ancient India that, being far back in time is not easy to decipher. Particularly, in the case of literary texts of that period, determining the dates is a big issue.
Either records were not kept, or they were lost in the long span of time between then and now. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Yet, in the last two hundred years, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, efforts have been made to retrieve the precious treasures of ancient writing.
Owing to this,a big chunk of valuable information is available today to tell us where we stood then with respect to economy, polity and social environment.
Further, we may get to know, how we might relate to this knowledge today in the middle of contemporary conflicts and issues.
Literature has this dimension of the human experience, in it, there are elements that do not remain confined to interests and issues of the time when a literary text was composed.
There is no doubt that predominant features of a text are taken from its period, yet, human beings in their practices show aspects that are rooted in the recent and distant past as well as those others which are present in seed form and for this reason may come up in future, again in the coming few decades or much later.
Add to this the fact that social institutions, too, have a long life. They do not have a fixed date on which they were born, so to say. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Moreover, their lifespan may be relatively larger than the period in which they perform a tangible and broadly determining function.
Such institutions play the role of reminding succeeding eras of a history that shows itself at the level of presenting a process like the one that is set in motion in relatively different backgrounds.
Be that as it may, ancient texts do arouse interest in us and take us to scenes of life capable of shedding light on what we do and the way we respond to our world.
Let us take the case of Sudraka’s Mrichchhakatika. It is heard that the play was not known till its text emerged in remote Kerala in the early years of the twentieth century.
At the same time though, there are bits of information about the play having been translated into a number of European languages in the latter half of the nineteenth century itself.
It is possible that the Orientalists dug out the play from the vast repertoire of ancient writing in India and saw in it an outstanding dramatic composition.
The emergence of the play’s text from different sources in a diversity of places only added to its appeal. It also helped scholars compare one version of the text with another.
As soon as the play Mrichchhkatika came to light, it took the literary world by storm.
Here is a play that is so relevant to our own time! It had an extremely evolved style of depiction, a dramatic form marked by consistency, wit, and objectivity.
It offered a vast panorama of the ways of the time. As one went through the text, one was transported to the ancient era. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
In some respect, it resembled our own period. At the same time, in other respects it bore testimony to the world that produced it.
The specificity of that world captured graphically in the play dazzled all. Having said that, let us now look at Sudraka the playwright.
4 Define akam and puram poetry.
Ans. Puram is one of two genres of Classical Tamil poetry. The concept of life style of human beings falls in two categories: personal and public.
The genre dealing with poems about love affairs is called Akam while the other genre, called puram, concerns many subjects such as wars, kings, poets and personal virtues, besides others. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Tolkāppiyam, the earliest work of Tamil grammar and literature available in Tamil, divides each genre into seven strands (Thinai) comparing and connecting the one in personal with the other in public life of style.
Another work that belongs to a period of a thousand years later, Purapporul Venpamalai, divides the puram concept into twelve according to its view, without concerning the other part life-style.
The genre of puram concept speaks on the excellency of life-style of different people. As the kings are famous, their life-styles of war and gifts are spoken in plenty.
Unlike Puram, the personal name of a person will never be identified in Akam concept of literature of poem, as it is common all.
Puram leads to consideration as a historical record by Tamil literary scholars as it has details such as names of kings, poets, and places.
1 How is the veer rasa and the shringara rasa evoked in Abhijnana Shakuntala?
Ans. The Rasa theory originates with Bharata in Natyasashtra. it has finds its root in vedic period in Atharvaveda (200BC – 100BC).
It suggests that every object and meaning has an emotional effect which diverts human mind with its experience and controls the heart and mind of human.
Bharata has described all the emotions and state of mind differently, he has analysed the structure of that emotions, and expressed his views upon the relations of that emotions and their effect on human’s being with the literary context.
Thus the theory of Rasa has become a very important as literary theory, which has a connection with human experience and strongly rooted in reality.
“Rasa” – a Sanskrit word which suggests juice’ or ‘essence’ and aesthetics, it denotes an essential mantle state when such emotions evokes in the mind of a human while reading such, watching or hearing such work of art. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
When a person listen or watch or read any kind of work there is a process in his mind which continuously going through and evokes such feelings which has different emotions,
it considers as Rasa, there is a different kind of Rasa, there are nine Rasa which Bharatamuni has given description of, and he has connected all the Rasa with different Hindu God and different colours.
1] Srngaram- Love, Attractiveness, presiding by Vishnu, Colour: Green
2] Hasyam- Laughter, Mirth, Comedy, presiding by Ganesha, colour: White
3] Raudram- Fury, presiding by Rudra, colour: Red
4] Karunyam- Compassion, Tragedy, Presiding by Yama, colour: Dove coloured
5] Bibhatsam- Disgust, presiding by Shiva, colour: Blue
6] Bhayanakam- Horror, Terror presiding by Kali, colour: Black
7] Viram- Heroic Mood, presiding by Indra, colour Wheatish brown
8] Adbutam-Wonder presiding by Brahma colour: Yellow
9] Shantam- peace, tranquillity presiding by Vishnu colour: white
In addition to the nine Rasas, two more appeared later especially in literature,
Vatsalya- parental love
Bhakti- spiritual devotion BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Bharatmuni has presented his theory of Rasa in the sixth chapter of Natyashashtra, he has said that, Further he adds that every dramatic presentation has an aim to evoke such aesthetic experience in the mind of the audience,
it is a kind of the realization of beauty and art to the mind and awareness towards joy. Bharatmuni has scientifically presented the analysis of Rasa in his Natyashashtra.
He said that Natya is the imitation of life, in which different human emotions should dramatically, presented to the audience and glorify such emotions in the mind of audience as it is about pain or pleasure.
The production of aesthetic relish is calls ‘rasanishpattih’, which can be gain by combination of, determinates (vibhava), consequents (anubhav), and fleeting emotions (vyabhicharibhav).
He has given two terms to experience the Rasa, first is which we can taste or flavour (asvadya) and the second is the well established dominant mood (sthayibhav). Dominant mood can be created by different Bhavas and abhinayas.
2 What do you think is Karna’s views on/ of Krsna in the Mahabharat?
Ans.The Karna Parva or the Book of Karna, is the eighth of eighteen books of the Indian Epic Mahabharata. Karna Parva traditionally has 96 chapters.
The critical edition of Karna Parv has 69 chapters[3 Karna Parva describes the appointment of Karna as the third commander-in-chief of the Kaurava alliance. The Parva recites how war begins to tire and frustrate everyone.
This book describes how brutal war leads to horrifying behavior over the 16th and 17th day of the 18day Kurukshetra War. This parva describes deaths of Dushyasana, Banasena, Vrishasena, Susharma and finally Karna. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
At the end of the parva, Karna is killed in a fierce battle with Arjuna. Karna Parva includes a treatise by Aswatthama which focuses on the motive of the deeds of human life.
The crowning incident of this Parva is the final confrontation between Karna and Arjuna, in which Karna is killed.
After learning of the deceptive way his father was killed, Ashwatthama became filled with wrath and invoked the celestial weapon called the Narayanastra, against the Pandavas.
When the weapon was invoked, violent winds began to blow, peals of thunder are heard, and an arrow pierced every Pandava soldier.
This had put fear into the Pandava army, but Krishna by stopping the troops advised that the army lay down all its weapons and surrender to the weapon.
As himself being the incarnation of Narayana, he knew about the weapon, as the weapon only targets an armed person while ignoring unarmed ones.
After getting their soldiers to disarm (including Bhima with some difficulty), the astra passed by harmlessly. BEGC 101 Free Solved Assignment
Narayanastra failed to harm Arjuna and Krishna as they both were divine persons (Krishna himself is Narayana and Arjuna is Nara).
When urged by Duryodhana to use the weapon again, desirous of victory, Aswatthama sadly responded that if the weapon is used again, it would turn on its user. Narayanastra destroyed one Akshauhini of Pandava army completely.
After the use of Narayanastra, a terrible war between both armies took place. Ashvatthama defeated Dhrishtadyumna in direct combat, but failed to kill him as Satyaki covered his retreat.
On 16th day of war, Karna was appointed to protect Dushyasana from the clutches of Bhima. Bhima defeated Karna in archery. Soon Karna picked up sword and rushed on to Bhima.
Soon they engaged in sword fight, when Bhima was about to stab Karna, Karna’s son Banasena came in aid of his father.
On seeing Banasena, Bhima got angered as his own son Ghatotkacha was slain by Karna. Banasena challenged Bhima and soon attacked Bhima with mace.
Bhima brutally but fairly killed Banasena infront of Karna. Bhima killed Banasena by hitting him several times on head, chest and abdomen regions . Seeing his son’s fate; Karna quickly picked up a mace and attacked Bhima.
Still in anger, Bhima beat karna several times and almost took Karna to death. But Bhima spared Karna remembering Arjuna’s oath of assassinating Karna.
Bhima asked Karna to take his son’s body to perform funerals and later fight with Arjuna. Then Bhima headed to kill Dussasana. Bhima engaged in duel with Dushyasana.
First they fought by means of archery. Bhima broke Dushyasana’s bow. Dushyasana took sword, Bhima cut off sword.
Bhima cut all weapons in similar manner till Dushyasana took mace. When Dushyasana took up mace, Bhima also took his mace.
Soon both started mace duel with each other. Bhima beat Dushyasana many times with his mace.
Bhima broke Dushyasana’s mace. Both of them began wrestling. Finally Bhima defeated and brutally killed Dussasana in front of Duryodhana. Bhima killed Dussasana by separating and detaching his hands from the body.
Bhima beat Dussasana in heart region. Bhima squeezed blood from Dussasana’s heart and dressed Draupadi’s hair. Bhima also drank off remaining blood and fulfilled his oath.
Q 3. How is the social dimension of the times treated in Sudraka’s Mrichchhkatika?
Ans. Shudraka was an Indian king and playwright. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him – Mrichchhakatika (The Little Clay Cart), Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana (short one-act monologue), Padmaprabhritaka.
The prologue of Mrichchhakatika states that its poet was a king renowned as “Shudraka”. He had performed Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice) ritual to prove his superiority, and immolated himself at the age of 110 years, after crowning his son as the new king.
The prologue describes him as a distinguished wise man, who had gained knowledge of the Rigveda, the Samaveda, mathematics, the Kamashastra and the art of training elephants. No historical records mention a king by the name Shudraka (which literally means “little servant”).
The first four acts of Mrichchhakatika are virtually a copy of the corresponding acts from Bhasa’s unfinished play Charudattam.
One theory is that the poet of Mrichchhakatika simply finished Bhasa’s play out of respect, styling himself as the “little servant” of Bhasa. A fourteenth century text attributes Mrichchhakatika to a duo, Bhartrimentha and Vikramaditya.
The Mrichchhakatika is set in Ujjain. It is known that an Ujjain-based poet by the name Bhartrimentha was a contemporary of Kalidasa; the legendary king Vikramaditya also lived in Ujjain.
However, identifying these two as the authors of Mrichchhakatika is chronologically impossible.
Though the date of The Little Clay Cart and the particulars of its author are uncertain, it is a major example of Sanskrit drama. The book abounds with cultural rites and customs and the duties of a householder.
It paints a vivid picture of life in the ancient and culturally important city of Ujjain, in North Central India. Combination of political and love intrigue gives special value to the play.
The play opens with a traditional benediction in praise of Siva; it is followed by remarks about the audience, details concerning the author, and a witty bit of patter between the stage manager and his pert wife concerning their poverty.
The plot proceeds to expand upon the theme of material poverty and spiritual wealth.
The play is in a Prakarana. The hero of the play is a Brahmin merchant-prince Carudatta who has become penniless due to his excessive generosity and the heroine of the play is a hetaera Vasantasena, a rich courtesan of rare qualities.
When Carudatta is in a mood of despair due to his poverty, Vasantasena enters his house hurriedly from Samstanaka, the King’s wicked brother-in-law, and two of his cronies.
Carudatta offers the frightened Vasantasena refuge, and thus begins an intense love affair. As a reward for protecting her from Samsthanaka’s advances, Vasantasena leaves her jewels in the custody of Carudatta for safekeeping.
But the jewels are stolen by an artful thief Sarvilaka.
Carudatta’s wife fearing that her husband’s reputation will be ruined sends her only possession, a necklace of pearls through Maitreya, Carudatta’s Brahman friend.
Maitreya hands over the necklace to Vasantasena and narrates a fabricated story that Carudatta has lost his jewel in a gambling house.
But before he reaches to her house Sarvilaka has given the stolen jewels to Vasantasena to buy freedom of a slave girl with whom he is in love.
Even after knowing the truth she accepts the necklace, taking it as another opportunity to visit her lover Carudatta.
She goes to his house and stays in Carudatta’s house due to heavy rain. In the next morning Vasantasena returns the necklace to Carudatta’s wife but she rejects to take it.
The child of Carudatta appears, complaining that he has only a little clay cart (Mrcchakatika), whence the name the play. Vasantasena is moved to tears and out of pity she gives him her jewels that he may buy one of gold.
She is to rejoin Carudatta in a neighbouring park, the property of Samstanaka, but by error she enters the car of Samsthanaka while Aryaka, who has been seeking a hiding place, leaps into that of Carudatta and is driven away,
two police men stop the cart, and one recognizes Aryaka, but protects him from the other with whom he contrives a quarrel.
In the meantime, Carudatta, who is conversing with the Vidusaka seeks his cart driven up, discovers Aryaka, and permits him to go off in it. He himself leaves to find Vasantasena.
Meanwhile Vasantasena is delivered by mistake to the evil Samsthanaka elsewhere in the public garden, after she mistakes his coach for that of Carudatta.
The angry Samsthanaka first tries to win her by fair words, then, repulsed, orders the vita and the slave to slay her. They indignantly refuse.
He pretends to grow clam, dismisses them, and then rains blows on Vasantasena, who falls apparently dead. Samsthanaka buries her body under a pile of dead leaves.
The shampooer turned Buddhist monk finds Vasantasena in pathetic condition revives her and takes her to a Buddhist cloister where she is attended by the nuns. Samsthanaka denounces Carudatta as the murderer of Vasantasena to the court.
The judge is inclined to believe under Samsthanaka’s political pressure and circumstantial evidences seem to point conclusively to Carudatta’s guilt. Carudatta is parodied through the streets of the city by his executioners, who proclaim aloud his guilt.
In a moment of extreme pathos, as Carudatta is about to be impaled upon the stakes, Vasantasena enters and saves his life.
Like a deux ex machine the thief who stole the jewels from Carudatta’s house enters, shaving just come from slaying the wicked king and placing Aryaka on the throne.
He bears the news that Carudatta has been made the viceroy of the neighbouring city. The thief also proclaims that Aryaka has released Vasantasena from her obligations as a courtesan and given her the right to marry Carudatta.
The play ends with the union of Carudatta and Vasantasena.
The two main sentiments of the play are love and pathos and an appalling feature of the play is the use of a courtesan as the heroine with the exception of Carudatta of Bhasa, this is the only play in Sanskrit dramatic literature in which courtesan is a heroine.
Q 4. Comment on the idea of justice as expressed in Cilappatikaran.
Ans. The book is principally a critique and revision of John Rawls’s basic ideas in A Theory of Justice (1971). Sen drew extensively upon Rawls’s work, mostly composed while the former was a Professor in India.
Sen was not a student of Rawls. Rather, Rawls who was not an economist-drew upon the work of Harsanyi and Sen. Sen dedicated his book ‘An idea of Justice to the memory of John Rawls.
Do we need a theory of justice at all? if the answer is yes, How should we develop such a theory that could help practical people to move towards a more just world? These are main concerns of Amartya Sen in this book.
In the book, Sen makes a radical break with the traditional notion of homo economicus, or ‘rational economic man’ as motivated mainly by self-interest.
He points out that children have strong notions of fairness and acute aversion to manifest injustice.
In his introduction to The Idea of Justice, Sen states that “the strong perception of manifest injustice applies to adult human beings as well (as children).
What moves us, reasonably enough, is not the realization that the world falls short of being completely just – which few of us expect- but that there are clearly remediable injustices around us which we want to eliminate.”
Thus, Sen asserts that Human Beings are as concerned with eliminating remediable injustice as they are with pursuing their own self-interest.
This assertion has a natural corollary. Since human beings have an innate desire to eliminate injustice where possible, Institutions are not that important.
Ideal institutions are not required to inculcate a sense of fairness or to persuade people to act fairly or to very strictly police them so as to prevent transgressive behaviour.
Since ideal institutions aren’t necessary and since people have an innate desire to eliminate remediable injustice, it follows that ‘Public Reason’—i.e. open discussion and rational argument-can enable what Sen calls ‘plural grounding’,
this being an ‘overlapping consensus’ (in Rawls’s terminology) between people of different ideologies or belief or value systems such that people can agree upon comparative evaluations regarding justice without having to agree about all their values and beliefs.
One of Sen’s main arguments is that the project of social justice should not be evaluated in binary terms, as either achieved or not.
Rather, he claims that justice should be understood as existing to a matter of degree, and should correspondingly be evaluated along a continuum.
Furthermore, he argues that we do not need a fully established abstract ideal of justice to evaluate the fairness of different institutions.
He claims that we can meaningfully compare the level of justice in two institutions without positing an ideal, transcendental idea of justice. He names the opposite position transcendental constitutionalism.
Sen defends one of Rawls’s most fundamental theoretical concepts: justice as fairness.
Although this is a vague notion fraught with difficulties in any particular case, he nevertheless views it as one of Rawls’s strongest insights while rejecting the necessity of Rawls’s two principles of justice emerging from the Original position thought experiment in A Theory of Justice.
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