Table of Contents
The drama The Mrichchhakatika is fine love story of a worthy Brahmana Charudatta and a courtesan Vasantasena. Charudatta was poor Brahmana and Vasantasena was a rich lady. Charudatta was once a rich man. He became poor because he helped the poor and needy. He was accompanied by his friend Maitreya in this difficult time. His wife Dhuta and son Rohasena also lived along with him. He was a righteous, virtuous and kind hearted man. He was helped by a female attendant Radanika.
In the opening act, the dramatist has introduced all the prominent characters. Vasantasena was running on the highway. She was pursued by Sakara. He wanted to possess her by force. She entered into the house of Charudatta. Sakara along with his two followers raided the house of Charudatta. The night was dark. There was no light in the house of Charudatta. Sakara failed to get Vasantasena. He physically mauled Radanika thinking her Vasantasena. He pulled her hair. This activity of Sakara enraged Maitreya. He took a wooden staff to attack Sakara. Both the followers of Sakara were forced to leave the place. Sakara also left the place without Vasantasena. After their departure Vasantasena came out. Charudatta told Vasantasena to put warm cloth on Rohasena thinking her Radanika which she did not do. Charudatta was distressed with his poverty. He thought that Radanika did not obey her. But Vasantasena was present there in place of a Radanika. Later, Vasantasena was introduced to Charudatta by Maitreya, his friend. Charudatta felt sorry for his behaviour to Vasantasena. Vasantasena told that she entered his place without his permission. Vasantasena had fallen in love with Charudatta. Their love was confirmed by them. To continue their future love meeting Vasantasena decided to deposit her ornaments in Charudatta’s custody. It became late night and on the request of Vasantasena, Charudatta accompanied her to home.
The Act-II begins with Vasantasena’s lethargic mood. She was lost in the world of her lover Charudatta. Her every action was directed towards Charudatta. She was not in the mood to leave her bed. Her female attendant anticipated that her lady had fallen in love. Madanika told her lady that whether she had fallen in love with someone. Vasantasena told her to guess the name of the man to whom she loved. Madanika told the name of Charudatta. Now it was confirmed from both lover and beloved that they were in love. The Act-II also presents the gamblers. The gamblers were making quarrel among themselves. Samavahaka, one of the gamblers was defeated. He was freed by Vasantasena, when his friends tried to make him slave. He was a shampooner. He was known to Charudatta. He praised Charudatta. Vasantasena felt elated. She requested Vasantasena to take his service. Vasantasena did not take his service. Later Samavahaka became Bhikshu.
The Act III presents Charudatta in merry making mood. He had gone to Rehibla along with his friend Maitreya to enjoy evening. He enjoyed the beautiful song of Rehibla. He praised the song of the artist. Maitreya knew that it was the effect of Vasantasena’s love on Charudatta. Charudatta and Maitreya came late at night. They were too much tired. They had a sound sleep. The same night the casket full of ornaments was stolen by a thief named Sarvilaka. The ornaments were deposited by Vasantasena to Charudatta in his custody. Charudatta was too much worried. At last his wife Dhuta offered her necklace to Maitreve. She told that her husband should use this necklace to overcome this difficult time.
The Act-IV presents another love story. The love story of Sarvilaka and Madanika. Madanika was deeply loved by Sarvilaka. He was a poor Brahmana. He needed money to free Madanika. He wanted to pay ransom to Vasantasena to get her released. So he committed theft. He showed the ornaments to Madanika. Madanika immediately recognized the ornaments when Sarvilaka told her to wear her those ornaments. She asked the reality attached to the ornaments. Sarvilaka uttered the truth. He told that he had committed theft from Charudatta’s home. When Madanika heard it she became unconscious. Vasantasena also heard their conversation and she also became unconscious. When Madanika became conscious she asked whether he harmed anyone in the house. Sarvilaka told that he harmed no body. Vasantasena became happy. Madanika told that he should return the ornaments to Charudatta. Sarvilaka declined. At last, Madanika suggested him to become messanger of Charudatta and return the ornaments to Vasantasena. Sarvilaka followed this request of Madanika. He returned the ornaments of Vasantasena. Vasantasena had heard their conversation in advance. She accepted the ornaments and released Madanika from her service on the name of Charudatta. Sarvilaka and Madanika were united. The love of Sarvilaka and Madanika got their destination.
The Act V presents the love of Vasantasena and Charudatta. When Vidushaka returned necklace to Vasantasena on behalf of Charudatta, she told that she will go to meet Charudatta. It was a rainy day. The weather was rough. The clouds and lightening were frequent. Vasantasena had decided to meet her lover. She scolded the clouds and the controller of cloud god Indra. Charudatta was waiting desperately for her beloved. She reached the home of Charudatta. She was completely drenched. She changed her clothe. The maid, who had accompanied Vasantasena showed Vidushaka the ornaments which was stolen from Charudatta’s home. Both Vidushaka and Charudatta were surprised. The act ended happily as both Charudatta and Vasantasena embraced each other.
The Act VI introduces Rohasena. He was the son of Charudatta. Vasantasena stayed in the house of Charudatta. She met with his son. She also tried to return the necklace of Dhuta, the wife of Charudatta. Dhuta politely declined to take necklace. Rohasena was crying. Vasantasena wanted to know the reason behind his crying. Radanika told that he was crying for golden cart. The golden cart belonged to the neighbour’s son. Rohasena declined to play with clay cart. Vasantasena was deeply touched by this poverty of the boy. She immediately gave her ornaments to the boy Rohasena and told him to make golden cart. The boy refused to take it because Vasantasena was crying. Vasantasena promised the boy that she will not cry.
The Act VII introduced several characters. The Act VIT: very complex act. Vasantasena was invited by Charudatta tot old garden Pushpakarandaka. Charudatta he Vardhamanaka, his carriage driver to bring Vasantasena to the old garden. Sakara had also called Sthavarka, his carriage driver to come to the old garden. Old garden was a very big garden. In the meantime, Aryaka fled from the prison. He had iron fetters on his feet. Vardhamanaka had forgotten cushion. He went to bring the cushion. He parked the carriage near Charudatta’s home, the fugitive Aryaka took the seat inside the carriage. Vardhamanaka thought that Vasantasena had taken her seat because of the sound of the iron fetters. He left the place. Aryaka the fugitive had taken the seat inside the carriage. Vasantasena took her seat in the carriage owned by Sakara which was also parked near Charudatta’s home. Both carriages reached to their different destination. The carriage carried Aryaka was stopped by Chandanaka. Viraka another Army Officer was present. Chandanaka investigated the carriage and he helped Aryaka to escape, He fled from the place. Arvaka reached to Charudatta. Charudatta helped Aryaka in every possible way. On the other hand, Vasantasena reached to Sakara and unseen troubles were waiting for her.
The Act VIII is full of intrigues. Sakara tried to kill Vasantasena. Vasantasena reached before Sakara. Sakara was full of joy. He felt elated and thought that Vasantasena had come by her own choice to meet him. His follower Vita was surprised to see Vasantasena. Vasantasena told the truth to Vita. She requested for protection from Vita. Sakara expressed his love to Vasantasena. Vasantasena did not respond it. He came to know from Cheta that because of the exchange of carriage she came to her place. Sakara also came to know that she had come to meet her lover Charudatta. Vasantasena humiliated him by pushing her feet on his head when he was lying flat and praying to accept his love. Sakara became angry. He decided to kill Vasantasena. Her persuaded Vita and Cheta to kill her. Both of them declined. At last, Sakara decided to kill himself. He sent both Vita and Cheta away. He seized her neck to stop her breathe. She fall on the ground. She lied unconsciously on the ground. Her body was covered with dry leaves. The Buddhist Mendicant passed the way. He saw the body covered with leaves. He removed the leaves from the body of Vasantasena. He recognized the lady from her hand. She was Vasantasena. The Buddhist Mendicant was Samavahaka. He considered Vasantasena as his saviour. Vasantasena retained her consciousness. She demanded water. The water was given by the Bkhishu from his wet clothe. He took Vasantasena to safe place.
The Act-IX of the play is very important. The Act is full of suspense. Sakara had assumed that he had killed Vasantasena. She was lying unconscious on the ground. In fact, she was saved by the Bhikshu who had come to wash his clothe in the pond. He took Vasantasena along with him. Sakara requested Vita and Cheta to take the blame upon them for killing Vasantasena. He promised them to give money and material benefits. They did not agree. Vita left Sakara’s company. Sakara arrested Cheta. He came to the court and filed a case against Charudatta. He wanted to frame Charudatta for the killing of Vasantasena. He blamed Charudatta that he had killed Vasantasena for money and wealth. He thought that Charudatta was poor and people will accept this allegation against him. The people of Ujjayini had deep faith on Charudatta. The court initially did not believe in Sakara. One statement of Viraka completely changed the course of the case. He had not seen Vasantasena but he told that the carriage of Charudatta carried her to the garden Pushpakarandaka. In fact, Aryaka was carried in the carriage by Vardhamanaka. But Charudatta was unable to speak truth because Aryaka was a fugitive. To help Aryaka would lead another case of treason. Charudatta was convicted by the judge and king Palaka delivered death sentence to Charudatta without proper investigation.
The Act-X of the play is very important because it ends the clouds of suspense. Charudatta was taken to cremation ground. He was accompanied by two chandals. They had sword in their hands. Sakara was very happy. He thought that he had killed Vasantasena and now Charudatta will be killed. The face of Charudatta was coloured red. He was garlanded with karvira flowers. He resembled with animal taken of sacrifice. Charudatta requested the chandals to give him permission to talk with his son. He had emotional meeting with his son Rohasena and his friend Maitreya. Dhuta his wife had also planned to end her life by doing self-immolation. The people had gathered on both sides of the road to take last glimpse of Charudatta. Charudatt taken in a big procession to cremation ground for killir Vasantasena. Vasantasena had taken refuge in the place Bhikshu. She asked the reason of this clamour on the highway She was informed that Charudatta was taken for killing. The charge against Charudatta was that he had killed Vasantasena Vasantasena was surprised. She was alive. She began to run to cremation ground to save the life of Charudatta. She was accompanied by Bhikshu. The chandals had made all the arrangement to kill Charudatta. He was lying flat on the bare ground. One of the chandals used his sword to hit his body. Surprisingly the sword did not fall on the body of Charudatta but on the opposite direction. Vasantasena reached the spot. She was alive. This gave a new lease of life to Charudatta. Vasantasena touched the breast of Charudatta and started crying. This was a emotional union of lover and beloved. Charudatta was brought back to life from the jaws of death. The chandals stopped their work. In the meantime, king Palaka was killed by Aryaka. His tyrannical rule ended. Sakara was taken as prisoner. Aryaka became the king. He bestowed the kingdom of Kusavati to Charudatta. Sarvilaka became his advisor. Chandanaka was rewarded as the city magistrate. Bhikshu was made the chief of his religion. Chandal was also made chief of his clan. Vasantasena was given the status of wife of Charudatta by the king. The life of Dhuta was saved by Charudatta. Sakara fall at the feet of Charudatta and requested for his protection. Charudatta gave him protection. Charudatta was united with his son, wife and friends. The family members of Charudatia were safe and healthy.
The play ended happily.