Charudatta in Mricchakatika
Charudatta is the chief protagonist of the play The Mricchakatika written by Sudraka. The Sanskrit playwright Sudraka had adored with ample virtues to Charudatta as the hero of the play. He belonged to a rich mercantile class with glorious linage. His ancestors were rich and generous merchants. He had delivered several things to the people of his native place Ujjayini. He had inherited this glory from his ancestors.
The character of Charudatta has several facets. He is a kind hearted and helpful human being. He is a true friend affectionate father, ardent lover, faithful husband and sincerely devoted to his family. He was a successful worldly man despite his poverty.
Charudatta was a kind hearted man. He donated the people handsomely. He was Brahmana by caste. But the tide of time turned adversely and he became poor. He was leading the poverty stricken life with his wife Dhuta, son Rohasena, friend Maitreya and a female attendant Radanika. He was a very handsome man.
He was loved by the people because of his unparallel virtues. He was virtuous and righteous man. He never tried to hurt the people’s sentiments. He had his intelligence to judge the people. He was known for his intellectual calibre. He was poor. He had lost the grandeur and richness of past. He had lost the past glory inherited from his parents and ancestors. But he did not alter his character. He was disgusted by his poverty. He says to Maitreya:
“But, when a man is reduced to penury after he has enjoyed luxury, he lives a dead man, existing only by keeping up his body.”
Charudatta told that he was only living physically. He perished himself spiritually and mentally because of poverty. He told that death gives pain for few moments but poverty gives everlasting pain till death. Charudatta felt that death to be a better option to be chosen than poverty.
Charudatta told about the social impact of misery on his life. He told Maitreya that poverty is cruel enemy. First it makes a man alienated to his friends and relatives. He loses his own fortune. He feels shame to face the people. It takes away his spirit to struggle. The people show indifference in their behaviour to the poor people. It brings disgust to his friends. He suffers insult from his wife. He feels inclination to retire in the forest.
When Charudatta and Vidushaka were talking suddenly they heard noise outside the house. The noise was coming from the highway. Vasantasena, a rich courtesans was running to save herself from the clutch of Sakara. He was a man who enjoyed royal patronage. He had massive administrative powers. He was brother-in-law of king Palaka. In the darkness of the night Vasantasena disappeared. She entered into the house of Charudatta without his knowledge.
Sakara raided the house of Charudatta to search Vasantasena. Vasantasena had hidden herself successfully at his house. Sakara searched her and failed to get her. Sakara was stopped by Vita and Cheta. They knew the character of Charudatta. He was the most virtuous and righteous person of Ujjayini. At last Sakara had to leave the place of Charudatta. The power of Sakara was defeated before the virtues of Charudatta.
Vauantasena remained inside the house of Charudatta. In darkness Charudatta failed to recognize her. He ordered Vasantasena thinking her Radanika to take Rohasena his son inside home because the cold breeze was blowing in the night. Later Charudatta realized his mistakes. Charudatta felt shame for behaving in indecent way to unknown lady. Charudatta asked forgiveness from Vasantasang for treating her like a servant. Vasantasena was adept in the art of love. She wanted to remain in touch with her lover. So she requested Charudatta to keep her ornaments in his custody.
The lover and beloved gave departing adieu to each other. They went to their respective places. The seeds of love germinated in their tender hearts. Vasantasena came to her home physically but she had not only deposited the ornaments but also her heart in Charudatta’s custody. Vasantasena was lost in the love of Charudatta. She did not care about herself. It was noticed by her personal attendant Madanika. Madanike was surprised on the choice made by his lady.
The love between Charudatta and Vasantasena met several hurdles. The ornaments deposited in the place of Charudatta was stolen by a thief, Sarvilaka, lover of Madanika. Charudatta was in deep trouble. Both Charudatta and Vidushaka pondered over the matter.
Vasantasena felt pride of her choice. She was aware of the real situation. She knew that ornaments were stolen by Madanika’s lover Sarvilaka. But Charudatta took the blame on him of the lost ornaments. It speaks the kind heart of Charudatta.
Charudatta expressed his love for lady Vasantasena. Vasantasena’s maid showed the casket full of ornaments to Vidusaka which was stolen from the residence of Charudatta. In fact it was theft not lost in gambling. The love between Vasantasena and Charudatta was in full swing. They planned to meet in the old garden Pushpakarandaka. They wanted to enjoy love in the company of nature.
Charudatta is beyond comparison from normal human being. He has been endowed with intrinsic quality of goodness. He had inherited virtues from his ancestors. His father and grandfather were the respectable people of Ujjayini. Charudatta followed the footprints of his ancestors. He was a social revolutionary.
Charudatta was Brahmana by caste. He belonged to the most adored caste among human beings but he dared to love to a courtesan. He had fallen in love with Vasantasena. His love was recognized by king Aryaka. He was a truthful friend. His friend Maitreya loved him deeply.
Charudatta was not revengeful to his enemy. He forgave Sakara who wanted to eliminate his life and the life of his beloved Vasantasena. Sakara had also framed false charges against Charudatta. He was sentenced to death. But the divine blessings to Charudatta helped him to retain his life. Charudatta would have easily punished Sakara but he forgave him. Charudatta regained the purity of his character. He allowed them to go freely. He was the most charming and loveable character of the drama.
Charudatta is the true hero free from every kind of prejudice. He loved people. His human face has been mirrored when he forgave Sakara and restored his old status.
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