Character Sketch of Vasantasena in The Mricchakatika
Vasantasena was the synthesis of ethereal, mundane and heavenly virtues, bestowed by the dramatist Sudraka, in his play The Mricchakatika. She has been depicted by her attendant very vividly.
VITA- (With reference to Vasantasena)
“She is the goddess Lakshmi, without the lotus (in her hand); she is the lovely weapon or the bodiless one (Cupid): She is the (cause of) grief to high born (chaste) ladies; and she is the flower of the excellent tree in the form of Love. Exhibiting bashfulness at the time of amorous sports, she is followed by hosts of gallants wandering after her, as she walks gracefully over the state in the form of Love’s field.” (191)
Vasantasena was the beloved of worthy Charudatta. She was the courtesan of Ujjayini. She was the rich lady of Ujjayini known for her extraordinary beauty and wealth. She had several suitors but she fall in love with worthy Charudatta. Charudatta belonged to mercantile class. He was once rich and wealthy but of late he had lost his fortune. He was Brahmana. It was uncommon for a rich courtesan to fall in love with a poor Brahmana. Charudatta was the treasure of virtues.
Samasthanaka, the brother-in-law of king Palaka wanted to possess Vasantasena. He enjoyed massive power and money but lacked virtues. He was no match to worthy Charudatta in virtues. His sister was married to king Palaka of Ujjayini. When Vasantasena was going to her home accompanied by her attendants, Sakara saw her. Sakara wanted to take Vasantasena to his place by force. She began to run profusely to protect her honour. She entered the home of worthy Charudatta. Sakara raided the house of Charudatta because he was infatuated by her extreme beautiful body of Vasantasena. He harmed Radanika the female attendant of Charudatta by pulling her hair. Vidushaka the friend of Charudatta became extremely angry to see such a wild behaviour of Sakara. He took a wooden stick to attack Sakara. He told them that even the dog can display courage at his kennel, Charudatta scolded Samasthanaka for his outrageous activity.
The devil Sakara left the place without Vasantasena. Vasantasena took refuge in the house of Charudatta without his knowledge. She knew that Charudatta was the living jewel of Ujjayini. She was safe only in the house of Charudatta. Vita told Sakara about this matter. Sakara had thought that he was the relative of king and no one would dare to oppose him but he became an insignificant pygmy before the virtues of Charudatta. Sakara was prejudiced against Charudatta. Vasantasena loved Charudatta despite his poverty.
Vasantasena was great psychologist in the field of love. She deliberately deposited her casket full of ornaments in the house of Charudatta. She knew that this deposit will give her chance to meet her lover. She had a big palace. She would have easily kept her gold in safe place in her home. She gave it to Charudatta’s custody because she had lost her heart to him. She gave her body and heart in the custody of Charudatta. She was in the love with Charudatta. She was entirely arrested in his love. Her attendant became aware of it. Madanika tried to fathom the heart of Vasantasena. She wanted to know the name of her lady’s lover from her lips.
MADANIKA: I can see from your ladyship’s absent-mindedness that you have fallen in love with somebody whom you have treasured up in your heart.
VASANTASENA: Rightly have you guessed! You are indeed Madanika, clever in fathoming the heart of others! (67-69)
Vasantasena was very happy because her love was running smoothly. Vasantasena was a wealthy courtesan. She did not lack money and wealth. Charudatta was the most erudite and virtuous man of Ujjayini. He was poor but it did not dampen the spirit of Vasantasena. When Madanika told her about the poverty of Charudatta she gave a witty reply. She told the love of a courtesan is always watched with sharp eyes by the people. A courtesan’s love is always equated with money. She is always supposed to be in the company of wealthy man. The people in general never notice a poor man. Vasantasena told that she wanted to protect and preserve her love under the shadow of erudite and virtuous Brahmana Charudatta.
Vasantasena was the true representative of love and womanhood. Her divine quality was evoked when she saved the love of Madanika and Sarvilaka. She saved the life of Samavahaka from the gambler. She was truly devoted to her lover Charudatta. They were like divine partner. She delivered her motherly affection to Charudatta’s son Rohasena. She gave all her ornaments to the boy for a toy when he was crying for golden cart. She behaved like a true sister to Dhuta, the first wife of Charudatta. She was blessed with angelic beauty and divine heart. She did not have any pride for her beauty and wealth.
Madanika, her attendant was in love with a poor Brahmana Sarvilaka. He committed theft at the home of Charudatta. He was adept in the art of burgalary. He entered successfully inside the house of Charudatta and stole the casket full or ornaments. He became successful in his job of stealing the casket. The casket full of gold was given by Vasantasena as a deposit to Charudatta. Sarvilaka committed the theft to secure freedom of Madanika. She was in the service of Vasantasena. He wanted to pay ransom to Vasantasena to secure her freedom. Love had made him blind. When he came to meet Madanika, he showed her the stolen ornaments. It was recognized by Madanika. She asked him how did he get the casket of gold. She came to know that it was stolen from Charudatta’s home. But Sarvilaka also told that he did not harm anyone in the house. Sarvilaka wanted to give the ornaments to Vasantasena to secure his beloved’s love.
Madanika was surprised. She became angry. She had never expected that her lover will commit such a condemnable work to secure her. Sarvilaka told that he was a poor. He had no money. But he had a brave heart to secure his lady love He theft only for this reason. The poverty and love compelled him to commit such a heinous crime.
Vasantasena overheard their conversation Sarvilaka showed the ornaments to Madanika. She immediately recognized the ornaments. These ornaments belonged to his lady Vasantasena. It was deposited to worthy Charudatta. Madanika wanted to know the safety of Charudatta and his family members from Sarvilaka. He assured her that he did not harm anybody. Vasantasena heard everything. Initially she became unconscious. When she came to know that no harm was done to Charudatta and his family members and attendants, she retained her consciousness. Sarvilaka defended himself and convinced Madanika that he had done no harm to anyone in the house of Charudatta.
Madanika told Sarvilaka to return the stolen casket to Charudatta. He refused to return because of his own reasons. Madanika suggested him to become the messenger of Charudatta before Vasantasena and he should return the gold. Vasantasena heard their conversation and became aware of their plan in advance. Vasantasena was an ardent votary of love. She wanted the union of two love sick birds. When Sarvilaka came as a messenger of Charudatta to return her casket which was stolen by him, Vasantasena did not show any anger and prejudice. She was a real women. She knew the sterling quality of love. She received her with respect and honour. She also displayed courtesy in her behaviour and made him understand that only the name of noble Charudatta was enough to secure his beloved’s freedom. Vasantasena was spiritually united to Charudatta. This spiritual submission has been displayed in her behaviour towards her lover.
Vasantasena displayed generosity in her nature. She united two lovers. She did not show her revenge against Sarvilaka. She was the fittest counterpart of noble Charudatta in her behaviour. The life of Charudatta was significant for her. When she came to know the safety and security of Charudatta she released the beloved of Sarvilaka from her slavery. Charudatta was treasure by virtues.
Vasantasena showed her divine womanly virtues in her nature and behaviour. She established the supremacy of virtues over power and wealth. She proved that kindness and mercy are the jewels of human life. The behaviour of Vasantasena is really praiseworthy.
She showed her kind behaviour when she saved the life of Samavahaka. Samavahaka was the resident of Pataliputra.
The love life of Charudatta and Vasantasena was full of struggle. It was closely watched by the evil eyes of Sakara. He had failed to win the love of Vasantasena. He had grudge against Charudatta and Vasantasena.
After few moments a messenger came from Charudatta. He was Maitreya, the friend of Charudatta. He told lady Vasantasena that Charudatta lost the ornaments in gamble. Charudatta did not blame anyone and he took the blame on himself. The messenger gave a necklace as a token to return the ornaments of Vasantasena in future. The love of Vasantasena got doubled by this selfless and sacrificing attitude of Charudatta.
The day on which Vasantasena visited her lover was rainy day. The sky was full of clouds. It was raining heavily. Vasantasena came in her beautiful attire to meet her lover. Her clothe drenched because of rain. Charudatta was waiting desperately to meet her. Vasantasena reached the place of Charudatta. It was informed by her attendant. Vasantasena had to face several difficulties before reaching her lover’s home. She scolded both the clouds and the controller of clouds god Indra.
Vasantasena was a rare species of woman’s kindness. A woman always shows weakness for gold. But for Charudatta and his son she sacrificed everything. She had the emotional weakness for Charudatta and his son. Her love for Charudatta was beyond comparison.
Sakara became angry by the behaviour of Vasantasena. The love slave Sakara turned savage Sakara. He became thirsty of the blood of Vasantasena. He tried to harm her but Vita and Cheta discouraged him to do such evil activity. He persuaded Vita and Cheta to kill Vasantasena but they outrightly refused him
Sakara at last ended the life of Vasantasena. Vasantasena had invited her death by showing her solidarity to Charudatta. She displayed her sincere love for Charudatta. Sakara became ready to attack her. She shouted the ame of Charudatta for help. Later she stopped to take ay name for help. Sakara strangled her. Vasantasena fainted. She falls down on the bare ground. Sakara confirmed himself about her death. He had made his own doctored blue print to trap Charudatta.
In the meantime the Buddhist mendicant passed from the way where Vasantasena was lying unconscious. He noticed her. Her body showed no movement. He poured water from his wet cloth to Vasantasena’s tongue. She drank water and retained her consciousness.
The play ends with happiness. The optimistic attitude of life has been displayed. The love triumphs on intense hate. Charudatta and Vasantasena were united to lead happy married life.
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