UDAYANA AND VASAVADATTA -OLDEST LOVE STORY OF INDIA (Post No.7520)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No.7520

Date uploaded in London – 31 January 2020

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge; this is a non- commercial blog.

UDAYANA was a prince of lunar race/ Chandra kula. He was the son of Sahasraanika. He was the king of Vatsa and called Vatsaraja. He was the hero of a popular love story, probably the earliest love story in India, a real life story. Though we have Nala- Damayanti, Sathyavan- Savithri , Krishna – Rukmini, Arjuna – Chitrangada and other such love stories they all become part of religious literature. Udayana – Vasavadatta love affair is from the secular side and more historical.

One more interesting thing is that it has reached the Southern most of part of India and became a hero  in Tamil   kavyas.

Udayana’s capital was Kausambi. He was a great Veena player. Vaasavadataa , princess of Ujjaiyini , saw him in a dream and fell in love with him. She was the heroine of Subhandhu’s ‘Vasavadatta’.

Here is piece about her in the Great Women of India.

 Vasavadatta  the far famed queen of Udayana is the character where the recognised romantic ideal  (sachiva, sakhii, shishya) is brough to a highest level of execution. The features of sensitive pride and surrender to the cause of the husband are not clouded, but shine in her pre-eminently. There have been poets and dramatists who have brought her  character  into fine relief by presenting her  in comparison and contrast with other queens Padmaavatii,Saagarikaa and Priyadarshikaa .

In two the Bhasa plays,  we have Vasavadatta  as the figure round  which the whole course of events turns. Yaugandharayana’s policy succeeds  because of the force of the circumstances and of the self -effacement  of Vasavadatta , who offered him her ungrudging  aid.  She reconciles herself to her new position as the trusted and respected attendant maid , in which occupation, she has to weave the marriage garland of  Padmavati and do other unwonted and difficult things.  She accuses none for her ordeal of separation but relentless fate. The Samudragriha episode affords solace to her, proving, if any proof was necessary , that she was, as before, the king’s beloved par excellence.

Her recognition or appreciation of Padmavati as  her valued co-wife is a thing not uncommon in literature  and in history for Hindu  wives of high birth  and position.  The mutual respect and affection of the two queens, born of Vasavadatta’s majestic demeanour and Padmavati’s stately courtesy.

Classical Sanskrit literature is replete with examples of this type of adaptability, which is in keeping with the inner promptings of constancy that had their inspiration at least from the Epic Age. Episodes like those developed round  Manorama, Vinayavati, Sagariika are apt illustrations , in some of which the amiable  and accomplished rival claimant to the king’s affection is no less a favourite  with the reader than the main heroine.

Here is a piece from Wikipedia:-

Svapnavasavadattam (Sanskrit: स्वप्नवासवदत्तम्, Svapnavāsavadattam) (EnglishThe dream of Vasavadatta) is a Sanskrit play in six acts written by the ancient Indian poet Bhasa. It is probably the best known of Bhāsa‘s works.

(Bhasa lived in 3rd or 4th century BCE).

The plot of the drama is drawn from the romantic narratives about the Vatsa king Udayana and Vasavadatta, the daughter of Pradyota, the ruler of Avanti, which were current in the poet’s time and which seem to have captivated popular imagination. The main theme of the drama is the sorrow of Udayana for his queen Vasavadatta, believed by him to have perished in a fire, which was actually a rumour spread by Yaugandharayana, a minister of Udayana to compel his king to marry Padmavati, the daughter of the king of Magadha. It forms, in context, a continuation of his another drama, Pratijnayaugandharayana.

The complete text of the Svapnavasavadattam was long lost until it was discovered in Kerala in 1912.A tradition is recorded that when the critics subjected the plays of Bhasa to a severe test by throwing them into fire, only Svapnavasavadattam rose out unaffected, while other plays were all consummated by the flames. This play contains some of Bhasa’s greatest characters.

 MY OLD POSTS:-

tamilandvedas.com › tag › udayanas-encounter-with-elephants 
Udayana’s encounter with elephants | Tamil and Vedas

29 Sep 2012 – Posts about Udayana’s encounter with elephants written by Tamil and … Interesting stories about elephants are found in Indian literature.

tamilandvedas.com › tag › svapnavasavadatta 
Svapnavasavadatta | Tamil and Vedas

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18 Apr 2014 – Here are some quotes from ‘Svapnavasavadatta’, his masterpiece and one of the best dramas available today:—. Ignorance 1.Even deities …

tamilandvedas.com › 2014/04/20 › beautiful-and-tranquil-hermitages-… 
Beautiful and Tranquil Hermitages of Ancient India | Tamil and …

20 Apr 2014 – The following passages from Svapnavasavadatta illustrate these points more clearly: Act 1. Yaugnadharayana: Self possessed dwellers of the …

–SUBHAM–

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