Shudraka the author of the Mricchakatika - The Little Clay cart, a prakarana-type of drama holds a unique position in the galaxy of Sanskrit dramatists. The Mricchakatika is a real drama of life with characters drawn from the common strata of the society. It projects the life and activities of common people - the Brahmin-tradesman with great nobility, a stupid rascal with much idiosyncracies, the son of a Brahmin tuned a burglar, a jester who is a friend of the Hero through thick and thin, the courtesans and a host of others the like of which we have never seen in a Sanskrit drama.
Three qualities - his variety, his skill in the drawing of characters, his humour in this only work by Shudraka have perpetuated his name. The wealth of humour as in the Mricchakatika cannot be found in any other Sanskrit work, and this is certainly the forte of our dramatist.
In this Monograph an attempt has been made to assess the importance of Shudraka and evaluate his contribution with special reference to the three 'admirable qualities'.
About the Author:
Dr. Biswanath Banerjee is a retired Professor of Sanskrit from Visva Bharati, Santiniketan. He did his Doctorate in Munich University on a study of a Buddhist Tantrik text. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London. At present, he is the Vice-President of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta. The Government Sanskrit College, Calcutta felicitated him with the distinctive title of Sarvagamavaridhi and the President of India awarded him the Certificate of Honour in 1986. Widely travelled in Europe, U.S.A and Italy he is the author of several s on Sanskrit Literature and Buddhism published in India and abroad.
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