Thursday, March 12, 2009

Answer to Aditya's query.

Aditya (adibud34) left a very good comment on the last post (Vasavadatta) where he enquired about the later life of Udayan and Vasavdatta and response of Pradhyotha (father of Vasavadatta) to their marrying. That sent me in some qustioning myself. Why this tale was named after Vasavadatta, when she apparantly had no greater role in this story. She only appears like just another character in the story among some other equally important characters.

I searched and found some more information about this play and it proved to be a very exciting find and I felt thrilled by knowing the actual (and complete) story. What this ACK presented is only about 20% of the whole play.

The story of Udayan and Vasavadatta was well known and very popular among the general public in ancient India.It was made the subject of many plays and poems of that time. But most notably the great playwrite "Bhasa" compiled it in his greatest classic named "Swapnavasavadatta". Later other writers like Subandhu worked on the same theme and produced their versions of the story. During 5th century C.E., it appeared in Pali and Prakrut languages and it was present in Dhamma-pada-atthakatha. This ACK is based on this last source only.

Dear Aditya, for answer of your question, read the following paragraphs where Bhasa's "Swapnavasavadatta" is presented in condensed form.


Once upon a time “Vatsa kingdom was ruled by the great king Udhayana. He fell into love with a beautiful and striking young lady Vasavadatta, who is  the daughter of a   prominent King Prodhyatha. Udayana married Vasavadatta and made him his better half.The couple become illustration of made for each other and lead the way as “The greatest couple ”.

Once the neighbor King “ Aruni” attacked on  Udayana, in the battle Udayana accepted the defeat. Yougandharayana - The intelligent Prime minister   of Udayana,   thought to regain the territory from the cloches of Aruni. He approached Vasavadatta to sacrifice her life for the sake of his nation. She accepted, The sacrifice is that - she has to sacrifice her husband in account to accept the second marriage for her husband with Padmavathi , sister of the renowned king Dharshaka, a King of Magadha. But people know him as not only loyal to the people but also with Wife.

To safeguard the prestige of King ,accomplished Yougandharayana propagate the queen Vasavadatta was no more. After hearing the death of Vasavadatta, King was so anguish and went into agony. Later Proficient prime minister clandestinely appointed Vasavadatta as Chelikatthe namely “ Avanthika” (House maid to Princess padmavathi) at Princess Anthapuram. Later King Udayana got second marriage with Padmavathi.

One day the King sees Vasavadatta(Avantika), at the moment she disappears, then the king thought that Vasavadatta came in his dream. Based on this situation, this drama named  as  “ Swapna Vasavadatta”

 Later, King Udayana retaliated Aruni with the help of Dharshaka, subsequently Udayana regain his territory. All of a sudden, one fine morning King Pradhyotha sent a big size caricature of  Vasavadatta  to King Udayana as mark of gift. After watching the photograph of vasavadatta, Princess Padmavathi came to know that Vasavadatta alias Avanthika is other way wife of Prince. Then Padmavathi understood the sacrifice of Vasavadatta.

Padmavathi realize the sacrifice of Vasavadatta, She invite Vasavadatta  to remain as wife of King Udayana and allow them lead their life as it was earlier.

So this clearly suggests that King Pradyotha had accepted Udayan as his son-in-law. We also get to know the reason why "Vasavadatta" was chosen as title. Really thrilling tale of great sacrifice by her though finally everything settled well.



adibud34 said...

Wow, thank you so much dear TPH! This was very interesting to read, and thank you so much for having posted a post based on a question from me. Thanks a lot, it really means a lot to me! :)

TPH said...

@Aditya: You're most welcome dear. When someone like you leaves such an insightful comment over the posted story, it gives immense satisfaction to see that the effort put in scanning and posting is meeting its purpose.

There are a lot of people who are just downloading and collecting having plans to read en masse when (and if) they get enough time in future. It seems a very sweet thought, but I don't think it is going to happen in reality. Each of us is going to be busier with passage of time.

We hope people who are downloading will find time to read them too, and hopefully, will come back here to share their views and opinions about the stories.

I thank you for your active participation in the project.

Anonymous said...

I agree that, people download these comics for different reasons. Even if people don't respond to your post, it is true that, your efforts are well appreciated and all are thankful for it. These books are priceless sources of our history, religion and beliefs and they can influence our thoughts and guide us in life. Dont feel let down because people dont respond to any of your posts. Think of what we would be if Vyasa stopped recording the bharatha expecting involvement.

From my side I am extremely grateful to the people who post these books. If it is participation you expect then you will get it.

TPH said...

@Krishna: Thanks.

We all enjoyed these classic comics during our childhood and they hold a very special place in our hearts. Whenever a new ACK (or any other comic we like, for that matter) is posted the temptation to download it immediately is very strong, this is my own feeling and experience. But my only concern is that people who are downloading these comics are actually "reading" them or just saving them for possible future read. If it is so, then I very much suspect whether it is actually going to happen. I don't think we'll get time to read them later.

I fully understand that it is not possible for everybody to post a comment on each post. I only wish what the visitors download, they should read also. Only then we can get satisfaction that our work has met its purpose.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I grew up reading Amar Chitra Katha. I had read Vasavdatta n no. of times. But was eager to know the rest of the story. Thanks, for the research and posting it for others.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the story. But i remember reading an ACK by the name of Udayana, Vol 621. It has the entire story that you just mentioned. Thanks.