This is an allegorical drama wherein the awakening is treated as a sort of spiritual realization. Here Purusa (Man), who had forgotten his identity with the Supreme Being, Paramesvara, and had fallen as it were, into a deep slumber, is awakened by Vidya or knowledge to realize his identity.
The central character in the drama, though appearing on the stage only in the last act, is Purusa. The spiritual or philosophical sense of the word, to which the allegory points, is the true self of
man as understood by monistic Vedanta, taken to be identical with the Supreme Self (Paramatman),
the Supreme Lord (Paramesvara), or Brahman. Accordingly, the Purusa of the play is a supreme sovereign, excelling even the king in dignity.
PurusaÍs wife is Maya, Illusion. Her son is Manas, Mind. Manas has two wives, Pravrtti and Nivrtti, Activity and Resignation. Pravrtti gives birth to Moha or Delusion and Nivrtti to Viveka or Discrimination.
Manas, accompanied by Ahamkara or Egoism, has bound Purusa. Delusion and others have strengthened this bond. Under the influence of Ahamkara, Purusa has fallen a victim to delusions. He dreams as if he were in sleep. Maya deludes him by producing illusory things. He can be brought back to his real nature only by the rise of Vidya or Knowledge and Prabodha or piritual awakening.
Prabodhacandrodaya of Krsna Misra is a profound philosophical allegory, in six acts, of the whole life of man. The author succeeds to a remarkable degree in giving us an ingenious picture of the spiritual struggle between virtue and vice the two forces of human mind in a dramatic form. There is lively satire too. On the devotional side there is an attempt to synthesise Advaitic Vedanta with Visnubhakti. Of all the allegorical plays in Sanskrit this must be singled out as an attractive work of real merit.
The introduction in this book forms a part of the thesis submitted by the translator for a Ph.D. degree in the University of Bonn. While translating the text an attempt has been made to keep close to the original and to preserve the spirit of the text without violating the English expression.
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