A: Rabindranath Tagore Pf: 1933, Calcutta? Pb: 1933 Tr: 1938 G: Musical drama in 2 acts; Bengali prose and verse S: Indian village, 5th c. bc C: 1m, 2fWhen Prakriti, a Chandalika (girl of the untouchable caste) falls in love with Buddha's celibate disciple Ananda, she pleads with her Mother to cast a spell over him. The spell succeeds in stirring Ananda's passions, but, when he comes to Prakriti's home to take her, she realizes that she had fallen in love with Buddha's pure disciple not the lustful monk who now approaches her. It was his ‘light and radiance, shining purity, and heavenly glow’ that caused her to adore him. So she now begs her Mother to reverse the spell, although it will cost her Mother her life. Filled with remorse, Prakriti is redeemed by her willingness to renounce her love, sacrificing her own pleasure for the sake of Ananda, who now chants his prayers to Buddha.
A: Rabindranath Tagore Pf: 1933, Calcutta? Pb: 1933 Tr: 1938 G: Musical drama in 2 acts; Bengali prose and verse S: Indian village, 5th c. bc C: 1m, 2f
In his later plays, Tagore attempted to adapt traditional Indian drama to create lyrical texts that were partly sung by a chorus on stage. The original story is based on a Buddhist legend, in which Ananda succumbs to the Chandalika and prays to have the magic spell lifted by Buddha. Here, it is the outcast girl herself who brings about the redemption, offering a theatrical metaphor of the relationship between love and physical sex. During the 1930s the play was toured successfully across India and Sri Lanka.