Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mudrarakshasa of Vishakhadatta


Mudrarakshasa (The Minister Signet’s Ring) is a Sanskrit drama written by Vishakhadatta, who is also credited with the authorship of Devichandragupta. Sanskrit drama of 4rth century AD describing the overthrow of the Nandas ruling the Magadhan empire by the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya who was aided in this endevour by Kautilya also called variously as Chanakya and Vishnugupta.
There is no unanimity among the authorities on the date of Mudrarakshasa. However, majority of them are in favour of assigning the composition of this Sanskrit work to 4th-5th centuries AD.   The Minister Signet’s Ring centers around the schemes of the wily Chankya to frustrate the plots of Raksasa, the minister of Dhana Nanda, the last ruler of the Nanda dynasty. Consequently Chankya was able to place Chandragupta on the throne of Patliputra (modern day Patna), the capital of Magadh.
Though the plot of Mudrarakshasa is exceedingly complicated, Vishakhadatta has been able to unravel the story with great skill.

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