Recourse to Buddhist Texts for Representation of Modernity: A Study of Mohan Rakesh’s Lehron Ke Rajhans
Author(s): Pranjal Sharma Bashishtha
Abstract: Eminent Hindi playwright Mohan Rakesh’s (1925-72) second amateur play for the stage Lehron Ke Rajhans (The Great Swans of the Waves‛; Hindi: 1963) is based on Buddha’s half-brother Nanda’s conflict described in Saundarānanda, a Buddhist narrative poem composed by Ashvaghosha in the first century CE. Nanda in Saundarānanda is torn between the allure of his beautiful consort Sundari and the attraction that he feels for Buddha’s preaching of renunciation. The present paper basically investigates why Rakesh, a modern writer not interested in Buddhism per se but in representation of the nuances of modernity has chosen Nanda’s story from the Buddhist text and how he treats the Buddhist text to suit his needs. While doing so, the paper has maintained the requirements for a scientific research and has adopted the analytical method of research as a general rule, but has employed the comparative method also as and when necessary.