Parijata Harana is an ‘Ankiya Nat’ written by the Assamese saint-scholar Srimanta Sankardeva. Ankiya Nats are one-act plays performed in Assam. These plays were written in Brajavali language and mainly told a story about Krishna. Parijata Harana is also falls into this category. The two plots of this play are taken from the Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana. The two chief plots of this play are the slaughter of evil Naraka and the theft of Parijata tree.
In the beginning of the play, Sage Narada visits Shri Krishna along with Lord Indra asking for refuge. Narada hands over a Parijata flower to Krishna as a blessing. Then they inform Him about the purpose of their visit, which is to kill the demon Naraka who has been causing panic and terror among the Gods. Krishna agrees to help Indra by killing Naraka. Krishna puts the Parijata flower on Rukmini’s hair, which maddens his other wife Satyabhama. To please her, Krishna promises the entire Parijata tree for her.
Shri Krishna then flies to Kamrup along with his wife Satyabhama to kill the demon Naraka and get back all the items he had stolen from the Gods. After successfully killing Naraka, he retrieves back the items from his harem and proceeds towards Amravati to return them. In Amravati, he is grandly welcomed and thanked by all the Gods and Goddesses for helping them. Krishna secretly steals the Parijata tree from the gardens of Lord Indra and takes it back with him. This extremely infuriates Indra’s wife Shachi, who encourages her husband to pick a fight with Krishna. Accordingly, Indra attacks Krishna with arrows and his thunderbolt, which creates no effect on Krishna. When Krishna takes out his Chakra, Indra begins to shiver in fear and begs at his feet for forgiveness. Krishna ends the fight with a calm smile and forgives Lord Indra. Indra gifts the Parijata tree to Krishna, which Krishna plats outside Satyabhama’s door fulfilling his promise.
Parijata Harana is a wonderful story that demonstrates the power of Lord Krishna. The chief aim of this play is to make the readers realize the power of Shri Krishna. Krishna is depicted as the most powerful God in this play. Even the King of Gods, Lord Indra cannot withstand the power of Krishna in the fight. Therefore, Sankardeva tried to give his readers an idea of the mystical powers of Shri Krishna, who is regarded as the Supreme Commander of the Universe.
Characterization is very apt in the play. The two Gods- Krishna and Indra, the celestial sage Narada, the two wives of Krishna- Rukmini and Satyabhama play the major roles in the play. Krishna is the most important character in this play. He acts like a devoted husband to both of his wives, and also as a demon slayer. He is considered as the Supreme Lord of the universe. Mischievous Narada shows his nature by playing around Satyabhama which actually leads to the entire Parijata Harana event. Even though Indra is regarded as the King of all Gods, his character is diminished in the play.
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The presence of different types of Rasas is evident in the play. The love between Krishna and Satyabhama denotes Shringara Rasa. The fight between Krishna and Naraka or Krishna and Indra denotes the Veera Rasa and Rudra Rasa which signify heroism and anger correspondingly. The catfight between Satyabhama and Shachi brings up Hasya Rasa denoting laughter. In these ways, the Rasas give rise to different emotions among the readers.
Parijata Harana is a perfect blend of characterization, plot, imagination, creativity etc. Sankardeva’s gifted flair in the field of literature is very well evident through the play Parijata Harana. Even though the play was initially written in Brajavali language, it has been translated into many different languages including English. The well-structured play has managed to give the readers a picture of the divine powers of Lord Krishna.
After analyzing the play, we have seen that the main theme of the play is the demonstration of the divinity of Krishna. This main idea is achieved through the different other characters present in the play. Sankardeva’s fluent storytelling meets the exemplary characterization, which gives birth to an amazing story,