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Significance of the Parijata flower in the play ‘Parijata Harana’

Sankardeva’s Ankiya Nat ‘Parijata Harana’ is a wonderful one-act pay about the wonders of Lord Shri Krishna and his theft of the Parijata Flower. The Parijata flower plays a very significant role in the play. it is the base of the title of the entire play. Therefore, its role in this play can be imagined as noteworthy.

The Parijata flower is considered as very sacred and is mentioned in various Hindi scriptures. It is a very special kind of flower, that possesses a variety of majestic characteristics. Also known as the flower of Gods, the Parijata is the only flower that can be offered to Gods even after picking it up from the ground. Legends say that it was one of the sacred treasures and one of the five divine trees that came out from the milking of the universe and that the Gods, kept this flower for themselves in Indra’s garden. However, with changing of events the Parijata flower was available to all. It is believed that Krishna brought the Parijata tree from Heaven to earth, as a present for his wives.

In this play, the Parijata flower is first introduced by the celestial sage Narada, who visits Krishna along with Lord Indra. When Krishna and his wife Rukmini bow down to the guests, Narada offers a Parijata flower to Krishna as a blessing. Narada also makes it sure to state the divine qualities associated with the flower. The fragrance of this beatific flower is so bewitching that it can be smelled from about six kilometres away. The woman who has the luxury to wear the flower always enjoys the company of her husband and rich fortune awaits her journey of life. Hearing about such magical qualities, Rukmini requests her husband Krishna to put the flower on her hair, to which Krishna complies with a smile.

When, the other wife of Shri Krishna, i.e. Satyabhama comes to know about this, she fumes with rage and jealousy. She faints in the humiliation that this incident has caused to her. Krishna immediately rushes towards her, and apologizes for the ache he has caused due to his actions. He even promises to bring her hundred such flowers from Indra’s garden.

Krishna keeps his promise and steals the entire Parijata tree from Indra’s garden while visiting Amravati. However, this infuriates Indra’s wife Shachi. She instigates her husband to pick up a fight with Krishna and bring back the Parijata tree to her garden. Even though Indra launches a battle on Krishna with arrows and his thunderbolt, he suffers the taste of bitter defeat on the hands of Lord Krishna. After losing in the hands of Hari, Lord Indra gifts him the Parijata tree. Later, Krishna brings the plant to his palace in Dwarka and plants the tree outside Satyabhama’s palace doors, and hence fulfills the promise that he made to her. This is how the Parijata tree became available for common people from being only available to Gods.

The Parijata flower is the center of all the events that occur in this play. The fight between the two Gods take place only because of this sacred tree. Satyabhama’s envy and greed for this flower made her husband Shri Krishna to steal the flower tree from Indra’s garden, which resulted in a dispute between the two Lords. Hence, the name of the play is based on this theft. Parijata Harana translates to ‘the thievery of the Parijata’. Therefore, it can be said that the Parijata flower plays the most remarkable role in this play.

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