The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the name or, more likely, pen name of the author of one of the most significant works of ancient Indian drama—the Sanskrit play The Little Clay Cart (Russian translation, 1956). No reliable information about Sudraka exists, although he is referred to as a legendary king in many old works of literature and folklore. It is usually assumed that the play was written no earlier than the fourth century and no later than the eighth.

The main characters of The Little Clay Cart are city dwellers; the everyday life and mores of an ancient Indian city are described with considerable accuracy, a rare feature for ancient Indian literature. The play skillfully combines romantic and political themes. It also expresses contempt for the caste system and contains elements of social satire. The Little Clay Cart has a dynamic, dramatically powerful plot with tragic scenes alternating with comical, lyrical, and farcical ones. The play is well known in India, as well as in Europe (including the USSR) in numerous translations and stage productions.


Glinianaia povozka. [Foreword and notes by V. S. Vorob’ev-Desiatovskii.] Leningrad, 1956. (Translated from Sanskrit and Prakrits.)


Serebriakov, I. D. Ocherkidrevneindiiskoi literatury. Moscow, 1971.
Bhat, G. K. Preface to Mrcchakatika (The Little Clay Cart). Ahmedabad,1953.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(17) Mricchakatika (The Little Clay Cart) is a ten-act Sanskrit drama attributed to Sudraka, an ancient playwright believed to have lived sometime between the 3rd century BC and the 5th century AD.
The term does not appear to be used, and probably could not have been, in this sense, in dharmasastra, and even in Indian literature it has Buddhist associations: the Buddhist monk in Sudraka's Mrcchakatika refers to a nun as his dharmabhagini.
Nanda 800, Candragupta 132, sudraka 247, saka 498, and Manadeva 304)
Sudraka's Little Clay Cart, Bhasa's Vision of Vasavadatta, one or two Barong kekek plays, several No dramas such as Mazukaze, some examples of Mua roi nuoc, of wayang golek, and many more would just begin to whet my ravenous appetite!
The Clay Cart, King Sudraka; music: Andre Pluess; dir: Bill Rauch.
Sudraka and his Mrcchakatika, one of the most delightful pieces of Indian literature, dramatic or non-dramatic, could not have been left out.
A comprehensive study of the Carudatta naturally has to touch the vexed question of its relationship to the Mrcchakatika, and it is only with regard to this problem that the newly edited text is unrewarding--in the sense that it does not yield any new evidence for settling the question whether the Carudatta is a fragment or not and how it relates to Sudraka's masterpiece.
According to Sudraka's Mrcchakatika the owner of a garden had to go every day to look after it to ensure that it was properly drained, cleaned, thriving, and manicured (tatra ca preksitum anudivasam suskam karayitum sodhayitum pustam karayitum lunamkarayitum gacchami).
An English translation of the Mrcchakatika of Sudraka, as adapted for the stage by A.
Some distant support for the notion of "five-nailed" as equivalent to "human/humanoid" may come from Sudraka's play, Mrcchakatika, where the villain Sakara refers to his dasanah[a]- [= dasanakha- 'ten-nailed'] hands (preparatory to strangling Vasantasena) (Mrcch.
There is even evidence to suggest that not only in Vedic times may they have had access to Vedic learning (Mimams-sutra VI.I.25-27); a verse in the most realistic of Sanskrit plays, the Mrcchakatika of Sudraka, contains the hint that the classical prohibition may not always have been in effect (IX.21).
Drawing on the texts of Sanskrit dramatists like Asvaghosha, Bhasa, Sudraka, Kalidasa and Mahendravikramavarman, kutiyattam was once performed by a community of male actors called Chakyars and female performers called Nangiars, assisted by drummers called Nambiars.