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The Pradyumnābhyudaya (“The Felicity of Pradyumna”) is a Sanskrit play in five acts by King Ravivarman of Kerala, who lived in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Its chief hero is the handsome and charming Pradyumna, who is a son of the Hindu god Kṛṣṇa, and simultaneously the rebirth of Kāmadeva, the God of Love. The play recounts the romance of the young Pradyumna with a demon princess named Prabhāvatī, and the defeat in the battle against Vajraṇābha, Prabhāvatī’s father. Based on an extensive episode of the Harivaṃśa (perhaps 3rd century CE), thePradyumnābhyudaya appears to have been the first brahminical work of courtly Sanskrit drama to feature Pradyumna as its hero.
In this book, Christopher R. Austin offers a complete translation of the Pradyumnābhyudaya in a European language for the first time, accompanied by an introduction and annotation that provide insight into the rich mythic and poetic context of the play, as well as its historical moment of creation. The book also provides a new romanized text of the Trivandrum Sanskrit Series edition of the play originally prepared by T. Gaṇapati Śāstrī in 1910, and includes Śāstrī’s original notes and annotations concerning his manuscript sources.