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Tales from the Hindu Dramatists

by R. N. Dutta

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In ancient days, there was a mighty king of the Lunar dynasty by name Dushyanta. He was the king of Hastinapur. He once goes out a-hunting and in the pursuit of a deer comes near the hermitage of the sage Kanwa, the chief of the hermits, where some anchorites request him not to kill the deer. The king feels thirsty and was seeking water when he saw certain maidens of the hermits watering the favorite plants. One of them, an exquisitely beautiful and bashful maiden, named Sakuntala, received him. She was the daughter of the celestial nymph Menaka by the celebrated sage Viswamitra and foster-child of the hermit Kanwa. She is smitten with love at the first sight of the king, standing confused at the change of her own feeling. The love at first sight which the king conceives for her is of too deep a nature to be momentary.

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R. N. Dutta

Rama Nath Dutta was the Indian author of: The Boy's Ramayana and Tales from the Hindu Dramatists (1912). He was Officiating Head-Master at the Metropolitan Institution, Bowbazar Branch, Calcutta. "Many educationists think that our Indian boys should be encouraged to read the stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two great Epics of India and Tales from the Sanskrit Dramatists when they are recommended to read "The Boy's Odyssey, " "Legends of Greece and Rome, " "Arabian Nights' Tales" and Lamb's "Tales from Shakespeare. " It was perhaps from this view of the matter that the University of Calcutta recommended "The Boy's Ramayana" and "Tales from the Hindu Dramatists" for the Matriculation Examination. As no books were published in time, the University had to issue an amended notice omitting the books from the list. To supply the want, I have ventured to write the "Boy's Ramayana" and this humble book. I have tried my best to narrate briefly, in simple and idiomatic English, the stories on which the chief Sanskrit dramas are based. I hope that the University will be pleased to re-insert "The Boy's Ramayana" and this book in the list of books recommended for the Matriculation Examination. "

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