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Matta-vilasa-prahasanam :: Mahendravarman

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This is one of the earliest available prahasanas. About a Kapalika mendicant whose begging skull is stolen.

Edition used: (ed.) Kapiladeva Giri Sahityacharya. Vidyabhavan Sanskrit Series, no. 135. Varanasi : Chowkhamba Vidya Bhavan, 1966. Text entered, Jan Brzezinski, Dec. 7, 2003.
Source texts
Original written in: Unknown
Entry added: December 7th 2003
Entry updated: December 7th 2003
Views: 2731
Downloads: 1119
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Added by: Jagat
Text version: 1.00 (legend)
Keywords: Matta, vilasa, prahasanam, prahasana, Mahendra, Varma, Pallava
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Additional notes from the editors' research and selected discussion forum contributions.
A short note on Mahendra Varma · Posted by Jagat on December 7th 2003 - 15:15 +0100
A late PaIlava ruler, Mahendra Varman I (600-630) was responsible for the growing political strength of the Pallavas and established the dynasty as the patrons of early Tamil culture. He was a contemporary of Harsha Vardhan and was also a dramatist and poet of some standing, being the author of a play, Matta-vilasa-prahasana ("The Delight of the Drunkards"). Mahendra-Varman began his life as a Jain but was converted to Shaivism by the saint Appar. It was during his reign that some of the finest rock-cut Pallava temples were built, including the famous temples at Mahabalipuram.

But his reign was not merely one of poetry, music, and temple-building; wars had also to be fought. His northern contemporary Harsha was too far away for there to be any conflict, but nearer home was the recently established Chalukya power, and Mahendra Varman's contemporary was Pulakeshin II, who was determined to confine the ambition of the Pallavas and prevent their control over Vengi. His aim started a long series of Chalukya-Pallava wars, which ceased for a while on the termination of the two dynasties but recommenced with the rise of their successors.