Mattavilasa Prahasana

Mattavilasa Prahasana (Devanagari:मत्तविलासप्रहसन), (English: A Farce of Drunken Sport) is a short one-act Sanskrit play. It is one of the two great one act plays written by scholar King Mahendravarman I (571– 630CE) in the beginning of the seventh century.

Mattavilasa Prahasana is a satire that pokes fun at the peculiar aspects of the Kapalika and Pasupata Saivite sects, Buddhists and Jainism. The setting of the play is Kanchipuram, the capital city of the Pallava kingdom in the seventh century. The play revolves around the drunken antics of a Kapalika mendicant, Satyasoma, his woman, Devasoma, and the loss and recovery of their skull-bowl. The cast of characters consists of Kapali or Satysoma, an unorthodox Saivite mendicant, Devasoma, Satysoma’s female partner, Buddhist Monk, whose name is Nagasena, Pasupata, a member of another unorthodox Saivite order and Madman. The act describes a dispute between a drunken Kapali and the Buddhist monk. The inebriated Kapali suspects the Buddhist monk of stealing his begging bowl made from a skull, but after drawn-out argument it is found to have been taken away by a dog.

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