SOME AFTERTHOUGHTS ON A PRODUCTION OF BAUDHAYANA'S
THE HERMIT AND THE HARLOT
Impressions of this farce as presented at Oakland University
During spring term, 1968, twenty students at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, chose to do "something creative" for their "term paper" in their Introduction to India course. The collective efforts of these students culminated in an "India Night" on Sunday evening, June 8, at Dodge Hall Auditorium, which was attended by the remaining sixty members of the class accompanied by dates and spouses, the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of the participants, other students and faculty who had recalled with pleasure the Tagore Birthday Celebration at Oakland a month earlier, and various curiosity- and exotica-seekers.
Several students presented an art exhibition in the lobby of the auditorium, including pieces of sculpture depicting love scenes in the style of Khajuraho, a model of the Sun Temple at Konarak made to scale, and a group of paintings and drawings representing scenes from Sakuntala^ The Toy Cart and lyrics by Bhartrhari, all of which were part of the class reading list (four paintings were sold that evening).
Inside, a student, sari-clad and resting on massive orange and green pillows, read ancient and modern Indian poetry in English translation. Another student sang her settings of Sanskrit poems, accompanying herself on the guitar. The music was in a Western folk-music style;
the students well-trained, soprano voice and adept chording made this presentation perhaps the highlight of the evening. Works included selections from the poetry ot Bhartrhari translated by Barbara Stoler Miller, a section of the "Hymn to Dawn" from the RgVeda (I, 113), and a lament by Rama for Sita in the Ramayana^ drawn from the abridged version in Lin Yutang's The Wisdom of India volume.
Two Sanskrit'farces were also presented: P. La^s translation of Mahendravikramavarma^s The Drunken Monk and Baudhayana's The Hermit and the Harlot in J. A. B. van Buitenen^ translation, which is presented in the following pages.