Author: Panuganti Lakshmi Narasimha Rao
Translator(s): Gopalakrishna Murti / Veerabhadra Sastry
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126013907
Based on the tenets of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the play depicts Radha’s simple bhakti growing into Mahabhava its highest culmination usually associated with only Radha by vaishnava scholars. Panuganti was inspired to write this play by Ashutosh Mukherji’s Lord Gauranga.
Radhakrishna (1904) by Panuganti Lakshmi Narasimha Rao (1865-1940) is held in high esteem as a land-mark, trend setter and a champion of renaissance. It was a play much ahead of its times. It sought to elevate the image of Radha, understood until them as nothing more than a paramour, to Krishna’s consort co-presiding goloka, a heaven. Based on the tenets of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the play depicts Radha’s simple bhakti growing into Mahabhava its highest culmination usually associated with only Radha by vaishnava scholars.
The play depicts the stages of development of her bhakti culminating in mahabhava a state which cannot be ascribed to any one except Radha. Secondly, Panuganti displayed in this play his vision and skill in developing a play on a very thin story-line. A pointer to his uncommon sensibility is the way he had used the character of Sage Narada in the play. Traditionally, the character of Sage Narada, who is believed to be thriving on conflicts, was used as an initiator or promoter of the dramatic action.
Gopalakrishna Murti Kilachala is a keen student of contemporary trends in literature and a respected teacher of English language and literature. He has often translated Telugu poems and short stories into English.
Veerabhadra Sastry Muydigonda, studied Panuganti's works for his Ph.D. After teaching in colleges for some years, he retired from the Potti Seeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, as Director of its Center for preparation of Telugu Encyclopedia. He has to his credit several creative and critical works.