Joy for the World: A Buddhist Play by Candragomin, translated by Michael Hahn, presents the selfless actions of the Bodhisattva against a vivid background of interactions. A rare example of a Buddhist drama, this work is based on a Jataka account of Prince Manicuda, a Bodhisattva destined in his next birth to become the Buddha Shakyamuni. As such, it presents the virtue of generosity raised to Bodhisattva perfection, transcending all remnants of self-interest and concerns for worldly well-being.
The author, Candragomin, was at once a renown Buddhist pandita and a master of drama and linguistic expression. His work, written in the classical kavya style, interweaves rich sensory images with intense feelings, using the magnetizing appeal of the emotions as a support for transcending them. Academically, this work is a study in poetic artistry and literary conventions. Experientially, it dispels emotionality by exercising the reader's capacity for feeling and directing the energy awakened toward understanding. Absorbed in the drama, the reader (or viewer) may engage the deeper dimension of giving and awaken the aspiration to emulate the Bodhisattva by developing it to the highest level of perfection.