It is known that an Ujjain-based poet by the name Bhartrimentha was a contemporary of Kalidasa; the legendary king Vikramaditya also lived in Ujjain. The presentation of love is natural- Sudraka shows his hero and heroine clinging to each other in a close embrace under the rain. The reigning rasa is shringara (love).

Vakpati wrote Gaudavaho, based on the exploits of Yasovarman of Kanauj. [13] ‘na karyam maranam range natyadharmam vijanata l’. Both plays recount the tale of King Udayana and his beloved queen, Vasavadatta. [19] Dasaratha, during a hunting expedition, had accidentally killed a young hermit named Shravanakumara. [3], No historical records mention a king by the name Shudraka (which literally means "little servant"). Unless otherwise specified, all content is made available under the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 Licence, though additional terms may apply. Harshavardhan : Ratnavali. In Svapnavasavadattam, he pays his tribute to Balarama, a cult whose members were probably addicted to intoxicating drugs. This came to be known as Kutiyattam. Karna’s internal turmoil creates an atmosphere of impending tragedy on stage.

[18] This technique was later used by Bhavabhuti in his Uttararamacharitam. The Natyashastra of Bharatamuni (circa 200 BCE) is a treatise that lays down the basic rules governing the staging of a play (rupakam/natakam). Ayyar, A.S.P.

It is a drama of the prakarana type in ten acts. The exact time of Bhasa, like his identity, is clouded by uncertainty. Bhasa’s simple yet forceful usage of Sanskrit suggests that he came from a time when Sanskrit was a spoken language. I will hold thee by thy lovely locks and abduct thee, as Dusshasana did Sita!’[21]. [20] yasyascorascikuranikarah karnapuro mayuro, bhaso hasah kavikulaguruh kalidaso vilasah l, harsho harsho hrdayavasatih pancabano banah, kesham naisha kathaya kavitakaminI kautukaya ll. The prologue describes him as a distinguished wise man, who had gained knowledge of the Rigveda, the Samaveda, mathematics, the Kamashastra and the art of training elephants.

Vadhyar & Sons. Unlike the Mahabharata-based plays, the hero (Udayana) is not portrayed as a fierce warrior. Scholars are unequivocal about the date of Bhasa. iii. Instead he is principally a lover (dhiralalita nayaka) and a patron of the arts. Yatha ramasca janakya bandhubhisca samagatah l. tatha lakshmya samayukto raja bhumim prasastu nah ll – Pratima-natakam, Act 7. Sahapedia® is a registered trademark of Sahapedia, a non-profit organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Also, I have adopted a strictly 'One issue, One page' policy to enhance the effectiveness of answer writing. He asks his son Durjaya to obey Kunti, serve the Pandavas and treat Draupadi like a mother. Three Sanskrit plays are ascribed to him - Mrichchhakatika (The Little Clay Cart), Vinavasavadatta, and a bhana (short one-act monologue), Padmaprabhritaka.

[17] At no point in his plays does he give in to the temptations of a poet and sacrifice dramatic urgency for contrived poetic artifices. This would allow one to deduce that Bhasa was either before Bharata’s time or that he was a contemporary yet unaware of Bharata’s work. Bhasa’s allusion to a certain King Rajasimha and the extent of his kingdom (from the Vindhyas to the Himalayas) is too ambiguous for identification. In Balacaritam, he mentions the names of the cow-herd girls (gopis such as Ghosasundari, Vanamala, Chandralekha and Mrigakshi) who performed rasa-krida with Krishna. This silence is eloquent.’. For any queries, comments, or feedback, please contact Sahapedia at, By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. A prolific poet and dramatist, he was venerated by Kalidasa, Banabhatta[3], Rajashekhara and critics such as Abhinavagupta. [23] ‘paretopi sthito bhasah sarIrairiva natakaih’. He places known characters in a framework which is largely original thereby bringing out a heretofore unseen angle. Also, Kaikeyi’s demand was merely instrumental in the fruition of an old curse. It describes the love of Carudatta and Vasantasena and seems that Sudraka took the four act play of Bhasa’s Carudattam and developed it into a full-fledged play by weaving a political theme into it.

Mahakavi Kalidasa, in the opening act of his first play, Malavikagnimitram, makes the earliest reference to Bhasa, extolling him as a poet par excellence, widely popular among discerning audiences. Sudraka Sudraka is the author of this drama who is placed in the first century A.D. His dialogues are short, succinct and sparkling. Was there only one playwright named Bhasa?

Bharata (son of Kaikeyi), oblivious of father’s demise, is returning home from his uncle’s kingdom. Several questions were raised. Pratima-natakam and Svapnavasavadattam end with a verse in praise of one King Rajasimha instead of the usual bharatavakya. At the time of his marriage to Kaikeyi, Dasaratha promised her a bride price (shulka) which stipulated that her son would be King. Bharatamuni laid down the guidelines to Sanskrit drama in his Natyashastra approximately around 200 BCE. Bhasa, thus, also introduces an element of dramatic irony (patakasthanaka). The Mrichchhakatika is set in Ujjain. by Vikram Grewal AIR 51 UPSC CSE 2018, Historical Analysis of Sudraka's 'Mrichchhakatika'. The effort of history writing was shown by a large number of inscriptions, coins, and local chronicles. A classic example of this is the dynamics between a statue and Prince Bharata in Pratima-natakam. Bhasa has treated Duryodhana no less than a Greek hero and his ignoble death evokes both compassion and a heightened sense of pathos (Karuna rasa). Sudraka : Mricchakatika. University of Calcutta.

Rajashekhara’s critique of Bhasa’s work not only endorses the excellence of Svapnavasavadattam but also establishes that the dramatist wrote several plays collectively called the Natakachakram. The lad’s father, a blind sage, had in turn cursed the King that one day he too would suffer the pangs of a similar bereavement (putrashoka). Yet again this scene is a figment of Bhasa’s imagination and not found in the Ramayana. [15] He alludes to Naganashramanika (a nude female ascetic of the Jain order) in Avimaraka. One theory is that the poet of Mrichchhakatika simply finished Bhasa's play out of respect, styling himself as the "little servant" of Bhasa. He established Bhasa’s authorship though a sequence of arguments from both historic and literary perspectives. The eponymous Pratima (statue) scene is one of the highlights of the play. 2005. Was there only one playwright named Bhasa? The excellence of Svapnavasavadattam played a clinching role in substantiating Ganapati Shastri’s claim. [4] Rupakas are broadly classified into ten types, namely, natakam, prakaranam, bhana, prahasanam, dima, vyayoga, samavakara, vithi, anka, utsrshtikanka and Ihamrga. [9] Verses quoted from Bhasa in other texts figure in these plays. [2] Some historians believe that the Tamil poet Ilangovadigal (author of the magnum opus Silappadikaram) has made a reference to Bhasa, even before Kalidasa. Therefore, it may not be too presumptuous to infer from the above arguments that the Trivandrum plays were indeed Bhasa’s own creations. Udayana overpowered by his love for Vasavadatta, has, for long, neglected his political duties as king.

Bhasa’s theatrical works take great liberties and do not adhere to the tenets of Bharata’s treatise. The extant manuscript of Charudattam is incomplete and abruptly cut off at the end of the fourth act. Karnabharam (the burden of Karna) is a one-act play which opens with a brooding Karna on the battle-field. Unlike the original, Kaikeyi does not perform the cruel task of giving bark garments (valkala) to Rama and Sita. Bhasa: A Study. The 13 natakas (now collectively known as Bhasa-natakachakram) found were: Pratima-natakam, Abhisheka-natakam—based on episodes from the Ramayana; Balacharitam—describes the birth and childhood of Krishna based on Harivamsa in Vishnupuranam; Charudattam, Avimarakam—semi-social dramas said to be original plots; Pratijnayaugandharayanam and Svapnavasavadattam—both describe instances from the life of King Udayana, drawn from Brihadkatha and Kathasaritasagara. [3] Others have identified Shudraka as the pen name of an Abhira king from the third century CE, either Indranigupta,[4] or Shivadatta, father of Ishvarasena. He is thought to be a devotee of Vishnu, probably a brahmin and obviously lived before the time of Kalidasa (approximately between 1st century BCE and 6th century CE). His compositions, like those of Saumillaka and Kaviputra, were thought to be lost forever until the early 1900s. Some sceptics still strongly believe that these plays were written by the Chakkyars of Malabar, albeit adapted from Bhasa.

In this text, Bharata describes 10 different categories of plays based on the length of the play, the content, the nature of the hero, the sentiment (rasa) conveyed, etc. Yet another interesting feature is the use of humanized weapons. In Urubhangam, Duryodhana (the antagonist in the Mahabharata) plays the main lead, which in itself is unusual. Sastri, Gaurinath.

The conflicting aspirations of Udayana (as a love-sick, aggrieved husband) and Yaugandharayana (a shrewd minister who desires the best for the kingdom) are well-exploited. However, there is no mention of Radha.[16]. The scene is also successful in bringing forth a multitude of rasas such as Bharata’s awe (ashcharya) on seeing the statues, the temple-keeper’s anger (raudra) towards Kaikeyi and pathos (karuna). He employs silence to convey much more than can ever be said. Nature was an inseparable part of the life of ancient people of India, glimpses can be seen in the Sanskrit epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata while much accurate account of life is stored in the common era plays of Bhasa, Kalidasa, Ilango Adigal and Sudraka. The statue, by its mere presence, conveys to the young prince the news of his father’s demise. Grammatical irregularities and anachronisms in the Natakachakram lead to the supposition that Bhasa might have lived in a period prior to the great grammarian Panini[14] or atleast before his text (Ashtadhyayi) gained universal acceptance. Bhasa has used the shulka and the curse (both mentioned in the Ramayana under different contexts) to absolve Kaikeyi of any blame. Svapnavasavadattam is deemed the best amongst the 13 plays. [18] Duryodhana narrates the episode of the game of dice with the Pandavas and the subsequent disrobing of Draupadi through a series of paintings. His style is facile yet effective and resembles the Vaidarbhi style of classical Sanskrit. Conventions of a Sanskrit Theatre. [17] D. Appukuttan Nair, thus, describes the quality of Bhasa’s dialogues, ‘I don’t remember who it was that said Bhāsa is terse and sparse in expression. Bhasa and Sudraka are other poets who have written plays based on historical events. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Here I present to you the result of my efforts at making notes for Mains 2018. [19] She also nobly bears Bharata’s enraged taunts when he comes to know of Rama’s exile. This is probably why a majority of his plays are based on this epic.

[3], According to Farley P. Richmond, Shudraka was simply a mythical figure, and the authorship of the play is uncertain. His master-piece Svapnavasavadattam was oft-quoted in commentaries from the 9th-12th century CE. Once again scholars and historians had to draw clues from his plays to arrive at a solution. Bharathi Ramasubban is a Carnatic vocalist, disciple of Seetha Rajan and P.S. In this play, Bhasa has employed the ancient art of story-telling through pictures (Mankha vidha). Bhasa is one of the oldest known classical playwrights in the history of Sanskrit literature and may well be known as the father of Sanskrit drama. [5] King Kulashekhara Varman (10th century CE) of Kerala introduced the practice of performing Sanskrit plays by engaging Chakyar artistes. [1] Prathitayasasam Bhasa-kaviputra-saumillakadinam prabandhan atikramya vartamanakaveh kalidasasya kriyayam katham parishado bahumanah? These notes were made by me for Value addition to Mains answer-writing. In the finals throes of life, the Kaurava Prince turns noble.