Which one of the following is a work attributed to playwright Bhasa?

(a) Kavyalankara
(b) Natyashastra
(c) Madhyama-vyayoga
(d) Mahabhashya

Correct Answer: (c) Madhyama-vyayoga

  • Madhyama-vyayoga is a work attributed to the playwright Bhasa. This play focuses on the name confusion between the priest Keshav Das’s middle son and the middle Pandava prince Bhima, and also features the reunion of Bhima and Ghatotkacha as father and son.

Explanation of Other Options:

  • Kavyalankara: This is a Sanskrit work by Bhamaha, not Bhasa. It is a critical study of poetics and literary devices, focusing on the ornaments of poetry.
  • Natyashastra: This is a Sanskrit treatise on the performing arts attributed to sage Bharata. It covers various aspects of drama, dance, and music, and is not related to Bhasa.
  • Mahabhashya: This is a commentary on selected rules of Sanskrit grammar from Pāṇini’s treatise, attributed to Patañjali. It is not a work of Bhasa.

Learn more

  • Bhasa:
    • Bhasa is one of the earliest known Sanskrit dramatists, often referred to as the “Shakespeare of Sanskrit drama”.
    • His works were rediscovered in 1912 by the Indian scholar Ganapati Shastri, who found 13 plays attributed to him.
    • Bhasa’s plays are known for their rich storytelling, complex characters, and incorporation of mythological and heroic themes from Indian epics like the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
  • Themes and Style:
    • Bhasa’s plays cover a wide range of themes including love, valor, duty, and morality.
    • His characters often embody complex human emotions and dilemmas, making his works timeless and relatable.
    • Bhasa deviated from the accepted dramaturgy of his time by portraying battle scenes and killings on stage, which was unconventional.
  • Influence and Legacy:
    • Bhasa’s influence is evident in the works of later dramatists like Kalidasa and Bhavabhuti, who built upon his literary motifs.
    • His plays continue to be staged and adapted, showcasing their enduring appeal and relevance.
  • Notable Works:
    • Swapnavasavadatta: A tale of love and sacrifice, considered one of his most celebrated works.
    • Madhyama-vyayoga: Focuses on the reunion of Bhima and Ghatotkacha.
    • Karnabharam: Depicts the burden of Karna from the Mahabharata.
    • Urubhanga: Focuses on the broken thigh of Duryodhana from the Mahabharata.

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