Svapnavasavadattam

Influence of Bhāsa on Later Sanskrit Literature

The two plays Pratifflayaugandharayanam and Svapnavasavadattam were so popular that according to some, many later plays appear to have been written in imitation of them. Thus, the Vina Vasavdatta, and the Unmathavasavadatta are considered by some to be imitations of Pratijnayaugandharayanam.

Priyadareika, Ratnavaliand even Malvikagnimitra, have certainly been greatly influenced by Bhasa's Svapnavasavadattam. In Ratnavali, the secret loves of Udayana and Sagarika, an attendant on Queen Vasavadatta are described. There is a conflagration, and finally Udayana marries Sagarika also. It is obvious that Sagarika represents Avantika in the Ocean Pavilion.

In Priyadar§ika, too, Udayana makes love to Aranyaka, a maid­servant of his queen, and his intrigues are discovered. Finally, the queen herself presents Aranyaka, who is discovered to be the daughter of the king of Ariga, to Udayana as second wife. Needless to say, Aranyaka is a combination of Virachika and Avantika.

In MAlvikagnimitra, Agnimitra makes secret love to an attendant of his queen, called Malavika, who is kept jealously out of the king's sight on account of her great beauty. Finally he marries Malavika, who turns out to be a princess. The resemblance of Malavika to Avantika need not be emphasized. The very word Malaya means Avanti.

Udayana the king of Vatsa is the central figure in a large number of Sanskrit stories of love and adventure.

 

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