Some Other Works Attributed to Bhāsa

The question has often been asked: did Bhasa write any more dramas, besides the thirteen now recovered? Was he also, like Kalidasa, equally skilled in drama as well as in poetry? If so, did he write any mahakavya or khandakavya, now lost for ever? Or did he, like BhavabhOti and many other later writers like Jayadeva or Vedanta Deshika, produce works both in literary and Sastraic fields? Questions such as these admit of no easy answers. There are, no doubt, some vague pointers to conclude that he might have written more plays. Scholars ever ready to clutch at any straw, have indulged in specu­lations of all kinds; efforts have also been made to attribute one or two poetical works and a work on dramaturgy to him. The fact of the matter is, there is no clinching evidence to decide that Bhasa really wrote any other play. The fairly large number of verses, ascribed to Bhasa in the old anthologies, is only so-called evidence, on the basis of which scholars have made endless speculations. Scholars are unanimous about the poetic beauty of these verses. The critical eye of these scholars has compared the style and the thought-content of these verses with that of Bhasa's published dramas and found a non-Bhasite ring in some of them. Ingenious efforts have also been made, sometimes successfully, to find suitable places for some of these verses in the available plays. One of these, a typical benedic­tory verse, provides the ground to infer that it could be the nandi­loka of some lost drama. From another verse, describing winter with similes in the manner of Bhasa, Dr. Pusalker infers that it "belonged to some other work of Bhasa, now lost to us". Another of these 'Bhasa verses', in a light-vein, describing the glory of drink, is actually found in mattavilasa-prahasana, a satirical farce of the early 7th century. This has provoked a futile controversy about Bhasa's authorship, as it should be put down as a case of simply a wrong ascription of the verse to Bhasa by the anthologists. Ganapati Sastri has pointed out that a verse of Avimarakam is actually found "in a slightly modified form" in

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