Beautiful Quotations from a Great Playwright


Post 988; Dated 18th April 2014.
Compiled by By London Swaminathan

Bhasa is one of the greatest playwrights of the world. His 13 plays in Sanskrit were rediscovered in Kerala in 1912. He lived in the fourth century BCE. He is one of the greatest playwrights of the world for the number of plays he wrote and for the quality of the plays. He was praised by Kalidasa, the greatest poet of India. Probably Bhasa is the oldest playwright of India because we did not get the plays of earlier writers mentioned by Kalidasa and others. By the language, style and the theme he dealt with, we have to place Bhasa in the fourth century BCE. All others except Bhasa followed the rules laid down in the Natyasastra and this proved his antiquity.

Here are some quotes from ‘Svapnavasavadatta’, his masterpiece and one of the best dramas available today:—

1.Even deities, when not clearly known are insulted.

2.The cycle of fortune of the world revolving with the course of time, moves like the spokes of a wheel.
Kalakramena jagatha: parivarthamana
Chakrarampankthiriva gachathi bhagyapankthi:

3.No rough treatment should be accorded to the inmates of a hermitage; to avoid the insults that are received in a city these high souled persons come to reside in a forest.

Bright (Intelligent Look)
4.Good, his look is full of practical knowledge.

5.Hatred or high regard springs from the mind’s view point (looking at a thing).

Guests to hermitages
6.Penance groves are, indeed ,in the case of visitors, their own homes.

7.Surely fate does not go beyond the well tested declarations of the seers.

8. A hermitage, as is well known, is common to all people.
( All the above quotes are from Act 1)


9.That is really called beauty which has a charm for the minds of all.

Great men
10.The hearts of great men are such as yield to the first onslaught (of grief); but they are easily composed (afterwards).
(From Act 2 )

11.It is improper to hear the description of another’s husband.
(From Act 3)

12.Fate is intransgressible
Anthikramaniyo hi vidhi:

13.It is difficult to forget deep rooted love; grief revives at each remembrance. It is the course of nature that on shedding tears in this world the mind attains freshness, having a debt paid off.
14.Even the servant of a courteous man is himself also courteous.
(From Act 4)

15.Woman is timid by nature.

16.Honour met with reciprocal honour, begets affection.
So let your Honour rise.

17.The conferrers of mighty benefits and of high honours are always easily found in the world, but their appreciators are rare.
(From Act 4)


18.No enterprising spirit manifests itself in those, who are timid or weak; generally royal fortune is enjoyed by the energetic alone.

19.Who is able to protect whom at the time of death? Who support the pitcher when the rope is cut? Thus man fares equally with trees: each is cut down (dies) when his time comes and grows again (born).

20.How could such lovely complexion meet with terrible destruction! How was this sweetness of face despoiled by fire?

21.Resemblance of form existing between two persons is seen in this world
Returning borrowed things
22.A deposit ought to be returned in the presence of witnesses
(From Act 6)

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