Bhasa Bhasa is a celebrated name in classical Sanskrit drama. Although his dates have not been conclusively established, it is certain that he preceded Kalidasa, who has praised him by name in the prologue of one of his own plays. It has been suggested that Bhasa lived in the Mauryan period, the fourth or the third century BC, but most scholarly opinion places him in the first or the second century AD. Bhasa wrote in a period which was politically, socially, economically and most important, culturally dynamic. Theatre was already an established art form and the foremost treatise on fine arts, Bharata?s Natyasastra, was written in the same period. Plays were written and performed by professionals supported by other well-developed as aspects of stagecraft. For over fifteen hundred years classical Indian commentators and anthologists have counted Bhasa among the foremost writers of ancient India. He made use of the Sanskrit language in a simpler form as compared to the more ornate style of later playwrights. He dispensed with the opening benediction or nandi and began his plays directly with the stage direction. And, most importantly, he broke with convention by giving a tragic ending to one of his plays, Urubhangam, with the death of the hero on stage. Bhasa?s plays were lost over a period of time but thirteen were rediscovered in Kerala at the beginning of the twentieth century. Of these, six are based on the Mahabharata story which Bhasa embellished for obtaining dramatic effects. They form the present collection.