ID: 41327
Full name: Vāsavadattā
Author: Subandhu
Year: 600 c.
Language: Sanskrit
Discipline: Kāvya
Alternative names: Vāsavadattā‧kathā
Name in local script: वासवदत्ताकथा

The Vāsavadatta [VK] is a prose kāvya by Subandhu (c 570 CE). The earliest available exemplar of the ākhyāyikā genre, it recounts the love of the eponymous princess Vāsavadattā with prince Kandarpaketu. The text is marked by large and vivid descriptive passages, stacking metaphors and long compounds. Complex word-play, allusions and involved tropes abound in the VK.

Bāṇa [c.650 CE] is much indebted to Subandhu for style images and diction, and he names the Vāsavadattā in the prefatory verses of his Harṣacarita. The VK has commentaries by Nārāyaṇadīkṣita (1275 CE), Śivarāṃa Tripāṭhin, Śrṅgāragupta [Vāsavadattā‧vivṛti], Jagaddhara and Raṅganātha.

Discussing the phenomenon of nāṭyāyita (simili-drama) in his Abhinavabhārati, Abhinavagupta (c 975 CE) refers to a play Vāsavadattā‧nāṭya‧dhārā [VND], wherein there is a double emboxed plot - we are viewers of [ a histrionic] Bindusāra who is watching an actor playing Udayana, who is in turn, watching a performance of the Vāsavadattā. It is possible that the verse cited by Vamana is from the lost VND. This may either be a dramatic adaptation of Subandhu’s VK by another poet or may be a play Subandhu wrote on the same theme as his VK.

Related Works
Commentaries on this work: Vāsavadattācūrṇikā
Print sources
Last update: 04.10.2021 - 16:06
Relates to Works
This work mentions: Bṛhatkathā, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa
Relates to People
People mentioned in this work: Uddyotakara
Suggested citation: Keerthi N., SKSEC Team. "Vāsavadattā." Pandit. <panditproject.org/entity/41327/work>. Updated on October 04, 2021 04:06 pm IST.
Contributors: Naresh Keerthi, SKSEC Team