Bhavabhūti

In the classical Sanskrit literature, one of the playwrights who is often compared favourably with Kālidāsa—considered to be the greatest—is Bhava-bhūti. His original name was Śrīkaṇṭha. ‘Bhavabhūti’ or ‘Bhaṭṭabhavabhūti’ was the name by which he came to be known in the annals of Sanskrit literature. His parents were Jatukarṇi and Nīlakaṇṭha. Jñānanidhi was his teacher. He belonged to the Kāśyapa gotra or lineage. He must have lived in the early part of the 8th century A.D., in Padmapura of Vidarbha-deśa (near the modern Nagpur).

Mālatīmādhava, Mahāvīracarita and Uttararāmacarita are the three well-known nāṭakas or plays authored by him. The first is a love-story whereas the latter two are stories based on the Rāmāyaṇa. The author has taken quite a bit of freedom in altering the original story to suit his purpose. His style is rather tough though elegant. Books on dramaturgy and poetics often quote from his works as ideal examples for the particular points made out by them.