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Uttararamacharita of Bhavabhuti

Uttararamacharita is a celebrated Sanskrit play by Bhavabhuti on the life of Rama after his return to Ayodhya. The play occupies a very high place in Sanskrit dramatic literature, and it is widely accepted as a masterpiece of Bhavabhuti.

Uttararamacharita is based on the well known story of Uttara Kanda of the epic Ramayana, with certain changes introduced by the poet.

The drama is divided into seven acts. Some main points in the development of the plot are as follows – banishment of Sita to sage Valmiki’s ashram, Rama’s visit to the Dandaka forest in connect with Sambuka’s austerities, Ashwamedha Yagna commenced by Rama in Ayodhya, birth of Lava and Kusa, and capture of the horse by them at the ashram of Valmiki, fight between Lava and Candraketu; arrival of Rama on the scene, which puts an end to the fight, and his formal introduction to his sons; declaration of Sita’s purity by Mother Earth, the divine Ganges and Arundhati; and finally the happy union of Rama and Sita.

Uttararamacharita of Bhavabhuti is essentially a drama of pathos, and his indirect boast is that the sentiment of karuna is depicted by him in many colors and varied phases (eko rasah karuna eva – III 47). It is not at all unmerited. Every act adds to the impression produced upon the mind, and the reader is irresistibly moved to tears to hear the lamentations of Rama, Sita, Janaka and other dignified personages suffering under the blows of destiny.

In the drama, which is named after Rama, the hero of the play is shown as a king of justice, an ideal husband and father, and a model of virtue.

Bhavabhuti lived in Vidarbha and found an able patron for his literary pursuit in King Yasovarman of Kanauj. Bhavabhuti is best known as the author of three plays: Mahviracharita, Malatimadhava and Uttararamacharita.

Mahavira Charita is play in seven acts based on the important incidents in the epic Ramayana up to the defeat of Ravana and the coronation of Rama as the king of Ayodhya. Malatimadhava is an original work, basically a love intrigue, filled with sorcery and tantric practices. The play is in 10 acts and is filled with improbable incidents.