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Anargharaghava is a seven-act Sanskrit drama by Murari Mishra (1050 – 1135 CE), based on Valmiki’s Ramayana. Murari gives the names of his parents as Vardhamana Bhatta and Tantumati. He refers to himself as a scholar of renown in the introduction of his own play Anargha Raghava.

Anargharaghava (Raghava, the priceless) is also based on the Mahavira Charita (story of the great warrior Rama) by the dramatist Bhavabhuti (700 CE) to some extent. With its inordinate length and numerous verses, the work is wholly unsuitable as a stage play. Murari shows little originality in presentation; he lacks the ability to create living characters, and has little dramatic flair. However, the play is rich in diction and felicitous in the manner of handling even the longest meters.

The most significant merit of this popular play is the playwright’s virtuosity at versification. Murari was a scholar with a mastery of various branches of knowledge. His devotion to Rama is evident throughout the work. There are no new concepts and no fresh insights in the play. To the extent that if it is read today (it is seldom produced on the stage), it is because of its religious appeal and its usefulness as a school text abounding in different grammatical forms.

The story commences with Rama killing Tataka under instructions from Sage Visvamitra. Rama’s hesitation in killing a woman, though a demoness, is brought out. The story covers almost the entire gamut of events up to his being crowned the king of Ayodhya after killing Ravana and winning Sita back. The play thus tries to capture rather briefly almost the entire story of the Ramayana.