By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Bhavabhiti, BhavabhIti, Bhavabhiti
In the classical Sanskrit literature Bhavabhīti's playwrights are often compared favorably with Kālidāsa. Bhavabhīti's playwrights are also considered to be the greatest. His original name was Srīkaṇtha. ‘Bhavabhuti’ or ‘Bhaṭṭabhavabhuti’ 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).
Three well-known nāṭakas or plays authored by him are:
- Mālatimādhava - It is a love story.
- Mahāviracarita - It is a story based on Rāmāyana.
- Uttar Arāmacarita - It is a story based on Rāmāyana.
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 his works as ideal examples for the particular points made out by them.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore