The conventions of the Clay Sanskrit Library allow for only a short bibliography to appear with the printed text. The web site however allows authors to say more about the literature on a given text and below I provide below a longer bibliography than in the book, preceded by some short comments on what a reader might expect from particular titles. This is not an attempt at an exhaustive or definitive bibliography on “The Shattered Thighs”, let alone Bhāsa, but is rather an offer to the inquisitive reader of a first step beyond the text itself and an indication of dedicated literature on the subject that I myself have found useful or enjoyable.
The two editions of “The Shattered Thighs” on which this volume is based are those of Gaṇapati Śastri (1912) and Devadhar (1940, where it appeared with a translation). The Sanskrit text in the latter was reprinted in Devadhar (1962) and is easily available in that edition. Gaṇapati Śastri’s pioneering edition, long out of print, is now available online and can be downloaded without cost from the Million Book Project at Internet Archive. Sanskrit text and translations can be found in both Bhatnagar and Menon, and a translation only in Woolner and Sarup.
Both Winternitz and Warder (1974) offer accounts of Bhāsa and his works in the context of a general survey of Sanskrit literature. There are a number of dedicated book treatments of Bhāsa, of which Pusalker is perhaps the most comprehensive although now rather dated, despite the update chapters provided for the second edition (1968). Gaṇapati Śastri (1925) stands as a seminal statement of the pro-Bhāsa position by the discoverer of the subject itself! Unni adds interesting perspectives and materials. Each volume in itself offers an entrée to the wide literature on the Bhāsa problem.
There is also a substantial secondary literature published in journals (some of which can be accessed online through Web portals like JSTOR or Web of Science). Pisharoti and Pisharoti is among the earliest expression of doubt about the attribution to Bhāsa, and De is a balanced survey of the issues as understood just before the middle of the last century. Tieken (various) and Brückner are some of the most recent journal publications, both authors being sceptical of the Bhāsa attribution. Brückner is especially useful as a survey of the state of the material evidence and of work on the Keralan connection.
Sukthankar’s splendid series of articles offers a substantial survey treatment of the Bhāsa issue by a renowned Indian scholar, adding new data. The culminating article, ‘The Bhāsa Riddle…’ is an impressively balanced review of the inconclusiveness of the argumentation, pro and anti, and proposing a reasoned and still convincing resolution. He points out that we are not as fussed about the transmissional problems of the works of other major playwrights (despite very real problems even for the great Kālidāsa) as we are with Bhāsa, and suggests that the notorious verse from the Svapnavāsavadatta quoted in the Nāṭyadarpaṇa of Rāmacandra and attributed to Bhāsa has been accidentally dropped from the text as we have it in the Trivandrum series.
Interesting and insightful discussions of rasa theory abound; Warder (1972) offers a general introduction to the theoretical basis; Tieken (2000) critiques the overuse of rasa in the interpretation of Sanskrit drama (with some reference to “The Shattered Thighs”); Gerow and Aklujkar looks at śānta rasa and Gerow (1985) convincingly analyses “The Shattered Thighs” as the expression of the dāyavīra rasa.
Tieken (1993) offers some survey of the issues, but concentrates on an examination of the dependence of Bhāsa’s Pratijñāyaugandharāyaṇa on the C7th farce, the Mattavilāsa; and the evidence for the composition of the Bhāsa corpus in Kerala, on which the author is undecided, but concluding that the plays as they stand are the result of a renaissance of interest in Sanskrit drama in South India. Tieken (1997) looks at the possible ritual significance of the three characters who open “The Shattered Thighs” and other plays of Bhāsa. In connection with the performance context for Bhāsa’s plays, I cannot fail to mention the (slim) volume by Venu which provides the text, translation of the first act of his Abhiṣekanāṭaka, along with a translation from Malayalam of the production and acting manuals that specify the details of performance for this text and thereby gives us a splendid insight into the likely manner of performance of “The Shattered Thighs” in Kerala.
Gitomer has examined Duryodhana as an heroic exemplar across a range of dramatic representations including “The Shattered Thighs”, concluding that he has been used to exemplify a heroism older than that revealed in Kṛṣṇa bhakti. Duckworth offers a thought-provoking treatment in comparative narratology comparing Duryodhana with Turnus, a heroic figure in Virgil’s Aeneid. Johns follows the changing nature of the depiction of Bhīma in Indonesia, demonstrating the continuing fluidity and potency of our epic characters beyond the sub-continent. Neither article is specifically linked to “The Shattered Thighs”.
Almost every item mentioned above offers a tempting bibliography of further materials that will with little effort float the reader further out onto the ocean of ‘Bhāsa studies’. Bon voyage!
Andrew Skilton, Llanishen, 2006
“The Shattered Thighs:” Extended Bibliography
K. N. Bhatnagar, Bhāsa’s Ūrubhaṅgam Edited with an introduction, Prose Order, Literal Hindi rendering of verses, glossary, English translation, Notes and Appendices of metre, dramaturgical terms, questions, indices of verses and important words, etc., etc., Lahore: Motilal Banarsi Das, 1937.
H. Brückner, ‘Manuscripts and performance traditions of the so-called "Trivandrum-Plays" ascribed to Bhāsa – A report on work in progress’, Bulletin d’Études Indiennes 17–18 (1999–2000), 501–550.
S.K. De, ‘The Dramas ascribed to Bhāsa’, The Indian Historical Quarterly XV (1941), 415–429.
C.R. Devadhar, Ūrubhaṅgam (Breaking of thighs) A Sanskrit One-act play attributed to Bhasa Critically edited with Introduction, Notes and Translation, Poona: Oriental Book Agency, Poona Oriental Series No.72, 1940.
C.R. Devadhar, Bhāsanāṭakacakram Plays Ascribed to Bhāsa, Poona: 1962 (reprinted, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1987).
G.E. Duckworth, ‘Turnus and Duryodhana’, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, 92 (1961), 81–127.
T. Gaṇapati Sāstrī, The Madhyamavyāyoga, Dūtavākya, Dūtaghaṭotkacha, Karṇabhāra and Ūrubhaṅga of Bhāsa Edited with Notes by T. Gaṇapati Sāstrī, Trivandrum: Government Press, 1912.
T. Gaṇapati Sastri, ‘The Works of Bhasa’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies 3, No.4 (1925), 627–637.
T. Gaṇapati Sāstrī, Bhāsa’s Plays (A Critical Study), Trivandrum (no publisher given)1925 (reprinted, Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan 1985).
E. Gerow and A. Aklujkar, ‘On Śānta Rasa in Sanskrit Poetics’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 92, No.1 (Jan.-Mar., 1972), 80–87.
E. Gerow, ‘Bhāsa’s Ūrubhaṅga and Indian Poetics’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 105 No.3 Indological Studies Dedicated to Daniel H.H. Ingalls (Jul.-Sep., 1985), 405–412.
D. Gitomer, ‘King Duryodhana: The Mahābhārata Discourse of Sinning and Virtue in Epic and Drama’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 112 No.2 (Apr.-Jun., 1992), 222–232.
A.H. Johns, ‘From Buddhism to Islam: An Interpretation of the Javanese Literature of the Transition’, Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol. 9 No.1 (Oct. 1996), 40–50.
K.P.A. Menon, Complete Plays of Bhāsa (Text with English translation and notes), 3 vols., Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1996.
A.K. Pisharoti and K.R. Pisharoti, ‘“Bhasa's Works” – Are they Genuine?’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, Vol.3, No.1 (1923), 107–117.
K.R. Pisharoti, ‘Kerala-nāṭaka-cakra’, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society ?? (1925), 246–251.
A.D. Pusalker, Bhāsa – A Study, 2nd revised ed., Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal 1968 (1st ed. 1940).
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa I’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 40 (1920), 248–259.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa II: On the versification of the metrical portions of the dramas’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 41 (1921), 107–130.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa III: On the relationship between the Cārudatta and the Mṛcchakaṭika’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 42 (1922), 59–74.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa IV: ‘A concordance of the dramas’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Institute 4 (1923), 167–187.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa V: A bibliographical note’, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 26 (1921–1923), 230–249.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘Studies in Bhāsa VI: On the Prakrit of the dramas’, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society?? (1925), 103–117.
V.S. Sukthankar, ‘The Bhāsa Riddle: A Proposed Solution’, Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society n.s. 1 (1925), 126–143.
H. Tieken, ‘The So-called Trivandrum Plays Attributed to Bhāsa’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 37 (1993), 5–44.
H. Tieken, ‘Three Men in a Row (Studies in the Trivandrum Plays II)’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 41 (1997), 17–52.
H. Tieken, ‘On the Use of rasa in Studies of Sanskrit Drama’, Indo-Iranian Journal 43 (2000), 115–138.
H. Tieken, ‘The pūrvaraṅga, the prastāvanā, and the sthāpaka’, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 45 (2001), 91–124.
N.P. Unni, Bhāsa Afresh New Problems in Bhāsa Plays, Delhi: Nag Publishers 2000 (originally published as New Problems in Bhāsa Plays, Trivandrum 1978).
G. Venu, Production of a Play in Kūṭiyāṭṭaṃ, text and translation of the first act of Abhiṣekanāṭaka of Bhāsa with the Kramadīpika (Production Manual) and the Āṭṭaprakāraṃ (Acting Manual) from the Sanskrit drama tradition of Kerala, Trichur: Natanakairali Publications, 1989.
A.K. Warder, Indian Kāvya Literature, volume one, Literary Criticism, revised edition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1989 (original publication, Delhi 1972).
A.K. Warder, Indian Kāvya Literature, volume two, The Origins and Formation of Classical Kāvya, 2nd revised edition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990 (1st edition, 1974).
M. Winternitz, History of Indian Literature, Volume III, Part One: Classical Sanskrit Literature, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 1998 (originally published,1963).
A.C. Woolner and Lakshman Sarup, Thirteen Plays of Bhāsa, 2 Vols. Bound in One, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass 1985 (original publication, Thirteen Trivandrum plays attributed to Bhasa, translated into English by A. C. Woolner and Lakshman Sarup, 2v Panjab University Oriental publications, no. 13, London : Published for the University of the Panjab, Lahore [by] Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1930–31.