One of the greatest pioneers of classical Sanskrit drama, Bhasa is said to have lived around 3rd Century A.D. He is one of the earliest known Sanskrit dramatists of ancient India. An Indian scholar, Mahamahopadhyaya Ganapati Sastrigal, rediscovered thirteen of his plays in the year 1912. Not much is known about the life history of Bhasa. There are no written records of his life nor is there a biography of Bhasa. It is said that the great poet Kalidasa was inspired very much by Bhasa and adopted most of his techniques.
Perhaps the most noted play of Bhasa is Svapnavasavadatta (Vision of
Vasavadatta). The story revolves around King Udayana who is pressurized
by his state minister to marry the daughter of a very powerful ruler in
order to gain power to protect his kingdom from foreign invasions. The
king is not too keen on this proposal as he loves is wife too much to
consider taking such a step. But the wife becomes ready to sacrifice her
life for the kingdom and stages a fake death. She secretly returns back
to the king to be with him and awaits the new wife. The play is so well
written that it won the hearts of the sternest critics.