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STUDIES IN BHASA 

V. S. SUKTHANKAE 
Archaeological Survey of India 

Introduction 

No methodical studt 1 has yet been made of the thirteen 
anonymous dramas issued as Nos. XV-XVII, XX-XXII, XXVI, 
XXXIX, and XLII of the Trivandrum Sanskrit Series and 
ascribed by their editor, Pandit T. Ganapati Sastri, to the cele- 
brated playwright Bhasa. The first attempt at a comprehensive 
review of the plays — and the only one that has contributed sub- 
stantially to our knowledge of them — is found in the editor 's own 
introductions to the editio princeps of the Svapnavasavadatta 
and that of the Pratimanataka respectively. Opinion may be 
divided as to whether the learned editor has fully vindicated his 
claims regarding the age of the dramas or the authorship of 
Bhasa, but it seems unquestionable that the arguments brought 
forward by him in support of his case deserve serious considera- 
tion. Another approach to a study of these dramas is found in 
the introduction to a subsequent edition 2 of the Svapnavasava- 
datta by Prof. H. B. Bhide. This author replies to the arguments 
of a scholar who had in the meanwhile published an article in a 
vernacular journal calling into question the conclusion of Gana- 
pati Sastri regarding the authorship of Bhasa, and attempts to re- 
establish it by adducing fresh proofs in support of it. Mr. Bhide 
then turns his attention to the question of Bhasa 's age, which he 
endeavors to fix by what may be termed a process of successive 
elimination. Incidentally it may be remarked that his arguments 
lead him to assign the dramas to an epoch even earlier than that 
claimed for them by Ganapati Sastri. 3 "While it would be invid- 

*A complete bibliography of the literature, Indian (including the works 
in vernaculars, of which there is a considerable number already) and 
European, bearing on the subject, will be the theme of a separate article. 

* The Svapna Vasavadatta of Bhasa edited with Introduction, Notes 
etc. etc. by H. B. Bhide, . . . with Sanskrit Commentary (Bhavnagar, 
1916). 

"According to Ganapati Sastri the author of these dramas, Bhasa, 'must 
necessarily be placed not later than the third or second century B. C; 
according to Mr. Bhide, 475 B. C. to 417 B. C. would be the period of 
Bhasa. 



Studies in Bhasa 249 

ious to belittle the work of these pioneers in the field and deny 
them their meed of praise, it must nevertheless be confessed that 
their investigations are characterised by a narrowness of scope 
and a certain perfunctoriness of treatment which unfortunately 
deprive them of all claims to finality. Vast fields of enquiry have 
been left practically untouched ; and, it need not be pointed out, 
a study of these neglected questions might seriously modify the 
views on the plays and the playwright based on the facts now 
available. 

Nor have the critics 4 of Ganapati Sastri, who challenge his 
ascription of the plays to Bhasa, attempted — perhaps they have 
not deemed it worth their while to attempt — to get below the 
surface; their investigations confine themselves to a very 
restricted field, upon the results of which their conclusions are 
based. Corresponding to the different isolated features of these 
plays selected by them for emphasis, different values are obtained 
by them for the epoch of these dramas ; and having shown that 
these dates are incompatible with the probable age of Bhasa, 
these writers have considered their responsibility ended. 

Now whatever opinion may be held regarding the age of these 
plays it seems undeniable that they are worthy of very close 
study. Their discovery has given rise to some complicated lit- 
erary problems, which demand elucidation. Their Prakrit, 
which contains some noteworthy peculiarities, requires analysis ; 
their technique, which differs in a marked manner from that of 
hitherto known dramas, requires careful study; their metre, with 
its preponderance of the sloka, and their Alamkara of restricted 
scope, both call for minute investigation. The fragment 5 Caru- 
datta alone, of which the Mrcchakatika" looks almost like an en- 
larged version, suggests a whole host of problems. Some verses 
(or parts of verses) from these dramas are met with again in 
different literary works; we find others referred to in critical 
works of different epochs : have they been borrowed or quoted 
(as the case may be) from our dramas? If so, what chronologi- 



4 Prof. Pandeya in the vernacular periodical Sarada (Vol. 1, No. 1), who 
assigns the plays to the 10th century A. D.; and Dr. L. D. Barnett in 
JBAS, 1919, pp. 233f., who ascribes them to an anonymous poet of about 
the 7th century A. D. 

" Thereon see my article ' " Charudatta "— A Fragment' in the Quarterly 
Journal of the Mythic Society (Bangalore), 1919. 



250 V. 8. Sukthankar 

cal conclusions follow from these references? Some of these 
questions have never been dealt with at all before; there are 
others whose treatment by previous writers must be called super- 
ficial and unsatisfactory ; but all of them merit exhaustive investi- 
gation. In these Studies I shall try to discuss various prob- 
lems connected with these plays with all the breadth of treatment 
they require. I hope that they will in some measure answer the 
demand. 

At first I shall devote myself to collation of material; subse- 
quently, when I have a sufficient number of facts at my disposal, 
duly tabulated and indexed, I shall turn my attention to the ques- 
tion of the age and the authorship of these dramas, and consider 
whether, from the material available, it is possible to deduce any 
definite conclusions regarding these topics. From the nature of 
the case it may not be possible to find for the question of the 
authorship an answer free from all elements of uncertainty ; but 
it is hoped that the cumulative evidence of facts gleaned from a 
review of the plays from widely different angles will yield some 
positive result at least regarding their age. 

In conclusion it should be made clear that nothing is taken for 
granted regarding the author or the age of these plays. It fol- 
lows, therefore, that the choice of the title ' Studies in Bhasa, ' or 
the expression 'dramas of Bhasa' if used in the sequel with refer- 
ence to them, does not necessarily imply the acceptance of the 
authorship of Bhasa ; the use of Bhasa 's name should be regarded 
merely as a matter of convenience, unless the evidence adduced 
be subsequently found to justify or necessitate the assumption 
involved. 

I. On certain archaisms in the Prakrit of these dramas. 
The scope of this article, the first of the series, is restricted to a 
consideration of certain selected words and grammatical forms, 
occurring in the Prakrit of the dramas before us, which arrest our 
attention by their archaic character. There are many other ques- 
tions relative to the Prakrit of these plays which await investiga- 
tion, such as, for example, its general sound-system, its varieties, 
its distribution, etc. : they will be dealt with in subsequent arti- 
cles. 'Archaic' and 'modern' are of course relative terms. The 
words noticed below are called 'archaic' in reference to what may 
be said to be the standard dialect-stage of the Prakrit of the 



Studies in Bhasa 251 

dramas of the classical period, such as those of Kalidasa. No 
comparative study has yet been made of the Prakrit of Kalidasa 
and his successors with a view to ascertaining the developmental 
differences (if any) obtaining between them ; marked differences 
there are none ; and we are constrained, in the absence of detailed 
study, to regard the Prakrits of the post-Kalidasa dramas as 
static dialect- varieties showing only minute differences of vocab- 
ulary and style. 

Methodologically the question whether all these thirteen anony- 
mous plays are the works of one and the same author should have 
been taken up first for investigation. But even a cursory exam- 
ination of these plays is enough to set at rest all doubts regard- 
ing the common authorship ,• moreover the point has already been 
dealt with in a fairly satisfactory manner by the editor of the 
plays, whose conclusions have not hitherto evoked adverse com- 
ment. The question will, however, in due course receive all the 
attention and scrutiny necessary. 

Meanwhile we will turn to the discussion of what I regard as 
archaisms in the Prakrit of these plays. 

An alphabetical list of selected aechaisms. 
1. amhdam (= Skt. asmdkam). 
Svapna. 27 (twice; Ceti), 28 (Ceti) ;. Pafica. 21 (Vrddhagopa- 
laka) ; Avi. 25 (Dhatri), 29 (Vidusaka). 

amhdam is used in the passages just quoted; but in other 
places the very same characters use the later form amhanam, 
which is formed on the analogy of the thematic nominal bases : 
cf. Ceti in Svapna. 24, 32 ; Vrddhagopalaka in Pafica. 20, 21 ; and 
Dhatri in Avi. 23. The latter form occurs, moreover, in Caru. 
1 (Sutradhara), 34 (Ceti). The form amha(k)am, it may be 
remarked, is neither mentioned by grammarians 6 nor found in 
the dramas hitherto known. But Pali, it will be recalled, has still 
amhakam, and Asvaghosa's dramas (Ltiders 6 * 58) have pre- 
served the corresponding tum(h)dk(am). Owing to the simul- 

'Thus, for instance, Markandeya in his Prakrtasarvasva (ed. Grantha- 
pradarsani, Vizagapatam, 1912), IX. 95, lays down specifically that the 
gen. phi. of the 1st pers. pron. in gauraseni is amham or amhanam. 

'* Here and in similar references 'Liiders' stands for Luders, BruohstilcTce 
Buddhistischer Dramen (Kleinere Sanskrit-Texte, Keft I), Berlin 1911. 



252 V. 8. Sukthankar 

taneous occurrence in our dramas of both the forms in the speech 
of one and the same character, we are not in a position to decide 
at this Stage whether the amhaam of our manuscripts is a genu- 
inely archaic use of the word or whether there is a contamina- 
tion here with the Skt. asmaham. It may again be that the prom- 
iscuous use of the doublets points to a period of transition. 

2. Koot arh-. 
Svapna. 7 (Tapasi) ; Abhi. 5 (Tara). 

Twice the root appears in Prakrit passages in these dramas 
with unassimilated conjunct: once as a nominal base arhd 
(Svapna. 7) and again as a verbum finitum arhadi 7 (Abhi. 5). 
In the latter case the editor conjecturally emends the reading of 
the manuscripts to arihadi. A priori the conjunct rh seems 
hardly admissible in a Prakrit dialect ; s and one is tempted to fol- 
low the editor of the dramas in regarding it as a mistake of the 
scribe. In the Sauraseni of later dramas an epenthetic i divides 
the conjunct: arih- (Pischel 140). Of this form we have two 
instances in our dramas : arihadi in Pratima. 6 (Avadatika) and 
anarihani in Abhi. 15 (Sita). In another place, however, the 
word appears with an epenthetic w 9 : Abhi. 60 (Sita) we have 
anaruhani (instead of anarihani) in a passage which is otherwise 
identical with Abhi. 15 quoted above. Thus, an emendation 
would have seemed inevitable in the two isolated instances con- 
taining the conjunct, had not the Turf an manuscripts of Asva- 
ghosa's dramas, with which our manuscripts will be shown to 
have a number of points in common, testified to the correctness of 
the reading, by furnishing a probable instance of the identical 
orthographic peculiarity. In a passage from a speech placed in 
the mouth either of the Courtesan or the Vidusaka (and therefore 
SaurasenI) occurs a word that is read by Prof. Liiders as arhessi 
(Liiders 49). Unfortunately the portion of the palm-leaf which 
contains the conjunct rh is chipped, and the reading, therefore, 

'The actual reading of the text is a(rhalriha) di, meaning apparently 
that the MS. reading is arhadi and that the editor would emend to arihadi. 

8 See Pisehel, Grammatik d. Prakrit-Sprachen (abbreviated in the sequel 
as 'Pischel'), §332. 

•Pischel (§140) remarks that the Devanagari and South-Indian recen- 
sions of Sakuntala and Malaviia, and the Priyadarsika, have aruhadi in 
Sauraseni; according to him it is an incorrect use. 



Studies in Bhasa 25$ 

cannot claim for itself absolute certainty. However that may be, 
Prof. Liiders appears to have in his own mind no doubt regard- 
ing the correctness of the reading adopted by him. Should this 
restoration be correct, we should have a precedent for our seem- 
ingly improbable reading. It is not easy to explain satisfactorily 
the origin of this anomaly. "We can only conjecture, as Prof. 
Liiders does, that the conjunct rh was still pronounced without 
the svarabhakti, or was at any rate written 10 in that manner. 
Assuming that our reading of the word arh- in both sets of 
manuscripts is correct, this coincidence, which is a proof as posi- 
tive as it is fortuitous of the affinity between our dramas and 
those of Asvaghosa, has an importance which cannot be over- 
rated. 

3. ahake (= Skt. dham). 
Cam. 23 (Sakara). 

Occurs in these dramas only once in the (MagadhI) passage 
just quoted. Sakara uses only in two other places the nomina- 
tive ease of the pronoun of the first person, namely Caru. 12 
(which is a verse), and 15; in both these instances, however, as 
elsewhere in our dramas, occurs the ordinary Tatsama aham. 
The derivation of ahake is sufficiently clear ; and since in Saura- 
seni and MagadhI the svarthe-su&xx. -ka may be retained unaltered 
(Pischel 598), the form is theoretically, at any rate, perfectly 
regular. It has moreover the sanction of the grammarians, being 
specifically noticed in a Prakrit grammar, namely the Prakrta- 
prakasa (11. 9) of Vararuci, which is the oldest Prakrit grammar 
preserved (Pischel 32). In his paradigma of the 1st pers. pron. 
Pischel encloses this form in square brackets, indicating there- 
with that there are no instances of its use in the available manu- 
scripts. Probably this view represents the actual state of things 
in PischePs time. It would be wrong on that account to regard 
its occurrence here as a pedantic use of a speculative form which 
is nothing more than a grammarian's abstraction. For we now 
have in Asvaghosa '& dramas an authentic instance of the use of a 
still older form, ahakam, in the ' dramatic ' MagadhI of the Dusta 

10 It would be worth while examining the Prakrit inscriptions to ascertain 
whether they contain any instances of this usage, and if so to determine its. 
epochal and topographical limits. 



254 V. 8. Sukthankar 

(Bosewicht) ; Liiders 36. The ahake of these dramas and of 
Vararuci stands midway and supplies the necessary connecting 
link between the ahakam of Asvaghosa and the hake, hag(g)e of 
later grammarians and dramatists. The legitimacy and archaism 
of ahake may, therefore, be regarded as sufficiently established. 
Incidentally the correspondence with Vararuci is worthy of note. 
— The occasion for the use, in this instance, of the stronger form 
ahake, 11 instead of the usual aham, appears to be that the eon- 
text requires an emphasis to be laid on the subject of the sen- 
tence : ahake ddva vancide . . . ' Even I 11 have been duped . . . ' — 
The later forms hake, ha{g)ge occur neither in the preserved 
fragments of Asvaghosa 's dramas nor in our dramas, a fact which 
is worthy of remark. 

4. dma. 
Svapna. 45 (Vidusaka), 80 (Padmavati), etc.; Ca.ru. 4 (Natl), 
20 (Sakara) ; etc. etc. 

An affirmative particle occurring very frequently in these 
dramas and used in all dialects alike. This word, which is met 
with also in the modern Dravidian dialects, where it has precisely 
the same sense, seems to have dropped out of the later Prakrit. 
It need not on that account be set down as a late Dravidianism 
introduced into the manuscripts of our dramas by South Indian 
scribes, for its authenticity is sufficiently established by its occur- 
rence in Pali on the one hand and in the Turf an manuscripts of 
Asvaghosa 's dramas on the other (Liiders 46). 

5. karia (= Skt. krtva) . 
Svapna. 52 (Vidusaka), 63 ( Vasavadatta) , 70 (Pratihari) ; 
Pratijna. 10, 11, and 15 (Hamsaka), 41, 45, and 50 (Vidusaka) ; 
etc. etc. 

The regular Saurasem form is kadua (Pischel 581, 590). But 
Hemacandra (4. 272) allows also karia. While this rule of the 
grammarian is confirmed by the sporadic occurrence of kari(y)a 
in manuscripts, it is interesting to remark that it is met with 
also in a Sauraseni passage in Asvaghosa 's dramas (Liiders 46). 

u [Editorial note. — The suffix lea cannot, in my opinion, have this mean- 
ing. Here it is very likely pitying ("poor unlucky I")> " or i* ma y ^ 
xvarthe. — F. E.] 



Studies in Bhdsa 255 

According to Pischel (KB 8. 140, quoted by Luders in Bruch- 
stiicke Buddhistischer Dramen, p. 48, footnote 3) the use of 
karia is confined exclusively to the Nagarl and South Indian re- 
censions of Sakuntala and Malavika. But its occurrence in 
the Turf an manuscripts of Asvaghosa's dramas shows that it is 
a genuinely archaic form and not a vagary of South Indian or 
Nagarl manuscripts. — kadua does not occur in our dramas, nor in 
the preserved fragments of Asvaghosa's dramas. Incidentally 
we may note that our plays also furnish instances of the use of 
the parallel form gacchia (Skt. gatva) of which the regular 
(later) Saurasem form is gadua; see Caru. 1, etc. etc. 

6. kissa, kissa (= Skt. kasya). 

Avi. 16 (Vidusaka), 20 (Nalinika), 71 and 73 (Vidusaka); 
Pratima. 6 (Slta) ; Caru. 24 (Sahara). 

The dialects are Sauraseni (kissa) and Magadhi (kissa). For- 
mally these words represent the genitive singular of the inter- 
rogative pronoun, but here as elsewhere they are used exclusively 
in the sense of the ablative kasmat — 'why?', 'wherefore?'. 
Neither of these words — in this stage of phonetic development — 
occurs in the Prakrit of the grammarians and other dramatists 
(with but one exception), which have kisa (kisa) instead (Pischel 
428) . kissa occurs frequently in Pali, kissa is used by the Dusta 
('Bosewicht') in Asvaghosa's dramas (Luders 36) ; in both these 
instances the words have precisely the same sense as here. Like 
ahake (above no. 3), kissa (kissa) corresponds exactly to the 
theoretical predecessors of forms in use in the Prakrit of later 
dramas, kisa occurs once in these plays also : Svapna. 29 (Ceti). 

Unless a period of transition be assumed, kissa would appear to 
be the right form to use here. For, kisa may represent the spur- 
ious correction of a learned transcriber ; but were kisa (kisa) the 
original reading in all these places, it would be difficult to explain 
the deliberate substitution of an archaic kissa (kissa) in its place. 
In other words I assume the principle of progressive correction, 
that is the tendency of successive generations of scribes to mod- 
ernize the Prakrit of older works so as to bring it in line with the 
development of the Prakrit of their own times. Unless, there- 
fore, as already remarked, it is assumed that the simultaneous use 
of the two forms be regarded as indicating a period of transition, 
kissa (kissa) would appear to be the form proper to the dialect 



256 V. S. Sukthankar 

of our dramas. In passing it may be pointed out that kissa 
(kissa) cannot be arrived at by the Prakritization of any Sanskrit 
form; therefore a question of contamination does not rise in 
this case. 

7. khu (==Skt. khalu). 
Svapna. 5 (Vasavadatta), 7 (Tapasi), 11 (Padmavati), 13 
(Ceti), etc. etc. 

Written almost throughout without the doubling of the initial. 
Now the rule deduced from an observation of the usage of manu- 
scripts appears to be that after short vowels and after e and o 
(which then are shortened under those circumstances), we should 
have kkhu; after long vowels, however, khu (Pischel 94). This 
rule applies to Sauraseni and Magadhi alike. But in the manu- 
scripts of Asvaghosa 's dramas the initial is never doubled; and 
in our text of the present plays there are only two instances of 
the doubling, both of which are spurious and due to mistakes of 
copyists. We will turn our attention to these first. They are : — 
(1) Abhi. 23 (Sita) : oho aaruna-kkhu issard, 12 and (2) Pratima. 
22 (Sita) : nam saha-dhamma-drint-kkhu aham. It is quite evi- 
dent that the doubling in these instances, which takes place after 
the long finals a and l, is contrary to every rule, and is nothing 
more than a mistake of some transcriber. It may therefore be 
assumed that at the stage in which the dialects of our dramas 
find themselves the doubling of the initial in khu had not yet 
taken effect. We notice here, however, the first step taken to its 
treatment as an enclitic. In the dramas of Asvaghosa khu re- 
mains unaltered throughout with undoubled initial ; 1S but in our 
dramas we find frequently hu substituted for it in the combina- 
tions na -+- khu and kim nu + khu: Svapna. 23 (Vasavadatta), 
58 (Vidusaka), 63 (Vasavadatta), etc.; Pratijna. 9 (Hamsaka) ; 
Panea. 20 (Vrddhagopalaka) ; Avi. 79 (Nalinika), 82 (Kurangi), 
92 (Nalinika) ; etc. etc. Sporadically khu is retained unaltered 
even in these combinations. 1 * 

12 But note Svapna. 27 (Vasavadatta) : oho akanma Tclw issara. Of 
course the retention of the intervocalic 1c is unjustifiable. 

"Prof. Luders does cite "tJckhu in Asvaghosa 's dramas; but, as he him- 
self points out, it is far from certain that we have the particle Mm before 
us (Luders 51, footnote 3). 

"For instance, Tcvth nu Tchu, Svapna. 63 (Vasavadatta.). 



studies in Bhasa 257 

8. tava (= Skt. tava). 
Svapna. 17 (Tapasi), 40 (Padmavati), 78 (Dhatri) ; Pratima. 8 
(Avadatika) ; etc. etc. 

This is the usual form of the word in our plays in all dialects 
alike ; in addition, of course, the old enclitic te (de) is also in use. 
The SaurasenI of Asvaghosa's dramas furnishes also an example 
of its use in the Prakrit of dramas (Liiders 46), and it is com- 
mon enough in Pali. On the other hand the later forms 
tu(m)ha, and tujjha are unknown alike to the Prakrit of Asva- 
ghosa and these plays. According to Prakrit grammarians and 
the usage of the manuscripts of later dramas tu(m)ha (and not 
tava) is proper to Sauraseni ; 15 evidently this represents the state 
of things at a later epoch. The use of tava seems later to be 
restricted to Magadhi, Ardhamagadhi, and Jaina Maharastri 
(Pischel 421). 

9. tuvam (= Skt. tvam). 
Svapna. 37 (Padmavati), 38 (Vasavadatta), 53 (Padminika), 54 
(Padminika), 55 (Padminika); Pratijna. 40 (Vidusaka), 42 
(Vidusaka) ; Avi. 73 (Vidusaka), 77 (Vidusaka), 79 (Kurahgi) ; 
Uru. 104 (Durjaya) ; Caru. 2 (Natl) ; etc. etc. 

This form, in which the assimilation has not yet taken effect, 
disappeared from the Prakrit of later dramas, which substitute 
tumarh in its place. But it is mentioned by Prakrit grammarians 
(Pischel 420), and it is the regular form of the nominative case 
of the 2nd pers. pron. in Pali and inscriptional Prakrit. It was, 
moreover, in use still in Asvaghosa's time (Liiders 46), which is 
significant from our viewpoint. The later form tumam occurs 
sporadically in our dramas also : Svapna. 78 (Dhatri) ; Pratijna. 
58 (Bhata and Gatrasevaka), 62 (Bhata) ; Avi. 29 (Vidusaka), 
92 (Vasumitra). In respect to the references from the Pratijna. 
(58, 62) it should be remarked that the manuscripts upon which 
our text is based are just at this place defective, and full of 
mistakes; consequently the readings adopted in the text cannot 
by any means be looked upon as certain. — Twice tuvam is used 
in the accusative™ case : Uru. 105 (Durjaya), Caru. 71 (Ganika). 



15 See Pischel 421 for a discussion of the merits and use of the different 
Prakrit equivalents of Skt. tava. 

16 In the paradigma of the pronoun of the 2nd pers. Pischel gives the 
form tuvam for the nom. and ace. sing., hut he encloses it in square brackets. 
17 JAOS 40 



258 V. S. Sukthankar 

But the usual form of the accusative case in our plays, as in later 
Prakrit, is tumam: e. g. Svapna. 27 and 32 (Cetl). 

10. dissa-, dissa- (= Skt. drsya-). 
Svapna. 70 (Pratlkarl) ; Avi. 22 (Nalinika), 70 (Vidusaka) ; Pra- 
tijfia. 58 (Bhata) ; Bala. 50 (Vrddhagopalaka) ; Madhyama. 4 
(Brahmani) ; Uru. 101 (Gandharl) ; Abhi. 54 (Sita) ; Caru. 16 
(Sakara) ; Pratima. 5 (Sita) ; etc. 

In the above instances we have the root-form dissa-. On the 
other hand, in a number of other places the later form dlsa-, with 
the simplification of the conjunct, has been used. The relation 
dissa-: dlsa- is the same as that of kissa: kisa discussed in para- 
graph 6. According to Pischel dissa- occurs in the Ardhama- 
gadhi of the Jaiha canon, but not in the dramas, which substitute 
dlsa- instead (Pischel 541). This later form dlsa- is met with 
in our dramas only in : Avi. 28 (Vidusaka), 91 (Vasumitra) ; 
Pratijiia. 54 (Vidusaka) ; Caru. 16 (Sakara). It is worth noting 
that in one instance (Caru. 16) the two forms occur on the same 
page and are placed in the mouth of the same character (Sakara) . 
The remarks made in paragraph 6 on the relation of the forms 
kissa: kisa are also applicable here. It is interesting to note 
that the passive base dissa- is in use not only in Pali, but also in 
Asvaghosa's dramas (Liiders 58). 

11. vaam ( = Skt. vayam). 
Svapna. 31 (Vidusaka) ; Avi. 93 (Vasumitra) ; Caru. 49 (Vidu- 
saka) . 

In Svapna. (p. 31) the word is spelt vayam; but in conformity 
with the orthography of the manuscripts of our dramas, which 
omit the intervocalic y, the reading vaam should be adopted also 
in this instance. The form proper to Sauraseni, to which dialect 
all the above passages belong, is amhe (Pischel 419). But it is 
interesting to note that Vararuci (12. 25) and Markandeya 
70, according to Pischel 419, permit the use of va(y)am in 
!§auraseni. And again in the dramas of Asvaghosa we do 
actually meet with an instance of the use of vayam in a dia- 
lect which is probably SaurasenI (Liiders 58). The form amhe 
does not occur in the preserved fragments of Asvaghosa's dramas. 
And in our plays it occurs, as far as my observation goes, only 
three times : twice, curiously enough, in the sense of (the nomi- 



Studies in Bhdsa 259 

native case of) the dual dvdm (Abhi. 48; Pratima. 58), and once 
in the accusative 11 case (Pratima. 35). va(y)am may therefore 
be regarded as a form peculiar and proper to the older Prakrits, 

SUMMARY 

Above have been set forth a number of peculiarities of vocabu- 
lary and grammar in which the Prakrit of our dramas differs 
from that of the dramas of Kalidasa and other classical play- 
wrights. Every one of these peculiarities is shared by the 
Prakrit of Asvaghosa's dramas. In some instances the archaic 
and the more modern form are used side by side in our dramas : 
e. g. amhaam and amhdnam; tuvam and tumam; kissa and kisa; 
dissa- and disa-; arh-, arih- and aruh-. But in other instances 
the archaic forms are used to the exclusion of the later forms : 
e. g. ahake (later hage), va(y)am (later amhe, Nom. Plu.), tava 
(later tumha), karia (later kadua), and dma (obsolete). The 
absence of doubling of the initial of the particle khu after e 
and o may be taken to indicate an epoch when the shorten- 
ing of the final e and o had not yet taken effect. "Worthy of 
special note are the forms ahake and dma, which not only are 
unknown to later Prakrit, but are not the regular tadbhavas of 
any Sanskrit words. It should also be remembered that ahake 
and va(y)arh (used in our plays practically to the exclusion of 
hage and amhe respectively) are noticed in Vararuci's Prakrta- 
prakasa, which is believed to be the oldest Prakrit grammar 
extant. 

The affinities with Asvaghosa's Prakrit pointed out above have 
a bearing on the age of our dramas which will receive our atten- 
tion in due course. Meanwhile it will suffice to note that these 
affinities go far to prove that below the accretion of ignorant mis- 
takes and unauthorised corrections, for which the successive gen- 
erations of scribes and 'diaskeuasts' should be held responsible, 
there lies in the dramas before us a solid bedrock of archaic Pra- 
krit, which is much older than any we know from the dramas of 
the so-called classical period of Sanskrit literature. 



17 It should be remarked that amh- is the regular base of the oblique 
cases of this pronoun, and that amhe, aceus., is regular in all dialects.