Vasavadatta, aka: Vāsavadattā; 3 Definition(s)


Vasavadatta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Kathā (narrative stories)

Vāsavadattā (वासवदत्ता) is the name of one of the four wifes of Nidhipatidatta, a wealthy merchant and owner of caravans, from the city Puṣkarāvatī, according to the twenty-first story in the Vetālapañcaviṃśati, a Sanskrit work relating the ‘twenty-five stories of a vetāla’. These stories revolve around the Indian King Vikramāditya whose kingdom is threatened by the machinations of a necromancer.

(Source): Wisdom Library: The Vetālapañcaviṃśati

Vāsavadattā (वासवदत्ता) is the daughter of king Caṇḍamahāsena and his wife Aṅgāravatī, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 11. Vāsavadattā had two brothers named Pālaka and Gopālaka. Caṇḍamahāsena was previously known by the name Mahāsena and was the son of Jayasena, son of Mahendravarman (king of Ujjayinī). Aṅgāravatī was the daughter of Aṅgāraka, who broke the chariot of Caṇḍamahāsena in the form of a fierce boar and fled into a cavern, but was later slain by Caṇḍamahāsena.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Vāsavadattā, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Kathā book cover
context information

Kathās (कथा) are special kind of Sanskrit literature: they are a kind of a mix between Itihāsa (historical legends) and Mahākāvya (epic poetry). Some Kathās reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of the historical deeds of the Gods, sages and heroes.

Kāvya (poetry)

Vāsavadattā (वासवदत्ता).—The title of the Vāsavadattā of Subandhu, the oldest romantic novel in India, seems to be derived from that of a long lost drama by Bhāsa, the Svapnavāsavadattā or “Dream-Vāsavadatta”. It may be conjectured,came, at least in literary form, the entire story of Vāsavadattā and Udayana, or Vatsarāja, as given in the Ratnāvallī Priyadarśikā, and Tāpasavatsarāja, the ultimate source probably-being the lost Bṛhatkathā. With the Vāsavadattā of these latter works Subandhu’s heroine has only her name in common, nor is any other story concerning her known to exist in Sanskrit literature

The Vāsavadattā was written by Subandhu at a place unknown, probably between 550 and somewhat after 606 A.D., the terminus a quo being the circumstance that Uddyotakara cannot have flourished until at least the middle of the sixth century, and the terminus ad quem by the date of composition of the Harṣacarita, early in the seventh century.

(Source): Vasavadatta, a Sanskrit romance by Subandhu
context information

Kāvya (काव्य) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahākāvya, or ‘epic poetry’ and nāṭya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

Relevant definitions

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