Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘characters of the Ubhayabhisarika’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

Part 7 - The characters of the Ubhayābhisārikā

The Ubhayābhisārikā, the Bhāṇa of Vararuci, has more than twenty characters. Some characters are not directly related to the story; but indirectly they are the cause of the story. Because of these unrelated characters, Viṭa cannot perform his promised work promptly.

Out of them, seven characters have direct relation to the plot and they are:

  1. Vaiśikācala (viṭa),
  2. Kuberadatta (hero)—son of Sāgaradatta (a merchant),
  3. Sahakāraka (servant of Kuberadatta),
  4. Viśvāvasudatta (a Vīṇā teacher),
  5. Nārāyaṇadattā (heroine),
  6. Kanakalatā (attendant of Nārāyaṇadattā) and
  7. Madanasenā (a dancer).

The other characters, who have no direct relation to the plot, are: Nāgadatta (an officer’s son), Samudradatta (merchant Dhanadatta’s son), Rāmasena (brother-inlaw of the King), Dhanamitra (another merchant’s son), Rāmasenā (Cāraṇadāsī’s mother), Anaṅgadattā (Cāraṇadāsī’s daughter), Mādhavasenā (Viṣṇudattā’s daughter), Vilāsakauṇḍinī (a female wanderer), Sukumārikā (a third sex character), Ratisenā (Rāmasenā’s daughter), Priyaṅgusenā (dancing girl), Devadattā (Priyaṅgusenā’s rival) and Ratilatikā (a courtesan).

Viṭa –

According to Bharata’s rule, Bhāṇa should have the lone character, called Viṭa or Dhūrta. He is the actual stage character like Sūtradhāra and Naṭī and the other characters are described as imaginary persons. S. K. De, (1926, A Notes on Monologue play, JRAS, pp.73,74,83) states that “the Viṭa is sharp and rake as he is; he is still a man of wit, polish, culture, perfect man of the world. He fills the stage. He is skilled in the arts, like music, erotic. He is not exactly the “hero”, but the friend and emissary of the hero who never appears on the stage. The Bhāṇa is filled entirely by the Viṭa as the sole actor. Actually, the Viṭa does not walk through the colony of courtesans, but simply comes on the stage and engages in a conversation with an imaginary friend to whom he recounts his adventures. There are no revelry, gambling and love, no doubt; from the chief topic of recital, but enough comic relief is brought about to make it interesting.”

The Viṭa in the Ubhayābhisārikā of Vararuci, is appointed by his friend Kuberadatta, to mediate in the matter to reunite the hero with Nārāyaṇadattā. Viṭa proceeds for the work of the friend; on the way, he is delayed by others, who request him to solve their problem also. It was very late, when he reached the place. He found that both the lovers have already met each other and are united in the house of Vīṇācārya Viśvāvasudatta, by the effect of rain.


Kuberadatta is the hero of the plot and the son of a moneylender (śreṣṭhi) Sāgaradatta. He loves Nārāyaṇadattā, but unfortunately, once he praised Madanasenā’s aesthetical dance in propitiation of kāma, in the temple of the lord Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇadattā could not bear thisand with anger, she left the place. However, it was very difficult for Kuberadatta to bear the absence of Nārāyaṇadattā; and hence he sent Viṭa Vaiśikācala to mediate. In the way, Viṭa was delayed and in the meam time, rainy season is started. Both lovers without bearing the separation started searching for each other and met in the house of vīṇācārya. In the mean time, Viṭa getting news from Kanakalatā reached the house and blessed both Kuberadatta and Nārāyaṇadattā.


She is the heroine of the plot and the lover of Kuberadatta. She has a huge ego and cannot bear the praise of others. She gets angry when Kuberadatta praises Madanasenā’s dance, in the lord Nārāyaṇa temple. It had hurt her, so she left the place immediately. Afterwards Kuberadatta felt bad and so he sent Viṭa to mediate. However, since rainy season had started, without bearing the separation, both the lovers met each other at the entrance of the house of Viśvāvasudatta, a vīṇā teacherand embraced each other. Seeing this, Viśvāvasudatta took them inside the house. In the meanwhile, Viṭa got the message about this from Kanakalatā, the maidservant of Nārāyaṇadattāand he reached there and blessed the couple for their prosperous future.


She is a dancer, who was praised by the audience for her acting and dance. Though she is not involved with Kuberadatta, still it hurts Nārāyaṇadattā, when Kuberadatta praised her dance. It was the cause of separation between both lovers. However, they were reunited again by the magical power of the nature, but Madanasenā is instrumental cause to the separation of the hero and the heroine.


He is the helping servant of Kuberadatta. He was sent to the Viṭa Vaiśikācala, with a message to mediate and solve the quarrel between Kuberadatta and Nārāyaṇadattā. Though he does not have a vast role in the play, still his character has great contrbution to reunite the hero and heroine.

Kanakalatā –

She is the beautiful maidservant of Nārāyaṇadattā. After separation, Nārāyaṇadattā could not bear the absence of Kuberadatta; and so she comes along with Kanakalatā to the house of Kuberadatta, but they met Kuberadatta on the way. She gives message to Viṭa that both hero and heroine already have met each other and they were now in the house of Viśvāvasudatta, the Vīṇā teacher. Then Viṭa met them in the house of the Vīṇā teacher and blessed them.


He is the vīṇā teacher. In the play, he has the most important role. He gave protection to the hero and heroine, giving shelter in his house.

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