L. D. Barnett
Oct 1, 1923
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Among the thirteen plays ascribed by their editor to Bhasa, the Balacarita holds a somewhat exceptional place on account of its treatment of the Krsna legend, which it handles in a striking and quite sensational manner. The present translation is, therefore, to be welcomed. Tt is quite a meritorious piece of work. Its only radical fault is that it gives the whole play in German verse instead of rendering verse by verse and prose by prose ; thus it wholly loses the lively variety of the original, and produces an effect of long-drawn monotony. The " Einleitung " shows a considerable knowledge of the literature that has arisen around the plays of " Bhasa ", but not a very strong grasp of the facts of the case. Herr Weller tells us that it was " entscheidend" for the authorship of Bhasa that one of the plays in the collection was a Svapna-vasavadatta, because Bhasa is known to have written a drama of that name. This is indeed giving away the case: how many other plays may have been thus yclept s Then he proceeds to admit that this fact does not prove Bhasa to have written all the other twelve plays, and confesses that the authorship of the Pratima is open to " berechtigte Zweifel " ; but he goes on to assert that in the present state of our knowledge it is permissible to assign all the plays to Bhasa, including the Balacarita, because the Balacarita ends with the same verse as the Svapna. Such logic stands self-condemned.