Bhasa - GS questions based on daily current affairs

1)   What is ‘Mantrakam’?

a. Doctor in ancient times or a tantrik
b. A play
c. A tax
d. Minister
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: A play


  • Mantrankam is the third act of Bhasa’s celebrated Sanskrit play Pratijna Yougandharayan , written sometime between 2 and 3 AD.
  • It is spread over just half a dozen pages but the chakyar or performer with his artistry and talent, spins it into a labyrinthine narrative packed in equal parts with philosophy, political wisdom, statecraft, ribaldry, even some scatology.
  • It is an entire 41-day enactment.
  • It is a fascinating mix of the sacred and the profane, religious and secular, folk wisdom and dialectics, and a hard play to master even for veterans. Mostly, today, the play is performed in an abbreviated version over five or at most ten days.
  • Mastering Mantrankam is considered the peak of a chakyar’s skills. Anyone who can acquire this vaakchaturyam (wordskill) is believed to be good enough to play any other role. And the only way to master it is through observation of the great masters at work.

2)   Who wrote ‘Pratigya Yaugandharayana’?

a. Bhasa
b. Kalidasa
c. Harshavardhan
d. Bana Bhatt
Answer  Explanation 



  • Bhasa’s celebrated Sanskrit play Pratijna Yougandharayan was written sometime between 2 and 3 AD.
  • Many of Bhasa's plays are staged in Koodiyattams even now, like parts of Pratijna-Yaugandharayana, Abhisheka-nataka etc.
  • His most famous plays Pratijna-Yaugandharayana (the vow of Yaugandharayana) and Swapna-vasavadatta (Swapnavasavadatta) (Vasavadatta in the dream) are based on the legends that had grown around the legendary King Udayana, probably a contemporary of the Buddha.
  • The first play tells the story of how the king Udayana married the princess Vasavadatta (his first wife).The second play tells the story of how the king Udayana, with the help of his loyal minister Yaugandharayana, later married the princess Padmavati, a daughter of the king of Magadha, and thus made this king his ally rather than enemy.