The best productions of the Indian drama are nearly a dozen in number, and date from a period from about the beginning of the fifth to the end of the eighth century A.D., embracing something like four hundred years. These plays are the compositions of the great dramatists Kalidasa and Bhavabhuti or have come down under the names of the royal patrons Sudraka and Sriharsa.
The greatest of all is Kalidasa, already known to us as the author of several of the best Kavyas. Three of his plays have been preserved, Abhijnana Sakuntalam, Vikramorvasiyam and Malavikagnimitram. The richness of creative fancy which he displays in these, and his skill in the expression of tender feeling, assign him a unique place among the dramatists of the world. The harmony of the poetic sentiment is nowhere disturbed by anything violent or terrifying. Every passion is softened without being enfeebled. The ardour of love never goes beyond aesthetic bounds; it never maddens to wild jealousy or hate. The torments of sorrow are toned down to a profound and touching melancholy.
This volume comprises three famous plays of Kalidasa: Abhijnanasakuntalam Malavikagnimitram and Vikramorvasiyam. They represent the skill and artistry commanded by the immortal figure of Indian dramatic literature. Each of the plays opens with an Introduction. This is followed by the text in the original. Then the translation of the text appears. elaborate critical explanatory notes from the last section of each play.
The volume is intended for students of the university level. General readers of Sanskrit literature will also find it interesting.