It takes a determined sceptic to doubt the attribution of the Svapnavoāsavadatta (SV) to Bhāsa, a playwright Kālidāsa himself named as so favoured in his time that the younger generation of nāṭyakāras had a difficult time getting a hearing. After sifting through the evidence, the most likely conclusion is that the play we have of that name (or a variant), first discovered for Indology by T. Ganapati Sastri in 1909, is a somewhat shorter version of the play known to Śāradātanaya, Rāmacandra and Guṇacandra, Sāgaranandin, Abhinavagupta, Bhoja, and others. And one can scarcely admit the genuineness of SV without accepting the Pratijñayaugandharāyaṇa (PY): the two are perfectly complementary in plot, theme, treatment, and style. But even if we could not locate these two plays
among the earliest extant of the whole Sanskrit corpus, we would be justified on aesthetic and thematic grounds in including them in any study of the key works of Sanskrit poetry. The plays are simple, yet charming and sophisticated, and more genuinely dramatic – giving us a more complicated sense of conflicting human interests (especially SV) – than any play except the Mudrārākṣasa (MR) of Viśākhadatta, who, however, completely lacks Bhāsa's lightness of touch. The two plays provide a thematic bridge between Kālidāsa and Viśākhadatta, combining the latter's resolute focus on sentiment-negating political demands (artha, utsāha) with the former's luxuriating treatment of the inner world of erotic emotion (kāma, śrṅgāra).