Acc to modern critics, Sanskrit drama has a religious origin, as the Vedas are considered as the eternal source of all sublime and fine arts. Some critics also give credit to a semi-religious, secular or popular origin. All the same, there is no conclusive evidence to prove the same.
There have been critics who have tried to prove that India borrowed its drama from Greece. But again, there is no conclusive evidence to prove this. India has certainly borrowed several features from different civilizations, including that of Greece, and had successfully assimilated them in her pattern of life. But Indian dramatic literature has several points of basic difference which preclude the possibility of any Greek influence on Sanskrit drama:
1. Sanskrit drama with its romantic appeal is closer to Shakespearean drama than to Greek plays of the classical type
2. Sanskrit drama does not conform to the unity of time and space, the scenes shift easily from heaven to earth, and gaps of years are created without hesitation.
3. The character and function of the prologue in Sanskrit plays is different from that of Greek plays.
4. Sanskrit drama favors poetic achievement over dramatic justification.
5. Thus, Sanskrit drama is seldom composed for the masses, unlike Greek drama. Therefore, the plays were perhaps staged for the classes rather than the masses.
6. The author of a Sanskrit play is free to introduce any number of characters, supernatural or even superhuman.
7. Sanskrit drama imitates the state or condition, whereas, Greek drama imitates the action.
8. Sanskrit drama has poetic recitals and lyrical verses, unlike its Greek counterpart, which has collective singing-music in choir/chorus. Also, the Greeks didn't attach much importance to dancing, unlike the Indian spectator.
9. And last but not the least, the object of all art in India is the attainment of nirvana or eternal bliss through the triple agencies of