Rasa: Drops of Heavenly Bliss
Ms. Pooja Shukla
Department of Communication Skills, MEF Rajkot
[PhD work in progress: T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral: A Rasa Perspective. ]
Mankind searches for eternal bliss in each phase of life; a heavenly experience or miracle/s to happen. Though we have heard of heaven and hell, no one has ever returned to share one’s experience and describe those places after death. However, literature gives us a temporary experience of heaven and hell, as we journey through the piece of literary work. Rasa theory, propounded by Bharat Muni, is a notion which explains the process of experiencing and relishing artistic/literary works to attain eternal bliss, can make us experience all the good and bad in the world. Bharat Muni, in his famous treatise, Nāṭyaśastra, which is a compendium of dramaturgy, gives the well known Rasa-Sutra,
“Vibhavanubhava sancarisamyogat rasanispatti”1
“विभावानुभाव संचारी संयोगात् रसनिस्पत्ति”
[Through the co-mingling, co-appearance – samyogat – of vibhava, anubhava and sancaribhava, maturing/ripeness/appearance/ production of rasa takes place/happens.]
Better explanation of the various components of the rasa sutra is as under:
The graphical representation is a detailed explanation of, how the rasa is derived with the help of the various components of the Rasa-sutra.
The Rasa-Sutra of Bharat is well explained in the words of Rama Kant Sharma,
Thus dominant emotions –Sthāyibhāvas, aroused by objects – Anubhāvas, excited by excitants – Uddipanvibhāvas, manifested through physical or movements consiquents – Anubhāvas, nourished by transitory feelings – Sancaribhavas are relished by the sympathetic readers or audience as Rasa. The reader is not conscious of all these ingredients while relishing any sort of sentiment. He only enjoys the sentiment as a fountain that gives him thrill and pleasure. 2
The dynamics of Rasa can be explored further with individual engagement with the literary works from the critical perspective called Rasa.
1. Kumar, Puspendra, ed. Natyasastra of Bharatmuni. Trans. M.M Ghosh. Vol. 1. Delhi: New Bharatiya Book Corporation, 2006.(Print)
2. Sharma, Rama Kant. Hardy and The Rasa Theory. 1. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2003. Page 28 (Print)