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Discover the beauty of Indian aesthetics

Indian aesthetics is an extraordinary philosophical and otherworldly perspective on art, engineering, and Indian literature. In Indian style, a rasa means a fundamental mental state and is the predominant emotional subject of an art piece or the essential feeling that is evoked in the individual who views, peruses, or hears these works.  Albeit the idea of rasa is principal to many types of Indian art forms including dance, music, melodic theater, film, and writing, the treatment, translation, utilization and genuine execution of a specific rasa contrasts significantly between various styles and schools of abhinaya, and the immense provincial contrasts even inside one style. The hypothesis of rasa is credited to Bharata, a wise cleric. It was created by the rhetorician and rationalist Abhinavagupta, who applied it to all assortments of theater and verse. 

The essential human sentiments, as per Bharata, are comic, erotic, distress, outrage, energy, dread, repugnance, valor, and shock, which may all be reevaluated in scrutinizing structure as the different rasas: suggestive, funny, unfortunate, angry, courageous, awful, loathsome, radiant, and quietistic. These rasas contain the parts of a tasteful experience. The ability to taste rasa is a prize for merit in some past existence. The hypothesis of the rasas grows fundamentally with the Kashmiri aesthetician Ãndandavardhana's exemplary poetics, the Dhvanyāloka which presents the 10th rasa, shānta-rasa as an explicitly religious sensation of harmony (śānta) which emerges from its bhāva, exhaustion of the delights of the world. A rasa is the constructed relishable condition of a long-lasting temperament, which is called sthAyI bhAva.

This improvement towards a reliable state results from the exchange of orderly emotional circumstances which are called Vibhavas, anubhAvas, and sancharI/vyAbhichArI bhavas.  The development of aesthetic rasa from bhavas is comparable to the creation of tastes/juices of sorts from food with sauces, curries, pastes, and condiments. This is made sense by the statement underneath: Vibhavas implies Karana or cause. It is of two sorts: Alambana, the individual or human article and foundation, and Uddipana, the excitants. Anubhava, as the name connotes, implies the ensuants or impacts following the ascent of the emotion.

The hypothesis of rasas still structures the aesthetics supporting all Indian traditional dance and theater, like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, Kudiyattam, Kathakali, and others. Communicating Rasa in traditional Indian dance structure is alluded to as Rasa-abhinaya. The Nātyasāstra cautiously depicts the bhavas used to make each rasa. 


Q1. What are the navarasas of Indian Aesthetics?

Bharata Muni articulated the eight Rasas in the Nātyasāstra, an old Sanskrit text of dramatic hypothesis and other performance expressions. In the Indian performing expressions, a rasa is a feeling or sentiment evoked in every individual from the crowd by the craftsmanship. The Natya Shastra specifies six rasas in one area, yet in the devoted segment on rasa, it states and talks about eight essential rasas. Each rasa, as per Nātyasāstra, has a directing divinity and a particular color tone. The aesthetic rasas are-

  • Śṛṅgāraḥ: Romance, Love, attractiveness. 

  • Hāsyam: Laughter, mirth, comedy. 

  • Raudram: Fury. 

  • Kāruṇyam: Compassion, mercy. 

  • Bībhatsam: Disgust, aversion. 

  • Bhayānakam: Horror, terror. 

  • Veeram: Heroism.

  • Adbhutam: Wonder, amazement. 


Q2. What are the schools of Indian aesthetics?

Modern-day scholars have established five schools of Indian Aesthetics- 

  • The Rasa theory

  • The Alamkara theory

  • The Dhvani theory

  • The vakrokti theory

  • The Riti theory

  • The Aucitya theory

  • The anumana theory

A 10th rasa was added later by creators. Shānta-rasa works as an equivalent member of the arrangement of rasas, however, it is at the same time unmistakably similar to the clearest type of aesthetic happiness. Abhinavagupta compares it to the line of a jeweled necklace; while it may not be the most engaging for a great many people, the string gives structure to the neckband, permitting the gems of the other eight rasas to be savored. Savoring the rasas and especially shānta-rasa is indicated as being all around as great as yet never-equivalent to the joy of Self-acknowledgment experienced by yogis.

Q3. What are some major concerns of Indian aesthetics?


Indian aesthetics is primarily concerned with three arts-poetry, music, and architecture-however, sculpture and painting are also studied under aesthetic theories. Poetry is the highest form of literature. Indian art is the art of signs and symbols. The study of Aesthetics is mainly concerned with beauty and artistic merit. Art in India has, historically, been about the reflection of religion and philosophy. Much of the sculpture, paintings, poetry, and literature created before the 19th century was based entirely on religion and spirituality. Indian Theatre is deeply associated with interpretive dance, many of which are based on the religious dances of old. Dance is one of the most evocative methods of self-expression, and remains an important part of Indian Artistic Expression.

Q4. What are the key components and features of Indian aesthetic thought?


In Indian aesthetics, a Rasa denotes an essential mental state and is the dominant emotional theme of a work of art that is evoked in the person who views, reads, or hears such a work. The theory of rasa is attributed to the sage Bharata. It was developed by the rhetorician and philosopher Abhinavagupta (c. 1000), who applied it to all varieties of theatre and poetry. According to Bharata, The principal human feelings are delight, laughter, sorrow, anger, energy, fear, disgust, heroism, astonishment, all of which may be recast in contemplative form as the various rasas : erotic, comic, pathetic, furious, heroic, terrible, odious, marvelous, and quietistic. These Rasas comprise the components of aesthetic experience.

Q5. Which Indian philosophy is aesthetic?


The term 'Aesthetics' has been considered in Indian Philosophy as Saundaryash a-stra or Nandansh a-star which is a branch of philosophical inquiry and precisely means the philosophical study of 'Beauty' and 'Sublime'. Aesthetics is a discipline in which authors and philosophers try to explain the concepts of beauty. Different philosophers and aestheticians have a lot of contradictions between them. But the standard of beauty is the same when it concerns. In India, a lot of scholars were particularly interested in aesthetics. Their main aim was to understand and find out the meaning of beauty.  The theory of aesthetics is, in fact, the theory of “sense of beauty”.

Q6. Who was the first philosopher of Indian aesthetics?


The theory of rasa is attributed to sage Bharata, who may have lived sometime between the 1st century BCE and the 3rd century. It was developed by the rhetorician and philosopher Abhinavagupta (c. 1000), who applied it to all varieties of theater and poetry. He wrote a book called Abhinav Bharti and elaborated the theory of dhwani and rasa through sutra and commentaries. In the 9th century, Anand Vardhan (Kashmiri Pandit) supported Bharata's rasa theory and Natya shastra. He researched and explained the theory in terms of dhwani, in the book called dhvanyaloka. The Dhvanyāloka which introduces the ninth rasa, shānta-rasa as a specifically religious feeling of peace (śānta) that arises from its bhāva, weariness of the pleasures of the world.

Q7. What is the Indian aesthetic called?

In Indian aesthetics, a rasa (Sanskrit: रस) means "nectar, essence or taste". It connotes a concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavor of any visual, literary, or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described. In the 9th century, Anand Vardhan (Kashmiri Pandit) supported Bharata's rasa theory and Natya shastra. 10th century Abhinav Gupta (Kashmiri pandit family). He wrote a book called Abhinav Bharti and elaborated the theory of dhwani and rasa through sutra and commentaries (eg. kali das). Through his analysis, he proved that the most important element in poetry was rasa.

Q8. What are the 3 types of aesthetics?


The three aesthetic theories of art criticism are most commonly referred to as


1.) Imitationalism : This aesthetic theory focuses on a realistic representation of the subject matter. An artwork should imitate life, and it should look lifelike.


2.) Formalism : This theory emphasizes the design qualities, and the arrangement of the elements of art using the principles of art.


3.) Emotionalism : This theory is concerned with the content of the work of art. Some critics claim that no object can be considered art if it fails to arouse a response of feelings, moods, or emotions in the viewer.

Q9. Who is the father of Indian aesthetics?


Bharata Muni is the father of Indian aesthetics. It is imperative because when one goes through the arts, a certain point strikes us. The sage didn't add more rasas to Natyashastra but now, a new rasa-like despair has greatly emerged. Bharata in search of true Beauty uses the word RASA (the essence of life, juice, Amrit) in the Natyasastra. Rasa is only to be felt, it is the source of all life. We live on fluid (water) and consider it to be the source of all life. This theory became very popular, but since it is difficult to identify, there are antagonists and protagonists to identify them. Rasas are created by bhavas.

Q10. What are the five schools of Indian aesthetics?


Modern scholars have established the following schools and theories


1.) The Rasa theory :  The rasa theory originates with Bharata in Natyasastra.


2.) The Alamkara theory : Bhamaha is the first alamkara poetician. Mentioning certain alankaras such as Arthantatanyasa, Vibhavana, and Samasokti


3.) The Dhvani theory :  The theory proposed in Dhavnyaloka by Anabdvardhana is known as the name of “ Dhvani”.


4.) The vakrokti theory : Kuntaka made Vakrokti a full-fledged theory of literature. His definition of Vakrokti is “Both words and meanings marked by the artistic turn of speed.”


5.) The Riti theory : Riti is a theory of language of literature. It is a formation of or arrangement of marked inflected constructions.