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Books > Art and Architecture > Rasa- Bhaava Darshan (Based on Bharata Muni's Natyasastra): A Rare Book
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Rasa- Bhaava Darshan (Based on Bharata Muni's Natyasastra): A Rare Book
Rasa- Bhaava Darshan (Based on Bharata Muni's Natyasastra): A Rare Book
Description
About the Book

In Indian classical dramaturgy, the performing arts have been called drishya kaavya, visual poetry. For centuries, Indian dramatists and actors have attempted to 'decode' the visual meaning of theatrical terms as described in the Naatyashaastra of Bharata Muni. Rasa Bhaava Darshan, too, attempts to transform text into image, and it brings back into contemporary life the quintessential principles of rasa, rapture and bhaava, sentiment.

This book has pooled the accomplished talents of a scholar, an actor and a photographer. While the scholar interprets the classical concepts giving translation of relevant Sanskrit verses both in English and Hindi, the actor demonstrates the shades of emotion through his mobile facial expressions, and the photographer captures each visual import of the written text which is explored verse by verse covering the entire gamut of expressions for each of the 8 rasas and 49 bhaavas through both the intellect and the eye.

Dedicated to Prithviraj Kapoor and with a Foreword by Krishna Chaitanya, the text as well as the illustrative material of this book - the 215 black and white photographs - will prove invaluable for performing artistes. Students of the naatyashaastra will gain immense visual insight into the various terms and concepts that a study of classical dramaturgy entails. In its integration of timeless tradition with modernity, and intellectual understanding with visual realization, Rasa Bhaava Darshan is a beautiful and highly successful experiment.

Foreword -A Richer Legacy by Krishna Chaitanya

I have a particular gratification in being asked to write an introduction to this book because it is in harmony with an aspiration and endeavour that have been constant in my life for decades.

We underrate the insidious ways in which psychological colonialism can tenaciously if unconsciously prolong itself even after political colonialism has ended. In the doctrine of the six principles of art, Shadanga, we have significant seminal ideas that should have been developed and informed our contemporary art criticism. But we still use the concept and idioms of the West. It is not that the latter are erroneous. But there is something seriously wrong when we have to borrow ideas and terms from elsewhere when we have them in our own racial repertoire and especially when our own concepts are richer and analytical procedures more precise. Moving closer to the field of concern of this book, we have perhaps the richest legacy in the theory of poetics and dramaturgy. But we are still to inherit and use that legacy.

The blame for this must be borne by our scholars. One can perhaps make a plea that our cuisine is totally different from western cookery. But a similar claim, made in respect of poetic creation and experience, will be a rank absurdity, for the simple reason that they deal with the fundamental constants of human nature that do not change with geographical space or historical time. However, in work after work on Indian poetics by Indian scholars, I find the stance, unforgivable even if unconscious, that we create poetry in a peculiar way and according to an esoteric formula that cannot be related to the practice of other human beings elsewhere. Poetic experience is an event that takes place in the human psyche and must obey the laws of psychological reactivity. If it does not, it will be unauthentic; if it does not, it will be unauthentic; if it does, it would be susceptible to analysis in terms of concepts belonging to any tradition, provided they are valid. Here, we have been relying on the concepts and analytical tools of others without first examining whether we do not have the resources in our own tradition for being self-sufficient. Most unhelpful here has been the obscurantism of our scholars which has condemned our great texts to the dusty immorality of bookshelves in some dark corner of the library reserved for antiquarian lore.

As a matter of fact, our resources are richer, as I tried to show in my Sanskrit Poetics published nearly a quarter of a century ago (Asia Publishing House, 1965) with an extensive comparative study of the European tradition from Aristotle to T.S. Eliot and equally comprehensive analysis of the psychological realities involved. Let us take for instance two statements of the basics: one by Eliot the equally comprehensive analysis of the psychological realities involved. Let us take for instance two statements of the basics: one by Eliot and the other by Bharata who preceded him by about two millennia. According to Eliot, the poem is the objective correlative of a state of feeling, "a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be a formula of the particular emotion: such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked." Due to the great brevity of Bharata's statement and the obfuscation by our scholars, we have to proceed cautiously and precisely, and cannot dodge the technical terms at least initially. His Rasa Sutra or gnomic statement of the Rasa doctrine runs thus: "When the Bihaavas, Anubhaavas and Vyabhichaaree Bhaavas unite, Rasa emerges." But since this formula is given after referring to the very important concept of the Sthaayee Bhaava, we can attempt fuller rendering thus: "When the Vibhaavas, Anubhaavas and the Vyabhichaaree Bhaavas combine to awaken the Sthaayee Bhaava, the awakened Sthaayee Bhaava finally develops into Rasa." It is not possible, nor does it seem necessary, to reproduce here the extended analyses for clarifying the meanings of each of these terms in my Sanskrit Poetics. The Sthaayee Bhaava can be approximated to sentiment as defined by Shand. The product of evolutionary and social experience, sentiment is the organized constellation of feelings around an object or entity and by derivation around a concept. The pattern of biological and social living is such that it recurrently arouses these complexes of affect: love, grief, mirth, wonderment, etc. They have instinctual roots and are basic components of our psychical structure: that is why they have been termed Sthaayee, abiding. Love for instance can be traced to sex, nature's built-in drive for the reproductive maintenance of the species. But Bharata is totally against reductionism. Love cannot be reduced to sex; it has acquired untold graces and nuances through generations of socio-cultural living. From a drive it has blossomed into a sentiment.

The Sthaayee Bhaava is not activated emotion, but the abiding sentiment, the organized but latent reactivity, which can develop into emotion when confronted with appropriate stimuli. The next step in the creative task, after the choice of the dominant sentiment of the poem or play, is the patterning of the total aesthetic context. Here Bharata prescribes an ideal mimesis in art of the stimulus-response situations of life. The alambana Vibhaava is the basis stimulus, the Uddeepana Vibhaava is the right ambience that reinforces the impact of the stimulus. They correspond to the triggering stimulus and the right environmental situation in Konard Lorenz's scheme. In the case of the erotic sentiment they are, respectively, woman and a garden, or the spring season. The Anubhaavas are the effective results of the excitation produced in the Vibhaava- say, the heroine-as the climactic situation develops. A provocative glance or smile is a simple example. Here Bharata also mentions a new category, the Saavika Bhaavas. These are involuntary expressions like blushing and a re-reading of the analysis of the expression of emotions by Charles Darwin will enable us to understand the originality of Bharata's anticipations. The mind has to be affected by affected by effect so deeply as to activate the hormonal-autonomic nervous system if blushing, sweating or horripilation has to happen. The last concept Bharata uses in his succinct formulation is the Vyabhichaaree Bhaava. This corresponds to the derived emotion of McDougall. It is born from the basic emotion, is coloured by it, is in fact its modification in the changing episodic contexts of the evolving play or poem. In the case of the erotic sentiment, melancholy in separation and elation in union are instances.

When the aesthetic context is thus creatively shaped out of the primary and enhancing stimuli, the appropriate emotive behavior, both consciously responsive and unconsciously expressive-Bharata says-the latent sentiment emerges as Rasa, or the relishable, aesthetically experienced feeling. Bharata's formulation is fuller, more precise and profound. He spells out the aesthetic and creative mimesis of the stimulus-response situation in life more precisely and completely. He establishes that communication in art can only be through sympathetic induction and empathy; his whole strategy is Abhinaya, which is both presentation and representation of the living context. Later, the twelfth-century writer, Hema Chandra, would use the significant analogy of the salivation stimulated in a man who sees another enjoying a savoury fruit. Bharata stresses the unique nature of the aesthetic experience donated by each work of art. The sentiment may be the same but, compounded in ever-fresh patterns with ancillary stimuli and derived emotions, poems and plays generate blended experiences whose unique relishes vary as the flavours of differing liqueurs of fine blends vary. Bharata follows his mimesis of practical life only up to the point of arousing feeling. But while, in practical life, emotion is the mobilization of effective energy by the organism for active involvement, in the aesthetic context it is lifted to the plane of pure relish. In art one does better with one's emotions than indulge in them: one savours them. This savouring, Charvana, Aasvaadana, is the primary feature of poetic experience according to Indian thought.

It will be seen that I am not using exactly the same English terms as Dr. Mishra has used; but this should not create any difficulties provided the concepts are clarified. I prefer 'relish' to 'rapture' for Rasa. Likewise, I would like to reserve 'sentiment' for Sthaayee Bhaava while Dr. Mishra has used the term for Bhaava. This latter term-Bhaava-cannot be said to be fully explained in Bharata's text. He uses it as an integration of the Sthaayee, Vyabhichaaree and Saatvika Bhaavas. Since he states that the Bhaava is aatmaanubhava, effectively experienced reality of the psyche and adds that there can be no Rasa without Bhaava and no Bhaava without Rasa, it would seem that he is once again stressing the psychosomatic unity of man by which the inward effective experience of the psyche is reflected in the somatic vestment it indwells. The visible Bhaava is the invisible Sthaayee incarnating in the expressive modalities of the body which blend the basic sentiment triggered, the derived feelings and the involuntary expressions of the episodic context in the most appropriate and expressive manner.

Wagner conceived of his opera as a gesamukunstwerk or synthesis of all the arts. Here he was anticipated nearly two millennia ago by Bharata, for his dramaturgy is, if anything, more comprehensive. His discusses stages of different shapes, square, rectangular or triangular; he deals with costume; what he says about the Poorvaranga or overture is the origin of our musical and dance theory. Later poetics or text, literary composition, metres, merits and demerits, figures of speech, style. He deals with the structure of the play, the crisis and resolution in the plot, the dramatic tempo or temper, Vritti, the various forms of drama. Histrionics, in his approach, covers expressive acting through the whole body, not only through the visage.

This indicates what a great treasure remains to be rediscovered. And if the rediscovery is to be real, if it is not to be the reserve of the pundits where they confuse one another and themselves but the proud possession of the people, we need ventures like this book where, if only a small part- facial expressions- has been dealt with, it has been done splendidly and uniquely, with the close cooperation of a scholar, an actor and a photographer, all distinguished. The achievement encourages one to hope that the great work of Bharata will be rendered accessible to laymen, who may not be scholars but have sensibility, through monographs on the other aspects of dramaturgy too, like expression through the body and gestural language, stage, costume, dramatic forms and styles.

Contents
The Publisher's Note7
The Foreword- A Richer Legacy by Krishna Chaitanya9
The Contributors14
Dedication15
The Mission by Sajjan17
The Project by O.P Sharma21
Review of the Exhibition of Photographs25
The Raptures/The Rasa26
The Permanent Sentiments/Sthaayee Bhaava48
The Mutable Sentiments/Vyabhichaaree Bhaava68
The Emotional Sentiment/Saattvika Bhaava136
The Sentiments used in the different Raptures154
The forms of Humour236
The Gods of the Raptures/Rasas240
Rasa and Bhaava in the Naatyashaastra by Dr. Braj Vallabh Mishra250
Glossaries A, B, C261
Acknowledgements272

Rasa- Bhaava Darshan (Based on Bharata Muni's Natyasastra): A Rare Book

Item Code:
IDK023
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1997
Publisher:
ISBN:
8185120536
Size:
11.3" X 8.5"
Pages:
273 (Color Plates 8 & B/W Plates. 215)
Price:
$100.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

In Indian classical dramaturgy, the performing arts have been called drishya kaavya, visual poetry. For centuries, Indian dramatists and actors have attempted to 'decode' the visual meaning of theatrical terms as described in the Naatyashaastra of Bharata Muni. Rasa Bhaava Darshan, too, attempts to transform text into image, and it brings back into contemporary life the quintessential principles of rasa, rapture and bhaava, sentiment.

This book has pooled the accomplished talents of a scholar, an actor and a photographer. While the scholar interprets the classical concepts giving translation of relevant Sanskrit verses both in English and Hindi, the actor demonstrates the shades of emotion through his mobile facial expressions, and the photographer captures each visual import of the written text which is explored verse by verse covering the entire gamut of expressions for each of the 8 rasas and 49 bhaavas through both the intellect and the eye.

Dedicated to Prithviraj Kapoor and with a Foreword by Krishna Chaitanya, the text as well as the illustrative material of this book - the 215 black and white photographs - will prove invaluable for performing artistes. Students of the naatyashaastra will gain immense visual insight into the various terms and concepts that a study of classical dramaturgy entails. In its integration of timeless tradition with modernity, and intellectual understanding with visual realization, Rasa Bhaava Darshan is a beautiful and highly successful experiment.

Foreword -A Richer Legacy by Krishna Chaitanya

I have a particular gratification in being asked to write an introduction to this book because it is in harmony with an aspiration and endeavour that have been constant in my life for decades.

We underrate the insidious ways in which psychological colonialism can tenaciously if unconsciously prolong itself even after political colonialism has ended. In the doctrine of the six principles of art, Shadanga, we have significant seminal ideas that should have been developed and informed our contemporary art criticism. But we still use the concept and idioms of the West. It is not that the latter are erroneous. But there is something seriously wrong when we have to borrow ideas and terms from elsewhere when we have them in our own racial repertoire and especially when our own concepts are richer and analytical procedures more precise. Moving closer to the field of concern of this book, we have perhaps the richest legacy in the theory of poetics and dramaturgy. But we are still to inherit and use that legacy.

The blame for this must be borne by our scholars. One can perhaps make a plea that our cuisine is totally different from western cookery. But a similar claim, made in respect of poetic creation and experience, will be a rank absurdity, for the simple reason that they deal with the fundamental constants of human nature that do not change with geographical space or historical time. However, in work after work on Indian poetics by Indian scholars, I find the stance, unforgivable even if unconscious, that we create poetry in a peculiar way and according to an esoteric formula that cannot be related to the practice of other human beings elsewhere. Poetic experience is an event that takes place in the human psyche and must obey the laws of psychological reactivity. If it does not, it will be unauthentic; if it does not, it will be unauthentic; if it does, it would be susceptible to analysis in terms of concepts belonging to any tradition, provided they are valid. Here, we have been relying on the concepts and analytical tools of others without first examining whether we do not have the resources in our own tradition for being self-sufficient. Most unhelpful here has been the obscurantism of our scholars which has condemned our great texts to the dusty immorality of bookshelves in some dark corner of the library reserved for antiquarian lore.

As a matter of fact, our resources are richer, as I tried to show in my Sanskrit Poetics published nearly a quarter of a century ago (Asia Publishing House, 1965) with an extensive comparative study of the European tradition from Aristotle to T.S. Eliot and equally comprehensive analysis of the psychological realities involved. Let us take for instance two statements of the basics: one by Eliot the equally comprehensive analysis of the psychological realities involved. Let us take for instance two statements of the basics: one by Eliot and the other by Bharata who preceded him by about two millennia. According to Eliot, the poem is the objective correlative of a state of feeling, "a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be a formula of the particular emotion: such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked." Due to the great brevity of Bharata's statement and the obfuscation by our scholars, we have to proceed cautiously and precisely, and cannot dodge the technical terms at least initially. His Rasa Sutra or gnomic statement of the Rasa doctrine runs thus: "When the Bihaavas, Anubhaavas and Vyabhichaaree Bhaavas unite, Rasa emerges." But since this formula is given after referring to the very important concept of the Sthaayee Bhaava, we can attempt fuller rendering thus: "When the Vibhaavas, Anubhaavas and the Vyabhichaaree Bhaavas combine to awaken the Sthaayee Bhaava, the awakened Sthaayee Bhaava finally develops into Rasa." It is not possible, nor does it seem necessary, to reproduce here the extended analyses for clarifying the meanings of each of these terms in my Sanskrit Poetics. The Sthaayee Bhaava can be approximated to sentiment as defined by Shand. The product of evolutionary and social experience, sentiment is the organized constellation of feelings around an object or entity and by derivation around a concept. The pattern of biological and social living is such that it recurrently arouses these complexes of affect: love, grief, mirth, wonderment, etc. They have instinctual roots and are basic components of our psychical structure: that is why they have been termed Sthaayee, abiding. Love for instance can be traced to sex, nature's built-in drive for the reproductive maintenance of the species. But Bharata is totally against reductionism. Love cannot be reduced to sex; it has acquired untold graces and nuances through generations of socio-cultural living. From a drive it has blossomed into a sentiment.

The Sthaayee Bhaava is not activated emotion, but the abiding sentiment, the organized but latent reactivity, which can develop into emotion when confronted with appropriate stimuli. The next step in the creative task, after the choice of the dominant sentiment of the poem or play, is the patterning of the total aesthetic context. Here Bharata prescribes an ideal mimesis in art of the stimulus-response situations of life. The alambana Vibhaava is the basis stimulus, the Uddeepana Vibhaava is the right ambience that reinforces the impact of the stimulus. They correspond to the triggering stimulus and the right environmental situation in Konard Lorenz's scheme. In the case of the erotic sentiment they are, respectively, woman and a garden, or the spring season. The Anubhaavas are the effective results of the excitation produced in the Vibhaava- say, the heroine-as the climactic situation develops. A provocative glance or smile is a simple example. Here Bharata also mentions a new category, the Saavika Bhaavas. These are involuntary expressions like blushing and a re-reading of the analysis of the expression of emotions by Charles Darwin will enable us to understand the originality of Bharata's anticipations. The mind has to be affected by affected by effect so deeply as to activate the hormonal-autonomic nervous system if blushing, sweating or horripilation has to happen. The last concept Bharata uses in his succinct formulation is the Vyabhichaaree Bhaava. This corresponds to the derived emotion of McDougall. It is born from the basic emotion, is coloured by it, is in fact its modification in the changing episodic contexts of the evolving play or poem. In the case of the erotic sentiment, melancholy in separation and elation in union are instances.

When the aesthetic context is thus creatively shaped out of the primary and enhancing stimuli, the appropriate emotive behavior, both consciously responsive and unconsciously expressive-Bharata says-the latent sentiment emerges as Rasa, or the relishable, aesthetically experienced feeling. Bharata's formulation is fuller, more precise and profound. He spells out the aesthetic and creative mimesis of the stimulus-response situation in life more precisely and completely. He establishes that communication in art can only be through sympathetic induction and empathy; his whole strategy is Abhinaya, which is both presentation and representation of the living context. Later, the twelfth-century writer, Hema Chandra, would use the significant analogy of the salivation stimulated in a man who sees another enjoying a savoury fruit. Bharata stresses the unique nature of the aesthetic experience donated by each work of art. The sentiment may be the same but, compounded in ever-fresh patterns with ancillary stimuli and derived emotions, poems and plays generate blended experiences whose unique relishes vary as the flavours of differing liqueurs of fine blends vary. Bharata follows his mimesis of practical life only up to the point of arousing feeling. But while, in practical life, emotion is the mobilization of effective energy by the organism for active involvement, in the aesthetic context it is lifted to the plane of pure relish. In art one does better with one's emotions than indulge in them: one savours them. This savouring, Charvana, Aasvaadana, is the primary feature of poetic experience according to Indian thought.

It will be seen that I am not using exactly the same English terms as Dr. Mishra has used; but this should not create any difficulties provided the concepts are clarified. I prefer 'relish' to 'rapture' for Rasa. Likewise, I would like to reserve 'sentiment' for Sthaayee Bhaava while Dr. Mishra has used the term for Bhaava. This latter term-Bhaava-cannot be said to be fully explained in Bharata's text. He uses it as an integration of the Sthaayee, Vyabhichaaree and Saatvika Bhaavas. Since he states that the Bhaava is aatmaanubhava, effectively experienced reality of the psyche and adds that there can be no Rasa without Bhaava and no Bhaava without Rasa, it would seem that he is once again stressing the psychosomatic unity of man by which the inward effective experience of the psyche is reflected in the somatic vestment it indwells. The visible Bhaava is the invisible Sthaayee incarnating in the expressive modalities of the body which blend the basic sentiment triggered, the derived feelings and the involuntary expressions of the episodic context in the most appropriate and expressive manner.

Wagner conceived of his opera as a gesamukunstwerk or synthesis of all the arts. Here he was anticipated nearly two millennia ago by Bharata, for his dramaturgy is, if anything, more comprehensive. His discusses stages of different shapes, square, rectangular or triangular; he deals with costume; what he says about the Poorvaranga or overture is the origin of our musical and dance theory. Later poetics or text, literary composition, metres, merits and demerits, figures of speech, style. He deals with the structure of the play, the crisis and resolution in the plot, the dramatic tempo or temper, Vritti, the various forms of drama. Histrionics, in his approach, covers expressive acting through the whole body, not only through the visage.

This indicates what a great treasure remains to be rediscovered. And if the rediscovery is to be real, if it is not to be the reserve of the pundits where they confuse one another and themselves but the proud possession of the people, we need ventures like this book where, if only a small part- facial expressions- has been dealt with, it has been done splendidly and uniquely, with the close cooperation of a scholar, an actor and a photographer, all distinguished. The achievement encourages one to hope that the great work of Bharata will be rendered accessible to laymen, who may not be scholars but have sensibility, through monographs on the other aspects of dramaturgy too, like expression through the body and gestural language, stage, costume, dramatic forms and styles.

Contents
The Publisher's Note7
The Foreword- A Richer Legacy by Krishna Chaitanya9
The Contributors14
Dedication15
The Mission by Sajjan17
The Project by O.P Sharma21
Review of the Exhibition of Photographs25
The Raptures/The Rasa26
The Permanent Sentiments/Sthaayee Bhaava48
The Mutable Sentiments/Vyabhichaaree Bhaava68
The Emotional Sentiment/Saattvika Bhaava136
The Sentiments used in the different Raptures154
The forms of Humour236
The Gods of the Raptures/Rasas240
Rasa and Bhaava in the Naatyashaastra by Dr. Braj Vallabh Mishra250
Glossaries A, B, C261
Acknowledgements272
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