With reference to ancient Indian art forms, throw light on the concept of Navarasa.

Published: May 1, 2016

Rasa-Bhava is the central concept in Indian performing arts such as dance, drama, cinema, literature etc. Bhava means “to become”. Bhava is the state of mind while Rasa is the aesthetic flavour that results from that Bhava. The Bhava themselves carry no meaning in the absence of Rasa. Thus, Rasa is basically the forms and manifestations of Bhava in the form of multitude of sensations through taste, emotion, and delight. In other words, Rasa is the dominant emotional theme that is invoked in the audience. When we watch a movie, a sad scene makes us cry – that is Rasa. The Rasa-Bhava is what establishes a relationship between the performer and the audience.
The Rasa theory was basically propounded by Bharata in Natyashastra. He described eight Rasas- Śṛngāram (love, attractiveness), Hāsyam (laughter, comedy), Raudram (fury, wrath), Kāruṇyam (compassion, tragedy), Bībhatsam (disgust, aversion), Bhayānakam (horror, terror), Vīram (heroic mood) and Adbhutam (wonder, amazement). Further, Abhivangupta introduced a ninth rasa called Śāntam which denotes the peace or tranquillity. These total nine rasas make the Navarasa.

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