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  • Bharata Muni enunciated the eight Rasas in the Nātyasāstra, an ancient Sanskrit text of dramatic theory and other performance arts, written between 200 BC and 200 AD.
  • In the Indian performing arts, a rasa is a sentiment or emotion evoked in each member of the audience by the art.
  • The Natya Shastra mentions six rasa in one section, but in the dedicated section on rasa it states and discusses eight primary rasa.
  • Each rasa, according to Nātyasāstra, has a presiding deity and a specific colour.
  • There are 4 pairs of rasas.
  • For instance, Hāsya arises out of Sringara.
  • The Aura of a frightened person is black, and the aura of an angry person is red. Bharata Muni established the following:
    • Śṛṅgāraḥ : Romance, Love, attractiveness. Presiding deity: Vishnu. Colour: light green
    • Hāsyam : Laughter, mirth, comedy. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: white
    • Raudram: Fury. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: red
    • Kāruṇyam: Compassion, mercy. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: grey
    • Bībhatsam: Disgust, aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: blue
    • Bhayānakam: Horror, terror. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: black
    • Veeram: Heroism. Presiding deity: Indra. Colour: saffron
    • Adbhutam: Wonder, amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow
    • Śāntam: Peace or tranquility. deity: Vishnu. Colour: perpetual white

(A ninth rasa was added by later authors. This addition had to undergo a good deal of struggle between the sixth and the tenth centuries, before it could be accepted by the majority of the Alankarikas, and the expression “Navarasa” (the nine rasas), could come into vogue.)

April 2024