Dasarupa of Dhananjaya
Rasa and Bhava
The Book Four of the Dasarupa is devoted to the discussion on Rasa. Here, Dhananjaya broadly follows the concepts and definitions as provided in the Natyashastra, except in minor details such as where he creates additional divisions in the Srngara, Adbhuta and Bhibhatsa Rasas.
The Fourth Book on Rasa (Rasadhyaya), in its 87 verses, describes, in fair detail, the eight types of Rasas; the Bhavas along with their causes (Vibhāva), manifestations (Anubhāva), their transitory states (Vyabhicāri-bhāva) and the involuntary reactions (Sāttvika-bhāva), all combining effectively to picturesquely portray and give expression to the intended dominant Bhava (Sthāyi-bhāva). Dhananjaya accepts the eight Sthāyi-bhāvas and the eight Rasas described by Bharata; though he does not catalogue the Rasas. Of the eight Rasas enumerated by Bharata, Dhananjaya discusses the Srngara Rasa and its subdivisions in much detail. The Hasya Rasa is described in two passages; while the rest are covered in one verse each.
Dhananjaya also discusses the definitions, the details, the divisions and sub-divisions of the various elements of each of the Bhavas that harmoniously unite in order to give expression to the principal emotion (Sthayin) that the performer is attempting to project. And, the resultant (Rasavant) delectable joy (Rasa) is experienced with relish by the cultured aesthete (Rasika).
Dhananjaya commences his exposition by stating that Rasa, a pleasurable sensation, is produced by the combination of the various the elements of the Bhavas, when it’s dominant mood or sentiment (Sthayin) harmonizes within itself its cause (Vibhava), its consequents (Anubhava), the associated transitory states (Vyabhicharin) stirring up varied sorts of involuntary bodily reactions (Sattavika).
Vibhavair anubhavais ca sattvikair vyabhicaribhih aniyamanah svadyatvam sthayi bhavo rasah smrtah//
Then, Dhananjaya straightaway proceeds to define and explain various technical terms involved in the process of bringing about (Bhavitam) the Bhavas in order to convey (abhi-vyākhyātāḥ) it’s Rasa. It is said; these sections were meant to serve as a prelude or an introduction to the ensuing discussions elucidating the principles and practices that are related to the subject of Rasa. After this section, Dhananjaya moves on to the descriptions of Rasas and their subdivisions.
But, in this post let’s commence with Rasa and Bhava; and, then take a look at the subdivisions of each of the elements, as enumerated by Dhananjaya; and, at the end let’s come back to Rasa.
Let’s briefly go over the concepts related to Bhavas and Rasa, as described in the Natyashastra and as presented in the Dasarupa.
In the Sixth Chapter of Natyashastra , Bharata, introduces the subject of Rasa after discussing the five kinds of the Dhruva songs that are sung during the course of a play i.e., while entering (praveśa), casual (ākṣepa), going out (niskrama), pleasing (prāsādika) and intermediate (āntara).
He then remarks, “No sense proceeds without Rasa – Na hi rasadrte kascid-arthah pravartate.” He was implying that the entire object of a well rendered Dramatic performances, poetry, music or art is to provide delight, which is enjoyed by the spectator (Rasika). And, without providing that experience of beauty, anything said or done is a futile exercise. And, that gratification of pleasure or delight is called Rasa. Such a wonder (Camatkara) and rare delight (lokottara-ananda), which we love to enjoy, is indeed the essence and also the purpose of any work of art.
Bharata had introduced the concept of Rasa in the context of Drama. He meant Rasa as an aesthetic appreciation or joy that the spectator experiences. As Bharata says, Rasa should be relished as an emotional or intellectual experience: na rasanāvyāpāra āsvādanam, api tu mānasa eva (NS.6.31) .The Nāṭyashāstra states that the goal of any art form is to invoke such Rasa.
Bharata does not, however, put forward any theories about the Rasa concept. He does not also give a direct definition of Rasa or its essence. But, he straight away delves into explanations of how a well structured combination of certain objective factors produce subjective reactions in the spectators.
He comes up with the statement that Rasa is produced (rasa nispattih) by the combination (samyogād) of the Vibhāva, Anubhāva and Sanchari (Vyabhicāri) Bhāvas. : Vibhāva anubhāva vyabbhicāri samyogāt rasa nispattih. This statement later, gained fame as the Rasa Sutra, the formula to invoke Rasa.
Here, briefly, the term Vibhāva represents the causes, while Anubhāva is the manifestation or the performance of its effect as communicated through the abhinaya, and the vyabbhicāri Bhava, the transitory states.
Then, while explaining the concept of Rasa, Bharata attempts to illustrate it through an analogy. Bharata poses the question: What is an example, one may ask? In reply, he describes Rasa in terms of taste, with the analogy of cooking a tasty meal. He states, just as the taste emerges from the mixing of various seasonings, herbs and other components, so also does the Rasa emerges from a combination of the various Bhāvas. As the six tastes (shad-rasa) are produced by ingredients such as, raw sugar or spices or vegetables, so also the Sthāyibhāva, the dominant mood, combining in itself the other Bhavas, puts forth its characteristic Rasa. Bharata, eventually, says that which can be relished – like the taste of food – is Rasa –Rasyate anena iti rasaha (asvadayatva). Thus, Rasa is an experience which is relished.
The Natyashastra does not directly equate Rasa to taste. It merely, employs the taste as analogy or a parallel to explain the process involved in the generation of Rasa, since it had no precise definitions for the essence of Rasa.That might be because, Rasa is a subjective experience; and , it can only be enjoyed experientially. It can , at best, only be obliquely suggested through explanations.
Tatra vibhāvā-anubhāva-vyabhicāri-saṃyogād-rasa-niṣpattiḥ । ko dṛṣṭāntaḥ। atrāha – yathā hi, nānā-vyañjana-uṣadhi-dravya-saṃyogād-rasaniṣpattiḥ tathā, nānā-bhāvo-pagamād-rasa-niṣpattiḥ –। yathā hi -guḍādi-bhirdravyair-vyañjanair-auṣadhibhiśca ṣāḍavādayo rasā, nirvartyante, tathā nānā-bhāvopagatā api sthāyino bhāvā rasatvamā-apnuvantīti । atrāha – rasa iti kaḥ padārthaḥ । ucyate – āsvādyatvāt
The next question that arises is, how is Rasa relished? The reply is — just as well-disposed persons, while eating food cooked with many kinds of spices , relish (āsvādayanti) its tastes and derive pleasure, similarly the cultured spectators with refined outlook relish and derive pleasure from the Sthāyibhāva expressed through various Bhavas aided by words, gestures and other pleasant feelings (Sattva) .
How is Rasa produced?
The terms Samyoga and Nispatti, which occur in the Rasa Sutra, are at the centre of all discussions concerning Rasa. Bharata used the term Samyoga in his Rasa sutra (tatra vibhāvā-anubhāva vyabhicāri saṃyogād rasa niṣpattiḥ), to point out the need to combine these Bhavas properly. It is explained; what is meant here is not the combination of the Bhavas among themselves; but, it is their alignment with the Sthayibhava, the dominant emotion at that juncture. It is only when the Vibhava (cause or Hetu), Anubhava (manifestation or expression) and Sancharibhava (transitory moods) as also the Sattvas (reflexes) meaningfully unite with the Sthayibhava, that the right, pleasurable, Rasa is projected (Rasapurna).
[Bharata omitted to mention Sthayin, the dominant Bhava, in his Rasa-sutra. But, he asserted that only the Sthayins attain the state of Rasa. He made a distinction between Rasa and Sthayin. And in the discussion on the Sthayins, Bharata elaborated how these durable mental states attain Rasatva. He discussed eight Rasas and eight Sthayins separately in his text.]
The Sthayi bhava and Sanchari bhava cannot be realized without a credible cause i.e., Vibhava, and its due representations i.e., Anubhava. The Vibhavas and Anubhavas as also the Sattva, on their own, have no relevance unless they are properly combined with the dominant Sthayibhava and the transient Sanchari bhava. The analogy that is given in this context is that spices, sugar etc., are not related to each other. But, when they are properly mixed and cooked with the main dish, they combine well and give forth a delicious flavour.
That is to say; undoubtedly the partaking or savouring of Rasa gives pleasure; but, such pleasure is not derived directly. It is only when the Sthayi bhava combines all the other related Bhavas (Vibhavair anubhavais ca sattvikair vyabhicaribhih) and transforms them through natural Abhinaya that the Rasa is eventually produced, gladdening the hearts of the spectators. Bharata uses the term Nispatthi (rendering) for realization of the Rasa in the heart and mind (manas) of the Sahardya.
Vibhavair anubhavais ca sattvikair vyabhicaribhih aniyamanah svadyatvam sthayi bhavo rasah smrtah//
Dhananjaya also defines Rasa in exactly the same words as Bharata did. And, in addition, he explains Rasa as the pleasure (svada) given forth (prakhyatam) by the Sthayi Bhava, which is produced from a poem having elements (padartha) in the form of (svarupa) moonlight (indu) , disinterest (nirveda) , excitement (romacha) etc., which serve as Vibhava (cause), Sanchari (transitory mood) and Anubhava (consequent expression).
Padarthair indu-nirveda-romancadi-svarupakaih kavyad vibhava-sarmcary anubhava prakhyatam gataih bhavitah svadate sthayi rasah sa parikirtitah
Bharata envisages absolute continuity of the artistic process, beginning with the creative experience of the artist through his performance or his poetry, to the aesthetic experience of the spectator or the reader.Along with that, he also explains the relationship between Rasa and Bhava.
He illustrates this process with the seed-tree-flower-fruit analogy (Bija-shakthi). Just as a tree grows from a seed ;and, just as the tree puts forth flowers and fruits, so also the emotional experiences (Rasa) are the source (root) of all the modes of expressions (bhava). The Bhavas, in turn, are transformed to Rasa.”(Natya-Shastra: 6-38)
yathā bījād-bhaved-vṛkṣo vṛkṣāt-puṣpaṃ phalaṃ yathā । tathā mūlaṃ rasāḥ sarvete bhyo bhāvā vyavasthitāḥ ॥ 38॥
As regards the Bhavas, Bharata explains they are called Bhavas , because they effectively bring out the dominant sentiment of the play – that is the Sthāyibhāvā – with the aid of various supporting expressions , such as words (Vachika), gestures (Angika), costumes (Aharya) and bodily reflexes (Sattva) – for the enjoyment of the good-hearted spectator (sumanasaḥ prekṣakāḥ) . Then it is called the Rasa of the scene (tasmān nāṭya rasā ity abhivyākhyātāḥ).
It is also explained; they are called Bhavas because they happen (Bhavanti), they cause or bring about (Bhavitam); and, are felt (bhava-vanti). Bhava is the cause, the hetu; this and the other terms such as bhavitam, vasitam, krtam are synonyms. The term suggests the meaning of ‘to cause or to pervade’. The Bhavas help to bring about (Bhavayanti) the Rasas to the state of enjoyment. That is to say : the Bhavas manifest or give expression to the states of emotions – such as pain or pleasure- being experienced by the character – Sukha duhkha dikair bhavalr bhavas tad bhava bhavanam //4.5//
Thus, Bhava could be understood as a process through which the import or the inner idea of a dramatic situation is expressed and transformed, with the aid of four-fold Abhinaya, into Natya-rasa for the delight of the discerning spectators.
Nānā bhāvā abhinaya vyañjitān vāg aṅga sattopetān / Sthāyibhāvān āsvādayanti sumanasaḥ prekṣakāḥ / harṣādīṃś cā adhigacchanti । tasmān nāṭya rasā ity abhivyākhyātāḥ //6.31//
It is said; the eight Sthāyi-bhavās, thirty-three Vyabhicāri-bhāvās together with eight Sātvika-bhāvas, amount to forty-nine psychological states, excluding Vibhava and Anubhava.
Within this format; and , in the context of the Drama and Poetry, the terms Vibhava, Anubhava, Sanchari, Sattvika and Sthayi are explained thus:
Vibhava, Vibhavah, Nimittam, and Hetu all are synonyms; they provide a cause to manifest the intent (vibhava-yante); and, the term Vibhavitam also stands for Vijnatam – to know vividly. The Vibhavas are said to be of two kinds: Alambana, the primary cause (kaarana) or the stimulant for the dominant emotion; and, Uddipana that which inflames and enhances the emotion caused by that stimulant.
jnayamanataya tatra vibhavo bhavaposakrt alambana-uddipanatva prabhedena sa ca dvidha.
‘Anu’ is that which follows; and, Anubhava is the representation, manifestation or the effect giving expression (bhava-sam-suchanatmakah) to the internal state (vikara) caused by the Vibhava. It is Anubhava because it makes the spectators feel (anubhavyate) or experience the effect of the acting (Abhinaya) brought forth by means of words, gestures, representations and the Sattva. Thus, the psychological states (Bhavas) combined with Vibhavas (cause) and Anubhavas (portrayal or manifestations) have been stated – Anubhavo vikaras tu bhava sam-sucanat-makah
Dhanika, the commentator, explains these Anubhavas as follows-:
These Bhavas are expressed by the performer with the help of speech (Vachika); gestures and actions (Angika), and costumes etc., (Aharya). The Āngika-abhinaya (facial expressions, gestures/movement of the limbs) is of great importance, particularly in the dance. There are two types of basic Abhinayas: Padārtha-abhinaya (when the artist delineates each word of the lyrics with gestures and expressions); and, the Vākyārtha-abhinaya (where the dancer acts out an entire stanza or sentence). In either case, though the hands (hastha) play an important part, the Āngika-abhinaya involves other body-parts, as well, to express meaning of the lyrics, in full.
Here, the body is divided into three major parts – the Anga, Pratyanga and Upānga
The six Angās -: Siras (head); Hasta (hand); Vakshas (chest); Pārshva (sides); Kati-tata (hips); and, Pāda (foot). Some consider Grivā (neck) to be the seventh
2) The six Pratyangās -: Skandha (shoulders); Bāhu (arms); Prusta (back); Udara (stomach); Uru (thighs); Janghā (shanks).Some consider Manibandha (wrist); Kurpara (elbows) ; and, Jānu (knees) also as Pratyanga
3) The twelve Upāngās or minor parts of the head or face which are important for facial expression.-: Druṣṭi (eyes) ; Bhrū (eye-brows); Puta (pupil); Kapota (cheek); Nāsikā (nose); Adhara (lower-lip); Ostya (upper lip); Danta (teeth); Jihva (tongue) etc.
Source : Laws practice Sanskrit drama by Prof. S N Shastri
Vybhichari-bhava or Sanchari-Bhavas are the complimentary or transitory psychological states. Bharata mentions as many as thirty-three transitory psychological states that accompany the Sthayi Bhava, the dominant Bhava, which causes Rasa.
Dhananjaya explains that the transitory states (vyabhicharin) are those that especially accompany the Permanent State (Sthayin) emerging from it and again receding back into it, like the waves in the ocean.
visesad abhimukhyena caranto vyabhicarinah sthayiny unmagna-nirmagnah kallola iva varidhau
The Sanchari-bhavas or Vybhichari-bhavas are enumerated as thirty in numbers; but, there is scope a few more. They are Nirveda (indifference); Glani (weakness or confusion); Shanka (apprehension or doubt) ; Asuya (envy or jealousy); Mada (haughtiness, pride); Shrama (fatigue); Alasya (tiredness or indolence), Dainya (meek, submissive); Chinta (worry, anxiety); Moha (excessive attachment, delusion); Smriti (awareness, recollection); Dhrti (steadfast); Vrida (shame); Chapalata (Greed , inconsistency); Harsha (joy); Avega (thoughtless response, flurry); Garva (arrogance, haughtiness); Jadata (stupor, inaction); Vishada (sorrow, despair); Autsuka (longing); Nidra (sleepiness); Apsamra (Epilepsy); Supta (dreaming); Vibodh (awakening); Amasara (indignation); Avahitta(dissimulation); Ugrata (ferocity); Mati (resolve); Vyadhi (sickness); Unmada (insanity); Marana (death); Trasa (terror); and, Vitarka (trepidation)
Thus, Vibhāva indicates the cause, while Anubhāva is the performance of the bhāva as communicated through the Abhinaya. The more important Vibhāva and Anubhāva are those that invoke the Sthāyi bhāva, or the principle emotion at the moment. Thus, the Rasa-sutra states that the Vibhāva, Anubhāva, and Vyabhicāri bhāva together produce Rasa.
A complete understanding of the Vibhava (Hetu, cause) and Anubhava (karya, effect) can be had only experience of dealing (vyavahara-atah) with them – Hetu-karyat-manoh siddhis tayoh sam-vyavahara-atah
The Sattvika Bhavas are reflex actions or involuntary bodily reactions to strong feelings or agitations that take place in one’s mind. Sattvas are of eight kinds.
The Eight Sattivika-bhavas are; Stambhana (stunned into inaction); Sveda (sweating); Romancha (hair-standing on end in excitement); Svara-bheda (change of the voice or breaking of the voice); Vepathu (trembling); Vairarnya (change of colour, pallor); Ashru (shedding tears); and, Pralaya (fainting) . These do help to enhance the effect of the intended expression or state of mind (Bhava).
stambhaḥ svedo’tha romāñcaḥ svarabhedo’tha vepathuḥ । vaivarṇyam-aśru pralaya ityaṣṭau sātvikāḥ smṛtāḥ ॥ 6.22॥
Dhananjaya and Dhanika explain the Sattvika Bhavas, the involuntary states (bhava sattvika = sattva- bhava) though they also are the effects, they are altogether separate from the other Bhavas, because they arise by themselves as the reflex actions or reactions to the emotional state of the person.
prthag bhava bhavanty anye anubhavatve api sattvikah sattvad eva samutpattes tac ca tadbhavabhavanam
Sātvika abhinaya are the expressions of the feelings created in the mind that are extremely projected by Āṅgika and Vācika.
satvam nāma manah prabhavam.etadeva samāhitanmanastvādutpadyate iti bharatah.etadevasya satvam yat duhkhitena praharsitena vā asru romanchadayo nivartyante.tena satvena nirvruttā bhāvāh.sātvikāh kāh bhāvāh.tadbhāva bhāvanam ca bhāvah-iti dhanikah.pruthag bhāvā bhavantyannyenubhavatvepi sātvikāh.satvādeva samutpattestastacca tadbhāva bhāvanam iti dhanikah
The Sthayi Bhavas, the dominant Bhavas, which are most commonly found in all humans, are said to be eight. Bharata lists these eight Sthayibhavas as: Rati (love); Hasaa (mirth); Shoka (grief); Krodha (anger); Utsaha (enthusiasm or exuberance); Bhaya (fear); Jigupsa (disgust) ; and Vismaya (astonishment ).
rati-hāsaśca śokaśca krodho-utsāhau bhayaṃ tathā । jugupsā vismayaśceti sthāyibhāvāḥ prakīrtitāḥ ॥ 6. 17॥
Dhananjaya deviates from Bharata in defining Sthayibhava. In his view Sthayin (a permanent state), the source of delight, is one which is not interfered with by other psychological states whether consistent with it or inconsistent, but which brings the others into harmony with itself.
viruddhair aviruddhair va bhavair vicchidyate na yah atmabhavam nayaty anyan sa sthayi lavanakarah
Dhananjaya also lists Rati (Love); Uthsasa (exuberance); Jigupsa (disgust) ;Krodha (anger); Haasa (mirth); Vismaya (astonishment) ; Bhaya (fear) ; and, Shoka (sorrow) as the eight permanent states (Sthayi Bhavas)-Rati-utsaha-jugupsah-krodho-hasah-smayo-bhayam-sokah
And then he adds a line saying that some authorities include in this list Sama or Shanata (tranquillity); but, it cannot be developed in the Drama- Samam api ke cit prahuh pustir natyesu naitasya
Explaining the importance of Sthayi Bhava, Dhananjaya states that just as a verb (Kriya) when combined with a noun (Karaka) is an essential part of a sentence, so also Sthayi Bhava, combined with other Bhavas, is indeed the essence of the play.
Vacya prakaranadibhyo buddhistha va yatha kriya vakyarthah karakair yukta sthSyi bhavas tathetaraih
The same idea is vividly expressed in the Natyashastra (7.8). Just as the king is superior to other mortals; and just as the Guru is superior to the students, so also the Sthayi, which is the shelter of others, is superior to all other Bhavas in this world.
yatha naranatn nrpatih, sisyanam ca yaths guruh, evam hi sarvabhuvanam bhavah sthiyi mahan iha
Dhananjaya further explains: this very Sthayin becomes Rasa as the spectator (Rasika) views and absorbs it – rasah sa eva svadyatvad rasikasyaiva vartanat.
And, each of these Sthayibhavas gives rise to a Rasa. Rati to Srngara Rasa; Haasa – Hasya; Shokha – Karuna; Krodha – Raudra ; Utsaha – Vira; Bhaya– Bhayanaka; Jigupsa – Bhibhatsa; and, Vismaya – Adbhuta. Thus, the eight Sthāyi-bhāvas closely correspond to the eight Rasas.
śṛṅgāra-hāsya-karuṇā-raudra-vīra-bhayānakāḥ।bībhatsā-adbhuta saṃjñau cetyaṣṭau nāṭye rasāḥ smṛtāḥ ॥ 6.15
Dhananjaya remarks that responsive spectators, fired by enthusiasm and imagination, contribute to the success of the play in the manner of ‘children playing with clay elephants ‘. ” When children play with clay-elephants, etc., the source of their joy is their own utsaha (enthusiasm). The same is true of spectators watching and almost sharing the heroic deeds of characters, say like, Arjuna and other heroes on the stage.”
Kridatam mrnrnayair yadvad balanam dviradadibhih / svotsahah svadate tadvac chrotrnam Arjunadibhih.
The Sthayins are transformed into Rasa. And, it is called Rasa when their Vibhava, Anubhava and Vyabhicarins combine harmoniously with the Sthayin. And, the Rasa is enjoyed by the spectators, who are cultured and aesthete. Such Rasa is not manufactured from concrete objects. But, it is the bliss of one’s own consciousness. In the enjoyment of the Rasa, both the subject (the spectator) and the object (Vibhava, Anubhava etc.,) are generalized (sadharanikarana). Our aesthetic identification (tanmayībhavana) with the character is a generalized experience (sadharanikarana), freed from the individual’s own identifications. And, in their universalised form, the Rasas evoked, are beyond the limitations of time and place disappear.
That is to say; while enjoying the aesthetic experience, the mind of the spectator is liberated from the obstacles caused by the ego and other disturbances. Thus transported from the limited to the realm of the general and universal, the spectators are capable of experiencing Nirvada, or blissfulness. In such aesthetic process, they are transported to a trans-personal level. This is a process of de-individual or universalization – the Sadharanikarana.
If the principle emotion or sthāyi bhāva is anger (krodha), let us say, the cause of anger, vibhava, is betrayal by a friend. The anger will be more potent if the vibhāva is strongly established. If the sthāyibhāva is deeply felt, then it will result in the physical manifestation of anger such as burning eyes and heaving chest, which is the anubhava. But in anger, one can make fun of and laugh sarcastically at the object of one’s anger. One can feel sorrow when thinking of the happy times spent together earlier. One can feel disgust for the other person’s behaviour or be amazed at the change in him now. Through all this, the fundamental thread of anger must be maintained. But the transient emotions-the vyabhicāri bhāvas of laughter, sorrow, disgust and amazement – enhance the present angry state. If performed with appropriate āṅgika, vācika, ahārya and above all, true sātvika abhinaya, it will invoke the rasa of raudra or anger in the spectator whose mind is completely in accordance with the performer.]
In regard to the Rasas, Bharata, initially, names four Rasas (Srngara, Raudra, Vira and Bhibhatsa) as primary; and, the other four as being dependent upon them. That is to say ; the primary Rasas, which represent the dominant mental states of humans, are the cause or the source for the production of the other four Rasas.
Bharata had explained that Hasya (mirth) arises from Srngara (delightful); Karuna (pathos) from Raudra (furious); Adbhuta (wonder or marvel) from the Vira (heroic); and, Bhayanaka (fearsome or terrible) from Bhibhatsa (odious).
śṛṅgārādhi bhaved hāsyo raudrā cca karuṇo rasaḥ vīrā ccaivā adbhuto utpattir bībhatsā cca bhayānakaḥ ॥ 6.39॥
Bharata , however, does not offer theoretical explanations to say why he chose to highlight this particular set of eight Rasas. It likely that he was following a tradition that he inherited from his predecessors. Some scholars have , however, tried to explain Bhara’s scheme as representations of the basic instincts, tendencies or genetic memories (Vasana) inherent in all human beings, as Sthayi-bhavas or Chitta vrttis.
The other explanation is that Bharata’s scheme reflects the basic instinct in all living beings, which is to seek pleasure and to move away from pain. The instincts of pleasure , in short, could be identified as the need for Love, laughter, enthusiasm, vigour and amazement . And, one is , ordinarily, repelled by rather painful and tense emotions , such as anger, disgust, sorrow and fear. These instincts and their related responses seem to be embedded in the consciousness of all beings.
And, when this reality of the inner working of the human experiences is organized systematically following a design or a scheme of the Bhava -Rasas, and presented through the medium of the technically perfect Abhinaya of the stimuli (cause), responses ( effects) and the complimentary transitory states , the performance comes alive reaching forth to the minds and hearts of the spectators.
Dhananjaya, in his Dasarupa, followed the concepts and definitions provided by Bharata in the Natyashastra, with regard to the Bhavas, such as: the cause (Vibhava); consequents (Anubhava); and the transitory states (Vyabhicharibhava). He also agrees that the Rasa is produced through the integration of these Bhavas into the Sthayibhava.
Further, Dhananjaya accepts the four primary Rasas that Bharata identified i.e. śṛṅgāra (erotic); raudra (furious); vīra (heroic); and bibhatsa (odious). He also accepts the four other Rasas as being dependent on them. That is to say; the primary Rasas, which represent the dominant mental states of humans, are the cause or the source for the production of the other four Rasas.
According to Dhananjaya, as the Sthayin and other Bhavas pervade the mind of the spectator, the innate joy in him (atmananda) manifests as the Svada or the aesthetic enjoyment. And again, Dhananjaya says, the same kinds of charm (Svada) are also related to Hasya, Adbhuta, Bhayanaka and Karuna Rasas.
And therefore, Dhananjaya concludes that it could be said the four (Hasya, Adbhuta, Bhayanaka and Karuna) arise from the other four (Srngara, Vira, Bhibhatsa and Raudra) Rasas, respectively
Thus, Dhananjaya recognizes the eight forms of Rasas that Bharata had mentioned; but, he does not enumerate them again. He merely sums up saying that the charm (Svada) in a poetic composition (Kavya), which one enjoys greatly (atmananda) is of four kinds (caturvidhah). These give rise in the mind of the reader: Vikasa (cheerfulness); Vistara (exaltation); Kshoba (agitation); and, Vikshepa (perturbation). These four, in turn, are related to Srngara, Vira, Bhibhatsa and Raudra Rasas, respectively (kramat).
svadah kavyartha-sambhedad atmananda-samudbhavah vikasa-vistara-ksobha-viksepaih sa caturvidhah srhgara-vira-bibhatsa-raudresu manasah kramat – hasya-adbhuta-bhaya-utkarsa – karunanam ta eva hi atas tajjanyata tesam ata eva va adharanam.
The Eight Rasas
As mentioned earlier, Dhananjaya discusses the Srngara rasa in fair detail; and the rest in a comparatively brief manner.
Love (Rati) is essentially the delight marked by desire for lovely places, arts, occasions, garments, pleasures, and the like. That feeling on the part of two young persons, smitten with love, immersed in its sheer joy, when it is manifested by tender gestures, constitutes the Srngara.
Ramya-desa-kala-kalavesa-bhogadi-sevanaih pramodatma ratih saiva yunor anyonya-raktayoh prahrsyamana srngaro madhura-anga-vicestitaih
However, the natures and functions of the Srngara Rasa are explained differently, by Bharata and Dhanañjaya. For instance; Bharata had said that the states like indolence (ālasya), cruelty (craurya) and disgust (jigupsā) are not applicable (bhāvaistu varjitāḥ) to the erotic (śṛṅgāra) Rasa (NŚ.7.109). But, Dhanañjaya mentions that though the states like indolence (ālasya), cruelty (ugrata), death (maraṇa) and disgust (jigupsā) are not independently applicable to the śṛṅgāra; yet, they are related to it indirectly, in one way or the other.
Referring to these tendencies of Alasya etc., Dhananjaya says that with skilful management of the eight Sattivika-bhavas, eight Sthayins and thirty-three Sancharins (a total of forty-nine states), these can be brought out in the Srangara rasa also.
Ye sattvajah sthayina eva castau triansat trayo ye vyabhicarinas ca, ekonapanc?§ad ami hi bhava yuktya nibaddhah pariposayanti alasyam augryam maranam jugupsa tasyasrayadvaitaviruddham istam.
Bharata had divided the Sṛṅgāra-rasa into two categories, i.e. Sambhoga (union) and vipralambha (separation). But, Dhanañjaya classifies the Srngara-rasa under three types, i.e. pain of separation before the union(Ayoga), separation after the union (Viprayoga) and union (Sambhoga)- Ayogo viprayogas ca sambhogas ceti sa tridha.
Of these three, Dhananjaya explains the Ayoga as the pain or the suffering that the lovers have to endure when they realize that there is hardly any prospect of being united, because of the intervention of others or by fate.
tatrayogo ‘nurage ‘pi navayor ekacittayoh paratantryena daivad va viprakarsad asarrigamah
Viprayoga, is the forcible separation or asunder of the lovers, between whom a close intimacy has developed – Viprayogas tu visleso rudha-visram-ubhayor.
And, Sambhoga, the union, is that blissful state when the two playful lovers, in complete agreement come together, enjoy seeing each other, touching each other, and the like
anukulau nisevete yatranyonyam vilasinau darsanasparsanadini sa sambhogo mudanvitah
Under this section, Dhananjaya lists the subdivisions of the Ayoga, Viprayoga and Sambhoga.
: – The Ayoga, the separation, has ten stages. At first, there occurs in it longing (abhilasa); then anxiety (cintana); recollection (smrti); enumeration of the loved one’s merits (gunakatha); distress (udvega); raving (pralapa); insanity (unmada); fever (samjvara); stupor (jadata); and death (marana) . These are its unfortunate stages, in due order. Then Dhananjaya gives the explanations for each of these ten stages of Ayoga.
: – The Viprayoga, the other kind of separation, is of two varieties: one brought about by resentment; and, the other by absence of the Lover.
The resentment between the two can take place because of fondness, when the lovers determine to be angry with each other. And, resentment can also take place because of jealousy, when the Lady Love is angry as she finds out that her lover is involved with another woman. Dhananjaya lists three possibilities for arousal of jealousy.
As regards the separation caused by the absence of the Lover, it could be because he is travelling (pravasa) on business; or because of misunderstanding or a curse. In such a case there is weeping, sighing, emaciation, letting the hair hang down, and the like.
: – The Sambhoga is the most delightful union of the lovers.It is said; although the two can create countless ways of enjoyment , those modes can be classified according to their degree. For instance ; (1) Sankshipta or brief: when the lovers meet at the end of purva-raga the mode of enjoyment is brief and tinged with initial reserve; (2) Sankirna or mixed: when they meet to reconcile their differences , it is an amalgam of sorrow, regret , great oy and immense relief; (3) Sampurna or rich or full: when the lovers come together after being seperated for some time or being apart in distant places; and (4) Samruddha or exuberant : it is the joy when the come together after going through harrowing experiences or when when the lover returns safe and sound from a hard fought battle. All such pleasures are real (murta) as compared to the ones in dreams or in imagination (gauna-somboga).
Dhananjaya describes ten playful (Lila) and other actions of the Lady Love, according to her kindness, gentleness, and devotion to her lover.
The Vira Rasa is induced by power (pratapa), good conduct (vinaya), determination (dhyavasaya), courage, (sattva) infatuation (moha), cheerfulness (avisada), polity (naya), astonishment (vismaya), might (vikrama), and the like (as Vibhava, the cause), and is based on the Sthayi Bhava of enthusiasm (Uthsaha).
Vira, the heroic Rasa is of three kinds, having benevolence, fighting, or liberality – Daya-ranad-anayogat tredha kilatra (as Anubhava). In it, there occur assurance, arrogance, contentment, and Joy (as Sanchari Bhava) – mati garva-dhrti-praharsah.
Virah pratapa-vinaya-dhyavasaya – sattva –moha-avisada-naya-vismaya-vikrama-dyaih utsaha – bhuh sa ca daya –rana-danayogat tredha kilatra mati garva-dhrti-praharsah.
The Vira is broadly classified into four types : (1) Dana-vira ( generosity in giving away or bequeathing gifts) ; (2) Daya -vira ( having boundless compassion to other beings); (3) Yuddha – vira (heroism or valour in the battle) ; and, (4) Dharma -vira (righteousness and adherence to Dharma and truthfulness (Satya) , or fulfilling ones word or promise , even while under great stress ).
But, this fourfold classification is considered rather arbitrary ; and, it can be extended to any number, to include Kshama ( forgiveness) , Prema (love ), Dhrti ( courage) , Mati (reasoning ) and such other virtues.
The Bibhatsa Rasa, the odious, has the Sthayi Bhava of disgust (jugupsa) as its sole basis; it causes distress (udvega) chiefly by means of worms, stinking matter, and nausea. it causes horror by means of blood, entrails, bones, marrow, flesh, and the like. And, it causes unmixed aversion in the case of the hips, breasts, and so forth of women. It is accompanied by contraction of the nose, mouth, and so on as Anubhava. In it there occur agitation, sickness, apprehension, and the like (as Sanchari Bhava).
bibhatsah krmi-putigandhi-vamath-uprayair jugupsaikabhur udvega rudhira-antraki-kasavasa –mamsa-dibhih ksobhanah vairagyaj jaghana-stana-disu ghrna-suddho anubhavair vrto nasavaktra-vikunanadibhir ihavega -rtisank-adayah
According to Dhananjaya , Bibhatsa could be of three kinds : Kshobana (related to blood, intestines,marrow and such other ghastly substances); Udvegi (related to loathsome , repulsive scenes, putrid sights) ; and, Ghrna-suddha (disgust, revulsion caused by anything ugly and horrific).
The Sthayi Bhava of Anger (krodha) is caused by feelings such as: indignation and aversion to an enemy (as Vibhava); its Alambana is is the unforgivable wrong or treachery ; its Uddipana is the arrogance of the wrong-doer . And , the resulting development of it is the Furious Raudra Rasa, a state of agitation accompanied by biting one’s lip, trembling, frowning, sweating, redness of the face, and also by drawing of weapons, holding the shoulders boastfully, striking the earth, vowing, and imprisonment (as Anubhava). In it , there occur the Sanchari Bhavas , such as: indignation, intoxication, recollection, inconstancy, envy, cruelty, agitation, and the like.
krodho matsara- vairi-vaikrta-mayaih poso asya raudro anujah ksobhah svadharadamsa-kampa-bhrukuti-sveda-syarlgair yutah sastrollasa- vikatthanamsadharanlghatapratijnagrahair atrama-rsamadau smrtis capala-tasuyaugrya-vegadayah
Mirth (haasa) is caused by one’s own or another’s strange actions, words, or attire; the development of this is said to be the Hasya rasa, which is of threefold origin.
vikrtakrtivagvesair atmano ‘tha parasya va hasah syat pariposo ‘sya hasyas triprakrtih smrtah
Mirth is of two kinds, since it may be provoked by some characteristic of the person amused (atmasta) or of another person (paratha) ; in either case , the mirthful individual may be one of the higher, middling, or lower characters in the play (hence the ‘threefold origin’ mentioned in the text). There are consequently six possible varieties of the Hasya Rasa.
The Sanchari Bhavas related to Hasya rasa are sleeping, indolence, weariness, weakness, and stupor –nidra –alasya-sramaglani-murchas ca sahacarinah.
In this connection, different kinds of smiles and laughter are described.
A gentle smile (smita) is opening the eyes wide; a smile (hasita) is showing the teeth to some extent; laughing (vihasita) is making a soft sound; laughter (upahasita) is the same, accompanied by shaking of the head; uproarious laughter (apahasita) is laughter accompanied by tears; and convulsive laughter (atlhasita—atihasita) is laughter with shaking of the body. Two of these varieties of laughter are characteristic of the higher; two of the middling; and, two of the lower characters, in the order named.
smitam iha vikasi-nayanam kirn cil laksya-dvijam tu hasitam syat madhura-svaram vihasitam sasirah-kampam idam upahasitam
apahasitarn sasraksarn vikasiptangam bhavaty atihasitam dve dve hasite caisam jyesthe madhye ‘dhame kraraasah.
The Adbhuta rasa whose essence is the Sthayi Bhava of Vismaya (astonishment) is the marvel , wonder and joy caused by supernatural things (as Vibhavas) ; it has as its result (karma) [i. e. As Anubhava] exclamations of surprise, weeping, trembling, sweating, and stammering; the Sanchari Bhavas , occurring in connection with it, are generally joy, agitation, and contentment.
Atilokaih padarthaih syad vismayatma raso adbhutah karmasya sadhu-vad asru-vepathusveda-gadgadah harsa-avega-dhrtipraya bhavanti vyabhicarinah
The Bhayanaka, with fear, (bhaya) as its [Sthayi Bhava results from change of voice, loss of courage, and the like (as Vibhava) ; it is characterized by trembling of all the limbs, sweating, being parched, and fainting [as Anubhava] ; its associated transitory states, the Sanchari Bhavas are: depression, agitation, distraction, fright, and the like.
Vikrta-svara-sattvader bhaya-bhavo bhayanakah sarvanga-vepa-thus vedasosa-vaicittya-laksanah dainya –sambhrama-sammoha-trasadis tatsahodarah.
The Karuna Rasa, the pathos, with the Sthayi Bhava of Sorrow (soka) as its essence, results from loss of something cherished ; or loss of a friend or a dear one ; and when slapped with something undesired. In consequence of it there occur heaving of sighs, drawing of sighs, weeping, paralysis, lamentation, and the like (as Anubhava) ; the Sanchari Bhava , occurring in connection with it, are sleeping, epilepsy, depression, sickness, death, indolence, agitation, despair, stupor, insanity, anxiety, and so forth
istanliad anistapteh sokatma karuno anu tam nihsvas-ucchvasa-rudita- stambha -pralapita-dayah sva-papa-smara-dainya-dhi-marana-alasya-sambhramah visada-jada-tonmada-cintadya -vyabhicarinah
Bharata had not mentioned Shanta or Sama or Nirveda (tranquillity) as one among the eight Rasas. But, later, the commentators such as Abhinavagupta and Ānandavardhana have accepted the Shanta as a Rasa.
Dhananjaya also accepts the Sama as a Rasa (Sama-prakarsa, Shanta-rasa) , which arises from happiness and the like; and, it is to be defined as a state having happiness (mudita) as its essential nature – samaprakarso nirvacyo muditades tadatmata. But, he does not discuss it in detail.
Dhanañjaya, however, remarks that though some have accepted the Sama (tranquillity) as an independent Rasa, it can be applied only in the poetry (Sravya kāvya); but, it cannot be developed in the drama (śamamapi kecitprāhuḥ puṣṭir nāṭyeṣu na tasya –4.35).
In this respect, Dhananjaya differs from his predecessors like Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta. Jagannatha also believed that scenic art could inspire Shanta Rasa.
Dhananjaya concludes Book Four with a very well balanced comprehensive statement:
Whether one takes a subject that is delightful or disgusting; exalted or lowly; cruel or kindly; obscure or adapted ; or whether one take a subject created by the imagination of a poet, there is no subject that cannot succeed in conveying the Rasa among mankind.
ramyam jugupsitam udaram athapi ntcam ugram prasadi gahanam vikrtam ca vastu yad va apya vastu kavi-bhavaka-bhavya-manam tan nasti yan na Rasabhavam upaiti loke
Sources and References
The Theory of the Samdhis and the Samdhyangas in Natya Shastra by T.G. Mainkar
The Structure of a Sanskrit Drama by Ven. Dr. Lenagala Siriniwasa Thero
All images are from Internet