Rasa (Essence)

rasa (Sanskrit: रस, Malayalam: രാസ്യം) literally means “juice, essence or taste”.[1][2] It connotes a concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described.[2] It refers to the emotional flavors/essence crafted into the work by the writer and relished by a ‘sensitive spectator’ or sahṛdaya, literally one who “has heart”, and can connect to the work with emotion, without dryness.

Rasas are created by bhavas:[3] the state of mind.

The rasa theory has a dedicated section (Chapter 6) in the Sanskrit text Natya Shastra, an ancient scripture from the 1st millennium BCE attributed to Bharata Muni[4] However, its most complete exposition in drama, songs and other performance arts is found in the works of the Kashmiri Shaivite philosopher Abhinavagupta (c. 1000 CE), demonstrating the persistence of a long-standing aesthetic tradition of ancient India.[2][5][6] According to the Rasa theory of the Natya Shastra, entertainment is a desired effect of performance arts but not the primary goal, and the primary goal is to transport the individual in the audience into another parallel reality, full of wonder and bliss, where he experiences the essence of his own consciousness, and reflects on spiritual and moral questions.[5][6][7]

Although the concept of rasa is fundamental to many forms of Indian arts including dancemusic, theatre, painting, sculpture, and literature, the interpretation and implementation of a particular rasa differs between different styles and schools.[8][9][10] The Indian theory of rasa is also found in the Hindu arts and Ramayana musical productions in Bali and Java (Indonesia), but with regional creative evolution.[11]

More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasa_(aesthetics)

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