Philosophy of Rasa (रस); Indian Aesthetics

Indian Aesthetics – The Rasa (रस) Theory as formulated by Bharata and later explicated and enriched by Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta constitutes the Central Tradition in Indian aesthetics.

Indian aesthetic thinking is primarily audience- or reader-oriented and the center of much discussion is the response of the readers. But we should bear in mind that the word rasa denotes, apart from the reader’s aesthetic experience, the creative experience of the poet and the essence of the totality of the qualities which make a poem what it is.

This article, by G. B. Mohan Thampi, was published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 24, No. 1, Oriental Aesthetics. (Autumn, 1965), pp. 75-80.

It primarily talks of the philosophy of this theory, as an experience, the unity of the creator and the consumer (audience); with frequent references to poetry, rather than general art forms. There is a basic assumption, I suppose that you know the basic concept of the Rasas. (You can always have quick overview at the Rasa Wikipedia Article)

Download “Rasa” as Aesthetic Experience, by G. B. Mohan Thampi [PDF 2.5MB]

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