Thursday, December 25, 2014

“Nav-Rasa” The Nine Emotions

“Nav-Rasa” The Nine Emotions

In Ancient Sanskrit literature, there is a mention of nine types of human emotions called “Nav-Rasa”.
Same concept is found in the ancient Sangeet Shastras, the Indian classical Music literature. While studying, I read an authentic Shloka on this topic and then taught it for many years which explains these Nav-Rasa; the nine emotions.
Recently, it caught my eye again and while pondering over it I found a whole different meaning of this shloka.

“Shringaar, Haasya, Karuna, Raudra, Veer, Bhyaankah
 Veebhats-o-Adbhut Ityashto Rasa ShaantsTathaamatah”

“Love, happiness, sympathy, Courage, Terror, Fear,
Disgust, and confusion; these are the eight Rasas (emotions) and then there is also the peace.”

I wondered why the author said “these are the eight Rasas and then there is peace also.”

We always thought that eight plus the Shaant makes it nine but why the author did not include it and said “iti Nava Rasa”; that these are the nine Rasas?   

Was it for the poetical reason or is there another deeper, hidden meaning behind it?

Perhaps the writer was trying to say that these are the eight emotions that can be brought about from outside and absence of all these emotions is the “Shaant Rasa” or Peace. 

We are trying to find Shaanti; the peace from outside, as if it is likes the other emotions which can be created with outside influence, while in fact it is nothing but the absence of all other emotions. Instead of trying to find the ‘peace’ we should try to eliminate the others.

A still and thoughtless mind is always at peace. 

                                             ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

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