--> Skip to main content

Garv – Pride In Hinduism In Real Life And Its Reflection In Art

Garv is the Sanskrit word which means pride or arrogance in Hinduism. This emotion is a complementary psychological state known as vyabhichari – bhava. In the rasa theory in Hindu rhetoric (the study of human sentiments which include the codification of eight kinds of emotions), there are an additional thirty three subordinate psychological states or feelings (vyabhicharinah). These accompany the sentiments of love, humor, compassion, anger, courage, fear, wonder, disgust and peace.

Bharata, the author of Natya Shastra (the ancient Indian treatise on dramaturgy and histrionics), describes vyabhichari bhavas as the sun carrying the nakshatras (stars), so it should be understood that vyabhichari bhavas are complementary psychological states that carry sentiments.

Some of the other vyabhichari bhavas mentioned in Natyashastra are despondency weakness, apprehension, envy, intoxication and indolence.

Pride is caused by alambana vibhavas (fundamental determinants), such as noble birth, learning, beauty, power and attainment of wealth.

In a classical dance drama, one can normally witness this emotion in characters that enact the roles of kings, queens and noblemen.

Garva is expressed on the stage by anubhavas (consequents) such as showing contempt, ignoring questions, using rebuke constantly and stamping the foot, extension of spine and neck, raised eyebrows, wide rounded eyes and biting of lips are indications of arrogance.

Proud people experience vyabichari bhavas like impatience, agitation, intoxication, jealousy and inconsistency. Four variations of the quality of pride have been described in ancient texts: garva towards elders, towards equals, opponents and lower classes of people. Arrogance can also be inborn or acquired.