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Vira Rasa In Hindu Classical Dance

Vira Rasa is one of the nine sentiments described in the texts of classical Hindu dance and rhetoric. Vira (heroic sentiment) relates to superior people who have utsaha (enthusiasm) as sthayibhava (permanent state). Bharata in his sutra (aphorism) said that a sentiment originates from a combination of vibhavas, anubhavas, (supplementary emotional states). Vira rasa is created by vibhavas such as asammoha (presence of mind, adyavasaya (perseverance), naya (wisdom), vinaya (humility), bala (strength or army), parakrama (strength), shakti (power), pratapa (valor), prabhava (resourcefulness), etc. It is to be represented on the stage through anubhavas such as sthairya (firmness), dhairya (courage), tyaga (sacrifice), vaisaradi (dexterity), and so on. Its vyabhicaribhavas are dhriti (steadiness), mati (assurance), garva (arrogance), avega (anxiety), augrya (cruelty), amarsa (impatience), smriti (remembrance) and romanca (horripilation).

Vira is of various kinds like dana vira, yuddha vira, daya vira, vidya vira and karma vira. Prasada guna is the guna or mode befitting Vira rasa. A composition laden with a balanced mixture of soft and hard consonants is said to abound in prasada guna. The compound words in such a composition are neither too long nor too short. A good example of daya vira can be seen in the character called Jimutavahana in the play Naganandam written by King Harshavardhana of the Vardhana dynasty, who ruled over parts of North and South India between 620 and 638 CE. Daya means compassion and Jimutavahana prepares to sacrifice his very life for the sake of a serpent to protect him from the wrath of Garuda, the king of birds. In the play, Karnabhara of Bhasa, Karna is depicted as a dana vira because of his munificence.