--> Skip to main content

Anumitivada – Theory Of Inference Of Rasa

Anumitivada was propounded by Sri Sankula, a logician. "Anumitivada" or the theory of inference in the context of Rasa, adds an interesting dimension to the understanding of aesthetic experience in Indian aesthetics, particularly in the context of classical Sanskrit drama.

Sankula's argument challenges the traditional cause-and-effect model, which posits a direct relationship between the hero's emotions and the audience's experience of rasa. Instead, Sankula suggests that rasa is not produced by the hero but is inferred by the spectator. This shift in perspective raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of the dramatic experience.

One key aspect is the temporal gap between the hero's actions and the audience's experience of rasa. Sankula points out the apparent inconsistency in the cause-and-effect model when considering how the hero's emotions, depicted in a drama, can have an impact on the audience, even if thousands of years have passed since the events portrayed. This challenges the linear understanding of time in the context of aesthetic experience.

Moreover, Sankula introduces the role of the spectator into the equation. He questions the relevance of the drama for the spectator if they are not direct beneficiaries in rasa realization. This consideration adds a layer of complexity to the relationship between the dramatic performance and the audience's engagement with it.

The idea that rasa is not produced but inferred by the spectator introduces a logical process of inference. This process involves the spectator recognizing a permanent mood in the actor, which is inferred to exist in the hero. This logical chain of inference ultimately leads to the realization of rasa. The analogy of the "portrait of a horse" highlights the conceptual nature of this inference — the actor is like the portrait, embodying the essence of the hero, but not being the hero in reality.

In summary, Sankula's Anumitivada challenges conventional notions of causality in the aesthetic experience of rasa by emphasizing the role of inference and introducing the spectator as an active participant in the process of realizing rasa. This perspective adds depth and nuance to the understanding of classical Sanskrit drama and the emotional resonance it seeks to evoke in its audience.