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Rasa Sutra Of Bharata Based In Sixth Chapter Of Natyashastra

The greatest contribution of Bharata Muni is a one line aphorism, popularly called rasa sutra which had an abiding influence on the later critics, resulting in rasa school, different from alankara school, guna school, or riti school, dhvani school, vakrokti school and aucitya school.

The sixth chapter of Natyashastra is devoted to a thorough analysis of the rasa (sentiments) without which poetry, much less a drama, is worthy. There is no literary activity without rasa. In one cryptic line, Bharata defines rasa as that which originates from a combination of these three factors, sthayi bhava (the dormant mood) which is present in every person becomes manifest as rasa. Accordingly, the eight sthayi bhavas result into eight rasas respectively. They are:

  1. Rati into sringara (erotic)
  2. Hasa into hasya (comic)
  3. Shoka into karuna (pathetic)
  4. Krodha into raudra (furious)
  5. Utsaha into vira (heroic)
  6. Bhaya into bhayanaka (terrible)
  7. Jugupsa into bibhatsa (odious)
  8. Vismaya into adbhuta (marvelous)

There is a variant reading in the text of Natyashastra, dully taken note of by one of the renowned critics and commentator on Natyashastra, Abhinavagupta, who includes Shanta (quietude) resulted from sama. Later, this received wider acceptance and came to be called collectively as navarasa (nine rasas).