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What are the rasas of which the natya experts speak?
What constitutes a rasa?
What are the bhavas (emotions)?
What feelings do they (bhavas) convey?
What is sangraha (essence of contents), a karika, and a nirukta?
To these questions, Bharata Muni replies in detail, and discusses the concept of Rasa and Bhava. To understand the concept of Anubhavas, an understanding of Bhava and Vibhava is a prerequisite because the Bhava, the Vibhava, and the Anubhava are interrelated. Bharata Muni mentions eight Rasas, namely Hasya (Laughter), Karuna (sorrow), Raudra (anger), Vira (heroism, courage), Bhayanaka (terror or fear), Bibhatsa (disgust), and Adbhuta (surprise/wonder). Shantha (peace or tranquility) is considered as the ninth Rasa. The Bhavas are of two types – the Sanchari and the Sthayi. “Love, humor, compassion, horror, the heroic, fear, repulsion, and wonder are the eight Sthayi Bhavas. Dejection, lassitude, suspicion, jealousy, infatuation, fatigue, laziness, helplessness, anxiety, confusion, remembrance, boldness, bashfulness, fickleness, pleasure, excitement, heaviness, pride, sorrow, impatience, sleep, forgetfulness, dream, awakening, intolerance, dissimulation, ferocity, desire, disease, insanity, death, fear and guessing, these are the 33 vyabhichari or sanchari bhava-s (Natyasastra, 54). The Bhavas give meaning to any expression. The tone and tenor find their shape and flow under the impression of the Bhava. Any meaning expressed by a Vibhava (stimulus) is made intelligible by “words, physical gestures and Anubhavas (emotions). So Anubhavas are the expressed emotions. The fact behind its nomenclature as Anubhava is that it is accompanied (anu) by words, gestures, the facial expression(s). “According to a traditional verse an Anubhava is called as such because a meaning is conveyed with the help of words, gestures (of primary and secondary parts of the body) and facial expressions or intonations” (Natyasastra, 54). Bharata Muni propagates that the “wise people should be able to understand vibhava-s and anu-bhavas since they are natural to people and commonly used in everyday life (Natyasastra, 54). There is no any Anubhava that we do not watch in the activities of human being in our day-to-day life.
Stambha (Stupefaction): The actor performs this Anubhava by standing still.The body remains static and unmoved. The eyes under the spell of stupefaction remain unseeing and limbs seem almost dead.
Sveda (Sweating): It is performed by showing the lack of breath or air. Different actions showing the use or urge for fan, state of perspiration, and the actors’ aspiration for breath are shown on the stage.
Romancha (Feeling thrilled): It is the representation of thrill. Romancha is portrayed by “showing frequently as if the hair is on end, by plucking movements and touching the limbs” (Natyasastra, 76)
Svarabheda (Break in voice): “This is to be acted by stuttering in different voices.” (Natyasastra, 76)
Vepathu (Trembling): “This is to be acted by quivering, throbbing and shaking movements.” (Natyasastra, 76)
Vaivaranya (Pallor): “This is to be acted by pressure on the pulse and changing the coloring of the face.” (Natyasastra, 76)
Ashru (Tears): The actor wipes the eyes again and again, and shows as if the tears are coming out of the eyes.
Pralaya (Swoon or death): The actor is shown breaking up on the ground.
Since the Anubhavas are spontaneous expressions of emotions and feelings, their performance in Abhinaya (acting) is not a very easy task because it warrants a perfect blend of physical and psychic capability in the performer. They cannot be performed until the act finds emotional involvement of the performer.
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