Rasa by Bharat Muni
Rasa is one of the key words of Indian culture. It has been accepted as highest value of Sanskrit kavya. The Rasa is a very old concept. It is found in the Upnishad in the sense of pure consciousness or the highest reality. According to Panini's grammar Rasa has several meanings. Its literal meaning is - juice of plants, juice of fruits, any liquid or fluid, the best or finest or prime part of anything.
In the field of literary criticism, Bharat Muni is the first known Acharya of the Rasa Theory. He is the author of the Natyasastra, an ancient work of dramatic theory. In this Natyasastra he enunciated eight rasas. According to Natyasastra each Rasa has a presiding deity and a specific colour. Natyasastra established the following:
1. Shringaram - Love, Attractiveness. Presiding deity- Vishnu. Colour- Light Green.
2. Hasyam - Laughter, Mirth, Comedy. Presiding deity- Pramata. Colour- White.
3. Rudram - Fury. Presiding deity- Rudra. Colour- Red.
4. Karunyam - Compassion, Mercy. Presiding deity- Yama. Colour- Grey.
5. Bibhastam - Disgust, Aversion. Presiding deity- Shiva. Colour- Blue.
6. Bhayanakam - Horror, Terror. Presiding deity- Kal. Colour- Black.
7. Viram - Heroic mood. Presiding deity- Indra. Colour- Saffron.
8. Adbhutam - Wonder, Amazement. Presiding deity- Brahma. Colour- Yellow.
Note: By later authors one more rasa was added. It is known as Shantam.
Shantam - Peace or tranquility. Presiding deity- Vishnu. Colour- Perpetual White.
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