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Abhinavagupta’s Integral View of Aesthetic concepts

Dr. K. Krishnamoorthy
(Former Professor and Head, Dep. of Studies in Sanskrit, Karnatak University, Dharwad)
It is well known that virtually all aesthetic concepts—rasa, guṇa, alaṅkāra, bandha
and vṛtti—were familiar to all literary theorists from Bharata down to Jagannātha. Yet
every writer has his own way of defining, classifying and illustrating them that leads to
lopsided emphasis on one of them at the cost of the others. This was sought to be
remedied by Ānandavardhana in his Dhvanyāloka. Yet how exactly it could integrate
every concept into a unified whole philosophy of beauty in literature and art was left to
be explained in the two major works of Abhinavagupta—the Locana and the
Abhinavabhāratī, Unfortunately, the misreadings in both these in important contexts have
impeded even our best scholars from getting at the crucial thought of Abhinavagupta. 1
This paper fixes correct readings in a few specimen passages of Abhinavagupta
on the basis of unpublished manuscripts as testimonies and highlights how
Abhinavagupta was a thinker who went beyond even Ānandavardhana and Bhaṭṭa
Nāyaka in his aesthetics and how he explained, for the first time, the precise part played
by each of the aesthetic concepts in a given poem or play.


Editorial note: The late Prof. Krishnamoorthy’s contribution, as submitted, was clearly targeted
at Sanskritists and, more so, at those already familiar with classical literary theory. This was
evident not just in the amount of Sanskrit terminology left untranslated—including entire
passages—but technical concepts taken for granted. In several instances, the Editor has
relegated Sanskrit passages to the footnotes and replaced with English renderings. These
attempts to make the paper more accessible to non-specialists have been noted only where
others may prefer to render the original text differently. Also, please consult the Glossary at the
back of this volume.

Here. It is the whole poem which is heard by our outer ear in recitation or inner ear in silent reading. ed. 343. Dhvani thus is primarily kāvya-viśeṣa or śabda. It is not mere sound. we take for granted the meanings of key terms as śabda.Tatra ca padārtha-vākyārthau raseṣv eva paryavasyataḥ ity asādhāraṇyāt prādhānyāc ca kāvyasyārthaḥ rasāḥ. for the latter is both 2 Dhvanyāloka . affix. It means aesthetic value only as Abhinavagupta rightly points out: 3 [Editor's partial translation: "The term kāvya (poem) is derived from the activity (kavanīyaṁ) denotated by the verbs –ku or –ko. not even mere units of spoken language such as syllable. Earlier editions read ‘sa’ instead of ‘na’ Koḥ kavater vā kavanīyaṁ kāvyam. word. KSRI ed. In this sense only can poetic language be differentiated from other uses of language —the empirical and the scientific.vācī. A close study of Abhinavagupta alone can bring clarity into our confused theorisings. vol. artha.I (2nd ed. because the word meanings and the sentence meanings culminate in the rasas only. 244. .) p. base.II Usually. It is not dictionary meanings of particular words or even direct import of individual sentences or paragraphs or even whole works.O. Na tv artha-śabdo’ bhidheyavācī.. bhāva. phrase and sentence. Its differentia or ‘soul’ (ātman) is the ‘primary suggested meaning’ (pradhāna-vvaṅgyārtha). It is these and some thing infinitely more in poetry. The word artha does not mean ‘sense’ or meaning as usually misunderstood. Arthyante prādhānyenety arthāḥ.S. p. kiṁ tu prayojana. bandha. without any serious thought about their deep implications or relative status..2 If Bhartṛhari can speak of śabda-brahman [Logos]. rasa. Ānandavardhana talks of all poetic language as dhvani in his all comprehensive aesthetics. Let us now turn to artha or ‘meaning'. Let us start with śabda. G. 3 Abhinavabhāratī. The poem is an essentially organised or patterned linguistic sound-symbol—vācya-vācaka-sammiśraḥ śabdātmā kāvyam iti vyapadeśyaḥ… dhvanir ityuktaḥ as Ānandavardhana would say. the meaning of the poem is (actually) the rasas. guṇa. lakṣaṇa and alaṅkāra. Madras.

KSRI. 5 Ibid.. ed. but rather expresses the intended purpose (prayojana). 172. Such a creative use of śabda or dhvananavyāpāra indicates the genius of the poet (kavi-pratibhā) on the one hand and the sensitive imagination of the reader (pratipattṛ-pratibhā) on the other.unique (asādhāraṇya = 'uncommon') and primary. Kiṁ tu arthyate prādhānyena ity arthaḥ.. because it is the invariable culmination of the explicit meaning of the sentence . vācyasyārthasya tam prati sarvathā paryavasānāt. rasa alone is the meaning of the poem (kāvyārtha) and kāvya is śabda intended by the poet to result in rasa. I. 'Meaning' (artha) is that which 'sought after' (arthyante) primarily.7) Abhinavagupta states kāvyasya tattva-bhūto yo’rthaḥ and the Kaumudī clarifies it further as: 4 [Editor’s translation: “The word artha.117: Tac-chaktitraya (= abhidhā-lakṣaṇa-tātparya-śakti-traya) -upajanita – arthāvagama-mūlatat-pratibhā-pavitrita-pratipattṛ-pratibhā-sahāya-artha-dyotana-śaktiḥ dhvanana-vyāpāraḥ. svaśabdābhidheyatvasya nirastatvāt. p. This is also echoed by the Locana often. For example while commenting on kāvyārtha (Dhvanyāloka. because the possibility being direct denotation (of suggested meaning) by the word has already been refuted. wherever it occurs here. the ‘meaning’ (artha) is that which is ‘sought after’ (arthyate) primarily. The word 'artha' here does not refer to the denotative meaning. does not mean denotation.”] In this integral view. p. which can go beyond the referential meanings of a poem: 5 [Editor’s translation: “The process of suggestion is the power to illuminate meanings aided by the reader’s intuition that has been purified by (repeated) insight based on understanding the meaning arising from these three powers (of denotation. . figurative meaning and import of the whole sentence ). Rather. iha sarvatra artha-śabdo nābhidheya-vacanaḥ.] 4 Locana and Kaumudī.

. anubhāva or ensuant and vyabhicāribhāva. its viṣaya or referential counterpart in the poem. considered objectively. the characters. In short. a power sui generis. Hence Abhinavagupta rightly regards all objective content of poetry as coming under the category of vibhāvādi (the objective configuration of determinants. the pivotal emotion around which all descriptions revolve as vibhāvādis. to poetic language as such. śṛṅgāra (the erotic) etc.. and style of a poem— all contribute in their own way. may include eight or nine distinguishable rasas. All aspects of poetic content like the prosaic subject matter (vastu) also get their entry into the portals of poetry only to the extent they serve the end of rasa. transitory feelings. ensuants. śānti) and admixtures (śabalatā) with other emotional shades as well. even when considered objectively. and thirty-three distinguishable bhāvas.Thus understood. The former alone are regarded as rasas proper. or accessory of an emotional nucleus (sthāyin). while the latter are designated only as bhāvas. viz. can only be envisaged in relation to rasa. Thus the scope of the term rasa. poetic content (kavyārtha) is distinguished from prosaic content (śāstrārtha) only by reason of its vibhāvādi—artha . The poets’ art of plot-construction and characterisation. Though aesthetic experience or rasa as such is an undifferentiated (akhaṇḍa) experience of bliss. Any object in the world of nature or in the world of a poet’s imagination (even if it be non-existent in the hard world of reality) is grist to the mill of the poet if it partakes of the power to induce rasa in the reader by becoming a vibhāva or stimulant. Therefore poetic content or artha. etc. its soul or ātman. Both are bhāvas because they are mental states described in poetry. Emotions described may be either permanent ones (sthāyī) or transitory (vyabhicāri). that evoke rasa). rasa. within the heart of the reader. is extended to include its semblances (ābhāsas) and variations in intensity (udaya. viz. and the unique value-content. viz. as well as diction and style are determined thus by the singular norm of “appropriateness with regard to rasa” (rasaucitya) which is exclusively aesthetic and amoral. Rasa is aesthetic experience in leading to which the story. figures of speech (alaṅkāra) and poetic qualities (guṇa) converge. the evocative power of a poem itself becomes dhvanana or dhvani. The form of a poem is termed its śarīra or body. It is this focal point of rasa towards which all elements of formal beauty. that is to say. first visualised by the poet at one end and intended to be actualised by the connoisseur (sahṛdaya) at the other end. which alone has the capacity to be transmuted into rasa.

he states that just as an engineer interested in building a palace.O. kavi-vyāpāra are all synonyms (Ibid. ed. 7 Abhinavabhāratī. and literary genres are like lovely windows.. p. rasa.322). All this and much more is suggested by Abhinavagupta in the initial verse itself of his Locana: 6 [Victorious is the Muse’s double heart the poet and the relisher of art: which has created brave new worlds from naught and even stones to flowing sap has brought. G. [Editor: The provided translation is from Ingalls. with room for windows. lakṣaṇa.. guṇas and alaṅkāras serve as paintings decorating the wall. lakṣaṇas or interesting aspects of plot constitute the walls. qumpha.7 He clearly mentions later on that the poetic process itself is variously termed by different theorists and bandha. p. et al. Nāṭyaśāstra. etc. Explaining the art of composing poetry (kāvya-bandha. Vol. guṇa. artha. dhvani.II. bhāva. 6 apūrvaṁ yad-vastu prathayati vinā kāraṇa-kalām jagad grāva-prakhyaṁ nijarasa-bharāt sārayati ca kramāt prakhyopakhyaprasara-subhagam bhāsayati yat Sarasvatyāḥ tattvaṁ kavi-sahṛdayākhyaṁ vijayate. etc. p. 227). The Dhanyāloka of Ānandavardhana with the Locana of Abhinavagupta (1990). XV. vastu and aucitya only because of Abhinavagupta’s integral approach to poetic theory as a systematic philosopher.S.292.] .. so too a poet’s starting point in his work is the selection of proper words and verse-forms. bhaṇiti. alaṅkāra. vakrokti. designing the layout and goes on to raise walls. 43. starts by levelling the ground. imparting beauty to all within its reach by successive flow of genius and of speech.] III We are able to envisage the comprehensive significance of key terms like śabda.converging to a rasa or bhāva which evokes aesthetic experience immediately in the sensitive reader.

9 Ibid. This is very often wrongly understood as generalisation or universalization by scholars. . Abhinayanaṁ hi citta-vṛtti-sādhāraṇatāpatti-prāṇa-sākṣātkāra-kalpa adhyavasāya-sampādanam. throughout our exposition. indeed. . tathā naṭo’pi.”] The secret of the alchemy of art-experience is unerringly highlighted as sādhāraṇatāpatti. p. so too an actor plays the role of characters without shedding his individuality. to conveying (to the spectators) a determinate perception whose experience is wholly life-like and whose essence consists in their psychological states attaining to a state of ‘commonality’ (sādhāraṇatā).III. G..S.124: yathā paramātmā sva-caitanya-prakāśam atyajann api deha-kañcukocitacitta-vṛtti-rūpitam iva svarūpam ādarśayati.150. conditioned by mental states limited by the human body. Vol. Acting (abhinaya) in drama and description (varṇanā) in poetry are illusions devised skilfully to evoke the self-experience of joy: 9 [Editor’s translation: “Theatrical representation (= acting) amounts.O.. Thus the seeming diversity of opinion among literary theorists is dispelled in Abhinavagupta’s integral approach..We can easily see how rīti is synonymous with bandha and dhvani with kavi-vyāpāra. prekṣaka-pakṣe na naṭābhimānaḥ. that is the magic of rasa. without losing his illumined self-awareness. Abhinavagupta spells out his philosophy as follows: 8 Just as even God might choose to play the role of man. It is explained pointedly as “mutual merging (of 8 Abhinavabhāratī. tatra rāmābhimānaḥ iti darśayati. Therefore. p. ed. we have interpreted rasa only as an experience (pratīti) of something as it appears! Art is an appearance or illusion which can lead to real bliss. Etadāśayenaiva asmābhiḥ tatra tatra pratītir eva vyākhyātā rasādhyāyādau.

. If in a scene.I. [The author paraphrases this Sanskrit citation in the next paragraph]: pitā-putra-snuṣā-śvaśrū-dṛśyaṁ yasmāt tu nāṭakam tasmād etāni sarvāṇi varjanīyāni yatnataḥ. 299. 119. 12 Nāṭyaśāstra. A spectacle whose rasa can be shared by one with every member of his family without any embarrassment. because a play is an entertainment to be seen by a whole family including one’s father.S. [“there is verily no poem that is in practice born of a single rasa.] is true in the world of literature also. neither an emotion nor its aesthetic equivalent…”]12 But the resultant joy or delight in the readers is common. though the factors that lead up to it might be different from reader to reader. son.O. one should take it as an instance of rasa-bhaṅga or ‘breach of rasa’:11 Editor’s translation: “And therefore one should be ever mindful of rasa. the elderly members or ladies cannot participate freely. is spoken of as having sādhāraṇānyonyānupraveśa or commonly shared entertainment. The adage ‘loko bhinna-ruciḥ’ [“to each his own taste” – ed.10 Kissing. It is this aspect of rasa as a common communal or social entertainment that is emphasized by the term sādhāraṇīkaraṇa. G. ed. 11 Ibid.” It is indeed a mistake to think that either poets or critics are having identical tastes. To satisfy equally the readers with diverse tastes.” .. 10 Nāṭyaśāstra XXXI. mother-in-law etc. bhāvo vāpi raso vāpi.. Vol. Sa hi sādhāraṇānyonyānupraveśa-prāṇaḥ iti pratipadam vadāmaḥ. are disallowed on the stage by Bharata.individualities) through (a shared) commonality” (sādhāraṇānyonyānupraveśa) under Bharata’s text which is indeed famous. We emphasize at every step that the latter has for its lifeblood the mutual merging (of individualities) through (a shared) commonality. p. embracing. p.. sleeping.225: Tataś ca raso bhajyeta.379: na hy eka-rasa-jaṁ kāvyaṁ kiṁcid asti prayogataḥ. VII. daughter-in-law. poets embody diverse rasas and bhāvas. loosening of garments etc. As Bharata says.

as regards to being related to oneself or to someone else.O.. G. pure and simple. ed. It is a symbol of fear universal. bird and beast. the underlying permanent emotion remains in the form of its latent trace to be relished according to the maxim of the concocted beverage (rasa – where the flavour of the whole is distinct from those of its ingredients)…thus it attains to the state of rasa…]14 If it is not acceptable to a wide public. The secret of classical literary works is that they can appeal to large sections of cultivated readers. Venkatacarya. but appealing only to a microscopic minority at any given period.. And hence the rasa arising from their contemplation also is felt as freed from personal feelings arising from locating it either as one’s own.279 [this Sanskrit passage has been paraphrased by the author in the preceding and following paragraphs]: asyāṁ ca yo mṛga-potakādir bhāti.. p. irrespective of time. This is another kind of sādhāraṇīkaraṇa which is neither idealization or generalisation in a reasoned manner. Sva-sambandhitvena anya-sambandhitvena ca sādhāraṇyāt pratītair abhivyaktībhūto vāsanātmatayā sthitaḥ sthāyī pānakarasa-nyāyena carvyamāṇo…rasa-rūpatām āpnoti. freed from all limitations of time. 13 Abhinavabhāratī. tata eva bhīto’haṁ bhīto’yaṁ śatrurvayasya-madhyastho vā ity-ādi-pratyayebhyo duḥkha-sukhādi kṛta-hānādibuddhy-antarodaya-niyamavattayā vighna-bahulebhyo vilakṣaṇaṁ.. as a friend’s or a foe’s or a neutral person’s in any given time or place. neutral). The concept of ‘impropriety’ (anaucitya) or ‘flawed rasa’ (rasa-doṣa) is clearly pinpointed here. [Editor’s translation above].The stimuli of vibhāvādis in plays and poems are common to all spectators and readers. 1979.. [“Being made manifest by perceptions that are common (i.S.. Adyar (Madras).252. T.. The fear which is felt as rasa on listening to the verse grīvābhaṅgābhirāmam. The emotion aesthetically contemplated and enjoyed as rasa is neither objective nor subjective but symbolic of the emotion of oneself as well as of all others seeing the same vibhāvādis.. subject and object: 13 The young deer is not a particular deer. or another’s. and circumstance.. place.. in Śākuntala is fear. bhayam eva paraṁ deśa-kālādy-anāliṅigitaṁ. . man. I. tasya viśeṣa-rūpatvābhāvād. vol. transcending the boundaries of time and place. 14 Cf. Rasārṇavasudhākara. p. Ed.e. place. the poem or play may be deemed to be a failure..

an unpublished commentary on the Locana cites here the explanation of Abhinavagupta. while the best in men in their heroic exploits for achieving goals of national or universal importance. p. śānta (appeased). Abhinavabhāratī. it is quoted by him in the Locana without any explanation. 7: yo’rtho hṛdaya-saṁvādī tasya bhāvo rasodbhavaḥ.O. udātta (high-minded).S. presumably from his lost Abhinavabhāratī. ed. ed. p.III. This is one of the reasons for the absence of tragedy in Indian literature.158. G. cit.17 Abhinava’s commentary on this portion is lost. puruṣāṇārh tu vīra-rasa-viśrāntam. Many 15 As Abhinava says: sarveṣv eva nāyaka-bhedeṣu dhīratvam eva viśeṣanatayoktaḥ. can be widely appreciated. though it was already found in Bharata’ s text. Fortunately.. vol. VII.IV It follows as a corollary from the above that ethically offensive features and evil are to be located only in villains whose ultimate annihilation at the hands of heroes representing good.. lalita (gentle).O. 16 Op. etc: but they all share the common quality of dhīratva or nobility. 17 Nāṭyaśāstra. . . I. Heroes may be of several kinds.16 V Hṛdaya-saṁvāda or empathy is the term popularised by Abhinavagupta to explain aesthetic psychology.15 He also gives for the first time the rationale behind the dictum that the ruling rasa in a major work must either be śrṅgāra or vīra.153: Strīṇām uttamatvam śrṅgāra-rasa-paryantam eva. G. He says that the best in women is represented in love. S. vol. uddhata (fierce). śarīraṁ vyāpyate tena śuṣkam kāṣṭham ivāgninā.

Śuṣkam iti kāvyānuśīlana-kṛta-mano-vaiśadya-śālitvaṁ sūcitam. Eka eva hi śarire pulakādyudayaḥ. “Resonating in the heart” means one whose heart is adept and at becoming identified (with the objective configuration).other citations herein expressly state the name of this source. Tasya arthasya bhāvaḥ = nirmalahṛdaya-maṇi-mukura-sīmni samunmeṣa. 19 Dhvanyāloka. Manmohan Ghosh. The author says he hails from Daśarathi-kola. arthaḥ = vibhāvādirupaḥ. śroturhṛdaya-vyāpti-pūrvakaṁ śarīram api vyāpyate. Kāṣṭham eva ca vyāpyate. etc.“Śuṣkam kāṣṭham ivāgninā” iti. “emergence of rasa” = the occasion for the arising of rasa. Agnineti guṇālaṅkāra-sambandha-saundarya-nibandhanaṁ vibhāvatvaṁ darśitam. Tena śarīram = arthāt śrotuḥ vyāpyate. tasya bhāvaḥ = udayaḥ. etc. though here it is just implicit: 18 [Editor’s translation: “meanings” = the configuration of the vibhāvas. so is the body pervaded.. tena na dārṣṭāntike raty-ādivāasanā-virahita-hṛdayasya śrotriyādeḥ sahṛdayatva-bhāvaḥ. Madras. also is similar. “Its state” = arising. KSRI ed. p. yo vibhāvādi-rūpaḥ sat-kavi-varṇanādhiruḍho’rthaḥ. “By it the body” means the listener is pervaded. .19 I have given this long extract because its exact meaning has been missed by modern translators of Bharata like the late Dr. through the listener’s heart being pervaded.: rasodbhavaḥ = rasotpatti-heturbhavati. Kaumudī. His translation is: 20 18 Adyar Library Ms.78. Hṛdaya-samvādi = hṛdaya-tanmayī-bhavana-śīlaḥ ity-arthaḥ. athavā bhāvo camatkāraḥ. Tena ca tathā-bhūtena arthena na kevalaṁ hṛdayam eva vyāpyate. or otherwise (its) “state” (meaning) relish. p. Hṛdaya-samvādi = hṛdaya-samvāda-viṣayī-bhavana-śīlaḥ. No=7471. Madras. rasodbhavaḥ = rasotpatti-sthāna-bhūtaḥ. Within the same body (there arises joyous) horripilation.181. Tatra kārtsnyena jhaṭity eva tadaikarūpyeṇa ca vyāptau dṛṣṭāntaḥ . na śilādikam. The published commentary. tad-vyāpti-pūrvakam śarīram vyāpnoti.

II ed. Calcutta. yet its occurrence in poetry is only by way of the language medium which is made poetic only by a proper use of guṇas and alaṅkāras. That is why rasa is described as dhvani that is “suggested without any perceptible (time-) sequence (upon grasping the expressed meaning)“ (asaṁlakṣya-kramavyangya-dhvani).. then they cease to be vibhāvādis. etc. One’s whole frame becomes suffused with it even like dry wood that has caught fire. in their structure as well as endvalue of rasa. Those who think that Abhinavagupta underrated traditionally recognised beauties of guṇa and alaṅkāra are misinterpreting Abhinava. 1967. is the source of the sentiment and it pervades the body just as fire spreads over dry wood. and the figurative turns that adorn vācaka-śabdas and vācyārthas are alaṅkāras. Manisha Publications. This patterned structure of poetry is called saṅghaṭanā or racanā or bandha. V The same anonymous commentator on the Locana gives another long extract from Abhinavabhāratī on Bharata’s verse (āryā) describing the heroic sentiment (vīra-rasa):21 20 Nāṭyaśāstra. capable of finding a ready echo in the responsive heart of a connoisseur. The term vibhāva is semantically related to the evoking of rasa. Incidentally. It should have been: The presence or contemplation of a vibhāva. becomes an immediate stimulant of rasa or aesthetic experience. it dovetails deftly into his scheme the concepts of guṇa and alaṅkāra also.. That is why the vibhāvas.The psychological state proceeding from the thing which is congenial to the heart. 67: . If the experience (saṁvedana) of rasa is not immediate. are all regarded as supernormal (alaukika). hṛdayasaṁvāda or tanmayībhavana (sympathetic identification) is an essential constituent of the appreciation of rasa (rasāsvāda). And it also shows how in Abhinavagupta’s integral aesthetics. 21 Naṭyaśāstra VI.

Evaṁ ca viṣāditvādi-trayāpāsana-pūrvakam-udbhūtena adhyavasāyena hetunā ya utsāha utpadyate sa vīra-raso nāma iti. there is absence of despondency resulting in non-bewilderment and nonconfusion. […] This is what has been utsāhādhyavasāyād aviṣāditvād avismayāmohāt / vividhād artha-viśeṣād vira-raso nāma sambhavati // 22 Loc. Āpadi hṛdayasya nimagnatvaṁ tat-para-vaśatvaṁ viṣāditvam. from the absence of despondency.arthyate ity arthaḥ (karmaṇi ghañ) = dharmādi catur-vargaḥ. Karman(v?)yutpattyaiva hi dharmādayaḥ puruṣārthaḥ ity ucyante. Mithyā-jñānaṁ mohaḥ.. So this is the meaning: Having determined various meaningful objectives in the form of morality and so on. Tad ayam arthaḥ:. etc. as also from (the depiction of) various distinct objects (of pursuit). . what is called the heroic sentiment arises.” This portion is not traceable in the present printed edition:22 Editor’s partial translation: “Here the commentator has provided the following gloss: “meaning” (artha) is that which is sought after […] = the four-fold goals of life beginning with morality […] the purusārthas are so called because they are ‘sought after’ (arthanīya) by ‘humans’ (puruṣa).Editor’s translation: “From the determination of energetic enterprise. These meanings/objects are manifold because of the distinctions between and within dharma. pp.Vividham = dharmādirūpam artham abhisandhāya aviṣāditvāt avismayāsaṁmohaś ceti dvandve ekavad-bhāvah. Etad uktaṁ bhavati. Artha-viśeṣasya vividhatvaṁ dharmādi-bhedāt. the (association here of the latter two qualities in a verbal) compound being expressive of their unison. mss. Avismayād asammohāc ca hetor yo’dhyavāsayo niścayaḥ sa cotsāhayati iti nijantāt pacādy-ajantatvena vyutpattyā utsāha-hetuḥ. bewilderment and delusion. cit. Etat trayam apāsya yas tattva-niścaya-rūpo’dhyavasāyaḥ sa utsāha-hetuḥ. 95-96: tatrāmunākṛtaṁ vyākhyānam:. Svalpe’pi saṁtoṣo vismayaḥ. puruṣenārthanīyatvāt.

mūla-granthaṁ kṣīrasāgaram iva gambhīraṁ nijam atibalena mandareṇeva nirmathya tatra nigūdham artha-viśeṣam pīyūṣa-rasam iva sphuṭad prakāśamānatām ānīya vibudhair āsvadyamānaṁ vidadhāti. This aspect of his contribution has not received sufficient attention in modern studies of his idea of rasa in general and of śānta-rasa in particular. is none other than the heroic sentiment.] 24 Loc. and how great literature was thus set in clear relation to life as inculcating right attitudes (covertly though!) is self-evident in this extract. virtually all the disparate concepts of Indian poetics into a well-organised aesthetic philosophy. for the first time. . ‘Delusion’ is false knowledge.23 Now I should like to conclude that Abhinavagupta is the foremost thinker who integrates). having determination as its cause when these three beginning with despondency are cast aside. p. p. which I might highlight on another occasion. cit. ibid. Janaki’s paper in this volume. the enthusiasm that arises. In this way. There are a number of such extracts untraceable in the present text of the Abhinavabhāratī. We said that only great literature combined this didactic purpose.. How Abhinavagupta clearly integrated the pursuit of recognised life-values or puruṣārthas under vīra-rasa. This anonymous commentator’s mouthful of praise is worth quotation: 24 Editor’s translation: “This is indeed a commentator (Abhinavagupta) endowed with boundless ability. ‘Bewilderment’ is condition of being satisfied with a pittance.204 Eṣa hi vyākhyātā Nārāyaṇa ivāparimeya-śakti-śālī. for powerfully churning the authoritative source text—as if he were Nārāyaṇa (Lord Viṣṇu) himself 23 [Editorial note: For the monologue play. see S.S. because Abhinava clearly states that there are minor literary forms like the monologue play (bhāṇa) whose goal is just popular entertainment (rañjana-phala.said: ‘Despondency’ is the drowning of heart when beset by calamity resulting in dependence on others. The determination consisting in the correct ascertainment of reality arises when these three (states of mind) are cast aside and it is the cause of energetic enterprise.67).

churning the (primordial) ocean of milk with the Mount Mandara to extract the nectar of immortality—he brings to the clear light of day hitherto deeply hidden extraordinary interpretations and offers them freely for the delectation of the learned connoisseurs. .