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Speaking the Art of Aesthetics through the eyes
- Compiled by Dr. S. Divyasena

November 9, 2020

Bharata’s Natya Shastra is vast like an ocean and is layered with very profound thoughts and ideologies. It is a boon to researchers, dance practitioners, scholars, teachers and students. As we all know, eyes or ‘drishti’ plays a vital role in creating an emotion or Bhaava to evoke the relevant Rasa.

I hope this small attempt of mine to consolidate the 178 Slokas in Chapter 8 of Natya Shastra, will act as a tool and give you an insight in understanding the importance of ‘drishti’ in Rasa. The following tables   illustrate the different eye movements used to create all nine rasas, the stayi Bhaavas and how to express the vyabichari Bhaavas.

What is Rasa?
It is explained with an example in Natya Shastra - like how a person experiences the taste of food cooked with all the ingredients like spices, the people enjoy the rasa (taste) while it is expressed by different psychological states.

BHAAVA DRISHTI - Why is it called so?
Derived from the word bhaavayanthi - it means they infuse the meaning of the play.

The idea of the author is expressed by means of words, expression, gestures, colour of the face, etc.

Here ‘vi’ and ‘abi’ are prefix and chara means to go or move which means that it carries something. It carries the emotion.

Dr. S. Divyasena, a Ph. D from SCSVMV University, is the founder-director of Divyanjali, Chennai. She is the secretary of Prayathnam (a forum of young committed dancers and dance teachers) and an ‘A’ grade artiste of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi.

Vast topic explained in a beautiful way....good article.
- Malavika (Nov 11, 2020)

A beautiful and valuable compilation... It can be a very useful teaching aid for all teachers. There is so much to learn from this!
(Nov 10, 2020)

Well compiled and written. So much depth and detailing just in the eyes. This topic is so relevant for all the dancers/teachers to easily give those nuances of abhinaya which helps to bring out emotions so precisely. Great article!
- Swarna (Nov 10, 2020)
Beautiful article, Divya ma'am, thank you for this knowledge sharing. Keep continuing with your great work. Best wishes.
- Preethi Padmanabhan (Nov 10, 2020)

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