Mystical Participation: An Exploration of the Metaphysical Properties of Human Emotions in the Rasa Theory of Natyashastra (81019)

Session Information: Psychology and Social Psychology
Session Chair: Samita Sharma

Sunday, 26 May 2024 15:40
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 605
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The last two decades have witnessed many scholarships on human emotions from different perspectives: scientific, philosophical, psychological, physiological, and theological etc. Nevertheless, these studies show that human emotions are challenging to comprehend and mysterious in different ways. One of the reasons for this mystical nature of emotion and incomprehensiveness is its inherent capacity to transcend oneself to a higher realm. Interestingly, the 'Rasa' theory in the 'Natyashastra' of Bharata Muni, an Indian epic of ‘dramaturgy’ of performing arts, clearly identifies different categories of human emotions and gives proper instructions to uplift them through performing art. 'Rasa' theory disseminates emotions from the 'ahamkara' (ego) and identifies them as channels between the 'ahamkara' and the 'atman' (true nature of self). 'Rasa' theory is not merely a manual with instructions for performing artists. It also deals with the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of emotions and shows ways to transcend them to a different realm. The goal of 'Rasa' theory is not to entertain the spectators but to transcend them by elevating the metaphysical properties of human emotions. This paper explores how 'Rasa' theory identifies the metaphysical properties of human emotions and the dynamism of transcending them to give the spectator some glimpses of bliss. A critical analysis of the 'Natyashastra' in general and the 'Rasa' Theory, in particular, will be conducted to understand the dynamism of the mystical participation of human emotions in the higher realms.

Arun Joseph Chakkalakkal, KU Leuven, Belgium

About the Presenter(s)
Mr Arun Joseph Chakkalakkal is a University Doctoral Student at KU Leuven in Belgium

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00