Aesthetics of Indian Music

    Indian Classical Music is a philosophy, an art with multilineage of Rasa and the combination of Sapta- sure and its tiny reverb in the form of shruti. Classical music is not only the subject of singing or playing the raga but also the feeling of the eternal fragrance of mind and soul with visualization of abstract notes in the form of melody. To understand Indian Music, one needs to understand the philosophy of Rasa ( aesthetics), the art of music-making, and the deep knowledge in Naad, Shruti, Swar, Laya, and Tala along with its historical consequences and devotional and traditional perspective of Indian civilization. experiencing and exploring the vibes of music means the realization of joy and rejoicing of beauty in the form of Navarasa( Nine Rasa). 

Aesthetic and Beauty:

    Aesthetic is the term used to understand the impact of the self-realization of any art when one encounters with its abstract or visual form. Its a philosophy of art that describes the intensity of beauty in art form. In Indian classical music, aesthetics can be defined as the imbibement of the Naad with a frame of certain notes and the literature that create beautifulness while listening to the music. For Indians, beauty is not only the physical but the metaphysical and a joy that comes from liberation, the bondage of individual self-sensor from an experience of the eternal, infinite, and the beyond characteristics of the art. The practice of Naad, Swar, and Shruti in music is regarded as worship, a spiritual practice from Aahat to Anahat or live to salvation or self-emancipation. 

    The beauty of classic art and classical music in India is a wide range of observations since from the Vedic period or even earlier with human civilization.  As music, literature, and various arts flourish in society, the attempt to understand the exact nature causes of their appeal to the listener or the connoisseur should also find a place to rethink or reevaluate himself/herself. Beauty is not only limited to joy or pleasure forever but is also introversion to explore the reason for that joy. In India, Natyashashtra is the foundation book that defines the theory of Indian aesthetics and the metaphysical process of Rasanispatti. The primary sentiment - Sthai Bhav as per Bharat is eight. These eight metaphysical elements are the primary causes of feeling and the realization of these eight Rasa. Bharat has illustrated this eight sthai bhav which makes you feel the sentiments. These Eight Sthai Bhav are Haas , Shok, Krodh, Utsaah, Bhay, Jugupsa, Ascharya, and Nirved. These eight Sthai Bhav(prime source of sentiments) the Rasa is generated in our mind and soul are Haas - Hasya , Shok- Karun, Krodh- Raudhra, Utsaah -Veer, Bhay- Bhanayak, Jugupsa- Ghrina , Ascharya- Addbhut, and Nirved- Shant. These Sthat bhavs when assembled with the vibhav(Alamban and Uddipan)- a character or the subject or the theme, Anubhav( Saatwik, Stambh, Swed, Romanch,, Swar Bhang, Kamp, Vaivanya, Ashru and Pralay)- action that realize the emotions of Rasa, and 33 Sanchari Bhav recreates the feeling or the emotions or the beauty of the music. Acharya Bharat has described the theory of Rasa in detail for which various scholars have interpreted in their own way.  


     Vibhavaanubhavyavicharisanyogadrasnispattimeans the combination of Vibhav, Anubhav, and Vybhichari Bhav, the Rasa(Beauty/Aesthetic) is generated in the human mind and soul. The principle established by the Acharya Bharat was cited and explained by many scholars from different perspectives. Among the many Tika( a novel interpretation), four novel explanations by the novel scholars, Bhat Lolatta- Aropvad, Shri Shankuk- Anumitivad, Bhatnayak- Bhuktivad, and Abhinavgupt - Abhivyaktivad are commonly illustrated in many books and are usually in practice. These explanations/tika on Natyashashtra is the vision or the prime description about the impact of the Rasa and its association with the Art-Artist-and Listener / Viewer/ Art-Connoisseur. 

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Kumar Sargam


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