Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bharatnatyam bhava theory

Bhavas are the meaning of a poem, a meaning that includes words, physical gestures and emotions.To be precise, that which conveys the meaning intented by the poet through words , physical gestures, and facial gestures is called as bhavas. 

A meaning conveyed by a stimulus is called as Vhibhavas and when the same is made intelligible by words , physical gestures and emotions it is called as Anubhavas. 


Vibhava is that which leads to a perception.So vibhava is a cause.It is the cause of words, gestures, and facial expressions.So , in ordinary parlance, vibhaavita means “understood”. 


Anubhavas are accompanied(anu) by words, gestures and facial expressions. According to a traditional verse , an an anubhava is conveyed with the help of words, gestures etc. 

There are 3 categories of bhavas – Sthaayi bhavas, Vyabhikari bhavas, and Saattvika bhavas. There are 8 Sthaayi bhavas, 33 Vyabhikari bhavas and 8 Saattvcika bhavas. Thus 49 bhavas are the source of expression of the rasas of poetry.The rasas are produced when these come into contact with the qualities common. 


The 8 Sthaayi bhavas ar the 8 rasas.Their expressions – both involuntary(anubhavas) and voluntary(vyabhikari bhavas) .The 8 rasas or the sthayi bhavas are –Srngara,Hasya,Karuna, Raudra, Vira, Bhayanaka, Bibhatsa and Adbhuta.These have already been explained under the Rasas. The other vibhavas are-

1)Rati-(love is a feeling of pleasure)-It is performed sweetly and gracefully. 

2)Haasa-(laughter)-It is expressed by smile , gentle laughter and a guffaw. 

3)Soka-(grief)-It is expressed by collapsing on the ground and repeated lamentations, uneasy body movement,, sighs and shaking of the head, knitted eyebrowsetc. 

4)Anger- It is expressed by bitting the lips, looking down and wiping the perpiration, looking like an angry man,etc. 

5)Energy or Vigour-This is a characteristic of a uttama(high) character.It is used to express clarity , cleverness etc. 

6)Fear-It is expressed by drooping limbs, hands& legs shaking, fearful eyes etc. 

7)Disgust-Only in the case of females and low characters .It is expressed by holding the nose , by covering, by looking doubtfully etc. 

8)Wonder-A job excellently done pleases one; and the pleasure produces amazement at the fulfillment.This is expressed by extreme joy. 

Vyabhikari Bhavas

1. Nirveda: Poverty, disease, insult, humiliation, abuse, censure, anger, beating, separation from dear ones, detection of truth etc., are the stimulant causes.
In case of females, and low characters, it's enpr. is the form of crying, heavy sighs, hesitation etc.,

2. Gtani: hurt, emptiness, illness, starvation due to vows and fasts, Anxiety, highly intoxicating drink ,Too much exercise etc., are it’s vibhavas.
It’s anubhavas are weak speech , dull eyes, emaciated cheeks, trembling, drooping body etc.,

3. Shanka: It is associated with doubting, Low, and female charecters. Robbing, offending the authorities like King, comitting Sinful act etc., are its vibhavas.
It’s anubhavas are frequently glancing To and fro, covering the face, pale face trembling etc.,

4. Asuya: it’s vibhavas are hatred for good luck, riches and intelligence of others. It’s anubhavas are proclaiming faults and obstructing good deeds looking with knitted brow, and contempt and ridicule.

5. Mada: it is of three kinds and has ___ Bhavas. Intoxication is of three kinds - lively, middling, and low. Its cause is five fold. It is said that one intoxicated person sings another cries, a third one laughs, a fourth For one uses harsh words and the fifth sleeps.

The higher character sleeps the middle one laughs and sings while the low character cries and uses bad language. The characteristics of the high one are a smiling face, color rising to his face body relaxed and speech sluming. Walking is lively with uneven steps. 

The middle charaters have eyes which are unstady, they throw about their arms and walk in crooked and stumbling steps. The low charecter looses his memory is unable to walk vamiting, hiccoughing, disgusting.

On stage an intoxicated person must show suffering and causes are alarm, grief, joy etc.

6. Shravana: (Fatigue) Its vibhavas are walking excersice etc and it anubbhavas are rubbing & shampooing the body, heavy sighs, stern steps making faces etc. 

7. Alasya: Its vibhavas are depressing illness satiety etc. Its anubhavas are aversion to all activities streatching on bed drousiness etc. It is epicted by female and low characters.

8.Daivya: Ill luck worry etc are it vibhavas. It is anubhavas are deffidence, heavy headache and restlessness etc.

9)Chinta-(anxiety)- Its vibhavas are loss of prosperity, poverty etc. Its anubhavas are sighing, heaving ,worrying etc. 

10)Moha-(fainting)- Its vibhavas are bad luck, fear of illness, calamity, excitement, etc.Its anubhavas are unconciousness ,giddiness, falling etc. 

11)Smrti-(memory)- It is the remembrance of happy and unhappy experiences. 

Its vibhavas are loss of peace of mind, bad night of sleeplessness,worrying constantly by remembering like experiences etc. Its anubhavas are shaking the head, looking down, raising the eye brows etc. 

12)Dhrti-(fortitude)- Its vibhavas are bravery, knowledge, prosperity, devotion to elders etc. 

Its anubhavas are enjoying what is achieved and not grieving over what is not achieved or destroyed. 

13)Vridha-(bashfulness or sense of shame)-Its vibhavas are disobedience , confession of guilt , repentance etc. 

Its anubhavas are hiding ones face, looking down, writing on the ground with the toe, biting nails etc. 

14)Capulata-(nervousness)- Its vibhavas are hatred , intolerance, envy etc. Its anubhavas are harsh words , beating, killing etc. 

15)Harsha-(joy)-Its vibhavas are achieving one’s desires, pleased minds , blessings of the kings,gods and elders ,etc . 

Its anubhavas are pleased look cheerful face, embracing, feeling thrilled , tears of joy etc. 

16)Aavega-(agitation or excitement)- Its vibhavas are portents of storm , rain ,fire elephants running amock, natural calamities etc. 

Its anubhavas are physically collapsing, uneasiness , amazement , etc. 

In the case of storm , it is depicted by the following actions- covering with a garment,wiping the eye , holding fast the clothes and hasty steps. 

Sqeezing the body, running , seeking shelter etc depict the scene of rain. 

In the case of fire , smoke from the eyes , bodily withdrawal, jumping retreating etc. depict the scene. 

This every vibhava has its way of being depicted. 

17)Jadataa-(slothfulness )- Its vibhavas are hearing and seeing things one likes or does not like , illness etc. 

Its anubhavas are silence, staring unwinkingly etc. 

18)Garva-(pride or arrogance)-Its vibhavas are prosperity, handsome figure, youth etc. 

Its anubhavas are jealousy, arguementativeness, looking at one’s own self in the mirror, contemptuous laughter, etc. 

19)Visada –( sorrow , regret , disappointment)- Its vibhavas are incompletion of work undertaken and calamity due to acts of gods. 

Its anubhavas are seeking help , thinking of a remedy, restlessness, sighing ,etc. 

20)Autsukya-(uneasiness)- Its vibhavas are separation , repeated remembrance of it, etc. 

Its anubhavas are deep - long sighs , down cast face , thoughtfulness drowsiness, etc

21)Nidra-(sleep)- Its vibhavas are weakness , fatigue, weariness, intoxication, etc. 

Its anubhavas are puffed up face, looking at the body, roving eyes, yawning, eyes closing, drooping body etc. 

22)Apasmara-(forgetfulness)-Its vibhavas are being possessed by gods, ghosts , etc . 

Its anubhavas are trembling, heaving jumping running, falling, foaming at the mouth etc. 

23)Supta-(asleep, being overcome by sleep)- Its vibhavas are bewilderment, enjoying objects of senses etc. 

Its anubhavas are drooping body, heaving as on awakening, closing eyes ,all the limbs of the body unmoving etc. 

24)Vibodha-(awakening)-hunger ,end of a dream,touch of hard subatance ,loud sounda are the vibhavas. 

Yawning , rubbing of the eyes are the anubhavas. 

25)Amarsa-(intolerance,impatience)-It is produced in a man who is insulted and ridiculed by others richer,stronger and better learned.These are the vibhava stimulus. 

The anubhavas are shaking of the head,sweating,downcast look,moodiness,determination etc. 

26)Avahittam-(dissimulation)-It is in the nature of covering up the real things. Its vibhavas are sense of shame , fear,defeat,loss of dignity etc. Its anubhavas are appearinf different,distracting or distorting facts etc. 

27)Ugrataa-(fierceness)-The vibhavas are offending a king Its anubhavas are killing ,binding,beating,condemnation etc. 

28)Mati-(understanding, judgement) – It’s vibhavas are Studying various shastra, consideration of pros and cons etc., 

It’s anubhavas are, raising doubts, arguing and removing doubts in the interest of students. 

29) Vyaadhaii- The three humours are – Vaata [wind- gas], Pitta [bile], and kafa [phlegm]. Combinations of any of these results in diseases which are characterized by fever etc., 

The anubhavas of these characteristics are, trembling and quivering all over, folding up the body, craving for warmth, tossing the body, hands and feet, etc., 

30)Unmaada-(insanity)-Separation , loss of wealth, natural calamities, and the disturbances of the 3 humours are the various vibhavas. 

Its anubhavas are laughing or crying , moving in a chaotic manner etc. 

31)Maranam-(death caused by illness or violence)-Its vibhavas or the causes are weapons, poisons, animals, diseases , accidents etc. 

The anubhavas are symptoms of illness and its consequent effects, quivering, hiccough, drooping shoulders etc.

32)Traasa-(dread)-The vibhavas are lightning , meteor, rainstorm etc. And its anubhavas are covering the body, trembling, shaking etc. 

33)Vitarka-(arguementation)-Its vibhavas are doubt, deliberation, discrepance etc. 

Its anubhavas are reasoning, solving the question etc. 


Sattva means emotions or genuineness , which is a quality of the mind. Things like feeling thrilled , tears, pallor etc. can be achieved only when the mind is composed.The pains and pleasures can be shown or expressed only on being emotional correct. 

There are 8 Saattvika Bhavas .They are-

1. Stamba-(stupefaction)-Its acted by standing still, body unmoving, eyes unseeing and limbs lifeless. 

2. Sveda-(sweating)-This is depicted by using a fan, wiping the perspiration, etc. 

3. Romaancha-(feeling thrilled)-Its depicted by showing frequently as if the hair is on the end, by plucking movements ,and touching the limbs. 

4. Svarabedha-(break in the voice)-Its shown by stuttering in different voices. 

5. Vepathu-(trembling)-Its depicted by quivering , and shaky movements. 

6. Vaivarnya-(pallor)-It is shown by pressure on the pulse and changing colouring of the face. 

7. Asru-(tears)-Shown by wiping the eyes. 

8. Pralaya-(swoon death)-Shown by collapsing onto the floor or the ground. 


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