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ASSIGNMENT - (1)

CLASSICAL TEXT READING - I


- Kartavya Gupta
201356193
1. Vidyaranyas message through Panchadashi.
Sri Vidyaranya Swami flourished in the
fourteenth century A.D. He was the Guru as
well as the Prime Minister of Harihara I and
Bukka, the founders of the Vijayanagara
Kingdom. He is reputed to the greatest among
post-Sankara Advaitins. He was the head of the
Sringeri Sarada Pitha established by Sri Adi
Sankara Bhagavatpada from 1377 to 1386 A.D.
Panchadasi is one of the works attributed to
him. This work is so named because it consists
of fifteen chapters. It is a comprehensive
manual of Advaita Vedanta. The fundamental
teachings of Advaita are presented in this work
in a clear and lucid manner. It is therefore the
best text for the novice who desires to get
acquainted with this philosophy. At the same
time the work is very profound and is of
interest to advanced students of Advaita as
well.
The fifteen chapters of this work are divided
into three groups of five chapters each.
Brahman or the supreme Self, which is the only

reality according to Advaita, is described in the


Upanishads as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
The first group of five chapters deals with the
Existence aspect of Brahman, the second group
with the Consciousness aspect and the third
with the Bliss aspect.
The core of Advaita is that Brahman is the only
reality. 'Reality' is defined as that which does
not undergo any change at any time. By this
test, Brahman, which is absolutely changeless
and eternal, is alone real. The world keeps on
changing all the time and so it cannot be
considered as real. At the same time, we
cannot dismiss it as unreal, because it is
actually experienced by us. The example of a
rope being mistaken for a snake in dim light is
used to explain this. The snake so seen
produces the same reaction, such as fear and
trembling of the limbs, as a real snake would. It
cannot therefore be said to be totally unreal. At
the same time, on examination with the help of
a lamp it is found that the snake never existed
and that the rope alone was there all the time.
The snake cannot be described as both real and
unreal, because these two contradictory
qualities cannot exist in the same substance. It
must therefore be said that the snake is neither
real nor unreal. Such an object is described as
'mithya'. Just as the snake appears because of
ignorance of the fact that there is only a rope,

this world appears to exist because of our


ignorance of Brahman. Thus the world is also
neither real nor unreal; it is also 'mithya'. Just
as the snake is superimposed on the rope, the
world is superimposed on Brahman. Our
ignorance of Brahman is what is called Avidya
or Ajnana or Nescience. This ignorance not only
covers Brahman, but it projects the world as a
reality. The world has no reality apart from
Brahman, just as the snake has no reality apart
from the rope. When the knowledge of
Brahman arises, the world is seen as a mere
appearance of Brahman. Another example may
be taken to explain this. Ornaments of different
sizes and shapes are made out of one gold bar.
Their appearance and the use for which they
are meant vary, but the fact that they are all
really only gold, in spite of the different
appearances and uses, cannot be denied. The
appearance may change, a bangle may be
converted into rings, but the gold always
remains as gold. Similarly, on the dawn of the
knowledge of Brahman (which is the same as
the Self), though the different forms of human
beings, animals, etc., continue to be seen by
the Jnani, he sees them all only as appearances
of the one Brahman. Thus the perception of
difference and the consequences of such
perception, such as looking upon some as
favourable and others as the opposite, and the
consequent efforts to retain or get what is

favourable and to get rid of or avoid what is not


favourable, come to an end. This is the state of
liberation even while living, which is known as
Jivanmukti.
The Jiva, or individual, is Brahman itself, but
because of identification with the body, mind
and senses he looks upon himself as different
from Brahman and as a limited being, subject
to joys and sorrows caused by external factors.
This identification with the body, mind and
senses is what is called bondage. In reality the
Jiva is the pure Brahman and is different from
the body-mind complex. When this truth is
realized as an actual experience, the
identification with the body-mind complex
ceases. This is liberation. Thus liberation is not
the attainment of a state which did not exist
previously, but only the realization of what one
has always been. The illusory snake never
existed. What existed even when the snake
was seen was only the rope. Similarly, bondage
has no real existence at all. Even when we are
ignorant of Brahman and think of ourselves as
limited by the body, we are really none but the
infinite Brahman. Liberation is thus only the
removal of the wrong identification with the
body, mind and senses. The attainment of the
state of liberation-in-life or Jivanmukti is the
goal of human life according to the Upanishads.

Maya, which is also known by other names


such as Prakriti, Avidya and Nescience, is what
conceals Brahman and projects the universe. It
is because of this that every one identifies
himself with his body-mind complex and is
ignorant of the truth that he is none other than
Brahman. Sri Vidyaranya points out that Maya
may be looked upon from three different
standpoints. For the ordinary worldly individual
who looks upon the world as real, Maya which
is the cause of the appearance of the world is
real. For the enlightened person who has
realized his identity with Brahman, Maya does
not exist at all. For the person who attempts to
understand Maya through reasoning, Maya is
indeterminable because it cannot be described
as either real or unreal or both.
There is a wrong notion that according to
Advaita the world is a mere illusion. What
Advaita says is that the world is not real in the
sense in which Brahman is real. Advaita
accepts three orders of reality. Brahman, which
is eternal and changeless, is the absolute
reality, known in Vedanta as paaramaarthika
satyam. The world has empirical reality, known
as vyaavahaarika satyam, which means that as
long as a person has not become free from
avidya and has not realized his real nature as
Brahman, the world is real for him. It is on this
basis that all the rituals, injunctions and

prohibitions laid down in the Vedas become


applicable to such a person. In other words,
until a person realizes that he is not the body
or mind or senses but Brahman, the world is
real for him. The object of Vedanta is to make
man give up his wrong identification with the
body and realize his true nature. What is meant
here is not mere intellectual knowledge, but
actual experience, which is otherwise known as
realization.
The third order of reality consists of such cases
as a rope appearing as a snake, a piece of
nacre being mistaken for silver, and the
experiences in dream. This order of reality is
known as praatibhaasika satyam.
Panchadasi is a metrical work in Sanskrit.
2. The Rasas and Bhavas in Natyasastra.
"na hi RASAdrite kaschidarthah pravartate"1
Bharata Muni very emphatically states in the
Rasadhyaya of Natyashastra that "no
meaningful idea is conveyed if the "Rasa" is not
evoked."
The very core of the Sanskrit Natya theory is
the creation of "Rasa". Every dramatic
presentation was aimed at evoking in the
minds of the audience a particular kind of
aesthetic experience, which is described as

"Rasa". The concept of "Rasa" is the most


important and significant contribution of the
Indian mind to aesthetics. The study of
aesthetics deals with the realization of beauty
in art, its relish or enjoyment, and the
awareness of joy that accompanies an
experience of beauty. Rasa has no equivalent in
word or concept in any other language or art of
the world hitherto known to us. The closest
explanation can be 'aesthetic relish'.
We do come across the mention of Natasutras
of Silalin and Krishasva by Panini, prior to
Bharata's Natyashastra, yet, it is only
Bharatamuni who seems to have given a
scientific analysis and codification of the
concept of Rasa. Bharata says that Natya is the
imitation of life (lokanukruti) wherein the
various human emotions have to be
dramatically glorified (bhavanukirtanam) so
that the spectator is able to flavour
the portrayed pleasure and pain (lokasya
sukhaduhkha) as Natyarasa. This Rasa
experience will entertain and enlighten the
spectator who hence becomes the 'Rasika'.
The word Rasa is derived from the root 'rasah'
meaning sap or juice, taste, flavour, relish. The
extract of a fruit is referred to as 'rasa,' which
itself is the essence of it, the ultimate flavour of
it. Bharata succinctly encapsulates the theory
of Rasa in his most famous formula-like Rasa
sutra thus:

"vibhavanubhavavyabhicharisanyogatRASAnish
pattih."1
The aesthetic relish is produced
(rasanishpattih) by a combination of the
determinants (vibhava), consequents
(anubhava), and transitory states or fleeting
emotions (vyabhicharibhava). He explains Rasa
as the essence derived from the various
ingredients. He gives the parallel of the extract,
rasa, got from various condiments, having
different tastes, when combined becomes
delectable to taste. Hence, that
which can be tasted or flavored (asvadya) can
be termed as Rasa. Just as the gourmet with a
refined taste relishes good food, so also
cultured and learned persons taste and relish
the well established dominant mood
(sthayibhava) created by various bhavas and
abhinaya.2 This aesthetic relish, which is
possible only through mental perception, is
termed as 'natyarasa'. Even the terms vibhava,
anubhava, and vyabhicharibhava refer only to
stage representations, not to realities of life. It
naturally follows that what they produce should
only be 'natya rasa' (sentiments pertaining to
the dramatic spectacle). One enjoys
experiencing the emotions with the artistes,
and sometimes even visibly expresses it by
shedding tears or laughing spontaneously. But
both the artiste and the spectator are well
aware that neither of them is going through it

in reality. This enjoyment is 'natya rasa'.


The 6th and 7th chapters of the Natyashastra,
known as the Rasadhyaya and Bhavaadhyaya
respectively, together bring out the concept of
the Bhava-Rasa theory of Bharata, and have
hence become the bedrock for all deliberations
on aesthetics, including the most brilliant
contribution of Abhinavaguptacharya, whose
Abhinavabharati remains till date the best
commentary on the Natyashastra.
"Bhava" is derived from the root 'bhu'-bhavati,
that is, 'to become', 'to come into existence'.
Bharata gives a causal quality to Bhava, saying
'bhavayanti iti bhava',3 that is, a thing or
mental state that brings its awareness or
makes one conscious of it, which pervades one
like a particular smell.
Bharata classifies the Rasa under eight
categories (ashtarasa) and gives the
corresponding Bhava which gives rise to the
rasa. These are known as Sthayi Bhava or
pervading stable emotion. They are rati(love),
hasa(mirth), shoka(grief), krodha(anger),
utsaha(heroism), bhaya(fear), jugupsa(disgust),
and vismaya(wonder).4 The corresponding
eight Rasa are sringara(amorous),
hasya(humorous), karuna(pathetic),
raudra(furious), vira(valorous),
bhayanaka(horrific), bibhatsa(repugnant), and
adbhuta(wondrous).5 There are three types of
Bhava, namely, Sthayi (eight types),

Vyabhichari (thirty three), and Satvika (eight),


totaling to forty-nine. The Satvika bhava are
the physical manifestation of intense emotion.
They are sthamba(petrification),
sveda(perspiration), romancha(horripilation),
svarabheda(voice change), vepathu(trembling),
vaivarnya(facial colour change), asru(weeping),
and pralaya(fainting). It is an amazing analysis
of human emotions put in a nutshell !
Vibhava is the cause (karana), the main
stimulating cause being termed as alambana
vibhava (the determinant), and, the
environmental factors that are additional
causes termed as uddipana vibhava (excitant).
Anubhava is the consequent physical reaction
through action, word and facial expression that
follows (anu), as the impact of the vibhava. The
thirty-three vyabhichari bhava (also referred to
as sanchari bhava in some editions), are
transitory, fleeting emotions based on
psychological states of the mind. Several such
emotions follow one after the other, one
replacing the other, strengthening the sthayi
bhava at each stage, till finally the sthayibhava
is established and there is 'Rasanubhava'. "Just
as in music a procession of notes in certain
combinations reveals a characteristic melodic
whole or raga, similarly it seems that the
representation of bhavas reveals rasa as an
aesthetic whole."6
For instance, in the play

Abhijnanashakuntalam, Kalidasa uses King


Dushyanta's coming to the hermitage to pay
respects to the sage, as the alambana vibhava.
The girls' talk, the bee, their attire, the flower
garden and such others become the uddipana
vibhava. On Dushyanta's entry, fleeting
emotions like confusion, wonder, fear, curiosity,
bashfulness and such others seem to fill the
minds of all the characters
present. The blossoming of love between
Shakuntala and Dushyanta is gradually
established through the reactions of both of
them to the conversation of the sakhis with the
King. If the 'patra' enacting as Shakuntala is
able to show the Satvika bhava of horripilation
(romancha) or vepathu (trembling) out of the
new experience of love which is strange to an
ashramite and Dushyanta is able to portray
sthambha
(petrification) on seeing her beauty and
romancha on knowing her lineage, then the rati
sthayi bhava gets established in the mind of
the people who can experience the sringara
rasa.
Bharata says that Bhava and Rasa are mutually
dependent. The performer or producer, be it an
actor, dancer, singer, instrumentalist, or stage
craftsmen, should be conscious of the sthayi
bhava and the rasa that they are striving to
establish. This will help them realize their
'siddhi' through 'Rasotpatti'.

3. Life values in Ramayana.


Sibling Relationships
If your child has any siblings, focus on the love
the brothers had for each other. Why did
Lakshman, who was used to all the worldly
luxuries due to a prince, decide to give all of
that up voluntarily to live with his elder brother
for 14 years of hardship in a forest? Because he
loved his brother and could not bear the
thought of having to live 14 years without him.
You can also teach your child the importance of
standing up for his siblings with the example of
Surpanakha. When Surpanakha was insulted by
Lakshman, her brothers Khaara and Dooshan
rushed to avenge her not caring of the fact that
it could lead to their death. When Rama and
Lakshmana did indeed vanquish her brothers,
Surpanakha sought her other brother Ravana's
aid, setting the wheels for the grand battle
between Rama and Ravan, good and evil, into
motion.
In today's materialistic world where disputes
between siblings are commonplace, stories like
these need to be extolled and repeated time
and again. Parents need to encourage their
children to not only spend time with their
siblings, but also stand up for each other and
be there for each other when required. Such
deep affection can be cultivated only when

parents encourage such growth, and keep


emphasizing the importance of love amongst
siblings.
Differentiating between Right and Wrong
You can teach your child to choose right over
wrong even when wrong may feel more right by
giving him the example of Bharat, who was
awarded the honour of ruling the mighty
kingdom of Ayodhya. Bharat could have just
accepted the throne and the absolute power
and luxury that came with it but his sense of
right and wrong would not permit him to do
what most others would greedily do. Instead,
upon learning that his mother Kaikeyi had
unjustly managed to get Rama banished from
Ayodhya, he immediately went into the forest
to look for Rama and offer him his rightful
position as ruler of Ayodhya. So great was his
devotion to his brother and so strong was his
desire to be fair and just, that when Rama
refused to return to Ayodhya before completing
his 14 years in exile, Bharat placed Rama's
footwear on the throne and ruled Ayodhya in
the name of Rama as Ramas emissary until
he returned to regain his rightful position.
This teaches your child that even if something
is extremely desirable, he should only accept it
if is attained in a just manner without hurting or
affecting anyone else in an unfair and unjust
manner.

The Value of a Promise


Dashrath had granted Kaikeyi two boons when
she had saved his life on the battlefield. The
day before Dashrath was to retire and crown
his eldest son Rama as king, Kaikeyi demanded
that Dashrath grant her the boons she desired
as promised. Her first desire was that Rama
should be exiled to the forest for fourteen
years, and the second, that her son, Bharat, be
crowned King in his stead. Dashrath was
naturally heartbroken at the prospect of having
to send his son into exile for fourteen years,
but for this noble hearted clan, honouring ones
word is the highest duty. Even when Dashrath
began to falter at the prospect of actually
following through on his promises due to his
love for his first born and pleaded with Rama
not to leave, Rama reminded his father of the
value of a promise given and left Ayodhya to
keep his fathers word. When Bharat begged
Rama to return to Ayodhya, Rama once again
reminded Bharat that he could not and would
not dishonour his father by breaking the
promise he had made to Kaikeyi.
If Rama, a prince who had been brought up in
the lap of luxury and who stood to gain a
position of absolute power and luxury if he
disregarded his fathers promise, willingly
chose to live a life of exile and hardship for 14
years in a forest, what does it teach our

children? It teaches them not to tarnish the


value of their promise for small and
unimportant things like eating their veggies or
finishing their homework and so on.
Love and Respect for Parents
Rama's insistence on keeping the promise
made by his father also shows the deep love
and devotion that he had for his parents. He
willingly chose to spend 14 years in exile in a
forest to protect his fathers much respected
honour. Such was the regard he paid to his
father. Dashrath too loved his child so deeply
that when Rama left for the forest, Dashrath
could not bear the thought of being away from
his son for 14 years and breathed his last.
This demonstrates the love and respect Rama
had for his parents. He listened to every
command his parents made, he honoured their
promises and ensured that no one could accuse
them of being unfair. He did not go against his
parents wishes even though being passed over
for the throne was unfair to the firstborn son of
the ruler of a mighty kingdom. He obeyed his
parents and is immortalised for doing so. It also
showcases the love parents have for their
children. Hopefully, the fact that Dashrath
died pining for his son will make them aware of
the attachment you have for them and will
make them more respectful of and more
devoted to you.

Beware of Bad Counsel


Kaikeyi was fundamentally a good natured
woman, but was convinced to send Rama into
exile and insist on her son Bharat being
crowned king by the venomous counsel of her
maid servant whom she consider loyal and
wise. Mantharas vicious scheming not only
poisoned Kaikeyis mind into demanding those
two appalling boons, but also ruined her life.
She lost her beloved husband to heartbreak
and her son Bharat, for whom she asked for
those very boons, chastised her for dreadful
behaviour.
This is a very important lesson for your
children. It teaches them to stay on guard
against vicious counsel. It teaches to be
vigilant in order to avoid being scammed. It
teaches them to be firm of mind and not let
their minds get swayed easily by people. It
teaches them to question their behaviour and
think of the consequences of their actions
before making any big or small decisions.
Protecting the Weak
Jatayu, an aged demigod in the form of a
vulture, witnessed Ravana kidnapping Sita and
taking her forcefully to Lanka. Disregarding his
old age, Jatayu tried to save Sita by fighting
Ravana valiantly but failed. Rama and
Lakshman came across him where he was lying

breathing his last. Jatayu informed Rama about


Sitas whereabouts and Ravanas plans before
breathing his last. Moved to tears by the
gallantry and courage of the aged
Jatayu, Rama gave the bird its last rites as
though the bird was his father.
This teaches your child that he must always
stand up for the weak. If his friends begin
bullying a younger child, your childs moral
code will not allow him to just stand by as a
meek spectator. The fact that Jatayu was so old
and still tried to take on the powerful Ravana
single-handedly, teaches your child to be
courageous and be unafraid to take on any
challenge that comes his way and accomplish it
to the best of his ability
4. Shakuntalam of Kalidasa with reference to
Srungara Rasa
Sringara(Sanskrit:gra) is one of the nine
rasas, usually translated as erotic love,
romantic love, or as attraction or beauty. Rasa
means "flavour", and the theory of rasa is the
primary concept behind classical Indian
artsincluding theatre, music, dance, poetry,
and sculpture. Much of the content of
traditional Indian arts revolves around the
relationship between a man and a woman. The
primary emotion thus generated is Sringara.

The romantic relationship between lover and


beloved is a metaphor for the relationship
between the individual and the divine.
Classical theater/dancers
(i.e.Bharatanatyam,Odissi,Mohiniyattam) refer
to Sringara as 'the Mother of all rasas.' Sringara
gives scope for a myriad of other emotions
including jealousy, fear, anger, compassion,
and of course for the expression of physical
intimacy. No other Rasa has such a vast scope.
As explained by Bharata, the sthayibhava of
the erotic sentiment is love (rati) is associated
with the fullness of youth and originates when
a relationship is tied up between a man and
woman. The erotic sentiment is usually
associated with bright, pure, beautiful and
elegant attire. Bharata has divided this
sentiment into two type, samyoga and
vipralamba. Samyoga is the rasa of union and
vipralamba is that of separation. The
determinants of samyoga sringara rasa are the
blooming seasons like spring, rich ornaments,
full bloom flowers, company of intimate fellows
etc. Consequents in the erotic sentiment which
is to be represented on the stage are the clever
moment of the eyes, eyebrows, soft and
delicate moment of the limbs, sweet and
pleasant words etc. The consequents
vipralampa sringara rasa are indifference,
languor, fear, jealousy, fatigue, anxiety,

yearning, drowsiness, dreaming, awakening,


illness, insanity, epilepsy, inactivity, fainting,
death and other such conditions. In addition to
Bharatas rasas of union and separation
Dhanamjaya has mentioned another rasa of
privation. He has named them as sambhoga
(union), viprayoga (separation) and ayoga
(privation). The viprayoga and ayoga of
Dhanamjaya together correspond to the
vipralamba of Bharata.