Nav Ras ? The Nine Sentiments of Life
In this painting, I have depicted the nav rasas ? the nine sentiments of life. While there are several combinations and contemporary interpretations for these emotions provided in different texts, according to the original Sanskrit interpretation as well as that of the Odissi dance form, these rasas are [a] Shringaar, the romantic sentiment [b] Haasya, the sentiment of mirth [c] Karuna, the sentiment of pathos [d] Raudra, the sentiment of wrath [e] Veera, the sentiment of valour [f] Bhaya, the sentiment of fear [g] Vibhatsa, the sentiment of disgust [h] Adbhut, the sentiment of surprise/marvel and [i] Shaanta, the sentiment of peace. The way I see it ? life is like an ocean. The myriad emotions that spring from these basic sentiments are like the constantly rising and falling waves ruled by the winds of change. But there is one sentiment that is different from the rest. That is the Shaanta rasa ? the sentiment of peace. That one emotion is the basis for all the others ? it is like the unfathomable depth that lies just under the turbulent waves, giving existence and sustenance to all the other emotions ? never changing and unaffected by the winds that rule the waves. If this depth were missing or absent, then there would be no waves, and no ocean ? just a dried-up and parched piece of land.