Natyasastra Essay

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Aharya Abhinaya – A Study Dr.Jayashree Rajagopalan The Art of Theatre is referred to as “Nätya” and Bharata Muni defines it as the ‘glorified’ imitation of the world around us (lokänukértanam) wherein the various situations with different emotions, conveying pleasure, and pain, are depicted through the four Abhinayas or modes of communication namely: ängika (physical), väcika (verbal), ähärya (ornamental) sätvika (intellectual and emotional).The purpose of this Nätya is to create in the audience aesthetic relish and pleasure known as Rasa. Among all the modes of representation Bharata gives Ähärya Äbhinaya, the most powerful status of communication to establish the intended rasa. He says that when an artiste is dressed up as a particular character, the concept and context is already communicated, even before a word is spoken or an action performed. Ähärya Abhinaya is referred to as the wall or canvas on which other abhinayas are easily painted. Ähärya Abhinaya represents collectively the external elements of communication such as the costume, ornaments, make-up, and stage props, which is referred to as “Nepathya” in Chapter XXI of the Nätya Sästra. Bharata has devoted only one chapter to Ähärya Abhinaya per se, however, the significance he attaches to it is evident from the constant mention of it in almost every chapter. There are certain basic principles in the Nätya Çästra, which have remained valid for all times to come. There is a sense of universality and perennial purposefulness in his approach to Ähärya, which does not restrict itself to a given period of time. Surprisingly, many scholars who have done extensive work on translation and interpretation on other topics, have not paid adequate attention to Ähärya Abhinaya, including Abhinavagupta. Ähärya Abhinaya according to Bharata makes the performance of other abhinayas fall in place effortlessly. A deeper

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