About the book:
Rasa, the aesthetic pleasure, is accepted as the highest value of Sanskrit kavya. In Sanskrit, the word kavya includes both sravya and drsya, i.e. all form of poetry and drama. The rasa is a very old concept and is found in the Upanisad in the sense of pure consciousness or the highest reality. In the field of literary criticism, Bharata, the author of the Natyasastra is the first known Acharya of the rasa theory, and Abhinavagupta is his commentator. Abhinavagupta, hailing from Kashmir, was one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers in the field of Kashmir Shaiva philosophy and literary criticism. He explained the rasa theory propounded by Bharata on the philosophical plain and raised the experience of rasa, i.e. Rasasvada similar to the experience of the Highest Bliss, i.e. Brahmasvada. Abhinavagupta's rasa theory had a great impact on the whole of rasa school of Sanskrit poetics. The present anthology of twenty-two well-researched papers representing the outcome of a national seminar hosted by Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, sheds welcome light and presents fresh perspectives on the concept of rasa. It is hoped that the book will be as interesting to the critical reader as it will be informative to the students and scholars of Sanskrit poetics.