Navaras – 9 types of knowledge – Natyashastra.

Detail about Navarasas. 

          Rasa is the emotional satisfaction evoked by a combination of several factors, which help to generate an appropriate psychological state. In a performing art like dance and drama, rasa is created in the mind of the spectator by the actor. He creates this through various modes of expression, and this expression is called Bhava. Bhava can be translated as feelings, emotions, mood, etc. It is the bhava of the actor that creates the rasa in the spectator. The actor does not express a rasa. Rasa belongs to the audience while bhava belongs to the stage. Navarasa is a bridge linking the artist and the audience. A rasa is produced with the help of Sthayibhav. Vibhava and Sancharibhava.

According to Natya-shastra, there were eight Rasas. The ninth Rasa i.e.the Shant ras was included later on The following are the Navarasas. It’s Bhav and basic sentiment Rasa.

9 types of Navaras :

No. ( Navaras ) ( Bhav )
1. Shringar Ras Rati (love)
2. Hasya Rasa Hasa (mirth)
3. Karuna Ras Soka (sorrow)
4. Veer Ras Utsaha (energy)
5. Bhayanak Ras Bhay (terror)
6. Adbhut Ras Vismaya (astonishment)
7. Raudra Ras Krodha (anger)
8. Bibhatsa Ras Juguptsa (disgust)
9. Shanta Ras Nirved

Some more rasas not mentioned by India are :

 No. Bhav
  1.  Bhakti    – devotion
  2.  Preyas    – Sneha
  3.  Santa      – Atman and
  4.  Valsalya – Parental Affèction


9 types of Navaras information :


1. Shringar Ras : Sthyaibhava-love (erotic)

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Sringara ras is the king of rasas. In all forms of art, this rasa is predominant as the fine arts are meant for the recreation of mind and body. Love is the factor that establishes and perpetuates life in human beings and animals. All the other rasas revolve roumd sringara rasa as love leads to other rasas. Possessive nature in human beings also brings out the other rasas. Literature and dancing revolve around sringara. In Bharatanatyam also, nayika used to imagine God as her lover and their relationship was of body and soul and the realization of God was always through love. The birth of sringara is through the happiness of love.


Sringara is divided into two parts:-

( 1 ) vipralabdha sringara

( 2 ) sambhoga sringara

When the nayika is waiting anxiously for the nayaka, it is vipralabdha sringara and when they are in union or together in a lonely place, then it is sambhoga sringara.

Thus, as our life revolves around love, sringara rasa is considered the main rasa.


2. Hasya Rasa : Sthayibhava-Mockery

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – indifferent behavior and attire.

There are two types of hasya rasa-atmastha (आत्मस्थ)laughing to self, parastha (परस्थ)-making others laugh, Smita (स्मित)-smile, attahasya (अट्टहास्य)–laughing loudly, Hasita (हसित-)wide smile.

There are various reasons for showing hasya. When a person’s behavior is funny or seeing someone abnormally dressed, hearing the meaningless talk, hasya is a mental state when we think of or see a certain action. Hasya is reproduced on our face. Hasya can be innocent or mocking. Youngsters use the hasya without reason also. In hasya dignified characters smile, medium characters give a wide smile whereas the wicked characters laugh loudly.

3. Karuna Ras : Sthayibhava-Sorrow

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava –cursing, laziness, death in the family, and separation.

Karuna is produced due to the separation from a loved one, an angry word from a person, and any sorrowful incident in life. In Bharatanatyam, after Sringara, Karuna occupies an important position because, where there is love, there is separation and when separated, there is sorrow. When the Nayak leaves the nayika and goes to other women, there is an increase in sorrow.

In Bharatanatyam, the nayika is symbolic of the body and the Nayak is symbolic of the soul, so there is always a longing for the union of Atma and Paramatma resulting in unfulfilled love creating pathos or karuna. Most of the nayikas in Bharatanatyam come in this category. Even devotional poets used to imagine themselves as Lord’s Nayika creating the emotion of Karuna like Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi where Radha’s love towards Krishna was elaborately sung. Gujarat’s Narasinh Mehta also is an example.

4. Veer Ras : Sthayibha-Valour (pride)

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – due to fame, greatness, victory.
When there is a victory in a war, Veera rasa is used. When Shri Rama broke the bow of Lord Shiva, he exhibited Veera rasa. In our mythology, Arjuna is an embodiment of Veera rasa. There are three types of Veera rasas.
yudhaveer-example (Arjuna) danaveer-example (Karna) dayaveer-example (Yudhishthir)

5. Bhayanak Ras : Sthayibhava-fear

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.


Vibhava – fearful dream, lonely place, fearful voice, storm, battle.

Any situation creating fear like seeing a ghost, lonely place, death of a relative produces Bhaya rasa. Bhaya is created from the innermost mind and it is reflected on the face with the following symptoms like trembling body, loss of speech, and pale face. Bhaya can happen due to natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, fire, and accidents occurring. When Bhaya is produced, self-safety is the first thing a human being takes care of.

6. Adbhut Ras : Sthyaibhava-surprise

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – any magical performance, seeing a beautiful piece of art, seeing an abnormal thing.

When a person sees or thinks of an extraordinary and abnormal thing or experiences a sudden success or victory or when a person gets unexpected wealth, then adbhuta rasa is produced. With excitement, the person makes a ‘Ha-Ha’ sound. When Lord Shiva took the Halahal poison and drank it, the devas were surprised. When Krishna as a child lifted the Govardhan Parvat on his small finger, adbhuta rasa was produced. When Ravana saw goddess Paravati, he experienced adbhuta ras seeing her beauty. So adbhuta rasa can be divided into two parts.

Divya-divine and Ananda-happy

7. Raudra Ras : Sthayibhava-anger

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – battle, insult, a disliked work.

When the face turns red with anger, when the body shivers and when the balance of mind is lost, Raudra rasa is produced. The best example of raudra rasa is during a war. That may be the reason that during the war, drums and bugles were blown so that the raudra rasa is maintained and the warriors get an inspiration to destroy the enemy. When a person does or says unpleasant things, then also raudra rasa is produced. In mythology, we come across this rasa more in rakshasas and asuras. Some rishis also could not control raudra rasa. For example-Durvasa rishi.

8. Bibhatsa Ras : Sthayibhava–hatred

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – seeing ugly or leper/patient, seeing rotten and dirty articles.

When we see unbearably dirty things or person this rasa is produced. A handicapped person, a person suffering from leprosy creates this rasa. When Surpanakha’s nose and breasts were cut, that scene created bhibatsa rasa. When Lord Shiva killed Gajasura and cut his body piece by piece, it created bhibatsa rasa.

9. Shanta Ras : Sthayibhava-Peace

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Vibhava – Meditation and Bhakti.

When meditating rishis and Shiva show Shanta rasa. When the face doesn’t show any action or emotions and when the eyes are closed in meditation, then Shanta rasa is shown.


There are many shlokas describing the Navarasas, The popular one are from the life of Lord Rama and Lord Shiva.

Navaras - 9 types of knowledge - Natyashastra.

Extract from Ramayana :

1. Srinagar in union with Seetha.

2. Veera while breaking the bow of Lord Shiva.

3. Karunya towards Hanuman

4. Adbuta while making the bridge on the sea with hills and bouldes

5. Hasya seeing the deformed Surpanakha

6. Fearless Rama, Bhibatsa while gazing upon other women except for Seetha.

7. Raudra while destroying Ravana

8. Shantam towards the sages. Extract from Shiva Purana


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