Kāvya’s Repeat Performances

Intersections of Aesthetics, yoga-parikarma-bhāvanā, and the Logic of Medium-Specificity in Daśarūpaka’s Discussion of śāntarasa


  • Deven M. Patel University of Pennsylvania, USA




rasa, śāntarasa, parikarma, bhāvanā, genre, medium, Daśarūpaka, Abhinavagupta


Kāvya’s Repeat Performances. Intersections of Aesthetics, yoga-parikarma-bhāvanā, and the Logic of Medium-Specificity in Daśarūpaka’s Discussion of śāntarasa

Largely left underexplored in rasa studies has been an implication made in the middle of the tenth century that śāntarasa eludes theorization with respect to the theater (nāṭya) but may function within an exclusive theory of poetry (kāvya). A discussion in the Daśarūpaka (“The Ten Dramatic Forms”) and its commentary cryptically imply in the fourth chapter of that work that if śāntarasa is viable at all as a genre of rasa theory, it is medium-specific to kāvya and not possible in nāṭya. Though śāntarasa is a dubious category for theater theory and pragmatics, they seem to argue, it may be acceptable in poetry through a synergy of two theoretical schemas: poetics and Yoga psychology. Reviewing these arguments opens up a larger conversation about the significance of medium to rasa theory and the inherent limitations for conceiving unified theories of art.


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How to Cite

Patel, Deven M. 2020. “Kāvya’s Repeat Performances: Intersections of Aesthetics, Yoga-Parikarma-bhāvanā, and the Logic of Medium-Specificity in Daśarūpaka’s Discussion of śāntarasa”. Cracow Indological Studies 22 (2):43-62. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.22.2020.02.03.