By Frts. Gautam Mohanty in Bhubaneswar, July 14, 2021: Rasagola Theory is derived from a combination of Rasa & Gola . Rasa is a fusion of word and meaning, that bathes the minds of readers, with savor of bliss. It is the truth of poetry, shining without cessation. Clear to the heart, it is yet beyond the words. Gola means Circle is a simple shape. It is the set of all points in a plane that are at a given distance from a given point, the centre, equivalently it is the curve traced out by a point that moves so that its distance from a given point is constant. Rasa means to Sugar Cane Juice and Gola symbolizes a circle which is made off boiled Paneer which is also made out of milk, an another liquid form where this is a combination to be formed in a sweet dish called RASAGOLA a tastiest sweet with sugar soup.

A rasa literally means “juice, essence or taste”. It connotes a concept in Indian arts about the aesthetic flavour of any visual, literary or musical work that evokes an emotion or feeling in the reader or audience but cannot be described.

Although the concept of rasa is fundamental to many forms of Indian arts including dance, music, theatre, painting, sculpture, and literature, the interpretation and implementation of a particular rasa differs between different styles and schools. The Indian theory of rasa is also found in the Hindu arts and Ramayana musical productions in Bali and Java (Indonesia), but with regional creative evolution.

The word rasa appears in ancient Vedic literature. In Rigveda, it connotes a liquid, an extract and flavor. In Atharvaveda, rasa in many contexts means “taste”, and also the sense of “the sap of grain”. According to Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe – a professor of Drama, rasa in the Upanishads refers to the “essence, self-luminous consciousness, quintessence” but also “taste” in some contexts.[ In post-Vedic literature, the word generally connotes “extract, essence, juice or tasty liquid”.

Bharata Muni enunciated the eight Rasas in the Nātyasāstra, an ancient Sanskrit text of dramatic theory and other performance arts, written between 200 BC and 200 AD. In the Indian performing arts, a rasa is a sentiment or emotion evoked in each member of the audience by the art. The Natya Shastra mentions six rasa in one section, but in the dedicated section on rasa it states and discusses eight primary rasa.

Raudram rasa of the destructive fury of goddess Durga in Bharatanatyam

• Related to love, eros
• Humorous, comic
• Pathetic, disgust
• Fury, anger
• Compassion, sympathy
• Heroic
• Terrible, horrifying
• Marvellous, amazing

Rasagola is produced from a combination of Determinants (vibhava), Consequents (anubhava) and Transitory States (vyabhicaribhava).


Vibhava (hetu, karana, nimmita) means ‘cause’ of what happens or is happening in life. Bharata has termed it as ‘Vibhava’ and has described its primary purpose as, creating the awareness of the emotions that the creator (Poet/Author) intends to. With the reference to artistic presentation (creative expression), Vibhava can be interpreted as, ‘Developing the knowledge or understanding of a specific emotion (mental state) that the creator (Poet/Author) intends to convey through the means and modes of acting. The Vibhavas are of two types one is ‘Aalambana Vibhava’ and the other is ‘Uddipana Vibhava’. In broader sense, they are the internal and external causes of something. ‘Alambana vibhava’ is source of a particular emotion that determines its nature and ‘Uddipana vibhava’ is the one, which enhances the emotion caused by a stimulant. It has no direct bearing or connection with the cause or consequence and it is not a part of the process but indirectly plays the role of enhancer of a particular emotion borne out of a stimulant. This can be best explained by many literary presentations such as works of Kalidasa or other renowned authors.


‘Anu’ is a Sanskrit word and in this context, it means “in reaction to”! Here in this case since it is the natural reaction of body to ‘Vibhava’ it is termed as ‘Anubhava’. Apparently, there is a very thin 1/5 . 1/6 1/7 21 line of demarcation between the two; yet they cannot be termed as the same because Vibhava is the cause and Anubhava is its Consequence. Vibhava is definitive whereas Anubhava is not definitive. The simple reason for this is: it is not possible to link Anubhava with a specific emotion (mental state). For example, physical reaction like ‘strenuous expression on the face’ is a sure physical reaction which is a manifestation of a definite ‘cause’ or Vibhava. Therefore, the physical reaction of strenouous expression on the face will be the ‘Anubhava’. Nevertheless, since such a reaction could be the result of either a body ache or mental stress or for being thrown in to an awkward condition. As mentioned earlier, the vibhava is definitive because it is the internal state, which triggers the anubhava, which is the external manifestation.


Vyabhicāribhāva “variants” or Saṃcāribhāva refers to the “accessories of permanent emotions” (like rati etc.) according to Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century).—These vyabhicāribhāvas are thirty-three in number. These vyabhicāribhavas are neither permanent nor inborn. Madness is variant in the case of śṛṅgāra specially in vipralambha-śṛṅgāra. These three treated above are very much needed for the manifestation of rasa.

Vyabhicāribhāva “complementary psychological states”).— it is said that vi and abhi are prefixes, and the root cara means ‘to go,’ ‘to move. Hence the word vyabhicāriṇah means ‘those that move in relation to Sentiments towards different [kinds of objects.]’ ‘Move in’ implies carrying. It is questioned, “How do they carry?” In answer it is said, “It is a popular convention to say like this, just as the people say, “The sun carries this nakṣatra (star) or that day.” It does not, however, mean that these are carried on arms or shoulders. But this is a popular belief. Just as the sun carries this star, so is to be understood that the Complementary Psychological States which carry the Sentiments.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of