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Title: "Aesthetic non-dualism " in text and practice : contemporary arts in the light of the Rasagaṅgādhara
Author: Subramani , Vijaya
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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How does Rasasvada (Aesthetic-taste) communicate Brallmasvada (Brahmantaste), and how do the spiritual/religious and the aesthetic correspond in the theory of Rasa? In this thesis, first I respond to these queries, through a critical study of the Indian theory of Rasa with reference to the Rasagmigadltara of Panditraj Jagannatha (17th Century AD). Thereafter, I analyze reports of Rasa experiences within the context of aesthetic and artistic lives of some select contemporary Indian artists/artistes, grounded in the Indian artistic/aesthetic tradition of Rasa. Thus, in my thesis, I take partly ethnographic methodology and partly follow the analytical and critical method of literary/art criticism to highlight the pragmatists thrust of the theory of Rasa. Jagannatha offers an Advaitic reading of Rasa, claiming it to be transcending of subject-object duality and the end of primal misunderstanding (avidya). Consequently, he claims it to be redemptive and revelation of RasalBrahman. He derives this equation of Rasa and Brahman from the earlier writers and from the oft-quoted passage of the TaittarTya Upani~ad, which equates these two as "Raso Vai sal) (Rasa is That)." What is remarkable about the concept of Rasa is that it has not only stimulated the interest of aestheticians, philosophers, literary critics, poets, artistes and connoisseurs for the past 2000 years or so; this non-dualistic notion of the theory has moved out of the canonical treatises and has captured the minds and hearts of many living traditions of Indian Arts and aesthetics. The sophisticated Sanskrit treatises on dramaturgy, poetics, music and dance bear witness to Rasa's development and Rasa continues to be a living ideal and is discussed even today within Indian and trans-Indian aesthetic studies. My thesis will demonstrate that Rasa as a praxio-logical theory is embedded in the life-praxis of artistic culture of the Indian creative minds and is an excellent model of "pragmatist aesthetics."
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available