First Chapter. Basically, the Natyashastra documents the history behind the development of the arts in India; it is a theater and dance treatise of national. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only. Book: Natya Shastra (with English Translations) Author: Bharat Muni Translator: Manomohan Ghosh M.A., Ph.D. Published by: Asiatic Society.

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P Raja March 11, 1: All the three works form the encyclopaedia of Indian civilisation. Both the works leave no stone unturned in matters concerning body and mind.

All the three works speak of the glory of India and proclaim to the world that Indian education did not stop with the scriptures and the philosophies. External evidence gives us a clue that the Sanskrit work was available to Mahakavi Kalidasa, as he refers to its author in his lyrical work Vikramorvasi. And so there is sufficient evidence to surmise that Bharata lived about BCE or even earlier. Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, was once requested by the gods for entertainment for the eyes and the ears of all the people.

Owing to overpressure of work, Brahma perhaps chose the sage Bharata to write the grammar of such an entertainment.

Natyashastra | Indian drama treatise |

Presenting Bhaarta a copy of his Natyaveda, comprising selections from the Rigveda recitationfrom the Yajurveda actingfrom the Samaveda music and from the Atharvaveda sentiments he instructed him to make rules for everything connected with the theatre.

Obeying Brahma, Bharata began teaching his work and thereby popularised it in the world. Two versions of the text, one running to 37 chapters and the other containing 36 chapters, are available. The work provides the basic source of information on the intricacies of Indian theatre. And the last chapter appeals to the honest and diligent followers of the Shastra to bless the work.

Audience play a major role in any play, avers Bharata.

They should express their reactions either by clapping their hands, or by laughing louder nuni by uttering exclamations as the occasion demands. These forms of encouragement are bound to inspire the actors on the stage to perform their duties to their utmost satisfaction. But this they should do with no intention of disturbing the play. If the audience is mad after marring the play, they should by all means identify the reason for its failure.


Bharata Muni – Wikipedia

What is it due to? Human factor or natural factor? But Bharata is against sweeping statements. He recommends competitions to be organised and suggests that only qualified and sympathetic judges to participate. He tells us also about how and what distance the judges should be seated. Make-up, costumes and other paraphernalia, Bharata believes, help to communicate the play to the audience. He prescribes specific make-up to everyone entering the stage.

Be you god, demon, king, queen, servant, you have to put on the prescribed make-up, costume, jewellery, weapons, et al. It is love or hate at first sight.


The very appearance of the character should speak volumes to the audience. Love the god and hate the demon. Love the hero and hate the villain. Bharata prescribes a number of details concerning shastrq and feeling to be expressed by the actors.

He meticulously describes the art of such expressions in stylised tones and gestures suiting the status of the character. Special directions are also given regarding different kinds of loving and pining heroes. It is no wonder that Sanskrit plays have mostly love as their theme. And that speak for the immortality of the plays, as Love is ansurely eternal and everlasting theme.

We can also find the rules about how the times of the day or asides are to be conveyed on the stage. The different types of characters and their characteristics are beautifully explained and the present day directors of movies would find ample guidance to the art of choosing artists and distributing the roles. Since music is recognised as the food of love all over the world, Bharata plays on. He considers music under two heads— instrumental and vocal.

The four kinds of instruments — stringed, percussion, solid and hollow. Bharata explains the seven swaras notes and tells us of the human throat and the veena as their source. There are rules in handling the musical instruments, leave alone playing on them. It is quite amazing to read about the place where orchestra and singers are to be seated.


He explains of the eight emotional states with their corresponding rasas. Bharata also speaks of 33 minor fleeting feelings like bashfulness, anxiety and indignation. Spontaneous and involuntary reactions like perspiration and tears are also mentioned. A detailed treatment of Sanskrit prosody makes the work interesting to poets and writers.

But what is really more interesting is the information that Bharata provides as to how drama and dramaturgy were brought to the mortal world.

Natya Shastra

But bhaarata is not to say that a play containing a tragic episode was discouraged but a story ending on a tragic note. Bhasa broke such a rule for he wrote tragedies too. The work remained a source book for scholars and writers of drama and inspired several other treatises.

Today it is a different story. The more was the work revered and obeyed, the quicker was it lost.

With the arrival of the British our Indian theatres underwent a dramatic change. Influenced by European theatres, our Bhraata theatres too are changing. Is this what we call change with the times?

While women in England had had mubi wait till Charles II came back to power and natta them to perform on the stage, it is really heartening to note that in our country female roles were performed by women in those days of yore. Thanks are owed to Bharata for giving importance to women to perform on a par with men.

Natya Shastra Legend has it that Brahma, the Creator, was once requested by the gods for entertainment for the eyes and the ears of all the people.

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