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Accueil > Oriente > Masson & Patwardhan : Sāntarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of (...)

Masson & Patwardhan : Sāntarasa and Abhinavagupta’s Philosophy of Aesthetics

samedi 21 avril 2018

Śāntarasa might be translated as “ the imaginative experience of tranquility ”. It is an issue on? which there exists some confusion.

We have tried to show in this volume how often Abhinava draws on santarasa for his major contribution to Sanskrit aesthetics, the theory of rasa. Reduced to its bare essentials the theory is as follows : watching a play or reading a poem for the sensitive reader (sahŗdaya) entails a loss of the sense of present time and space. All worldly considerations for the time being cease. Since we are not indifferent (tatastha) to what is taking place, our involvement must be of a purer variety than we normally experience. We are not directly and personally involved, so the usual medley of desires and anxieties dissolve. Our hearts respond sympathetically (hŗdayasammda) but not selfishly. Finally the response becomes total, all-engrossing, and we identify with the situation depicted (tanmay’ibhavana ). The ego? is transcended, and for the duration of the aesthetic experience, the normal? waking “ I ” is suspended. Once this actually happens, we suddenly find that our responses are not like anything we have hitherto experienced, for now that all normal emotions are gone, now that the hard knot of “selfness” has been untied, we find ourselves in an unprecedented state of mental? and emotional calm. The purity of our emotion and the intensity of it take us to a higher level of pleasure than we could know before - we experience sheer undifferentiated bliss (ānandaikaghana) for we have come into direct contact with the deepest recesses of our own unconscious where the memory of a primeval unity between man? and the universe is still strong. Inadvertently, says Abhinavagupta?, we have arrived at the same inner terrain as that occupied by the mystic, though our aim was very different from his. Such an experience cannot but make us impatient with the ordinary turmoil of emotions that is our inner life, and though Abhinava never explicitly says so, one cannot help feeling? that he expects the reader to search out now these experiences on a more permanent basis.