Vibhava (Determinants or Catalysts)

Vibhava (Determinants or Catalysts)

The means by which an emotion is triggered is called Vibhava. These are of two kinds:

Alambhana Vibhava
The person or the object in respect of whom the emotion is experienced and whose appearance is directly responsible for the bringing forth of the emotion

Uddipana Vibhava
The situation in the environment in which that person or object is placed and which is helpful in intensifying the emotional experience

Vibhava (Determinants or Catalysts), Dancing, Indian Dance, Dance, Dancing, ActingThe Alambhana Vibhava in relation to Uddipana Vibhava is explained in the following passage. Take the example of two lovers in the Erotic Rasa. Now, in the context of Alambhana Vibhava, both the lover and the beloved are equally responsible for bringing out emotion in each other. In the ‘Uddipana Vibhava’ it is the situation in the environment in which the lovers are placed. For example, the atmosphere of the place where the two meet, the gentle breeze, the moonlight, etc.; all this gives rise to the Anubhavas – that is, how the lovers express themselves in relation to each other (i.e. holding hands, kissing, embracing); it produces involuntary bodily responses or emotions (the Sattvikabhavas, included later in the lesson) and may give rise to complementary (or transitory) emotional states – the Vyabicaribhavas (included later in the lesson).

For Bharata Muni, Rasa (the flavor or taste) arises from the bringing together of the varied emotional factors, very similar to the distinctive flavor of a cooked dish that is prepared using many different ingredients.

Anubhava (Consequences)

The outward manifestations brought forth because of the Vibhavas are known as the Anubhavas. These are of two kinds:

Those which can be expressed by words
Which are expressed by bodily expressions

In Indian drama, for example, the Anubhavas convey to the audience, the emotions that the actors are experiencing.

There are also “involuntary emotions” known as Sattvikabhavas. These include:

  • Stambha (Paralysis)
  • Sveta (Sweating)
  • Romanca (Hair standing on end)
  • Svarabheta (Changes in one’s tone of voice)
  • Vepathu (Trembling)
  • Vaivarnya (Changes in the colour of one’s face)
  • Asru (Becoming tearful)
  • Pralaya (Fainting)

Vyabicaribhavas (Complementary States)

The Sthayibhava (“permanent mood”) as an emotion is a major one and is developed by many minor feelings known as Vyabicaribhavas. These are:

  • Nirveda (disinterest)
  • Glani (tiredness)
  • Sanka (apprehension)
  • Asuya (insecurity)
  • Mada (intoxication)
  • Dhrti (steadfastness)
  • Cinta (anxiety)
  • Dainya (pity)
  • Alasya (lethargy)
  • Srama (exhaustion)
  • Smrti (recollection)
  • Moho (delusion)
  • Vrida (shame)
  • Capalata (impuliveness)
  • Harsa (sudden delight)
  • Jadata (stupor)
  • Avega (excitement)
  • Garva (arrogance)
  • Visada (depression)
  • Autsuka (longing)
  • Nidra (sleep)
  • Apasmara (epilepsy)
  • Supta (dreaming)
  • Vibodha (awakening)
  • Amarsa (retstrained anger)
  • Avahittha (deception)
  • Ugrata (ferociousness)
  • Mati (analysis)
  • Vyadhi (sickness)
  • Unmada (temporary insanity)
  • Marana (death)
  • Trasa (panic)
  • Vitarka (argumentiveness)

Sattwik Abhinaya

The Sattwik Abhinaya is made of two elements that complement each other. These are the Rasa or emotional flavor and the Bhava or the mood to suit a particular emotion. Rasa, is the primary or the emotional flavor or sentiment, and is indispensable to nritya. The artist should necessarily arouse the element of emotion in the audience so that his emotions and theirs become one and are in tune with the spirit of the drama.

Bhava is the secondary and complementary (to Rasa) feature. Bhavas can be divided into four kinds.



    • Abalambanam
    • Udipan

    • Expresses the effect of a mood such as the ravages of anger or sorrow, or the rapture of love

    • Pertains to the temporary changes of settings to fit in with the mood of a particular scene
  • Consists of eight standardized movement to express such emotions as joy, fear or disgust

1. Love in the Radha Krishna dance may be expressed through Abalambanam
2. While Udipan helps the mood with the external aid of a moonlight setting

The Rasa and Bhava are fundamentally different in some ways:
> Rasa is brought purely through creatively changing one’s body language.
> Rasas also express the starting of a sentiment.

> Bhava is more earthy and it revolves around creating a mood through the medium of physical media (the actual wires of a network that are used to carry the signal)
> Bhavas provide the finishing touch to any sentiment using mana (brain) or sharira (body)

All nine rasas have their corresponding bhavas.
1.Sringara Rasa (Eroticism)
Rati Bhava (Love)

2.Raudra Rasa (Fury)
Krodha Bhava (Anger)

3.Veera Rasa (Valor)
Utasha Bhava (Bravery)

4.Hasya Rasa (Joy)
Hasya Bhava (Mirth)

5.Karuna Rasa (Pathos)
Soka Bhava (Compassion)

6.Vibhatsa Rasa (Disgust)
Jugupsa Bhava (Aversion)

7.Adbhuta Rasa (Wonderment)
Ascharya Bhava (Amazement)

8.Bhayanaka Rasa (Fear)
Bhaya Bhava (Fright)

9.Shanta Rasa (Serenity)
Shama Bhava (Peace)

Deities and colors associated with the Rasas.

RASA Nearest Equivalent Deity Color
Shringaar Love Vishnu Light green
Hasya Humor Pramatha White
Karuna Pathos Yama Ash
Rudra Anger Rudra Red
Vir Heroism Indra Light orange
Bhayanak Terror Kala Black
Bibhatsa Disgust Shiva as Mahakaal Blue
Adbhut Wonder Bramha yellow

Bharata then goes on to talk about histrionics, which is called Abhinaya in natyashatra. The drama unfolds in four ways.

•The communication using movements of the body is called Angika abhinaya. This involves the movements of major limbs like head, chest, hands, and feet. It also involves movements of minor limbs like eyes, nose, lips, cheeks, chin etc. Angika abhinaya also includes glances, gestures, and gaits.

•The communication using speech is called Vachika abhinaya. Here, the vowels, consonants and where they originate in the mouth, intonation, modes of address etc. are discussed. In the context of literary aspect of drama, Bharata describes as many as ten types of dramas collectively known as Dasharupaka. One of them is Veethi i.e. road shows. Presently, we see many road shows during election time.

•Extraneous representation is called Aaharya Abhinaya. This is achieved by using costumes, make up, ornaments, stage properties, etc.

•Representing the traits of your character is called Sattvika Abhinaya. It is the highest quality of abhinaya that expresses the inner feelings of the character by subtle movements of lips, nostrils, trembling of body, turning the face red, rolling down the tears etc.

Chitrabhinaya is the description of representing phenomena like sunrise, sunset, different times of the day, rains etc. Bharata also gives a detailed account of how to show the animals on stage and how to make them artificially and with what material.

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