This creation is all delight as it is not only created by the All-delightful or sarvānandamaya but it is the sarvānandamaya himself who enjoys his ānanda in all created things and beings. So this creation is all about experiencing the ever existing ānanda in all possible aspects of life. One of the aspects of this ānanda is beauty. Beauty in forms, beauty in thoughts, beauty in speech, beauty in emotions, beauty in everything that is there in this creation; when there is beauty in every aspects of life then one has the experience of ānanda. But ultimately one has to have the experience of the All-beautiful everywhere and in everything and being and happening. The experience of ānanda is equated with the ideas of rasa – the taste or character of a work of art or the sentiment prevailing in it. In poetry, in design, in painting and other forms of art the rasa plays a prominent role. It’s good to learn about what this rasa is and how the masters of and philosophers and other scholars and poets of the ancient India have treated this subject. One must keep in mind that from a deeper spiritual point of view it not the rasa of the poetry or painting or any physical work but it is the rasa of the Divine that matters. The rasa of the Divine means “…the rasa of Peace, of Silence, of inner Light and Bliss, of growing inner Knowledge, of increasing inner Power, of the Divine Love, of all the infinite fields of experience that open to one with the opening of the inner consciousness.” The experience of the true rasa in any forms of art – poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture etc. is well founded when these activities become Divine working. As long as the forms of art are treated by the limited consciousness, the experience of ānanda or rasa is superficial. The true rasa is experienced in the when one is liberated from all limitations.
The current issue of Renaissance features a beautiful write up titled ‘Rasa: Its Meaning and Scope’ by V K Gokak. In this the author addresses in detail many issues related to the experience of aesthetic rapture. This long article of 24000 words is divided into four parts to be published in the next four issues of Renaissance. Originally this article appeared in the 1966 issue of Sri Aurobindo Circle.
The Guiding Light section in this issue has three beautiful passages: all dealing with the nature of All-delightful, the Rasa, the ānanda and the experience of the rasa.
The word of the month in this issue is सुषमा suṣamā – the exquisite beauty that is all about harmony, measure, symmetry, order, equality and rhythm.
The team Renaissance wishes you all a very Happy New Year 2020 of the Gregorian calendar.
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