Shringara Rasa, one of the nine rasas in the classical dance arts of India, can simply be translated as erotic love, romantic love or attraction or beauty. It is considered to be the Mother of all Rasas as it gives scope to a range of other emotion such as jealousy, fear, anger, compassion, physical intimacy etc. None of the other eight rasas can match it in its scope and variety. Its sthayi bhava is Rati which is erotic love or passionate love. Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of Shringar and its colour is blue. Its origin is traced to the pleasure of love. The term literally means to decorate, or engage in a love talk. The playful exchanges between lovers or spouses, all evoke Shringara rasa.
Shringara rasa based on its sense of usage can be classified into four heads:
- Samkshipta: This is depicted by shyness and also by the expression of Sattvika Bhavas.
- Sampanna: This is reunion of lovers or a couple after a long separation and the expression is full of love.
- Sambhoga: This is the central theme of Shringara. The term literally means union. The factors that evoke sambhoga shringara are seasons, garlands, desires, loved ones, decorations, glances, sweet moments, graceful bodily movements, playing etc. This can be represented by movements of eyes, eyebrows, pleasing facial expressions, gleeful eyes, joyous look, commitment etc.
- Vipralambha: This is the reverse of sambhoga, and the term means separation. This emotion is caused by the separation of loved ones, indifference, jealousy, sleeplessness, forgetfulness, craze, sickness, death, doubt, uneasiness etc.
Vipralambha shringara again admits of various divisions such as Ayoga, Viraha, Mana, Pravasa, and Sapa. These depict impatience, separation, abandonment indignation and curse respectively.
In addition, based on deeds, shringara is classified into Vak, Nepadhya, Kriya, ie, words, dress and action respectively.
Shringara Rasa also has various bhavas. Alambana Bhava, Uddipana Bhava, Anubhava and Vyabhichari Bhava. The Anubhavas are like the physical indications of feeling. Uddipana bhava is the decoration, sighting of each other and the beautiful environment. Vibhava is the characters figuring in the Shringara form.
Shringara rasa often is the central theme in many of the padams as well as varnam we perform in a Bharatnatyam margam. It takes a lot of practice and of course talent to perfect the nuances of Shringara rasa in Bharatnatyam dance.