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Why Sarus Cranes epitomize Karunarasa in the Ramayana

Hammer, Niels LU (2009) In Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 19. p.187-211
Abstract
By correlating literary evidence, avian ethology and neurophysiology I will try to demonstrate why Valmiki chose a pair of Sarus Cranes, and not any other avian species, to epitomise grief and sorrow in the Ramayana. This choice illustrates the importance of personal experience of the living reality (behaviour of Sarus Cranes); but the grief, soka, as experienced by Valmiki, became in later critical literature, the rasa of karuna, the aesthetic appreciation of grief, as suggested by Anandavardhana and explained by Abhinavagupta. By emphasising the central importance of affective states (sthayibhavas) in life as well as in the arts (rasas) Valmiki, Abhinavagupta and Anandavardhana appear to have had a perception of the human condition that... (More)
By correlating literary evidence, avian ethology and neurophysiology I will try to demonstrate why Valmiki chose a pair of Sarus Cranes, and not any other avian species, to epitomise grief and sorrow in the Ramayana. This choice illustrates the importance of personal experience of the living reality (behaviour of Sarus Cranes); but the grief, soka, as experienced by Valmiki, became in later critical literature, the rasa of karuna, the aesthetic appreciation of grief, as suggested by Anandavardhana and explained by Abhinavagupta. By emphasising the central importance of affective states (sthayibhavas) in life as well as in the arts (rasas) Valmiki, Abhinavagupta and Anandavardhana appear to have had a perception of the human condition that is consistent with recent developments in affective neuroscience; and thus it is the pitch and the tonal quality of the cries of grief that convey the depth and universality (sadharanatva) of the emotion. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
volume
19
pages
187 - 211
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000264807100003
  • scopus:70949092191
ISSN
1474-0591
DOI
10.1017/S1356186308009334
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a4a51a9-60af-4daf-8c2c-e321f3b66d18 (old id 1400580)
date added to LUP
2009-06-12 11:13:58
date last changed
2017-08-06 03:32:04
@article{0a4a51a9-60af-4daf-8c2c-e321f3b66d18,
  abstract     = {By correlating literary evidence, avian ethology and neurophysiology I will try to demonstrate why Valmiki chose a pair of Sarus Cranes, and not any other avian species, to epitomise grief and sorrow in the Ramayana. This choice illustrates the importance of personal experience of the living reality (behaviour of Sarus Cranes); but the grief, soka, as experienced by Valmiki, became in later critical literature, the rasa of karuna, the aesthetic appreciation of grief, as suggested by Anandavardhana and explained by Abhinavagupta. By emphasising the central importance of affective states (sthayibhavas) in life as well as in the arts (rasas) Valmiki, Abhinavagupta and Anandavardhana appear to have had a perception of the human condition that is consistent with recent developments in affective neuroscience; and thus it is the pitch and the tonal quality of the cries of grief that convey the depth and universality (sadharanatva) of the emotion.},
  author       = {Hammer, Niels},
  issn         = {1474-0591},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {187--211},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society},
  title        = {Why Sarus Cranes epitomize Karunarasa in the Ramayana},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1356186308009334},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2009},
}