The foundation of the Indian aesthetic theory can be traced to Bharatamuni's Natyashastra where he gave his theory of beauty (theory of rasa) which was later elaborately developed by learned scholars. In this work, Prof. Barlingay examines the development of the rasa theory by various authorities on art and aesthetics and finally presents his own critical understanding of it
The volume begins with a survey of the history of Indian art by examining painstakingly the relation between art and beauty, perception of time and space in art, and classification of arts. It then plunges into a detailed study of origin and development of rasa theory: from rasa in the Vedas and Upanishads to Bharata's rasa theory and perspectives of Abhinavagupta, Bhattatauta, Bhatta Lollata, Kuntaka, Dandin, Mammata, Vamana, Rudrata, Vishvanatha, Bhamaha, Jagannatha and others who enriched it further with their own theories. It explains how principles were employed and re-employed by the masters to reveal various meanings, inter-relationships, symbols, and perceptions of art. It highlights the salient features of each master's unique manner of interpretation of art concepts.
The work is a must for scholars and students keen to study the fundamentals of concept and theory of Indian art, particularly with reference to drama and poetics.