Navarasa – 9 States of Emotional Empowerment

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Have you heard about ‘Navarasa’ or the 9 states of Emotional Empowerment?

Navarasa means Nava means nine, Rasa means emotional state or emotions. As per Ayurveda, the nine emotions are Shringara (love/beauty), Hasya (laughter), Karuna (sorrow), Raudra (anger), Veera (heroism/courage), Bhayanaka (terror/fear), Bibhatsya (disgust), Adbutha (surprise/wonder) and Shantha (peace or tranquillity).

These are the emotions that we humans exhibit according to our life situations. That is why life is lively and equally throbbing because of their existence. These 9 emotions are proof of our living. If we were static without any emotions we would be just like robots or machines, isn’t it?

Some of us have a higher emotional quotient and tend to react more. Our emotions flow freely, no matter positive or negative! We go through all of them at different point of time-love, surprise, anger, sadness, fear, courage, aversion, peace. Sometimes we react impulsively to a particular situation in the flow of emotions. It is important to take control or charge of our emotions too so that it doesn’t intervene and affect our relationships. We can do that slowly with awareness and transform ourselves.

9 Rasas and Bhavas and Color Theory

Rasa is a complex word with various meanings. It explains emotions as well as taste/flavour.

The 9 rasas are born from Bhavas. Bhava is a state or occurrence or appearance; or condition from which the emotion is born. A feeling is an awareness of an affect whereas emotion is the subjective experience of affect. Both affect & feelings might last only for a few seconds however, an emotion will last as long as the memory lasts. A mood is a persistent state of emotion that lasts for a few days.

Did you know these emotions is associated with a colour that describes the emotion?

Rasa one: Shringara 

Colour: Pale Light Green

Meaning: Love & Beauty

Property: It is the crown emotion that has the capability to heal anything. It helps us get rid of ego. Love is everywhere and inherent in everything. It connects and allows us to experience divine love. It denotes love and attraction.

Also read: Cosmetic Beauty from an Ayurvedic Lens

Rasa two: Hasya

Colour: White

Meaning: Joy & Laughter

Property: It connects us to joy, laughter and our sense of humour. Happiness makes you forget everything and relieves you of stress. Happiness is a state of mind that also keeps you content.

Also read: What Ayurveda says about Self-Love?

Rasa three: Karuna

Colour: Grey

Meaning: Sorrow, Compassion

Property: It means pity or compassion that is invoked by anguish or pain or sorrow. It is also associated with sadness. Compassion is a bridge that connects us all through which we can relate to each other’s sadness deeply and honestly. It also helps us understand and empathize with each other.

Also read: Emotional Intelligence: An eternally applicable life skill

Rasa four: Raudra

Colour: Red

Meaning: Anger

Property: It means roaring and has a sense of rage. Anger can lead to irritation, hatred and violence. It is a property of fire, and just a moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of goodwill. So, let go of the anger from you than getting stuck.

Also read: 5 Effective Ways to Manage PMS Mood Swings

Rasa five: Veera

Colour: Pale Orange

Meaning: Heroism, Courage

Property: It reflects a heroic or manly attitude. Everyone has a warrior inside him/her, it’s just that you need to awaken it from dormancy. It is strong, vibrant and is associated with bravery, confidence, determination, self-assurance and valour.

Also read: Colors and Ayurveda

Rasa six: Bhayanaka

Colour: Black

Meaning: Fear

Property: It is associated to fear, worry, insecurity, self-doubts; these factors engulf us completely and shuts us down. One can overcome this emotion by love, inner strength and truth.

Rasa seven: Bibhatsya

Colour: Blue

Meaning: Disgust

Property: It means to detest or aversion. It characterizes judgemental mind, self-pity, loathing and also self-hatredness.

Also read: Integrate Mindfulness in Your Life

Rasa eight: Adbhuta

Colour: Yellow

Meaning: Wonder, Surprise

Property: This means wonder, amazement & surprise. It also depicts our innocence and playfulness. The moment wherein we are surprised or curious or in awe of something, we appreciate and enjoy those little things around us. We get fascinated and become an adventurer of life.

Rasa nine: Shanta

Colour: White

Meaning: Peace

Property: It reflects deep calmness and relaxation. When we sit quietly or meditate, we are at peace. It means to be peaceful, tranquil or contented.

Also read: How to calm your mind with mindfulness

Emotions are the essence of human communication and understanding these 9 rasas or emotional essences will help cultivate greater awareness and control of one’s emotions. Let’s embrace life & the emotional rollercoaster no matter how the situation is.




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