Rāma savoured the recital amid a large group of literary aficionados: sa cāpi rāmaḥ pariṣadgataḥ (1.4.36). This is arguably the best way to appreciate art because people with a refined aesthetic sense assist one another in discovering newer and newer subtleties, thus raising the level of overall enjoyment.                     Uttarakāṇḍa has many interesting details about the recital of Rāma’s story by Lava and Kuśa. The presentation was as much...
Vālmīki was absorbed in thoughts about his verse when Brahmā visited him: tadgatenaiva manasā vālmīkirdhyānamāsthitaḥ (1.2.28). He was tormented by the impropriety in hunting the male bird and the consequent anguish caused to its companion. Here is a poet mulling over the incident that inspires his poetry. If worldly events do not evoke such a profound response in a writer, they cannot inspire poetry. In its highest reaches, poetry is the...
Maharṣi Vālmīki The story narrated in the first four cantos of the Rāmāyaṇa is of great significance to the central concepts of the creative process: poet, poetry and connoisseur. In the opening canto, Ādikavi Vālmīki questions Maharṣi Nārada about the ideal human being, the model protagonist. This simple enquiry has far-reaching undertones. It has supplied flavour to the dry and rather unintelligible aesthetic dictum that expects the hero of a...
Art appreciation begins with learned connoisseurs. Gaining breadth and vision with time, it develops into a well-structured system of aesthetics. Poets and artists often find it hard to explain the aspects of appeal inherent in the form and substance of their compositions. They have neither the bent of mind nor the competence to subject their work’s appeal to a logical analysis. Only a handful of artists can tell us what goes into the making of...