Emotional Mode / sthāyibhāva

Component of rasadhvani

sthāyibhāva - lasting or durable state of mind or feeling (1264) [1].

Are called rasas when empathetically experienced by the reader.

Nine emotional modes

  1. rati (love)
  2. harṣa (mirth)
  3. śoka (sorrow)
  4. krodha (anger)
  5. utsāha (fortitude)
  6. bhaya (fear)
  7. jugupsā (abjection)
  8. vismaya: (wonder)
  9. nirveda (indifference)


Modes in Western Music

Modes - Names for each of the ways of ordering a scale, i.e. major mode and minor mode […] the order in which fall the tones and semitones (562-3) [5].


Musical Scale
Musical Mode

Throughout that total period of 1,500 years the plainsong of the Church, which is entirely 'modal', has continued to accustom the ears of fresh generations to the melodic effect of the
modes (562) [5].

A melody played in one of the modes and then in another will alter in some of its intervals and hence in its general effect (562) [5].

Interval - The 'distance' between 2 notes is called an 'interval', i.e. the difference in pitch between any 2 notes. The 'size' of any interval is expressed numerically, e.g. C to G is a 5th, because if we proceed up the scale of C the 5th note in it is G. The somewhat hollow-sounding 4th, 5th and octave of the scale are called perfect, the mathematically simple ratios of their frequencies giving them a certain 'purity' of sound (419) [5].

In Indian Music

The Jātis which seem to be the fore-runner of later Indian Rāgas and Rāgiṇīs were sometimes, heptatonic, sometimes hexatonic and sometimes pentatonic. And they had ten characteristics such as, Graha, Aṃśa, Tāra, Mandra, Nyāsa, Apanyāsa, Reduction, Amplification, hexatonic treatment and pentatonic treatment. Among these, Graha has been sometimes considered to be equivalent to “clef” of the western music. Aṃśa has been rightly compared with ‘the Governing note’ or ‘the Keynote’ of the western music. The Nyāsa also has been compared with the cadence of the western music probably with some justification. The other terms in this connexion do not seem to have any equivalent in the western music (9-10) [3].

jāti — literally 'genre' or 'type' — is now used in only one restricted musical sense. It denotes the type of a raga in the number of scale degrees it includes within an octave” (429) [4].

“It is believed scribed that the melodic types (jāti) first described in Chapters 28—9 of the Nāṭya-śāstra must have had musical structures and functions corresponding to those of ragas; the word is not used as a technical musical term in the Nāṭya-śāstra and appears for the first time only in about the 8th century (429) [4].

rāga – any feeling or passion, (esp.) love, affection or sympathy for, vehement desire of, interest or joy or delight in (loc. or comp.) […] a musical note, harmony, melody (in the later system a partic. musical mode or order of sound or formula […] each mode exciting some affection) (872) [1].

The basic meaning of the Sanskrit word rāga is ‘emotion, affect, passion’ (429) [4].

As songs included in the preformance (sic) of plays were meant, among other things, for the evocation of Sentiments according to the requirement of theatrical production, the Jāti songs had a distinct part to play in this regard. Hence the theorists have assigned them according to notes constituting them, to different Sentiments (10) [3].

1. Monier-Williams, Monier. 1899. A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
2. Ghosh, Manomohan. 1951. The Nātyaśāstra, ascribed to Bharata-Muni, Vol. I. Asiatic Society of Bengal: Calcutta.
3. Ghosh, Manomohan. 1961. The Nātyaśāstra, ascribed to Bharata-Muni: A Treatise on Hindu Dramaturgy and Histrionics. Introduction.Vol. II (Chapters XXXVIII-XXXVI). Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal.
4. Powers, Harold S. 1980. “Mode”, In: Stanley Sadie (Ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan Publishers, pp. 376–450.
5. Rutherford-Johnson, Tim; Michael Kennedy and Joyce B. Kennedy. 2012. The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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