Love / rati

One of the Emotional Modes.


rati - rest, repose, pleasure, enjoyment, delight in, fondness for, ‘to find pleasure in’, the pleasure of love, sexual passion or union, amorous enjoyment (867) [1].

Of these, the Erotic (śṛngāra) Sentiment proceeds from the Dominant State of love (rati) (108) [2].

It has two bases: union (sambhoga) and separation (vipralambha). Of these two, the Erotic Sentiment in union arises from Deteminants like the pleasures of the season, the enjoyment of garlands, unguents, ornaments the company of) beloved persons, objects (of senses), splendid mansions, going to a garden, and enjoying (oneself) there, seeing the (beloved one), hearing (his or her words), playing and dallying (with him or her) (108-109) [2].

Book of Mormon

Lamanites and daughters of people of Limhi (Mosiah 19:11-15)
[p. 194] Now it came to pass that the king commanded them that all the men should leave their wives and their children, and // [p. 195] flee before the Lamanites. Now there were many that would not leave them, but had rather stay and perish with them. And the rest left their wives and their children and fled.
And it came to pass that those that tarried with their wives and their children,

caused that their fair daughters should stand forth and plead with the Lamanites, that they would not slay them.

And it came to pass that the Lamanites had compassion on them, for they were charmed with the beauty of their women;

therefore the Lamanites did spare their lives, and took them captives, and carried them back to the land of Nephi, and granted unto them that they might possess the land, under the conditions that they would deliver up the king Noah into the hands of the Lamanites, and deliver up their property, even one half of all they possessed…

rasabhasa - Inappropriate emotion

Now when false love (rasābhāsa, literally “the appearance of love”) arises out of a false vibhāva, the enjoyment is false because of the falsity of the vibhāva and hence is known as rasābhāsa, “false or improper aesthetic enjoyment” (217, 2.3 L) [3]

The rasa is improper because Sīta is another’s wife and because the emotion is not reciprocated […] The concept of rasābhāsa is highly restrictive of literature. If we are to limit rasa, the sole aim of literature, to only such subjects as conform to propriety and even to the śāstras, as Udbhaṭa would have it, not a little of Sanskrit literature and surely the greater part of Western literature will be judged to be of little worth. Abhinava seems to have been the first Indian critic to face this problem and find an answer: the ābhāsatva, the impropriety, of such experiences is something we realize only later; during the actual experience we are absorbed (111, 1.4g L n2) [3].

Priests of Noah and Lamanite daughters (Mosiah 20:1-5)

Now there was a place in Shemlon, where the daughters of the Lamanites did gather themselves together for to sing, and to dance, and to make themselves merry.

And it came to pass that there was one day a small number of them gathered together to sing and to dance.

And now the priests of king Noah, being ashamed to return to the city of Nephi, yea, and also fearing that the people would slay them,

therefore they durst not return to their wives and their children.

And having tarried in the wilderness, and having discovered the daughters of the Lamanites,

they laid and watched them;

and when there were but few of them gathered together to dance,

they came forth out of their secret places, and took them and carried them into the wilderness; yea, twenty and four of the daughters of the Lamanites they carried into the wilderness.

Discursive Translation

But what about the love between parents and children? What about the love among brothers and sisters? What about the love between two friends? True, these relations (roughly put) cannot lead to any union. But there can always be exceptions. A love between two friends might transcend physicality. Thus, this is an aspect that can be said to have been neglected. Now, what could have been the reasons for this? […] [A]ccording to our tradition certain things are considered duties or Dharma […] Thus, the love of parents for children, love among children etc., comes under the category of duties. Love between husband and wife also involves duty. But all the same, erotic love among (young) husband and wife are to be seen as śṛṅgāra [Erotic] rasa (55-56) [4].

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. Ānandavardhana and Abhinavagupta. 1990. The Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana with the Locana of Abhinavagupta. Trans. Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and M. V. Patwardhan. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
4. Patnaik, Priyadarshi. 1997. Rasa in Aesthetics. An Application of Rasa Theory to Modern Western Literature. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld.
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