Article by Anne Davis
We talk a lot about living an inspired life. We all want to live more authentically, with creativity, and vigor; many of us are searching for the zest of life. The fire, the heart, the meaning.
I want to take a moment to talk a little bit about our roots: about the rasas and Rasamaya.
In Hindu tradition, the rasas are most fully discussed in the Natyasastra, one of the oldest writings we have on the performing arts. It has influenced dance, visual art, and musical traditions in India.
In the Natyasastra, we learn that the primary goal of art is to bring the audience to a new plane, absorbed into an alternate reality. In this new experience, an individual is caught up in the wonder of it all. In this new space, we connect to the core within ourselves. We breathe, we move, we feel.
The purpose of the arts, then, is to spark a re-connection to ourselves.
Experiencing the arts, whether in day-to-day life or watching a play upon a stage, generates sensations throughout our bodies: the rasas.
Rasas are the nine core emotions that govern our life; they are the nectar of artistic expression. The juice. The good stuff.
The rasas may be evoked by inspired living:
Wonder (Adbhuta Rasa)
Fear (Bhayanaka Rasa)
Joy (Hasya Rasa)
Disgust (Vibhatsa Rasa)
Courage (Veera Rasa
Anger (Raudra Rasa)
Compassion/Sadness (Karuna Rasa)
Love (Sringara Rasa)
Peace (Shanta Rasa)
These are the nine basic emotions; the core feelings that we all share as humans.
How, then, do we define Rasamaya?
In Sanskrit, Rasamaya translates as "fluid," though it can be broken down into two words rasa and maya.
Maya means illusion. In the Hindu tradition, maya referred to the ways in which the gods and goddesses produced illusions and magic upon the earth. Maya also refers to mothers, grandmothers, and is one name for the Hindu goddess Durga (or Shakti), who is pure energy.
We have rasas (sensations) and maya (illusion). Magic, energy, emotion. The nine emotions rise and fall, and are illusory in nature. They are magic; they are fleeting.
Rasamaya is about living the creative life. It’s about letting the emotions course through our bodies as they will. Emotions are not negative more nor are they positive. Disgust can be a powerful catalyst for change. Love can be jealous.
We can use these forces: moving your mind and body to generate love, joy, and wonder. We can move and create through the anger and the fear. We can harness those energies as an expression of our authentic selves.
That is what Rasamaya is about.
Whether we are on our mats, painting the feeling of the county fair, or manifesting that next job opportunity, Rasamaya is life. It is the way we live: knowing that it is fleeting. Knowing that it is magical and amazing. You got this.