Art aesthetics - 'Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram'

sukhvir sanghal blog

          Prof. Sukhvir Sanghal explains in his book ‘Bhartiya Chitrakala Paddhati’ the aesthetical aspects of art. His art aesthetics concepts are based on ‘Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram’.

          Like in Ayurveda, the balance of the three doshas vata, pitta and kapha decides the health of the body; the three gunas satvik, rajas and tamas decides the nature of creation; in the same way the artistic creations have the essence of three major qualities – satyam, shivam and sundaram. If any of these three are less or more in any form there is a fear of imbalance in that artistic creation. Art in the form of tree, ‘Satyam’ is root which acts as the base and stops it from falling down. ‘Shivam’ acts as the trunk, branches, leaves and its body. It gives calmness and shade to the mind of art lover and they experience joy and bliss. The lack of this aspect can lead them to run away from the art. ‘Sundaram’ forms the fruits and flowers of the tree and it attracts the art lovers by its sweet fragrance and good taste.

        Along with the essence of ‘satyam, shivam and sundaram’ nature, the union of the three elements of art is necessary for the purity, health and balance of the creation of art.

  1. Satva guna – In this form, the three elements of art ‘Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram’ are balanced on the basis of dharma. ‘Satvik’ art is the reflection of the emotions of the heart. Because emotions too form as ripples in the soul or heart which is the seat of the soul. ‘Shant rasa’, ‘karuna rasa’ and pure ‘shringaar rasa’ are included in ‘Satvik’ art.
  2. Rajas guna – When ‘Satyam’ fades, ‘Shivam and Sundaram’ are primary, art in this form is influenced by power of intellect, interest of the mind and imagination. ‘Veer rasa’, ‘hasya rasa’ and ‘adbhut rasa’ are included in art which has ‘Rajas guna’.
  3. Tamas guna – In this art ‘Sundaram’ is major whereas ‘Satyam and Shivam’ fades out. Hence it is influenced by shortcoming of the senses, disorders and lust. Since it is filled with disorders of mind it mostly reflects ‘raudra rasa’ , ‘bhayanak rasa’ and ‘vibhitsa rasa’

The qualities of art ‘Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram’ will be elaborated in our upcoming blogs.

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