Why Sārus Cranes epitomize Karuṇarasa in the Rāmāyaṇa

  title={Why Sārus Cranes epitomize Karuṇarasa in the Rāmāyaṇa},
  author={Niels Hammer},
  journal={Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society},
  pages={187 - 211}
  • Niels Hammer
  • Published 1 April 2009
  • Art
  • Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
Abstract By correlating literary evidence, avian ethology and neurophysiology I will try to demonstrate why Vālmīki chose a pair of Sārus Cranes, and not any other avian species, to epitomise grief and sorrow in the Rāmāyaṇa. This choice illustrates the importance of personal experience of the living reality (behaviour of Sārus Cranes); but the grief, śoka, as experienced by Vālmīki, became in later critical literature, the rasa of karuṇa, the aesthetic appreciation of grief, as suggested by… 


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