Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Rasa Theory
(4,456 words)

The word rasa within the Hindu context, specifically for certain devotional bhakti traditions, has come to refer to the ultimate experience of a transcendent and perfect love. This love engages pure emotions in any one of several eternal relationships with divinity, of greater or lesser levels of intensity of blissful intimacy that occur within the divine realm of līlā within which the acts or play of god take place. The complexity of the word can be accounted for by viewing its meanings that have traversed a wide spectrum of applications. The word’s m…

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Schweig and David Buchta, Graham, “Rasa Theory”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 29 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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