Bharata (sage)

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Bharata (Devanagari: भरत) was a muni (sage) of ancient India.[1] He is traditionally attributed authorship of the influential performing arts treatise Natya Shastra, which covers ancient Indian dance, dramaturgy, poetics, and music.[1]


Bharata is known only as being traditionally attributed authorship of the treatise Natya Shastra. All other early Sanskrit treatises were similarly attributed to mythical sages.[1]

He is thought to have lived between 200 BCE and 200 CE,[2][3] but estimates vary between 500 BCE and 500 CE.[4]

Nāṭya Śāstra[edit]

The Nāṭya Śāstra is notable as an ancient encyclopedic treatise on the performing arts, which has influenced dance, music and literary traditions in India.[1] It is also notable for its aesthetic "Rasa" theory, which asserts that entertainment is the desired effect of performance arts but not the primary goal and that the primary goal is to transport the individual in the audience into another parallel reality, full of wonder, where he experiences the essence of his own consciousness and reflects on spiritual and moral questions.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c d Katz 2001.
  2. ^ Lidova, N. (2014). Natyashastra. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Mehta, T. (1995). Sanskrit Play Production in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass.
  4. ^ Dace, W. (1963). "The Concept of "Rasa" in Sanskrit Dramatic Theory". Educational Theatre Journal. 15 (3): 249.


  • Katz, Jonathan (2001). "Bharata". Grove Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.48131. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0. (subscription or UK public library membership required)

Further reading[edit]