Indian Aesthetic Theory series


Open to all 

Course Length & Access:

Single Course Rental: 1 month access of nearly 8 hours of lecture materials

Study Flow:

Enjoy listening to these lectures on your own time.  Print the PDF handouts for note taking.  



Class Description:

Indian Aesthetic Theory

What qualifies art?  What is beauty?  Through what mechanism do we experience beauty? What is aesthetics?  What theories have been established to help us in this investigation?

Aesthetics – “A philosophical speculation on the mysteries of the existence of beauty, the creation of art and the human mind set which enables us to have a rich and transformative aesthetic experience.”

Delve into this immensely rich and layered world of Indian aesthetic theory with Colleena.  Discover how reflection on artistic principles and questioning our assumed views helps us to deepen our experience as artists and art lovers (rasika).

This 5 part lecture series examines implicit worldviews within Indian art as described in sanskrit texts (as far back as the Vedas and Upanisads), as well as examining theories described in Bharata’s Natya Shastra and more recent commentaries by scholars such as Ananda Coomaraswamy.  The theories and terminologies covered include: vedantic and yogic concepts,  theory of bhava and rasa – specializing focus on Sringara rasa, paradox and polarities around the ideas of ‘sacred and profane’ and so much more.

Any student of art will find these discussions thought provoking and challenging – worth listening to again and again.  PDF handouts have been provided with bullet points on main topics of each lecture to help identify key concepts and a Quiz is included at the end of the course to help assess your retention.

Recommended book to support this course (though not required):

  • The Dance of Shiva, Ananda Coomaraswamy
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