A modest attempt has been made to study the much discussed topics related to drama and aesthetics from ancient time to till date in a new perspective of genuine illumination. Both Indian and Greek aesthetics have a long tradition and spontaneous development with speculative similarities. But India has surpassed the contributions of Greek and other nations of the west by its independent and philosophical basis of original and new theories. Most of the western aesthetic theories have their genesis in the Greek and Roman sources. But Indian literary genres and aesthetic theories have an independent origin and development distinct from those of the west. Most of such theories were revelations of the intuitive self (pratibha), an inexhaustible source of evernew forms. In these theories one can perceive intellectural discriminations based on philosophical concepts derived from contemplation of precise work of art.
Intellectual awakening was similar to East and West during the period B.C, and the probe to assess the creative activity of the poets and the implication and relevance of literature to society. The basis of ancient literary criticism remains as a landmark, though much developments, deviations and novelty have effected in its field with the elapse of time. The topics discussed in the different chapters of this book are great landmarks in the development of drama and aesthetics. When Aristotle mainly leads the critics on tragic form of the West, Bharata leads the Indian dramatists and dramaturgists to the whole types of drama including the Anka (tragedy). Bharata and his followers have laid down independent aesthetic norms suited to all the ages. India's wonderful and profound contributions to the world of aesthetics are the Anukarana theory of Bharata and Sri Sankuka; the Dhvani theory of Anandavardhana, the Sadharanikarana theory of Bhattanayaka and the theory of Reflection (Abhivyakti vada) of Abhinavagupta. However, the theories of Bhattanayaka, Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta have raised genuine curiosity and passion in the study of literature, particularly in Drama and Aesthetics. Bharata's Rasasutra the wonderful catchword that contains the mode of aesthetic experience of all kinds of fine arts, deserves special mention in this context. The Rasasutra and the interpretations on it at different periods, in the light of philosophical speculations have elevated Indian aesthetics to the level of spiritual delight. Bhasa is a new path finder in the field of drama against traditional conventions, belief and norms. His tragic concept has not been undergone serious study in its real sense and spirit. The topics discussed in the different chapters of this book are great land marks in the study of Drama and Aesthetics.
I wish to record my gratefulness to the Universtiy of Kerala, particularly to the Department of Sanskrit and its HOD for providing material assistance and access to the resources of the library for the completion of this book. I owe my greatest debt to my wife and two daughters and grand daughter for their encouragement and cheerfulness to make this work ready for publication.