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IN total there are 9 facial expressions called as 'Navarasas'.

Bharata Muni enunciated the eight Rasas in the Nātyasāstra, an ancient work of dramatic theory. Each rasa, according to Nātyasāstra, has a presiding deity and a specific colour. There are 4 pairs of rasas. For instance, Hasya arises out of Sringara. The Aura of a frightened person is black, and the aura of an angry person is red. Bharata Muni established the following

  • Śringāram-Love, Attractiveness. Presiding deity: Vishnu. Colour: light green.
  • Hāsyam - Laughter, Mirth, Comedy. Presiding deity: Pramata. Colour: white.
  • Raudram - Fury. Presiding deity: Rudra. Colour: red.
  • Kārunyam -Compassion, Mercy. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: grey.
  • Bībhatsam -Disgust, Aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: blue
  • Bhayānakam- Horror, Terror. Presiding deity: Kala. Colour: black
  • Vīram-Heroic mood. Presiding deity: Indra. Colour: yellowish
  • Adbhutam-Wonder, Amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow


Abhinavagupta suggested a ninth rasa when only eight were accepted and it had to undergo a good deal of struggle between the sixth and the tenth centuries, before it could be accepted by the majority of the Alankarikas, and the expression Navarasa (the nine rasas), could come into vogue.

  • Shāntam Peace or tranquility. deity: Vishnu. Colour: blue

In addition to the nine Rasas, two more appeared later

  • Vātsalya or Parental Love
  • Bhakti or Spiritual Devotion
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Q: How many facial expressions are there?
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