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Volume III - The Art of Personality

Part II - Rasa Shastra - The Science of Life's Creative Forces

Chapter V


In this world of variety no two faces are identical, nor any two characters, nor any two personalities. In all ages, it has been the belief of the wise, and the realization of the greatest intelligences, that there is unity in the scheme of things; and that harmony rules the whole of existence, which proves its evolution from one single source of activity; and that the source, from which all springs, is a distinct and definite individuality, as is proved by distinct individuality of each created thing. In each, one sees 'I', conscious of its separate, distinct, and peculiar identity.

No two roses, even of the same stem, are exactly alike. No two leaves are identical. And the wider our study of human character, the stronger grows the conviction that each human individual is remote, unexplored, and unknown. Nevertheless, just as we call a whole variety of flowers by the name of rose, so we may vaguely generalize and divide human beings into varieties, distinguishable from each other in their general attitude towards the opposite sex.

We see the idealist, imaginative, a worshipper of beauty, whose heart is touched by one of the opposite sex who appeals to his idealism, lose himself in his thought of her. The beauty that he sees before him is the food of his love. On this beauty his love is sustained. But as soon as his heart is deprived of it, then his love weakens. And when his ideal ceases to be an ideal in his eyes, then his heart dies.

We see also the artist in love, a man of wit and intelligence, refined and fastidious, but affectionate too, and with intense sensibilities that respond instantly to beauty. Fine and yet gross, he is quick to love and yet able to hide his affection. He is ready to be kind to her who loves him, and to conceal his attraction from her who attracts him most. The artist in love is attracted by beauty and grace. And according to his evolution and the manners of his environment, he is interested in all that appears to him exquisite, lovely in manners, in form or in speech.

Then we see a third type, who is fond of women without seeing much difference between them or specifying which is which. On whatever woman his glance falls, he sees her nude. In loving a woman, he does not love the human being, but simply the woman. His emotions are dead. He is uninterested in her. He finds her simply a means for his own self-expression.

A fourth type is rough and brutal. If he thinks of a woman, it is to enjoy her in thought. He is crude in his actions towards women, passionate, lustful. He is not only uninterested and regardless of their feelings, but he does not stop at actively inflicting suffering, so long as he finds his own satisfaction.

And we see yet another type of man, who perhaps alone should be called lover. A man is not susceptible, though kindly and sympathetic to all. But once he loves, he is ready to accept poison or nectar at the hands of his beloved; and once he professes his love to his beloved, he is absolutely hers. A man who keeps constant his love for his beloved, and, holding her in his heart, cannot admit any other save her alone. Whilst the idealist is captivated by the beauty of her personality, this lover looks at the beauty of his beloved's soul. His love is as sacred to him as his religion. She whom he loves is a part of his own being, and in her life he lives. Love is to him an everlasting bond here and in the hereafter. It is the best proof to him of life after death.


There was an idea of old among the Hindus, that mankind falls into three distinct classes: Deva, the divine man, Manushya, the human man, and Rakshasa, the monster man. Before marriage it was the custom, and it still exists, to consult someone who could read the horoscopes of the contracting parties, so that a third person, an intelligent observer, could give advice, and thus prevent the union of two beings belonging to different types of humanity, which could never be harmonious to each other.

The idea was that there should be harmony between two: Deva, or both Rakshasa; thus, kind to kind, wise to wise, cruel to cruel, foolish to foolish. While it was thought there should be harmony between mates of classes near to each other, that is to say between Deva, divine man, and Manushya, human man, or between Manushya and Rakshasa, it was believed there was little chance of harmony between Deva and Rakshasa, that is between divine and monster man; and that either the finer nature would be dragged down and ruined by the grosser, or else the grosser nature would be destroyed by the finer nature. The third person, the Brahmin, with the excuse of reading the horoscopes, could make every inquiry about character, and was thus able to place the man and woman in their rightful categories as he observed them, and so give warning, and possibly avert future disaster.

checked 18-Oct-2005