“Existence without juice is dry and tasteless” – Robert Svobodha
Like many sanskrit words, Rasa has multiple layers of meaning, each which contribute to a more complete understanding of its subtler dimensions. In its simplest, most mundane definition, Rasa means “juice”. It is also associated with the sense of taste. In order to taste anything – it becomes a juice before we can sense taste properly – the salivary glands produce saliva which emulsify food into a liquid. If the tongue were to be thoroughly dried off and then you put a piece of food on its surface, it will be difficult to sense its taste. Rasa is also referred to in Ayurvedic medicine as the stage of digestion when food has mixed with digestive fluids and becomes a “juice” which will then be absorbed into the bloodstream – or in Ayurvedic terms converted into “Rakta”. However, this isn’t the definition that we are most interested in. Rasa refers to not only the physical “juice” which gives us the sensation of taste – but that inner essence in all types of experiences that give us the feeling of “sweetness” or “sourness”, bitterness etc..