Monday 6 December 2021

Prism - Connecting to Ramlila through its rituals - Sunil Sunkara

When perceived from a western viewpoint, the word ritual resonates with solemnity of action, religious symbolism and conformation of tradition. The Indian perspective is to look at any concept through a distilled viewpoint (darshana). Abhinavagupta mentions that it is not liberation that is the ultimate goal of mankind but the aesthetic relish of liberation (moksha).The objective of lilanukaran tradition is an enjoyment of that relish or Rasa and then absorbing the fruit of that experience into the daily cycle of mundane life.

Ramlila, literally "Rama's play", is a performance of the Ramayana epic in a series of scenes that include song, narration, recital and dialogue based largely upon the Tulsidas Ramcharitmanas. It is performed across India during the festival of Dussehra, held each year according to the ritual calendar in autumn. The most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Benares, Vrindavan, Almora, Sattna and Madhubani.

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