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The Story of Ram in Ramlila

The Story of Ram in Ramlila There are many versions of the story of Ram, but the story that is told in many Ramlilas, plus or minus some scenes, is fairly consistent and begins long before Ram’s birth in the kingdom of Ayodhya. Two backstories entailing twists of fate and curses uttered in rage are often presented to set up the main plot. In the first one, a young Dashrath slays the virtuous and dutiful son Shravankumar in a hunting accident, prompting the latter’s blind father to proclaim that the king too will one day be separated from his son and die bereft. In the second backstory, the overly confident sage Narad discovers that Lord Vishnu has “made a monkey out of him” to bring him down a few spiritual notches, leading him to declare that Vishnu too will one day lose his beloved and have to rely on the aid of monkeys to recover her. Fast forward to the dramatic present: Ravan, the arrogant ten- headed, half-brahmin, half-rāksas (a variety of demon) ruler of the island kingdom of [Shri] Lanka is tormenting the earth with his atrocities and reign of terror. Distraught by Ravan’s rampage, the gods appeal to Vishnu to take human form http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

The Story of Ram in Ramlila

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 37 (1) – Jun 20, 2020

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109

Abstract

There are many versions of the story of Ram, but the story that is told in many Ramlilas, plus or minus some scenes, is fairly consistent and begins long before Ram’s birth in the kingdom of Ayodhya. Two backstories entailing twists of fate and curses uttered in rage are often presented to set up the main plot. In the first one, a young Dashrath slays the virtuous and dutiful son Shravankumar in a hunting accident, prompting the latter’s blind father to proclaim that the king too will one day be separated from his son and die bereft. In the second backstory, the overly confident sage Narad discovers that Lord Vishnu has “made a monkey out of him” to bring him down a few spiritual notches, leading him to declare that Vishnu too will one day lose his beloved and have to rely on the aid of monkeys to recover her. Fast forward to the dramatic present: Ravan, the arrogant ten- headed, half-brahmin, half-rāksas (a variety of demon) ruler of the island kingdom of [Shri] Lanka is tormenting the earth with his atrocities and reign of terror. Distraught by Ravan’s rampage, the gods appeal to Vishnu to take human form

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 20, 2020

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