Chapter

• An Open-Air Ramayana

John Stratton Hawley and Vasudha Narayanan

in The Life of Hinduism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780520249134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940079 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249134.003.0009
• An Open-Air Ramayana

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The line between ritual and performance is thin. This can be seen in this chapter's portrayal of the ramlilas of Banaras, where the Brahmin boys who take the leading roles are not considered actors, but “intrinsic forms,” of the divine figure they represent: Sita and Rama, and Rama's three brothers. These boys bear the aura of divinity as long as the play continues, and are surrounded by many other figures, including a host of monkeys led by Hanuman. The ramlilas of Banaras, patronized by the Maharaja and performed on his extensive palace grounds at Ramnagar, just across the Ganges, are famous all over India.

Keywords: ramlilas; Brahmin boys; Ramayana; Banaras

Chapter.  10495 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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