Ramayana and Ram Lila

Topics: Ramayana, Rama, Sita Pages: 31 (11521 words) Published: May 25, 2014
Chapter 1 .Introduction

Celebrated in the month of Ashwin, Diwali is the sacred festival of Hindus. The festival of paramount religious significance and marks the victory of good over evil. It symbolizes light and wisdom; it is considered that one should always strive to overcome darkness and try to enlighten the souls with knowledge of truth and goodness. According to the holy book of Hindus, Ramayana, Lord Rama, after spending 14 rigorous years in jungles, returned to Ayodhya. While in exile, he along with his brother Lakshman and wife Sita spent a long time in jungles. During their stay, Sita was abducted by the demon king of Sri Lanka, namely Ravana. Rama after killing Ravan, returned back to his kingdom. The people of Ayodhya welcomed them by burning oil-lamps. Since then Diwali festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil. It is also believed that departed souls visit the houses of their kith and kin. In order to guide these souls to go back, houses are lit with lamps. The most prominent feature of Diwali festival is the firing of crackers at nights. The noisy pitch of the crackers fills the entire atmosphere. People use artificial lights to decorate their houses; the entire scene looks spectacular. Hindu devotes perform massive puja celebration to pay their reverences to Goddess Lakshmi whose blessings are supposed to bring wealth and prosperity to the worshippers. The courtyards are adorned with beautiful patterns of Rangolis. Dussehra is one of the important festivals for Hindus. Also termed as Vijayadashmi, it is preceded by Navratri, which has religious significance associated with it. As per the legends, Dusshera is the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana and rescued his wife - Sita. Therefore, as a symbol of victory of good over evil, Dusshera holds a special place among the myriad festivals that are celebrated by the Hindus. A number of customs are common for Dussehra, in different parts of India, one of them being RamLila. The tradition of burning the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath on RamLila is followed since ages, in the northern parts of the country. During the festival, RamLila is conducted at a huge ground or 'maidan'. It is a fair, witnessed by hundreds of people, every year. Oversized effigies (of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkarna) are constructed a month prior to the festival. They are filled with crackers and erected on the eve of Dussehra, at the RamLila maidan. Artists disguised as Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Ravana head towards the maidan, with the procession of people, amidst the bursting of crackers. After arriving at the maidan, a small drama is enacted by the artists, depicting the climax of the war between Lord Rama and Ravana. As the climax approaches, the artist, acting as Rama, shoots an arrow towards the effigy of Ravana, in order to set it on fire. Subsequently, the effigy catches fire and then bursts. This is witnessed by hundreds of people, who rejoice on the 'defeat' of Ravana by Rama.

Background
Lord Ram is the seventh avatar of Vishnu. The King of Ayodhya was born in Raghuvanshi dynasty. He is the Mryada Purshottam, Lord of virtue. He is considered the perfect human being. He is the husband of Sita ji, the avatar of Laxmi, the perfect embodiment of womanhood. The legend of Ram is deeply influential and popular in societies of the Indian subcontinent and across Southeast Asia. Lord Ram is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty. RamLila is simply an enactment of the epic Ramayana. It covers the complete life, values, principles and journey of Lord Ram.

Question is why do we enact it?
The answer is that life and values of Lord Ram are the best lessens that one can learn in one’s life. RamLila is the best visual treat and the learning experience in life. It is both entertaining and fun. This is especially true for children who find...
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