#Tradition of Ramlila#

Ramlila is a dramatic folk Katha based on the life of Lord Ram, ending up in a ten-day battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana.

This is a tradition that originates from the Indian subcontinent, and now spread to other continents as well. The Ramlila is staged over ten successive nights.

Ramlila starts with the Dussehra festival.

Usually, the performances are timed to culminate on the festival of Vijayadashami day, which commemorates the victory of Lord Ram over the demon king Ravana.

On Vijayadashmi, the actors of Ramlila and viewers are taken out in the form of a procession through the city. The procession leads up to a Mela ground where the enactment of the last battle takes place.  

At last, giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and his son Meghanath are set to fire. Then the coronation of Rama at Ayodhya takes place, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the divine order.

Ramlila is truly a Ram Katha and its manchan present the epitome of devotion and moral-ethical values, highlighting our cultural ethos. This can be seen in several episodes of Ramlila.

Respect for women’s dignity

We can see Sita’s abduction; Vali-Sugreev’s fight; Jatayu-Ravan’s fight; and lastly Ram -Ravan’s fight in different episodes.  All these episodes give out a strong message of unceasing respect for women’s dignity and the terrible consequences of not doing so.

  • The selfless devotion of Hanuman to Ram shows the intensity of bhakti.
  • Bharat-Milap, the meeting of Ram and Lakshman with their brothers Bharat and Shatrughan after their return to Ayodhya from Lanka, provides an ideal model of love and affection between brothers.
  • The strong tradition of Ramayan and Ram Katha became a compelling source of human values.
  • Ram Katha and its manchan crossed the sectarian and geographical boundaries to offer virtue-based Indic tradition, the world over.

I remember the day of my childhood.

This Dussehra was the most loved festival for our half-pants friends. This was because, on the occasion of the Dussehra festival, long school holidays were available. The books were closed and all the fun of the festival started.

 This is the longest festival we used to celebrate with our friends with great enthusiasm and enjoyment to the fullest.

Our favorite activity was to watching Ramlila for 10 consecutive days.

There was a big ground near my house called “Ramlila Ground” because a famous Ramlila was used to perform yearly on Dussehra.

The Ramlila party used to come from Varanasi to undertake the enactment of Ramlila on this Ramlila Ground.  Detailed schedules had been prepared and different episodes were used to perform on different days.

This Ramlila is a religious act and has a wider impact on our society as it encourages greater involvement of different communities. 

I still remember those days, there were big-sized lanterns called Petromax, which has to be used for light, and loud speakers were used for sound purposes during the performance.

There were so many episodes that used to performed including The Sita swambar (Dhanush-Yagya) , Sita Haran,  Bharat-Milap, the coronation of Ram, and Ram-Darbar were the most common episodes of the Ramayan that were our favorites.

The golden period of childhood

Really, those days were the golden period where there were thousands of people together used to watch the Ramlila from 8 to 12 midnight.

All of our friends used to sit together and enjoy Ramlila. I still remember the taste of the peanuts that were shared during watching the Ramlila on Dussehra. There was no TV in those days, so such an event was very important for all our half pant friends in our childhood.

I still remember when the Joker used to come in the middle of the staging of Ramlila and used to make us laugh a lot with his humorous act.

I remember one incident that happened during Ramlila’s performance. It happened that in a scene on the stage, Ravana was roaring loudly and slamming his feet on the ground, while speaking his dialogue.

Suddenly the wooden stage broke down due to pressure and all those actors fell to the ground. Whenever I remember that scene even today, gets a smile on our faces. Ha ha ha .

We as spectators felt so emotional that we used to be happy when the pleasant scene was at hand,  and feel sad when something sad scene happened, like Sita’s abduction and imprisoned by the demon Ravana against her will.

We used to take part in the burning of effigies and were delighted to see the scene of Rama returning to Ayodhya. The entire atmosphere used to become religious.

(All Pic courtesy: Google.com)

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Categories: infotainment

32 replies

  1. Enjoyed learning more about Lord Ram and Ravan! Great pics!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the explanation. I was introduced to a simple version of the epic story through the Thai celebration of Hanuman.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s an Indian festival which has a great message. Beautiful post .👌👌

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fascinating insight into your rich culture

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Retiredकलम and commented:

    Good afternoon friends,


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