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Sita Haran debuts Ramlila Yatras

Published: 
Monday, July 23, 2018

Having commenced last Thursday at the Caroni Hindu Mandir at Siwalla Street, Ramlila Yatras in the Caribbean had its three-day run in Trinidad on the weekend.

The show featured an excerpt from the Ramleela and was presented by actors from Uttar Pradesh, India. The production was hosted by he National Council of Indian Culture [NCIC] and Ayodhya Research Institute of India, in collaboration with National Ramleela Council of T&T.

The two-hour excerpt was titled Sita Haran and depicted the meeting of Hanuman with Sita where he presented her with a ring sent from her husband Lord Ram while she was held captive by Ravan, the demon king.

Ravan later gave her one year to make up her mind to marry him or be killed. The performances were done in Hindi, yet those who could not speak the language were able to follow the plot because of the excellent acting and facial expressions of the actors.

Dani Gupta gave a stunning performance of Sita, her cries and tears seemed too real times and seemed to strike an emotional chord in patrons attending the free event.

Mavendra Tripathi, portrayed the meanest Ravan seen in the western hemisphere. Tripathi kept an angry face throughout his performance by not letting a smile escape. Hanuman, portrayed by Navneet Jaiswal, blended facial expressions with a touch of comedy. This allowed for laughter, an emotion that is rarely seen at local Ramleela performances.

The players received a standing ovation for their roles and the troupe moves on to Guyana and Suriname later this month where they would showcase performances that include the following three scenes: Ram Vivah, Van Gaman and Sita Haran.

About Ayodhya Research Institute of India The Ayodhya Research Institute was founded on August 18,1986 as an autonomous organisation of the Culture Department of Uttar Pradesh. It is an entity formed to conduct research on Ramkatha, investigate the historical significance of Ayodhya in relation to all religions, study the Art, Literature, Culture, and Folk Art of Avadh, especially of Ayodhya, conduct research on Vaishnavism Bhakti movement and specially stories about Lord Rama, and preserve ancient documents of Avadh.

What is Ramleela?

Ramleela or play is a folk reenactment of major events in the Leela of Lord Ram.

Leela refers to the mystery of God appearing in His own Creation and performing actions selflessly and without desire. Ramleela is performed in several styles with the oldest being the open-air community style performed by amateurs and villagers as in the case of what takes place in T&T.

It is also performed on western-style stages by professional drama troupes.

Ramleela ends with the epic battle between Lord Ram and Ravan, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana of Tulsidas also called the Ramcharitmanas.

This folk Leela tradition originates from the Indian subcontinent where the Leela is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights.

On this last day, the actors are taken out in a procession through the city, leading up to a mela ground or town square, where the enactment of the final battle takes place.

At the end of the battle, giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are set afire to be followed by the coronation (abhisheka) of Ram at Ayodhya, marking the culmination of festivities and restoration of the Divine Order. Rama is the seventh incarnation of Vishnu and the central figure of the Ramayana.

The Ramayana is based on the life, times and values of Lord Rama.

Lord Rama is called the Maryada Purushottam or the best among the dignified.

The story of Lord Rama is so popular in India that it has actually amalgamated the psyche of the Indian mainstream irrespective of religion.

The Ramayana is the ethical base of mainstream India.

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