Showing posts with label lilas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lilas. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Lila?


(“play”) In a theological con text, a phrase whose wide literal meaning suggests any kind of activity, game, or sport, but which expresses a basic premise about how God interacts with the universe.

According to this theory, the ultimate god acts in creation not out of any feeling of necessity, but just for the pure pleasure and enjoyment of making and participating in the universe.

This is especially true of the deity Vishnu, notably in his forms as Rama and Krishna.

All spiritual exchanges between God and his followers (bhakta) are conducted in this spirit of play, despite the fact that human people may not perceive the actual nature of this meeting due to their ignorance.

The devotee's final freedom (moksha) occurs when he or she acknowledges the actual nature of this meeting, since with that revelation, one's whole existence becomes a series of playful exchanges with God himself.

One of the ways that modern followers attempt to access Rama's and Krishna's celestial worlds is via dramas, which are known as lilas.

These lilas might be attended for entertainment, but they can also be seen as a very spiritual event.

When children depicting deities are dressed up and in character, they are thought to be incarnations of the gods themselves.

Viewing these lilas is a pathway for receiving God's favour and an entry-point into a privileged, celestial realm for devout believers.

See David R. Kinsley, The Sword and the Flute, 1975, for an excellent discussion of Krishna's entire life as play; John Stratton Hawley, At Play with Krishna, 1981, for a description of the Krishna lilas; and Anaradha Kapur, Actors, Pilgrims, Kings, and Gods, 1990, for a description of the Krishna lilas.

Also see Ram Lila.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

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