Drama and Ritual of Early Hinduism is concerned with the study of the relations between drama and ritual in early Hindu culture. These relations are analysed in the context of Yajna-dominated Vedism and Puja-dominated Hinduism.
In Chapter One, the author discovers the semantics and structure of the Natyasastra's rites, reconstructs the logic and symbolic meaning of the ritual events. This analysis shows that despite the existing opinion the Natyasastra's rituals did not belong to the Vedic rites of Yajna but the closed analogy could be drawn with the rituals of Saiva Agamas. Agamic rites and Natyasastra's rituals were founded on the common archetype of a sacrifice Puja.
Chapter Two gives a detailed review of the ancient dramatic forms described in the Natyasastra. The plots of the early dramas were the myths unknown in the Vedic tradition but appeared in the beginning of Hindu period and represented itself the interpretation of the Vedic religious ideas.
In Chapter Three, one can find that the appearance of non-Vedic Puja among the Aryan rituals as well as the outcome of the crisis of the Vedic-Brahman forms of rites. The author traces the original links between theatrical tradition and the cult of Puja which likely emerged in the middle of the 1st Mill. B. c. simultaneously with Buddhism and Jainism. Drama as a constituent part of Puja cult and the construction of the temples and adoration to the images of gods as well, were the important features of the religious culture of early Hinduism. The book proposes a new conception of the origin of Hindu culture.
About the Author:
Dr. (Mrs.) Natalia Lidova, Ph. D. (Sanskrit Literature), born in 1960, is one of the leading Russian scholars in the field of Sanskrit literature and Hindu culture. She is the Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the author of many articles, published in Russian, Indian and west European journals. She has worked as a Visiting Professor in Delhi University, J.N.U., Benaras Sanskrit University, Madras University, Bombay University, Poona University and Calcutta University.
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