Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ramayana Ballet by Muslims

Ramayana Ballet by Muslims

If Ramlila is played by Hindus is not a big news because it is a common practice for centuries. But if it is played by Muslims, surely it is a good news to share across the country. A cultural troop of 49 Muslim students of Kabumi & Faculty of Art and Design Education, University of Education Bandung, Indonesia played the Ramayana Ballet, the dance drama with gamelan orchestra in Ahmedabad on 30 September 2017. It was played in three parts: first was dialogues of Rama, Lakshman and Anoman gathered the soldiers to find out Sinta; second was dialogue of Rahwana and Sinta in the country of Alengkadirja, and the dialogue of Anuman and Sinta; and the third was the dialogue of Rama and Anoman, Anoman report of Queen Sinta. It is one of the best examples of story telling in Indonesia. Lanka was called Alengka, Sita as Smita and Hanuman as Anoman. It was such a beautiful play performed by these youths that the audience didn't move during the whole ballet. The players, their dance style, the presentation, the dangdut and tabla beat music, the costumes, the play; all were beautiful. It was interesting to note that all the actors and all actresses remained on stage during the whole play. Each one of them used to perform the dance play under the focus of light as per their turn and others were sitting in silence without any movement on the stage. Using the mask and costume some were changing their role as monkey of Rama or the soldiers of Rahwana. Alengka fire was presented so well with saffron clothes that as if it is under real fire. This art form was performed in Hindu temples in Indonesia. The Muslim girls otherwise to wear Hijab to cover their heads in the presence of adult males, performed Ramlila without Hijab. 

They sung Indonesian, Hindi sand Gujarati songs beautifully with the music of Angklung. Angklung is a musical instrument made from varying number of bamboo tubes attached to a frame. The tubes are carved to have resonant pitch when struck and are tuned to octaves, similar to American handbells. The base of the frame is held in one hand, whilst the other hand shakes the Instrument. This causes a repeating note to sound. The performers play one or more sound but altogether produce complete melodies.

The Consule General of Indonesia to India Mr. Saut Siringoringo was feeling proud explaining the religious harmony in his country. It won't be surprised to see a Muslim man named Muhammad Krishna in Indonesia. The event concluded with a tasty vegetarian Indonesian dinner to complete the feel of Indonesia in Ahmedabad.,

Ramayana and Mahabharata are the popular epics and play an important role in culture and history of Indonesia. We all look at Sri Lanka as Lanka of Ramayana, the island fortress capital of legendary demon king Ravana and try to find out Ramsetu near Dhanuskoti. But Simhala and Lanka were two different islands as per the narrations in Ramayana, Mahabharata, Shrimad Bhagvat, Markandey Purana and other books. 

Somebody referring Suryasiddhanta, checked the location of Lanka: "Situated upon the line which passes through the haunt of the demons (rakshasa) and the mountain which is the seat of the gods, are Rohitaka and Avanti, as also the adjacent lake.” It means Lanka was located on equator (no longitude, no latitude). Ceylon is 7 degree north of equator. The real Lanka was a distance 100 yojanas (1250 kms) across the ocean as described in Valmiki Ramayana (Sri Lanka is just 100 kms across the ocean). It means Lanka was placed left on the equator line of Indonesia, presently under water as part of Maldives Islands, submerged due to rise in sea water level over the years. 

The island Bali is named after famous character Bali, the King of Kishkindha, who was killed by Rama from behind to win the friendship and help of Subgriva, the younger brother of Bali. Java (Yavadwipa) has mentioned in Ramayana, where Sungriva send his men to search Sita. 

If present Bali island is accepted as the original place of Kushkindha kingdom, the entire ownership of Hanuman, Sugriva, Angad, Nal, Neel, the monkey forces; transfers to Bali and Indonesia. The facial look of the people those areas may be like monkeys, therefore, they might had been identified as monkeys. But then the place of Ayodhya also changes, because it was impossible to travel such a long distance from India to Indonesia and Maldives and return in that short span of time. 

Ramayana was a very popular epic of ancient era, therefore, it's characters and places are found all around the India Ocean. Indonesia initially inhabited by Indians Hindus and Buddhist and Japanese Buddhists and was ruled by Hindu and Buddhist kings, now is a country of Muslims but maintains proudly it's rich cultural heritage of Hinduism. Many of their names are Hindus. Many of their names of streets, roads, cross roads, buildings are Hindu. A statue of Krishnopadesam (Arjuna and Krishna are riding a chariot) was erected in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia. Hundreds of Hindu temples exist. It's great leader Sukarno's name come from Karna of Mahabharata as his father was attracted to the character of Karna. His daughter was named Meghavati. Their currency Rupiah carry picture of Ganesha. 

Indonesia meaning India. Indians must learn from Indonesia. At least the meaning of Secularism.

14 October 2017


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