PL EN


2017 | 19 | 2 | 1-32
Article title

The Ritual Boundaries of Ancient Indian Theatre

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The paper focuses on the question of the genesis of ancient Indian theatre and argues that it was introduced in the early post-Vedic period as an inalienable part of the pūjā cult. The definition of theatre as Nāṭyaveda and Pañcama Veda (the ‘Fifth Veda’), presented in the Nāṭyaśāstra, should not be taken merely as a kind of eulogy but as a reflection of the ancient tradition, which treated the early ceremonial theatre not so much as an art form and entertainment but as a ritual and a visual sermon intended to elevate and educate the public.
Year
Volume
19
Issue
2
Pages
1-32
Physical description
Contributors
References
  • Primary sources: AŚ: Kauṭilīya Arthaśā stra. R. P. Kangle (ed.). 1986. The Kauṭilīya Arthaśā stra. Part I: A Critical Edition with a Glossary. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  • ĀśvGS: Āśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra. T. Ganapati Sastri (ed.). 1985 [1923]. Ās ́valāyanagṛhyasūtra with the Commentary Anāvila of Haradattācārya. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.
  • AV: Atharvaveda. R. Roth and W. D. Whitney (eds.). 1966 [1856]. Atharva Veda Sanhita. Hannover: Dummler.
  • BNŚ: Bhāratīya Nāṭyaśāstram. J. Grosset (ed.). 1898. Bhāratīya-nāṭya-cāstram. Traité de Bharata sur le théatre. Texte sanskrit. Édition critique. Avec une Introduction, les Variantes tirées de quatre manuscripts, une Table analytique et des Notes. Précédée d’une préface de P. Regnaud. Tome Première: 1ère Partie: Texte et Variantes. Table analytique. 2ème Partie: Notes. Annales de l’Université de Lyon, fasc. 40. Paris–Lyon: Ernest Leroux.
  • BSū: Brahmasūtras. S. Bapat (ed.). 2011. A Critical Edition of the Brahmasūtras. Sanskrit Text with Translation into English, Critical Analysis and Notes with Śaṅkarācārya’s Commentary Śā rīrakamīmāṃ sābhāṣ ya. 3 vols. New Delhi: New Bharatiya Book.
  • ChU: Chāndogya Upaniṣad—online edition GRETIL etext http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/1_veda/4_upa/chup___u.htm.
  • GOS: Nāṭyaśāstra. M. Ramakrishna Kavi (ed.). 1926–1964. Nāṭyaśāstra with the Commentary of Abhinavagupta with a Preface, Appendix and Index. 4 vols. Gaekwad’s Oriental Series 36; 68; 124; 154. Baroda: Central Library; Oriental Institute.
  • KGS: The Kauśika Gṛhyasūtra. M. Bloomfield (ed.). 1889. The Kauśika Sūtra of Atharva Veda, with extracts from the Commentaries of Dārila and Keśava. In: Journal of the American Oriental Society, 14. (Repr. Delhi–Varanasi–Patna: Motilal Banarsidass 1972).
  • Mb: Mahābhāṣya of Patañjali. 1987–1988. Śrīmadbhagavat-patañjali-muniviracitaṃ Pātañjalaṃ Mahābhāṣyam. Vārāṇasī: Vāṇīvilāsa Prakāśana.
  • Mbh: Mahābhārata. V. S. Sukthankar et al. (eds.). 1933–1966. The Mahābhārata. 19 vols. Poona: BORI.
  • MDh: Mānava-Dharmaśāstra. P. Olivelle (ed.). 2005. Manu’s Code of Law. A Critical Edition and Translation of the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • NŚ: Nāṭyaśāstra. M. Ghosh (ed.). 1956–1967. The Nāṭyaśāstra Ascribed to Bharata-Muni. The Original Sanskrit Text Edited with Introduction and Various Readings. 2 vols. Calcutta: Asiatic Society; Manisha Granthalaya.
  • Pāṇ: Aṣṭādhyāyī. S. M. Katre (ed.). 1987. Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini. Roman transliteration and English translation. Austin: University of Texas Press. (Repr. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1989).
  • Regnaud, P. 1898. Bharatīya-nāṭya-śātram: Traité de Bharata sur le théâtre. Texte sanscrit. 51 vols. Paris–Lyon: Leroux.
  • ŚāṅGS: Śāṅ khāyana Gṛhyasūtra. S. R. Sehgal (ed.). 1960. Śāṅkhāyana Gṛhya Sūtram (Belonging to the Ṛ gveda). Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
  • ŚB: Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa—online edition GRETIL etext http://gretil.sub.unigoettingen.de/gret_utf.htm#SatBr.
  • TB: Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa. G. U. Thite (ed.). 2012. Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa of Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda. Text with the Commentary of Sāyaṇācārya and English Introduction. 2 vols. New Delhi: New Bharatiya Book.
  • VDhP: Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa. P. Shah (ed.). 1958–1961. Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa. 2 vols. Gaekwad’s Oriental Studies 130; 137. Baroda: Oriental Institute.
  • Secondary sources: Bansat-Boudon, L. 2001. Drama and Dharma in Indian Speculations. In: Indologica Taurinensia, 1991–1992: 17–18: 35–62.
  • —. 1993. The Foundation Myth of Indian Theatre. In: Altorientalische Forschungen, 20(1) June: 148–155. https://doi.org/10.1524/aofo.1993.20.1.148.
  • —.1994. Le mythe d’origine du théâtre indien. In: M. Menu (ed.). Théâtre et cité: Séminaire du CRATA 1992–1994. Toulouse: Centre de Recherches appliquées au Théâtre Antique: 107–119.
  • —. 2012. Aesthetica in nuce dans le mythe d’origine du théâtre indien. In: S. D’Intino and C. Guenzi (eds.). Aux abords de la clairière. Études indiennes et comparées en l’honneur de Charles Malamoud. Turnhout: Brepols: 213–238.
  • Bisschop, P. and A. Griffiths. 2003. The Pāśupata Observance (Atharvavedapariśiṣṭa 40). In: Indo-Iranian Journal, 46(4): 315–48.
  • Brockington, J. 1998. The Sanskrit Epics. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
  • Bronkhorst, J. 2017. Brahmanism: Its Place in Ancient Indian Society. In: Indian Sociology, 51(3): 361–369. https://doi.org/10.1177/0069966717717587.
  • Bühnemann, G. 1988. Pūjā. A Study in Smārta Ritual. Publications of the De Nobili Research Library 15. Vienna: Institut für Indologie der Universität Wien.
  • Buitenen van, J. A. B. 1968. The Pravargya, an Ancient Indian Iconic Ritual Described and Annotated. Poona: Deccan College.
  • Byrski M. C. 1974. Concept of Ancient Indian Theatre. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
  • Charpentier, J. 1927. The Meaning and Etymology of Pūjā. In: Indian Antiquary, Bombay, 56: 93–98, 130–135. (Earlier German version: Charpentier, J. 1926. Über den Begriff und die Etymologie von Pūjā. In: W. Kirfel (ed.). Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte Indiens. Festgabe Hermann Jacobi zum 75. Geburtstag. Bonn: Kommissionsverlag F. Klopp: 276–297).
  • Bhatnagar, R. S. 1987. The Conceptual Structure Underlying the Nāṭyaśāstra. In: Daya Krishna (ed.). India’s Intellectual Traditions: Attempts at Conceptual Reconstruction. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass: 95–103.
  • Brooks, D. R. 1992. Auspicious Wisdom: The Texts and Traditions of Śrividya Śākta Tantrism in South India. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  • Burman, A. D. 1994. The Pūrvaraṅga and the Prologue Scenes in the Indian and South-East Asian Theatres. In: Indo-Iranian Journal, 37 (4): 297–316.
  • Dave, U. 1941. Nāndī in Theory. In: Indian Historical Quarterly, 17: 359–369.
  • De Simini, F. 2016. Of Gods and Books: Ritual and Knowledge Transmission in the Manuscript Cultures of Premodern India. Studies in Manuscript Cultures 8. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Fitzgerald, J. L.1985. India’s Fifth Veda: The Mahābhārata’s Presentation of Itself. In: Journal of South Asian Literature, 20 (1): 125–140. (Repr. A. Sharma (ed.). 1991. Essays on the Mahābhārata. Leiden: Brill: 150–170).
  • —. 1996. Review: Drama and Ritual of Early Hinduism. Performing Arts Series 4. General Editor Farley P. Richmond. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1994. In: Asian Folklore Studies, 55(1): 182–184.
  • —. 2010. Mahābhārata. In: K. A. Jacobsen et al. (eds.). Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Vol. 2. Leiden: E. J. Brill: 72–94.
  • —. 2013. History and Primordium in Ancient Indian Historical Writing: Itihāsa and Purāṇa in the Mahābhārata and Beyond. In: K. Raaflaub (ed.). Thinking, Recording, and Writing History in the Ancient World. Malden, Mass.– Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell: 41–60.
  • Heesterman, J. C. 1985. The Inner Conflict of Tradition: Essays in Indian Ritual, Kingship, and Society. Chicago–London: University of Chicago Press.
  • Houben, J. E. M. 1999. To Kill or Not to Kill: The Sacrificial Animal (yajña-paśu)? Arguments and Perspectives in Brahmanical Ethical Philosophy. In: J. E. M. Houben and K. R. Van Kooij (eds.). Violence Denied: Violence, Non-violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History. Leiden: Brill: 105–83.
  • Geslani, M. 2011. The Ritual Culture of Appeasement: Śanti Rites in Post-Vedic Sources. PhD dissertation, Yale University.
  • —. 2011a. Appeasement and Atonement in the Mahādānas, the Hindu “Great Gifts”. In: Journal Asiatique, 299: 5–22.
  • —. 2012. Śānti Rites in the Development of the Purāṇic Rājyābhiṣeka. In: Indo-Iranian Journal, 55(4): 321–377.
  • Gitomer, D. L. 1994. Whither the Thick Sweetness of Their Passion? In: L. Patton (ed.). Authority, Anxiety, and Canon. Essays in Vedic Interpretation. New York: SUNY Press: 171–198.
  • Ghosh, M. 1930. Problems of the Nāṭyaśāstra. In: Indian Historical Quarterly, 6: 72–80.
  • —. 1967a. Introduction. In: The Nāṭyaśāstra, ascribed to Bharata Muni. Sanskrit Text. Vol. I. Calcutta: XVII–LXXXII.
  • —. 1967b. Introduction. In: The Nāṭyaśātra, Completely Translated for the First Time from the Original Sanskrit with an Introduction, Various Notes and Index. Vol. I. Calcutta: XVII–LXIX.
  • Gonda, J. 1967. The Indra Festival according to the Atharvavedins. In: Journal of the American Oriental Society, 87(4): 413–429. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/597586.
  • —. 1977. Medieval Religious Literature in Sanskrit. Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz.
  • Hiltebeitel, A. 2011. Reading the Fifth Veda: Studies on the Mahābhārata: Essays. A Studies in the History of Religions: Numen Book Series 131. Vol. 1. etc. Leiden: Brill.
  • Houben, J. E. M. 1991. The Pravargya Brāhmaṇa of the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka: An Ancient Commentary on the Pravargya Ritual. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  • Jamison, S. 2007. Le Ṛgveda entre deux mondes. The Rig Veda between Two Worlds. Quatre conférences au Collège de France en mai 2004. Publications de I’Institut de civilisation indienne 74. Paris: College de France.
  • Kashikar, C. C. 1972. Apropos of the Pravargya. In: Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit Studies, 1:1–10.
  • Keith, A. B. 1912. Review: The Pariśiṣṭas of the Atharvaveda. Vol. I, in three parts: Text and Critical Apparatus. Leipzig. 1909–10. In: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series), 44: 755–776.
  • Kuiper F. B. J. 1975. The Worship of the Jarjara on the Stage. In: Indo-Iranian Journal, 16(4): 241–268.
  • —. 1979. Varuṇa and Vidūṣaka: On the Origin of the Sanskrit Drama. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeling Letterkunde. Nieuwe Reeks 100. Amsterdam–Oxford–New York: North-Holland Publishing Company.
  • Lidova, N. 1994. Drama and Ritual of Early Hinduism. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  • —. 2002–2003. Indramahotsava in the Late Vedic and Early Epic Traditions. In: Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay, 76–78: 85–108.
  • —. 2007. The Definition of Performance in the Nāṭyaśāstra. In: Rocznik Orientalistyczny, 60(2). Theatrum Mirabiliorum Indiae Orientalis. A Volume to Celebrate the 70th Birthday of Professor Maria Krzysztof Byrski: 345–356.
  • —. 2009. The Changes of Indian Ritualism: yajña versus pūjā. In: H. P. Ray (ed.). Archeology and Text: The Temple in South Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 205–231.
  • —. 2014. Nāṭyaśāstra. In: Oxford Bibliographies. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195399318/obo-9780195399318-0071.xml.
  • Malinar, A. 2011. Vier Veden und der ‘fünfte Veda’. Über Kanonbildung im Hinduismus. In: K. Kollmar-Paulenz et al. (eds.). Kanon und Kanonisierung: Ein Schlüsselbegriff der Kulturwissenschaften im interdisziplinären Dialog. Basel: Schwabe: 182–211.
  • Meyer, J. J. 1937. Trilogie altindischer Muchte und Feste der Vegetation. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Religions- und Kulturgeschichte. In: Festund Volkskunde, 3: 116–134.
  • Miller, Ch. J. 1972. Bharata and the Authorship and Age of the Nāṭya Śāstra (Being an Exploratory Study). In: Samskrita Ranga Annual, 6. Special Felicitation Volume in Honour of Dr. V. Raghavan: 27–37.
  • Modak, B. R., 1993. The Ancillary Literature of the Atharva-Veda. A Study with Special Reference to the Pariśiṣṭas. New Delhi: Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan in association with Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers.
  • Parikh, J. T. 1951–1952. The Orthodox Tradition about the Origin of the Sanskrit Drama. In: Journal of the Oriental Institute of Baroda, 1(1–4): 338–342.
  • Patton, L. 1996. Myth as Argument: The Bṛhaddevatā as Canonical Commentary. Berlin–New York: De Gruyter.
  • Pusalker, A. D. 1940. Bhāsa—A Study. Lahore: Mehar Chand Lachhman Das.
  • Rocher, L. 1981. The Textual Tradition of the Bhāratīyanāṭyaśāstra: A Philological Assessment. In: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 25: 107–130.
  • —. 1986. The Purāṇas. A History of Indian Literature, Vol. II, Fasc. 3. Wiesbaden: Verlag Otto Harrassowitz.
  • —. 2000. Review: Drama and Ritual of Early Hinduism. Performing Arts Series 4. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1994. In: Journal of the American Oriental Society, 120(4): 631–632.
  • Rotman, A. 2009. The Power of Proximity: Creating and Venerating Shrines in Indian Buddhist Narratives. In: J. Hawkes and A. Shimada (eds.). Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art-Historical, and Historical Perspectives. Delhi: Oxford University Press: 51–62.
  • Sanderson, A. 2007. Atharvavedins in Tantric Territory: The Āngirasakalpa Texts of the Oriya Paippalādins and their Connection with the Trika and the Kālīkula, with Critical Editions of the Parājapavidhi, the Parāmantravidhi, and the *Bhadrakālī-mantravidhiprakarana. In: A. Griffiths and A. Schmiedchen (eds.). The Atharvaveda and its Paippalāda Śākhā: Historical and Philological Papers on a Vedic Tradition. Geisteskultur Indiens: Texte und Studien, 11, Indologica Halensis. Aachen: Shaker Verlag: 195–311.
  • —. 2009. The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period. In: S. Einoo (ed.). Genesis and Development of Tantrism. Institute of Oriental Culture Special Series 23. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture. University of Tokyo: 41–350.
  • Sathyanarayana, R. 1993. The Banner Festival of Indra. In: Sangeet Natak, 110: 3–13.
  • —. 2012. The Legends of Indramaha. In: K. K. Chakravarty (ed.). Visvavara: Sanskrit for Human Survival. 15th World Sanskrit Conference. New Delhi: Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan: 197–210.
  • Sastri, K. K. D. 1963. Pūrvaraṅga in Sanskrit Drama. In: Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, 1(2): 299–308.
  • Sinha, K. P. 1991–92. Vedic Origin of the Tantric Practices. In: Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 72/73(1/4). Amṛtamahotsava (1917–1992) Volume: 195–204.
  • Smith, F. M. 2011. A Brief History of Indian Religious Ritual and Resource Consumption. Was There an Environmental Ethic? In: Asian Ethnology, 70 (2) : 163–179.
  • —. 1987b. The Vedic Sacrifice in Transition: A Translation and Study of the Trikāṇḍamaṇḍana of Bhāskara Miśra. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.
  • Smith, B. K. 1987a. Exorcising the Transcendent: Strategies for Defining Hinduism and Religion. In: History of Religions, 27 (1): 32–55.
  • Srinivasan, A. S. 1980. On the Composition of the Nāṭyaśāstra. Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik, Monographie 1. Reinbek: Verlag für Orientalistische Fachpublikationen.
  • Sullivan, B. M. 1999. Seer of the Fifth Veda: Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana Vyāsa in the Mahābhārata. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  • Tarlekar, G. H. 1991. Studies in the Nāṭyaśāstra, with Special Reference to the Sanskrit Drama in Performance. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.
  • Thieme, P. 1987. Sūtradhāra und Pūrvaraṅga. In: Studien zur Indologie und Iranistic, 13/14: 289–300.
  • Tieken, H. 1998. Review: Poetique du theatre Indien: Lectures du Nāṭyaśāstra by Lyne Bansat-Boudon. In: Asian Folklore Studies, 57 (1): 171–175.
  • —. 2001. The pūrvaraṅga, the prastāvanā, and the sthāpaka. In: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, 45: 91–124.
  • —. 2014. On Beginnings: Introductions and Prefaces in Kāvya. In: Y. Bronner, D. Shulman and G. Tubb (eds.). Innovations and Turning Points: Towards a History of Kāvya Literature. New Delhi: Oxford University Press: 86–108.
  • Tripathi, K. D. 1992. Nāṭyaśāstra: Problems of Textual Criticism and Interpretation of Text. In: Saṃskṛti Sandhāna: Journal of the National Research Institute of Human Culture, 5: 81–89.
  • Tripathi, R. 1991. Lectures on the Nāṭyaśāstra. Publication of the Centre of Advanced Study in Sanskrit. Pune: University of Pune.
  • —. 1994–1995. Origin and Development of Theatre in Ancient India. In: Sambodhi. Indological Research Journal of L. D. Institute of Indology, 19: 1–20.
  • —. 1995. The Cosmic View of Raṅgadaivatapūjana. The Question of its Āgamic Background. In: B. Bäumer (ed.). Prakṛti: The Integral Vision. Vol. 3. The Āgamic Tradition and the Arts. New Delhi: D. K. Printworl: 79–85.
  • —. 2014. Aesthetics of the Mahābhārata. Traditional Interpretations. In: A. Chakrabarti and S. Bandyopadhyay (eds.). Mahabharata Now: Narration, Aesthetics, Ethics. London: Routledge: 85–94.
  • Vatsyayan, K. 1989. The Nāṭyaśāstra—A History of Criticism. In: A. L. Dallapiccola (ed.). Shastric Traditions in Indian Arts. Vol. 1. Texts. Beiträge zur Südasienforschung 125. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag: 333–338.
  • —. 1996. Bharata: The Nāṭyaśāstra. New Delhi: Sahitya Academy.
  • Viennot, O. 1954. Le culte de l’arbre dans l’Inde ancienne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
  • Wijesekera, O. H. A. 1941. Buddhist Evidence for the Early Existence of Drama. In: Indian History Quarterly, 17 (2): 196–206.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-9aeef3f6-cae0-4581-9be6-ba5730166a57
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.