Participants performing dance-drama ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’
Participants performing dance-drama ‘Abhigyan Shakuntalam’

Vaishnavite culture of Assam highlighted at 'Rasa Kriti' event

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 17:50 IST

New Delhi (India), Oct 24 (ANI): Recently a large number of art lovers from the national capital witnessed the unique amalgamation of culture when the glorious history of the Vaishnavite culture of Assam was brought to the forefront in the form of dance-drama in an event called 'Rasa Kriti' at the golden jubilee celebrations of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The dance-drama 'Abhigyan Shakuntalam' was depicted by Mahakavi Kalidasa based on a Kashmiri manuscript to celebrate the essence of Satriya dance.
Majuli - worlds' largest river island is the leading centre of Vaishnavism in Assam which is widely credited to Srimanta Sankardeva-a pioneer of the medieval-age neo-Vaishnavite movement.
While preaching the movement, Sankardeva established monasteries and hermitages known as 'Satra' on the islet.
The Satriya dance form is considered to be a powerful medium for the propagation of the Vaishnava faith which has been nurtured and preserved by the Satras.
Adhayapak Bhabananda Borbayan, a monk at the Majuli Satra on briefing about the special rendition said, "This programme is based on Kalidas's Shakuntala because it is considered as one of the oldest and authentic amongst the others."
During the event, the play was performed by the artists from Assam and other parts of the country who specialise in theatre and drama.
Moreover, what made the event most interesting was that the play was staged in both Sanskrit and Prakrit language.
Gitima Das Krishna, one of the participants at the event said, "Earlier when dramas were written, people used to say that only the upper caste men like the king and the prince were allowed to speak in 'Sanskrit' and the womenfolk used to speak in 'Prakrit'."
"It is more like a dialect and is evolving with the passing years. There are different versions of Prakrit-Maharashtrian and Kashmiri Prakrit, but the one we presented is the most original and authentic form of 'Prakrit," concluded Krishna. (ANI)