Krishna Lila or Ras
Krishna Lila has its roots in
folk-dance. From primitive times dance has been a common form of propitiating
gods and goddess and Ras is likely an off-shoot of such religious dancing.
Worshippers of Lord Krishna dressed as Gopis, danced round his image.
This form of worship later came to be called Ras. The performers of the
Ras are called Rasdharis. Besides musicians the troupes include boys in
their early teens. One of these boys with a handsome face is given the
role of Krishna. His make-up is very scrupulously done. He holds a flute
in his hand, wears a peacock crown on his head and looks impressive. Another
younger boy with feminine looks plays Radha. In make-up greater accent
is always put on the appearance of Krishna than of Radha. Other boys play
the roles of Gopis and all perform through dance and drama various incidents
from the life of Krishna. Ras Lila is an assortment of devotional songs,
music, dance and acting. The rainy season during which the birthday of
Lord Krishna is celebrated is the most appropriate period for these performances.