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Ram-Leela: Recreating Rama’s Milieu

Hindus have chosen a beautiful word, Ramleela, to signify the drama of Rama's life. Leela means play, which implies an abundance of energy. Only Hindus have the concept of play in their religion. They say, "The world is God's play- leela." Leela means there is so much overflowing energy, just to sit idle is impossible! The energy is overflowing.

God is infinite energy, and we are his overflowing. The whole existence is his overflowing. It is all his abundance that is flowing and he can never be exhausted. This energy which can never be emptied, is called Rama.

There is no destiny, no fate for God. He is beyond destiny. Flowers bloom, the moon shines and the stars twinkle for what? Why do rivers and streams flow?

Because God is. The day our life current gets adjusted to the right wavelength, we will find purpose disappearing from our lives. That is why we refer to the lives of Rama and Krishna as leela and not as biography. Their lives are a play, a sport, a frolic, a festival!

In India we perform the Ramleela every year. We go on performing it every year just to create the same milieu again. When someone acts the part of Rama, it is not only that he is acting Ram. In fact, in villages where the people have been untouched by today's concepts, the person who is playing Rama is Rama. They touch his feet. He is not an actor; he is Rama revived. The milieu is created. They chant poetry, the whole story is unfolded.

This is miraculous too because nobody gets bored with the same story again and again. But even though everyone already knows the whole story when Ram leela is unfolds, everyone is thrilled. It is ram: alive again Re-enacted. It is not only a stage, but the whole world.  A certain milieu is being recreated and the villager who is watching the play is not only seeing a drama he is part and parcel of a great spiritual phenomenon. He is in it! As the story unfolds, his heart is unfolds too.

Osho says: This is a mythological approach to the nontemporal. Re-enacting it. Reviving it. Resurrecting it. History cannot do this; only myth can do this. Myth is helpful but not substantial: A creative imagination is needed to fill in the substance. This attitude - the nonhistorical, mythological - is more in tune with the unconscious. History is in tune with the conscious, myth is in tune with the unconscious. Myth is in tune with eternal, history is in tune with the temporal. History is yesterday's news and tomorrow's news. Today's news will become history: history is just an accumulation of news, a newspaper accumulation. It goes on becoming greater. But history is unnecessary, spiritually. Unnecessary, because it can never grasp the significant phenomena. In another sense, it is not only insignificant but dangerous also, because the more you record the past as the past - and the more the accumulation grows - the more you are burdened, unnecessarily burdened.”

Myth is needed. History is always of the past but myth is not only of the past; myth is also of the future. The form of the myth comes from the past, but the opening is always toward the future. If someone is thinking about Krishna in terms of myth. he is not only thinking about the past. He is thinking about the potentiality, about what is possible. Human consciousness can become Krishna-consciousness, it can evolve to that point. So myth is only nominally of the past. It always has an opening into the future.

History is always of the dead past. It has no future at all. But it dictates the future.

Osho says: Myths should be continued. They open into the future. History should be discarded. All that is meaningful in the past must be made into a myth not a history. It must be thought about in terms of poetry not in terms of temporal events. Poetry is never a closing; it is always an opening. It is never limiting. You can give poetry your own meaning; you have a certain freedom. But not with a newspaper. The more down to earth the record is, the less free you are. You cannot give it a meaning. You cannot relive it, you cannot create it. You cannot be creative with it; you can only be passive. What can you do? Hitler is born in a particular year - how can you be creative about it? It is a dead weight; you can only be passive with it. But with Krishna, you can be creative. There is no date. In a way, he is never born. You can give birth to him anytime. With poetry you are at liberty; with myth you are at liberty. You can create... and when you create, you are also transformed. In creating, the creator is always transformed by his own creation; he never remains untouched.

History is a very worldly thing and myth is a record of all that cannot be recorded, but that which can be indicated. Hindus do not say 'the history of Rama'. We say 'the story of Rama': Rama Katha. It is not accidental because we give more importance to a story than to a history. With a story there are possibilities and history is a dead thing with no possibility.

A story is a living thing. One can do something with it and it can also do something to the individual.

A myth can indicate, can show something about it. It is not a bare statement of events. It helps the reader or watcher to go deep into the poetry of the myth and the imagination what Jung calls 'archetypes' - he might get a glimpse; he may be able to know what has happened beyond history. He may be able to know from deep down within themselves himself. Only from within something can happen which will be in tune with the nontemporal, which can be in communion with the nonhistorical. With what Tulsidas has written, one can again relive the whole phenomenon. Time will be transcended and he will again be in the time of Rama. There will be no space/time relationship. Deep within he will be in Rama's milieu as if Rama is present somewhere nearby.

Author info

Ma Prem Naina's picture

Ma Prem Naina born in Jorhat, Assam, was initiated into Sannyas in 2003 at Oshodham, New Delhi. She is an MBA and also holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. Deeply inspired by the love and dedication of the founder of the Osho World Foundation in Delhi, Swami Om Prakash Saraswati, she left her career as a producer/journalist to join in Osho’s caravanserai. She presently heads the publications and media relations at Osho World Foundation, New Delhi. www.oshoworld.com

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