Bharat Stories
Light of Knowledge

Raas Leela or Raas lila or Rasa Dance

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Raas Leela or Raas lila or Rasa dance is a traditional story of Krishna who is a Hindu God mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. Kathak which is an Indian clasical dance form was evolved from Raas lila or Braj and Manipuri classical dance and was revived by Kathak dancer Uma Sharma. Rasa lila is a popular theme in Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Manipuri and Kuchipudi items. It is a popular form of folk theatre in the regions of Mathura, Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, especially during the festivals of Krishna Janmashtami and Holi, and amongst various followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the region.

Raas Leela- The dance of love

Raas Lila is now a simple process of bhakti to connect with Bhagwan Krishna in his child form. It is observed as a national festival in Assam and every year people perform Raas Lila expressing their faith for Lord Krishna. The word raas in literal terms mean juice but it can also be considered as an intense and passionate feeling. So this is simply known as the dance of passion. The rasa lila takes place in night when the Gopis of Vrindavana hear Krishna playing his flute and sneaks away from their houses and huts to the forest in order to dance with Krishna the entire night which Krishna magically stretches to the length of the Night of Brahma.

Occasions for performing Raas

Raas Leela or Raas Mahotsav as it is also called is also observed as one of the State Festivals in Assam which is usually celebrated in the Late November or in the Early December. During this festival, thousands of devotees visit the holy temple of Assam every year and also attend the Xatras as well. The Raas Mahotsav of Howly , Majuli and of Nalbari  deserves a special mention. The traditional Rasa Lila performances in Vrindavan are famous in the Vaishnava world as it gives an experience of the spiritual world.

 

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