GLOSSARY

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  •   Rasleela – The dance-drama evolved in the 15th-16th century by the Vaishnava saints of North India, based on the Bhagavatha Purana. The Ras has Krishna dancing with his beloved Radha and his milkmaids (gopis).

  •   Ravana – Demon king of Lanka, kidnapper of Sita and killed by Rama in the battle of the Ramayana.

  •   Ravanbadh – The performance that shows Rama killing Ravana in the Ramayana.

  •   Robka – See Nagara.

  •   Rudaksha – Sacred seeds, used in making necklaces for the holy people.

  •   Santhal – The tribe originally inhabiting the Rajmahal hills on the Bengal-Bihar border.

  •   Saraswati – Goddess of knowledge; usually seated on a swan and holding a veena.

  •   Sarinda – Musical instrument with three main strings, tied in an elliptical track to pegs on top. Notes are played with fingertips, while the tune is played with a bow.

  •   Satra – The holy congregational space in Assam, used since the time of sage Sankaradeva.

  •   Sattah – The quality of purity: white and luminous. 

  •   Satvahana – The royal dynasty (220BC-236AD), was founded by Simuka in modern Andhra. Rock-cut caves and Buddhist Stupas belonged to this period.

  •   Sehnai – A woodwind instrument with a conical tube-body and a mouthpiece.

  •   Shloka – Sanskrit sacred verse.

  •   Sholapith – An herbaceous plant growing wild in marshy and waterlogged areas in Bengal, Assam and Orissa. Used for artistic decorations, making headgears for deities in festivals and puppets.

  •    Shri Ram Bhartia Kala Kendra – The premiere teaching and performing institute for music and dance in Delhi nearly 50 years old.

  •    Shruti – The quartertones in Indian musical scale, occurring between notes.

  •   Simhasan Battisi – The magic throne of Vikramaditya of Ujjain with 32 decorative dolls who danced and did acrobatic feats.

  •   Sita – Wife of Rama in the Ramayana.

  •   Sri Gauranga – Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1485-1533), born in Bengal, who grew into a scholar and teacher. He embraced Vaishnavism and was venerated as a great saint who sang and danced the glory of Krishna, and preached love to humanity.

  •   Stuti – Chanted prayers for the glory of the gods.

  •   Subrahmanya – Kartikeya, the brother of Ganesha and the god of war. Known as Subrahmanya in Tamil Nadu, where six of his temples form a pilgrim circuit.

  •   Tabla – Small drums played horizontally with fingers and hands, generating wide tonal range and harmonic qualities.

  •   Tadaka – The female demon killed by Rama in the Ramayana.

  •    Tala – Metallic small cymbal for keeping rhythm.

  •   Tamah – Negative qualities like ignorance, laziness, confusion and passivity.

  •   Tandava – The virile masculine dance, attributed to Shiva.
      Terracotta – Burnt clay used as building material. The earliest examples go back to the Indus valley civilisation (2000BC).

  •   Therigatha - Buddhist treatise of great antiquity, composed by senior nuns of the Buddhist order, the well-known royal dancer Amrapali and the beautiful Subha

  •    Tuntune – Cylindrical metal resonator with an open top and base covered with skin attached to the lower end of a bamboo shaft. One steel string passes through the skin and tied to the bamboo shaft played in Maharashtra.

  •   Uduki – Musical drum played in South.

  •   Uttara – Daughter of King Virat and wife of Abhimanyu (Arjuna’s son) in the Mahabharata.

  •    Vaishnava – The devotees and followers of Vishnu.

  •   Vaitarani – The sacred river, believed in mythology, to be crossed by everyone before entering heaven.

  •    Vatsyayana – See Kamasutra.

  •   Vikramaditya – Chandragupta II, who reigned in 380 AD.

  •   Vramyaman Natak – A form of Jatra, which travels all over Assam with several artists, tents and property.

  •   Wata – Musical instrument, used in Maharashtra.

  •   Yakshagana – A vibrant folk-theatre of Karnataka using themes from mythology, epics and puranas through dance and music. 

  •   Yama – The god of death who reigns in hell.

  •   Yampat – The popular scroll-paintings from tribal areas of West Bengal and Bihar, showing what happen after death.




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