Ritual Performances in the Nāṭyaśāstra I
Keywords:Nāṭyaśāstra, Bharata, theatrical studies, ritual studies, offerings
The present paper stands first in a series of planned articles that present systematically arranged data on ritual performances culled from Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra (usually dated around the beginning of the CE). This data is surprisingly extensive and multifaceted and mainly appears in the following three contexts: (1) the detailed description of five rituals of varying complexity that are preliminary to the staging of a play; (2) theatrical rules that codify the representation of rituals appearing in a play’s narrative; and (3) a wide variety of textual passages that, often parenthetically, offer insight into individual aspects of ritual acts. Before this information will be evaluated in the final essay of this series in order to assess the nature of the boundary between ritual and theatrical performances, it is presented systematically to be of use to ritual and theatrical studies in general. The present and the following article begin the series by offering information on ritual offerings and other items used in rituals contexts.
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