The Ritual Boundaries of Ancient Indian Theatre


  • Natalia Lidova OCHS, Oxford University



Sanskrit drama, Nāṭyaśāstra, Nāṭyaveda, Fifth Veda, naṭasūtras, pūjā, ritual


Ritual Boundaries of Ancient Indian Theatre

The paper focuses on the question of the genesis of ancient Indian theatre and argues that it was introduced in the early post-Vedic period as an inalienable part of the pūjā cult. The definition of theatre as Nāṭyaveda and Pañcama Veda (the ‘Fifth Veda’), presented in the Nāṭyaśāstra, should not be taken merely as a kind of eulogy but as a reflection of the ancient tradition, which treated the early ceremonial theatre not so much as an art form and entertainment but as a ritual and a visual sermon intended to elevate and educate the public.

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How to Cite

Lidova, Natalia. 2017. “The Ritual Boundaries of Ancient Indian Theatre”. Cracow Indological Studies 19 (2):1-32.