Manikkavacagar, a Saiva saint was a prolific writer whose works are treasure trove of spiritual wisdom & devotional poetry that continues to illuminate our path towards self-realization & experience of divine
In the path to attaining spiritual bliss or Ananda, practice of dance also considered to be one of the highest forms of practicing yoga or union with Divine involved all eight stages of yoga.
Temple culture being destroyed in North India by foreign invaders brought religious dance traditions to a close leaving only countryside small temples for devotional music in vernacular medium
Best form of drama was considered to lead to delightful aesthetic pleasure of rasa while also imparting moral values & ethics & what better than these dramas being based on our Purāņa-s & Itihāsa.
Dramatic representation should be such that audience can merge with & enjoy – when performance evokes particular sentiments to highest degree, the aesthetic relish experienced is known as Rasa.
Ancient Indian Culture considered all dedicated activity as Yajna – hence a stage presentation of dance & drama was regarded as offering to Gods as well as spiritual nourishment for audience
Among the most beautiful poetry in Rg Veda is description of youthful Goddess of dawn (Ushas) dancing across the skies before sunrise, heralding the Surya, before his daily sojourn across the sky.
Jayaraman Mahadevan’s book of poems, “Unnamya Drstam” is simply brilliant. The first thing that strikes the reader is the friendly, easy-to-understand manner in which it is arranged.