Student Guest Post: Dancing about Hindu Gods
Today’s guest post comes from soon-to-be sixth grader, Ishan. It reminds me of the story I saw performed in Bali, which was also a Hindu tale. Do you know other cultures that have stories as interesting as this one?
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This summer I went to a Bharata Natyam performance. It was about different forms of VIshnu, one of the Hindu gods. It was made up of lots of different stories about the forms of Vishnu. The forms are called avatars. My favorite story was the one where Vishnu turned into a person with the body of a human and the head of a lion. A demon-king was praying to Brahma, who is another one of the Hindu gods, that he could be not be killled by an animal or human, at day or at night, inside or outside, on earth or in heaven. His wish was granted and he went around wreaking havoc. His son kept on praying to Vishnu and that made the demon-king angry. His son one day said, “Vishnu is everywhere,” so the demon-king asked, “So Vishnu is in this pillar?” And his son said, “Yes.” So the demon-king punched the pillar, and out jumped the Man-Lion, and fought with him until twilight, and went to the doorstep with him, put him on his thigh, and then killed him.
Bharata Natyam is an ancient classical dance that uses movement of hands, eyes, face, and feet. It comes from South India. My sister was in the performance. She was in another story.