After the end of Kritayuga -The golden age- commenced the Tretayuga -The Silver age- in which people under the influence of lust and greed, jealousy and anger started behaving uncouthly, diluting their happiness with sorrow.
On observing this, the gods, under the leadership of Indra, approached Brahma and requested him to create an entertainment, audible as well as visible-a fifth Veda, accessible to all!
Brahma decided to create a Veda which would reflect all future actions of the people and be the meeting place of all the science and arts and will also be the giver of wealth, fame, good counsel and knowledge of one's duty.
Recalling four Vedas, Brahma went into meditation. Taking the dialogues from the Rig Veda, song-music from the Sama Veda, acting from the Yajur Veda and aesthetic sentiments RASA from the Atharva Veda he created the fifth Veda, the Natya Veda.
Brahma taught Naatya Veda to sage Bharata as desired by Indra. Bharata, in turn, taught his disciples his 100 sons (also known as Bharata-s or Bharata putra-s ) who were intelligent, sharp, bold, industrious, steadfast and were endowed with the faculties of grahana or reception, dhaarana or retention, Jnaana or absorption and prayooga or expression. He also taught them the methods of production and employed them to play various bhuumikaa-s or roles suitable to them. Among the four vritti-s or modes of expression, bhaaratii or vocal expression (speech proper), aarabhaTii or virile expression, saattvatii or emotional expression were the three employed by him in the production; but the result did not satisfy him. So, on the entreaty of bharata, brahma created twenty-four apsaraa-s or nymphs to present KaiSikki vritti or delicate expression and entrusted the instrumental music to sage svaati and the vocal music to sage naarada and other gandharva-s or the celestial musicians. All of them joined and produced a play called asura paraajaya ( the defeat of the demons ) in the open air at the time of the festival of indra dhvaja or indra's flag.
Then, on this auspicious occasion of Indra's flag festival, an imitation of a fight between the gods and the demons, full of action and fury,was performed. This pleased the gods but infuriated the demons as they were shown to have been defeated. They placed obstacles in the way of its performance.
Brahma said:" The drama as I have devised is a mimicry of the actions and conduct of people, rich in various emotions and depiciting varios situatuins. So, O Demons, you should not bear towards the gods, for the mimicry of the world with its seven divisions has been made a rule in the drama."
Then Brahma explained the nature and purpose of Naatya (DRAMA) as follows:
"I have created Naatya veda to represent the actions, ideologies and genealogies of both the gods and the demons. This will present to you the good and the evil involved in following the righteous path and in amassing wealth etc. Naatya, (DRAMA) does not merely stop at narrating the story of either the demons or the gods. You will have tp appreciate that it speaks of the ideologioes of the three worlds and is representative of the emotions of the inhabitants thereof, Naatya in places, will present righteousness, evil, peace, war, humour, ill-will, love, hatred, creation , destruction etc. Naatya will present to you the learning of the scholars, the stupidity of the uneducated, the humor of the nincompoop, the misdeeds of the wicked, the loves of the lusty, the good path of the righteous, the enjoyment of the kings, the imbalance of the aggrieved, the fate of the misers, the prowess of the valient etc.
"I have created Naatya (DRAMA) to deal with various ideas and ideologies and states of mind, in step with the trends in the world. The thematic values of Naatya represent the calibre of men-superior, medium and inferior - and their routine. Besides being instructive, it promotes strength and peace of mind and gives enjoyment. The various actions performed will be instructive to one and all, creating Rasa through the medium of Bhaava or emotion. It gives respite to those in grief and in trouble. It enlivens them, besides giving good counsel, enlightenmnent, and longevity and finaaly reputation to those that enact the play".
"There is nothing that is not compreheneded in Naatya, either knowledge, erudation, actuin, art or craft. It includes all the Saastra-s or sciences, arts and crafts and is a trailookya AnukaraNa or an imitation of the happenings in the three worlds. Naatya presents the activities of gods, demons, kings, saints and common men. The themes of Naatya are taken out of the narratives from history, legends, veda-s and Saastra-s and are presented in an enjoyable way. In short, it can be staed that Naatya is one that presents the nature of the world in all its aspects, with its pleasures and pains, through the medium of the four types of Abhinaya or histrionic expressions".
When the nature and purpose of Naatya has been explained thus, the demons were pacified and the production went on smoothly. Pleased with the production, the gods and the demons gave presents to the actors and actresses.
When the production attained perfection, Brahma took them to kailaasa, the abode of Lord Siva, and against the back-drop of the beautiful snow-capped mountains, presented two plays out of the ten major forms of drama - Amrithmanthana, a Samavakaara and Tripuradaaha, a Dima. Lord Siva, pleased with the production, addressed Brahma thus : "Oh ! You intellectual ! You have created Naatya in a beautiful way which is conductive to fame, well-being, piety and intellectual advancement. I was thinking about this aspect when I was dancing in the evening. I would like you to incorporate Nritta or pure dance with Karana-s and Angahaara-s in the prepresentational rituals so that the meaning of the song will be clear to the audience. The original ritual is devoid of dance and if dance is incoroporated, it will present a better pricture. Dance may not help the story, it may not produce an emotion, acting is not quite enough but dance and music will beautify the Naatya (DRAMA)". Then saint TanDu, ordained by Lord Siva, taught Nritta (DANCE) to Bharata comprising KaraNa-s, Angahaara-s and reecaka-s. This Nritta is called TaanDava since it was first expalined by saint TanDu. This is contained in Chapter Four of Naatya Saastra.
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