(Last Updated on : 22/07/2009)
Lila is technical term in Hindu theology that signifies, among other things, sport, dalliance, play, the playful deeds of gods. It also includes performance that chronicles such deeds. For instance, Ramlila means 'Rama's playful deeds. The need to describe the 'acts' of gods as play derives from the need to explain why gods, axiomatically perfect, act at all, in as much as they require nothing and desire nothing. Gods are not obliged to act, but as they still do, their actions must be understood within the terms of the only relatively free and non-utilitarian activity that is known. This is known as play. By extension, lila means action not defined by any goal but brought about for pleasure. Thus the universe, and everything in it, is a manifestation of God's play, of God's pleasure.
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