Chandalika will be staged on October 4 at Ramakrishna Mission Hall, Wellawatte at 6 p.m.

Chandalika will be staged on October 4 at Ramakrishna Mission Hall, Wellawatte at 6 p.m.

Tracing the untouchables: Chandalika Chandalika will be staged on October 4 at Ramakrishna Mission Hall, Wellawatte at 6 p.m. It is presented by Santhiniketan Visva Bharathi of West Bengal, India. Chandalika is based on a Buddhist legend. According to the plot of this popular legend Ananda the famous disciple of the Buddha was one day returning from a visit when he felt thirsty, and approaching a well on the way, asked for water from a Chandalika, a girl belonging to the lowest untouchable caste. The girl gave him water and is greatly attracted to him and falls in love with him. Overcome by her love for this unusual person she pleads with her mother, who knew the art of magic, to work her spell on him. The spell works on Ananda and he goes to her house. However as he saw her he is overcome with shame and remorse and prayed inwardly to his master to save him. The Buddha heard him and breaks the spell. Ananda returns in the same form as he went unaffected by the experience.

Rabindranath Tagore the great poet and literary maestro transforms the tale into a psychological drama of intense spiritual conflict. It is not the story of a wayward girl attracted to the handsome monk, but of a very sensitive girl, condemned by her birth, to a caste that is looked down upon and subjected to discrimination suddenly awakened to a consciousness of her full rights as a woman by the humanity of a follower of the Buddha, who accepts water from her hand and teaches her to judge herself not by the artificial values that society attaches to the accidents of birth but by her capacity for love and service.

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