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Lila

From Academic Kids

Lila is a concept from Hinduism that explains the Universe as a cosmic puppet theater or playground for the gods. "Lila" literally means "play," but in religious texts refers to "divine play" -- life as a spontaneous game played by lighthearted forces beyond our understanding.

It is an important idea in traditional worship of Krishna (as prankster) and Shiva (as dancer), and has been used by modern writers like Stephen Nachmanovitch, Fritjof Capra and Alan Watts.

The nearest Western equivalent is the line from Shakespeare: "As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport." The Hindu version is substantially more hopeful.

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