Vrindavan, 2016.07.26 (PTI, Business Standard): Raasacharya Swami Hargovind Sharma, who gave new dimensions to Raaslila, entered the nitya lila in Vrindavan at the age of 91.
Raasacharya Sharma, who was awarded the Padma Sri in 2006, died last evening at his residence due to age-related aliments, his family members said today.
He is survived by his two sons.
“The experiments made by him in Raaslila brought the dance drama from the courtyards of the houses to a wider public platform,” said his son Ram Prasad Sharma, also a noted Raasacharya.
According to Sharma, the journey of Hargovind Sharma started at the age of eight, when he played role of Krishna in Raas Mandali (troupe) of Raasacharya Swami Kishan Lal of Vrindaban.
To promote Raaslila, Sharma formed his new troupe (Mandali) in 1945.
In 1960, he brought Raaslila to the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi and from there introduced it to an international audience by performing in Singapore, Thailand and several other countries.
Sharma also introduced Chaitanya Gaurang Lila, which was his another experiment with Raaslila that brought him accolades.
“Though he was my contemporary and competitor both, Gaurang Lila introduced by him was an experiment that made him different from other Raasacharyas,” said Padma Sri Ram Swaroop Sharma paying tribute to the legendary figure.
He introduced his sons, Ram Prasad Sharma and Avadhesh Sharma, both noted Raasacharya, to Raaslila and also directed them.
His last direction was in Sinhastha Kumbha in Ujjain, said priest of Geeta Ashram, Avashesh Swami.
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