Ancient and varied as the country that produced it, Indian theater had its beginnings centuries before the Christian era. How it turned from performances of wandering singers, magicians, puppeteers, and dancers into formal theater remains uncertain. There is a myth telling how the gods invented drama, the highest of the arts, and at first kept it only for themselves. Then one day during a celestial performance, the talented actress Urvasi allowed her thoughts to dwell on her earthly lover and stumbled in her dialogue. Expelled from Paradise for her misbehavior and destined to wander on Earth, Urvasi taught the theatrical arts to mortals. Thus it is said that drama, as a fully realized artistic form, came to the ancient Indians as an accidental gift from the gods.