November 12, 2009 – Bhagavan Visits the Institute Auditorium for Drama Rehearsal

swami

The temple town of Mantralayam in Andhra Pradesh had been seriously affected in the recent floods. The temple of Sri Raghavendra along with all its property had been submerged. One devotee wanted to make a contribution of cows to the Goshala at Mantralayam and he prayed to Swami to bless the endeavour. Swami had graciously agreed.

godan

godan

He arrived for darshan a little after 9:00 a.m. and as He reached the centre of the hall, He moved straight down to where a few representative cows had arrived. He had a look at the cows and went ahead with the darshan session. There were interviews which He granted after which He moved to the stage. From there, He moved down the Sai Kulwant Hall once again and towards the cows. He presented the cows to various recipients and was them for 15-20 minutes. After blessing the entire effort, He retired after receiving aarthi in the morning.

godan

godan

Swami had promised the boys the previous day evening that He would come to see the rehearsal of the Convocation drama. All the actors, set boys, backstage helpers and costume boys had assembled in the Institute auditorium by 3:45 p.m. and everyone awaited Swami's arrival. Waiting for Swami at the auditorium, one cannot help but notice the many changes that the landscape nearby has undergone.

swami

swami

A new enclosure has been made for the peacocks. The lawns have been beautifully trimmed and a waterfall has been added. The greenery on the earth below was complimented by the blue skies filled with fluffy clouds. It was also fascinating to see a few red ants in their perpetual hurry, collecting food for the hard days to come!

ants

Swami came out of Yajur Mandir at 4:45 p.m. and headed straight towards the Institute. By 4:55 p.m., He was at the auditorium and was received by the Vice Chancellor, Principal and the Wardens of the Brindavan and Puttaparthi University hostels. As He alighted from the car, He gave vibhuti to the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and the Controller. Then He moved into the auditorium.

swami

swami

All the backstage boys were ready, the actors in semi-costumes and everyone else associated with the drama were on chairs. Swami sat in the centre and asked for the rehearsal to begin. There were two narrators who began the drama and even as they were speaking, Swami asked, "Where are the actors?" When Swami sees a drama rehearsal, He conveys His comments and compliments directly sometimes and sometimes in a subtle manner. It is upto the students to grasp what He says and implement them. The next 50 minutes saw Swami in conversation many times with the warden of the Brindavan campus, giving Him feedback about the drama.

swami

swami

The drama began. As the first scene went on, there were children in the background pouring water to potted plants. They were just miming with an empty bucket and mug and Swami asked, "What are they pouring? There is no water at all!" The scenes progressed and as the hero sings a song in Hindi, Swami asked whether the translation of the song would be available.

swami

swami

Swami was informed that there were verses in Telugu and songs in Hindi but all translations appeared in the dialogues in English that followed. Swami watched with an intensity of an avid director. During a scene when Lord Krishna puts some food into his mouth, Swami smiled at said, "Krishna should appear as if He is hungry for food." (thindipothudu was the exact word He used!)

swami

swami

The drama concluded and all the boys gathered at His feet, and Bhagavan began to pour feedback. "The drama should be more inspiring. It should inspire the public who are watching it with noble feelings. Feelings should arise spontaneously. And when you present all the goodness that Swami has done, people should also feel like emulating that."

swami

swami

To a student who was donning the role of the demon king Hiranyakashyapu, Swami said, "You must be more vigorous and powerful in your actions and delivery. More rage and loudness has to be assumed." On the whole, about the drama He said, "Too many times the word money appears and there is emphasis on business deals." He wanted the tenor of the drama changed a bit and He was very insistent that a powerful message be conveyed through it.

swami

swami

He blessed all the actors and had a look at the costumes too. Speaking about Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna, He said, "She was not involved at all. She too must speak and be involved in the scene." The boys were all thrilled at this involvement from Swami. It inspires everyone to be involved to the same level and intensity.

swami

swam9

Swami was happy with the efforts that had been put in. Having given joy and valuable feedback to all the boys, Swami moved out of the auditorium. Aarthi was given and outside the auditorium, the new band leader requested Swami permission to play the slow march tune.

swami

swami

Swami agreed and so the University brass band began to play as Swami moved out. It was almost 6:15 p.m. as Swami moved out of the Institute premises. Bhajans were on in the Mandir and after a couple of bhajans, Swami received aarthi and retired at 6:45 p.m.

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