the Dramas of Life Divine
Dear readers, till the December 2008 issue, in this section we serialized for you “Shirdi Sai Parthi Sai”, the glorious saga of Shirdi Sai and the divine life of Sathya Sai till His early childhood. This series continued for 48 episodes, and we received very positive responses to this serial. In fact, now that the script is available, this television serial has been re-enacted as a play in many Sai centres.
Encouraged with this, we decided to continue this section and offer something in a similar format. And now, after the Divine Life story of Bhagavan Baba, it is the innumerable dramas presented in the Divine Presence by the students of Bhagavan’s Schools and University, as well as by the Bal Vikas students and Sai devotees from all corners of the world. We hope the current series, which is accompanied with lots of pictures and video stills/clips, will not only make an enriching and edifying reading experience, but also will help devotees everywhere to redo these inspiring plays in their own settings with little effort. So, enjoy these divine dramas where the Divine was a keen spectator and the hidden director!
The following drama relives the tense and momentous period which precluded the start of the Kurukshetra War between the Pandava brothers, who were aided and beloved by Lord Krishna and the evil Kauravas clan, who were bent on their destruction. We join the fray when the Kauravas’ emissary Duryodhana has arrived to seek Krishna ’s help, just at the same time as Arjuna, the trusted confidant of Krishna , enters on the same purpose.
1) Lord Krishna;
2) Arjuna, the master archer among the Pandava brothers;
3) Suyodhana, the eldest of the Kaurava brothers;
4) King Virata, the king in whose court the Pandavas spent last year of their exile in concealment;
5) King Drupada, the king of Panchal and the father of Draupadi who was married to the Pandavas;
6) Nakula and Sahadeva, the 4 th and 5 th pandava brothers;
7) Bheema, the great uncle of both Pandavas and Kauravas who was one of the greatest warriors;
8) Dharmaja, also called as Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas;
9) Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas and the blind king of Hastinapura;
10) Shakuni, the brother of Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas;
11) Karna, a great archer and a friend of Suyodhana, who was actually the sixth brother of the Pandavas;
12) Vidura, the pious minister of King Dritharastra;
13) Drona, the teacher of Pandavas and the Kauravas;
14) Three characters representing the mind;
15) Three characters symbolizing the Conscience;
16) Kripa, the court priest of Hastinapura;
17) Vyasa, the author of the epic Mahabharata.
KRISHNA - THE PEACE AMBASSADOR
Sports Meet Drama, 2007
Vyaasa: Satya Sai Roopena Krishnaaya Namaha. The world recognizes me as Ved Vyaasa, the author of the greatest epic of all times. The Mahabharata that the Lord blessed me to compose is not just an ordinary story. The conflict between the forces of the good and the dark forces of evil is timeless and eternal - a daily battle going on within every being. The battle of Kurukshetra resulting ultimately in the victory of Dharma must be the fitting finale that one must seek to complete the Mahabharata of one’s life.
The manas is the powerful king who can lead the individual to either peace or utter ruin. Unfortunately, the mind gets blinded by mamakara, ahamkara, kama , krodha and lobha, and in relentless pursuit of their demands, becomes deaf to the unrelenting advice of the buddhi and viveka. It begins with the seed of attachment…
“What can I do? Indraprastha is under Duryodhana’s control.”
…and grows up nourished by pride and ego…
“With my bow and arrows, I shall romp among the frightened Pandavas like a bloodthirsty tiger”
Viveka or discrimination, the mind’s eternal companion always guides it along the enlightened path of righteousness.
“You may not listen to me but I am bound to you and I will always speak the truth, however harsh it might seem to your ears.”
“Listen to the voice of your conscience in solemnity and reverence and pay heed to its advice.”
“Let not wild ambition ascend the throne that rightfully belongs to wisdom.”
Vinaashakaale vipareetha buddhi. Manas pays no heed to the wise counsel and chooses preyas over shreyas. It hurtles towards disaster fed by hatred and caressed by greed.
“Tell them even a speck of land needed to place the tip of a needle will not be granted to them.”
When the mind is lost in these dark alleys, the compassion of the Lord shines forth as the voice of the peace loving conscience. The onus lies on the mind to seek this light and redeem itself forever. The Mahabharata is not just an ordinary story –it is your story, my story, everyone’s story and most importantly, HIS story.
SCENE 1 - ME OR MY ARMY?
The Pandavas have completed their harsh exile and have sent a head priest as their emissary to Hastinapura seeking their kingdom back. The emissary has been disgraced by the Kauravas, and in turn the spineless Dhritarashtra has sent Sanjaya to tell the Pandavas to be happy where they are, making war the only option for both the sides. At the behest of the cunning Shakuni, Suyodhana has arrived at Dwarka to seek help from Krishna for the war.
Krishna : Paartha, when did you come? You could have called Me.
Arjuna: O Risikesha; having had Your Darshan my raging mind was benumbed into humble stillness and sitting in Your solemn presence I forgot all my worries.
Krishna : But…Kounteya you must have been waiting for so long…
Krishna : Bava (brother-in-law)
Suyodhana:Emi Mahanubhava (What, O great one)
Krishna : (sings a couplet)
Suyodhana: Now the war is imminent, I stand here to seek Your help, O Krishna! You are as dear to us as to the Pandavas.
Krishna : But what about Arjuna? He too must have come to seek My help.
Suyodhana: Vasudeva, it was me who arrived first. You should consider helping me before You help Arjuna.
Krishna : But Suyodhana it was Arjuna whom I noticed first. Anyway, both of you seek all that you want and I promise not to disappoint anyone.
Suyodhana: Disappointment….. disappointment is inevitable Keshava. In war you cannot fight on both sides.
Krishna : Suyodhana! I spoke not of war but only of help. On one side, you have the invincible Narayani Sena in whose march the thunders roll, to whose shouts even the Gods shudder. I shall stand on the other side - alone and unarmed.
Krishna : Both of you are equally dear to me. Against whom shall I raise my weapons? Choose then O Phalguna, either the mightiest of men or this solitary soul.
Suyodhana: Vasudeva, I should have the first choice.
Krishna :Bava Suyodhana, Arjuna is much younger to you in age. Will not the Pandavas later blot your immaculate character with the accusations of injustice? Let Arjuna make the first choice.
Suyodhana:Kapata Naataka Sutradhaari (the mastermind behind all clever twists)! Yet another ploy to assign all His armies to His dear Arjuna.
Arjuna: Vasudeva! Of what avail is that army in reckon with the Lord of the worlds. I have not come to seek the help of the Narayana Sena. I have come to seek Narayana Himself. I want thee alone my lord.
Suyodhana: Ha Ha Ha (checks himself) Oh Krishna! Above all enmities, Arjuna is my brother. I shall abide by his decision. He has left me with no other choice. I will satisfy myself with Your army. And now if You permit, I will move on. ……….. You may now continue to take rest.
Krishna : Arjuna, tell me why is it that you chose this unarmed soul leaving aside the fiercest of armies in the world.
Arjuna: Madhava, You are the master of all men and matter. No knowledge, no secret, no passage lies unknown to You. My Lord, Your single glance can vanquish mighty multitudes in a trice. In Your hands lie the reins of my life itself, oh Sanatana Sarathi. You must guide me amidst the death, destruction and ruin to peace and victory during this war.
SCENE 2 - VIRATA’S COURT : KRISHNA SALLIES FOR PEACE
Cannot the Lord see the epic war is inevitable? Doesn’t He know that Suyodhana and the blind Dhritarashtra are in no mood to give Indraprastha back to the Pandavas? He is the all knowing one yet to present before mankind an example, He is staging this drama. Moreover He is an extremely shrewd statesman. He wishes to inject a few doses of instability and insecurity in the minds of the Kauravas. Krishna has set forth on the historic mission to Hastinapura.
Announcement is made that Drupada and Virata are arriving.
Virata: O people of matchless valour! All the shastras and scriptures make it the obligation of every king to goad all mankind along the right path. Suggest the wise, teach the ignorant, guide the innocent, punish the wicked and ensure that dharma is upheld. If anyone resists its reign, hesitate not to draw his obedience through death.
Drupada: It is in this injunction that the war with the Kauravas becomes our only resort to uphold dharma.
Krishna : But oh king of Panchala! The solution for a headache is not in chopping off the head. My heart shudders to heap horrors of death and pain on humanity. I implore thee not to drown hearts in the wretchedness of a selfish revenge.
Drupada: What selfishness is it to scathe those awful beasts that have slain dharma on the altar of greed and jealousy. Was it not their wretchedness that watched in shameless silence when my daughter was disrobed in the royal court? In the flames of their funeral pyres I shall pour my agony and unburden my heart.
Krishna : Then dress not your revenge in the guise of dharma. Mingle not your ire in the obligations of a king. Let not your emotions cloud your wisdom. Oh wise men, all doors to peace are not yet shut.
Nakula: Madhusudana, it is not that we have not tried peace before. The head priest was sent as our messenger, to convey that we have served the term of exile. But he was mocked and sent back.
Sahadeva: Sanjaya too came from Hastinapura but alas the message of the king was, “Be wherever you are and be at peace.”
Arjuna: Patience is of no avail. No matter how hard you try, Suyodhana would not yield.
Krishna : It is not about Suyodhana. Forget not the noble men like Bheeshma and Drona. They should certainly be given a chance.
Virata: Speak not of their nobility Krishna that dissolves into silence in the royal court.
Krishna : O men of noble birth, let not the meanness of revenge, ignorance of logic, weakness of instinct and blindness of anger smite your souls. Place your discrimination on the pedestal of brotherhood. Let us talk only of peace and let them propose war.
Bheema: We are not meek to beg them time and again for peace. The lances of Dharmaja have broken the bosoms of countless demons, the mace of Bheema mightier than the vajrayudha (the invisible weapon made of diamond), shall deport thousands to the portals of death in a single sweep, the Gandiva of Arjuna is the third eye of Mahadeva spitting fire, and the swords of Sahadeva and Nakula shall spell doom with every slice.
Krishna : But history will not talk of your might Vayunandana. It weighs you by your values. Your valour is but a curse on humanity if it cannot usher peace to you fellowmen. Go, fan the storms of hatred and ravage the world and let history mock ‘O how supremely foolish art thou men! Thou sold your souls to the wily anger’s lust’.
Drupada: What about the unfulfilled vows of the Pandavas and of my daughter’s untied hair?
Krishna : Is a droplet of blood, O King, on your daughter’s hair much worthier than the tears of countless mothers? Transcend your petty selves and weigh them on the scales of greater good. Where hath all your compassion gone? Let not those words uttered in mindless rage be foolish bindings upon your actions.
( Krishna goes around…)
Dharmaja: Madhava, we know not what to do, smitten by failure, haunted my misery, confused, we stand. Lead us Oh lord, for you know what is right. We surrender to thee.
Krishna : Thus we unanimously decide to be patient and make one last attempt for peace. Let me visit the royal court of Hastinapur. I shall be your messenger of peace.
SCENE 3 - THE ‘AMBASSADOR’ ARRIVES
The Lord’s ways are subtle and profound. By choosing Vidura’s abode as His residence, He has not only conveyed that He can be befriended by a pure heart alone, He has also blessed the lifelong penance of Vidura - the penance of upholding Dharma at any cost - even if that means mockery and disgrace. This is the moment Vidura has been waiting for all his life.
[Vidura and Bheeshma welcome Krishna ]
Dhritarashtra : O Ambassador of Peace, Vasudeva – pranams to you. Hastinapur welcomes you.
[ Krishna greets everyone present]
Dhritarashtra: Please accept this gift as a humble offering O Madhusudana. [Claps and a cow is brought on the stage.]
Krishna : O Maharaja! I am honoured to receive such a gift. But in return, I am afraid I have got nothing but peace to offer.
Bheeshma: O Kesava! You must be exhausted from the arduous journey, we can talk leisurely later. Please take rest now.
Suyodhana: Krishna , I cordially invite You to dine at my place with me. Thereafter you can go ahead to rest at Dusyasana’s palace.
Krishna : Thank you for your request brother Suyodhan. But I will reside at Mahatma Vidura’s home. Moreover, mother Kunti is also waiting for me there.
Suyodhana: O Krishna ! Your refusal will hurt me forever.
Krishna : Forever….. Forever is a very broad term brother. First let us come to a truce. Unless we reconcile, how can I accept your hospitality?
Shakuni: Hey Kesava! I don’t understand Your perspective. What does agreeing to be a guest have anything to do with the outcome of talks?
Karna: Yes Madhava! We have no enmity with You. How can a perfect gentleman like You insult Your host?
Krishna : O Angaraj! I cannot forsake Dharma at any cost. Moreover, one accepts an invitation only when one is either hungry, or when one is a friend. Neither am I hungry, nor am I dear to brother Suyodhana.
Dusyasana : But Krishna , how can you say that You are not dear to us?
Krishna : If I was dear to you, then Suyodhana would have fought with Arjuna for Me and not My monumental army.
Shakuni: But that does not prove anything Madhusudana. Arjuna had already sought You and You had given Yourself to him. How then could dear Suyodhana get You?
Krishna : Ah haa! If I have already given myself to Arjuna O King of Gandhar, how then can I partake the salt of his enemy? He who is not a friend of the Pandavas is not my friend either. Also don’t forget, Dharma is on the Pandavas' side and where there is Dharma there I am. I am not only an ambassador of peace but also an ambassador of Dharma. If I break bread with Suyodhana I would have trespassed Dharma.
Suyodhana:[trying to control his anger] Its time for food Vasudeva. My offer is still open. I am humbly requesting You …….
Krishna : O Suyodhana! If you had really wanted to dine with Me, by now you would have accepted my peace proposal. Meal….. that I will have only at Vidura’s place [ Krishna leaves the stage].
Suyodhana: Haah! What does this cowherd think of himself? He would have been honoured to have a meal with me. But it is fit that a cowherd dines with a son of a maid servant. Mamashri, I am telling you, if tomorrow He tries to act smart in the court I will make him my prisoner.
SCENE 4 - VIDURA BHAKTI
There are probably only two people who realize the significance of Krishna Himself coming as a peace messenger. Dhritarashtra’s intense and blind attachment for his son has brought the Kuru race to the verge of destruction. The king is blind but at least he can hear. However a man who has stopped listening to the dictates of his conscience requires a stern prodding. And that needs to be done by Viveka (conscience) and Buddhi (intellect) symbolized by Bheeshma and Vidura.
Vidura: Oh Compassionate one! What have You done? Instead of the comforts of the royal palace You chose this poor man’s abode as Your residence.
Krishna : It is not poverty of the abode but the richness of the heart that attracts Me. Know Me as Bhaavapriya (one who goes by the inner feeling)and not Baahyapriya (one who is attracted by external pomp and show). Oh Mahatma! We are bound, heart to heart, and love to love.
(A verse in Hindi) Sabse Ooncbhi prem sagai
Vidura: Duryodhan ka meva tyaaga
Saag Vidur ghar khayo…Sabse oonchi prem sagai
(Animation and music piece)
Vidura: We did not have an inkling of Your arrival Oh Keshava. Forgive us; the food is not a banquet worthy of You.
Krishna :Hari to bas Prem ke bhooke
Prem ka saag khilayo ( Krishna eats the banana peel)
Vidura: O Premaswaroopa! Who can ever fathom You? Lost in the ecstasy of Your presence, I foolishly offered the peels throwing away the fruit! But You…
Narayana Vaikuntha Ko Tyago
Nara Ko prem Padhayo… Sabse oonchi prem sagai
Krishna : Oh Vidura! Your bliss alone is My food. Indeed fruitful is Your life for it has been spent for God. Any call from the depths of the heart, rest assured that I will respond.
Prem Ke Basa Ek Pag Leejo
Sau Pag Daud Ke Aayo.
(To be continued)
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