Volume 7 - Issue 09
September 2009
Other Articles

THE DRAMAS OF LIFE DIVINE
Part – 8

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 current drama, which was staged by the students from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University on January 12, 2008, highlighted the supreme virtues of Hanuman, one of the greatest devotees of the Lord, and exhorted one and all to emulate the example of this matchless servant of the Lord.

 

“RAMAYANA RATNAHARA VEERANJANEYA”

THE MIGHTY HANUMAN, THE DIADEM OF RAMAYANA

Part-2

Sportsmeet Drama 2008


Scene 5: Hanuman back to Rama


Hanuman blossomed into a true devotee of the Lord carrying out the wishes of the Master to the very last word. The Lord wanted to highlight further the qualities of his greatest devotee, to demonstrate to the world the characteristics of an ideal sadhaka. Under the veil of human emotions a divine drama was being enacted.

Dadhimukha:  Oh Sovereign of Kishkinda! Some vanaras (monkeys) have invaded ‘Madhuvana’.

Sugriva: Who are they, Oh Dadhimukha?!

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Dadhimukha:  Those perverse vanaras avid for fresh fruit and honey are led by none other than yuvaraj (prince) Angada and Mahabali Hanuman.

Sugriva: Hanuman! Lord! The ignominy of failure would never allow the vanaras to indulge in the ecstasy of celebration. They must have surely succeeded in the search for Sita.

[Hanuman enters with the padyam (verse) ‘Kanugonti! Kanugonti!’]

Hanuman: Prabhu (Lord), I have seen Mother Sita and I spoke to her. And here Lord, Mother asked me to give you this.   

 

Rama: Sita! Sita! Hanuman, I find Myself at a loss for words. The news of Sita that you brought has lifted me from the depths of despair. I know not how to thank you. Tell Me Maruti, how is My Sita, how is Janaki?

Hanuman: What can I say, Prabhu? The external fires of torture administered by Ravana and the internal flames of sorrow are consuming her. With every passing moment she is melting away.

In the agony of separation from You Lord, Your name is her breath and Your thought is her food. Her life is hanging by the thread of Rama nama.


Lakshmana: Agraja (elder brother), it is time for Rama bana (arrow of Rama) to rescue her. Even a moment’s delay seems to be like a yuga (era) for me. We must march and rescue mother from her suffering.

Rama: Yes Hanumantha! Sita’s agony fuels the fire of My advent. If the sweet melody of Dharma has to be resonant in the violent clashes of swords and maces, if the musings of truth and hymn of love have to be triumphant in the destruction of Lanka, then we shall march.

Lakshmana: Agraja, the shafts of Soumitri (another name of Lakshmana) shall scatter the rakshasas (demons). For every verbal thrust administered on Sita, thousands of demons shall be consumed in my fury.

Hanuman: Brother Lakshmana, you and the Lord are enough to wreak havoc in the enemy camp and cover Lanka in darkness in the barrage of your arrows. His is the vajrasankalpa (an indomitable will). Thus victory is already achieved. It is the master’s mercy that He is using us as His instruments in His divine mission.

Rama: Hanuman! Your faith in My word is unparalleled. Every thought, word and action of yours has been dedicated to Me. The unmatched service that you have rendered has touched My heart. You are dearer to Me than even Lakshmana. 

Lakshmana: A limitless lilting joy throngs my being at the words of my brother. The little pockets of vacuum left in my service to brother, have been overwhelmingly filled by Hanuman. By satisfying the Lord, you have removed my worries. I am ever grateful to you, Hanuman.

Hanuman: Lakshmana, I do not see any greatness in my service. It is the Lord’s mercy that lifted my service to that of yours. By considering me dearer than Lakshmana, He has enlightened me to the fact that my service should not be limited to Him alone, but also to His brother. Lakshmana, I pay my salutation and pledge servitude to you.

[Rama looks at both and gives a benign smile]

Rama: The noble emotions exhibited by both untainted by jealousy or ego have submerged Me in happiness and pride. With you by My side I have no doubts about victory. Sugriva! Prepare for battle.

Sugriva: Your command is our life breath Oh Raghunatha! [to the vanaras] Oh valiant ones! Let our victorious march besiege the earth. The devas (demigods) in heaven and the manavas (man) on earth will witness in wonder and awe how mere vanaras stand on the pages of history and proclaim themselves as the loyal servants of Sri Rama.

Let our youth, our pride, our energy converge into a single identity. Tomorrow with the rising sun, the vanara sena (army of monkeys) will march to offer their ultimate sacrifice in this holy sacrament of dharmayudha (battle of righteousness).


Scene 6 – The Message

Tulasidas: Thus Kodanda Rama and His sena (army) reached the shores of Lanka to inflict dandana (punishment) for the sins committed and to finish the formalities. Iti Sree Sundarakanda samaptaha (With this ends the beautiful Sundara Kanda of Ramayana). Narada munindra, I always wondered why this kanda has to be called the Sundarakanda. After reflection and prayer, the Lord revealed that this kanda contains the beauty of the relationship between the Lord and His devotee, the beauty in the longing of Sita for Rama and the beauty in the blossoming of the devotee.

 

Narada: The beauty of this kanda also lies in the subtle message that it contains, Tulasi, your vivid visualisation and the poetic phrases convey the nectarine essence of the story and your devotion. But still they conceal the poignant message within.

Tulasidas: Naram dadati iti Narada - Narada your name itself means giver of wisdom. Now I am able to fathom the divine purpose of the Lord in sending His greatest devotee to me. Pray enlighten me on the inner significance.


Narada: Tulasidas you are already a repository of Jnana (wisdom). I am only bringing out the latent wisdom within you. Close your eyes and open your vision. Watch as the message unfolds itself. The journey of Hanuman to seek Sita is synonymous with the journey of Man towards union with God. During the journey Man has God as the constant companion.

Tulasidas: In the same way as Hanuman has Rama’s grace guiding him. But the journey is not a smooth one for it is marked with obstacles.  The first one was the mountain Mainaka asking Hanuman to rest. But was it not done with good intention?

Narada: The intention was no doubt noble, but nevertheless it slowed down the progress. So it is a Satwic hindrance. The attachment to relatives and parents may stop your journey, hence it has to be overcome. And it is possible by negotiation.

Tulasidas: The second obstacle was the demoness Surasa who expanded her mouth even as Hanuman grew. But this was done only to test his strength.

Narada: This arises when Man falls into the illusion that he is the doer, and the ego rises and this feeling separates Man from God and he gets trapped in the shackles of the growing ego. But if he reduces the ego through yukti (questioning and discrimination), the shackles are easily evaded.

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Tulasidas: The third barrier is the sea monster Chayagrahi who brought down its prey by means of the shadow. The shadow monster must be the arishadvargas – the six inner enemies.

Narada: Yes, Tulasi, these retarding forces bind us with the noose of our own karma. They can be defeated only by the divine grace and strength.

Tulasidas: Munivar (noble sage), I stand gratified with this heart-warming and illumining insight into the Rama Katha Rasa Vahini. The golden path for Man’s redemption lies right in my eyes - Follow the master, Face the devil, Fight till the end and Finish the game. Hanuman has sought his master and found him. With the divine name enshrined in his heart he faced every barrier that came in the way. He fought till the very end and encountered even Ravana in the process. And the game is...

Narada: The game is not yet finished, Tulasi. The true end of the game is communion with the God - the true realization that we and He are one. Let us proceed to Ayodhya for Rama’s coronation and witness the glorious finish to the game – the journey of the soul back to the source, the reunion of God and devotee, the merger of the ocean and the river. 

SCENE 7 – RAMA’S CORONATION


[Rama’s coronation takes place]

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Vashishta: The moment that has been most eagerly awaited for the past 14 years has finally arrived. Rama has adorned the throne of Suryavamsha (the clan of Surya) to continue the Avataric mission of Dushta shikshana (punish the wicked) and shishta rakshana (protect the righteous). The kingdom of Koshala shall usher into the golden period of peace and prosperity.

Rama: Guruvaryas (oh preceptors), I shall take these praises as your blessings and love for Me.

Bharata: Brother, I feel relieved after relinquishing the role of custodian and returning too You what has always been Yours. Agraja, if I have committed any mistake while discharging this role please forgive me.

Rama: Bharatha, your bhratra prema (brotherly love) has overwhelmed Me. The kingdom has prospered under your benevolent rule with the able assistance of Shatrughna. There are many more luminaries in this court to whom My gratitude is due.

Lakshmana, during the exile made me see no difference between Ayodhya and aranya (jungle). Sugriva, Jambvan, and Angada, the able support provided by you in those turbulent times is beyond all extolment. And Vibhisana, you have been the bravest of all, you sacrificed your own kith and kin, for the sake of Dharma.

The vanara sena, the little squirrel, Sabari, Guha, Jatayu, and the people of Ayodhya, you have all contributed to the triumph of Sathya and Dharma. Most importantly, I prostrate all and beholden at the holy feet of My masters Guru Vashishta and Guru Vishwamitra.

Vishwamitra: Your glory will be sung till the sun shines and there will be life on this earth. Rama, You have acknowledged the role played by everyone in the assembly and yet have you forgotten the crest jewel of the Ramayana ratna haara – Hanuman?

Sita: Hanuman, while undergoing the pain of suffering in Lanka, it was you who provided consolation and relief. Take this pearl necklace as a token of my love and gratitude.

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[Hanuman takes the necklace and puts it to his ear; he separates the necklace and starts breaking and biting the pearls]

 

Vassal: Hanuman! Why have you broken the beautiful necklace and are destroying the pearls? Is it not disrespect to the Mother who has so lovingly bestowed the gift upon you?

Hanuman: O King! Forgive me, if I have hurt the sentiments of anyone present here. I was only trying to examine if Rama’s name pervades the gems, which I could not find.

Without the name of Rama, these are just stones worthy to be cast away.

Of what good is anything that does not contain the name of Rama?

Vassal: If you would not wear anything that does not hold His name, then what about the body that you adorn.

Hanuman: My soul would never reside in the body that does not bear His name.


Vassal: O my Lord! The name of Rama resonates continuously from him. Forgive me, Hanuman for questioning your achanchala bhakthi (unwavering devotion).

[Poem describing the greatness of Rama’s name]

Rama: Guruvarya, venerable sirs, did you not ask as to why I did not acknowledge Hanuman’s contributions.

It is the volume of his contributions that nullifies every expression of praise that I wish to confer on him. He has become an inseparable part of Me and any effort to glorify him would only lead to Atma stuthi (self-praise).

To a heart reeling under the agony of separation from Sita, you brought happiness and became Apadhbandhava (one who saves during distress). By providing Sanjeevani to Lakshmana, you rekindled within Me a reason to live and became pranabandhava (as dear as one’s life).

If any of the persons whom I extolled were not there, the Ramayana would cease to exist. But if you were not there Hanuman, how can Rama exist? For all that you have done for Me I have nothing else to give except Myself.

[Golden Embrace]

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