November 21, 2009 – Convocation Drama “Vidyamrutham” by University Students

On the morning of November 21 Swami did not come out for darshan and this gave all the University students ample time to set up an elaborate stage for the drama they were to perform in the evening. Swami had blessed it to be christened, "Vidyamrutham" meaning, ‘the nectar of education’. Just like the previous day, there was a mini drama before the drama began. With God, there are always surprises. He is the supreme director and makes dramas embedded into dramas!

For those who try to comprehend and question, it is so complicated and confusing, but for those who surrender, it is fun and entertainment! The Cosmic Director and His play with Cosmic Consciousness can definitely be called the Divine Comedy! Cutting the suspense and the buildup, let us proceed to the proceedings of the day.

Against the prevailing practice of having convocation drama on the eve of His Divine Birthday that is, on the 22nd evening at Poornachandra Auditorium, this time the drama was held on the eve of the Annual Convocation. So it was staged on the 21st evening at the Sai Kulwant Hall. Just before 4:50 p.m., Swami arrived for darshan. He neared the central backdrop and enquired as to where the children were.

He was told that all were in the Bhajan Hall. Swami took a complete round and then moved into the hall. He saw all the students there in their costumes and then began the Divine Comedy. Swami called the boy in the costume of the demon Hiranyakshyapu and asked Him where the girls were. Immediately Rukmini and the other 'ladies' in the drama came forward. Swami now said, "No! I mean the children. Where are they?" There were school children participating in the drama and they came forward. Swami asked them, "Are you from Primary school?" They replied that they had indeed studied in Primary School but were presently in the higher secondary school. Swami asked where the Primary school children who were to stage the drama were! (The Primary School children had in fact staged their drama the previous day).

He was told that it was the day when the senior students would be staging the Convocation drama but Swami seemed to be missing His tiny tots! The little children are so lucky as their Mother Sai was lost in their thoughts! Once He let His feelings known, Swami moved through the Bhajan Hall blessing everyone assembled there with close darshan and Sparshan.

Coming out of the rear door of the Bhajan Hall, Swami moved into the portico. There was a discussion for quite sometime behind the Ganesha statue after which Swami said that He would see the drama after 5:30 p.m. He then went into the interview room.

Swami arrived on the stage at 5:40 p.m. and asked for the presentation to begin. The drama began with four students making a bouquet and card presentation to Swami. There were two comperes who managed the drama.

[The story of the drama along with detailed script will appear soon in our Serial section].

In the meantime, here is the gist. The drama depicted the saga of courage, sacrifice and determination of an instrument of Bhagawan – Prof. Gururaj - and the trials and tribulations that he had to go through. Prof. Gururaj is an eminent scientist, who has sacrificed a promising career in a foreign land and returned to his Motherland inspired by the glorious life and message of Bhagavan Baba. He sets up an ideal school in his native village to impart education based on Sai principles.

The story traced the protagonist’s struggles against the greed for money that has completely perverted the value systems in the current educational scenario. The characters in the drama symbolically represent the subtle cross-currents that plague the sphere of education today and the sacred wave of reformation brought forth by Bhagavan Baba through His educational movement that is silently spreading through out the globe.

“The soul of education is the education of the soul,” declares the hero of the drama and surges forward with unflinching faith in his Lord in spite of conflicts which are inevitable in a life dedicated to idealism. What distinguishes the Lord’s test from His solution? The life of Prof. Gururaj provided an answer to this question in an emphatic fashion.

There were many beautiful moments in the drama. For one, Swami was very moved and in rapt attention when both the mythological scenes - one of the child, Prahalada and the other of Krishna-Sudama - were being depicted. The verses sung with aesthetic music bowled everyone over. The highlight of the presentation came when the professor sang out to Swami in English as it had been suggested by Him.

Towards the end of the song, he sang out, "My guru, my guide, my mother Sai..." And this point, Swami called him to the stage, waved His hand, created a golden chain and put it round his neck. The drama was paused for a while as everyone witnessed this loving scene - either directly or via one of the many huge TVs placed in the hall. There was a loud applause and then the drama resumed. It concluded in a wonderful fashion with a promise from Swami.

[We are tempted to keep mum about the suspense in the drama and pray for your patience as you await the release of our serial article on the drama very soon!]

Next, Swami moved down the ramp and posed with all the students. He spoke to quite a few of them and all the boys who had worked in the background creating the sets and making other arrangements too had their share of Swami.

Then He moved up the stage and began to distribute safari pieces to all the actors. After that, He distributed the same to the singers, musicians, the costumes' troupe, the maintenance and sets boys too. For more than 20 minutes, Swami distributed clothes to over 150 students.

He spoke to the students who had been instrumental in directing the drama and at their request, distributed clothes even to the teachers involved. None was left out. The time was already 7:30 p.m. Asking everyone to eat well and sleep well, Swami raised both His hands in a loving abhayahastha, and then retired for the day.

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