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 current drama, which was staged by the students from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus of the Sri Sathya Sai University on January 14, 2009, drives into one the profound messages enshrined in the Bhagavad Gita through many scenes from the grand epic Mahabharata.
(1) Lord Krishna
(2) Vidura, the noble minister in the court of Hastinapura;
(3) Gopalas, the devoted cowherds of Brindavan;
(4) Uddhava, childhood friend of Lord Krishna;
(5) Maitreya, a noble sage;
(6) Dharmaraja (Yudhistira), the eldest of the Pandava brothers;
(7) Bheema, the strongest among the Pandava brothers;
(8) Nakula, one of the younger Pandava brothers;
(9) Sahadeva, the youngest of the Pandava brothers;
(10) Draupadi, the noble wife of the Pandavas;
(11) Disciple, the disciple of Sage Durvasa;
(12) Durvasa, a noble sage;
(13) Suyodhana, the eldest of the Kaurava brothers;
(14) Bheeshma, the great, uncle of both Pandavas and Kauravas who was one of the greatest warriors;
(15) Drona, the teacher of Pandavas and the Kauravas;
(16) Sakuni, the brother of Gandhari, the mother of the Kauravas;
(17) Karna, a great archer and a friend of Suyodhana, who was actually the sixth brother of the Pandavas;
(18) Arjuna: the master archer among the Pandava brothers.
SRI KRISHNA TATTWA DARSHANAM
Sportsmeet Drama 2009
Meeting of Vidura and Uddhava
The purpose of every person’s birth is to embark on a journey – from ‘I’ to ‘We’ to ‘He’. And the map for this journey was provided by the merciful Lord in the form of the Song Celestial – the Bhagavad Gita. The paths may be different, yet the destination is the same. Mahatma Vidura too is on this great spiritual adventure starting his sojourn from the holy land of Brindavan…
[Vidura enters as the telugu poem “Kasturi Tilakam...” goes on in the background and enters in complete bliss lost in the contemplation of Krishna]
Vidura: How fortunate is the earth of Brindavan for it carries the memory of the Lord’s footsteps for eternity. O Brindavan, accept the salutations of this humble servant of the Lord, Vidura. Ah! The breeze of Brindavan carries the fragrance of devotion and the environment is suffused with Krishna Rasa.
[Vidura closes his eyes in ecstasy and Krishna comes and closes His eyes. Vidura opens his eyes to witness the unfolding of the Rasa Leela.]
[Rasa leela ends and Krishna disappears. Vidura is shell-shocked]
Vidura: Krishna! Krishna! Where are You? Even after all these years of association, the pain of separation from You scorches my soul. Oh! How the Gopalas and Gopikas who consider You as their life-breath must be suffering.
Gopala1: O Holy Sire! Who are you? Are you searching for something?
Vidura: People identify me as Vidura, but I identify myself as a Krishna sevaka. Please enlighten me, O Gopalas as to how you are able to bear the suffering of not having Krishna amidst you.
Gopala2: Mahatma, you must be mistaken. Krishna has never left us. In the bright rays of the morning Sun, He showers warmth on all of us.
Gopala3: In the cool waters of Yamuna, He slakes our thirst and satiates us.
Gopala4: In the pleasant breeze, and in the flowers and the trees, He plays the nectarine tunes of His flute to us.
Gopala1: When He is everywhere, how does the question of His absence even arise?
Vidura: O Gopalas! I am blessed to be in the company of enlightened souls like you. You have shown me that I have not yet understood the Krishna Tattwa. You have given a purpose, a goal, a quest – to discover the true Brahmajnana (Ultimate knowledge).
Gopala2: What do we simple cowherds know about such great things, Mahatma? Look, Vidurji, there comes Krishna’s intimate friend and confidante, Uddhava. He might help you.
Vidura: Pranams (salutations), Krishnasakha Uddhava.
Uddhava: Pranams Dharmatma Vidura. I was just returning from Dwaraka, blessed with the sweet and sublime wisdom from Vaasudeva.
Vidura: Then, kindly, share this wisdom with me, so that my quest for liberation shall culminate on the holy soil of Brindavan.
Uddhava: Dharmatma, Krishna had predicted this tryst between us. He wanted me to convey on His behalf that you must meet Maharishi Maitreya and it is from him that you will receive the true knowledge.
Vidura: Gopala, I am indeed gratified realizing that your divine hand has held me and guided me all through. Thy will be done. Dhanyosmi (thank you very much) Krishna, Dhanyosmi.
Meeting of Vidura and Maitreya
Vidura: Salutations, Maharishi Maitreya. I have come by Krishna’s command to receive the true meaning of Brahma Tattwa from you. Please bless me with that nectarine knowledge and liberate me.
Maitreya: Mahatma, you are already a great jnani (man of wisdom). What extra learning can I think of imparting you. But as, Krishna willed this meeting, let us discuss about His glory, His leelas.
Vidura: Krishna is the sanctuary of sweetness which gets distributed to all through His leelas. His message is like a song that takes the listeners to a different world.
Maitreya: But the greatest song the master musician had ever composed is the Song Celestial, the Bhagavad Gita. But Gita was not just a compendium of verses delivered on the battlefield, it is His Grand Orchestra, His glorious life. His Life is His message.
Vidura: True, Mahatman. The canvas of His glory is painted with incidents in which He fulfilled the promises He declared in the Gita.
Maitreya: His thought and deed were always for the welfare of the devotees who displayed total surrender. Experience His glory, relive the experience. Watch as the Pandavas surrendered to His Lotus feet, and sought shelter from the anger of Durvasa.
The Durvasa Episode
Suyodhana: If not for us, who else would have rendered such impeccable service for four long months to the hallowed sage and his entourage of 10,000 disciples.
Karna: It is true, Suyodhana. Hospitality is the hallmark of the Kuru dynasty.
Shakuni: My dear bhanje (nephew), Suyodhana. Hospitality is the best way to end hostilities. This is the best chance you have to annihilate the Pandavas once and for all.
Karna: Enough of your crafty stratagems, Gandhar Naresh (King of Gandhara, that is, Shakuni). For once, Suryodhana, let us fight like Kshatriyas on the battlefield and end this conflict in a royal way.
Shakuni: Radheya, a simple throw of dice had achieved what your arrows could not. Do not underestimate the power of statecraft, Karna.
Suyodhana: Karna, Mamashri is correct. Tell me, Mamashri, what do you have in mind?
Shakuni: Suyodhana, use Durvasa’s agraha (affection) as the astra (weapon) against the Pandavas. Let the curse at the tip of Rishi’s tongue become the bane for the Pandavas and a boon for the Kauravas. The Rishi is pleased with your hospitality and he will grant you a boon…
Suyodhana: Understood Mamashri, leave the rest to me.
[Sage Durvasa approaches with a contented face…]
Durvasa: Yuvraj Suyodhana.
Suyodhana: Pranams munivarya (Salutations, O noble sage).
Durvasa: Ayushman Bhava (live long).
Suyodhana: Dushasana, did you make arrangements for mahatma’s rest?
Dushasana: Every arrangement has been made brother, and I have personally…
Durvasa: Don’t take any more pains for me, vatsa (son). It is time for me to leave. I am extremely pleased with your devotion. Ask from me any boon, no matter how valuable or hard. I shall grant it.
Suyodhana: Maharshi, the opportunity to serve saints like you is itself a great blessing. I have just one small request. Just as you blessed us with your darshan, I desire that my brothers, the Pandavas too must be given a chance to serve your lotus feet. And…
Shakuni: Duryodhana, do not hesitate. Rishi Maharaj is benevolence personified. He will definitely heed your prayer.
Suyodhana: And munivarya, one last request. Please visit the Pandavas only after sister Panchali has had her meal.
Durvasa: So be it. I shall definitely bless the Kaunteyas with my visit.
Shakuni: Very soon, the Pandavas will be burnt to ashes in the fire of Durvasa’s temper. And Yuvraj Suyodhana shall become…
Suyodhana: Maharaj Suyodhana. Ha Ha Ha!
[All the five pandavas are seated in a pensive mood, with Bheema pacing restlessly about]
Bheema: Agraja (eldest brother), with every passing day of exile, my mace is getting more and more eager to cleanse the Bharatavarsha (India) of the evil Kauravas. If only you would have permitted, I would have finished the task long ago.
Dharmaraja: Have Patience! Bheemasena. If we too are ruled by the surging emotions instead of inner conscience, what is the difference between us and Suyodhana. This is a trial of fire from which we shall emerge purified.
Bheema: But, what about the comforts in which our evil cousins are rejoicing and the misery in which we are languishing.
Dharmaraja: Hmm… Bheemasena, as our beloved Vaasudeva has said, ‘That too shall pass! This too shall pass’.
[Durvasa enters with some of his disciples and Dharmaraja receives them along with all the five pandavas]
Durvasa: Om Namah Shivaya…Om Namah Shivaya!
Dharmaraja: Munivarya (o noble sage), your visit to our humble hermitage has sanctified all our lives. We will be eternally grateful for the opportunity…
Durvasa: Dharmaraja, all the pleasantries can wait. First, my 10,000 disciples and we are suffering from deep hunger. Make arrangements for food to be served. We will go to the river for bath and return.
Nakula: But, agraja, it is well past noon. Panchali must have had her food by now and the power of akshayapatra (vessel blessed with unlimited food) would be over for the day.
Sahadeva: Then, how are we going to feed the massive entourage of the sage? He has a short temper and moreover, he is hungry. God knows what terrible curse he will hurl on us.
Dharmaraja: Draupadi! Draupadi!
Draupadi: Natha (Lord), What is the matter?
Dharmaraja: Devi, Maharishi Durvasa has arrived with his disciples. If we are not able to feed them, we are bound to be cursed by him.
Bheema: What is this play of destiny, agraja? The ruler of the world and torch bearer of righteousness is not able to feed a hungry Brahmin.
[a telugu poem is rendered here]
Dharmaraja: Bheema, Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha - One who follows dharma shall never be harmed. And, where there is dharma, there is Krishna. He is our sole refuge. Let us all pray to Him.
[A telugu poem singing the praise of Lord Krishna]
Krishna comes and smiles, and the poem ends, he enters]
Krishna: Sodari (sister) Panchali. I am very hungry. Please serve me some food.
Draupadi: Even now you are testing us, Krishna. Hey Hrudayavasi (indweller of our hearts)! You know our inner torment. Please rescue us.
Krishna: First feed me, then we will discuss about all your problems.
Bheema: There is nothing left, Vaasudeva. Only the empty vessel and our empty hands.
Krishna: I don’t believe that. There must be something, at least a grain of rice. Get the vessel, sister.
[Draupadi goes and gets the vessel. In the meanwhile a telugu poem goes on in the background. Krishna picks a grain, smiles and eats it.]
Krishna: May this grain of rice satisfy not only Me, but the entire universe. Bheemasena, go and fetch the venerable sage and his disciples. Aaaa… Do not accept any excuses from them. Did you understand?
Bheema: Understood,Vaasudeva. Years of your company has rubbed a little bit of Your mischief in me too. [Bheema leaves]
Dharmaraja: Krishna! Apadhbandhava (redeemer of troubles)! You have rescued us yet again. Any words of gratitude would fail to quantify Your infinite love for us.
Krishna: It is not just Love, Dharmaraja, It is My duty too. For those who have contemplated on Me ceaselessly, their protection and well being becomes My responsibility.
[A Gita sloka is rendered in the background]
Disciple: Gurudeva! Gurudeva! Though we have eaten nothing, our stomachs seem to be bursting with food. Help us, Gurudeva.
Durvasa: What nonsense are you talking? Just a minute ago, you were so hungry. Now, what happened?
[Suddenly his stomach becomes full and he burps…] Shiva Shiva..
Bheema: Munivarya, Agraja has prepared a variety of dishes to serve you, Your holiness. Please bless us by accepting our hospitality.
Durvasa: Bhimasena, there is no place in my stomach for even a rice grain. I am not even in a position to walk.
Bhima: Maharshi, if you don’t mind, I shall carry you on my back and take you to our hermitage in a moment.
Durvasa: Please leave me. Understand my plight, I cannot accept your invitation.
Bhima: That is not possible, Munivarya. My brother will take me to task if I reach the hermitage without thy hallowed Self. By the way, Madhusudana is also waiting for you.
Durvasa: Madhusudana! Krishna! Ah! Now I see that this is all Your divine leela. I was tricked by that evil Suyodhana who convinced me with all his sweet words soaked in hypocrisy.
Bheema: That dusht (evil) Suyodhana again! Why is he so adamant in accelerating his doom with all these cheap tricks?
Durvasa: All those who have sent me with wicked intentions will be destroyed. Please send my sincerest apologies to Vaasudeva. As long as He is by your side, crisis shall shudder to come near you. Vijayi Bhava (victory to you)! Sri Krishna Kataksha siddhirastu (May the kind grace of Lord Krishna always be on You)!
to be continued...
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