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!
This is part two of ‘Krishna - The Peace Ambassador’. The first part related how the battle lines had been drawn between the Kauravas, who had chosen Krishna’s army, and the Pandavas who preferred Lord Krishna Himself. It ended with the enchanting scene of Lord Krishna bringing bliss to His devotee Vidura by visiting his humble home. We rejoin the play when Dhritharastra, the old and blind Kaurava King, seems bent on ignoring Krishna’s mission of peace, despite counsel from Bheeshma and Vidura to avoid a war.
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
DRIVING SENSE INTO DHRITARASTRA
Shakuni: Enough is enough. I have decided to retire and return to my kingdom. My presence here serves no purpose.
Suyodhana: Mamashree (uncle), what has happened, who has dared to insult you?
Shakuni: Who else but you Suryodhana! I had forewarned you about this Krishna. When you had a lion to choose, you chose a flock of sheep!
Suyodhana: Krishna. .. Ha Ha ha What does that cowherd know about warfare mamashree, and an unarmed Krishna is no match to His peerless army.
Shakuni: Fool, that is what you think. What is a bale of cotton when compared to a lighted wick? Even unarmed, this mayavi (one with many tricks) Krishna is skillful enough to wreck havoc amongst His enemies. Subdue this cowherd and then it is child’s play to slay the herd of Pandavas that flock about Him.
Announcement: Emperor Dritarastra accompanied by Gangaputra Bheesma, Acharya Drona and Mahatma Vidura have just arrived.
(All rise as the three come in and all of them take their seats)
Bheeshma: O King, Vasudeva has finally arrived in an attempt to avert the war. Listen to His voice in solemnity and reverence, and pay heed to His advice. He epitomizes the eternal truth, and so it is no ordinary event that He has Himself come. Weigh His proposal upon the scales of wisdom and find their worth therein.
Vidura: Maharaj, Krishna’s visit is not a mere attempt to earn peace. Beyond the compassion of His looks, and the sweetness of His smile, there is a righteous anger that is waiting to be unleashed. O King, save Hastinapur from the wrath of the Pandavas led by Krishna.
Suyodhana: Do not squeal such meek words, O minister! The rage of Pitamaha, the skill of Acharya, the bow of Karna and Suyodhana’s mace shall embarrass the Pandavas into mortified muteness…and Mamashree’s brilliance ha ha ha…. shall put to shame Krishna’s acumen.
Dronacharya: My son, war is not a game of dice. Your words are but hollow echoes and shameful shadows of a loathsome pride. Let not your greed dig countless graves; let not wild ambition ascend to the throne that rightfully belongs to wisdom.
Dushasana: Acharya …Attempt not to beckon slavery from our fierce hearts. War is the only solution for a Kshatriya.
Bheeshma: Children, your hearts are goblets of gold, but alas you have chosen to savor the wine of greed and toss the goblet by. Maharaj, Pay heed to my words and give away Indraprastha to the Pandavas.
Dritharastra: But… Indraprastha is under Duryodhana’s control. I have no say in this matter.
Bheeshma: Your power was a free flying bird but you chose to lock it in a cage and give the silver key to your son. Fie upon his ambitious greed and pride. But it is not too late, stretch and seek Krishna’s offer my son.
Dritarastra: My ears were longing to sip that word ‘son’ from your lips father.
Bheeshma: Maharaj, we are deliberating on an entirely different issue right now.
Dritarastra: But father, I have done all that I could to please Krishna. I have arranged the best of palaces for His stay, assigned a thousand servants to attend His every need, ordained eighteen golden chariots at His disposal…
Vidura: Oh King! Krishna cannot be bought by material wealth. Seek not to bribe Him.
Shakuni: Ha Alas…I have not seen in the clan of Kuru servants reprimanding their masters….ministers admonishing their kings.
Vidura: O King of Gandhar! It is the duty of the minister to speak the truth. The day he justifies the follies of his master be assured that the kingdom is doomed. Maharaj, you may not listen to me but I am bound to you and I will speak only the truth, however harsh it may seem to your ears.
Dritarastra: What is all this argument for? Why do you all blame Suyodhana for his greed? It was the Pandavas who lost the kingdom in the game of dice.
Bheeshma: Maharaj, let not the attachment for your son overpower your responsibilities. Take pity on the fate of Hastinapur. For a moment, be a king, my Lord; be a King, and not a father.
Dronacharya: Maharaj, with Krishna on their side, the Pandavas shall march to victory as the Lords of the world.
Dritarastra: You are right Acharya. Let us not incense Krishna by giving scope to insult. Say how shall we welcome Him into the royal court? Will He be given a seat next to me or can we seat Him next to Gangaputra Bheeshma.
Vidura: The seating arrangement is not a solution to the war Maharaj. Krishna is beyond honor or insult. He stands for Dharma and Dharma is on Pandavas’ side. It is their immaculate character that binds Him to them.
Shakuni: Does that mean that Suyodhana is of despicable character, and so he is not fit to reign as the emperor of Hastinapur!
Suyodhana: I have had enough of this nonsense as they have bound Krishna with their so-called love; I too shall bind him with my power. Huh! I shall have Him arrested.
Bheeshma: Bridle your tongue to the channel of your hateful throat you foolish brat! Think not of such mean things lest ruin shall seize thee. Then neither Bheeshma nor Drona nor even Brahma can save your soul from Krishna’s ire. Your father then will not have a droplet of tear to wet your ghastly corpse.
THE ETERNAL BATTLE WITHIN
Manas (mind): O the icons of justice, all my life I have learnt from you to be impartial and just to my subjects. So, it would be unfair to be deaf to their arguments. (Sits on throne with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on either side)
Bad1: Oh Manas! In this freedom that we offer, higher and higher shall rise your fame and even the thunders will echo your name. Untold wealth will adorn your court, and powers that beckon the lord of death himself, will serve your throne. Men will kiss the dust of your feet and gods in awe will bow to thee. Embrace the freedom we offer and you shall change the destiny of the world.
Good2: It is bondage and not freedom that they speak of. Power and wealth are a mantle of dust which will mercilessly be dissolved in the flow of time. Their friendship is treason; their pleasures are mere decorations on pain. Their delights are snares and their comforting wisdom is the darkest ignorance.
Bad2: Advisors do not dictate, they advise.
Good2: Our words are bound with truth and fie on that advisor who cloaks his words with falsehood.
Bad3: Oh! Viveka - the great intellect! Let me tell you, Manas is not your puppet. Manas is a master, isn’t he?
Good3: Manas, let me warn you. You shall cease to be a master the moment you sell your soul to this ahankar (ego). You will no longer be the mastermind but a mad, wandering beast.
Bad1: Ah! What a treachery? He calls you a beast and paints our friendship with treason! Instead, seek my hand and be our master. Countless riches, matchless glory, splendid mansions and dazzling delights I shall confer to thee. We shall make thou the Greatest.
Good3: Greatness! What use of the greatness that cannot fight the darker realms of your heart? What use of the greatness that cannot give you peace of mind, cannot make you good? O Manas! Weigh not our words but heed not to their words too. Seek … Seek thy conscience.
Bad2: Conscience! A hurdle to all your joys! An illusory binding on your freedom! Isn’t it then mere foolishness to seek the refuge of the conscience?
Good1: Conscience! A pathway to eternal joy; an indefinable reality amidst the shadows of unreality. Seek conscience, O Manas! Because conscience is always right.
Bad1: And manas is always wrong?
Good1: We did not say that.
Bad2: Thou art a heap of falsehood. Thou hath spoken in unspoken terms, “Conscience is always right. Conscience will rule forever! And Manas will be condemned to a life of insignificance and eternal slavery.”
Good2: There is no greater glory than abiding by the dictates of the conscience.
Bad3: Go…Sell thy soul to that glory that barters your honour to slavery. Let the blaze of that ruthless conscience immolate your success and burn away your dreams. Be led by that voice – a mirage of everlasting joy, which binds you in eternal bondage.
Good3: The voice of the conscience is the unsullied truth. Truth is the source from which emerges existence and time. It embodies eternity and the rest is but a manifestation in the relentless flow of change. Thus, Truth alone is the ultimate. Conscience, that reflects this truth, is the supreme master.
Bad3: Beyond the pleasing reflections of the pond lies the murky slush. O Manas! Delve into the depths of their words and then you shall realise that the unsullied truth is a conspiracy of conscience woven to consume your freedom. Subdue them all and raise your regal mansion upon their ruins.
Manas: I see it all now. I am the master. My reason shall decide what truth and untruth are, and not the whims of the conscience. Guide me, ye men to freedom.
Good1: Oh manas! Not only have you been blinded but also defeated. Very soon you will be stuck dumb. A time will come when…
Good2: Your conduct is a mere mockery of our presence. You will…
Manas: Why do I feel my determination shivering like a withered leaf in the autumn wind? Why does my heart thump so hard and fast? A blanket of fear seems to envelop me and … and… everything is dark. And so confused…
Krishna: (chants sloka) –
Dhyayato Vishayaan Pamsaha Sangasteshupajayate
Sangaat Sanjaaytate Kaamaha Kaamat Krodhobhijaayate
Krodhaatbhavati sammohaha Sammohat Smrutivibhramaha
Smrutibhramshahaat Buddhinaasho Buddhinaashaat Pranashyati
O you fool! Hankering for sense objects and worldly glory has clouded you with attachment and led you to frustration. You are sinking deeper into this mire of delusion and have abandoned your closest allies – viveka and buddhi. Everything looks bleak as you are riding on this royal road of wretched ruin.
Manas: Your words are like sharp arrows, pricking and piercing me.
Krishna: They are missiles of truth which will shatter your false armour of ego, attachment and delusion.
Manas: Who are you?
Krishna: Naaham Pashu, naaham manushya, Aham Sathya bhodakaha. [I am neither man nor animal, I am the Teacher of Truth]
Manas: Who art Thou, the deluge of light? You blind my vision and scorch my soul. Ah! This is not joy, but suffering in guise. Comfort my eyes and help this hapless one.
Krishna: (Sarcastic laughter) This is the fate of man today.
THE PEACE MESSENGER’S MESSAGE
The moment has arrived… the moment of truth. What the blind king and the wayward son decide today is going to decide the future. Peace is inevitable. But will it arrive to the joyful welcome of all, or will it crawl over the dead bodies, into the empty homes as a numbing silence? Will the pull of mamakara (attachment) be stronger than the voice of wisdom? In a few moments from now, Krishna is going to arrive at the royal court of Hastinapur to make His final bid for peace. Let us go and seat ourselves in the front rows, to listen to what is going to happen.
Announcement: Dwarakadeesha, Yadukulabusha, Madhusudhana, the messenger of peace, Vasudeva Sri Krishna has just arrived.
Vidura: Please do come in Krishna.
Krishna: O Great King of Hastinapura, accept the salutations of this emissary of Peace.
Dhritarastra: O Madhusudan! Please honour me and glorify this assembly by accepting a seat.
Krishna: Pranam Pitamaha.
Dhritarastra: O Messenger of Peace, Sri Krishna, what proposal have my beloved Pandavas sent forth.
Krishna: O Great Monarch of Bharat and the great men assembled here! I have come here on My own accord as a messenger of peace and a guardian of Dharma and I assure you that which is acceptable to Me will be agreeable to the Pandavas as well.
Peace O Maharaj is not a debatable issue. Just the assurance of a victory in case of war should not blind us to the miseries and tears that are an inevitable part of it. The talons of death and destruction shall shred both the sides. With this broader perspective, comes a responsibility of righteousness, justice and peace to this illustrious assembly.
O great King! You belong to the lineage of truth and tradition. Time beckons you now to take a decision. Lead the Kuru race embark upon the path of peace, for therein alone is the good of this great land. History will not hold the cunning Shakuni responsible for the game of dice, nor will it debate upon the despicable act of Suyodhana insulting Draupadi for they happened in your court. Now, again it is your call O King! Make no mistake this time.
Bheeshma: But Vasudeva! Perhaps no one desires a war.
Krishna: If no one desires a war, respected grandsire, then why words like “perhaps”. Words like ‘perhaps’ are too feeble to voice for Shanti (peace). O Maharaj! If the Kauravas and Pandavas come together under one banner, there will be limitless glory and man will never know where paradise ends and earth begins. You will be the noblest of monarchs whose magnificence will be sung in the aeons to come. But heavens forbid, if you choose war, who knows upon how many corpses over you will have to weep. Make peace O great King, by returning Indraprastha to the Pandavas.
Shakuni: Why alone Indraprasta, let the Pandavas take away even Hastinapura! Long have they roamed the forests…we’ll press their tired feet. O Suyodhana, abdicate your throne. Go…kneel in their presence, kiss the hem of their robes and let history term you as the one of unparalleled magnanimity.
Suyodhana: Stop it…this peace proposal is not acceptable to me.
Bheeshma: My son! Bathe not your thinking with fleeting emotions. Abhor greed and leave your petty pride. Before you dispose this proposal as an unworthy end, weigh it in terms of greater good.
Dronacharya: Beware of the righteous indignation of Dharmaja, the fearsome rage of Bheema and the unparalleled skill of Arjuna. Meeting them in war is utterly foolish.
Kripacharya: Let not the clamour of your conscience go unheard. O son! Let not death and desolation rein your clan. Let your people wield ploughs and not swords. Let the sun smile on the green fields and the kingdom rise prosperous in wealth and peaceful in rule.
Vidura: Sip these words of wisdom, Suyodhana and be at peace.
Suyodhana: Is this my kingdom and my own royal hall? All around I see my own men conspiring against me.
Dhritarastra: Speak not of such words my son! They are your elders and well wishers.
Suyodhana: Ah! My heart swells with pride for I have so many well wishers…Well wishers who adore my enemies.
Shakuni: O wise men. Let me say it loud and clear, none of us are unjust and wrong. Dharmaja participated in the game of dice on his own volition. As per the will of destiny he lost the game and went for exile. Had we lost the game, we too would have vanished into the depths of anonymity.
Krishna: Were there any chances of you losing the game? Everyone seated here knows how fair and right the game was.
Suyodhana: Krishna, what madness is it to break the kingdom into pieces so as to honour foolish rights? Not alone the five Pandavas; the hundred of us, Bheeshma, Vidura and Vyasa too have rights over the kingdom. Would it then be advisable to divide the kingdom into individual rightful shares, ignoring the interests of my subjects? Their well-being is my utmost concern.
Krishna: Rare are the kings like you Suyodhana whose ears are deaf to the voice of their conscience but open to the woes of their subjects. Anyway, if you cannot give back the Pandavas their kingdom, then at least part with 5 villages, Avisthal, Varkasthal, Makandi, Varnavrata and any other village of your choice.
Suyodhana: Haah!... Krishna, You are asking me to give those villages, which I have gifted, to my relatives and friends. Is it possible? Is this the way you make a proposal? And now you will taint me as an emperor who could not part with even five villages. Five villages! Tell them even a speck of land needed to place the tip of a needle will not be granted to them.
Krishna: Mistake not their silence for submission and their humility for meekness. The wise seldom speak but when they speak, time itself would stop to hear their words. The powerful are always humble but once they are enraged, the heavens themselves would shudder.
Karna: Krishna! Have you come on a peace mission or are you trying to terrorize us. The Pandavas will be scattered like a herd of frightened deer when I romp like a bloodthirsty tiger amongst them.
Krishna: Boast not of your valour, O Karna. The world has not yet forgotten how you fell into unconsciousness in the face of Arjuna’s arrows in the war against Virata.
Tell your dear friend that gruesome would be the sight to watch poor Dushasana’s blood dripping from Panchali’s tresses. What a pity it would be to see the emperor Suyodhana moaning helplessly on the battlefield with his thighs shattered by Bheema’s mace.
Hear O Ahamkari (egoistic) Suyodhan! If you pursue this path of greed, even Gandhari will have no tears to wet your corpse.
Suyodhana: Ah…You speak of my mother’s tears! You cowherd, you are a messenger of peace…otherwise…
Krishna: Otherwise? What would you do?
Suyodhana: I would rip your tongue and bind you for life in the dungeons.
Krishna: Can You? Realize that you are nothing but a mass of ignorance garbed in greed and misguided by revenge. Your valour, wealth and strength are but plumes of smoke that even a single breath can blow away into nothingness. Try to bind me if you can.
Suyodhana: Guards, arrest Him…
AFTER VISHWAROOPA DARSHAN
Krishna: O ye men! Know that you can capture Me only through love, for I am not the body. I am the one residing in every atom of this universe. Every atom embodies me. Seeing me everywhere, at all times is the true Vishwaroopa Darshan.
Vyasa: To be touched and yet not be moved, to be moved and yet not understand, to understand yet not experience, to experience yet not transform. There cannot be a greater folly. The blind king committed this folly too. Standing face to face with his own self, he wasn’t able to see, understand, experience and transform.
Bheeshma: 7000 years have passed and we find ourselves in a similar position, we stand face to face with our Cosmic Reality.
Vidura: We have a choice, whether to continue to be blind, or to open our inner eyes and behold the cosmic reality that manifests itself in every form. Let not this opportunity go waste.
Krishna: O Lord! O Vasudeva! O Sai deva! We are ready. Please open our eyes so that we can see, experience and transform ourselves into thee.
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