December 17, 2010 – “Murali Madhavam” Drama by Sai Youth from Srikakulam

There are many dramas and dances that are put up in front of Swami. All of them ooze with love and devotion for Him. On certain occasions, the storyline is so absorbing that it makes everyone sit at the edge of their cushions with a desire to know, “What happens next?” This is in spite of the basic knowledge that God’s will is always on the side of the good and hence goodness always triumphs! It is a tribute to the storyteller’s genius when people watch with bated breath as to the “how” part of the triumph of goodness. It was one such “cushion edge” drama that was held in the Sai Kulwant Hall on December 17. It was a presentation by the youth from Srikakulam District and it was called, “Murali Madhavam”.

Swami arrived for darshan at about 6:30 p.m. He passed through the ladies’ side.  At the centre, He looked at the backdrop and blessed some of the actors and the organisers who held up a marble Linga for consecration. He entered the gents’ side and then as He neared the alumni block on the gents’ side, a group of alumni went up on their knees. These were students who passed out of the University in 1997 and had gathered to celebrated their “Prema Bandham” (Bond of Love) with Swami. Swami had a look at the card that they showed and blessed them to assemble in the Bhajan Hall with kith and kin, the next day afternoon.

Swami then completed His round and arrived on the stage via the veranda. He passed by and blessed the delegates who had arrived for a conference being held by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences of the Institute. As soon as He was on the stage, He asked for the bhajans to cease and told that the programme could start.

The initial offerings were made quickly. A few representative ladies, gents and children performing the drama, moved up the stage and received blessings. The drama then got underway.

The story was set in the Dwapara Yuga. A fictional flute maker, Suru, develops great love for the little Krishna and decides to make a flute that resonates in the same Shruti (pitch) as the one He has. He has a glimpse of Krishna’s Divinity. This happens in a beautiful manner. An old lady selling fruits simply offers her fruits to Krishna who gives her a few pomegranate arils in return. “These are not mere arils but diamonds for me,” she says and that is what they become when she looks at them at home! Suru is amazed and Swami, on the stage, was very moved and He looked at a student as if indicating, “Whatever is your faith in God, it materializes!”

Then begins Suru’s saga in making The Flute. In the meanwhile, Krishna leaves Brindavan and goes to Mathura. The sorrow of the Gopikas was well depicted in contrast to the joyous dances that had been presented before. Seven years pass in this manner and Suru now has a huge pile of flutes that he has discarded as imperfect. News spreads everywhere that Emperor Krishna is revisiting His native place. As everyone joyously prepares for it, Suru finally manages one perfect flute.

On the D day, Suru dresses up his son as Krishna and finds a beautiful case for the flute. But alas! To his dismay, he finds that his son has placed the ‘perfect’ flute with all the others in the heap! The whole day goes away in rummaging the thousands of flutes for the right one. And when he finally locates the one and sends it to Krishna, it is almost departure time. But the Lord waits and tells the little boy that his costume has been spoilt. Dressing him up and treating him with all love, Krishna finally sends him back with His own flute saying, “Tell your father that I cannot play his flute as it is having a block!”

When Suru turns despondent and depressed, Swami too was so moved. The Lord cannot bear His devotee in tears, even if it is ‘only a drama’! The son also gives an apple from Krishna to his father and pomegranate arils to the grandmother! The grandmother remembers her ‘diamonds’ experience and is thrilled that Krishna still remembered. Even Swami remembered that episode and He nodded appreciatively. Suru is inconsolable.

Finally, Krishna Himself comes to the humble dwelling and says, “Suru, you waited seven years for the perfect flute. I have waited lifetimes for the perfect one. And YOU are my flute dear one. You still have a ‘block’ that makes you attempt to define the Shruti of my flute. Give that up and I have my perfect flute.” Saying so, Krishna plays many flutes in the discarded heap and all of them are perfect! The drama ends with the Lord granting Suru a glimpse of His cosmic form! The best came at the end when representative members of the youth came forward and stated, “Swami, we are like that pile of imperfect flutes! Bless us with your touch and redeem us.” Swami was so touched with this prayer and there was a loud applause from the audience.

The drama was regularly interspersed with dances that added a lot of colour and music. The songs were mostly Swami’s compositions and they automatically struck a wonderful chord with Him. Swami saw the children assembling in the final formation and He asked for clothes to be brought. He had them distributed to the children. Then, He moved down the stage to pose with them for group photos. After granting pictures, Swami spoke to a few of them, lit a Jyothi and then moved up the stage. Calling an alumnus of the Institute who had been the script writer, Swami blessed him with a safari piece. Swami then blessed the gathering and it was 7:30 p.m. when He retired for the day.

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