September 30, 2010 – Drama on Hanuman by Maharastra and Goa

The final day of the ninth month of 2010 had the devotees from the states of Maharashtra and Goa assembling in the Sai Kulwant Hall to stage their programme. As per the latest instructions from Swami, bhajans began at 5:30 p.m. after the conclusion of the Veda chanting. The whole hall was immersed in devotional singing and it was at 6:30 p.m. that Swami arrived.

Bhagavan took a complete round and arrived on the stage via the portico. On the stage He lit a lamp and then sat at his place. He began to read the letters that He had collected and they were quite a good number. He seemed to be enjoying the bhajans that were going on as He lightly tapped his feet to rhythm with them and kept reading the letters.

The co-ordinators were worried about their programme and in their own were inwardly praying and trying to attract His attention. Man’s ways are indeed funny. He seems to have more faith when physically away from god rather than when He is close! As Swami had said in one of His discourses, “When one speaks of the mango, the mouth begins to water. But when the same person is given one in his hand, the mango is checked for worms and tested for taste! So too with God. Man has implicit faith in the name but when the form comes, man always seems to have doubts!

Swami read letters till 7:20 p.m. and then asked the bhajans to be stopped. Looking at the youth seated at the far end of the marbled blocks, He told them to begin their presentation. Now there was a different kind of a start to the programme - representative youth from the various districts of Maharashtra made a beeline to the stage to present Swami a rose and a brochure of the service activities of the district. This was followed by the members from the ladies’ side too.

As all this went on, songs were sung by the youth. There are always two different ways to view something. In one light this seemed as a wonderful way for so many members of the youth to get a close glimpse of Swami. It also gave an opportunity for the youth from all over Maharashtra to sing out their hearts to Him. They had travelled hundreds of miles to ensure group practices and a lot of effort had gone into preparing a music programme. But this 15 minute affair also meant that physically Swami would have to stay on for quite late that evening! And it was already more than an hour or so since He had arrived! Swami sat patiently blessing everyone who came to Him and once that was complete, He again asked for the drama to begin.

The programme for the evening, a dance drama entitled Anjaneya Veera, was presented by the Youth and Balvikas from Akola district of Maharashtra. The seventy minute presentation began with Lord Rama telling Hanuman, “The world has heard you sing my glories. Today I wish to sing your glories!” And then the Lord begins to tell the story of His devotee to a Hanuman devotee! Hanuman, being mischievous, mistakes the sun to be an orange and tries to catch it.

Lord Indra brings him down with the thunderbolt after which his infuriated father withdraws the wind from the world. To pacify him, the Gods bless Hanuman with various capabilities. They also depicted the episodes of Hanuman’s tutelage under the Sun God, his initiation into the Rama Mantra, his valiant leap across the ocean to find Mother Sita,  his desire to serve Rama with the service of snapping the fingers when Rama yawns and his absolute humility. The drama meandered and some scenes from the lives of saint Tulsidas and saint Bhadrachala Ramadas also were somehow stitched in.

The highlight of the drama was when Lord Rama offers Hanuman salvation or moksha and gets the reply, “Oh Lord! I’d rather live in this body that has been sanctified by your touch than get liberated!” In the middle of the drama, there was also a mini drama when the pigeons from the rooftop littered the marble with droppings. One of the students went forward and cleaned the slab with a piece of paper.

Swami continuously watched him and let out a smile! The youth everywhere waved saffron flags as the finale was sung. Once the drama concluded, Swami moved down the stage and posed with the youth for photographs. Moving up the stage, He immediately asked for aarthi. He also blessed prasadam for distribution. Calling the co-ordinators He said, “The theme of the drama was good. The drama was done well!” He was happy with the children who had done the drama and He showed that by raising both His hands in abhayahastha before retiring at 9 p.m.

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