Where love for mother and motherland has often been referred to as a duty par excellence, by none other than the Avatar of the Age, Prasanthi Nilayam gets to witness flashbacks from Nation’s Freedom struggle, recurrently every year, on the occasion of National Independence Day, 15th August.
Nation’s Freedom struggle is itself a modern epic that has many a tale tagged with and every tale, upon exploring, would take one to greater truths of love for motherland and greater sacrifice; sacrifice often crowned with selfless ambition, often touching upon the uncanny spiritual touch it enjoyed cozying up.
“Bharata Bhagya Vidhatha”, meaning the “Dispenser of Bharat’s Destiny” was a portrayal of celebrity saint, Aurobindo Ghosh, whose undisputed role in Swaraj Movement aimed at National Independence was depicted with astounding precision bringing in subtler elements of his unflinching love and devotion to Bhagawan Sri Krishna that finally played a pivotal role for the country winning her Independence.
The drama begins with a scene from 1905 wherein men from the society, shocked and furious over Lord George Curzon’s decision to divide Bengal into two, were having a heated debate on the issue and the probable fate of the nation. Igniting their passion came onto the scene three of the greatest sons of Bengal, namely, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Rabindranath Tagore and (Maharishi) Aurobindo… whose oratory with fierce passion pepped the public up though Aurobindo remained aloof throughout. Upon questioning as to why he was aloof throughout the meeting, Aurobindo blurted out yelling, it was not the ‘tit for tat’ attitude towards a trivial external enemy that required, rather, one would need to fight the enemy within. For the first time a conqueror has come to the holy land of Bharat and has rendered the country poorer in every sense of the term; when our country has embraced even the likes of Alexander The Great and sent him back richer than what he had ever imagined, Aurobindo lamented that, his countrymen should not become poorer, but should look within eschewing the illusion of worldly victory.
The scene shifts to Alexandar’s court wherein hectic deliberations were on about the royal ethics to be observed towards a defeated monarch. The hectic deliberation finally ended up dawning wisdom upon the Emperor that his achievements in the physical world were nothing compared to the inner wisdom that was awaiting him. Understanding the vanity of all that he had achieved in the physical sense, the Emperor declared that after his death his body should be carried in a procession in the streets of Alexandria to make the world aware that the all conquering Alexandar finally departed empty handed.
The scene next moves to Alipore Central Jail where Aurobindo was imprisoned in the pretext of masterminding Alipore Bomb Blast. Fervently praying to Lord Krishna lamenting at his plight that confined him within the four walls of the jail, when he was most needed by the country for her fight for independence, he questioned the Lord yelling out for an answer that would justify the fate that was meted out to him. Prayerful days in the jail made it verily a sanctum sanctorum of Lord wherein fellow jail mates could feel the spiritual vibrations and finally when they were being removed from the confines of the four walls that sheltered them in the company of their beloved “Ghosh Babu” they lamented…”Ghosh Babu, for the first time I feel…my heart feels so heavy leaving the confines of these prison walls…” Aurobindo’s greater yearning brought the omnipresent Lord Krishna in physical immersing him in the bliss of reunion….and he whispered, with his eyes feasting at the sight of the Lord, heart singing out the yearning for Him, “Shymala Komala… Hey Gopalana… Tumho Mere Bhagawan… Shraddha Bhakthi Deejo Dayakari Sreedhara Kripaa Nidaan….” and he danced in joy immersed in the bliss of reunion….!!!
Aurobindo’s decision to withdraw from the movement disturbed the people of the country and a delegation met him beseeching him to continue. Upon hearing the delegation led by Mahendranath, he said that his ten months in the jail was verily the most fruitful period for him as it could be equated with “Ashram Vas”. It was not that he was looking at the freedom struggle as inferior, but he was more concerned about post independence scenario. While he was withdrawing from the political movement, he declared that he would be very much a part of country’s freedom movement and would be more concentrating on country’s fate post independence which according to him should be in line with greater harmony and brotherhood among the citizens of the country.
The next scene was a depiction of one of the epic trials of Indian Judiciary wherein Aurobindo was trialed for the Alipore Bomb case. Classic scene depicting epic battle figuring two legal experts spraying verbal volleys infused with lofty words - for and against the client in contention – finally winning the trial in favour of Aurobindo, acquitting him and relieving him from all charges, had the unseen hand of Lord Sri Krishna whose promise to save Aurobindo from the case was fulfilled.
Mahatma Gandhi’s son Devdas visited Aurobindo in his ashram with a personal letter from his father, expressing concern over Aurobindo’s decision to quit the Swadeshi Movement. Giving an exposition highlighting the greater glory of Bharat, talking about Lord Sri Rama who walked the holy land and the country which had a position on top of the world and stood as a preceptor for the rest of the world, Aurobindo defined who a True Bharatiya was with an exemplified illustration of Lord Sri Rama.
A flash back into the Treta Age, towards the end of Lord Sri Rama’s 14 year exile in the forest. Lord Rama after accomplishing His mission of eradicating the demons was beseeched by Vibheeshana to accept the throne at Lanka. Lord Rama differs telling that it was Vibheeshana who was second in line for the throne who deserved to be the King and more over Ayodhya was waiting for Him. Despite Lakshmana’s added plea to accept the throne, Lord Rama declared addressing both the men:
All through my life I have performed many sacrifices; not for anything else, but only to uphold Dharma…Is it Dharma to forsake one’s mother for another just because she is not beautiful…Can the love of any other woman ever fulfilled the love and affection of our own Mother Vibheeshana…Bharat is My Motherland…it is the land where I was born and I lived…and it is Bharat alone that I shall continue to live…no riches of any foreign nation shall ever sway Me…why? Let the heaven itself descent and offer to me its bounties, but I shall forsake it without a moment’s thought, for my Mathrubhoomi…Janani Janmabhoomishcha, Swargaadapi Gareeyasee…Lakshmana! Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven itself… It is indeed a misfortune if a Bharatiya does not understand the ancient and sacred culture of Bharat. Bharat is not just that land with the lofty Himalayas as its crown and the mighty oceans washing its feet. No! Bharat is that land of Bhava, Raga and Thaala, the unity of Thought, Word and Deed…it is the land of love and wisdom…it is the land where every citizen from dawn to dusk in every single act of his is centred completely on the Divine… A true Bharatiya is one who has Rathi for Bhagawan…who sees God in everything and unites the entire humanity as one Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam…such is the greatness of the sacred land Bharat…
Explaining the scene from the great epic, Aurobindo asked Gandhi’s son to communicate to his father the message that when he was imprisoned he had the darshan of the Lord and he was decreed by the Lord to devote his time for the spiritual awakening of the country…
…and there comes the climactic declaration! Aurobindo breaks his silence of meditation with a prophecy that would yield the humanity, the Avatar of the Age….He declared: a Great light is dawning in the east…a light whose first glimpses can already be seen in the horizons….a new day is about to break in this glorious land of Bharat… ……my Krishna has promised me that He would be coming soon…. His task would be to raise Bharat up to the Sanathana Dharma…
On the 24th November 1926 Sri Aurobindo Ghosh came out of his meditative trance and announced to the rest of the world:
MY KRISHNA HAS FINALLY COME!!!
It was an wonderful evening that heard echoing the beautiful story of “Divine Romance”, ringing again and again all over echoing the entire Sai Kulwant, filling the same with the pristine presence of Sri Krishna who was the Master Beloved for the evening… and the post graduate students of Sri Sathya Sai University literally lived out some of the most beautiful moments from the annals of Indian Independence history, all with Love for Bhagawan to make Him happy.
Earlier, before the commencement of the programme, the entire cast were blessed by Bhagawan in the the Bhajan Hall. The cast numbering over 120 made a wonderful effort attending the minutest details to make the presentation a remarkable success. The entire drama with on the spot dialogue delivery coupled with songs, background music intertwined with commentary without any pre-recording was a unique attempt making it a grand success. After the programme the entire troupe was blessed with coveted photo session with Bhagawan.
Simple yet convincing settings, fiery dialogues, ever soothing background score, the theme song that heard often echoing passionately crying out for the enchanting Sri Krishna, superb acting and the Protagonist’s convincing portrayal of the identity of Aurobindo with ease and with great passion and devotion, in all, the drama was a classic endeavour reminding one and all of the Divinity behind India’s Independence.
Prasanthi Nilayam, a spiritual aspirant’s final destination, where one is taught to be broken into freedom from the clutches of life and death, love for motherland comes to fore reminding one and all of their bounden duty towards the land that has given birth to each and every one. Hail Mother India!
Hail Mother India…Krishna has come again…Bharata Bhagya Vidhata!!!