Published on Monday, November 22, 2010 at 1217 Hrs. IST
Nov 21, 2010: The programme slated for the evening was the drama by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning on the occasion of the 29th Convocation of the Institute. The drama was entitled “Twameva Sharanam Mama”. This day also happened to be the concluding day of the 9th World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations. The Conference began on the 20th of November 2010 with the sessions held both in the morning and evening. At the central part of the hall was an imposing structure of the Pandharpur Temple with the presiding deity Vitthal. Bhagawan arrived at the hall at 1750hrs. After Bhagawan came to the dais, a few cast of the drama formally presented the programme to Bhagawan explaining the contents of the scheduled Drama.
In the first scene, a few dancers break into a dance joyously. Vitthalpur is devastated by floods. The place is rebuilt by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation headed by Sri Dayakar is instrumental in building Vitthalpur. Since then it is called Sai Vitthalpur. Sanatan, a tailor by profession is a perfectionist to the core. He believes that what he does should be worthy of offering to the Lord. Sanatan’s philosophy of life can be compared to the legendary Italian violin maker Anthony, who used to make only one violin in a year. So, he lives a life of penury. But he sticks to his philosophy of life.
In the next scene, Sanatan’s son Naveen is unable to pay the school fees. The headmaster tells Sanatan sternly that if he does not pay the fees, his son will not be able to attend school. Naveen complains to his father that there is no use in praying to Vitthal day in and day out as He has not done anything to them. Sanatan is irritated by his son’s statement. Naveen brings the money from somewhere, but his father is not willing to accept. He reprimands his son by saying that one should not confiscate another’s money. Sanatan says that one should uphold truth under all circumstances.
The scene next shifts to a Chinna Katha of Bhagawan. Alexander, the great emperor conquered Persia and is heading towards India to annex the land. There is a dispute between two farmers over a piece of land and Alexander is asked to mediate and settle it. Harishchandra buys a plot of land from Dharmesh. In the land, they find a gold chest. Neither of them is unwilling to take possession of the chest. Alexander is perplexed by the adherence to values by the two. At last, the dispute is settled by giving in marriage Harishchandra’s son to Dharmesh daughter, and the chest given to the couple. Alexander is wonderstruck by the values of the people of this land. Now he sees truth in the statement of his master Aristotle’s on India and its people. Alexander says, “I salute the nation which has great values, and does not believe in usurping another’s property”.
Meanwhile Dayakar by providence or destiny meets with an accident. He feels that he has lost the documents of land he was carrying in the accident site and somebody has taken possession of it. The police inspector nabs the thieves but is unable to find the documents from them. Naveen enters the scene, gives the document and money parcel to Dayakar saying that he has forgotten them in his house. Earlier Dayakar had gone to Sanatan’s house to stitch a dress when Sanatan expresses his wish to have the Darshan of Bhagawan.
Dayakar returns the money to Naveen, but Naveen is not willing to accept it saying that it is better to give it to his father since his father was instrumental in his returning the money to Dayakar. This brought faith in Vitthal in Naveen.
As part of 85th Birthday Celebrations of Bhagawan, Dayakar plans to present a Qawali programme in the Divine Presence for which he asks Sanatan to stitch sixteen dresses for boys participating in the programme. He gives Sanatan tens days to complete the task. At first Sanatan is unwilling, but later accepts to do the stitching. Vitthal manifests in the dream of Sanatan and tells him that he is “Bhavapriya (lover of feelings) and not Bahya Priya (lover of outer appearances), journey is more important than destination”, and says that He will now take over.
The story of Sakkubai takes centre stage. She is tortured by her mother-in-law to do household work in excess. Her mother-in-law commands her to grind many bags of wheat. Sakkubai has a burning desire to visit Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadasi. The Lord fulfils her wish by taking the form of Sakkubai and completing all the grinding work, and asking her to go to Pandharpur. Her mother-in-law is surprised and fears that it is some ghost which has accomplished such a mighty task in a short time.
The dream scene is over and Sanatan wakes up to the reality. Dayakar asks for the stitched dresses. Sanatan completes stitching of only twelve dresses. The people who accompany Dayakar get angry at Sanatan. Sanatan falls at the shrine of Vitthal and prays fervently. Suddenly four pairs of dresses fall from the shrine. Sanatan is thrilled and tells Dayakar that he should be fortunate that God Himself has stitched the remaining dresses. Dayakar asks Sanatan to accompany him to Puttaparthi. Sanatan is blessed by Bhagawan with a dress. Swami says, “You stitch dresses for all, now I am giving dress to you”. Sanatan expresses a wish to stitch a dress for Bhagawan. Swami assents to his request.
The drama concludes with these powerful statements: “It is enough if one offers oneself with Paripoorna Prema (total love)”. “Let us offer to Him our thoughts, words and deeds as we celebrate His 85th Birthday”. “Let every heart beat only for thee”. “Having come to Your Presence, our life has become a song of divine love”. The Qawali is performed by the boys in Bhagawan’s presence.
All the participants converge for the final formation. Bhagawan goes amidst the cast for a photograph session. The lead actors of the drama go near Swami to offer Him a dress. Bhagawan accedes to their request after repeated pleas and accepts the dress. Arati is offered to Bhagawan at 7.20 p.m. Bhagawan asks the participants to sing Bhajans. After a Bhajan, the cast sing the song, “Humko Tumse Pyar Kitna…” (The love we have for You is beyond expression). Bhagawan asks the participants to chant the universal prayer again, “Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu”! (May all the beings of all the worlds be happy!). The programme concludes with an announcement that the 29th Convocation function of the Institute will be held at 11 a.m. on 22nd November, and the Chief Guest would be the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the entry to the hall is from 0900 hrs. onwards.
Earlier, upon completing His darshan round, Bhagawan blessed the drama crew inside the bhajan hall. Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Sri ESL Narasimhan who was camping ahead of the Prime Minister's visit also received special blessings from Bhagawan. Being the 19th anniversary of SSSIHMS - Prasanthigram, Bhagawan graciously cut a cake commemorating the occasion.