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Published on Saturday, Aug 21, 2010 at 1155 Hrs. IST

"Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it" roared the lion of post independent India, Balwant Gangadhar Tilak or Lokmanya Tilak as He is addressed fondly. He was one of the first to advocate more stringent and aggressive methods to deal with British imperialism. Known as the father of Indian unrest, Tilak was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The roar that was heard during the beginning of the 1900 was reproduced by a grateful and talented bunch of students celebrating the 64th National Independence Day in the immediate Divine presence. The presentation, Swaraajya Gaatha, was centred on the freedom struggle involving Bal Gangadhar Tilak, lived during the period 1856-1920.

Tilak's ideals to spread national unity and religious harmony through various religious festivals promoting "Swarajya", standing united against the British, set the backdrop for the presentation before the story advanced into Tilak's undying passion for Mother India and winning her freedom from the British. The man who proclaimed "Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it" finally got arrested by the British who sent him to jail for a long six year imprisonment. His evolution in the jail, where he turned contemplative, getting deep into the 'Geeta Rahasya' and Karma Yoga, still madly possessed with his undying passion for his Mother India was illustrated with the help of Mahabharata scenes depicting Abhimanyu, who embraces the risk of getting into the Padmavyooha in the name of moral duty to win the battle.

Scenes depicting the valour and enthusiasm of the little lad despite not knowing a way out of the “Lotus Formation, the family court of the Pandavas wherein Arjuna enters wondering at the silence and later lamenting at the loss of his son, Abhimanyu, Lord Krishna’s words of wisdom to  Arjuna etc. were brought to life with flashback scenes from the epic.

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Subsequent scenes depicted Tilak's state of depression, at not finding a sustained way forward to win his dream Swaraajya, after he was freed from the jail, followed by his meeting up with Sai Baba of Shirdi and Baba's precious words of advice to him. Shirdi Baba says, “Mother India is in the safe hands of God Tilak! Find your own Swaaraajya first. The Swaarajya of Bharat will automatically follow!” The spiritual meaning where Swaa stands for the Atma, was brought out very beautifully; it is only when one discovers the Atmic kingdom within that one can hope to understand the true meaning of ‘in’dependence! (Independence is to depend on what is ‘in’!) The one hour presentation ended with a melodious group song on the glory of Bharat, Mother India, to the tune of "Sundaram Bharatham Sumadhuram..."

The entire presentation was unique with the “Swaraajya Gaatha”, the story of independence, was brought to life bringing out characters from the history book of independence, showcasing and highlighting Bal Gangadhar Tilak and his contribution to the national independent movement. The presentation was interspersed with colourful dance sequences to the tunes of meaningful songs. The presentation was equally packed with powerful dialogue delivery. At the time of his arrest by the British, he said: "Swarajya is the foundation and not anything raised to have a prosperous future; a foundation never comes down; may be an edifice that is raised on the foundation will come down, but another one will soon rise in its place and it is just a matter of time", retorted Tilak countering the British.

Moving down the dais, Bhagawan posed for group photo session involving entire crew. Bhagawan chose to spend ample time in the middle interacting with the group. The Abhimanyu cast won His special blessings as Bhagawan materialised a golden chain with a Ganesha pendant for the boy. Returning onto the stage, Bhagawan sat through intereracting with many as the boys drew closer to the dais, eagerly awaiting His Divine attention. Bhagawan was seemed to be amused with the two boys acted as Draupadi and Subhadra. Interacting with them, Bhagawan, upon presenting them safari pieces, gave away an additional presentation, a saree each, to the delight and amusement of all. Entire drama crew got safari pieces as a token of His love and blessing. This Divine Interactive Session continued till 2020 hrs. until Bhagawan nodded for Mangala Arathi. Upon accepting Arathi, Bhagawan moved off the dais. Interacting with many enroute, Bahgawan glided into the ladies' side at 2025 hrs. retiring to Yajur Mandiram briging curtains down on this glorious evening of 64th National Independence Day!

This is the sixth year in succession the students are picking up interesting ‘chapters’ from the history of Indian Independence and presenting the same in tune with Bhagawan’s teachings. A revolving automated stage was used for changing backdrops, an innovative idea by the ‘maintenance department' of the senior hostel.  The dedicated bunch, reservoir of talents, does everything indigenously with the guidance of teachers and research scholars, all with an intention to bring yet another smile of the Enchanting Divine!  

Earlier, Bhagawan emerged at 1640 hrs. to the chants of Vedam to come for a complete round of darshan before getting into the bhajan hall for the second successive session of Prema Bandhan. He spent long hours inside before emerging at 1845 hrs. to come onstage to commence the Independence Day proceedings.

II Samastha Lokaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu II