Sai Kulwant Hall
Cultural Programme – A Play by the I PG Students
“Tyage Naike Amrutatva Manashuhu”
The presentation began at 4.10 p.m. with a dance choreographed to the song ‘Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gowritanayaya Dheemahi…’ as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Indian Arts Association. The backdrop was simple but elegant. A screen of silk draping and a stage in front of it with another silk curtain that could be drawn apart when the performance would go on the stage.
As the dance draws to a close, the Director of the association Sri Srivastava, announced a Nation Wide Competition – Art from Heart. This was open for all painters who could express their talent on canvas. The best painting would fetch an award of Rs.10 lakhs and a tour around India to exhibit the paintings and also an opportunity to work on the international stage of art.
In the next scene, a young budding painter by name Anand discusses the competition with his financier and friend Mr. Khanna. Mr. Khanna pumps up Anand and enthuses him to participate in the competition to win the attractive award. Subsequently, Anand goes to meet his Guru. He recalls how he had learnt his first lesson of painting from his Guru 10 years back.
The Guru advises Anand to open his heart to the sights and sounds around so that he may learn several lessons. The Guru says that his paintings were all impressions that had touched his heart. Anand shares the news about the competition with his Guru. Hearing about his plans to win the award and settle abroad, the Guru gets furious. He reminds Anand that the land on which he stood had nourished him all these years; he was like a seed that had now grown into a full tree. Was it not his duty to give shelter to this land now?
The Guru bursts forth into a patriotic song – Sujalaam Sufalaam Malayaja Sheetalaam Sasya Shyaamalaam Maataram Vande Maataram…..Anand grows restless. He rebounds and asks his Guru as to what this country had given him. Just an award from the government? Had it given him a decent standard of life? Had it given him any opportunities to develop his talent?
Listening to his outburst, the Guru laments silently saying that after all he belonged to the older generation and therefore could not appreciate Anand’s views. He asks Anand to go to the temple and deliver a packet to one Mr. Keshav Prasad. As Anand leaves, the Guru prays to the Lord saying that Anand had a heart of gold. God was after all the Goldsmith and should therefore purify the heart of Anand and make him into a beautiful ornament.
Anand goes to the temple and delivers the packet to Keshav Prasad. Keshav Prasad opens the packet and distributes the Prasadam to some poor people gathered outside the temple. Anand watches all this. Meanwhile a very poor and starved young man comes towards the temple seeking for some food. He comes and prays to Anand to give him some money. Anand shoos him away mercilessly.
This starved man goes to the other poor man who is about to eat the Prasadam given by Keshav. Looking at this starving man, the poor man hands over the food to him with a smile on his face. This comes as a shock to Anand. He is unable to believe what he sees.
The next scene finds Anand talking to his grandpa. He narrates all that he had witnessed to his grand father. The grandpa then explains to Anand the noble quality of sacrifice. He says, giving away what you like and need most, with a smile on your face, is true sacrifice. Our culture is replete with such instances. Take for example the character of Karna in Mahabharatha.
The next scene depicts the story of how Lord Krishna, in order to display the greatness of Karna to Arjuna, plays a small drama. As Karna lies on the battle field wounded, Krishna goes in the form a Brahmin seeking alms. He approaches Karna but looking at his state decides to return. But Karna prays to the Brahmin to ask for anything and he would grant it. So long as there would be life in his body, he would never send back any Brahmin empty handed.
Hearing this promise, the Brahmin says that as he had to perform his son’s marriage, he needed some gold. Hearing this, Karna feels miserable as he had no gold with him to offer to the Brahmin. Therefore, he prays to the Brahmin to go to Hastinapura and request his wife to offer him some gold. The Brahmin expresses dissatisfaction saying that it was not worth going all the way to Hastinapura, merely for some small quantity of gold. The Brahmin is about to return when Karna stops him. He decides to remove his gold tooth and give it to the Brahmin. As he plucks out his gold tooth and offers it, the Brahmin expresses anger that an offering soaked in blood can never be accepted. Immediately, Karna shoots an arrow into the sky bringing down rain that washes the tooth of all the blood.
At this instant, Lord Krishna manifests Himself, pleased with the selfless sacrifice of Karna and asks him to pray for any boon. Karna says that there could be no greater boon than dying in the Lord’s Physical Presence. Karna offers his heart to the Lord.
The scene ends and back comes Anand. He is not convinced still. Anand tells his grand father that Karna had already won so many laurels in life and therefore there was nothing great in sacrificing at the end. But what about individuals who are yet to bloom? What about their ambitions?
To this, the grand father tells Anand the story of Khudiram Bose who fought for the freedom of Mother India. When Mother India was in chains so many young buds offered their lives for Her cause. Their only ambition was to adorn their Mother with the crown of freedom! The next scene took us to the pre-independence years.
The patriotic fervour in the youth of those days was very well depicted. Khudiram Bose rebels against the British and throws a bomb at their office and runs 25 miles after that. However, he is caught and handed over by a traitor to the British. He is finally hanged to death. But his spirit lives on. He prays to Mother India that he would be born again so as to die once again for her sake. He asks her to remember him whenever she saw any youth with a tri-colour flag in his hands and a noose around his neck! The scene was very touching and there was a loud applause from the audience.
Anand too was touched. His heart gets transformed. He decides to dedicate his life for the poor and the needy. He visits the temple and serves food to the poor people assembled there. Surprisingly, the Guru also comes over there and is surprised to see Anand serving the poor. He enquires Anand about his Visa and Passport arrangements..!!
Anand repents and confesses to his Guru that he was truly lost in the materialism of life. The Guru knew that Anand would turn a new leaf in his life. Anand, however was worried about the funds that he would need for serving others. The Guru reminds him of the painting competition. He explains to Anand that God had blessed him with the talent of painting. This was like Prasadam. Now this Prasadam of God must be offered as Naivedyam to Him again. Therefore, the Guru enthuses Anand to participate in the competition.
When Anand asks his Guru as to what he must paint, the Guru asks Anand to consult his heart. Anand says that his heart now chants just one mantra – Tyage Naike Amrutatva Manashuhu…However, his heart still feels empty.
Meanwhile, a Rama Leela play is about to be staged. The Mandir Pujari calls all of them and they proceed to witness the play. This scene shows the great sacrifice of Bharatha who prays to Rama to return to Ayodhya. Each one beats the other in their adherence to sacrifice. Lord Rama holds on to his Dharma and refuses to return to Ayodhya. Finally, Bharatha takes the Padukas of his brother Rama and places them on the throne as the symbol of Lord Rama.
Fourteen years later, when there is a slight delay in the return of Lord Rama, Bharatha is ready to end his life. However, at the right time Hanuman comes in and gives the message of Lord Rama’s arrival. Bharatha, who by now looked just like Rama, on account of his constant contemplation on Him, hands over the kingdom back to Lord Rama.
The Guru explains to Anand the meaning of the word Bharatha. Bha means ‘Bhagawan’ and Ratha means ‘to please’. To please God, we must not only give up the worldly comforts but we must give up our mind and our identity too. Bharatha had totally surrendered his mind to Lord Rama. Finally, he lost even his identity and merged with the identity of Lord Rama.
True sacrifice is giving up the evil qualities of life and finally offering even the mind to God. Anand participates in the competition. On the day of the award giving ceremony, all paintings are arranged in the Gallery. The scene is the closing ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Indian Arts Association. Needless to say, the winner is none other than Sri Anand. In the final scene, Mr. Anand comes over to the mike and makes his award acceptance speech.
Anand makes a very wonderful presentation. He asks, as to what is it that makes a mother give up all her comforts for the sake of her child with a smile on her face? What is it that inspires a father to present his son with a new pair of shoes when he himself wears an old one with a sense of joy and cheer? What is it that drives one poor man to share his food with another hungry man, unmindful of his own burning hunger?
That spirit, he declares, is the spirit of sacrifice. Sacrifice is the language of Love. He accepts the award but dedicates it for the welfare of the needy and the poor.
In the final scene, the boys pray to Bhagawan – the very embodiment of sacrifice. They pray that all the sacrifices He has made for His children must not go in vain and they seek His Blessings that their lives become His Message!
The punch line…..
Let us live for You the way You have lived for us!!!
The presentation ended with the chanting of ‘Svasti Prajabhya Paripalayantam…..’