Vishu Celebrations -
Music Programme by
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Devotees from Tamil Nadu and Kerala have
arrived at Prasanthi Nilayam for celebrating the Tamil New Year and Vishu
respectively, and the 12th evening was their first programme. Bhagawan came for
darshan in His chair at 5.30 pm. Taking a complete round the packed hall, Swami
began the programme when He came onstage at 5.45 pm. The programme was a musical one
where two members of the Kerala youth, trained in Carnatic music were to perform.
Swami sat listening to their songs as they sang some famous songs like Bho Shambho.
They sang a couple of malyalam numbers too and after about 5 songs, Swami asked them
whether they had completed their planned quota. When they replied in an affirmative,
Swami asked the students to sing Bhajans. During the bhajans, Swami went to the
inetrview room and came out with clothes that he wanted to give the artistes, He
called all the five members of the troupe onstage during the aarthi and distributed
clothes to them. They all sought padanamaskar for which He gladly assented. After
the Aarthi, Swami moved back to the car. He called and asked a student whether the,
"Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu" prayer had been chanted. The reply was an
affirmative. Swami also blessed the Governor of Rajasthan Sri. S. K. Singh and
former Election Commissioner Sri. T. N. Seshan were also at Prasanthi Nilayam over
On the next day, viz. the 13th, the children from the Kollam district (Quilon) of Kerala had been permitted to put up a drama entitled, "Madhuram Gayati" in the divine presence. The backdrop and sets were in place and the children decked and ready. It must be stated here that on many previous occasions, the costumes and make up has been admired with statements such as, "The costumes were breathtaking", or "The make up was so realistic". Today, one had to tell oneself, "This is a drama! So there must be make up right?" So natural was the dressing and finish. The characters looked as if they had been plucked out from the bygone Dwapara age and had been brought into Kulwant hall. As they say, a more overwhelming response than a thunderous ovation is a pin drop silence. The fact that none even noticed to say, "Good costumes and makeup" in itself was a compliment!
It was at about 5:30 pm that Swami arrived for Darshan. The times are sweltering and the mercury has risen to great heights. The timings for the evening sessions have therefore been generally delayed so that all can enjoy the programmes in cooler conditions. Swami took a complete darshan round looking at the sets as He passed by them. Reaching the stage, Swami asked for the children to begin. Two little Radha-Krishna couples moved to Swami and made offerings to Him. He asked them , ever so sweetly, as to what their names were. All the four girls answered. They also gave Him a long peacock feather which Swami accepted with a slightly amused look. The drama then began as the children went back.
The drama depicted the pure Love that the gopikas, Radha in particular, had for Lord Krishna. It opened with the childhood pranks of the charming babe of Brindavan wherein he steals butter from houses. The gopikas complain to Yashoda about Krishna, but when she takes the stick to punish Him, they all plead on his behalf telling her not to beat Him. They are all lost in the beauty and divinity of His pranks. Krishna grows up and so does the love between Him and the gopikas. Radha is possessive of Him and though she loves Him with all her heart, Krishna seems to ignore her. Torn with sorrow, Radha undergoes a deep soul searching when she realises that there exists only Radha and Krishna in the whole Universe. Everyone and everything other than Krishna is the embodiment of Radha, she realises. Then she is able to appreciate the expansiveness of Krishna's love. The Truth of her discovery is verified when Krishna comes to her and tells her that in all times to come, Radha and Krishna will be inseparable. When Akrura, much to the pain and sorrow of the gopikas, arrives and takes away Krishna and Balarama to Mathura, Radha assuages the grief of all the other gopikas. She cheers them saying that Krishna could never leave them and then all of them re-perform the Rasa dance with the Krishna of their hearts.
Swami was so happy with the play. Love is something that always turns on the Lord for there is no difference between the Lord and Love. He smiled so radiantly when the scene of the gopikas and Krishna playfully bantering was depicted. He was also absorbed in the scene when Radha expresses her anguish to her dear friend. When the children came forward at the end of the drama with lighted lamps, it presented such a beautiful sight. Swmai told that the lighted lamps be placed behind, away from everyone so that they cause no accidents. Then He called the children to come forward. Moving down the stage, Swami sweetly posed for group pictures with them. He asked many of them their names and patted them appreciatively on their cheeks. Then He slowly made His way to the stage and asked for Aarthi. During the Aarthi, He asked for sarees to be brought and distributed to the children. They were so happy and Swami kept seeing them. It was tough to make out whether it was Swami who was smiling as He saw the children or was it the other way round! Blessing everyone, Swami retired to the residence at 7pm.