Table of Contents

 

Dedication

About This Book (Back Cover)

Inside Front Cover

Publishers’ Note

Running After The Shadow

Squabbles

The Lip Vedantin

Pseudo Vedantin

Virasindhu–The Raja Sannyasin

Savants And Seers

Passion And Anger

Vairagya

Practical Sadhana

The Path Of A Sadhaka

Doctor’s Parade

Bhakta Haridas

Guru Tattva

The Four Letters

Yogotherapy

Dr. Brahman’s Moksha Rasayana

Bhakta Markandeya

Sri Krishna Lilas

Coffee Vs. Milk

Dedication

Dedicated to
The Brahma-Vidya Gurus
Of all Climes and Times
Whose Universal Message
is
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise.
Be good; do good; be kind; be compassionate.
Enquire ‘Who am I’, know the Self, and be free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About This Book

H.H. Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has brought not only light but life into the Quest after the Truth, where life had so long been regarded as a burden to be patiently and gloomily carried to its natural end, and where he who walked was asked to fix his eyes on the ground, to let his mind dwell on the miseries of the world, and to make his heart constantly meditate upon ways and means of getting rid of the world itself.

Swami Sivanandaji has given a complete reorientation of this Quest after Truth which is truly a Quest after Bliss, every step taken taking the seeker nearer and nearer to the Fountain of Bliss. The spiritual aspirant’s life is thus made a Blissful Song of Joyous March to the Goal.

The chief instruments employed by him in bringing this about are the song and the stage. Through these he effectively transcends the doubting and arguing intellect and makes a direct approach to the heart which is the home of faith and devotion, the heart which feels and knows (realises) rather than trying to understand.

It is this novel approach to Vedanta and Yoga that has earned for him the heart’s gratitude and adoration of millions all over the world.

Several Plays have been written by Sri Swami Sivanandaji; and it was usual on all festive occasions at Anand Kutir where the Sage dwelt to stage one of his plays. It has been the invariable experience of those who took part in the festivities that they had learned more than what hundreds of lectures could have taught them. To read Swamiji’s plays is to get pleasure and profit together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Front Cover

Brahma Vidya or “the Science of Sciences that enables man to know the very source of Knowledge itself” as Sri Swami Sivanandaji puts it, is the precious legacy which the sages of yore have left behind them. It is truly a divine light that enables us to see within ourselves, to direct our gaze into the darkest corners of our own inner personality, and piercing through the veil of ignorance, to realise the Light of lights that we are truth.

Brahma Vidya enable us to lead a better and more fruitful life here, a life of harmony, love, service, peace and joy.

That Brahma Vidya Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has presented in the form of delightful Plays in this volume.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publishers’ Note

Brahma Vidya or “the Science of Sciences that enables man to know the very source of Knowledge itself” as Sri Swami Sivanandaji puts it, is the precious legacy which the sages of yore have left behind them. It is truly a divine light that enables us to see within ourselves, to direct our gaze into the darkest corners of our own inner personality, and piercing through the veil of ignorance, to realise the Light of lights that we are in truth.

Brahma Vidya enables us to lead a better and more fruitful life here, a life of harmony, love, service, peace and joy.

That Brahma Vidya Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has presented in the form of delightful Plays in this volume. Of this mode of treatment of this abstruse subject, Sri C. Rajagopalachari (then Governor-General of India) said: “It gave me great pleasure to see your book Upanishad Drama. Gold beaten into all sorts of shapes gives joy. So have you beaten the Upanishads into new and artistic shape! I am amazed at your energy.”

Art appeals to the heart; and heart is the seat of the soul. An appeal to the heart through art is, therefore, at once soul-elevating. It is now well-known that Swami Sivanandaji has ever been appealing more to the man’s heart than to his intellect and that, therefore, he has been able to effect a wider spiritual awakening than any saint has so far been able to.

In this book, some of the Plays of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj have been brought together, which present spiritual truths in a graphic manner to grip the reader’s attention and to conquer his heart.

In this book there is a Play for every great festival or celebration. We do hope that the readers will make the best use of this publication and enact these Plays frequently, for the benefit of the entire humanity.

 

–THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY

 

 

 

 

 

BRAHMA VIDYA VILAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUNNING AFTER THE SHADOW

A drama asserting in unequivocal and convincing terms the paramount importance of the Divine Life and Spiritual Propaganda at all times and in all conditions-in war and peace, in freedom and bondage, in poverty and luxury.

Synopsis

A conversation takes place among four friends-an advocate, a doctor, a professor of Economics and a spiritual culturist. The politically and economically degraded condition of India is attributed to the emphasis laid in the past by Indians upon spirituality. The spiritual culturist meets the arguments halfway, when his Guru, a Swamiji, appears on the scene and, by his brilliant exposition of the essence of spirituality, opens the eyes of all to the Real Truth.

Also this play serves as an introduction to the Plays that follow.

Scene: Drawing room of a wealthy advocate. He is talking to a friend-Spiritual Culturist—who is a selfless worker in the religious field. Two other friends of the advocate enter at this time. One is a Doctor, a follower of the Epicurean school, wholly engaged in earning money and feeding his own family With luxuries and comforts. The other is a Professor of Economics who strongly believes that industrial expansion and economic independence alone is the ultimate goal. After usual introductions, the topic of conversation is switched on to the problem of the hour.

Advocate: (Addressing the Spiritual Culturist): My friend, I am strongly of the opinion that your precious energy and intellectual capacity are being wasted in worthless activities which cannot solve our immediate problems.

Spiritual Culturist: The immediate problem can only be solved by striking at the root-cause of our present state. A nation cannot survive or prosper unless the majority of its individuals possesses a high degree of culture and character, India had a glorious past and a culture of its own, which is now confined to a few. We must revive it and raise it to more glorious heights if we are to regain our lost heritage, both material and spiritual.

Professor: But how can the masses and lower middle classes, who are steeped in poverty, who cannot make the two ends meet and who have nothing to eat, assimilate these cultural teachings before their physical needs are satisfied?

Spiritual Culturist: If our well-to-do educated people first develop their character and culture by practising religion and philosophy in their daily life, we shall regain our lost glory and economic independence, by generating the spirit of self-sacrifice and selfless service among them for the uplift of the poorer classes.

Doctor: I do not believe in all this talk about culture and character or economic betterment of the masses. Where is the time or leisure for any public work? Everyone should mind his own business. All my time upto late hours at night is occupied by professional activities and calls. I must have time for recreation, shopping, cinemas and other social obligations.

Spiritual Culturist: You seem to have a gross and limited vision and are ignorant of higher, transcendental matters. This is an Asuric attitude of life described in the Gita (Ch. XVI) which leads to degeneration, bondage and suffering in the future lives. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you earnestly wish to serve humanity, you will find the leisure and energy also.

Advocate: I think we should direct all our energies to the political and economic field instead of wasting our energy in the propagation of spiritual culture. When we get freedom and economic independence, we shall see about culture, character and the life hereafter.

Spiritual Culturist: In that case you should also stop your eating, drinking and professional activities until freedom and economic betterment are attained. Culture, character and religion are as important for the soul, as food is for the body and wealth for material life. If you wait till freedom is attained, you may never be able to progress at all. Who can say that freedom will be attained in his lifetime? You will be wasting this precious life and human birth.

Professor: It is the overstress on spiritual life and religion that has brought about our downfall and slavery. We neglected our material progress in the past, hence others overpowered us and we have remained a poor and backward people. We should, therefore, develop our material resources and physical powers and reach the same peak of progress, power and comfort as the western nations, before we can even think of dabbling in idle pursuits like religion and philosophy.

Spiritual Culturist: Even those who work in the political, economic and social fields cannot turn out beneficial work, without disciplining themselves on a spiritual basis, and without undergoing religious training. Social and political leaders, with a few exceptions work with selfish motives and fight for their own name, fame, wealth, superiority and power.

Doctor: No nation in the history of the world has ever gained freedom or economic independence by the study of scriptures and leading Divine life or by prayers, Bhajans and Kirtans.

Spiritual Culturist: India has been in bondage for only a few centuries. Of what significance is this period in comparison with the millions of years which have elapsed since the advent of man on this earth? Even if we regain freedom now, it may not last for more than a few hundred years and the people then living will have to make stupendous efforts to regain it. A thing which does not last for ever, cannot be the ultimate goal of life. It only provides a field for selfless service leading to purity of mind and heart. To that extent, work in that field is helpful. It is a means for progress on the spiritual path and should not be confused with the end or goal.

Professor: We must strike a mean between spiritual and material life. By over-stressing the spiritual aspect, we have come to the present stage. Hence we should have more of material and industrial progress, as far as India is concerned.

Spiritual Culturist: I agree that we should have harmonious development and fullest expression of the spiritual and material aspects of life. But it was not. over-stressing of spiritual life but rather that of material life and its concomitant evils, such as lust, greed, jealousy, disunity and selfishness, which brought about our downfall in the last few centuries.

Two types of workers-social and religious--are necessary in the modern world, for achieving a balanced development in both the fields. A carpenter has a different field of work, from that of an electrician. You cannot expect one to do the work of the other. Both are necessary. Constructive work in social, economic, political and industrial fields is equally essential. I have never advocated that this aspect should be ignored.

But religion alone can save people. Without religion man is nowhere. Political freedom cannot root out all the miseries and evils of the world. You can only have a little more comfort. The world is like the tail of a dog, which can never be straightened. Bread, butter, jam and biscuits cannot give everlasting happiness. Modern luxuries of western people are enemies of spiritual life and peace. They will pull us down. After all, man wants very little on this earth.

At this stage, enters a Swami, who is the Guru of the Spiritual Culturist. His tall and stalwart figure, lustre, aura and magnetic personality are so awe-inspiring that everyone gets up and prostrate at his feet. This Spiritual Culturist gives a brief account of the controversy, which had just ended.

Swamiji: That work alone, which removes the prime ignorance of man and gives him inner peace and eternal happiness, can eradicate human sufferings in toto. That work is spiritual propaganda or dissemination of the Science of Self, Brahma-Vidya, and the Science of Yoga, Yoga Sastra. It is the crowning glory of human activities. This work is the highest form of Sacrifice or Yoga. There is nobody on this vast earth who is dearer to God than such a selfless worker in the Spiritual field (Gita: XVIII-60).

You will have to strike at the root-cause of all human miseries, which is ignorance of the nature of Self and the true goal of life. The Science of Self is the true spiritual wealth of man. It is inexhaustible.

India alone possesses this Supreme Divine Wealth. Even the richest and most highly cultured people, from all parts of the world, come to India to practise Yoga. They seek the guidance of its Rishis, seers and sages, and acquire this imperishable wealth.

No one can rob India of this inexhaustible wealth. India is ever rich and will remain rich forever, both materially and spiritually. Her resources are vast and limitless. She was invaded and plundered by several nations and yet her resources are abundant. She is ever free and will remain free. Her culture and civilisation rank foremost in the whole world.

Happiness does not come from wealth. Western nations are quite restless despite their enormous wealth. Selfishness, greed, hatred and jealousy have killed their peace. From this we can infer that spiritual life alone can give real, everlasting peace and happiness.

The disputes between saints and householders (as it whether spiritual life or material life is better), between dualists and non-dualists (as to whether God and soul are identical or separate), between political and spiritual workers as to which kind of work is more urgent or essential, have been going on from beginningless time. It is very difficult to convince the householders, dualists and political workers until their minds are purified and cleared of wrong impressions by Sadhana and experience.

Those who work in the spiritual fields should not enter into arguments with workers in other fields. They should co-operate with all selfless workers, in whatever field they may be working. They should continue their own work with unabated vigour.

May true discrimination and light dawn on the people who are too much engrossed in this transitory world and its material life, who have ignored the spiritual side of life altogether, who are thinking too much of the body and its comforts, who have forgotten all about their essential Divine nature and who are running after the Shadow, leaving behind the real substance, viz., God—who is the inner Self of all beings and the ultimate goal of human evolution.

May all beings in the whole universe attain peace and eternal bliss!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SQUABBLES

Synopsis

The teaching that runs through all the four scenes of the easily-understood Play "Squabbles" is that everyone should recognise that cooperation is indispensable for harmonious living. In the fourth scene is imparted, also, the Upanishadic teaching that Prana is the basis on which all the Indriyas rest.

Scene I

THE MIND AND THE INDRIYAS (SENSES)

Adhyatmic Fight Before the Privy Council of

His Divine Majesty Atman!

Jiva (to Indriyas): Fie on you, Messrs. Indriyas. It is you who have brought me into this state of abject degradation.

Mr. Eye: I am not to be blamed at all, my friend, Jiva. Don't accuse me. I have not brought any trouble for you. I am your amiable friend always. I am a sepoy in 'Way-In' of this bungalow of Atman. I have helped you a lot. Remember this. You have gained all experience and knowledge of this world of forms through me only. I am the son of Agni Tattva. I have discharged my duties very efficiently. I simply transmitted the light vibrations to my commander Col. Mr. Mind through retina, ophthalmic nerve, optic Thalamus, optic tract to the centre of vision in the occipital lobe of the back part of brain. It is Mr. Mind who has created such ideas as, "This is beautiful. This is ugly." Kindly refer this matter to my superior. Goodbye, my dear friend, Mr. Jiva.

Mr. Ear: I am also your friend, Mr. Jiva. I am also another sepoy along with my brother Mr. Eye in the ‘Way-In' of this 'Navadwara-Puri' of Atman. I have also helped you a great deal. You have acquired all experiences and knowledge of this world of names through me only. I am the son of Akasa Tattva. I have also discharged my duties to your entire satisfaction. I simply transmitted the sound-vibrations to my Master Mr. Mind through the external meatus, tympanum, auditory nerve to the auditory ‘centre of hearing in the parietal lobe of the brain. It is he who has created the ideas of *censure', 'praise', 'respect', 'disrespect', 'harsh words', melodious words', 'kind words'. 'Artha' and 'Inana' (Pratyaya) are created by my Master. Kindly refer this matter to my Master. Good morning my comrade, Mr. Jiva. Cheerio! I wish you pleasant dreams. Bye-bye-tatta—I really sympathise with you. You have been spoiled by keeping company with Mind.

Mr. Tongue (Jihva): Mr. Jiva! I am your oldest companion. I am acquainted with you before you know Mr. Eye and Mr. Ear. The moment you were born I nourished you and tickled your glosso-pharyngeal nerve and taste buds. I am born of Apas Tattva. I amused you in a variety of ways and brought delight to you when you were in Hotel De Angelis, Paris, Hotel De Europe, Berlin. When you were very thirsty, I have helped you with cool beverages and minerals. When you were depressed I have served you with coffee, tea and brandy of Exshaw No. 1. You have to thank me on the contrary. It is I who transmitted the sensation of taste to my Master, Mind, through the taste buds, glosso-pharyngeal nerve to the centre of taste in the brain, wherein my benevolent Master has taken his seat. I get the help in the manufacture of saliva from my friends. three sets of salivary glands, the sublingual (underneath the tongue), submaxilary (behind the maxilla bone), and the parotids (in front of the ear). They supply me with a lot of saliva. My Master, Mind, is responsible for the mischief he has created in the manner: "This is a good mango.'

This is a bad mango.' 'This is sweet.' 'This is bitter.' Kindly refer your complaint to my Master.

Mr. Touch (Skin-Tvacha): I am also your intimate chum. When you were suffering from cold and heat I have helped you through fire and ice, in cold baths, etc. I have served you in soft silks, velvet cushions and sofas. I am the son of Vayu Tattva. I simply transmitted the sensation of touch through the tactile corpuscles of the end of fingers and the sensory nerves of the skin to the centre in the brain. It is the mind only that has created, “This is soft. This is hard. This is hot. This is cold." This is not in my power to do. You must lodge the complaint against mind.

Mr. Smell (Grahana Indriya): Don't blame me. I have helped you when you smelt bad odours in latrines and other places through scents and lavenders as Otto De Rose, "Lilly of the valley," etc. I am born of Prithvi Tattva. I simply transmitted the sensation to the mind through olfactory nerve. It is the mind that has created "This is good smell. This is bad smell." Go to him for a compromise or amicable settlement.

Jiva (to the mind): Mr. Mind! Fie on you, scoundrel. Why have you brought me to a state of slavery, and abject fallen state? I had been to the five Indriyas this morning. They all complain against you only. They have washed off their hands quite clean. What do you say now? I will take the matter even to the Privy Council if you don't come to a definite settlement. I am fed up with you. I don't like to have your company any longer. You belong to the dregs of society, the cut-throats of the dark realms. I don't want to have any connection with you. Get thee gone, you vile, miserable wretch!

Mind (to Jiva): Why have you become so ungrateful now, my friend, Jiva? I had been your friend from eternity (Anadi Kala-beginningless time). It is I who made you Vishishtha Chaitanya (associated intelligence with the Antahkarana). I am the commander of the five soldiers-five Jnana Indriyas. I have brought to you joy through Shabda, Sparsha, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha. You enjoyed yourself through me only in various 'sights-seeing', talkies, restaurants, orchestras, etc. I had been very faithful to you. I had been in intimate association with you like the shadow of the body, because it is in me--the mind-mirror, you are reflected as Chidabhasa (reflection of intelligence). But for me you would have never existed up to this time. Don't insult me. Be courteous. You must behave well in future. I excuse you this time. No doubt I received the sensations from the five Indriyas. I showed to you the picturesque sceneries and objects of this world to you through Sankalpa-Vikalpa, just as a painter traces here and there a picture. I have got my own Master, the Buddhi, the Prime Minister to Atman. I gave a tracing of the pictures in the canvas. It is Buddhi who identified with objects, who gave thick colouring, painting and finishing touches in company with Egoism. It is he who said “This is very nice. I like it very much. I must have it at any cost." He is responsible for your downfall. Please refer to him.

Mr. Jiva (to Buddhi): Mr. Buddhi! What do you say now?

Buddhi: Oh Jiva! Just hear my statements with patience. I am in the close vicinity of Kutastha, my Supreme Father. I am luminous. I am only like a piece of iron before the Magnet-Kutastha. I am very subtle. I have borrowed my intelligence, light and power from my creator Kutastha who is also styled as 'Sakshin' or 'Pratyag Atman' (Inner Self). I have no independent existence of my own. Let us all go to His Divine Majesty-Kutastha. He will make the final decision.

Before His Divine Majesty's Privy Council

(Enter: Indriyas, Mind, Buddhi-Complaints Filed)

Kutastha: Oh Jiva! I pity your miserable state. You have misused the Indriyas, the mind and the Buddhi. Thank them from the bottom of your heart for the services they have rendered you till now. You have gained knowledge and experience through them.

Now get Viveka, Vairagya, Shad Sampat, Mumukshutva. Hear the Srutis. Reflect and meditate on Brahman, who is identified with me. I am Sakshi. You are my own Self. Owing to Avidya you forgot your own real nature. Now regain your Divine Nature. Meditate on OM constantly. I will take you back to Me. Merge and dive deep into Me though Nididhyasana.

Jiva: Oh! Indriyas, five organs of knowledge! Thank you very much indeed. I have to express my keen sense of gratitude to you all for your untiring services. You are the five powers of Brahman. You are Jnana Saktis of God. I take leave of you. Now I am proceeding to merge myself in Brahman. Oh Mind' and Buddhi, my two constant companions of life! I am grateful to you. Accept my thanks. Goodbye to you both.

O Kutastha! My own Satchidananda Svarupa. All delusion and doubts, all miseries and tribulations, birth and death with its concomitant evils all have come to an end. I am in Pure Bliss now. I am Siva—'Sivoham'. "I am Brahman" "Aham Brahmasmi". How can I now describe the glory of Kaivalya? Hail! Hail to Kutastha! Hail! Hail to all Brahma Vidya Gurus! viz., Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Vasishtha, Sakti, Parasara, Vyasa, Suka, Goudapada, Govindapada, Sankaracharya, Hasthamalaka, Padmapada, Trotakacharya, Sureshvaracharya, Dattatreya, Dakshinamurthy, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujata and Lord Krishna! Glory to those who have realised the Atman! May their blessings be upon us all!

 

Scene 2

WAR AMONG THE FINGERS

Little Finger: My friends! The index, the middle fingers! I am the chief amongst the fingers. You may think that I am very small, but I am the most powerful and beautiful. Only the small chisel breaks mountains. If I stand up, if I rise my head, I can avert all calamities and dangers. You will have to respect me and pay tribute to me.

Ring Finger: My amiable companions! Little finger and thumb! I am the most fortunate finger. People adore me with the most valuable diamond rings. I am very dear to them. They look at me very often. I am the chief. You all will have to pay homage to me.

Middle Finger: I do not want to talk to you all now, my beloved neighbours. I have reserved my speech. I shall talk to you all in the end.

Index Finger: My friends, Mr. Little finger and others! Whenever people wish to point out something, they take recourse to my help. They point out with the index finger only. They do not want you at all. They love me immensely. They cannot write letters, etc., without me. They learnt the alphabets through me. I am the source of their knowledge. I am the chief among the fingers. Pay all tribute to me.

Thumb: My friends! Please stretch out all your fingers. I can oppose you all single-handed. I am very stout and very strong. Now close all the fingers. I am uppermost. You are all under me. People say "Mr. Rama is under the thumb of his wife." So I am very strong everywhere. Further, in the court the Registrar and other officers take my thumb impression and put the papers in iron-safe. Therefore pay tribute to me as I am the chief among you all.

Middle Finger: Now stretch all your fingers. You all can find out who is the chief. I am very tall and command you all. This is self-evident. Admit me as your chief and pay homage to me.

If you all do not accept my superiority, let us go to Brahma now. He will decide the matter. Anyhow this vital matter must be settled.

 

Part-2

LORD BRAHMA

Lord Brahma: What is the matter. O Fingers ?

Fingers: There was a dispute among us. "O Lord tell us which of us is the chief. You are our Creator. We will abide by your decision".

Lord Brahma: Do not fight in future. Understand the Cosmic Law. In this grand plan, in the economy of nature, every one has to play his own part well. You are all members of the body of the individual soul. Do not be deluded by the eye and the appearances. Each finger is as important as the other. Every one should discharge his function efficiently in harmony with others. Only ignorant people will fight. You will have to live amicably in this body house. Learn to be wise. You will enjoy peace. True friendship and true love lead to eternal bliss. Harmony is Supreme Peace. Work in harmony with one another. This will please me, the Indweller in this body and in all the fingers. Do your duties and rest in peace, now.

Do not be mean and petty-minded. Have a large heart. Superiority and inferiority, big and small are relative terms. They are mental creations. They are empty sounds in the air. Vani Vilas, mere Sabdha-jala, jugglery of words. Find out the one hidden, equal essence, in everything, in all the fingers. That is your real nature. That is Sat-Chit-Ananda, all-knowledge and eternal bliss. Have equal vision. Equal vision is Jnana.

All Fingers: Glory to the Lord. O Lord! We have understood now the secret of life. We will not fight in future. We will live harmoniously and carry out Thy commands and come to Thy lotus feet by discharging our duties well for Thy sake only.

Scene 3

WAR BETWEEN THE BELLY AND THE SENSES

Mind: What is this fun? Why should I work for this idle belly or stomach? He is simply sitting quiet without doing any work. I have to work hard to fill this idle stomach. I will not work in future.

Tongue: I am the thickest friend of this belly. He may live

me he cannot live even for a moment. I am doing the work of tasting his food and speaking for his sake. From today I shall stop taking food for him. He is certainly very idle.

Hands: We quite agree with the mind and tongue. This troublesome stomach is certainly very idle. We are tired of this lazy stomach. We will not work from today.

Legs: We too are much tired of carrying this big, idle stomach. We also will stop work from today.

Nose: I also work for this stomach. Through smell I select the good foodstuffs for this ungrateful stomach. He is voraciously devouring everything. He does not do any work.

Eye: I too am tired of this lazy stomach. He has become very luxurious and greedy. I look at good eatables and select nice dainties for him. I will not assist him in any way hereafter.

Anus: I am tired of excreting. I will not do any more work for this stomach. I evacuate the bowels at 4 a.m. Again the stomach takes dainty dishes and loads me with excreta. Again I have to work. On Bhandara days and during feasts he extracts tremendous work from me. I cannot bear this undue strain. He is simply sitting like the Lord of the Universe.

Generative Organ: I am also overworked. This stomach fills himself with various kinds of beverages and drinks. He drinks tea any number of times. He never looks to my comfort and convenience. He simply stuffs himself with various kinds of sweetmeats. I have to urinate several times. My work is horrible. I will stop my work from today.

(The mind does not take any interest in eating and drinking. The tongue does not taste any food. All the senses have stopped work).

Stomach: What a great fun! I do not get my food now at the right time. What is the matter now? I have now understood the trick played by the mind and the senses. They will soon learn bitter lessons through me. Let them do as they like.

(Some days passed. The stomach did not get any food or drink. The mind was not able to think properly. The ears could not hear properly. The eyes could not see properly. The hands and legs had no strength. They could not work. Then all the senses and the mind approached the belly with folded hands).

Senses: Brother stomach! Please excuse us. We have realised our folly. We cannot work without food, without your co-operation. Please take sufficient food hereafter. We all will co-operate with you, beautifully. We live through you only.

Stomach: Without me you cannot live. I digest the food internally through the gastric juice. I am not idle as you all imagine. I am ever busy. At least you take rest at night. But I am working even at night also. O Tongue! You are greedy. You have no self-restraint. You eat tiffins, chotahazris, dinner, supper. When you attend feasts you go beyond your control and stuff me with heavy stuffs. Before I finish digesting that which I have taken, you again overload me. Really I want very little food. If I receive a small quantity of food, I can keep this body quite healthy. Be moderate in eating and drinking in future. Give up gluttony. Then this body will be healthy and strong.

Let us all help the Jiva or the individual Soul to attain salvation. This body is an instrument for attaining God-realisation. Let us all work to please our Lord, the Inner Ruler or Antaryamin. Let us all work harmoniously.

All: Let us praise the Lord. Krishna Bhagavan ki jai!

Scene 4

THE INNER WAR

Kumbha Mela-Allahabad

The Dispute Between the Senses-

All the Senses Assemble Here

Speech: My beloved friends, Mr. Ear, Mr. Eye, I have to speak to you in right earnest on a subject of vital importance. You will have to admit my superiority over you all. Before me you are nothing. The orator, the Yogi, the Pundit, the advocate or barrister, and the professor thrill an audience through my power, the power of speech. In the Assembly, in the Privy Council, in the All world Religious Conference, I take the most leading part. I am the chief. You will have to pay tribute to me.

Ear: You are entirely wrong Mr. Speech, my dear Vak Indriya. The orator may deliver a thrilling speech. Suppose all your hearers are deprived of the organ of hearing. No one will be able to hear the speech. You are nowhere. You are nothing before me. I am the chief. I bring fortune and prosperity to everybody. The Yogi, the Sannyasin, the professor, the barrister, the doctor, the engineer, hear the 'Vedas and other books through me. Then they attain knowledge. You will have to accept my superiority over you all. Certainly you will have to pay tribute to me.

Eye: My comrades Mr. Speech, Mr. Ear. I am the chief sense in the body. People enjoy the beauty of form through me only. Without me you are all nowhere; you are nothing. How can one read the Vedas and other books without me. Through me only people attain knowledge and earn money. People will mock at a blind man. You will have to bow before me and pay homage to me.

Tongue: My dear friends Mr. Ear, Mr. Eye. You are all under a delusion. I am the chief sense. Suppose I stop eating. You are nowhere, you will be starved to death. You cannot hear, you can rot see, you cannot live. Do not brag too much about your superiority or importance. Admit my superiority and pay homage to me.

Generative Organ: What a fun you are making? Nonsense! Do not be silly. I am the most important organ. Had it not been for me you would not have come into this world. You would not be talking to me like this. You are all ungrateful. I am the first generator of you all. Later on you began to see, hear and taste. I am your source. Remember this. Kabardar. Do not talk much. Bow your heads to me and accept my Asirvad and blessings. If you do not accept my superiority, let us go to Lord Brahma now. He will settle this matter. I am very keen on this vital point.

Scene 5

THE INNER WAR

The Durbar of Lord Brahma

The organs of Knowledge or Jnana Indriyas quarreled about their respective superiority. Each proclaimed, "I am the chief. I am the chief".

All the organs went to Lord Brahma and enquired "O Lord, which of us is the chief (Visishta)?

Lord Brahma said: "Of you, he, whose departure makes the body to appear as worthless, is the chief."

The organ of speech departed from the body. It returned after a year's absence and said to the organs: "How did you survive my separation? How did you manage to live without me?"

They replied: "We lived just as dumb people do, without speaking through the organ of speech, but living through the Prana or vital force, seeing through the ear, knowing through the mind". The organ of speech entered the body and resumed its place.no

Then the eye departed from the body. It returned after a year's absence and enquired of the other organs: "How did you survive my separation? How did you manage to live without me?" They replied: "We lived just as blind people do, without seeing through the eye, but living through the vital force, speaking through the organ of speech, hearing through the ear, knowing through the mind and having children through the organ of generation". The eye entered the body and resumed its place.

Then the ear went out. After staying a whole year out, it came back and said: "How did you manage to live without me? How did you all survive my separation?" They replied: "We lived just as deaf people do, without hearing through the ear, but living through the vital force, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, knowing through the mind". The ear entered the body and resumed its place,

The organ of generation went out. After staying a whole year out, it came back and said: "How did you survive my separation? How did you manage to live without me?" They replied: "We lived just as eunuchs do, without having children through the organ of generation, but living through the vital force, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, hearing through the ear and knowing through the mind". The organ of generation entered the body and resumed its place.

Then the mind went out. It returned after a year's absence and enquired of the other organs: "How did you survive my separation? How did you manage to live without me?" They replied: "We lived just as infants do without possessing the power of reflection, but living through the vital force, speaking through the organ of speech, seeing through the eye, hearing through the ear". The mind entered the body and resumed its place.

Then the vital force or Prana was about to depart from the body. It uprooted or dislodged all the organs just as a great horse, when it is whipped, pulls out the pegs to which its feet are tied. The organs said: "O Vital Force! O Lord! Please do not go out. We cannot live without you. Remain in your place. Thou art the eldest and greatest of us all (Jeshta-Sreshta)."

Then the vital force said: “Then give me tribute".

The organs said: "All right. Lord"

The organ of speech said: “That attribute of the Visishta which belongs to me is yours. It is due to you only”.

The eye said: "The quality of steadiness which belongs to me is yours. It is due to you only".

The ear said: "The attribute of prosperity which I have is yours. It is due to you only".

The organ of generation said: “The attribute of generation which I have is yours. It is due to you only".

The mind said: “The quality of containing all which belongs to me is yours. It is due to you only".

Verily, neither speech, nor vision, nor hearing, nor mind is worth its name. These functions all belong to Prana or the vital force. From Prana all senses proceed. Hence Prana is the eldest and the greatest (Jyeshta-Sreshta).

 

THE LIP VEDANTIN

Synopsis

Scene 1. Moorkhananda styles himself as a Vedantin without adequate studies or Sadhana. In his conversation with the real Vedantin, Vicharananda, he refuses to profit by arguments and ultimately walks out arrogantly proclaiming himself to be a practical Vedantin of the old school.

Scene 2. He practises his Vedanta upon the credulous merchant Deenadayal, and takes the opportunity of stealing from his shop Rs. 5,000/- in cash and Rs. 10,000/- worth of jewellery.

Scene 3. The unsuspecting Deenadayal introduces Moorkhananda to his God-fearing wife and the pious couple, giving the false Swami a good feast. Moorkhananda returns the favour by walking away with a new shawl and a pair of new shoes. The abil

Scecne 4. When the shopkeeper becomes convinced that Moorkhananda was a cheat, he gives information to the police and Sukshmaram, the detective, catches hold of the lip-Vedantin.

Scene 5. The pseudo-Vedantic defence set up by Moorkhananda is met in a very practical way by the judge who orders a latti-charge as punishment preliminary to sending him to prison.

Scene 6. After release, he goes to Vicharananda and falls at his feet. In spite of all the sins he had committed, he also gets, in due time, right knowledge.

Sri Swami Vicharananda a reputed Sannyasin of Uttarakasi once visits Prayag during winter to pass a few days in the sacred Tirtha. He takes his abode on the bank of the river Ganga in a secluded spot. One day he is studying Brahma Sutras. Time is 4 O'clock in the evening. Moorkhananda a perverted student of philosophy hears about Vicharananda and wants to see him merely to satisfy his curiosity and to spend some time in gossip and merriment with him.

Moorkhananda enters the compound of Vicharananda. Vicharananda hears the sound created by the footsteps of a visitor and looks through his window and notices Moorkhananda coming. Vicharananda at once rises to receive the guest coming to his abode, pays obeisance to the new comer and offers him a seat of honour.

Om Om Om Om Om Vichar,

Om Om Om Om Om Bhajo Omkar.

Vicharananda: Om Namo Narayanaya! Moorkhanandaji! How is your health? I hope you are having a nice time. How is your Sadhana?

Soham Sivoham Sivoham Soham

Sat Chit Ananda Svarupoham.

Moorkhananda: (In this usual way utters Sivoham Sivoham three times to show to Vicharananda that he is much advanced in his Sadhana and realisation and says:) I am alright. I am bliss absolute and knowledge absolute. I see the whole world as my own form. I have studied Vedantic texts. I have understood the significance of Vedanta and the Mahavakyas such as 'Tat Tvam Asi', 'Aham Brahmasmi', etc., in a very short time. My intellect is very keen and sharp. It is one-pointed.

Vicharananda: It is very creditable indeed, Moorkhanandaji. You have achieved a great thing. It takes six years to study Laghu and Siddhanta Kaumudi, six years to study Yoga Darshan and Sankya Darshan and twelve years to study Vedanta and grasp the supreme truths of this sublime philosophy. May I know how long it took for you to master this sublime philosophy?

Moorkhananda: I have learnt everything within six months. I should say that you have a poor idea of the subject. If it has taken twenty-five years for you or any other Sannyasin to learn this subject it merely shows the dullness of the brain. I really pity you people who are not at all fit students of philosophy.

Vicharananda: How is it possible? Do not brag too much of your learning and achievements. Rishis of yore have lived with their teachers for years together, served with sincerity and faith and acquired this most difficult knowledge of Brahman. You say that you have learnt and understood everything in six months. I really wonder what you have known.

Moorkhananda: My dear Swamiji! Just listen to me for a while. I shall tell you briefly what I have done. I purchased Panchadasi and Vicharasagar, after listening to a learned discourse on Vedanta by a great Mahatma in Benares. My interest was kindled by attractive discourse of that Mahatma. I heard that I would become king of kings and that the wealth of the whole world and all Aiswarya would be mine, if I lived in the spirit of Vedanta. I was convinced of the efficacy of Vedanta and its sublime philosophy. I decided to master the subject. I also purchased the twelve Upanishads which contain the essence of the Vedanta philosophy. I went through these books once. I understood that there was only One Supreme Self or Para Brahman hidden in all beings.

Vicharananda: Is that all the Sadhana you have practised?

Moorkhananda: I shall tell you something more which gives in a nutshell the essence of the whole teaching of Vedanta. It is briefly this, "I am Brahman. All is one. All is Brahman. Everything is mine. All bodies are mine. The whole world is my body. Whatever I see is my own Self and hence, mine. The whole world is my own home."

Vicharananda: Is that all? Did you not acquire the four means or Sadhana Chatushtaya which are quite essential for Self-realisation?

Moorkhananda: My dear Vicharananda! You have very crude ideas. You belong to the old school. You are very orthodox. You attach too much importance to silly minor details of Sadhana. It matters little if one acquires Sadhana Chatushtaya or not. It is meant for third class type of aspirants. Don't you know that I belong to the first class type of aspirants of the present day? I have mentioned in the very beginning that I possess a keen and subtle intellect. I have no necessity of practising hard disciplines and penances. I am a Paramahamsa. I am not in favour of round about methods of approach to the philosophy. The method must be direct and short. It must be simple and easy to practise. Of what use is penance, Tapascharya, torture of the body to one who has rightly understood philosophy?

Vicharananda: Study of scriptures is one thing. Self-realisation is another thing. One may be learned. He may have high intellectual understanding of the Reality. But he may be unable to control his passion. He may not be able to curb his anger, passion and desire for secret enjoyment and fulfilment of sensual desires. Therefore, the aspirant should be very careful. I warn you now brother Moorkhananda.

Moorkhananda: I want to enjoy the fruits of realisation of the Self as quickly as possible. I do not want to wait for years together in the practice of meaningless Sadhana, Tapascharya, muttering of prayers, doing service, etc., which are intended for dull people. I always tread the royal road and a short cut.

Vicharananda: If you have not developed the four means such as Viveka (discrimination between real and the unreal). Vairagya (dispassion for worldly enjoyments), Shat Sampat (six virtues) such as Sama, Dama, Uparathi, Titiksha, Sraddha and, Samadhana and Mumukshutva (desire for liberation) you cannot dream of attaining Self-realisation Sakshatkara. You must purify your mind by selfless service to your preceptor

Moorkhananda: I know all the tricks of old orthodox Vedantins. They want to extract service from young aspirants in their old age. They are helpless. They cannot get on without the assistance of someone. So they eulogise and glorify Niskamya Karma Yoga, service of Guru, etc. It is mere Gurudom. I have understood with the help of my keen and sharp intellect the truth behind this old orthodox method of teaching and learning.

Vicharananda: I pity you dear Moorkhananda. Wonderful is your philosophy. Wonderful is your brain. Still more wonderful is your intellect. I must adore the Lord who gave you such a perverted intellect, Marvellous is the power of Maya which deludes aspirants? (Vicharananda places his hands on his head, closes his eyes and remains quiet for some time in utter disappointment.)

Moorkhananda: I want you to understand me correctly. If you hold the view that acquiring Sadhana Chatushtaya is very necessary, then I say I have acquired it in my previous births. I do not wish to acquire them now.

Vicharananda: Then have you practised Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana? Have you heard the scriptures and reflected their meaning in silence?

Moorkhananda: This is also quite unnecessary for me who am a first-class aspirant. I am an Uttama Adhikari. Have Sri Sankara and Dattatreya undergone all these Sadhanas? I am also a Swayam Siddha, a born Yogi and a saint. The idea that "I am foolish, ignorant and sinful" is the thought of weaklings and ignorant persons. They are pessimistic and lead a miserable life. They lower their own position by the so-called humility and modesty. Think you are Atman, Atman you become. Think you are man, man you become. Think you are ignorant, ignorant you become. If you do Sadhana for purification, there is no end for such service and Sadhana. You do good and bad acts when you engage yourself in work. You can never be doing good Karmas alone. You will be tempted to the wrong path of temptation. Karma is always attended by evil. Renounce Karma. This is what Sruti says. See what scriptures say.

(At this stage Swami Bhaskarananda of Viswakutir enters the cottage of Swami Vicharananda and bends before both in reverence. Vicharananda greets him with his usual smile and Om Namo Narayanaya. Moorkhananda merely repeats Sivoham and looks sternly at the face of the new comer.)

Moorkhananda: (to Bhaskarananda): Rev. Swami, look at the folly of old orthodox Sadhus. They preach 'crude philosophy. They want aspirants to work like bulls in the so-called preceptor's house. They are very cunning. They have no idea of practical Vedanta. I want only practical Vedanta. Take the essence from the scriptures and throw the external husk. Japa, meditation, Sankirtan, service, Sadhana Chatushtaya, Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana-all these are more external unimportant minor things about which these people make much fuss. What do you say, dear Swamiji? Am I correct?

Bhaskarananda: Moorkhananda! With all my regard and respect for your learning I must differ from you. You are not fair in your arguments. You seem to be very hasty in your judgement. I cannot tolerate your behaviour towards the elders and the scriptures. Tell me whether you have a Guru. Were you initiated?

Moorkhananda: I do not believe in this so-called initiation and whispering in the ears. It is all foolish and silly. Who is Guru and who is disciple? "Na gurur na sishyah chidananda! rupah sivoham sivoham, - no Guru, no disciple, I am Siva, I am Siva." There is no necessity for a Guru at all. One's own Atman is the real Guru.

Vicharananda: You are really a Moorkhananda or a wicked man. There is no doubt in this. Mere study of Panchadasi and Vicharasagar has made you a Jnani. Wonderful it is. Sadhakas are struggling for years together with very little progress. Spiritual path is a razor path. It is not mere idle talk to realise Brahman. Brahma Vidya is the science of sciences. It has to be learnt from a Guru who is Brahmanishta and Srotriya. Even to be a successful doctor or an engineer you have to struggle for years together. Then what about the Supreme science, Brahma Vidya the science of all sciences.

Moorkhananda: (Gets up from his seat wild with anger and leaves the place in utter disgust.) O God! I must curse my stars. It is mere foolishness that I have come here today. Enough of these old orthodox methods and systems of philosophy. I want to see that the modern men are not tainted by these crazy old ideas lest they also should become pessimists and become useless in life. They will spend the whole life time in what is called Sadhana, Chittasuddhi and Guru Seva. O Lord! Save me from the clutches of these men. I should never see these people hereafter.

Vicharananda greets Bhaskarananda. Bhaskarananda enquires about the details of their conversation. They both converse for some time. Then they depart wishing each other in the usual way "Om Namo Narayanaya" and Dandavat Pranams.

Scene 2

The Duping of Deendayal in the Shop

Moorkhananda dresses himself nicely in orange coloured robes, puts on a new pair of shoes. He puts on his spectacles, takes a walking stick and goes for an evening stroll to the city.

Before leaving his Kutir he takes his mirror looks at his own face and rejoices at his long beard, glittering eyes, long sharp nose and decent dress.

Moorkhananda passes through the main streets and enters the city. He feels hungry and enters the restaurant of Lala Deenadayal. Lala Deenadayal is a humble devotee of the Lord with good spiritual Samskaras and faith in Mahatmas and Saints.

Sivoham Soham Sivoham Soham

Sivoham Soham Sivoham

Lala Deenadayal: My prostrations unto thee! Maharaj! May you be pleased to purify my place. I am blessed by your Darshan. Here is water for washing the feet. Please take your seat. How shall I serve you? Will you take some sweets?

Moorkhananda: Child, be happy. May good befall you. May you prosper well. You are my own Atman. I and you are one. There is not the least difference. All indeed is Brahman. There is no such thing as diversity. What we see is all Mithya and false. Money is Mithya. It is Maya. It binds a man to Samsara. Have no attachment for any thing in this world.

Lala Deenadayal: I am thrice blessed today. Today is a red letter day for me. I am lucky to have your Darshan.

Lalaji brings a big plate of delicious dishes, fruits, milk breads, sweet rice, jilebi and all things which are available in his shop. He serves the Swamiji with the best of his things. Moorkhanandaji does full justice to the plate and filled his stomach to the brim repeating Sivoham Sivoham. After meals Lalaji takes him to his private room and rest the Swamiji there in a easy chair. At once he gets a call from a customer and leaves the Swamiji at rest and attends to his business.

Moorkhananda finds the cash chest open. He pockets plenty of money and jewels of Lalaji and rests for a while. He repeats loudly Sivoham Sivoham at intervals. Lalaji after disposing off the customer is once again ready at the service of the Mahatma.

Moorkhananda: It is very kind of you to have treated me nicely. It is getting late. I must hurry up now. It is Sandhya. The time for my meditation is fast approaching. I must leave you now.

Lalaji follows Moorkhananda to a distance leaving instructions with his son to lock the shop and go home. Lalaji's son Dharmadass closes the shop and follows his father with the Swamiji. The Swamiji goes to his own Kutir and Lalaji to his own.

Scene 3

The Entertainment by the Credulous Couple

Lala Deenadayal and Dharmadass enter the house. Lakshmi the wife of Lala is engaged in domestic duties hears the call at the gate and receives the husband and the son in great joy. Lakshmi a true and ideal housewife is the queen of the house. Both the Lala and Lakshmi sit for prayers being Sandhya.

Govinda Jeya Gopala Jeya Jeya

Radharamana Hari Govinda Jeya Jeya

After the usual Puja Lala Deenadayal calls his wife to his side and says:

Lalaji: Lakshmi Devi! I am very happy today. Our family is blessed today. We have been really blessed. I cannot describe my joy in words.

Lakshmi: O Lord! be pleased to tell me the cause of your joy. Let me also share your happiness.

Lalaji: Today a great Sannyasin visited our shop and I had the good fortune to serve him wholeheartedly.

Lakshmi: Is it so? God is really gracious unto us poor beings. It is the blessing of our Murali Manohar. Will he come to our house for Bhiksha tomorrow?

Lalaji: Yes, I have invited for tomorrow's midday meal. The Swamiji has kindly consented to be at our humble abode tomorrow before noon. Therefore, prepare the best meals and we shall have the good luck to serve him once again. Therefore let us retire early today to bed and get up early morning, take our bath and after our daily ablutions shall we with earnestness prepare the dishes and serve the Mahatma.

The day dawns. All preparations are ready. Moorkhananda arrives. Lalaji hurries up to greet the Mahatma. He runs and falls at his feet.

Lalaji: Revered Swamiji! Be pleased to take your seat.

Lalaji washes his feet and Lakshmi fans him and the Mahatma is placed on a comfortable seat.

Anandoham Anadoham Anandam Brahmanandam Sacharachara Paripurna Sivoham

Sahajananda Swarupa Sivoham Vyapaka Chetana Atma Sivoham

Vyaktavyakta Swarupa Sivoham Anandoham Anandoham Anandam Brahmanandam.

Moorkhananda: It gives me the greatest joy to see you both-devoted couple. May God bless you with long life and prosperity. Vedanta is the sole refuge for one who is tossed about hither and thither in this earthly existence (Samsara). It gives hope to the hopeless. It strengthens the weak. It energises the sick. It elevates the depressed. It is the highest philosophy ever known. All indeed is Brahman. There is no such thing as diversity. The practitioner of Vedanta rises to a high degree of perfection. He knows no sorrow. He is honoured and respected everywhere. A Janani is a living God on earth. Within six months I have attained this laudable state. I am a Jivanmukta now. I have known my own inner Self. 1 have become a master of everything. The whole world is mine. I have learnt in six months what others have learnt in 50 years. How fortunate I am! I now see that the whole world belongs to me. I see through all eyes. I hear through all ears. I walk with all feet. I see the whole world within me. There is nothing outside me. Lalaji, I tell you it is a wonderful experience. You are my own Self. This home is mine. Your shop is mine. Nay, everything is mine. You are mine. I am all in all and I am all full Paripurna. Sivoham Sivoham.

Lalaji and Lakshmi hear with rapt attention the sermon of the Mahatma, prostrate before him, and invite him for Bhiksha. A big plate of delicious preparations is placed before him and the Swamiji eats to his heart's content. Lalaji and Lakshmi also have their meals and they rest for a while during the hot hours of the day. The Mahatma takes leave of the Sethji.

Lalaji enters his private room and other members of the house engage themselves in their respective works.

Moorkhananda watches a new pair of shoes lying outside and a very good shawl worth Rs. 200/-. He sees that Lalaji has gone inside and noticing none in the surroundings quietly puts on the new pair of shoes and the shawl and walk off.

Lalaji comes out after one hour. The time is 4 O'clock. He says "Lakshmi! Bring my new shoes. Let me now go to the shop. It is very late today. I do not know what Dharmadas is doing. He is a young boy. He may leave the shop open. He may play with his friends. I must hurry up. It is too late. The whole day's business is lost."

Lakshmi: (After a thorough search comes out) My Lord! The shoes are missing. I do not find them where you kept them.

Lalaji: What do you mean! I have just now placed it in the compound near the wall. It was there all the while. Let me see. (Lalaji hurries to the spot and to his utter disappointment finds the shoes missing.) All right. I cannot waste any more time.

Give me another pair from inside. Let me go. We will make enquiries about the shoes later on.

In the evening Lalaji counts his cash as usual and finds that Rs. 5000/- and valuable jewels worth 10,000/- which were under his cash chest, missing.

Lalaji falls down faint. He wails, "My Lord! Who has robbed me of this huge amount? I do not know what to do. My head reels. There is no life in me. I am going mad. Dharmadas! Come, hold me. I am unable to stand."

Dharmadasji rushes to his father. Console him and gives him cold water to drink. After one hour he comes back to senses.

Lala Deenadayal: It is my great misfortune. O Dharmadas! You are a child. During my few hours of absence from the shop I see that I have lost everything. You are a careless chap. What am I to do?

Dharmadas: (Trembling) Father! I assure you that I have not left the shop during your absence. I was all along watching. When I came in the morning the locks were also in tact. I am sure I am not at fault. I have suspicion only on that Mahatma who was here yesterday.

Lala Deenadayal: Don't speak a word. Suspecting the Mahatma! Horrible. You will fall into a great hell. We will be destroyed, root and branch. All our family will come to ruination if we even entertain such thoughts. Be not childish.

Dharmadas: You are very simple and pious. You do not know what is happening in this world You are straightforward and to you everything is true. You believe everything. To you all that is white is milk. You are a devotee. I still hold that no one except that Mahatma has done this mischief.

The sun sets. Lalaji and Dharmadas go back home with a heavy heart. Lalaji informs his wife of the matter.

Lakshmi: My Lord! Today the shawl which was hung outside to be dried up is missing. Though it is not fair to entertain bad thoughts about a Mahatma I find no other person guilty of this theft.

Lala Deenadayal: Are we cheated then? Do you suspect our Mahatma? Dharmadas also assures me that the theft in the shop is also attributed to him. Now I am also having my own doubts about him because no one else visited our shop's inner room yesterday. Anyhow let me inform the police.

A police case is filed. Constables take all clues about the identification and vigorous search is going on.

Scene 4

It is early morning. Moorkhananda does not get a wink of sleep. The whole night he is rolling on bed. His heart is pinching him. He is restless all the night. He becomes very desperate. He fears that he may be caught some day. Anyhow he musters courage, determines to face the trial boldly taking refuge in his favourite Vedanta.

Moorkhananda puts on pure white dress. He wears a pant, a fresh nice shirt of 1703 Mull Mull (Glasgow make), puts on a nice coat and a nice Punjabi turban. He names himself Seth Ramnath. He drives to the zoological gardens in a special hired car. He is watching the various animals in the zoo.

The intelligence branch of the Police department gets the clue about our Moorkhananda. He has a bold black scar near his left ear. He has a hunchback and a peculiarly reddish face. The identification marks indicated in the complaint of Lala Deenadayalji are verified and found to exist in Seth Ramanath who is gazing upon the various animals of the zoo.

Sukshmaram, the C.I.D. officer, spots the right person. He proceeds to the place where Seth Ramnath is. From a distance of 50 yards Suksmaram shouts:

"O Mr. Moorkhananda! Let us now proceed to the station. The car is awaiting,"

Moorkhananda: (Trembling from head to foot looks all around and sees a smart young man coming towards him.) At first he gives no answer and simple walks away. Again the call is repeated and Sukshmaram has already placed his hands on his shoulder.

Sukshmaram: Are you Moorkhananda? Do you know anything about Lala Deenadayalji?

Moorkhananda is about to swoon. He is taken in the car and is produced before the judge. Moorkhananda determines to stick to his own philosophy. He thinks that his Vedanta will help him to get over the difficulty.

Scene 5

Judge's Court

Judge: Who are you? Where do you live?

Moorkhananda: I am a practical Vedantin. I live in Muktinath. I came here to spend some time enjoying the blissful vibrations of the sacred Tirtha.

Judge: Did you steal Rs. 5000/-, ornaments worth Rs. 10,000/-, a new pair of shoes and a shawl from Lala Deenadayal's?

Moorkhananda: The question of stealing never arises here. Everything is mine. The wealth of the whole world is mine. I am a Vedantin. I have applied Vedanta in my daily life. You cannot charge me for taking my own money. Lalaji and I are one.

Judge: Very nice. (Loud laughter) you have rightly understood Vedanta. You are really a practical Vedantin. How long did you practise this Vedanta?

Moorkhananda: I did not practise this for a long time. I did not practise any meditation or anything. I read some books

on Vedanta and come to know that everything is mine. I am the Lord of everything in this world. This gave me real life and solace when I was leading a miserable life. I have now attained an exalted state.

Judge: (Turning to his attendant Sevak Ram Sevak Ram, call the police. Let them charge this Vedanti with their Lathi.

Two well-dressed stout constables appear on the spot. They tie Moorkhananda to a tripod. They strip him of his clothes and severely dealt him with their Lathis. Blood began to ooze out from every part of his body. Moorkhananda yells out at the top of his voice.

Judge: O Practical Vedanti! Where is your Vedanta now? Has it deserted you? Everything is yours. Constables are also yours. The beating is Mithya. Then why do you weep? Did not Vedanta teach you that you are not the body?

Moorkhananda: This teaching of the Vedanta I have never come across. I am very sorry that I have not rightly comprehended the entire truths of Vedanta.

Judge: You are really lucky. You have not had that practical knowledge of the practical side of Vedanta which teaches "I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am Satchidananda." You only learnt that everything is yours. All money is yours.

Moorkhananda: I am really mistaken. I now realise my folly. I am all body only. I have not transcended the body. I am full of evil traits. I see my defects clearly. You are my Guru. You have taught me a good lesson and opened my eyes to the reality.

Judge: You will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year. After you come out of the jail, approach a Guru. Get initiation from him and know the real Tattva or Truth about Vedanta. Only then you can become a real Vedantin. You are only a lip-Vedantin now.

Scene 6

Real Illumination

[Moorkhananda had undergone one year's rigorous imprisonment, comes out of the jail. He finds out the whereabouts of Swami Vicharananda. He comes to know that he had left for Uttarakashi. Meets Vicharananda who is seated in Padmasana in the open space in front of his Kutir at 5 p.m., in the evening merged in the blissful Atman within]

Moorkhananda enters and prostrates before Swami Vicharananda.

Pahimam Pahimam Param Guro

Trahimam Trahimam Jagat Guro

Vicharananda: Om Namo Narayanaya! Are you all right? You look very much pulled down in health. What is the matter? Are you keeping good health? How is your Sadhana? We meet after one full year and 8 months. I think you came to me at Prayag.

Moorkhananda: Revered Swamiji! Pray accept my Pranams to you. Lead me to the right path. I am full of impurities. I have not even understood what is Vedanta. I am a fool.

Vicharananda: You are a practical Vedantin. Why do you say so? You are the King of kings.

(Moorkhananda narrates the whole story) Vicharananda: You are really lucky indeed! You have learnt the whole of Vedanta in six months. You are a first class type of aspirant in the spiritual path.

Moorkhananda: No Maharaj! I have now realised my folly. Initiate me now. I shall follow thee implicitly. I take refuge in thee.

Vicharananda: Do not be a lip-Vedantin hereafter. Live with me for some years. I will teach you practical and theoretical Vedanta. Be not afraid. There is hope for you also.

You can also become a Jivanmukta. You can become a real Vedantin. May you be blessed.

(Calls) Brahmananda! (Brahmananda enters)

Song: Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

Truth is Brahman, Truth is your own Self,

Realise this truth, be free, be free, be free, be free.

You must have a pure mind, if you want to realise.

Practise Karma Yoga; be pure, be pure, be pure, be pure. You cannot enjoy peace of mind and cannot practise meditation.

If you are passionate, kill this lust, kill this lust.

Be regular in your meditation and take Sattvic food.

You will have peace of mind, this is the Truth, this is the Truth.

When you meditate on Hari, keep His picture in front of you,

Look at it with a steady gaze, you will develop concentration.

If evil thoughts enter the mind, do not drive them forcibly Substitute divine thoughts, they will pass away, they will pass away.

Meditation leads to knowledge, meditation kills pain, Meditation brings peace, meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate.

Samadhi is union with God, this follows meditation

You will attain immortality, this is Moksha, this is Moksha.

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram....

Here is a Swamiji whom you should know. First, please tell him the story of how you came here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSEUDO VEDANTIN

Synopsis

Scene 1.

Brahmananda, proud of his superficial knowledge of Vedantic catchwords, believes that he is a Self-realised person. He has a beautiful Kutir and a vegetable garden in which are raised rare plants. He sings the Sivoham song. At the close of the singing, he sees Bhakti Ramdas whom he despises. He invites him to show his own superiority. The two talk but the Bhakta has his own opinion of the conceit of Brahmananda.

Scene 2. A crowd gathers to speak of Brahmananda's cruelty in having killed a cow that had entered into his garden. Bhagat Ramdas comes with Brahmananda arguing with him about the killing of the cow. Brahmananda attributes the killing to the Isthtadevata of his hand, i.e., Indra. Ramdas goes away and offer a prayer to Indra.

Scene 3. Indra comes as a merchant before Brahmananda and points out how mistaken Brahmananda has been

Scene I

Brahmananda and Bhagat Ramdas

A garden. At the gate, there are steps leading to the river flowing below. On a beautifully constructed seat at the top of the steps sits Swami Brahmananda in his beautiful orange robe. By his side are the staff and the Kamandalu. He keeps rolling his eyes about and occasionally repeats 'SIVOHAM. SIVOHAM'. Sings... Now he looks around. At the foot of the steps he sees his neighbour Bhakta Ramdas taking water in a mud pot for the Puja. He has a small basket of newly plucked flowers. Brahmananda calls out:

Brahmananda: Hallo! Ramdasji, come up here! (Ramdas looks up, hesitates and ultimately comes up with pot full of water in one hand and flowers in another). Are you in a hurry?

Ramdas: Not particularly, yet, it is the time for my Puja. I cannot resist the call of Brahma Jnanis and Sannyasins. Have you any orders to give?

Brahma. : Daily when I sit here for meditation, I see you below fetching water. Today I thought of giving you an idea of how a man with a well-controlled mind should spend his time, You are wasting too much time in external worship. Real worship is of the Atman within. And, worship is after all, nothing but meditation. Well, you are still in a lower stage of development. I shall not unsettle your views now. I know that very soon, knowledge will dawn upon you and one day you will also become like me. Now come, I shall show you my beautiful garden and the five Kutirs I have built. The garden is the abode of God in the form of Beauty. The Kutir is the abode of Santi-peace—which all are in search of. One short walk in the garden will make you see how God manifests Himself in all living things, including plants and flowers. You will learn by and by that when the flower itself is God, there is no need to worship an image with flowers; for, is it not foolish to throw God in the form of flowers upon God in the form of an image? Now follow me. (Walks).

Ramdas: (Accompanying him) Swamiji, you speak words of high wisdom. A man of my poor understanding cannot grasp all that you say. I am content that I am happy when I worship God in my own way.

Brahma.: See that plant. It is a rare type. It requires much care to grow it. I have studied all about botany and horticulture You see, a man who can grasp the Panchadasi and Vichar Sagar can master any subject in a few days. I don't waste time in meaningless routine. Even as I am walking in the garden, I realise that I am Brahman Brahmaivaham. Look at the flowers on the other plant! How beautiful they are and how fragrant! (Ramdas is on the point of plucking a flower). No! no! Don't touch it. You must see the flowers on the plant itself. There is no beauty in plucking them and using them for Archana. When the flower is taken away from the plant, you destroy beauty. That means you destroy God, because God is beauty. You scatter flowers everywhere in your Puja room. What sense of beauty can you have? Your God is an image-a lifeless thing and you waste good flowers by throwing them upon that lifeless thing. That is not my way. I see God in the plant. I contemplate upon the beauty of the all-pervading Brahman when I look at the flower. Even if my gardener whom, by the way, I pay very handsomely, plucks a flower, I get very angry with him. I cut down his wages and sometimes even beat him. Fools should not be argued with. They can understand only the argument of the stick. I can be free from Raga-dvesha; but I must pretend to be angry so that fools may improve. The gardener is sometimes foolish. When I beat him, I am really doing him a service, for he will improve thereby. Is it not my intention to see that in course of time he becomes as wise as myself?

Ramdas: This is all well-spoken. But a Brahma Jnani like you should not lose your temper and beat a poor servant.

Brahm.: That is where I differ from you all. Did not Siva get angry and burn Manmatha? Was it not for the benefit of Manmatha? Did not Vishnu get angry and assuming the form of Narasimha kill Hiranyakasipu? Am I not identical with Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and even higher than they in my Nirguna form? You are a simple Bhakta. It is not possible for you to reach my height and understand me. Now come into the Kutir and see my seat of meditation. (both go in.) How do you like this place?

Ramdas: It is really very fine. You must have engaged the services of a great engineer to fix up that dome in the centre.

Brahm.: (laughing scornfully) Engineer! O No! I am my own engineer. What do these engineers know! When I meditate upon myself as the Architect of the whole universe, I am the greatest of engineers. Building a Kutir is mere child's play for me. I get all my ideas from within (touches his bosom). In here is a wealth of wisdom in every branch of learning. If Brahma wants to see Sarasvathi, the Goddess of all Kalas, he will have to search for her within me. Now you see how a real Jnani who is not limited by narrow doctrines spends his time. I sit here (pointing to the marble seat of meditation) and meditate. In a flash, all the foolishness of others appears for me and in my large-heartedness, I pity them all. I realise my superiority and then I identify myself with Chidrupa. When I look out through these beautiful windows, all of which have geometrical designs, I see the garden. In one corner are the flowers, in another there are fruits and vegetables. My gardeners, who are all happy to work under me because I pay them well, have the duty of selling these in the market once a week. And, I may tell you, I get a very good price. That is because all the intelligence of a Brahma Jnani has been utilised for raising fruits and vegetables. (Ramdas smiles). I see you are smiling. You perhaps think that a Brahma Jnani should not sell fruits. If you do, you are wrong. My view is different. A real Brahma Jnani should identify himself with the entire universe. He must be one with the merchant, with the peasant, with the artisan and with the man of learning-When I sell my wares, I identify myself with the merchant's community as a whole. Then I take special care that I am not cheated in the form of low prices. I can beat the most cunning of bargainers. Am I not all-knowing? Even Siva was Taskaranam Pati, i.e., the king among thieves. I am like that, the king among bargainers.

Ramdas: Thank you very much Swamiji. I have seen your charming Kutir, your rich and handsome garden and also something about how your mind works. Now give me leave to go to my Puja. I shall come again another day.

Brahm.: Yes, yes. I am so full of mercy that I am ever ready to give the benefit of my Satsanga and spiritual advice to those who need them. You are welcome here always.

Brahm.: Goodbye then.

Scene 2

KILLING OF A COW

Road near Brahmananda's Kutir

A crowd has assembled. Some hot words are spoken.

1st man: Does this fellow call himself a Swamiji? Even the worst of sinners will not kill a cow.

2nd man: Killed a cow! Ram Ram (closes his ears). Who did it and why?

1st man: There is a cheat there (points to the Kutir) in orange robes. A cow strayed into his garden and ate up his cabbages and cauliflowers. He killed it at one stroke with a big stick

3rd man: For eating cabbages! Poor thing! Poor thing! I would have given it a whole marketful of cabbages. And then! Did not the owner of the cow come to seek for it?

1st man: Do you think that that fellow is a fool? He ordered his gardener to remove the cow from the garden and put it near that mount on the road. When the owner came, there was no cow in the garden. He found it there. Look, the people who gathered there are discussing the matter as to whether the carcase is to be buried or sold to a cobbler.

2nd man: But what about the Swami? Is no action to be taken against him?

1st man: He is a powerful fellow. Moreover, he can argue

well. If a case is filed against him, he will come out successful by his intelligent arguments.

3rd man: Yet, we cannot leave it like that. He is a disgrace to Hindu society-cow killer! Shame! And that-a Sannyasin!

Ist man: Our good friend Bhakta Ramdas has gone to speak to him. He knows him and his words may be effective-Ah! There they both come. We shall move to those trees and hide ourselves. Let us hear what they talk. After all talk is over, if necessary, we can come to him and tackle him.

All: yes, yes. (All hide themselves behind trees).

Enter Ramdas and Brahmananda.

Ramdas: No one will excuse you for this act. The killing of a cow is the worst sin a Hindu can commit.

Brahm.: (Coolly) You are a man of emotion merely. You rarely exercise your intellect. You have read the Gita. Who kills and who is slain? This is all illusion. The Jiva in the cow is incapable of death. The body of the cow cannot have life eternally. It now chanced that the body passed away quicker than if it died a natural death. I would say that it has been liberated. Henceforth it need not be born as a cow at all. It can come into existence as a man-perhaps even as a man of Bhakti like you or of Jnani like myself.

Ramdas: Fie upon your false Vedanta. You kill a cow and seek refuge in the Gita. You are not daily reciting the Sloka "Adveshta Sarva Bhutanam"? Can you be unkind to any living creature? Lord Krishna had intense affection for cows. You have murdered the cow and you will go to hell.

Brahm.: O, Bhakta Ramdasji, you are entirely mistaken. I am always the Sakshi or silent witness of the activities of the mind and senses. I do not do any action. The senses move among sense objects. It is only Indra, the presiding deity of my hand that killed the cow. I am perfectly actionless, Akarta, Nishkriya. I am the actionless soul or Atman or Brahman. No action can touch me. I am Nirlipta, Asanga (unattached always). You are a small devotee only. You cannot understand such a deep philosophy. You can do only a little Kirtan and a little Japa of Ram Nam. You have no knowledge of Vedanta. The philosophy of Vedanta is sublime and unique. Please give up your Kirtan and Japa and of Ram Nam. Only then will you uderstand me and my high philosophy. I am in a hurry-I am sorry I cannot waste more time with you. (Exit).

Ramdas: There goes the greatest humbug I have ever seen. He has belittled my Bhakti. I shall teach him. I can pray and make Indra hear me.

Sings in praise of God. "O Lord Indra! Swami Brahmananda is telling me that it was you that killed the cow, and that he was at that time well-established in his own Svarupa or Atman. You must come to the earth and teach him a lesson".

(Voice above: "I shall”).

Enter the men who have been hiding.

1st man: Namaste Ramdasji. That rogue has given you the slip. He wanted to tackle him after your talk was over. But we see we are too late. We have also heard your prayer. God is true to his devotees.

Ramdas: Good men, it is not possible to get rid of all pseudo-Vedantins. This man never does any meditation. He is always criticising the Kirtanists. He is speaking ill of Ram Nam. Bhakti and selfless service are nothing for him. He puts on a good deep-coloured orange robe and walks in the streets with his Kamandalu and stick. He repeats "Sivoham", "Sivoham" whenever he sees rich householders only to collect money from them. I am sure God will punish him.

2nd man: I hope God does teach him a lesson.

Ramdas: Have no fear. Indra has heard my prayer. He will do the needful. Do not bother. He knows all about this man, his Vrittis and attributes. Namaste. It is time to go to the temple.

All: We are also going there.

Ramdas: Then come! We shall go along singing the name of God.

Scene 3

INDRA, AS MERCHANT

Brahmananda's garden

(Curtain reveals Brahmananda seated in one of his fine garden seats. Enter a merchant.)

Merchant: Namaste Swamiji. Are you the famous Brahmananda Swamiji, the world-renowned Purna Brahma Jnani, the owner of a fine garden and Kutir? If you are, accept my salutations. If you are not, please send word to that great Mahatma who may be inside, perhaps in Samadhi. I am a humble merchant.

Brahm.: I am the same, merchant Maharaj. My Samadhi was over fifteen minutes ago. I then came out to see the all-pervading Atman in the form of Beauty in this garden.

Merchant: (Looks here and there in delight.) There you are right, Swamiji. This is indeed the abode of beauty. Where did you happen to get those fine flowering plants from?

Brahm.: I see that you have eyes. That particular group came down from a valley in Kashmir. It had to be carefully nurtured. Now these plants please the eye. But before they grew up, they gave me considerable anxiety. Because I happen to be a master of the science of horticulture, I could perform the miracle of keeping them alive here.

Merchant: Sure, sure! You must indeed be a great expert in the art of growing flowers. I shall purchase from you some rare flowers and also fruits and vegetables. After all, I came here for business. I hope you are not a hard bargainer.

Brahm.: I do not bargain at all. I merely fix a price. If it is not paid, I do not sell at all. Only those who can afford to pay high prices will come to me.

Merchant: That is rather disappointing. After all you are a Sannyasin. Why do you want high prices?

Brahm.: It is because I am a Sannyasin. I want to be paid well. The money I get is money paid by Para Brahman. Why does Para Brahman want money? You may as well ask, "Why does the sun want all the water vapour from the rivers, seas and even small ponds?" You know the answer "The water is for equal distribution for all in the form of rain". I want money for the use of the world. I identify myself with the entire universe. When I eat, it is the universe that eats. When! drink, it is the universe that drinks. And because of the great love I have for the universe, I want to give it (through me, of course) the best of things to eat, to drink, to clothe itself and to provide for its daily wants. I can't bear to see the universe suffer from want, from poverty. It must be as rich as a king,

Merchant: Good, good! Though the less thoughtful will think you selfish, the more thoughtful will acquit you of that charge if they see that you always think of your little self as the larger Self of the universe. You are really a wonderful man. Even this Kutir, 1 hear, was planned by yourself without the aid of engineers.

Brahm.: True, I don't consult engineers. The fact is that my brain happens to be greater than that of ordinary scientists. I cannot therefore subject myself to the advice they call it professional advice that others give.

Merchant: Quite right. The man of wisdom must be independent. There is only one thing which I heard against you. Some people in the village here say that you once killed a cow.

Brahm.: You know how foolish villagers are. Am I a Sakshi-a Witness capable of doing anything good or bad! I am actionless. Indra, the presiding deity of my hand killed the cow. Yet, the villagers judge by appearance and throw the blame upon me. Am I the hand? If the hand is chopped off do I die? Yet the ignorant people here think that I am the hand and say I killed the cow. They do not have higher vision to see Indra who came that day and killed the cow.

Merchant: (sternly) O! you foolish man! I am Indra. You are a deluded Sannyasin. You are a lip-Vedantin without any practice or Samadhi. You are merely prattling something after reading something. You are deceiving yourself and the public. When I praised your work, you said "I built the Kutir, I developed the garden, I know designing". When I ask you about the killing of a cow, you talk about Nishkarmya and Adhyatma philosophy, you transfer the guilt to Indra. What is this sort of philosophy? Is this Vedanta? You are a hypocrite, a man of bad conduct-Mithyachara.

A real Jivanmukta is above pleasure and pain, praise and censure. His mind is dead to the world. He will not feel heat and cold as his mind is not connected with the organ of touch. If you say that the Indriyas do all actions and that you are actionless, you should not actually feel heat and cold. You should not be affected by praise or censure, respect or disrespect. This is the test. If you fail in this you are not a liberated soul, you are only body and the senses. Remember the point well in future. What do you say now?

Brahm.: (Hanging his head down in shame after two minutes of deep thought) You have opened my eyes. I have understood the real significance of Vedanta only now. Really I did not practise anything. I merely read Panchadasi and Vicharasagara. I now see that I have been a lip-Vedantin. I deceived many and got plenty of money. In future I shall act differently. I shall do Manana and Nididhyasana (reflect and meditate). Forgive me for all sins.

Merchant: I cannot wipe out your sins. I have only shown you what you are and in what stage you are. It is no good looking upon your past. Forget it. Start a new life. Avoid the usual pitfalls that beset the path of a spiritual aspirant and with Vairagya and determination, Sraddha and faith, begin Sadhana. Be a practical Vedantin. Be simple, unostentatious. The truly great Vedantins are full of mercy, sympathy and love. They are free from greed, lust, selfishness and egoism. They are humble and ever ready to serve. They are not talkative. They speak measured words. They think more than they do. They do more than they say. They are ever busy in discovering how to be good and useful to all.

Brahm.: I shall carry out your advice.

(Exeunt).

VIRASINDHU—THE RAJA SANNYASIN

Synopsis

Scene 1. The king holds his Durbar and reveals his inborn noble nature, and love of Sankirtan in the service of God.

scene 2. The king attends a great Yaina at Nimisar and takes that opportunity to converse with some Rishis and profit by their teaching

Scene 3. The discourse is continued the next day and all truths are learnt.

Scene 4. The king makes a speech (soliloquy) showing his Self-realisation

Scene 1

King Virasindhu in his Durbar

King Virasindhu was the king of Magadha. He was virtuous, brave, generous, pious. He ruled the state justly and wisely. He protected the subjects like Vishnu. His minister Surasena was also a noble soul. The queen Lilavati was also pious, noble, gentle and kind.

Enter Virasindhu

Sings: Achyutam Kesavam Rama Narayanam,

Krishna Damodaram Vaasudevam Harim;

Sridharam Madhavam Gopikavallabham

Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhaje.

King Virasindhu: (Calls his assistant) O Vikram Singh! Bring the Minister. I want to consult him on some matters.

Vikram Singh: Yes, Maharaj. I shall bring him immediately.

Enter Surasena, the Minister.

Surasena: Salutations Maharaj! Any special command for me?

Virasindhu: Is everything going all right in the country? Are the subjects happy and contented? Is there any sort of difficulty for anyone? Are the Brahmanas happy? Do the other three castes carry on their work properly? How are the spiritual activities of the country? Do religious societies hold their congregations and Satsanga? Are the Names of the Lord sung in every house? Does everyone get his share of food? Are all happy and well?

Surasena: Yes my Lord! By your grace everything is all right. There is peace and plenty everywhere. The Brahmins recite Vedas and perform their Nitya Karmas. The men of other castes and orders of life carry out their duties systematically and everyone is happy and cheerful. Every home is a Vaikunta. There is Hari Kirtan in every house. Religious conferences are held now and then. There is no room for any anxiety for thee, my Lord.

Virasundhu: My mind is not at rest. I feel some sort of depression. Fetch the Balamandali Sankirtanists without any delay. Let me hear the sweet melodious songs of the boys. It will be a good mental tonic for me. It will elevate and soothe me and give peace and joy. God's Names are the sweetest when sung by the devoted ones. Make no delay. Hurry up.

Surasena: Yes, my Lord. (Exit Surasena)

Enter Balamandali Sankirtanists

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

Bol Sankar Bol Sankar Sankar Sankar Bol

Hara Hara Hara Hara Mahadeva Sambho Sankar Bol.

Virasindhu: Do the school boys recite the Gita daily?

Surasena: Yes, Maharaj. They can recite the Gita Slokas

beautifully. Even if your Highness tells the number of the Sloka, they can recite the verses at once.

Virasindhu: O Rajkumar! Recite the eighteenth Sloka of chapter 1. O Ramrich! Repeat the forty-first Sloka of the second chapter.

(The boys repeat the verses)

Drupado draupadeyascha sarvasah prithivipate,

Saubhadrascha mahabahu sankhan dadhmuh

prithak prithak.

Vyavasayatmika buddhirekeha kurunandana,

Bahusakhahyanantascha buddhayo-avyavasaayinam.

Virasindhu: O Dharm Singh! Show me the Siva's dance.

Dharm Sigh sings and dances "Agad bhum agad bhum bhaje damaru, nache sadasiva jagadaguru."

Virasindhu: O Surasena! Give these boys plenty of sweets, They have nicely repeated the Gita Slokas and Sankirtans.

Bring the students of the Sanskrit Vidyalaya. Can they recite the Vedas properly? Bring them at once. Surasena: Yes Maharaj. They are well versed in recitation.

Enter the Students

Students: Salutations Maharaj! Accept our respects.

Virasindhu: Let me hear some recitation from the Vedas.

“Om bhadram karnebhih srunuyama devah, bhadram pasyemaksha-bhiryajatrah, sthirairangai sthushtuvagam sastanubhih-vyasema devahitam yadayuh, etc., etc."

Virasindhu: O Surasena! Give these boys rich presents. They have made good progress in their studies.

Let us proceed tomorrow to Nimisar where a great sacrifice is being conducted. We will be benefited by the discourses of great Rishis. Further Sivaratri is fast approaching. We should not miss this golden opportunity.

Surasena: Yes, my Lord! All arrangements will be made.

The palanquin will be nicely decorated and the party will start for Nimisar tomorrow at 10 a.m. I shall instruct all the persons who are connected with the trip. Horses, elephants, men and everything will be ready in time. I shall make all arrangements without the least delay.

Scene 2

Assembly of Rishis and Yogis

The party of King Virasindhu arrives at Nimisar and joins the sacrifice. The time is evening, 5 p.m. Discourses on Vedanta are being conducted. Virasindhu and party are duly honoured by the reception committee and they take their seats. There is a large assembly of Mahatmas and learned Yogis.

Rishi Sumanas: This Atman can be attained only by those who have annihilated completely all desires and who practise regular meditation on Atman, after equipping themselves with the four means.

Rishi Subahu: He who has a calm mind, and who is endowed with equal vision, will attain the immortal, fearless Brahman which is an embodiment of bliss and knowledge and which is Existence Absolute.

Rishi Kripa Sindhu: The serpent of the senses (with five hoods) which hiss again and again should be slain by the rod of firm discrimination. Annihilation of Vasanas (Vasanakshaya), Manonasa (destruction of mind) and the practice of Tattva Jnana should go hand in hand.

Rishi Viswavasu: The wealth of Atman alone is supreme inexhaustible wealth. The happiness of a king is nothing when compared to the supreme, eternal bliss of a Jivanmukta who is resting in his own Satchidananda Svarupa.

Rishi Sukesa: Enquiry into the nature of this Atman, the Indweller or Antaryamin, the inner ruler, enquiry of 'Who am I?' will help one to attain Self-realisation. He who does not practise this is simply wasting his life. He lives in vain. He is a horizontal being lacking a tail and two horns.

That the supreme Self, the Light of all lights is said to be beyond darkness. Wisdom, the object of knowledge, the One seated in the hearts of all is to be attained by all. He who knoweth the spirit and matter with all its qualities in whatsoever condition he may be, he shall not be born again.

Some by meditation behold the Self in the Self by the Self. others by the Sankhya and others by the Yoga of action.

(The sun sets; the assembly is dispersed for Sandhya and other ablutions).

King Virasindhu was very much impressed by the speeches of the Rishis and attends the next day's discourses and puts some questions to Rishi Kharabhajana who was the main speaker that day.

Scene 3

Assembly of Rishis

I

Shyama Sundar ab to hum ashik tumare bangaye

Ham tumhare bangaye aur tum hamare bangaye

Jab ye dil dhuniyaka tha

Dushman hajaroko bhane

Jab ye dil tum ko diya har

Dilka pyar bangaya.

Virasindhu: O Maharishiji! Kindly describe to me the nature of Para Brahman.

Rishi Kharabhajana: Para Brahman is Satchidananda Svarupa. He is self-luminous, eternal, indivisible, pure, all-pervading, colourless, odourless, tasteless, formless. He is unborn, undecaying. He is the substratum for this world, body, mind, Prana and senses.

Song of Upanishads:

Hae Ramachandra, Brindavana Chandra.

Eko Deva, Sarvabhuteshu Gudha,

Sarva Vyapi, Sarva Antaratma,

Karmadhyaksha, Sarva Bhutadivasa.

Sakshi Cheta-Kevalo Nirgunascha.

Eko Deva, Sarvabhuteshu Gudha.

Soham Sivoham, Sivah Kevaloham.

Sambho Sankara, Hae Maha Deva,

God is one, Brahman is one

He is hidden in all beings,

Like butter in milk-like fire in wood,

Like mind in brain-like oil in seed.

All-pervading--the Self of all beings

Eko Deva, Sarvabhuteshu Gudha.

Satyena Labhya-Tapasa hi esha Atma

Samyag Jnanena-Brahmacharyena Nityam

Antah Sarire-Jyotir Mayohi Subhra

Yam Pasyanti Yataya-Kshina Doshaha

Eko Deva, Sarvabhuteshu Gudha.

Virasindhu: What is the relationship between the individual soul and the Brahman?

Kharabhajana: The individual soul is identical with Brahman.

Virasindhu: Why then he is Alpajna and Alpasaktiman when he is in essence identical with Brahman?

Kharabhajana: He is enveloped by Avidya or veil of ignorance. So he is limited and finite. If the veil is destroyed by knowledge of Self, he becomes one with the supreme Self and shines in his native pristine glory.

Virasindhu: How can this Avidya co-exist in the pure Brahman which is knowledge absolute?

Kharabhajana: This is an atiprasna or transcendental question. The finite intellect cannot understand this

transcendental mystery. Do not probe into this mystery. Destroy this Avidya by attaining knowledge of Brahman. Then only you will understand this mystery.

Virasindhu: Kindly explain to me the theory of superimposition or Adhyasa. Brahma Jnanis always refer to this in their discourses.

Kharabhajana: Just as snake is superimposed in the rope, this world is superimposed upon Brahman. This body, mind, egoism, Prana, senses are superimposed on this pure Atman. If you bring a light the illusion of snake vanishes. Even so, if you attain illumination this superimposition or ignorance will vanish. You will be established in your essential Satchidananda Svarupa.

Virasindhu: I think this is Vivarta Vada of Sri Sankaracharya.

Kharabhajana: Yes, my child.

Virasindhu: May I hear from your esteemed self the nature of different Vadas, Parinamavada, Ajativada, Drishti Srishtivada?

Kharabhajana: Sri Ramanujacharya is the author of Parinamavada; just as milk is transformed into curd, so also Lord Hari Himself has assumed the form of the universe. The world is His body. Ajatavada is propounded by Gaudapadacharya in his famous Karika on Mandukya Upanishad. The world does not exist in the three periods of time. Brahman alone exists. This is the most advanced theory. Only highly evolved aspirants can really understand this doctrine. Vasishta expounds Drishti-Srishti Vada in Yoga Vasishta. There is in reality no creation at all. You see. Then the Srishti comes in.

Virasindhu: What is the nature of Maya?

Kharabhajana: Maya is Satasat Vilakshana Anadi Bhavarupa Anirvachaniya. The nature of Maya cannot be properly described. It is neither Sat like Brahman nor Asat like the horns of the hare. It is the Upadhi of Isvara. Isvara has! Maya under His control. It is an illusory power. The whole Lila of the Lord is kept up by Maya. Intellect, Ahankara. mind, the five elements are all products of Maya. Mind is the seed of Maya. Maya is Suddha Sattva.

Virasindhu: What is Avidya?

Kharabhajana: Avidya is the Upadhi of Jiva or the individual soul. The Jiva has become a slave of Avidya. Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), Abhinivesha (clinging to this mundane life) are the five Kleshas. Avidya, Kama, Karma are the three knots of ignorance. Lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy are all modifications of Avidya.

Virasindhu: May I know the nature of 'Who am I? enquiry and the nature of five sheaths. Vedantins lay great stress on this point.

Kharabhajana: This is Sandhya time. I must go to the river Gomati now for my ablutions, etc. We shall continue the discourse tomorrow, O King Virasindhu! Kindly reflect well on what you have heard today. Mere hearing will not do. You must reflect, digest well what you have heard. Only then will you be really benefited.

Scene 3

Assembly of Rishis

II

(Enter King Virasindhu and others)

Jaya Siya Ram Jaya Jaya Siya Ram

Jaya Radhe Shyam Jaya Jaya Radhe Shyam

Jaya Hanuman Jaya Jaya Hanuman

Jaya Siya Ram Jaya Jaya Siya Ram

Virasindhu: Let us continue yesterday's discourse. Let me have a detailed description of the five Koshas and 'Who am I?' enquiry.

Kharabhajana: There are five Koshas or sheaths. This Atman is beyond these sheaths. The Annamaya sheath is the food sheath. It is made up of the five elements. This is the physical body. It has a beginning and an end. It is inert. You are distinct from this physical sheath. You are the witness of this sheath. This sheath is not the 'I'.

The Pranamaya Kosha is the vital sheath. It is formed out of Rajoguna. It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. You are distinct from this sheath. You are the witness of the sheath. This sheath also is not the 'I'.

The Manomaya Kosha or the mental sheath is a product of Sattva-Guna. It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. You are distinct from this sheath. You are the witness of this sheath. This sheath also is not the T

The Vijnanamaya Kosha or the Buddhi sheath is a product of Sattva-Guna. It has also a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. You are distinct from this sheath. You are the witness of this sheath. This sheath also is not the T'. The Pranamaya, Manomaya and Vijnanamaya Koshas constitute the Linga Sarira or Sukshma Deha.

The Anandamaya Kosha or the bliss sheath is Avidya or primitive ignorance. It is also Jada or insentient. It is annihilated by knowledge of Atman. You are distinct from this sheath. You are the witness of this sheath also. This sheath is not the 'I'.

That which is distinct from the five Koshas, which is unchanging, eternal, which has no beginning or end, which is distinct from the three Gunas and three bodies and which is your innermost Self is real infinite 'T' or Brahman. That Brahman you are, O King Virasindhu. Thou art That-Tat Tvam Asi. Realise this and be free.

Virasindhu: O Venerable Maharshi! You have very clearly explained to me the nature of the five sheaths. May I know the nature of the three Avasthas.

Kharabhajana: There are three Avasthas viz., Jagrat! Avastha or waking consciousness, Svapna Avastha or dreaming state and Sushupti or deep sleep state. The three bodies operate during the waking state. The astral body operates during the dreaming state. The causal body (Karana Sarira) functions during deep sleep state.

This waking state is also a long dream. Just as the dream vanishes as soon as you wake up so also this waking state becomes a dream when you enter the fourth state or Turiya. In dream there is no waking state. In deep sleep this world vanishes. This world is ever changing. Therefore it is not real. It is mere appearance. In deep sleep you actually rest in Satchidananda Brahman but you are not conscious of Brahman as there is the thin veil of ignorance between you and Brahman. In deep sleep you enjoy the bliss of Brahman only. In reality you are the silent witness of the three states-Avasthatraya Sakshi.

Virasindhu: What is the nature of Jivanmukta?

Kharabhajana: The state of a Jivanmukta cannot be described adequately. His glory is ineffable. He is free from Harsha, Soka. (exhilaration and depression). He has equal vision and balanced mind. He is ever peaceful, contented and happy under all conditions of life. He can never be affected by the pairs of opposites. In his presence you will be inspired and elevated. He can clear all your doubts.

Virasindhu: Kindly explain to me some of the Yuktis which Vedantins use for sublating the appearance.

Kharabhajana: There are four important Yuktis. They are 1. Neti-Neti doctrine, 2. Anvaya Vyatireka, 3. Layachintana and 4. Adhyaropa Apavada.

Through Neti-Neti doctrine all the Anatma products such as body, mind, senses, etc., are eliminated. This body is not Atman. This mind is not Atman. This Prana is not Atman.

Names and forms are different. This is Vyatireka. But the underlying basic essence in these forms is Satchidananda! Atman. This is Anvaya. Reject the names and forms and identity yourself with the essence. This is Anvaya Vyatireka Yukti.

In Layachintana you dissovle all the effects such as earth, water, fire, air in Akasa, Akasa in Avyaktam, and Avyaktam in Brahman and behold Brahman only everywhere. You dissolve the speech in mind, mind in intellect, intellect in cosmic! Buddhi and cosmic Buddhi in Brahman. You dissolve Visva in Virat, and Virat in 'A'; Tejas in Hiranyagarbha and Hiranyagarbha in 'U': Prajna in Isvara and Isvara in 'M'; and Ardhamatra in Sakshi. Through the process of Layachintan all the effects or modifications are reduced into the supreme causeless cause. You get the experience of “All is Brahman."

Adhyaropa is superimposition. The whole world is superimposition on Brahman, just as snake is superimposed on the rope. Apavada is sublation or negation of the appearance or phenomenon. When you bring the light the snake vanishes, Adhistana rope alone remains. When you get knowledge of Brahman, this world and body vanish. You rest in your Satchidananda Svarupa.

Virasindhu: All my doubts have vanished slowly. How to realise this wonderful Brahman. That is the main thing. Kindly explain and enlighten me on this point,

Kharabhajana: Acquire first the four means, Viveka, Vairagya, Shat Sampat (Sama, Dama, Uparati, Sraddha, Titiksha and Samadhana) and Mumukshutva. Then hear the Srutis, reflect on what you have heard and then practise constant meditation on Brahman. You will have Atma Sakshatkara.

Virasindhu: What are the four Mahavakyas?!

Kharabhajana: They are Prajnanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Tat Tvam Asi, and Ayam Atma Brahma. The first is Lakshanavakya. It gives a description of the nature of Brahman. The second is Anusandhana Vakya. The third is Upadesavakya and the fourth is Anubhava Vakya.

Virasindhu: What is OM?

Kharabhajana: OM is Pranava. It is the symbol of Brahman. All Vedas have come of this OM. If you do Japa of OM and meditate on its significance you will realise Brahman. Study carefully Mandukya Upanishad. You will have a comprehensive understanding of OM. Try to identify yourself with Brahman when you meditate on OM. When you repeat OM think of the attributes of Brahman such as Satchidananda, Self-effulgence, Immortality, Eternity, Infinity, etc.

Song of Joy:

Within you is hidden God

Within you is Immortal Soul.

Kill this little I

Die to live

Lead the Divine Life,

Within you is the fountain of joy

Within you is the ocean of Bliss.

Rest peacefully, in your own Atma

And drink the nectar of Immortality.

OM OM OM OM-OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OMOM OM OM OM

OM OM OM OM OM OM OM OM-OM OM OM OMOM OM

Sa sa da da-Sa sa da da

Papa dapama-mama pamaga-gaga magarisa

Sasa gamapa-padasa nidapa mama.

                                             Within you is hidden God......

Virasindhu: 0 Venerable Rishiss of Nimisar! Prostrations unto you all. You all have helped me to cross this ocean of Samsara. I am very grateful to you all. You have removed my ignorance. You are all torch bearers of wisdom and beacon-lights on this earth to show light to the Jivas who are sunk in the deep abyss of ignorance. I shall follow your instructions in right earnest and attain soon the supreme abode of eternal bliss and immortality.

King Virasindhu heard the words of wisdom of these sages and was struck with wonder. He quickly returned to his palace. He did not speak a word to the Minister.

Scene 4

Virasindhu's Realisation

Vedantic Song:

OM Antaratma,

Nitya Suddha Buddha,

Chidakasa Kutastha.

Vyapaka Svayam Jyoti Purna, -Para Brahma.

Sakshi Drishta Turiya,

Santam Sivam Advaitam,

Amala Vimala Achala,

Avang Mano Gochara,

Anandamaya, Chidanandamaya,

Gopala Nandalala

Bansi Bajanewala.

                                OM Antaratma......

King Virasindhu went alone to his lonely garden and soliloquised within himself: "The speeches of these sages are soul-stirring and sublime. The wealth I possess is nothing. It is all perishable. I have no real peace despite my possessions and riches. This mischievous mind is deluding me. I have become a slave to my senses and desires.

"When shall I be free from births and deaths? When shall I enjoy the eternal bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi? When shall I become absolutely desireless, thoughtless and 'I'-less? When shall I be free from the cravings for sensual objects? When shall I remain unattached?

"This world is unreal. There is not even an iota of happiness in this world. The sages of Nimisar have emphatically pronounced that Atman alone is real. I have full faith in their statements. I am deeply grateful to them. They have opened my eyes. They have aroused a soul-awakening in me. I am quite disgusted with this illusory world.

"Wealth cannot give happiness. It is a source of misery. It is transitory. It begets evil. It moves from one man to another.

"This body is a great burden. Death is ever waiting to devour me. Desire is the enemy of peace. Egoism born of ignorance is tormenting me. It is the source of miseries and troubles. It binds me to this Samsara. I must destroy this egoism and 'mine'-ness.

"Mind is a great thief. It has cheated me in a variety of ways. I will pierce this mind with the sword of discrimination. I will pursue my enquiry of Atman or "Who am I?'.

"I will meditate on the Pure, Immortal Atman and attain eternal bliss. I have gained all spiritual experiences by hearing the soul-stirring instructions of the sage of Nimisar. I have totally destroyed my mind. I am now enjoying the bliss of the Eternal.

"Duality, differences and all distinctions have vanished now. I behold the one Self everywhere. The ideas of 'T', 'mine', 'you', 'he', 'here', 'there', 'now', and 'then have disappeared."

King Virasindhu remained in Samadhi for a long time. He returned from his Samadhi and said, "I behold everywhere the one, indivisible Brahman only. Words cannot adequately describe this state. I am perfectly desireless. I have perfect equal vision. Nothing can disturb me. I am free from love, hatred and fear. I have neither doubts nor delusions."

Song of Brahmamayam:

Sarvam Brahmamayam re, re, Sarvam Brahmamayam.

Dehonaham, Jivonaham. Pratyagabhinna Brahmaivaham,

Paripurnoham, Paramarthoham,

Brahmaivaham Brahmoham

Sarvam Brahmamayam......

Kim Vachaniyam, Kim-avachaniyam,

Kim Rachaniyam, Kim-arachaniyam,

Kim Pathaniyam Kim-apathaniyam,

Kim Bhoktavyam, Kim-abhoktavyam?

Sarvam Brahmamayam......

Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham

Brahmoham.

Sivaivaham, Sivaivaham, Sivaivaham Sivoham.

Sarvam Brahmamayam......

Sarvam Brahmamayam Jagathu, Sarvam Brahmamayam.

Sarvam Ramamayam Jagathu, Sarvam Ramamayam.

Sarvam Krishnamayam Jagathu, Sarvam Krishnamayam.

Sarvam Sivamayam Jagathu, Sarvam Sivamayam.

Sarvam Saktimayam Jagathu, Sarvam Saktimayam.

Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, Naiha Nana Asti Kinchana.

All indeed is Brahman, there is no such thing as diversity.

Sarvam Brahmamayam......

Matha Pitha Brahmam; Ladaka-ladiki Brahmam;

Dood-dahi Brahmam; Chandan Pushpam Brahmam;

Garama garam chai Brahmam; Tandai lemodane Brahmam;

Sarvam Brahmamayam......

King Virasindhu then attended to the affairs of the state without an idea of agency. He attained Jivanmukti. He was! unmindful of the past and heedless of the future.

 

SAVANTS AND SEERS

Synopsis

Scene 1. Under the presidency of Indra, the founders of the six Systems of Indian Philosophy-Jaimini, Gautama, Kanada, Kapila and Patanjali in turn expound their systems before Vyasa who points out then and there the defects in each one of them. In the end, Indra blesses them all and extols Vyasa as the exponent of the unimpeachable Vedanta philosophy.

Scene 2. Sankara meets and approves of the work of Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Vallabha and other founders of sects, pointing out how each of their Systems helps the different types of aspirants according to their different stages of progress.

Scene 3. The Hall Divine is an intellectual feast for the philosopher who has the background to appreciate Western and Eastern philosophies. The gift of each school of thought is neatly and crisply expressed in a very few words.

Scene 4. The assembly of all religionists shows the wide tolerant outlook of Hinduism and also the underlying unity of all the apparently conflicting creeds and religions.

Scene 1

Durbar of Indra

Six Schools of Philosophy

Indra, the Lord of Amaravati, summons an assembly of Rishis to review the work of the various founders of philosophy.

Indra is seated in the Durbar. The Rishis and Devas are seated in their respective seats. Gandharvas sing. Apsaras dance. There is perfect silence everywhere.

Enter Jaimini, Vyasa and others

Sri Vyasa Bhagavan Namostute,

Jaya Vishnu Avatar Namostute,

Sri Badarayana Namostute, Jaya Krishna

Dvaipayana Namostute.

Sri Sankaracharya Namostute, Jaya Jagad

Guru Namostute

Sri Advaitacharya Namostute, Jaya Sankar

Avatar Namostute.

Sri Dattatreya Namostute, Jaya Sri Avadhuta

Guru Namostute.

Sri Guru Deva Datta Namostute, Jaya Trimurthi

Avatar Namoshuthe.

Jaimini: I am the founder of Purva Mimamsa philosophy, The attainment of heaven or Svargaprapti is Moksha or the final goal. Performance of the actions that are enjoined in the Vedas is the Sadhana for attaining Moksha. There is no Isvara. Bondage is the painful experience in hell. Karma Kanda is the chief Kanda of the Vedas. The cause of bondage is the performance of Nishiddha Karmas or prohibited Karmas. Jiva is Jada-chetana combination of insentiency and intelligence. He is all-pervading. Jivas are countless. There is doer and enjoyer. Adrishta or Apurva of Karmas gives the fruits. I support Arambha Vada and Akhyati. The first Sutra in my philosophy begins with "Athatho Dharma Jijnasa."

Jeya Nandalala Dinadayala, Jeya Krishna Jeya Hare Hare

Jeya Nandalala Krishnagopala, Jeya Krishna Jeya Hare Hare

Jeya Nandalala Balagopala, Jeya Krishna Jeya Hare Hare

Jeya Nandalala Gopilola, Jeya Krishna Jeya Hare Hare.

Vyasa: Heaven is not the goal. As soon as the fruits are exhausted man must come to this world. If the Karmas are done with expectation of fruits they will lead to bondage. Moksha must be eternal. I do not see any good in your philosophy. The world is Anadi. It is Pravaharup. It has Samyoga (conjunction) and Viyoga (disassociation).

Rama Raghava Rama Raghava Rama Raghava Pahimam. Krishna Kesava Krishna Kesava

Krishna Keshava Rakshamam.

Gautama: I am the founder of Nyaya philosophy or Indian Logic. This world has been begun by combination of atoms. It has Samyoga (conjunction) and viyoga (disassociation). The cause of the world is Paramanus and the nine including Isvara. Isvara is Nitya Jnana who has Iccha-Kriya Gunas. He is Vibhu (all-pervading). Jiva is doer and enjoyer. Jivas are endless Cause for bondage is Ajnana. Twentyone kinds of pain constitute bondage. Moksha is destruction of 21 kinds of pain. Knowledge of Atman that is distinct from others is Moksha Sadhana. I advocate Arambhavada and Anyatakhyati,

Vyasa: Svarupa of Moksha is the attainment of Paramananda or supreme bliss. It is not mere removal of 21 kinds of pain. Atman is one without a second. There cannot be many Atmas. Your philosophy cannot help one in the attainment of the final goal. You have no clear conception of Atman and the summum bonum. Sunaja Sunaja Sunaja Krishna,

Tu Gitavala Jnana Sunaja Krishna.

Kanada: I am the founder of the Vaiseshika system of philosophy. The world has been begun by combination of atoms. There is Isvara in my system of philosopy. The creator is endowed with Nitya Jnana. The cause for bondage is Ajnana. The twentyone kinds of pain constitute bondage. The destruction of 21 kinds of pain constitute Moksha. Knowledge of the Atman that is distinct from others is the Sadhana for Moksha. I endorse the views of Gautama Rishi. I advocate Arambhavada and Anytakhyati. Atmas are endless.

Vyasa: Your system of philosophy also cannot help one to attain the final goal. You also have no clear conception of the goal. Atman is one, eternal, all-pervading Sat-chit-ananda. The world is a superimposition on Atman. Your Arambhavada is untenable. It should fall to the ground.

Sankara Siva Sankara Siva Sankara Siva Sankara.

Kapila Muni: I am the founder of the famous Sankhya philosophy. This world is a modification of Prakriti, which is made up of three Gunas. There is no Isvara in my system. There are many Purushas. Prakriti also is independent. Cause for bondage is Aviveka or lack of discrimination between Prakriti and Purusha. The three kinds of Taapa constitute bondage. The destruction of three kinds of Taapa is the goal or Svarupa of Moksha. Discrimination between Prakriti and Purusha is the Sadhana for Moksha. I advocate Parinamavada and Akhyati.

Vyasa: Purushas cannot be many. The supreme Purusha must be one without a second. The final beatitude is not mere destruction of three kinds of Taapa. It is all bliss. You can detach yourself by discrimination between Prakriti and Purusha but cannot attain the final goal. Prakriti cannot be independent. It is Jada. It cannot create by itself without the help of a creator who is Prakriti's Lord. Your philosophy is not a perfect one.

Rama Rama Namostute Jeya Ramachandra Namostute, Ramabhadra Namostute, Jeya Raghavaya Namostute, Ravanari Namostute Jeya Bhavyamurthi Namostute, Bhaktapala Namostute, Jeya Sarvabauma Nomostute.

Patanjali Rishi: I am the founderof Raja Yoga system of philosophy. The world is the modification of Prakriti and is of the nature of 23 Tattvas. There is one special Purusha or Isvara who is untouched by afflictions, fruits of actions and desires. Purushas are many. Aviveka or lack of discrimination between Purusha and Prakriti is the cause of bondage. The five Kleshas Avidya, Asmita, Raga-dvesha, Abhinivesha produce bondage. Destruction of five kinds of Kleshas preceded by the destruction of union of Prakriti and Purusha constitute Moksha. Viveka that precedes Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the Sadhana for Moksha. I also advocate Parinamavada and Akhyati.

Vyasa: Atman is secondless and partless. You can enjoy perfect bliss only when you melt the mind in the Atman, when you merge yourself in the Supreme Self. Your philosophy is also dualistic. Where there is duality there are ignorance and fear. Your philosophy is not a perfect one.

(Rishis cry in one voice "Bolo Vyasa Bhagavan ki Jai"

"Bolo Advaita Vedanta ki Jai.")

Indra addresses the audience.

Indra: O Rishis of different schools of thought! All of you have done immense service to the world. You have all done your work properly and elevated proper Adhikaris. May you become Immortal!

Sankhya Yoga will help one to understand Vedanta to some extent. Nyaya will sharpen the intellect and help the aspirant to grasp the truth of Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta is the sublime and supreme philosophy. This world is illusory. It is Vivarta or appearance of Brahman. Isvara is the instrumental and material cause. Maya is the illusory power of Isvara. It is His Karana Sarira. Cause for bondage is Avidya. The Svarupa of Moksha is Sarvaduhkha Nivritti (removal of all pains) and Paramananda Prapti. Knowledge of the identity of Jiva and Brahman is the Sadhana for Moksha. He who is free from Mala and Vikshepa and is endowed with the our means is the Adhikari for the practice of Vedanta. Vyasa has rightly interpreted and expounded the Anirvachanikhvati.

Brahman is Satchidananda, self-luminous, one without a second. The absolute or the Infinite must be one. There cannot be two infinities. No philosophy on this earth can stand before Vedanta philosophy. Upanishads and Brahma Sutras are the rock basis for this sublime philosophy. Glory to Advaita! Glory to Sri Vyasa! May you all attain the final beatitude by realising the One Supreme Brahman!

Devas sounded various instruments. Gandharvas sang the praise of the Lord. Rishis chanted Vedic hymns. Gods danced in joy and ecstasy. All showered flowers on Indra their Lord and Sri Vyasa who ranked first in merit and honour.

All the assembled tasted Amrita (nectar) served by Indra's attendants and departed for their respective abodes in aerial cars.

Song: Anandoham Anandoham Anandam Brahmanandam.

Scene 2

Founders of Cults Meet

Inana Loka, a sacred spot in the heavens

visited by liberated Souls.

Enter Sankara, Ramanuja and others

Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya

Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya

Ramanuja: I am the founder of Visisthtadvaita philosophy or qualified monism or non-duality with a difference. Whatever is, is Brahman, but Brahman is not of a homogeneous nature but contains within itself elements of plurality on account of which it truly manifests itself in a diversified world. My Brahman is a Sa-visesha Brahman, i.e., Brahman with attributes. Lord Narayana or Bhagavan is the supreme being. The individual soul is Chit. Matter is Achit.

The attributes are Prakasas or modes. I advocate Parinamavada. My Bhashya of Brahma Sutras is Sri Bhashya. I have taken Brahman in His immanent aspect. The world with its variety of forms and individual souls is not unreal Maya but a real part of Brahman's nature, the body investing the Universal Self. The individual soul enjoys a separate personal existence and will remain a personality for ever. The release of Samsara is the soul's passing away from the troubles of mundane life into Vaikunta where it will remain for ever in undisturbed personal bliss.

Om Namassivaya Om Namassivaya

Om Namassivaya Om Namassivaya

Sankara: Your philosophy of Bhakti is certainly a great help for attaining the highest Self-realisation. Your devotees will attain Krama Mukti or progressive emancipation. They will go to Vaikunta and then merge themselves in Nirguna Brahman. You are doubtless intellectual giant. As the vast majority cannot grasp the truths of Advaita Vedanta, Visishtadvaita philosophy is necessary. There are various rungs in the ladder of Self-realisation. Visishtadvaita philosophy is a step that takes one to the highest Vedantic realisation of oneness. This philosophy will be suitable to aspirants with devotional temperament. O Ramanuja! You have really done very great work in the field of Bhakti. My adorations unto you!

Enter Nimbarka

Nimbarka: My philosophy is Bhedabheda (Dvaitadvaita) philosophy. I have adjusted the different views of different Hindu philosophical schools. Brahman is both the efficient and material cause of the world. Brahman is both Nirguna and Saguna. The world is not unreal or illusory but a true manifestation or Parinama of Brahman. The world is identical with, as well as different from Brahman, just as a wave or bubble is the same as and at the same time different from water. The individual souls are parts of the supreme being and are controlled by It. The final emancipation lies in realising! the true nature of Brahman and it is attainable by true devotion or Bhakti. The individuality Jivatma is not disturbed even in the state of Mukti. I have written the Bhashya "Vedanta-Parijata Saurava" on Brahma Sutras.

Sankara: O venerable Nimbarka! You have also done al remarkable work in the field of Bhakti like Ramanuja. Your philosophy will greatly appeal to the type of aspirants who cannot grasp the pure Kevaladvaita philosophy. The students of your school of thought will also attain the highest Vedantic realisation gradually. Your school of thought is another rung in the ladder of Self-realisation. My silent salutations unto thee.

Ab agaya Bansivala ab agaya Bansivala

Mor mukat murali jakai gale vaijanti maala.

(Ab agaya.....)

Madhva: I am the great exponent of the Dvaita school of philosophy. The Supreme Being is Vishnu or Narayana. My Vaishvavism is called Sadvaishnavism in order to distinguish it from the Sri Vaishnavism of Sri Ramanujacharya. Every follower of my school of thought should have a firm belief in the Panchabheda or five real distinctions viz., the distinction between the supreme being and the individual soul, between Atman and matter, between one Jiva and another Jiva, between Jiva and matter, between one piece of matter and another. The phenomenal world is real and eternal. Bhajan, singing of His glories, Smarana, remembrance of the Lord, renunciation, devotion and direct cognition of the Lord through meditation will lead to the attainment of salvation. The aspirant should equip himself with the study of the Vedas, control of the senses, dispassion and Self-surrender if he wants to have vision of the Lord.

Sankara: O glorious Madhva! Your philosophy and mode of Sadhana will help the aspirants in the path of devotion to have vision of Saguna Brahman. Without Bhakti one cannot attain Jnana. You also have done splendid work in the field of devotion. Glory unto thee.

Vallabha: I am the exponent of Suddha-advaita school of philosophy (pure monism). Sri Krishna is the highest Brahman. His body consists of Satchidananda. Lord Krishna is Purushottama. My followers worship Balakrishna. They develop Vatsalya Bhava. I lay great stress on Pushti (grace) and Bhakti (devotion). Maha Pushti is the highest grace or Anugraha which helps the aspirant to attain Godhead. Things come out of the Akshara (Satchidananda) like sparks from the fire. My followers can be abundantly found Nathdwara. My Bhashya is called Anubhashya.

Sankara: O Vallabha! You have done a great work in disseminating Sri Krishna Bhakti. You are also as illustrious as Ramanuja, Nimbarka and Madhva. You have all obtained the grace of Lord Narayana. As long as the world lasts your glorious names also will remain.

Sri Ramanuja speaks Parinamavada. If the world is a Parinama, this will make the Brahman as a Vikari. My Advaita is a rigorous, absolute one. Brahman is absolutely homogeneous. Nirvisesha, partless and impersonal and attributeless. There is no Achit in it. All difference and plurality are illusory. It becomes a personal God through its association with the unreal principle of Maya. The release from the Samsara is the absolute merging of the individual soul in Brahman due to the dismissal of the erroneous notion that the soul is distinct from Brahman. Wherever there is duality there is fear and ignorance. This world is illusory. It is superimposed on Brahman. I advocate Vivarta Vada.. My Bhashya is called Saririka Bhashya. When Avidya is destroyed this world vanishes. Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman alone can give the highest realisation, Sadyomukti or Kaivalya Moksha. Bhakti helps the aspirants to attain knowledge. Bhakti culminates in Jnana.

Ramanuja and others: O venerable Sankara! We are all grateful to you. You are quite impartial and unbiased. We all quite agree with your views. Some of our followers who have not rightly understood our views enter into vain discussions and heated controversies. Our silent adorations unto Thee.

Sitaram kaho, Radhe Shyam kaho,

Sitaram kaho, Radhe Shyam kaho,

Sitarama vina sukh swapna nahi

Radhe Shyama vina koyi apna nahi.

Sitarama vina sukh kon kare!

Radhe Shyama vina dukh kon hare.

Sitarama vina uddhara nahi

Radhe Shyama vina bhedapara nahi.

Scene 3

The Hall Divine

or

Schopenhauer

The East and the West

Characters

Descartes                                       Hegel

Spinoza                                         Schopenhauer

Locke                                             J.S. Mill     

Berkley                                          Bradley

Hume                                             Bertrand Russel

Kant                                              A.N. Whitehead

Schelling                                        Sankara

N.B. In this imaginary scene, scholars versed in Western philosophy are made to assume the names of the respective authors of the different systems of which they have made a thorough study, whereas an eminent scholar of Eastern philosophy is given the name of Sankara, the greatest

philosopher India has seen. The former enter one by one into discussion with the latter and get defeated establishing thereby the superiority of the Eastern philosophy over the Western.

A small beautiful hall furnished with a number of beautiful pictures of great men on the wall. Attached to its one end is a small shrine wherein prayer goes on continuously without break.

Sankara has seated himself in a chair close to a door way,

A good number of people including many scholars are in the hall either absorbed in meditation or reciting some prayers.

Enter Descartes

Sankara: Please take your seat. They say you are a great thinker. We would like to hear about your doctrine.

Descartes: "I think, therefore I am"-this is my deduction. This is quite mathematical as well as logical.

Sankara: Sir, where did you get your major premise—"Thought implies being"?

Descartes: Plants and animals do not think. And thought can appear only where there is existence. That existence is a mere extensive concept than thought. Hence thought proves Being by logical implication.

Sankara: You seem to say that Being is as much an immediacy as thinking and that no syllogistic argument is needed to infer one's own existence. To infer an immediacy is an abuse of reason, Sir. We need proof only in relation to things other than the Self. The Self is the indispensable presupposition of every act of reasoning. It is a fundamental reality. You cannot with all your logic prove its non-existence.

Sankara: Does God exist or not?

Descartes: Yes, God, as a perfect Being, must exist; for the idea of perfection includes existence.

Sankara: Does matter exist?

Descartes: Why not? Matter is extension, and so, it must exist independent of mind.

Sankara: So you believe in God, matter and mind?! Descartes: Yes, Sir. Sankara: Do you experience their existence in deep sleep? Descartes: No, Sir.

Sankara: Then the validity of your doctrine has no proof. (Descartes exits).

Enter Spinoza the great pantheist of rare

metaphysical genius

Sankara: Good morning, Sir. What is your system?

Spinoza: 'The great reality of all existence is Substance. It supports all phenomena giving them reality.

Sankara: What is phenomenon?

Spinoza: It is an appearance, a thing perceived. It is a state of the perceiving mind.

Sankara: What originates this perception? What creates changes in the mind?

Spinoza: Something external; what it is in itself, we can never know.

Sankara: So you believe in a God from whom everything has come out.

Spinoza: Yes, Sir, all exists in God and by Him. He is the fountain of life. The universe is nothing but the manifestation of God. To know God with perfect knowledge is the highest point of human development and happiness.

Sankara: You are right. But your statement is only a belief. You have not proved it on the unimpeachable basis of reason or experience. God exists; God is the only reality. Well, how do you arrive at this conclusion? In life we contact finites and relative things only. If you say that the world comes out of God, your God will cease to be one; it must contain elements of multiplicity. If you say the appearance is causeless, then you establish two independent realities.

Spinoza, unable to establish his Reality as an unquestionable fact, exists.

Enter Locke, the great British Idealist

Sankara: What doctrine have you to impart?

Locke: The impressions produced by objects on the senses are only vague at first. They become definite by repetition. In time the mind comes to reflect on its own operations about the ideas got by sensation. It thus becomes furnished with a new set of ideas. These are ideas of reflection.

Sankara: Then, you say we know only by ideas?

Locke: Yes, in all our knowledge, we never rise one jot beyond these ideas which sense or reflection has offered for the mind's contemplation.

Sankara: What about the primary qualities which are invariable?

Locke: Even this invariability is only an indissoluble association in our mind. And it is no standard of reality.

Sankara: What do you say with regards to causality?

Locke: Our knowledge is subjective only. Though causes work steadily and effects flow from them constantly, yet their connections and dependencies are not discoverable in our ideas. So our knowledge of them can be only experimental.

Sankara: So, you say that all our knowledge is of the nature of ideas, and that we cannot legitimately claim to know anything beyond them, either God or nature?

Locke: Yes, Sir. We cannot know things, we can know only ideas

Sankara: Your conception reduces life to a long dream!

Locke: Yes, it does.

Sankara: Do you dream in your deep sleep?

Locke: (After a moment's reflection) No, Sir.

Sankara: Then your dream doctrine falls to the ground.

Now Locke, unable to counter argue, retires silently.

Enter Berkley and Hume

Seeing Sankara they shrink back as if expecting a blow.

Sankara: You need not fear me. Are you cold?

Berkley and Hume: We are not cold, we expect it.

Sankara: (with sympathy) Poor fellows!

Well, Berkley, what do you think of the existence of this world?

Berkley: Sir, it is only our mind. All that we know of is only our own mind and its ideas.

Sankara: How are these ideas regulated?

Berkley: We have to accept a law proceeding from an omniscient mind call it God if you will. And it governs all ideas. At all events, there is no entity different in kind from a mind.

Here Hume interferes.

Hume: If so, what is the secure basis on which mind itself stands? We are aware of feelings, volitions and cognition of pleasure and pain, etc. But we never come across the substrate of feelings, the mind itself. So there is neither matter nor mind. All is but ideas changing every moment.

Sankara: You both, Berkley and Hume, hear me! Berkley has reduced objects to ideas proceeding from an internal substance of feelings-mind. Hume has gone a step further and reduced even this substrate to an idea. But have you experienced deep sleep?

Berkley and Hume: Yes, Sir.

Sankara: Do you experience mind or ideas therein?

Berkley and Hume: (After a little thinking) No, Sir.

Sankara: Then, how can your conclusions stand?

Berkley and Hume exit with a sense of defeat.!

Enter Kant proud of his discovery of

the Critique of Pure Reason

He could not tolerate Hume's doctrine.

Sankara: Why do you hate Hume?

Kant: Because he has dragged the public into scepticism.

God, freedom and religion have been turned into sensations.

Sankara: What doctrine have you discovered to rectify this mistake?

Kant: All is appearance only, the Reality is unknowable.

Sankara: If the world is unreal and God is unknowable. you too preach scepticism in different words.

Kant: In active life we must accept the claims of practical reason. The starry heaven above us and the moral law within us are founded on necessity and universality. The Categorical Imperative is the characteristic expression of moral law. It postulates the existence of God and the immortality of the soul.

Sankara: Your views are confined to the waking and the dream states only. They disappear in sleep. The identification of pure consciousness in sleep as the highest reality can alone satisfy us. Pure Consciousness alone can be said to transcend both time and space.

Enter Fichte

Sankara: Are you Kant's follower?

Fichte: No Sir, Kant views non-ego as an independent reality. But I deny it. All that we know is derived from ourselves. The necessity for a non-ego is a necessity created by the ego.

Sankara: How do you know that the ego exists?

 

Fichte: For I am conscious of it.

Sankara: To be conscious of the ego is to be at the same time conscious of the non-ego. That is to say, realism is accepted and scepticism accompanies her.

Exit Fichte silently.

Enter Schelling

Sankara: What is your doctrine brother?

Schelling: I believe in a special faculty called the intellectual intuition. Only those who possess it can realise the identity of the subject and object.

Sankara: Is God real or ideal?

Schelling: God is neither ideal nor real, neither mind nor nature but both. In Him all difference is lost in indifference.

Sankara: How can we realise God?

Schelling: For that, we must transcend consciousness. For consciousness is incompetent to comprehend it. To know the Infinite, we must lose our individuality in the universal.

Sankara: Well, the identity of the individual self with the absolute is the identity of two distincts—the ego and the non-ego. The unity, therefore, is superficial, and not real. Ecstasy or intuition in which all difference is lost is not knowledge. Knowledge is conscious apprehension of Truth. The defect is due to your confining yourself to waking and dream states alone. Partial data can give us only fractional truth whereas fulness of data gives us the whole truth. And unless you include sleep, you cannot be said to have analysed life as a whole. Thus awareness which is present in all the three states coupled with them is the Reality.

(Exit Schelling)

Enter Hegel, the greatest of Kant's followers

Sankara: What do you think of him?

Hegel: Think of whom?

Sankara: Of that young man, the teacher of Categorical Imperative. Who else could I mean?

Hegel: Kant calls this world unreal. And God, he says. cannot be known. This doctrine does not appeal to me.

Sankara: How would you improve his system?

Hegel: The object, though distinct from the subject, is identical with it. Being and non-being are identical. A thing is made up of its determinations, concepts, universals, thoughts. When all the determinations are abstracted from a thing, we can with equal reason treat it as being or non-being.

The identity in difference of subject and object is the absolute Idea. The universe is not any particular mind but the objective mind.

Sankara: You say that, from the Idea, nature is deduced, and by a synthesis of these two we get to the absolute spirit which is the end and consummation of the world process. That is to say, the absolute Idea passes from the sphere of pure thought into actual existence the Absolute Spirit.

Hegel: Yes, Sir, you have rightly understood me.

Sankara: If your first principle were only an abstract one, how could the world be deduced from it except as a make-believe? How can we get from the one what is not in it? Do you mean to say that your God is an expert juggler who draws out from an empty casket the innumerable objects of the world? Is this your secondless Absolute? If you claim organic unity, you have to presuppose a manifoldness in a subtle condition. And in no case can the multiplicity form an abstract unity? Life will laugh at this idea. Your absolute becoming the individual, heaven and hell, sin and virtue, bliss and worship and grace, life and its trials, is the cruellest satire on our feelings and aspirations. The very step by which you prove Being to be identical with non-being takes one's breath away.

The theory of Maya alone can solve your difficulty I dare say. Our ignorance of the Reality is the cause of the appearance of the world.

Hegel: (with a sense of shame) I feel it now.

(Exit Hegel).

Enter Schopenhauer

Sankara: Is your God the Idea or different from it?

Schopenhauer: Will is the first principle. A concept is only passive. My desire or will to do anything is not to be converted into a mere concept.

Sankara: Your will cannot exhaust all reality. Feelings more than will or reason. effect as much. Love claims quite half of the energies and thoughts of younger half of mankind. It is the ultimate aim of human effort. Passions, anger, etc., cloud the intellect and usurp the judgment. Will is only an instinct, a little more complex than other instincts.

Schopenhauer: The will predominates in active life.

Sankara: But action is possible only in the sphere of time and to make it active you have to drag it to the empirical arena where time, etc., reign supreme.

Schopenhauer: The world is an illusion. It is a manifestation of the Will's activity, a visibility of its affirmation.

Sankara: Why should it lead to an illusive world? Why should it lead to evil? You are contradicting yourself. You must admit that this affirmation itself is unreal. For this world is an illusion, you have already specified it. Hence nothing is gained by the theory of your will. Your will with its activity is only illusory. And you have no idea of the Absolute beneath the phenomena.

Schopenhauer leaves the hall disappointed.

Mill enters

Sankara: Sir, you are well known for your system of logic. Are you not?

Mill: They say so. According to my view, experience is the only source of knowledge. All a priori or intuitive knowledge are to be rejected.

Sankara: How do you define body and mind?

Mill: Body and mind are permanent possibilities of sensations and feelings.

Sankara: How can a series of feelings be aware of itself as a series?

Mill: A bond of some sort of feelings should stand for a person and this will be his ego.

Sankara: What is reality?

Mill: I believe in consciousness alone. And matter and mind are mere states thereof.

Sankara: Have you searched for your consciousness with matter and mind in sleep?

Mill: Sir, consciousness is not known then.

Sankara: Then how can you prove its existence?

Mill exits while Bradley steps in

Sankara: What is your notion of Reality, Sir?

Bradley: I cannot admit a personal God. The highest reality must be super-personal. I understand that you believe in the conversion of the Absolute into God through Maya. But I hold that there cannot be any practical relation between It and the finite will.

Sankara: If so, where will substance, quality, time, space, relation, etc., disappear?

Bradley: These must be included, and, somehow fused into the Absolute.

Sankara: What is this but an intellectual confusion? What you rejected first as faulty is included subsequently.

Bradley feels defeated and retires.

Enter Bertrand Russell

Sankara: Come in, explain your system.

Russell: Seeing and the object seen are mental. There is no relation between them though there may be two sides of perception, subjective. So, the existence of the one is not essential for the existence of the other. That is to say, consciousness by itself would not demand an object.

Sankara: Is what causes the object to be perceived real?

Russell: The cause that leads to the perception of an object is a real independent entity.

Sankara: Here we come to the parting ways. If the cause is real, then, your Reality or pure consciousness is affected. According to us, the cause of perception is no transcendental reality, and so does not affect the oneness of pure consciousness.

Now Russell, having nothing to gainsay, exits.

Enter Whitehead

Sankara: Physiologists and psychologists say that certain light-waves strike on our retina and set up movements in the eye. The optic nerves communicates these to the brains cells, and we have sensation. And this sensation, somehow, gives rise to perception.

The idealists hold that the percept is a creation of the brain or the mind.

The realists believe that it is more or less a copy of the external thing. Do you differ from these opponents?

Whitehead: My view is quite different, Sir. According to me, sensations and projections are not successive acts, but simultaneous. The objects are presented to the percipients immediately and just as they exist.

Sankara: How do you account for the errors in perception?

Whitehead: Errors are due to conceptual presuppositions, through symbolic reference. But causal efficacy is impeccable. Thus the solidarity of actual things becomes an established fact. Man is only one of the infinite number of percipients in the world. Percipients act and react upon each other according to their internal relationships.

Sankara: In optical illusion, there is a common ground, such as a bush, and you may say that it is mistaken for man. Here, the symbolic reference can take the blame. But in hallucinations and dreams, false perceptions occur without any such real ground. Your view of perception does not cover all possibilities and as such is not acceptable. What do you say?

Whitehead: (In a choking voice) Anything further?

Sankara: In the next place, assuming that things are as they are presented, how can we assert that they are as real as we are.

Whitehead: In ordinary life, we have plurality of minds and subjects. Are they not independent of each other? And if your mind is real, is not my mind so?

Sankara: Yes, we admit plurality of minds and subjects in ordinary life. Yet, reflection on the nature of the subject makes its plurality inadmissible.

Whitehead: Then you mean to say that there are not different subjects.

Sankara: Certainly, even when I think that I am an object to other subjects. I do not really cease to be the subject. I am ever the subject. But when I think of myself as an object to other subjects, I only become an additional object to my! mind-the real subject. The real perceiver never changes.

So do not belittle sensuous perception simply because only high-grade organisms have it. Your failure to explain dream perceptions and hallucinations is due to your not recognising! the presence of consciousness in man. Void of sensuous perception and high intellection, man would have to be satisfied with a life like that of a plant.

Whitehead: Please tell us how to harmonise the varying contradictions in life.

Sankara: Contradictions are unavoidable in relative experience. All particular experiences form part of the manifold in the relative world. To harmonise these contradictions, you must reach the state of non-manifestation. This state is called Turiya in Sanskrit. And it is attained through conscious disciplinary procedure. Unless you reach this state, you cannot trace the common background of all varying experiences in life. You know all experiences come through contrast. Knowledge of subject object relationship is impossible in the absence of its opposite, the absence of that subject-object relationship as data. This non-manifested state of the mind we experience daily in deep sleep. We also have it in the interval when one idea succeeds another. It is the silence that intervenes between two ideas.

This must be consciously experienced. We can have this experience through our Will trained in the analysis of life as a whole. Knowledge derived from human experience in parts and aspects is not full. Hence all knowledge attained by the Western philosophers, being confined to parts of life only, namely waking and dream states, is only partial. And knowledge of these two states in only a partial expression of the whole knowledge, Para Vidya. Para Vidya stands for the totality of existence and experience. It is given to very few individuals to attain this state through intelligent analysis of the three states of life and conscious stopping of the movements of the psyche to touch the base that produces all variations in manifestation. In that state, consciousness remains in its true glory. The ego ceases to operate. When it again comes into life, it sees all life illumined with the light of the antecedent state of unified absolute consciousness. Only after this experience, can one successfully account for the variations in life and harmonise them into a homogeneous whole. This is the conception of Reality as taught by the Eastern philosophy and is a successful solution to all the problems of life.

(Now Whitehead comes to realise his mistakes. He then joins the company of his friends, the previous delegates. And they unanimously proclaim the superiority of the Eastern Philosophy over the Western and thank Sankara for his kind and clever exposition of the same.)

Enter: Einstein-a great modern scientist

(Seeing him near the doorway Sankara utters

in a loud tone.)

Sankara: Here comes our scientist. Come in, Sir. We agree in many respects, I suppose.

Einstein: You base your principle "I am Brahman" on scriptural tenets. But we start with reason.

Sankara: Sir, you are mistaken. Our philosophy does not believe in interpretation of texts, it does not start with authority. On the other hand, it starts with facts of life. What you speak of is scholasticism and not philosophy, brother.

Einstein: Is it not solipsism to say, "I am Reality"?

Sankara: No. It is only half-idealism like that of Berkley that leads to solipsism. Idealism fully understood leads to a denial of the ego and to the theory of the cosmic mind. Berkley could not deny the ego. He thought that his mind was the Reality and that other minds and objects were his ideas.

This is absurd. But in our philosophy, mind covers the three planes of existence and goes beyond ego and waking state. Our mind is the witness of the three states. So if you begin with the ego, then there will be many egoes and objects. This solipsism is false from the Absolute point of view. Absolute Mind is not solipsism which says, "Ego is real and all else is unreal."

Einstein: Modern science has reduced the world to idea. Bergson the great French philosopher too holds that Reality is creative movement and that causality is unreliable. I believe in epistemology, that even this mentalism is subject to revision.

Sankara: It is indeed a great progress in science. But it is not the end. If everything is idea or movement, how will you explain consciousness which presupposes movement? Consciousness never becomes an object. It is the radical fact of Reality.

The sense of idea is not possible unless the sense of its non-existence is not given us as the data of experience. So, we must search for the changeless, witnessing consciousness which witnesses the appearance and disappearance of these ideas. But how can we arrive at it so long as we confine ourselves to the waking or dream state or even to both which are subject to changes? To arrive at it, therefore we must take deep sleep also into consideration, where all the objects and ideas of the other two states are absorbed in the Mind. Even this 'T' vanishes for it is only an idea. Descartes was wrong to view it as indubitable always. For this T is not found in deep sleep. Hence awareness or the witnessing consciousness of the three states alone is real.

Einstein: Thank you very much, Sir, for your reasonable exposition of the Reality. I hope that science will, in the near future, take lesson from Eastern philosophy and arrive at the ultimate Reality.

(Now philosophers and scientists join hands and unanimously proclaim the superiority of the Eastern Philosophy over the Western and thank Sankara for his kind and clever exposition of the same.)

(The bell rings and all make for the dining hall.)

Scene 4

Assembly of Religionists

(Audience Hall of Lord Brahma-seated on a lotus pedestal. The Vedas are present in personal forms. Bhakti. Jnana. Yoga, Vairagya and Tapas are also attending upon the Lord Narada, Vasishta, Vyasa, Dattatreya and other Brahma Jnanis are seated in their respective seats.) 

Vedas pray: "Tvam adidevat purushah puranah

Tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam,

Tvam avyayah sashvata dharma gopta

Sanatanatvam purusho mato me."

Enter a Buddhist, a Christian, a Mohammadan, a Parsi, a Chinese, a Sikh, a Jain and a Hindu

Bhajo Lord Jesus. Bhajo Lord Mohammed

Bhajo Khuda Khuda, Bhajo Allah Allah

Bhajo Lord Buddha, Bhajo Tatagatha

Bhajo Arhat, Bhajo Bodhisattva

Bhajo Lord Confucius, Bhajo Lord Shinto

Bhajo Lord Mahavir, Bhajo Tirthankaras

Bhajo Vahiguru, Bhajo Nanakadev,

Bhajo Guru Arjun, Bhajo Guru Govind

Bhajo Saint Joseph, Bhajo Saint Francis

Bhajo Saint Mathews, Bhajo Saint Patrick

Bhajo Mansoor, Bhajo Shams Tabriez

(Bhajo Zoroaster).

All aloud: O Lord we have come for your impartial pronouncement. There is a dispute amongst us about our respective religions. Kindly let us know as to which religion is superior to all others.

Narada: Come, come, you are welcome. Please take your seats comfortably and be satisfied with the impartial judgment of this court. Having come here, no Jiva experiences pain, sorrow, tiresomeness and worry. All the virtuous Souls of the world come and abide here after giving up their bodies.

Lord Brahma: My children! Vyasadev, my dearest son and the wisest of all my offspirngs, will satisfy you with his! impartial judgment. You are free to express your views here! without hesitation.

Buddhist: I walk in the noble eightfold path. This is the way to reach the goal of Nirvana in this life. They are: (1) Right knowledge of the existence of suffering, the origin thereof, its cessation and the way to cease, (2) Right aspirations, viz., the desire to be merciful to all, to love all, (3) Right speech, loving and truthful, (4) Right actions such as the practice of Ahimsa, non-stealing and absence of sensual immorality. (5) Right living, (6) Right endeavour to give up evil and develop the good, (7) Right attention or concentration on Nirvana and (8) Right Samadhi.

Yoga: My Lord, he has learnt all this from me. This is only a changed form of the eightfold path of Yoga comprising of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Vyasadev: Your doctrines or tenets correspond to the Sermon on the Mount of Lord Jesus or the practice of Sadachara or right conduct by Hindus and the Raja Yogis. The essentials or fundamentals of all religions are the same. Non-essentials only differ. It is foolishness to accuse Buddha as an atheist. Buddha is the Avatara of Vishnu like Sri Krishna, Sri Rama and others. There is no agnosticism in Buddhism. Buddhism is not pessimism or Nihilism. Nirvana is a state of absolute wisdom, blessedness and supreme peace. It corresponds to Nirvikalpa Samadhi of Yogis and sages of India.

Mohammedan: The five cardinal tenets of Islam are (1) Oneness of God and the revelation of God's will to man through a series of prophets, the last of the series being Mohammed, (2) Prayer, (3) Fasts, (4) Jakat, (5) Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Vyasadev: My beloved brother, the cardinal tenets of your religion are the same as those of other religions. All religions take the aspirant to the same goal. The roads or ways are different but the goal or destination is the same. The most important thing is you should practise what you say. You must act according to the teachings of Koran. Koran is the sacred book as Bible or Zendavesta or Bhagavadgita. Hindus fast during Ekadasi, Sivaratri. You fast on Ramzan. Christians fast during Lent. Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and all pray. Prayer is the most powerful means to have communion with the Lord. Lord Mohammed has distinctly said, "The killing of living beings, uttering falsehood are the grevious sins." He has asked you to practise right conduct. Without right conduct no one can attain God-realisation. In the Koran there is mention of life after death. Observe tolerance towards other religions. This is very important. Give up converting others.

Mohammedan: I do not believe in re-birth and transmigration.

Vyasadev: I will give you convincing proofs and make you understand that there is rebirth. If there is only one birth, if the evil doer is thrown in hell, there is no scope for his betterment or evolution. In one birth all virtues cannot be developed. One can cultivate the divine virtues by gradual evolution. What do you say, my brother?

Mohammedan: The matter is quite clear to me. I do accept that there is rebirth. I do accept the theory of Karma.

Christian: I practise the ten commandments of Lord Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. I pray in the church and at home also. I study Bible daily. I will attain salvation through these practices. This is my conviction.

Vyasadev: You are quite right, my friend Joseph. If you follow instructions of Lord Jesus strictly you are sure to attain God-realisation. Give up converting others. Every religion shows the correct path to God. Then why should you convert others ? Lord Jesus is a great adept and Yogi. He is a devotee, Yogi and Jnani. He is also a Vedantin. He says, "I and my Father are one." Lord Jesus preached Yoga in India.

Christian: I also do not believe in re-birth, transmigration and the theory of Karma.

Vyasadev: Just hear my words with rapt attention, "As you think, so you become". You take birth according to your thought. How do you account friend, for the existence of boy geniuses. A child delivers lectures in a big assembly. A child solves great mathematical problems. A child narrates his previous life. Buddha became a Buddha only in his last birth. The baby sucks. Who taught this to the baby? The tendencies of the previous birth make the child suck.

Christian: My eyes are opened now, my revered Brahmajnani. I do admit rebirth, reincarnation and the law of Karma. Hinduism is really the fountain-source of all religions. I do endorse your view that Lord Jesus was a Hindu Yogi. This is quite clear from his teachings.

Parsi: I believe in Zend-Avesta. I worship fire. I follow the teachings of Zoroaster. Ahur Mazda exists and is holy. He is one. Zoroaster's religion is the word of God. Zoroaster is the prophet of God. Good thoughts, good words, good deeds, help one to attain salvation. Purity is my watchword. The Triune of Hoomta, Hookta, Huvareshta or Manasni, Gavasni, Kunasni. i.e., good thoughts, good words, good deeds, is really comprehensive of all morality. I attach great importance to truth. In the Yatha Ahu Vairyo prayer great prominence is given to the service of the poor. I attach great importance to charity. God is omnipotent, omniscient, all-merciful, all-just.

Yajurveda: My Lord, all the tenets of his religion have been derived from my teachings. Their fire worship corresponds to the Agnihotra of Vedas. All these rules of right conduct are portions of the Vedic Sadachara only. The teachings of Zendavesta have been taken from the teachings of Vedas. Really Parsis are a sub division of the Aryan race who came to India with Vedic culture.

Vyasadev: You are quite right my beloved Parsi brother; I have already told you that the essentials of all religions are one and the same. The non-essentials only differ. This difference must exist. This is the relative world of phenomena and opposite Every religion emphatically declares, "One can attain eternal bliss and immortality by God-realisation. One should speak the truth, observe celibacy, love others and practise self-restraint, concentration, prayer and meditation. These are the fundamentals of all religions. Your Zendavesta also teaches the same. Ignorant people only fight and say "Our religion is superior." One should be perfectly tolerant towards all religions. This is most important. An intolerant man cannot attain God-realisation. As his intellect becomes callous on account of intolerance, he cannot grasp the truth. All prophets are messengers of God. They are great Yogis and realised souls who have had direct intuitive perception of God. Their words are infallible and sacred, Had it not been for these prophets and their writings, there is no hope for salvation and betterment for the mind. Each prophet helped mankind by disseminating knowledge and founding the religion which was suited to the people among whom they flourished. Glory to these prophets and their writings. May their blessings be upon you all.

Chinaman: I am a follower of Lao-Tze. My religion is Taoism. Tao (Eternal bliss) is one. He is the father of God. It was in the beginning and it will remain for ever. It is eternal, immutable, omnipresent, bodiless. immaterial and imperceptible by the senses. It is nameless and indescribable. It is the mother of all phenomena. Il existed before the Personal God.

Purity, kindness towards all living creatures, contentment, self-control, higher knowledge are the means for attaining the Tao. Concentration and breathing exercises help the aspirant in the path of Tao. Love and hatred. profit and loss, honour and dishonour do not affect the sage or the liberated soul.

Vyasadev: Hello, my brother. your religion is like the religion of Vedanta. Your Tao corresponds to the Brahman of Vedantins. You have got ethics and Yogic discipline also. Only names differ.

Sikh: I am the follower of Guru Nanak. I believe in Guru Granth Sahib. I study Japji. I repeat Satnam Ek Omkar.

Vvasadev: The Mantra that you repeat is nothing but the formula of Vedantins. It gives a vivid description of Brahman of the Upanishads. Guru Granth Sahib contains the essence of the Vedas. Guru Nanak is a great prophet and an adept. You can realise God in your own way. You are chivalrous. The blood of Guru Govind Singh runs in your veins. But why you have separated yourself from Hindus. You are the Kshatriya of the Hindu nation. This is a serious mistake. You will not gain anything by this separation. You must be really proud of calling yourself a Hindu.

Jain: I believe in the teachings of Mavavir, in transmigration and Karma theory. I practise rigorous Ahimsa. I do not even take bath. As I do not wish to kill the insects, I do not burn lights. I take my food before sunset. Thirthankaras are our Gurus.

Vyasadev: Practice of this one virtue Ahimsa is quite sufficient to take you to the goal. He who practises this virtue must be truthful and just. A truthful man is veritable God on! this earth. But you must take bath daily to keep up good health.

Hindu: I believe in the Vedas, Srutis, Vedanta and Avataras I practise Yama and Niyama. I do Japa, meditation, Kirtan and enquiry of 'Who am I?'. I study Bhagavata, the Ramayana, the Upanishads and the Gita.

Vyasadev: Hinduism is doubtless the fountain source of all religions. Vedanta adds to its glory. Even in the West like America there are countless students of Vedanta.

Lord Brahma: O members of different religions, be tolerant towards other's religion. Do not fight amongst yourselves. Develop cosmic love and universal brotherhood. See God in everything. All religions are the ways to attain God-realisation. Leave petty-mindedness. Expand. Evolve. Develop Chitvisalata (large-heartedness). There is only one religion, the religion of love, the religion of Vedanta. Behold the unity or oneness of all religions. He who knows the real Tattva, who has grasped the essence of all religions, will never enter into discussions or heated debate and will never proselytise or try to convert another man into his religion. He who tries to convert is an ignorant man with selfish motive. He is far from Truth or God. May you all live happily with one heart.

All religionists: O Brahma Jnani Vyasadev, O venerable Guru! You have opened our eyes through your collyrium rod of knowledge. We will never try to convert others into our fold. We now know that the essentials of all religions are same. We have now clearly grasped the unity of all religions.

We will follow your instructions and disseminate peace, good-will and cosmic love.

Song of Vibhuti Yoga:

Bhajo Radhe Krishna, Bhajo Radhe Shyama,

Soham Soham, Soham Sivoham.

Om Om Om Om Om, Om Om Om Om Om.

I am neither mind nor body, Immortal Self I am, I am witness of the three states, I am Knowledge Absolute.

Om Om Om Om Om......

I am fragrance in jassamine, beauty in flowers, I am coolness in the ice, flavour in coffee.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna..

I am greenness in the leaf, hue in the rainbow, I am taste buds in the tongue, essence in orange.

Om Om Om Om Om......

I am Mind of all minds, Prana of all Pranas, I am Soul of all souls, Self of all selves.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna....

I am Atman in all beings, apple of all eyes, I am Sun of all suns, Light of all lights.

Om Om Om Om Om......

I am Pranava of all Vedas, Brahman of Upanishads, I am silence in forests, thunder in all clouds.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna......

I am velocity in electrons, motion in science, I am effulgence in the sun, wave in the radio.

Om Om Om Om Om...

I am support of this world, Soul of this body, I am ear of all ears, eye of all eyes.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna......

I am time, space, Dik and the controller,

I am God of gods, Guru and the Director

Om Om Om Om Om....

I am melody in music, in Raga and Raginis, I am sound in ether, Sakti in Veerya.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna....

I am power in electricity, intelligence in mind, I am brilliance in fire, penance in ascetics.

Om Om Om Om Om...

I am reason in philosophers, 'will' in Jnanis, I am Prem in Bhaktas, Samadhi in Yogis.

Bhajo Radhe Krishna......

I am That I am, I am That I am, I am That I am, I am That I am.

Om Om Om Om Om....

Scene 5

Parliament of Religions

Characters

Sri Krishna (Hinduism)                      Guru Nanak (Sikhism)

Sri Buddha (Buddhism)                      Swetambar (Jainism)

Zoroaster (Zoroastrianism)                    Inayat (Sufism)

Bahaullah (Bahaism)                              Nihon (Shintoism)

Confucius (Confucianism)                      Moses (Hebrew religion)

Jesus (Christianity)                                Mohammed (Islam)

Lord Visvanath, The Supreme Lord of the Universe

Scene: A beautiful pandal erected on the banks of the Ganga with the Himalayan hillocks overlooking it. At one end of the pandal is a flood-lit temple of Lord Siva profusely decorated on Sivaratri day. Puja was going on in the temple. Inside the pandal is assembled a large gathering of Gods and Goddesses, and suints, seers, and leaders of men. The Prophets of various religions enter one by one and are received by Lord Visvanath who had specially invited them to attend the Parliament of Religions.

Amidst thunderous cheers, Lord Visvanath occupies the chair, and Prophets take their repective seats on the dais.

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Sri Krishna will speak to you on Hinduism and it will be our good fortune to hear other Prophets who have now assembled here. Today is very auspicious being Sivaratri. We will all observe vigil tonight and be immersed in sweet discourses of the various Prophets. Hear with attention what they say and try to follow their advice in your daily life.

Sri Krishna: (Prostrates before the Lord seated in the presidential chair and sings His praise)

"Deenabandhu Deenanatha Visvanatha Hae Vibho

Pahimam Trahimam Prananatha Hae Prabho." | Children of Immortality!

All beings hanker after happiness. Real happiness can be had only in the liberated state, that is the supreme Reality, viz., the personal, impersonal, Immanent and the Absolute. It! asserts at the same time that all these are aspects of one and the same Reality. In this respect Hinduism may be considered as a synthesis of all religions and philosophies of the world.

The absolute which is the supreme Reality manifests itself as this universe. And the summum bonum or the supreme consummation of human life, is the attainment of this Reality Religion based upon faith is only a make-belief. It cannot give you that consolation which actual realisation bestows. Hence for real peace and bliss in life you must stand face to face with God. The mystics who have attained the goal have laid down certain regular psychological methods for the realisation of the truth. These methods are called Yogic processes and suit the temperament and capacities of different types of human mind. The main among these are Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yogas.

Follow any one of these prescribed Yogas with faith and perseverance, and you will attain the truth. It is generally the ritualistic aspect that creates differences between religion and religion and is the cause of hatred among different religions. But when the psychology behind all these rituals and ceremonies is understood the common background on which all these rest is discerned.

Guru Nanak:

Satnam Satnam Satnamji

Satnam Satnam Ekomkarji

Vahi Guru Vahi Guru Vahi Guruji

Satnam Satnam Satnamji

Friends,

The aim of man should be to have a harmonious and balanced development of all his faculties. He must know how to live in the world as well as how to realise God. He should not be satisfied with the life of a coward or a selfish animal, but he should learn to be a soldier and a saint. He should learn to be brave, loving and self-sacrificing and serve humanity singing the name of Lord. He thus perfects himself and helps others to do so. He must combine in himself the saint and the man, God-fearing and loving on the one hand and fierce, courageous and ruthless towards the tresspassers of Truth and the ravishers of humanity on the other.

He is the pure One (A Khalsa) who believes in the oneness of God and the brotherhood of man. Such a man consecrates his life to God, and his master and to the service of the suffering humanity.

Man should spend every moment of his life for the achievement of the goal in life-the conquest of mind and the realisation of God. I do not ask anyone, on this account, to give up his normal worldly duties. Such a life, it may be said, is not quite possible. But my experience proves its possibility.

Nothing is possible for us without divine favour. You cannot make Divine Grace descend on you through demands or commands. Prayer alone succeeds in getting this grace. We have to pass through five stages or Khandas before realising God, the final resting place, viz., Dharmkhand, Jnankhand, Sharankhand, Karamkhand and Suchkhand. In the first stage we have to do our duty in the best of spirits. In the second stage we are guided by the divine knowledge in the performance of duty. In the third stage, duty or Dharma becomes spontaneous as the scent in the rose. In the fourth or Karmakhand, the soul rises to the sphere of power. Man becomes a mighty hero. The fear of death runs away from him. From here man travels easily to the final stage. Suchkhand is that in which he becomes one with God. And here begins eternal peace and bliss.

Buddha: There is suffering in the world. The destruction of suffering is our purpose. Birth, death, disease, etc., are all suffering. The cause of suffering is with us. And it is in our power to destroy this cause and attain perfect happiness.

Self-knowledge and Self-perfection will eradicate this cause. Follow the noble eight-fold path and you will have removed the cause and killed suffering. I do not ask any man to believe or disbelieve God; what he believes in is something private. I understand he is suffering and so prescribe for him this remedy-the noble eight-fold path.

Desire, craving or greed is at the bottom of all the troubles in the world. But if you follow the noble eightfold path, you can end this devil of desire. And with the cessation of desire dawns the Light of knowledge which is universal. He now becomes the enlightened. This is renunciation; but you have to work it out yourself. Be a light unto yourself. This is my message.

Swetambar: Dear Friends, Jainism is not an easy religion. It is existing from time immemorial. As Truth cannot be traced to any particular time so Jainism also cannot be traced to any particualr time. Jainism teaches that all sentient beings are inherently equal. It exhorts us to show consideration for the feelings of all beings. It thus preaches universal brotherhood. li teaches us how to uplift the soul through the exercise of the greatest self-control. It condemns selfish actions which hurt the feelings of others. Its main teaching is equality of treatment-loving others as your own selves. Once this fact is realised, other questions are easily solved. The universal principles of Jainism are non-injury, speaking truth, non-stealing, non-indulgence in sexual affairs, and non-owning property. Following these principles one attains the ultimate goal-liberation of the soul.

Inayat:

Yezadan Harvesptewan Harvespagah

                                     Parwara Varoon Pirozgar

Khudavand Ahurmazd Rayommand

                                     Khoremand Daver Boktar

Kudavand Ahurmazd Rayomand

                                     Khoremand Khawar Dadar.

Just, liberator, all-light, lustrous, merciful creator,

Knowledge absolute, Lord of the universe,

                                      victorious life-giver,

Protector from all sins, all-knowing, all-powerful supporter saviour.

Revered Brothers,

There is only One God, the God of all. Upon the altar covered with an yellow cloth are eight candles. The large central one already burning before the worshippers enter the shrine, represents the Divine Light, from which all others are derived. The second large candle below the first represents the Messenger in all ages. He has held aloft the Light of Truth through the darkness of human ignorance. The other six candles stand for the religions of the world, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Zoroastrian, the Hebrew, the Christian and the Islamic. We must have tolerance for all religions. We must recognise all world-teachers for they are the embodiments of the Divine Spirit of guidance. Our prayer should be: "Send us the Peace of Thy Divine Spirit. And unite us all in Thy Perfect Being."

Zoroaster: You will agree with me when I say that there is constant conflict between good and evil in the moral, spiritual and physical planes. This being the case, we must know how we can get revelation and perform our duties for the progress of the world. I think our duty is in working for 'Frashokereta', 1.e., advancement of the world. All prophets work for this end. Let outraspiration be not only for "Thy Kingdom come" but also for the additional fulfilment "Here and now". I believe not only that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you, but also without you in the shape of civilisation and material progress of the world. We should ever work with the Divine in His great work of the progress of the world, both spiritual and material. Thus we should aim not only at personal liberation but also at the universal peace and brotherhood of man.

Bahaulla: Brothers and friends! God abideth in his place alone and singly. He is beyond the vision of our eyes. We were all created by Him. If we earnestly endeavour in the way of God after severing ourselves from all else, we can become so much attached to that city of God which we will never abandon even for a moment.

We will discover for ourselves the reality of things. No man should follow blindly his ancestors and forefathers. Beware of prejudice. A rose is beautiful in whatever garden it may bloom. All the prophets of God have come to unite the children of men and not to disunite them. In reality, all are members of one human family-children of one heavenly Father. There is unity in diversity. The foundation underlying all divine precepts is one Reality. Therefore the foundation of divine religions is one. Religion and science must be brought together indissolubly in Reality. There should be one universal language in addition to the mother-tongue. For diversity of tongues paralyses the body of mankind. The education of every child must be made compulsory. Useful labour done in the spirit of worship will solve the economic problem. Peace. perfect peace, must possess the heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.

Those who follow these principles will attain the realisation of God.

Nihon: Dear Friends. “Shinto" is a spiritual reality. It may be interpreted as the "Way of the Gods" or "the Godlike way." This has united the Japanese people into one nation. This is responsible for the Japanese culture, i.e., religious faith, politics, economics, etc. Shinto is a kind of personal religion. It gives divine attributes to every person. But it admits differences in levels, distinctions and individualities. It teaches us to have absolute loyalty to tenno or the Sovereign Emperor. It teaches us to have deep feelings of respect for parents and for ancestors, and love for children.

Self-realisation is the cyclic process of mutual interaction of the two forces represented by the individual and the world,

Confusius: Gentlemen, we must be brotherly in our dealings with our neighbours. We must possess intelligence moral character and courage. We must possess loyalty to our rules. There should be oneness of feeling between husband and wife, between parent and child. What you do not wish others should do unto you, do not do unto them. By observing these principles, we can convert this earth into a real paradise.

Moses: God has created the universe. The aim of man should be to have communion with God. And without intercourse with God, man's life is above the merely animal stage.

Even a wicked man can have communion with God after repentence. The tears of true penitence are not shed in vain. Even the most righteous shall not attain to so high a place in heaven as the truly repentent.

All humanity are His children. So we are all brothers and sisters. Every faith is a path to God, and without love of humanity the world will come to chaos.

Jesus: Comrades, God is a spirit. He is omnipresent. He has infinite love for His creatures. God is the father of all. So all! men are brothers. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you. We are all brothers. We are all members of the same family of God. In our Godhead there are these persons: father, son and the holy ghost or the spirit. You may ask how it is possible for three persons to be in One Godhead. In reply. I will tell you that as there are three functions of the mind-knowing, feeling and willing, so are there three persons in the Godhead.

We cannot comprehend God. For, how can the finite comprehend the Infinite? In essence, I and my father are one. "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. And if any man cometh near me, and leaveth not his father and mother and wife and children, he cannot be my disciple." Truth can be attained only through renunciation and one-pointed devotion.

Mohammed: Brothers and friends! Man belongs to one nationality. There should be love among men. Hypocrisy is a sin. We should not attach any sanctity to the sacrifice of animals. Real sacrifice is the sacrifice of our inner selves. Internal perfection is indispensable for salvation. All women should enjoy equality with men. They should be allowed to participate in all activities-political, social and religious.

Namaz, the daily prayer, should not be formal. It must be sincere and must come from the heart. It is not possible to remember God in prayer when the mind is impure; so the evil desires of the heart, the impurities must be removed by abstaining from evil work.

Prayer keeps you aloof from committing evils. Your salvation lies not in the sacrifice of animals. But it lies in the sacrifice of your hearts and money, in the sacrifice of your time and energy for the uplift of humanity and for the removal of the grievances of the oppressed and the depressed. God is not far from us. He is ever existent in us. We become one with Him when our hearts become pure.

The Supreme Lord: My own Self in the shape of those assembled here! "Samoham sarvabhuteshu na me dveshyosti na priyathe same am I to all beings; there is non hateful to me nor dear." We see that all religions essentially concern themselves with the practical life of man. All have formulated different codes of conduct and spiritual discipline to be followed. By following these, man attains the summum bonum or the supreme consummation of life. You may call this summum bonum, heavenly attainment or you may call it supreme perfection or Nirvanapada. It is also described as the annihilation of the limited self. Thus you will see that the end of all religions is one and the same.

All religions point to one single aspiration of the human soul. And that is to transcend the limitations of environment and circumstances and get into the state of final beatitude and sublime peace—the natural craving of the soul. In this respect, we should say that all religions are the fulfilment of the natural urge in man which is essentially spiritual. And we should recognise that the realisation of this fulfilment is dependent on his being and becoming. Every religion, therefore, is essentially practical, a process of becoming'.

Every religion is a progressive realisation. And as every

ligion has the same supreme End in view, we may rightly declare that every religion is but a path to the same goal. On we may utter with the Upanishadic sages, "Ekam Sad Vipra Bahrudha Vadanti-Truth is one, sages call it diversely."!

The assembly of devotees being impressed beyond measure by the inspiring speeches of the prophets sing in one voice the glory of the saints..)

Bhaio Radhe Krishna Bhajo Radhe Shyama

Bhajo Radhe Krishna Bhajo Radhe Shyama.

Bhajo Lord Jesus, Bhajo Lord Mohammed

Bhajo Khuda Khuda, Bhajo Allah Allah

Bhajo Lord Buddha, Bhajo Tatagatha

Bhajo Lord Arhat, Bhajo Boddhisattva

Bhajo Lord Confucius, Bhajo Lord Shinto

Bhajo Lord Mahavir, Bhajo Tirthankaras

Bhajo Vahiguru, Bhajo Nanakdev,

Bhajo Guru Arjun, Bhajo Guru Govind

Bhajo Saint Joseph, Bhajo Saint Francis

Bhajo Saint Mathews, Bhajo Saint Patrick

Bhajo Swetambar, Bhajo Zoroaster

Bhajo Inayat, Bhajo Bahullah

Bhajo Moses, Bhajo Nihon

Bhajo Mansoor, Bhajo Shams Tabriez

Bhajo Lord Krishna, Bhajo Lord Viswanath

Bhajo Radhe Krishna, Bhajo Radhe Shyama.

Sccene 6

Paradise the Real

(A meeting of prophets-A Scene)

Characters

Ram Mohan Roy                                  Sri Aurobindo

Justice Ranade                                      Sri Tagore

Swami Dayananda                               Mahatma Gandhi

Annie Beasant                                      Prof. Radhakrishnan

Sri Ramkrishna                                    Sri Ramana Maharshi

Swami Vivekananda                            Swami Sivananda

Swami Ramtirtha                                 The Supreme Lord

Scene-The Parliament of Religions' pandal. The same gathering assembles again. This time the various leaders of modern philosophical thought are asked to expound their views. In this scene, it is imagined that all the prophets of modern India, i.e., from 1800 up to the present day, assemble with their chief disciples in heaven the abode of the Lord Supreme in response to His call. And here, they arecalled upon, one by one, to restate briefly before a meeting of Gods and Goddesses, the messages which they preached in the world for the uplift of the suffering humanity. Accordingly, they give out by turns marked out by the Supreme Lord as the President of the meeting, their respective messages. And the messages are given in the form of a conversation between the master and a disciple in order to render the teachings more easily understood. This meeting of prophets is also called "Paradise the Real".

Enter the Lord

The Lord (to the audience): Now we will listen to the conversation between Ram Mohan Roy and his disciple.

Enter Ram Mohan Roy and his disciple

Disciple: Sir, why is there so much suffering in the world?

Ram Mohan Roy: Because mankind fail to realise that they are all of one great family and so do not promote reciprocal advantages and enjoyments.

Disciple: They say you are opposed to Brahmanism, are you?

Ram Mohan: I am not opposed to Brahmanism, but to a perversion of it.

Disciple: In the world, it is commonly seen that one religion attacks another. Why is it so?

Ram Mohan: It is natural that when one nation succeeds in conquering another, the former laughs at the religion and customs of the latter. But this is only due to ignorance.

Disciple: Is not Sati a good custom? Does it not ensure the love and faithfulness of the wife towards her husband?

Ram Mohan: No, it is a cruel custom. It should be abolished. If the practice were free and voluntary, it would be wholesome. But in most cases, it is not so.

Disciple: What is your opinion about idol-worship and sacrifices.

Ram Mohan: These are not allowed from the highest standpoint. The Upanishads trace them to the source of ignorance.

Disciple: Is not caste system conducive to the prosperity and welfare of mankind?

Ram Mohan: If any scripture contradicts reason, it should be rejected. It should be accepted if found in accord with our conscience.

We should all feel that we belong to one whole family and love one another as brothren.

Exit Ram Mohan Roy and his disciple

The Lord (to the audience): Now Justice Ranade will kindly give his message.

Enter Justice Ranade and his disciple

Disciple: How is it that Ram Mohan, despite his preaching of unity and love, could influence only a few souls brought up in a particular atmosphere.

Ranade: Because he wanted to form a separate sect unconnected with the past. It was a wrong procedure. We should build upon the past. We should work with the community. And we should not try to aourse unnecessary opposition among the people. And Ram Mohan was indifferent to these principles and hence his failure to command greater influence.

Disciple: How to achieve peace and order among men?

Ranade: There are four methods. Firstly, reform is to be carried out by interpreting the old texts in a liberal way to meet the requirements of the people. Secondly, appeal should be made direct to the masses to correct their wrongs. Thirdly, reform should be enforced through law. But this method should be adopted only when the first two have failed. Fourthly, the reforms should rebel against the fold and form a different sect in case of disagreement. I do not appreciate this last method. By adopting any one of these methods or all, you can bring peace and order into the country.

Exit Ranade and his disciple

The Lord (to the audience): The turn now falls to Dayananda and his disciples.

Enter Dayananda and his disciple

Disciple: Sir, what is your conception of God?

Dayananda: God is the Supreme Spirit who permeates the whole universe. He is omniscient, formless, Sachidananda. He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe. And He awards the souls the fruits of their deeds according to absolute justice.

Disciple: Is the soul separate from God?

Dayananda: They are inseparable from each other. They are to each other as the space and an object in space are to each other. It is ignorance that keeps the soul in bondage. Worshipping of objects other than God is due to ignorance. So Idol-worshipping is the creation of ignorance.

Disciple: What are the means for salvation?

Dayananda: Worship of God, performance of righteous deeds. acquirement of right knowledge, observance of Brahmacharya, society of the wise, purity, etc., are the means..

Exit Dayananda and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Annie Beasant and her disciple will have their conversation.

Enter Annie Beasant and her disciple

Disciple: Madam, you speak of occultism often and so much. Is it possible to produce material objects out of nothing?

Annie Beasant: Yes, I am in communion with spiritual masters, who live unseen somewhere in Tibet. And I often find their letters mysteriously dropped on my table.

Disciple: You say, you get letters from these masters whom we cannot see?

Annie Beasant: Yes, even yesterday. I received a letter precipitated on my writing table.

Disciple: Miraculous indeed! But what is our goal in life?

Annie Beasant: We should look upon one another as sisters and brothers. And through the practice of occultism we become convinced that we are related to one another.

Exit Annie Beasant and her disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now the turn is for Sri Ramakrishna and his disciple, Swami Vivekananda.

Enter Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda: Sir, have you seen God face to face! I am in the search for a man who has seen what he speaks of. I went to Debendranath Tagore. But he only evaded my question. Then I remembered you, and have come here.

Sri Ramakrishna: Yes, my boy. I see Him just as I see you here, only in a much intenser sense.

Swami Vivekananda: How can I see Him?

Sri Ramakrishna: If you weep sincerely for Him, He will surely manifest Himself.

Swami Vivekananda: Some say God is formless and cannot be seen.

Sri Ramakrishna: Then, they have seen only one side of God.

God is both with form and without form. In principle, there is no difference between the two, as there exists no difference between the two, as there exists no difference between water and ice. Surrender yourself to God and He will show you the Truth.

Swami Vivekanda: Tell me what disciplines I am to follow.

Sri Ramakrishna: Purification of the intellect is a condition precedent to God-realisation. And you attain this purification through unselfish service. Serve the suffering humanity while seeing God (Narayana) in them.

Exit Sri Ramakrishna and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Sri Aurobindo and his disciple will have their conversation now.

Enter Sri Aurobindo and his disciple

Disciple: What is the aim of life?

Sri Aurobindo: To become Gnostic beings capable of establishing a kingdom of God upon earth with mutuality, unity and harmony reigning therein.

Disciple: You speak of ascent to the supermind. Is the ascent a staircase?

Sri Aurobindo: No, it is a slope rather. The progress is like an advancing tide. Certain well-marked stages may be recognised in the ascent. You must traverse all these stages in order to reach the supermind.

Disciple: Is the world real?

Sri Aurobindo: Yes, it is as real as God. There is no false appearance or illusion.

Disciple: How do you explain the connection between Being and Bcoming?

Sri Aurobindo: Don't you bother about their explanation. Both are equally real. Practise Atmasamarpan. Cultivate the sense of the presence of God in all beings and you will become aware of the whole world as the expression of the infinite divine play.

Exit Sri Aurobindo and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Tagore and his disciple will entertain us with their philosophy.

Enter Tagore and his disciple

Disciple: Sir, Brahmins teach us that we should prepare for a distant heaven through virtuous deeds in this life. Is it true that there is a blissful land beyond this visible earth?

Tagore: An unseen heaven is a moonshine. One has to make this earth a paradise through his efforts. Say, "Today heaven lives in my body, in my love, in the anxiety of my heart, in my timidity and my striving, in my joys and my sorrows. Today heaven sings in my song and has found its fulfilment in my life."

Disciple: Is God personal or impersonal?

Tagore: He is both. As a person, He possesses such qualities as love, mercy and grace. And as the impersonal absolute, nothing can be predicted of Him.

Disciple: What is the cause of the world?

Tagore: This world is a dance which is never separated from the Eternal Singer.

Disciple: Is not penance in a forest-retreat conducive to spiritual progress?

Tagore: I do not appreciate the method.

Our Master is a worker and we work with Him

Boisterous is his mirth and we laugh with his laugh

He beats his drum and we march

He sings and we dance in its tune.

Pray to Him. "When can I meet thee, unless in this my home made thine? Where can I join thee, unless in this my work transformed into thy work? If I leave my home, I shall not reach thy home; if I cease my work, I can never join thee in thy work. For thou dwellest in me, and I in thee. Thou without me or me without thee are nothing.

Disciple: How can we reach God?

Tagore: We reach him through love. love freely offered. The lover, man, is the complement of the Lover, God, in the eternal love-drama of existence. The infinite for self-expression comes down into the manifoldness of the finite; and the finite for its self-realisation must rise into the unity of the Infinite. Only then is the cycle of Truth complete.

Identify yourself with all forms of life you see around you, animals and plants as well as men, and enter into all moods of pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow. Thus feel the identity of the spirit in you with that in the universe.

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is true knowledge to find unity of God. And freedom lies in absolute self-surrender, service and love.

Exit Tagore and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Mahatma Gandhi will explain his philosophy.

Enter Mahatma Gandhi and his disciple

Disciple: What is our task in life?

Mahatma Gandhi: Our task here is to attain God.

Disciple: What is your conception of God?

Mahatma Gandhi: God is a living presence. He is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything. We feel it though we do not see it.

Disciple: Can we reach God in this body?

Mahatma Gandhi: We cannot reach absolute Truth while we are in this body: each sees truth from his own angle of vision, and hence only in fragments. God is Reality-Truth.

Disciple: What is the means to reach Truth? Mahatma Gandhi: Perfect non-violence is the means to attain Reality which is the End.

Exit Mahatma Gandhi and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Prof. Radhakrishnan and his disciple will begin their conversation now

Enter Prof. Radhakrishman and his disciple

Disciple: What is God?

Prof. Radhakrishnan: When pure consciousness, which is the Absolute, manifests itself in the present cosmos we call it God. In other words, the Infinite Being, has limited itself to be called God. And this self-limiting power of the absolute is called Maya. You may call the Absolute and Maya as Spirit and Matter respectively.

Disciple: What is our duty here?

Prof. Radhakrishnan: To try to teach the Truth, our end, We are already on the pathway to the Absolute.

Disciple: If so, what necessity is there for moral struggle? And is not the freedom of man only an appearance?

Prof. Radhakrishnan: Yes, there is need for struggle. Take for instance the two premises. All the members of Ananda Kutir are English educated monks. Nijabodhji is an inmate. Now is it not necessary to use our logical intellect to draw the conclusion. "Therefore Nijabodhji is an English educated monk." In the same way, though the essence of the world process is contained in the operations of Nature absolute still the effort of man and the operations of nature are essential for drawing out the essence and rendering it concrete.

Disciple: Is perfect freedom possible in this life?

Prof. Radhakrishnan: Perfect freedom is impossible in an imperfect world. The individual who achieves unity within himself sets other men forward in desiring the same good. In a true sense, the ideal individual and the perfect community arise together. Experiences of great mystics all over the world convince us that through our effort divine life can be made to emerge out of us which will inspire us with constructive passion and unite us mentally, morally and spiritually ina world-fellowship

Exit Prof. Radhakrishnan and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Sri Ramana Maharshi will give us his experience.

Enter Ramana Maharshi and his disciple

Disciple: Sir, please tell me how to be constantly happy?

Ramana Maharshi: Enquire "Who am I?" and you shall know that you alone exist as eternal happiness.

Exit Ramana Maharshi and his disciple

The Lord: (to the audience) Now Sri Swami Sivanandaji will give his message.

Enter Swami Sivanandaji and his disciple

Disciple: You say God alone is real, and everything else is illusory and that liberation lies in realising God. But please tell me the easiest and the safest means for reaching Him in this iron age.

Swami Sivanandaji: Liberation can be achieved only through Bhakti which is self-forgeting love, or Jnana which is self-transcending knowledge. Lives of great mystics like Tulsidas, Kabir, Sri Ramakrishna, to mention only a few of them, teach us that Bhakti is the easiest means for salvation. Bhakti is achieved through singing the names of the Lord constantly with devotion. Therefore acquire Bhakti and attain freedom.

Disciple: What is the easiest Sadhana for God-realisation?

Swami Sivanandaji: Purify your mind through selfless service of humanity. Service of humanity is service of God. See Lord Narayana in the face of a poor and sick man. Serve him with intense faith and Bhay. When you purify yourself by selfless untiring service for a number of years the light of knowledge will flash in you, the darkness of ignorance will vanish and you will ultimately merge in God. Yoga of synthesis is best suited, for this age. Take the help of Karma, Bhakti, Yoga and Vedanta to achieve the summum bonum of life. All round perfection should be your aim. Practice of Karma Yoga, singing Hari's names, performance of regular Yogic exercises and Vedantic Vichar-all these take you to the highest goal. They do not contradict each other. They, on the other hand, act as help or Sahakaris in the attainment of God-realisation

Exit Swami Sivanandaji and his disciple

The Lord now gives his concluding remarks

The Lord: Dear children! Man is a self-conscious being. He is able to look before and after. He can dominate nature and add to his knowledge. Yet he is absolutely individual. He is organically connected with his environments. He miserably blunders when he thinks he is not, when he imagines he is a separate self-absolutely independent of the others. The harmony between him and his surroundings is instinctive and unconscious. This he has to achieve through voluntary efforts. He should realise that his individuality is not for accomplishing selfish ends, but for doing good to all. He should realise that his true progress lies in employing his gifts in the service of humanity and for lifting them on the ladder of spirituality. And these prophets have, through their teachings and actions raised the moral status and increased the happiness of the world. All these prophets have reasserted in most emphatic terms the fundamental truth that all religions are branches of the same tree. They have all taught that the same sap of universalism flows in all their systems. Let us all extend our heartfelt thanks to these prophets of love.

PASSION AND ANGER

Synopsis

Scene 1. In the first scene of the play that will be enacted before you, Kama (Passion) and Krodha (Anger) will in their personified forms, tell you from their own mouth what havoc they cause to humanity. Kama and Krodha vie with each other in the number of their slaves. That both have a wide sway over almost the entire humanity is brought out by the allusion that both of them think that he is more powerful than the other. Then follows the boastful narration of both Kama and Krodha, of their achievements, the victory they gained over great personages. This is to impress upon all aspirants, neophyte and advanced, the imperative necessity of keeping a constantly vigilant watch for the slightest symptoms of these two dire diseases that assail all men from within.

Scene 2. In the second scene, Kama and Krodha approach certain persons-Krishna Rao, Prem Chaitanya and Prof. Subramaniam, inmates of an Ashram in Rishikesh, for arbitration. The frank admission of the practitioners, including the learned one, adds force to the object lession that Kama and Krodha hint at in the previous scene, that they are powerful enough to bring even Yogis under their destructive

wings.

All the three aspirants unite in their confession that though they are able to control passion to a certain extent, anger is a more potent foe.

Scene 3. Having thus established the soul-killing force of Krodha (Anger), the third scene proceeds to explain in detail the methods of control. This is achieved through the answers given by Swami Jnanananda, a great Yogi and Jnani, to questions put to kim by a thirsty aspirant, Atma Chaitanya. Swami Jnanananda proceeds from simple methods of control like drinking a cup of cold water to the subtle Vedantic method of control by reflection, introspection and meditation. Swami Jnanananda also emphasises in conclusion the efficacy of a combined attack on the powerful enemy by Japa, Pranayama, Vichara, all together, to defeat him.

 

Introduction

Characters

Kama                                          The Deity of Passion

Krodha                                       The Deity of Anger

Krishna Rao and                        Two aspirants practising Yoga

Prem Chaitanya                          in an Ashram in Rishikesh

Prof. Subramaniam                    A well-read inmate of the above Ashram

Jnanananda                                A great Yogi and Jnani

Atma Chaitanya                        An aspirant-disciple of Jnanananda

It is usual to regard Anger as a corollary or counterpart of Desire, since it usually appears when desire becomes frustrated. Psychologically, the two are interrelated. Yet from the point of view of the spiritual Sadhak whose main task is to purify his mind, anger is a more powerful foe than desire. It is worthwhile analysing the causes of the defeat too frequently sustained by the Sadhak when he wages war with anger.

First, it has to be remembered that the Sadhak has to carry the fight all alone and unaided. In his encounter with Kama, he has the co-operation of Society. Public opinion bears the brunt of the warfare. If he reveals his Kama in its objectionable form, he falls in the estimation of those whose good opinion he values. To be calumniated by his detractors is wounding to his vanity. To be reproved by his friends is painful. To be thought ill of even by those towards whom he is indifferent is displeasing to him. All these thoughts are positive aids in carrying out his mental fight with Kama. Far different is his condition when he attempts to conquer anger. Exhibition of temper is not regarded as a moral delinquency by the public. Provocation is put forth as an excuse and justification for reprehensible outbursts of anger, and is accepted as a mitigatory plea by the indulgent public. Society seems to stand still with folded hands when an angry person frets, fumes or raves. It would appear that 'society' even goes to the enemy's camp and goads it (anger) to strike harder and harder so as to thoroughly overpower the lonely victim. Not infrequently are found a good many who irritate an already angry man merely for the fun of seeing him infuriated. Men are so callous by nature that they are pleased when gazing upon the antics of a lunatic; and the differences between an angry person and a maniac is only one of degree. The result is that the spiritual Sadhak, when assailed by his arch enemy, anger, is too often overpowered.

Secondly, there operate certain sentiments which put on the cloak of virtues and misguide the unwary spiritual pilgrim. One such is named self-respect. Forgetful of the fundamental truth that the aspirant should be indifferent alike to praise and censure, he takes his stand on self-respect after all a slippery and unreliable foothold-and in his over-anxiety to protect it, fails to notice the stealthy approach of his foe, anger, till it is too late. Righteous indignation is another illusory, if not pernicious, watchword. Influenced by it, he foolishly imagines that it is his duty to get angry. 'Love of country', 'Duty to one's own wife and children,' 'solicitude for the needy and the poor' are all wrongly regarded as justifications for getting angry. Whatever may be the value of these sentiments from the point of view of the community or the nation, they should not cloud the understanding of the spiritual Sadhak, whose one and only aim should be to conquer his mind.

Anger, like fever, is a symptom which shows that something has gone wrong in the inner mechanism. The mental machinery gets heated for want of timely lubrication. The most effective of all lubricants is Introspection or Reflection. Eevn the most angry man realises his folly after his anger is spent out. It is then that he begins to reflect upon what he did. If this reflection had come to him before he got angry, he would not have got angry at all. But that would be possible only if he had made reflection or introspection his habit. The habit must be formed in good time if the evil is to be averted.

Scene 1

(The City of Calcutta, Chowringhee Road, one of the busiest business centres of the City with a number of Hotels of all types—from a first-rate European hotel to a tiny soda fountain. The floodlit shops attract large crowds who pour in and out of the restaurants. Krodha crosses the Chowringhee at the Lindsay Street Crossing, walks straight on to the Victoria Memorial. The Memorial and the plains round are so pleasant and beautiful in moonlight and invite a large number of pleasure-seeking men and women. Time is about 11 p.m. on a wintry night.)

Krodha: (to himself) Baah! I have done a good job of work today. Today indeed has been spent well. I have made that white man break the head of the black one with his wine-glass. Did I stop with that? The black drunkard drove his bayonet through his opponent's breast. In the confusion that resulted, the crowd set fire to the restaurant. A fire engine and a police lorry have all been rushed to the scene. Good work, excellent work. I must go to the plains and think out of what to do now (Sings);

(Thars: Raja Rama Rama Ram)

(Thana Nana Nana Na-Nana Nana Nana Nana)

I am very powerful, I can destroy all Tapas

I subdued Dhruvas, I conquered Yajnavalkya,

I am the enemy of Peace, I am foe of knowledge.

I am born of Rajo Guna, Irritability is (my another form.

(Thana Nana Nana Na)

I am all-devouring, I am all-powerful.

I am the gate of the hell, I destroy the Atmic pearl.

Antarai

When a desire is not gratified, I manifest in (the mind-lake.

I make the Jiva senseless, I make him do all Adharmas.

I make him more furious, I make him my perfect slave,

I make him perfectly blind, I make him lose his understanding.

(I am very powerful......)

(As he approaches the Victoria Memorial, thus singing, he is confronted by Kama who is engaged in exciting passion in a couple walking at a distance.)

Kama: Who are you, my friend?

Krodha: I am Krodha; I am also known as Anger. Who are you? And why do you interrupt my thoughts? Don't bother me now. Get out of my way.

Kama: I am Kama or Passion or Desire. I heard your song.

Krodha: (interrupting) Did you? Good. Well, my strength is indescribable. I am stronger than you, my dear Passion.

I make everybody my victim. I break the friendship of even very intimate friends. I even induce wives to quarrel with their husbands and make them file divorce suite. I excite all.

Kama: But, surely, this cannot be. I am certainly more powerful than you. I rank first among all Vrittis. I stand first. You hold only a second rank. Kama first; then comes Krodha. You are born of me only. You are my son. When a man cannot get his desired object, only then does he become angry. Kama becomes transmuted into Krodha. You are only my another form. You should obey me. You should respect me.

(Sings)

(Thars: Sankara Siva)

(Thana Na Nana, Thana Na Nana,

Thana Na Nana Thana Na.)

Thana Na Nana, Thana Na Nana,

Thana Na Nana, Thana Na.

I am passion born of Avidya,

I am one of the three Granthis (knots),

This whole world is under my clutch,

I am very powerful. I destroy the reason,

Discrimination and understanding.

I generate the sex-impulse and Burning in the hearts

Thana Na Nana......

I induce a downward pull even in the aspirants,

And hurl them down in the dark abyss If they are non-vigilant,

I once destroyed the rigorous Tapas Of even Rishi Viswamitra,

Then what to speak of my powerful sway Over these weak worldlings.

Thana Na Nana......

Krodha: You are certainly wrong. I may be your son or daughter. It does not matter. But the point is with reference to strength and power. I am undoubtedly more powerful than you. Durvasa has no Kama. He has kept Kama under perfect control; but he has not controlled me. He is certainly weak. I have sway over him. Further the son may be more powerful and intelligent than the father. The father is small village munsiff drawing Rs. 10 per month, but the son is an I.C.S. officer drawing a thousand rupees with first-class magisterial power.

Kama: Have you heard of Rishi Viswamitra? Krodha: Yes. I know him. He is a very great Tapasvin.

Kama: I excited him. I induced passion in him. He became my victim. Despite his great Tapas he fell in love with Menaka, the celestial damsel. He lost his power of Tapas. Sakuntala was born to her.

Krodha: Do not boast of this single instance. My followers are countless. I hold sway more or less over the whole world and the Devatas also.

Kama: My friend Krodha! Do not brag too much. Have you heard of King Yayati?

Krodha: Yes. He was an illustrious monarch.

Kama: I made him borrow the youth of his son and indulge in sensual pleasures for very many years and excited him very much.

Krodha: I am all-consuming, all-polluting. I send the victim direct to the hell. I am born of Rajas.

Have you not heard of Sri Krishna's saying in the Gita: Kama esha krodha esha rajoguna samudbhava; Mahasano mahapapmma viddhiyenamiha vairinam.

It is desire, it is anger born of Rajo Guna, all devouring, all sinful; know this as the foe here (in this world). -Gita III-37

This implies that I am also born of Rajas. Again, Trividham narakasyedam dvaram nasanamatmanah: Kamah krodhastadha lobhastasmadetattrayam tyajet.

Triple is the gate of this hell, destructive of the self-lust anger and greed; therefore, one should abandon these three. -Gita XVI-21.

This implies that I, too, send my victim direct to the hell.

Krodha: You can cause only attachment to the objects; but I destroy his reason and make him do things which he cannot dream even. Under my influence he abuses, insults and even murders his father, brother, wife, Guru, king and repents afterwards.

Kama: The whole world admires the glory of great intellectual giants, orators, M.As., and Ph.Ds., great scientists, poets, aritists, but I make them the sporting lap-dogs of women. They lose their power of understanding in the twinkling of an eye when I excite them. They write voluminous books on Brahmacharya. They deliver stirring lectures on the platform; but when they return to their houses they become slaves of women and fall victims of lust. What a lamentable state! They are absolute slaves of the soft Government. Even if they want a four-anna piece for a barber, they will have to get from the ladies only. They sit bewildered, gazing at the Eve. They have lost all soul-power, manliness and mannerliness. They talk something and earn their livelihood.

Krodha: O Kama! Have you seen fire in a bamboo forest? Kama: Yes. I have seen.

Krodha: The bamboo strike against one another and fire is generated. The whole bamboo forest is destroyed-roots and branches. No one can detect where the bamboo forest was. I am more powerful than this forest-fire even.

Kama: Now, listen. A powerful Rishi looked at the union of fishes. I made him passionate. I made even Indra to molest Ahalya. The whole world will dwindle into an airy nothing if I am removed from people's mind. The whole world will lose its charm. Women will not appear attractive and handsome.

Krodha: I influenced Hanuman even the mightiest Brahmachari to burn Lanka. He lost his understanding and then repented "Alas! I have burnt the whole of Lanka under the influence of anger. This fire might have burnt Mother Sita! also. What shall I do now? How can I return without Janaki Devi? I became a victim to anger. How powerful is anger! I am a powerful Brahmachari. I have destroyed passion to its very root and branch and yet I have not conquered anger. How powerful it is! It is more powerful than passion." |

Let us get some direct proofs from aspirants who are practising Tapas in Rishikesh. Kama: I agree to your proposal. Let us go.

(They disappear)

(Curtain drops)

Scene II

[Rishikesh: A small Ashram where a few young aspirants are practising Yoga under the guidance of a Yogi.

Early in the morning, just before sunrise, two new aspirants who had just joined the Ashram are practising Dhyana on the banks of the holy Ganga, facing the mighty Himalayas. When they rise from meditation, they are accosted by Kama and Krodha.]

Krodha: O aspirants, we have come here to settle a dispute. I am Krodha, the Lord of Anger. He is Kama, the Lord of Passion. Now, tell us, which of the two do you consider more powerful

Krishna Rao: I have great control over passion, but I became angry sometimes.

Krodha (to Prem Chaitanya): What is your evidence, O Brahmachari? Speak the truth. You are an aspirant who is following the principles of Divine Life. Do not hide your thoughts.

Prem Chaitanya: I too have much control over passion, But I became irritated sometimes. Occasionally I give vent to ånger also

Kama (to Krodha): These are young aspirants. We should get the opinion of big, aged Professors.

Krodha: Let us interrogate the Professors.

(They go inside the Ashram and accost a Professor who had just concluded a class-lecture on Gita.)

Krodha: Tell us, o learned Professor, which is more powerful-passion or anger.

Prof. Subramanyam: Through the power of Japa and study of sacred books, I have great control over passion; but I am a victim of anger. People call me a Dhurvasa.

Krodha (to Kama): What do you say now, my friend Kama?

Kama: I am defeated. I bow to you, my friend. You are more powerful than me. I admire your great power and strength.

(Exeunt)

Scene III

[Uttarkashi: A small, but attractive Ashram, on the banks of the Ganga. Time is about 8 in the morning. An aged Sannyasi with a snow-white beard is sitting on the front verandah of the Ashram and in front of him a young aspirant. The Sannyasi's face is beaming with the light of wisdom. The aspirant is questioning his Guru on intricate matters pertaining to Yoga Sadhana and the Guru is answering him.]

Atma Chaitanya:

Jaya Guru, Siva Guru, Hari Guru Ram,

Jagad Guru, Param Guru, Sad Guru Shyam.

Adi Guru, Advaita Guru, Ananda Guru Om,

Chid Guru, Chidghana Guru, Chinmaya Guru Om.

(Prostrates and sits)

O adorable Guru! I am not able to control my anger. Please prescribe to me various methods to control it.

Jnanananda: Well-asked, my child. Anger destroys all Tapas in a moment. Therefore you must control it. If you control this anger, you will attain happiness; you will then become a Yogi. That is what Sri Krishna says in the Gita:

Saknoteehaiva yah sodhum praksariravimokshanat;

Kamakrododbhavam vegam sa yuktah sa sukhee narah.

He who is able, while still here in this world) to withstand, before the liberation from the body the impulse born of desire and anger, he is a Yogi, he is a happy man. -Gita V-23.

Develop patience to a considerable extent. People lose their temper when they become impatient. Allow the mind to dwell constantly on the opposite, virtue, of anger. This is the Pratipaksha Bhavana method of Raja Yogins.

Atma Chaitanya: What shall I do to check it at once?

Jnanananda: Drink some cold water. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 up to 20. Repeat Om Santi. Om Santi. Om Santi.

Atma Chaitanya: I tried this method. It gave me strength; but it was not very effective. I had some irritability within.

Jnanananda: Do not give vent to anger. Control the body first. Have physical control. Practise this again and again. Be regular in your Japa and meditation and Kirtan. This will give you great inner spiritual strength.

Atma Chaitanya: I am doing this, also.

Jnanananda: Increase the period of meditation and the Maalas of Japa. How many Maalas of Japa are you doing?

Atma Chaitanya: I am doing two Maalas in the morning and two Maalas in the evening.

Jnanananda: This is not sufficient. Do 10 Maalas in the morning and 10 Maalas in the evening.

Atma Chaitanya: Worshipful Master! I shall act! accordingly.

Jnanananda: Besides, food has a great deal to do with irritability. Take milk, Moongki-dhal, curd, fruits, spinach, barley, ground-nuts, butter-milk. Do not take carrots, onion, garlic, cauliflower, Massorka-dhal and drum-stick.

Atma Chaitanya: I have noted these carefully, O venerable Guru! Anymore useful instructions?

Jnanananda: Observe Mouna for two hours daily and six hours on Sundays. Occasionally observe Mouna for a whole day. This will put a check on the impulse of speech. When a man gets excited he speaks anything and everything. He has no control over the organ of speech.

Atma Chaitanya: I shall observe Mouna. What shall I do during Mouna? Can I read books? door

Jnanananda: Do Japa and meditation. You will derive more strength.

Atma Chaitanya: Is there any connection between Prana and mind?

Jnanananda: Prana entwines the mind like a creeper. Prana leads to the control of mind.

Atma Chaitanya: Will Pranayama also control the mind?

Jnanananda: Certainly. Pranayama will put a break on the impulse of speech. It will give you abundant energy to check anger.

Atma Chaitanya: Throw some more light on this vital subject. Your instructions are very helpful.

Jnanananda: Observe Brahmacharya. People who waste much of their vital energy become easily irritated. They become victims of anger. Try to control first the small ripples of irritability when it arises in the sub-conscious mind. Nip it in the bud. Do not allow it to assume the big form of a wave. When you are not able to control anger, leave the place at once and take a walk chanting OM OM OM. Do not argue much. Do not retort. Speak sweetly. Become a man of measured words. If a man abuses or insults you, keep quiet. Identify yourself with the Atman. Atman is the same in all. It can never be hurt or insulted.

Atma Chaitanya: I shall follow strictly your valuable Upadesa. May I know the Vedantic method of controling anger?

Jnanananda: A Vedantin denies body and mind as illusory sheaths. He does Vichara, enquires "Who am I?" and practises "Neti-Neti" "not this, not this". "I am not the body", " I am not the mind", "Chidanandarupa Sivoham" "I am blissful Siva or Atman." He identifies himself with Brahman or Atman, the Eternal. The world is unreal for him. He chants Om, sings Om, and does Japa of Om and meditates on Om and derives soul-power and spiritual strength. If you entertain Mithya Drishti and Dosha Drishti, if you look into the defects of anger and the benefits of patience, you will never become angry.

Atma Chaitanya: Shall I follow one method or the combined method?

Jnanananda: The combined method is more effective. If one method fails, take recourse to the combined method. Do Japa, Pranayama. Sometimes do Vichara.

Atma Chaitanya: I am grateful to you, O adorable Master. I feel great inspiration in thy presence. I shall strictly follow thy precious instructions. Crores of prostrations unto thee, O Saviour and protector. Shower thy blessings on me. Thou art my father, mother, friend and redeemer. In this world there is no other prop or refuge than the Guru. Guru is Brahman.

Sings: (Sunaja Thars):

Gururbrahma gururvishnuh gururdevo mahesvarah;

Guruh sakshatparambrahma tasmai sri gurave namah.

Dhyanamulam gurormurtih pujamulam gurorpadam;

Mantramulam gurorvakyam mokshamulam gurorkripa.

 

 

VAIRAGYA

Synopsis

In the two scenes of this Act are presented two salient features of the very basis of Yoga Sadhana, viz., Vairagya or dispassion

Scene 1: A positive turning away from the things of this earth, and invulnerability to temptations of wealth, are the foremost pre-requisites of Sadhana. The ideal Sadhu in the play proves that the real Sadhaka adores wisdom inpreference to wealth. The evils of wealth are pictresquely brought out.

Scene 2: Control of the senses is the natural corollary to inward dispassion. The dialogue between meat and milk is illustrative of the comparison between Rajas and Sattva generally. Victory is always to Sattva. Sattva is the quality nearer to Divinity. Milk represents Sattva and it explains how it is the quality that characterises the real Sadhaka.

Lakshmi vs. Sarasvati

[Scene: In Chidambaram-a South Indian pilgrimage centre-a little away from the temple dedicated to Nataraja is a massive building. surrounded by a vast area of flower and fruit garden. It is a complete concrete construction; and the words "Sadasiva Ashram-1947" indicate that it is a hermitage, built in that year. There are a few artificial caves built among tall flower plants which present a natural forest appearance to those in them. Several men in ochre-coloured robes are meditating in them; some are walking about the lawns. The manner in which these men wear the clothes about them, and walk about in their well-polished shoes, head up and with an air of self-conceit suggest something of a swollen head on account of sudden descent of fortune. A uniformed sentry with a bayonet glittering in the sunlight stands on guard at the entrance to the building, occasionally twitching his moustache. In the front hall several Sannyasins are seated, talking to ladies and gentlemen. The look on the face of few new visitors indicates they are envious of the drawing room furniture, the fans, the wall decorations and the silver ash-trays in the room. In an adjoining room one Sannyasin is busy counting money and handing them to another-obviously to be deposited in the Bank. In the room next to this is seated an old man, clad in a loin-cloth with unkempt hair and long white beard, in deep meditation. This room and this Sannyasin shine by sharp contrast with the others; they are both absolutely simple and austere. The Swami's emaciated frame has a peculiar radiance that bespeaks of knowledge and wisdom. A calm that surrounds him has provided him a castle which the evil forces of wealth and material prosperity are unable to enter. There is a life-size image of Saraswati—the Goddess of Learning in the room.

There is a tinkling sound, and Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, bedecked with pearls, diamonds and rubies, with rich, colourful costumes and sweet scents wafting about her, enters the room. She stands at the door and glances at the saint in meditation and the image of Sarasvati. Reddened eyes and cheeks foretell wrath.]

Lakshmi: (In an imperious tone) Saraswati!

[A lady of white complexion and clad in white rags, with a Veena in hand emerges from the image. Her frail body bears a head and face which radiate knowledge. With calm, unperturbed mind, she proceeds towards Lakshmi.]

Saraswati: (In a submissive tone) Yes, mother!

Lakshmi: I am sick of this! I loathe the way you treat Sadasiva. Look at this emaciated body. He has just got the skin to cover the bones! And, still you sit there complacently inspiring him to compose song. It is stupid of you!

Saraswati: (gasping) Mother! I......

Lakshmi: (cutting her short) Shut up! You remember in what condition I found him when I first came to him? Penniless, with nothing to eat except what chance visitors brought him; clad in rags and living in a grass hut! That is how you look after your devotees! (She throws her hands sideway as if to mock at her.) Now, look at him! (Striking one palm against the other) He has got a very big Ashram, a real heaven to live in, any amount of money at his disposal disciples, good healthy food, fine clothing and every other conveniences that can make a man happy. Though he is my son, I must say that your husband, too, is like that. He just creates and my husband has to take all the trouble of protecting his creation! A fine couple you are! (laugh cynically).

Saraswati: (protesting) Mother! What a peculiar notion you have of my grace on my devotees! Do you forget that Sadasiva who had my full grace, had become a world-famous poet? I taught him all the Sastras. I earned him a name as Vara-kavi as he was able to compose poems in twinkling of an eye. (Slightly irritated) What your wealth mean to him! (Mockingly) He does not even care to be led away by the charms that you have spread about him. (With a sudden seriousness) He is fully conscious of the transitoriness of your baits and of the permanent nature of my Grace; and look at him-how absorbed he sits meditating on me all the time!

Lakshmi: (feeling the ground slipping beneath her feet) It is all right; but he can't live without me.

Saraswati: I would rather put it that he can't live without me! To a saint like him I am life; because I bestow the highest knowledge on him. And, where I am, dear mother-in-law, your attention is compelled, though my very presence there prevents you from overwhelming my devotees and making them lose their head. I impel them from within to utilise just that much of your grace as is necessary to keep the body and soul together and my devotees spurn you with contempt.

Lakshmi: (greatly enraged) How dare you..

Saraswati: (equally enraged) But it is all true! You can't escape facts!

Lakshmi: But Sadasiva has not..

Saraswati: (suddenly lowering her voice) How do you know? Mentally he has never succumbed to your temptations; and for what I know, he is even contemplating of taking leave of you if you won't leave him alone with me.

Lakshmi: (with a sardonic laugh) What a story you tell!

Saraswati: I'll prove it. (Gazes upon Sadasiva who stirs! from his seat and rises) Let us ask him now. Come on. (They approach the saint) Now carry on.

Lakshmi: Sadasiva!

Sadasiva: (bowing to her) Yes, Mother. I see you have been quarrelling with your daugter-in-law. It is quite natural in the world! (anxiously) What is it about?

Lakshmi: About you!

Sadasiva: Me? (astonished)

Lakshmi: Yes! I pointed out to her how miserable she made you live, and how on my arrival you got all sorts of conveniences. (In a haughty contempt) Am I not superior to my poor, beggarly daughter-in-law? But she has the audacity to flout my will and insult me! She says you don't want me at all.

Sadasiva: (soberly) She is right.

Lakshmi: (taken aback) What!

Sadasiva: (calmly) I say she is right. Did I ask you to come?

Lakshmi: No! (still more astonished)

Sadasiva: (in the same tone) Quite. You came of your own accord and built all this Ashram and other things. The number of disciples grew; and they started fighting amongst themselves for power and conveniences. I am sick of the whole thing. I am content to live in a small hut as before you came. You can leave me at peace now.

Lakshmi: (staring at him in mad bewilderment) But......

Sadasiva: (cutting short) There is no 'but' here. You know, personally I have not touched you nor even cared to look at you. You may go now; or, if you feel at home here, I shall leave with Saraswati. You are poison to Sannyasins. You pollute them and pull them down. With you they will never be able to rise higher in their spiritual Sadhana. (Raising his voice) Go! Oh, go away, I entreat you!

Lakshmi: (gloomily turning towards the door) I shall.

Sadasiva: Yes. (In a sardonic vein) And live in places where your daughter-in-law is not adored. Liquor-shops, gambling dens, black-markets and such other centres where people cheat each other and where untruth prevails--these are your abodes. What have you got to do with saints and sages and learned men?

Saraswati: (who has so long been watching with apparent amusement) What about me, Sadasiva?

Sadasiva: (prostrating before her) I adore you, Mother. What is the use of wealth to an illiterate man? A Vidwan is praised and adored everywhere. A wealthy man without learning is like a walking corpse.

Lakshmi: (imploringly) But, how will you live?

Sadasiva: I live the life of a poor man. Have you not heard of  Kambar, the greatest Tamil poet of South India who composed the Ramayana? Of Western poets- Goldsmith and Walter Scott? They were all very poor; yet they were world-famous. Sankara says that the sage who has only a loin cloth is the happiest, wealthiest and most fortunate man. Spiritual wealth which Saraswati bestows on us is inexhaustible. No dacoit can rob it. Possessor never becomes a bankrupt. It is ever full. It leads one to immortality. Goodbye! (Gratefully) Thank you very much all the same for showing your grace on me unasked (folds his hands reverently and bows with a smile).

(Lakshmi looks at Saraswati in humiliation.)

Saraswati: (turning to Lakshmi) Do not worry yourself, mother. I have told a hundred times before, and I repeat it; we cannot live together. Where I live, you have no value. If you come and conquer one of my devotees, I leave the place at once. In our own respective spheres we are both influential. Inspire those on whom you bestow grace to perform charitable acts and be humble, simple and truthful. They can then obtain my Grace too. In such persons we shall truly live in unison. Now, goodbye!

[Lakshmi bows and makes for the door

as the curtain drops slowly]

Scene 2

Between Meat and Milk

Place: A dairy-product stall in the New Market in Calcutta. In the hall, are laid several tables and four chairs around each. At one corner is the "Milk Bar", where two well-dressed attendants are issuing milk bottles to the customers. To the right is another stall, and another attendant leans over it cutting flesh, weighing it on the balance and handing it to customers across the counter.

'Tup'! Opens a milk bottle and the cork flies! The attendants are astounded and sink into their chairs. Again, the flaps of the packets containing sliced mutton, too, open out with a peculiar noise. The attendants duck behind the counters and with eyes on a level with the counter-bar, watch the following scene.

Meat: (to milk) O Milk! What a horrible distinction they make between us! They have given three attendants to be incharge of milk distribution here; whereas I am allotted only one......

Milk: (laughing) Yes, yes, and rightly indeed!

The Prime Minister has an army of persons, whereas a Chotah officer has one, and that too, he has to share with another (laughs aloud).

Meat: O Milk! I am superior to you. (Emphatically) 1 contain the protein serum alpumin in me, 5.97 in a gramme. Your protein lactal bumin is only 94 in a gramme.

Milk: Mere percentage of protein cannot make you superior to me. What is the use of mere bulk? Your protein is like black sugar or jaggery. My protein is like refined sugar. It is concentrated essence like saccharin. It is more powerful.

Meat: (Angrily) I sit on the tables of great Barons and Lords in the West......

Milk: (Lightly) Pooh, I sit before the Rishis, seers and Yogis of India. I am adored in Yajnas. I purify the hearts of men. I am one of the ingredients of Pancha Gavya. I am Sattvic. You are Rajasic.

Meat: I infuse a new spirit in the Generals and soldiers in the war.

Milk: This is indeed a wrong notion. This is an old false belief of beer drinkers. It only produces excitement. Real. great Generals are all my votaries. They take milk'sop.

Meat: My followers are abundant in the world. I am respected everywhere.

Milk: Satan has great followers in this world. (laughs loudly)

Meat: (In great rage) Fie on thee, you call me a Satan......?

Milk: Something more than Satan. Even good scienctists and poets are leaving you now. They have come to my side.

Meat: I........help people in thinking.

Milk: This is also an erroneous idea. Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates were all vegetarians. So are G.B. Shaw, Sir Stafford Cripps, Mahatma Gandhiji. They take milk. Meat is unhygienic, dangerous and unnatural. It is unnecessary. It produces tapeworms and various kinds of diseases of worms. It produces gout and rheumatism.

Meat: I am more nutritious than you. Doctors recommend to patients, meat juice, meat broths, meat soup.

Milk: Centainly not. I am the food for the invalids convalescent and babies. Only Asuric doctors of bygone days used to recommend meat juice, etc. Many modern sensible doctors are against meat. Go through the report of Dr. Josiah Oldfield, Dr. Sir Henry Thomson, M.D., F.R.C.S. You will know the truth of my statement.

Meat: In the restaurants of Europe, hotel-keepers make several preparations of me. They surely like me more......

Milk: You have not visited Bengal in Hindustan. Halwais have a thousand and one preparations of me. You will be stunned. Come and visit once. There are Rubbadis, Pedas, Sandesh, Rasagullas, Kalakand, etc. The names themselves of these preparations are charming. They excite the nerves of taste of people. All Europeans in Bengal fill their stomach with Rasagullas and Sandesh.

Meat: Thank you, my friend Milk! Let us shake now. I am defeated. I am your intimate friend now. I will not quarrel with you. I have lost my suzerainty. At least give me some pension in my old age, as I served people in olden days. Let not my name be blotted out entirely. Let me be remembered like Ravana of yore. Namaste!

[The cork resumes its position on the milk-bottle. The lids of the meat-packet close up. The amazed waiters raise their heads and make sure that the conversation is over.]

Waiter No.1: Manager Saheb! Did you hear......

Manager: Yes, Ghulam, I did hear the wonderful conversation. From this afternoon there will be no sale of meat in the out stall. Put up a board to that effect outside. Arrange for more milk and for sweets also.

Waiter No.1: Yes, Sahab.

(Curtain drops)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRACTICAL SADHANA

Synopsis

What are the obstacles to Sadhana? And how to overcome them?-This is the theme of this one-act Play.

Moksha Chaitanya is a young aspirant who faces certain obstacles on the Path. Swami Chidananda, a great saint, points out the correct way to overcome them.

The obstacles are inner evil propensities, and they are removed by the cultivation of virtues enumerated by the Swami.

PRACTICAL SADHANA

Viswanath Ghat in Sivanandanagar. Swami Chidananda is! seated, deeply engrossed in thought. He is gazing at the splendrous sunrise over the Eastern Himalayan mountains. A resplendent smile illumines his serene countenance. The picture of Bhava Samadhi, he looks.

Moksha Chaitanya, a young Brahmachari, in vigorous healthy early manhood, comes down the steps of the Ghat, for a bath in the Ganga. For a few minutes he paces about impatiently, occasionally gazing at Chidananda with a look of naked envy. Chidananda turns his merciful gaze on Moksha Chaitanya.

Chidananda: Om Namo Narayanaya! Moksha Swamiji Maharaj!

Moksha: Om Namo Narayanaya...... (Pauses)...... (sighs) ...... I feel sometimes disgusted with this sort of spiritual life. I go on doing Japa. I close my eyes and sit four hours in Padmasana every morning.....

Chidananda: (Smilingly interrupts him) And dream or build castles in the air?

Moksha: Maybe that is what you think. But, I think....

Chidananda: (Again interrupting) Of course, you think that you are seeing all sorts of visions, that you are travelling in all sorts of aeroplanes into all sorts of regions in the company of all sorts of Devas and Devis.

Moksha: Then, according to you, what exactly is real meditation?

Chidananda: Real meditation is something different from all this. If you meditate even for ten minutes daily, you will be compleltely transformed and become an abode of all the virtues. You will then be an embodiment of: (Sings) Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity,

Sincerity, simplicity, veracity,

Equanimity, fixity, non-irritability,

Adaptability, humility, tenacity,

Integrity, nobility, magnanimity,

Charity, generosity, purity.

And you will inwardly realise:

Brahman is the only real entity,

Mr. So-and-so is a false non-entity.

And:

You will abide in eternity and infinity,

You will behold unity in diversity

But:

You cannot attain this in the University.

All your University degrees and deplomas have, as you yourself now know, failed to give you any one of these virtues! Therefore,

Practise daily these eighteen 'ities.

You will soon attain Immortality.

My dear Moksha Swamiji! Unless you have already developed in an effective manner these eighteen 'Ities, what you actually do when you close your eyes is perhaps no better than dreaming or building castles in the air......and the very imagination that you were meditating all the time is also part of the delusion projected by the inner lower mind!

Moksha: (With eyes fixed on the ground, reflecting moodily for a while, suddenly looks at Swami Chidanandaji and ejaculates): It looks as though I have none of these qualities. Does that mean that I am not meditating at all?

Chidananda: Precisely; and that is why you are disgusted with spiritual life; you feel like a fish out of water. A man who has even remotely tasted the real elixir of spiritual life, and understood the real glory of spiritual life,would feel ever-increasing joy and would be fired with ever-increasing enthusiasm as he lives the spiritual life. If you feel dejected, if you despair, if you are disgusted, it is because you have still in you elements of:

(Sings) Avidity, cupidity, stupidity,

Audacity, turbidity, unstability,

Angularity, eccentricity, irritability,

These are the obstacles to Samdhi.

These are the impurities of the mind.

Avidity is covetousness or greed,

Cupidity is lust or passion.

Stupidity is delusion or infatuation.

Audacity is arrogance or impertinence.

Turbidity is confusion of mind.

Unstability is wandering of the mind.

Angularity is a form of vanity.

Eccentricity is slavery to whims and fancies.

Irritability is anger in all its forms.

Remove these impurities through the opposite virtues:

Avidity through practice of generosity;

Cupidity through practice of purity;

Unstability through Tratak, Pranayama,

Upasana, Japa;

Angularity through practice of humility;

Eccentricity through practice of right conduct;

Irritability through practice of patience, forbearance.

You will enter into Samadhi and attain Kaivalya.

Moksha: How beautiful! How wonderfully you explain the subtle inner workings.....

Chidananda: I was about to say! All these 'Ities I have enumerated so far are the gross obstacles to meditation. There are grosser ones, too:

Atrocity, curiosity, cruelty,

Anxiety, partiality, timidity,

Enmity, Impurity and Immorality.

These are the obstacles to attain Divinity.

Moksha: Are there subtler obstacles also?

Chidananda: Yes, listen:

Duality, multiplicity, plurality,

individuality,

slave-mentality,

dadabadality.

Moksha: What a word! What does Dadabadality mean?

Chidananda: As the very sound signifies...showiness. A man can do nothing except with a lot of tom-toming... "See what a great man I am!" That is the very antithesis of spirituality. (continues to sing)

Gadabadality (Moksha laughs)

Dhambacharity

(Moksha bursts forth into hysterical laughter)

This is not a matter for laughter, my friend Moksha Swamiji; but for serious thought! The Gadubadality man will want everyone but himself to be perfectly disciplined......and most often he will bring upon himself and others untold misery by doing things just the way they should not be done. Dhambacharity is not a charitable virtue! This Dhambachari is the picture of arrogance, vanity and empty boasting. Often you might find in him charitable temperament also. But that is also a Dhambacharity only—a charity to fatten his Dhambam (vanity). (continues to sing)

Asmitality Ahankarity Raga-Dveshity

Abhiniveshity

Sensuality, sensitivity, sentimentality,

Inactivity,

Rotundity

(Moksha Chaitanya laughs again)

Moksha: That is something new and perhaps your own again.

Chidananda: Rotundity is roundedness, especially of the belly-the beautiful Omkara Rupa that you generally find among the monied-lazy. It is generally the cause and the result also of the other qualities that I described to you just now.

Moksha: But the saints, too...

Chidananda: Yes, I was about to say that. A saint also has a rounded-off figure; but that is because he does not labour with his body though he is ever active inwardly. A saint derives much more satisfaction from his intense and deep meditation than a millionnaire derives from his material wealth. This satisfaction also develops his body to an enormous size. Absence of all negative ideas and negative emotions and the practice of positive thinking and contemplation promote the unhindered growth of all organisms. Some saints like Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj keep their body fit, healthy and agile by the regular practice of Asanas and Pranayama; but others neglect the body and therefore you find this rotundity presents a spectacle that amuses children.

(continues to sing)

Sensuality, sensitivity, rotundity

These are the obstacles to attain divinity,

universality,

cosmicality,

real unity.

If you remove all these obstacles, you will attain divinity.

Moksha: I was going to tell you why I was getting disgusted with this spiritual life, when you interrupted me and showered your invaluable Upadesha on me.

Chidananda: What more is your trouble?

Moksha: For the past few months I am having a heavy head and there seems to be something wrong with my eyes also.

Chidananda: What is wrong with your eyes?

Moksha: They say...(recollecting)...(rubs his forehead)... they say, what was it? Some opia, I think Amblyopia.

Chidananda: Oh! Do not worry about these opias.

Myopiaty preshyopiaty, amblyopiaty,

Nyctalopiaty,

Hemianopiaty

Debility, morbidity, anaemiaty,

Pyorroheaty,

Blood-pressureity,

Doctor's Maha-foolishnessty,

Maha Andhakarity

[Moksha Chaitanya laughs]

Do you know what Amblyopia means?

Moksha: I heard the word itself for the first time from the lips of the Doctor Bhagavan-to me it is his Srishti.

Chidananda: So are most of the diseases. I will tell you- You think this world alone is real:

There is no such thing as transcendental Reality."

This is real amblyopia or blindness

Moksha: Very good definition! Wherefrom did you learn it?

Chidananda: From the writings of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. I think you like it very much. I shall tell you of some more.

You have no idea of Brahman or the Absolute.

You are concerned with eating and drinking only.

This is real Myopia or short-sight.

You think “I will get great pleasure in heaven

After my death."

This is Preshyopia or long sight.

Heaven is as much unreal as this world.

You mistake pain for pleasure,

Just as you mistake green for red.

This is real Colouropia or Pleasureopia.

You take this body as the real Self.

This is Nyctolopia or night-blindness.

Just as one sees two moons through double vision,

So also you see the Dvandvas or pairs of opposites.

Pleasure-pain, virtue-vice, good and evil.

This is real Diplopia or double vision.

Moksha: Supposing I am suffering from one of these diseases; what is your remedy?

Chidananda: I will tell you Swamiji's prescription.

Develop the Jnana Chakshu or Wisdom Eye

Or the Eye of Intuition,

All Opias will vanish.

You can say now "Goodbye Opias!

Goodbye D.O. (Oxon) and D.O.M.S." And be free.

Moksha: What are this D.O. (Oxon) and this D.O.M.S.?

Chidananda: That is the great doctor's qualifications—the doctor who frightened you with an opia. D.O. (Oxon) means one who has a Diploma in Ophthalmology granted by the Oxford University. D.O.M.S. means one who has a Diploma in Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery. Moksha: You want me to develop Jnana Chakshu in order to be able to dispense with these people. But how ant I to develop it?

Chidananda: Take the Brahmakara-Vite.

Moksha: Come, now, another conundrum?

Chidananda: What! Have you not heard of this new Vitamin elixir?

Moksha: I have heard of Bournevita—it is a delicious, tonic beverage and gives good sleep. Yeast-vita is a tonic tablet. Multivita is a combination of all Vitamins; it is a tablet that vitalises and energises. No other Vitas, hence I heard of.

Chidananda: Now, listen, then. Brahmakara-Vritti-Vite is that which gives Advaitic Nirvikalpa Satnadhi. There are similar Vitas also which are preliminary doses that will cleanse the system and make it fit to derive the maximum benefit out of the Brahmakara-Vritti-Vite. Moksha: Some more of those Vites?

Chidananda: Yes:

Sirsh-Sarvanga Vite are tonic Asanas or poses.

Japa-Vite is Lord's Name that transforms

man into divinity.

Prana-Vite is Pranayama that steadies the mind

Kirtan-Vite is singing of Lord's Name

that bestows Divine Wisdom.

Medito-Elixir-Vite is meditation that bestows Immortality.

Brahman is the source of all these Vites.

Attain this Source through meditation, and be free.

You should know how to take this Brahmakara-Vritti-Vite;

Therefore, you should first take good doses

of the other Vites.

And when the Brahmakara-Vritti-Vite removes

the poisons of Mala,

Vikshepa and Avarana that have impaired

your spiritual health,

You will realise your own Self.

The glory of the Self is indescribable.

(Sings) Subtlety, sublimity, sovereignity,

Eternity, Immortality, Infinity,

(Antarai)

Profundity, security, suzerainty,

Antaryaminity, Akhandity, Achutanandity.

Chinmatrity, Chinmayaty, Chidghanandity

Chidanandity.

Moksha: Wonderful, wonderful exposition of spiritual tonics! Will I be alright if I take this Brahmakara-Vritti-Vite?

Chidananda: Yes; but you should have intense Vairagya also. You should eradicate all the evil qualities that I told you of, develop the virtues that I enumerated a few minutes ago. Vairagya is most important. You should feel every moment of your life:

(Sings)

There is no sense of fullness,

there is always a sense of want;

There is dissatisfaction, discontentment,

restlessness, everywhere;

Because this is a relative plane of pain and death,

Conditioned in time, space and causation.

There is fear of loss, fear of disease, fear of death.

There is fear of criticism, fear of public opinion.

(Fear of snakes, fear of scorpions, fear of enimies,

fear of communism.)

The fire of lust, anger, jealousy is ever burning.

Then the mind will readily be convinced that:

God is Peace; God is Bliss; God is fullness.

God is Infinity; God is Eternity; God is Immortality.

Attain God-realisation through meditation.

You will enjoy peace, bliss and fullness.

A knowledge of the various systems of philosophical thought also would help you to fix your mind on the most Sublime Idea of the Self. I shall give you in brief some idea of the various schools of Indian philosophical thought. After equipping yourself with the virtues, eradicating the vices, and putting on the armoury of Vairagya, aspiring to realise the Fullness, don the spactacle of Jnana Chakshu and look-you will at once realise the glorious Self. Only then will you be able to understand really and truly the fundamentals of these Schools of Thought.

The external objects are real;

This is Realism.

There are no external objects,

Ideas only are real

This is "Subjective Idealism" or Vijnana Vada.

There are neither objects nor ideas;

There is only Void

This is Nihilism of Buddhists.

There is no world in the three periods of time:

Brahman alone exists-

This is "Absolute Idealism" of Gaudapada.

Brahman is non-dual;

This is Monism of Sri Sankara.

The Jiva is not identical with Brahman,

But it is a ray of Brahman,

It is similar to Brahman

This is Qualified Monism of Ramanujacharya.

Jiva is ever separate from Brahman;

This is Dualism of Madhvacharya.

(As they were thus engaged in conversation, Sri Vairagi Baba, clad in a small loin cloth held in position by a jute rope, and with the whole body besmeared in ashes, rushes down the steps, repeating-"This woman, this......")

Chidananda (with tranquil compassion): Who are you, Maharaj! And why are you running like this?

Vairagi Baba: I am a great Vairagi, the renowned Vairagi Baba. I am a great Tyagi.

Chidananda: Very good; but what is the trouble now?

Vairagi: This woman who micturates five times a day,

Who daefacates once or twice daily;

Who menstrurates once a month,

Who parturates once in one or two years,

Who copulates several times weekly....

Chidananda: My Lord, is this your conception of woman?

Vairagi: What! You know some other qualities in them?

Chidananda: Yes; and I say

A woman is one who is the Goddess Lakshmi of the house,

Who is an embodiment of patience, sacrifice,

service and love,

Who builds the nation,

Who moulds the children,

Who comforts the guests and her husband,

Who rules the world,

Who controls the destiny of the universe,

Who is the mother of Sankaras. Buddhas and Janakas.

Glory to woman, the incarnation of Para Sakti.

My silent adorations and prostrations to her.

(Chidanandaji closes his eyes for a few moments in a prayerful mood) You are mistaken. Vairagi Babaji! It is good to have the Cobra Bhav towards women for the sake of developing Vairagya. But you should not on that account, demean womanhood. You should not fall a victim to woman-hatred. You should look upon woman as your own mother or as Devi. That is the path to Cosmic Love and the Universal Consciousness.

Vairagi Baba: Yes, yes; with your beautiful dress and disciples and devotees, you ought to say so! We Tyagis have our own conception of woman. Ram, Ram...... (rolls the beads vigorously)

Chidananda: That shows you have not understood the real spirit of renunciation either! Real renunciation is renunciation of egoism, of Ahamta-Mamata, of Kartritva-Bhoktritva Abhimana, of Bheda-Buddhi. How can there be hatred in any heart where Ram is enthroned? A man of true renunciation alone is a Sannyasi. Such a Sannyasi is one......

Vairagi: Now, you have your own definition of a Sannyasi also? (Laughs aloud and resumes his bead-rolling-Ram. Ram, Ram.)

Chidananda: Yes, listen, you will be amused and enlightened:

A Sannyasin is one who has no purse of his own but operates on the purses and cheque-books of the richest persons on earth.

A Sannyasin is one who has no car of his own, but who travels in the latest model cars of all people.

A Sannyasin is one who has no house of his own but who lives in the bungalows of millionnaires and palaces of Maharajas.

(All three laugh heartily)

(Curtain drops)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PATH OF A SADHAKA

Synopsis

Synopsis of a Drama staged by the Divine Life Bala Mandali, under the direction of Sri Swami Chidanandaji, during the Sadhana Week, X'mas 1952.

THE PATH OF A SADHAKA

The Story of Two Sadhaka's Experiences

Two young men, Subodh and Vivek, have been receiving scriptural education at the Ashram of their Guru, a Sannyasin. They are nearing the completion of their studies. Quite early in life they both have come to the Guru and since boyhood have been serving the Master with true devotion. The austere life they had led in the Gurukula, the Satsanga they enjoyed with the saintly Mahatma, their Guru, and the theoretical knowledge of the Sastras, had generated in them an aspiration to lead the Nivritti-Marga, to dedicate their life to wholetime Sadhana for Self-realisation.

On a Guru Purnima day, they approach the Guru with their request to be "initiated" and taught the mysteries of higher Yoga and spiritual attainment. The Guru expresses his joy at their aspiration; and whilst congratulating them on their discrimination, counsels a little caution in taking such a drastic step in sudden haste. "Sannyasa is blazing fire; and you should prepare yourself well before embracing it. You have as yet had no first-hand knowledge or experience of the world. The Vairagya (dispassion) that you have now got from study of scriptural texts and by remaining in this pure and holy atmosphere, may or may not be real; may not be deep-rooted in you; it may or may not last till the end of your life. At some later period in your life, temptations might assail you and take you astray. I, therefore, think that a little experience of the true nature of the world would fortify and make firm your Vairagya which would then be unshakable, Today is the auspicious Guru Purnima day. Now go out into the wide world. Roam about the country, for one year. Pass through different places, move amidst diverse men and things. You will learn many lessons. The world is your best teacher. Keep your eyes and ears open; learn and learn. But keep your mouth shut. Do not take part in the worldly activities, just watch and learn. Learn some valuable lessons from every place, person, object and experience you come across. As far as possible live in the company of the wise; if this is not possible, live alone. Then come back to me after a year. You will have gained rich experience during this one year; and I will also be reassured that your dispassion is real and unshakable. May the blessings of my Gurudev grant you strength and wisdom!"

The two young men leave the Ashram after bowing to their Guru.

In the Dullards Durbar

Hearing that the Raja of a nearby State had a number of learned men in his Durbar, the two Sadhakas went there. They were very well received by the Raja; and the Court Pundit was giving expositions of scriptures for the enlightenment of the people who attended the Durbar; the Raja himself was interested only in gluttony, fun and frolic and so took no pains to learn.

A clever scoundrel with a smattering of literature was tempted by the Raja's ignorance to play upon his love of the vulgar and to earn a fortune. He went to the Durbar and bragged of his extensive learning and deep wisdom.

"Give me proof of your learning," asked the Rajan.

"Maharaj! You must surely have heard the Sloka:

Shuklambaradaram Vishnum Shashi-Varnam Chaturbujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayet Sarva Vighnopasantaye? Do you know what is it that is referred to by this Sloka?"

"Surely, Lord Mahavishnu who is clad in white, is all-pervading and the bestower of bliss."

"No it refers to a glittering rupee-coin! The rupee-coin is white; it pervades the entire world: it never stays at one place with anyone; it is of the form of the full moon; it has four four-annas; and it removes all our obstacles and makes every person happy."

"You seem to be more learned than our Court Pundit!" "What doubt is there?"

The Raja promptly drove away the wise Court Pundit and his colleagues and appointed this imposter in his place. This cunning Pundit amassed much wealth and one day took leave of the Raja.

In the meantime the dismissed Court Pundit was beseeched by his colleagues to save them from this misfortune. The senior Pundit volunteered to teach the Raja a lesson by defeating the imposter. This senior Pundit went over to the Raja, in disguise and boasted that there was not one man more learned than himself in the whole world.

"Give us some proof of your wisdom."

"Maharaj! You might have heard the Sloka Shuklambaradharam...... Shantaye? Do you know the meaning?"

"Yes. Yes. The first Pundit said it meant Lord Vishnu; the second one who is my Court Pundit now said that it meant the rupee-coin."

"Both of them are wrong. It refers to Dahi-Vada, you know-the Vada soaked in curd."

"That seems to be interesting, Punditji. How do you explain it?"

"The rupee-coin is not clothed in white; but the Dahi-Vada is. It is actually clothed in curd. It is our protector. It is of the form of the full moon. It is eaten (Buj) by the four castes of people. Its very thought makes one joyous. One should therefore meditate upon Dahi-Vada; and eat it regularly."

"Wonderful! Punditji! The other two people were surely wrong. Luckily my second Court Pundit has gone home on leave. I appoint you as my third Court Pundit."

"Well, that man came to loot you; and he has succeeded," said the Pundit and then revealed his identity. "Do you recognise me? I am the friend of your first Court Pundit. He was a wise man. His interpretation of the Sloka alone was correct. The Sloka refers to Maha Vishnu alone. I gave it a twist only in order to please you. But, Maharaj! This won't do. So long as you are ignorant yourself, you will be a pawn in the hands of every passing cunning man. Become wise. Recall the first Court Pundit. Learn the Sastras yourself. Then you will be able to judge for yourself. No one can deceive you."

The Raja was convinced. Subodh and Vivek learned their first lesson and moved on.

The Four Dacoits

As they walk along the jungle path early in the morning, they find a Sadhu running along the path: "Death! Worse than death! I am not afraid of a lion or tiger. But this money, Oh the greatest destroyer in the world!"

Puzzled, they move forward. They find four dacoits with two bags of money, laughing and joking. The chief feels hungry. He sends two of his companions to fetch some food. While the two are away, the chief and his deputy gloat over the prospect of a rich share of the loot. Satan enters their heart; the thought occurs to them that if they do away with the other two, they could get a larger share of the money

At the same time, the two who had gone to the bazar get the very same idea: if the chief and his deputy are killed, they could get all the money to be shared between them. They mix poison in the food that they fetch from the bazar.

When they return to the hide-out, they place the food in front of the chief and the deputy. Suddenly the chief and the deputy spring upon the other two dacoits and murder them. With doubly gladdened heart at the prospect of a greater share of the money, they fall to eating the food. The poison kills them.

Subodh and Vivek watch this tragedy and pass their way, musing: "Lord Yama is nothing before this killer of the very soul of man—Money!" They learn, money (greed) is the root cause of all evil.

The Sastri and the Gentleman

On another day they are taking rest in a Dharmashala. On the road in front of the Dharmashala, two friends are talking. One is a Sastri and the other a fashionable young man. They were obviously once classmates.

"Oh Sastraiji! Where are you going?"

"To Calcutta; to attend the Dharma Sammelan. Where are you going?" "I am also going to Calcutta."

"To attend the Sammelan?"

"Oh, you and your Dharma Sammelan. Do you think I am also an antique like you? No, I am going to attend the International Film Festival. Why don't you give up your old-fashioned outlook and enjoy life? It is only on account of people like you that India is so backward today. Look at America and other Western nations! They are advancing. But you are clinging to your outmoded old traditions. Time is changing; and your views also should change. When your religion, philosophy and outlook on life grow old, you should throw them away."

"H'm! How is your father? How old is he?"

"He is all right. He is eighty-five."

"Old enough to be thrown away, I think!"

"What rubbish are you talking, Şastriji?"

The gentleman goes forward to slap Sastriji who runs away in time.

The two Sadhakas watch this in wonderment and move on. They learn that time-honoured traditions have a great intrinsic worth and should not be discarded as old and time-worn.

Blinded By Cataract: Blinded By Envy

When Subodh suffers from coal-dust in his eyes, the two Sadhakas go to a local eye hospital. The doctor is away. They find five eye-patients. They had been operated upon for cataract and been instructed to lie quiet without moving the head. Their eyes are heavily bandaged.

A cat jumps upon the first patient. In an automatic reflex actions, he springs up. Then he begins to think: "My God! The doctor told me that if I even moved my head, my eyesight would be lost for ever. I have sat up. Surely my eyesight is gone. But why should the man lying next to me be all right? If I am to be blind, he might as well be blind, too." He rudely shakes the next man. He, too, sits up. In this manner all the patients are up and quarrelling.

The doctor arrives and regrets their action. "You have not only lost your eyesight, but you have ruined the eyesight of others, too! What a great foolish thing you have done!"

State Mourning for Donkey

Subodh and Vivek continue their journey, and come to a Barber's Shop. They find there several people waiting to have a face-shave. A rich social leader of the place also comes in. While he is having a face-shave, his washerman passes along the road weeping and wailing aloud.

"What is the matter? Why are you weeping?" asks the rich man

"What shall I say, Sethji? Gandarvasen is dead." "Who is Gandharvasen?

The washerman has neither the mood nor the sense to answer calmly: "Oh, Gandharvasen was a great Paropakari. How can I live without Gandharvasen?" And, he went away.

The social leader thought that Gandharvasen the Paropakari should have been a great Mahatma. "I too, should mourn for the Mahatma," said he and shaved his head, too.

As he was returning home, he met the Inspector of Police on the way. The Inspector was surprised to see the mournful face of the leader and questioned him. The Seth replied: "A great calamity, Inspector Saheb! Gandharvasen the Mahatma is dead." The Inspector wanted to follow the example of the Sethji and he, too, had his head shaved.

When, later in the day, he went to see the Raja, he was questioned by the Raja and told him: "Gandharvasen the Mahatma is dead." The Raja declared State Mourning for the saint and himself put on the mourning dress.

The Queen was intrigued by all this. She asked the Raja: "Who is this Gandharvasen? Is he such a great Mahatma that you should declare State Mourning?"

The Raja sent for the Inspector and queried him; the Inspector pleaded ignorance and brought the Sethji; the Sethji. too, did not know and called for the washerman. The washerman cried bitterly in the Court: "Gandharvasen was truly a great soul." When the Raja asked: “Where did the Mahatma live," the washerman was dismayed and said: "Who said he was a Mahatma? Gandharvasen was my donkey. Oh, how can I live without my donkey?" said he and started wailing again. The Raja got furious and rebuked the Sethji and the Police Inspector Subodh and Vivek who had been silently watching the episode laughed at the stupid way in which the blind followed the blind; and went their way. Ape not others blindly.

Three Stories of the Mahatma

A Satsanga was in progress in Rishikesh. Subodh and Vivek joined the gathering. The Guru was discoursing upon Sadhana and Jnana:

Beloved aspirants!

Bhakti is the greatest thing in this world. A Bhakta is equal if not superior to the Lord Himself. I will illustrate this with a story.

The Glory of a Bhakta: There arose a question once: "Who is the greatest person in the unverse?" Earth answered first. "It is 1. because I hold the entire humanity, besides all the plants and beasts, all the sacred places and holy rivers." Adisesha. the great Serpent, could not remain silent: "I am greater than Earth; for, I hold the Earth itself on my hood." Lord Siva gave a hearty laugh that shook the universe and said: "And, I wear this serpent around my neck, and so I am greater than Adisesha." Mount Kailas got its turn now and said: "I hold on the crown of my head, Lord Siva and His entire family: I am greater than Lord Siva Himself. Ravana of Lanka roared with his ten mouths: "I uprooted the Kailas with my superhuman strength; I am greater than Kailas. Vali, the great monkey. came forward and said: "This little ten-headed beast! I caught him in my arm pit and gave him to my son as a plaything. I am infinitely greater than Ravana." Now, it was Sri Rama's turn; "Did I not kill Vali with an arrow? I am greater than all others." A humble devotee of Lord Rama who was immersed in Bhava-Samadhi got up from meditation when Sri Rama spoke, and quietly added: "And this Sri Rama is my captive; I have bound Him with the chords of my supreme devotion and imprisoned Him in my heart. How can my prisoner be greater than myself?" No one contradicted the devotee! No one dared to come forward to claim superiority over him. It was agreed on all hands that he was indeed the greatest of all, greater than even the Lord Himself! Such is the glory of Bhakti or supreme devotion to the Lord

False identification: Due to ignorance man identifies his Self with the body, mind and vital principle (Prana). Listen to this amusing story of a deluded man. A man addicted to drinking Bhang (cannabis indica) used to carry the mortar and pestle with which the intoxicating drink has to be prepared, tied to his waist. One day he was walking along the banks of a river, and the lure of the drink made him halt beneath a tree. He prepared his drink, gulped it down, and then after tying the mortar and pestle to his waist went into the drunkard's slumber. Another adorer of Bhang happened to pass that way He carried Bhang with him and was eager to have a drink, but did not have the mortar and pestle. He saw the vessel tied to the waist of the sleeping drunkard. Quietly he removed the mortar and pestle from the slumberer's waist. prepared the Bhang and drank it; in that mood of intoxication, he could not remember that the instruments belonged to the other man and so tied them around his own waist! After a while, the first drunkard woke up and his eyes fell upon the mortar and pestle tied to the waist of the second drunkard. He began to reflect: "The mortar and pestle were tied to my waist. If that be the truth, then I must be that sleeping person. But, I was wearing a black shawl; and I find a red shawl on that person; if I am the man-with-the-black-shawl. I must be this person. Oh, I am confused. Am I the man-with-mortar-and-pestle or the man-with-the-black- shawl?" He could not solve this riddle, till the intoxication passed off. Then he realised that he was unnecessarily worried over some superficial extraneous factors which did not at all belong to his own self and were mere cloaks and possessions.

Guru's Grace: When a man has forgotten his real identity, and when through wrong identification with the body and mind suffers grief and pain, the Guru awakens him to the nature of this real Self, that is the end of ignorance and its countless evil effects. Listen to this hair-raising story of a Dhobi and a lion.

A Dhobi (washerman) was instructing his son who was washing clothes: "My son! It is nearing nightfall. Get ready to return home. I am very much afraid of night. I am not afraid of tiger or lion; but night makes me sick with fright." A lion was hiding itself in a nearby bush, and it heard the Dhobi's remarks. It mused within itself: "What kind of being is this Night? Judging from this man's remarks, It must be greatly superior in strength to even me, the King of the Jungle" Fear of the Unkown Night crept into its heart.

The Dhobi was searching for his donkey which had not returned home that eyening. In the dusk. he could not see clearly; but he espied an animal crouching in the bush. He thought it was his donkey and gave it a couple of good blows with his stick. The lion was confirmed in its fear: "This must be the Mighty Night. Thank God, I am let off with only two! blows." It got up and followed him to his house. The Dhobi did not notice it was a lion, but simply tied it in the yard and went to sleep. The lion was greatly worried.

Early in the morning, the Dhobi put a big load of clothes on the back of the lion (it was still dark and so he could not discover it was a lion) and led it to the river. Poor lion meekly followed him. Another lion met this lion on the way and laughed. "What is this that you are doing? Are you not ashamed that, being a lion, you are doing the work of a donkey? Throw away that burden and come with me." But this lion would not: "Brother, you don't know what this terrible creature Night did to me! Keep quiet or it will beat you also." The new lion laughed at this lion's foolishness:

"Look, just roar once and see what happens." It did so. The Dhobi looked back; and in the dim light of the dawn he saw the lion. He bolted away without even caring for the cloth-bundle! The two lions bounded away into the forest.

When the Guru thus opens the aspirant's inner eyes to his real nature, delusion vanishes and with it, fear and grief, too."

Subodh and Vivek rejoices at this opportunity given to them to attend the Satsanga. They recollect that Guru Purnima was nearing, and so return to the Ashram of their Guru.

The Guru explains to the two disciples the moral of all the incidents. Before reforming others, reform yourself. Before attempting to judge others, acquire the Highest Knowledge yourself. Only then will you know what is good and what is evil. You cannot know by proxy! You have to do your own Sadhana, become wise yourself.

You have understood the untold misery that money brings upon man. Money is Maya's most powerful weapon; the other is lust. Maya has put a few drops of sweetness in a potful or the most virulent poison-wealth and lust. Man is tempted by those few drops of sweetness, drinks the poison and courts endless suffering. Remember: death kills only your body. Lust and wealth (greed) go much deeper and blacken your very soul. It will take several life-times to retrieve the purity of your soul. They make you an animal. And, God, finding that you have not deserved the glorious human birth he has granted you, will throw you in lower births to wallow in the filth of sense-indulgence, till His Mercy again grants you a human birth. If you wish to tread the Path of the Good, shun lust and wealth.

Do not belittle our ancient spiritual culture. Modern materialistic civilisation has brought nothing but disharmony, misery, poverty and universal unhappiness, and has only! transformed man into worse than a beast. Do not be carried away by the external glitter of science. The ancient Rishis were our real well-wishers. We even now claim ancestry to one or the other of these great ones; yet we take pride in decrying their wholesome teachings. This is not conducive to our welfare. Materialistic science can never bring about our real welfare and prosperity.

What did you learn from the mad behaviour of the eye patients? The low bestial levels to which man has descended. He cannot bear to see anyone rise higher than himself, anyone shine better than himself, anyone more prosperous than himself. He will strive more for harming others than for promoting his own welfare. A beautiful ancient utterance comes to my mind: "He is a great man who does good to others at the cost of his own welfare. He is a human being who does good to others without jeopardising his own welfare. He is a devil in human garb who harms others for his own good. He who harms others to no purpose—what to call this man we do not know!" A large section of today's humanity belongs to this last abominable class. Is it difficult to understand what the condition would be when everyone is intent on harming everyone else? There could only be chaos and misery everywhere, and that is what we find in the world today.

And, the wonder of wonders is; no one stops to think even for a moment! Everyone follows everyone; each man tries to outshine his neighbour; everyone follows a beaten track, blindly without bestowing a thought whether he is doing the right thing or not! A young man goes to school because his father went to school, and because his neighbour goes to school. He seeks employment because everyone seeks employment. He gets married because his father, grandfather and great grandfather got married. He earns wealth because everyone docs so! He wastes his life because he does not know what else to do! Life to him has come to mean being born, begetting children, growing old, and go to the grave. This is just as we have in the story that when Gandharvasen is dead, one after another, up to the King, everyone observes mourning! But the real seeker is not like that. He will halt! every step and think. He is reflective. He does Vichara and gains Viveka. Then, he abandons the worldly life and embraces the spiritual life. He is a wise man.

This Sadhaka takes to the practice of devotion; for, as we have seen in the story of the search for the greatest person, even the Lord is the real devotee's own!

When devotion and Viveka grow apace in the Sadhaka, he discovers that he had so long been wrongly identfying himself with illusory covering sheaths, viz., the body, the Prana, the mind, etc. He has an intellectual conception of his essential nature and of the nature of delusion that obstructs the realisation of this essential nature. That is what we learn from the story of the Bhang-eaters.

Lastly, we learn from the story of the two lions, that the grip of nescience over us is so strong and powerful, like the lion's dread of Mysterious Night, that it needs a Guru, another lion, to point out to us our own essential nature and to stand by as our support and guide while we roar "Sivoham, Satchidananda Swarupoham". The load of miseries and grief, of delusion and despair, that we have so long been carrying as the lion was carrying the Dhobi's clothes-will drop away from us as we leap forward to reach our native Abode of Bliss!

Children! Having successfully been through these soul-awakening experiences and having acquired a thorough knowledge of the nature of the world and the nature of spiritual life, you are really fit for initiation into the Mysterious Atma-Jnana! Come I will initiate you into the Holy Order of Sannyasa. And I pray to my Gurudev H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj to shower his blessings on you and bestow on you strength of will and enduring discrimination that will take you to the Realm of Immortal Bliss!

 

DOCTOR'S PARADE

A play enacted by Sri Amaram, a devotee of Sri Swamiji,

on the 29th December, 1946.

Introductory Speech

Revered Dr. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj and beloved Patients!

Please do not get startled or irritated when I address you all as patients. Patiently listen to what I say. Really you all are patients. I know, but too well, that in this gathering there are some doctors of good renown, but they also are patients of Sri Swamiji who is the Doctor of all doctors. It is a beautiful, happy and sweet coincidence that Sri Swamiji happened to be a doctor in his Purvashram. One of the disciples of Sri Swamiji wrote, "Formerly Swamiji was a doctor of the body, now he is a Doctor of the Soul." People do not suffer from physical diseases only. The slightest mental pain is more unbearable and tormenting than the most acute physical pain of any kind. Any amount of wealth, Sandow-like physic good health, fair complexion, high social status, any of these or all of these put together cannot confer upon man even the slightest peace of mind; what to speak of Eternal Happiness! Were it not so, prince Siddhartha Gautama would not have renounced his young, beautiful wife and the vast kingdom and wandered about in the garb of a monk. The precious princely garments, instead of peace and pleasure gave him pricking pain. He had to cast them off and put on the rough and tough garb of a mendicant which made him calm and peaceful. Verily, this Ananda Kutir is a big spiritual Hospital, a Healing Centre, and all of us are the patients, who have come here for treatment under the Master-Physician Sri Swamiji Maharaj. Our main disease is that of Birth and Death and our pains!

include all the three Taapaas or afflictions viz., Adhibhautic, Adhidaivic and Adhyatmic. The doctors may temporarily relieve the humanity of hardly one hundred of the sufferings of the Adhibhautic kind only. They have no passport to enter the territories of the Adhidaivic and Adhyatmic States. Very rare Doctors like Sri Swamiji Maharaj can get this passport and can 'practise in these States. We have come here and we are definitely certain that Sri Swamiji's Adhyatmic Prescriptions will without fail radically cure our diseases.

Now, to come back to my point, beloved patients, let me announce to you the reason for which I stand here to address you. I may introduce myself to you as the C. B. A. of the A. W. D. F. i.e., The Chairman of the Board of Action of the All Worlds Doctors Federation. For the past 20 to 25 years the so-called intellectual class of the society-I mean the professors and lecturers of the Universities, playwrights and novelists, the journalists and other famous and notorious writers have been indulging in a very malicious propaganda against the doctors. Their main argument is this: "The number of doctors in the society is increasing alarmingly and along with it various new diseases have been cropping up. Therefore the increase in the number of doctors indicates the downfall of the society. Due to economic depression there is a regular rush towards the 'knife and the stethoscope line' as it offers a Pakka G.R.Q. or in other words Get-Rich-Quick method. The professional doctors have to wholly and solely depend upon their 'practice' for earning their livelihood, and as there are too many doctors to 'practice' they find it difficult to maintain themselves and their dependants. As the prices of the medicines have increased, instead of giving true medicines they give coloured 'aqual to the patients. The Homeopaths give mere blank pills. Instead of having a healthy co-operation, there is, as it were, A Cut-throat Competition among the professional doctors. The same is the case with the General Hospitals. The patients very quickly disappear from the Consulting Rooms and the wards. The doctors, Nurses and the other Staff, being the paid servants of these institutions, have no interest in the welfare of the patients. They come and go at their appointed times and receive their monthly salaries. They have such an equal vision that they do not see any different between the cots and the patients occupying those cots. In short, at present, the poor-class and the middle-class, who form the majority of the population are horribly suffering at the hands of the doctors. The doctors of today are really criminals and the necessary precautionary measures should be taken immediately to save humanity from the great danger." This is their attack. Now, any one of you can very easily understand and realise the baseness of such statements. During the past several years as in the other branches of Science, in the Medical Branch also very many researches have been made. Previously the people were suffering without knowing the cause of their sufferings, now, in many of such cases the cause has been found out and hence the remedies also could be discovered. The doctors did not create new germs. The germs which were once invisible and untraceable have been made visible and traceable and thus many of the confirmed incurable diseases have been rendered curable. How can knowledge ever be the cause of misery? It is the means for Liberation! In fact, it is very essential that everyone should have a fair knowledge of the laws of Nature and the rules of Health and Hygiene. It was only to serve this purpose that Sri Swamiji Maharaj wrote the 'Family Doctor.' Each and every family should possess a copy of this book. After coming here, I made enquiries and I learn from the S.P. League that since a very long time this book is out-of-stock. It is the first and the foremost duty of the doctor-disciples of Sri Swamiji Maharaj to come forward, to shoulder all the responsibility and arrange to print the Second Edition of this book.

Well, the times are bad. This is Kali Yuga. The poor Doctor's position is at stake. In these bad times, to safeguard our interest and to keep up the Doctor's position, profession and prestige--- The All World Doctors' Federation came into existence. The doctors of all the important branches of Medicine-such as the Allopathy, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Chromopathy, Herbopathy, Ayurvedic, etc., attended the first session of this Federation. But instead of discussing the items of the Agenda, they began to discuss as to what system of the Medicine is the best one. One Homeopath said: “The founder of our Homeopathy, Mr. Hahnemann, was a great spiritual personality. He says that the root-cause of all the sufferings is passion and sin. Homeopathy is a very deep and perfect system. It does not treat the patients merely physically. A Homeopath must necessarily be a practical psychologist. He has to cure the patients of their mental worries and weaknesses also. We have got medicines against Lust, Anger, Greed, Jealousy, Cruelty and such other psychic modifications, which no other pathy can cure. This is the main difference between our Homeopathy and the other pathies. Another very important point about this is that our medicines are completely harmless. We do not administer any kind of drastic drugs. Therefore, even if wrong medicine is given, it may not cure the patient, but at the same time it! cannot harm the patient in any way." Now an Allopath came forward to challenge the Homeopath. He said, "You cannot deceive me by taking shelter behind some spiritual doctrines. Anyone possessing common sense cannot believe in and agree with you when you say that wrong medicine cannot harm a patient Supposing the medicine which is given for constipation, is given to a patient who is suffering from dysentery, would it not make the disease more acute? Similarly in cases of accidents, fractures, burns, deep wounds, bleeding --what can your Homeopathy do? The Homeopath retorted that such cases fall under surgery and that a physician need not necessarily be a surgeon. The Allopath continued: "Only small children would like to have your medicines as those contain sugar. Giving such tiny sweetened pills to a patient who has got a boil on his leg is as good as giving a cup of tea to a buffalo with a diseased leg. You people talk of high philosophy and spread in the public some cock and bull stories about miraculous cures, but remember that you may deceive some people for all times, you may deceive all the people for some time but you cannot deceive all the people for all times. If a patient gets cured, it is due to your pills and if he doesn't get cured it is due to his Prarabdha-is it not? This is a very cunning way of taking the credit and shunning the blame. You say our medicines are drastic. Well, I say that they should be drastic. Because they are drastic they immediately cure the diseases." The Chromopathist quoted the famous Sanskrit lines:

Aushadham jahnavee toyam, vaidyo narayano harih.

The water of the Ganga is the medicine and Bhagavan Surya Narayana is the Doctor.' The Sun is the only visible god for us. All of you know what tremendous powers are hidden in latent form, in the rays of the sun. We charge pure water with the powers of the rays of the scorching Sun and thus our medicines contain all the divine potencies. We use coloured bottles and a particular colour allows only a certain kind of rays to pass through it. Thus we classify our medicines. Our experience tells us that this charged water is more effective than any drug of any other system." A Herbopathist argued, "Herbopathy is the harmonious sysnthesis of all other "pathies'. The cause of all diseases lies in the belly. All diseases come forth through indigestion. All the diseases must fall under any one of the three classifications, viz., Wind, Bile and Cough. We give only herbal medicines, and being concentrated the maximum dose of any of our medicines does not exceed 3 grains. Our medicines are harmless and no dietetic restrictions need be observed while you are under our treatment. Our medicines also are prepared and dried in the Sun. We do not use any kind of artificial heat for the preparation of our medicines. The Sun is our Fire-God. As our motto is 'selfless service' we do not make any advertisement. We work in silence". One Ayurvedic practitioner had a great love and pride for the ancient Hindu civilisation. He could not tolerate all these discussions. He scolded all the other pathists' for their slavish mentality. He said, "Ayurveda is the most ancient Medical Science. It cannot be compared with any other system of medicine. Because of the influence of the Western civilisaion the Indians are feeling ashamed of their own culture and they are trying to follow the footsteps of foreigners in every walk of their life. Sanskrit, which has been described as the (Geervani) the language of the Devas has become a dead language due to the criminal negligence on the part of its own heirs. The Ayurveda being in Sanskrit has thus been neglected and at present has become a subject of redicule for the Indians themselves. Due to slavery, India, Indians and Indian Culture have no place of honour amongst the Free Nations of the world. In some Western cities, in big restaurants and hotels they keep a board-'Indians and Dogs Not Allowed'. When the forefathers of the present English people and of the other European races used to wander about in the jungles, in a naked state like the Chimpanzees or the Gorilasputting any raw matter in the mouth chewing and swallowing whatever could be chewed and swallowed, simply swallowing up the things which could not be chewed and simply chewing and spitting out the things which could not be swallowed, at that time the Hindu Civilisation was at the peak! of its glory. The great Hindu Rishis through contemplation and meditation had realised and had boldly proclaimed the truth to the whole world:

Yachakshusha na pasyati yena chakshoorsi pasyati;

Tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate.

That which cannot be seen by the eyes, but by virtue of which the eyes get the power to see, know thou that alone to be Brahman and not this which is worshipped here as such."

Yacchotrena na srunoti yena stotramidam srutam;

Tadeva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidamupasate.

"That which the ears cannot hear, but by virtue of which the ears get the power to hear,know thou that alone to be Brahman and not this which is worshipped here as such."

We need not go so deep into the history. We can take a fairly recent example. In the days of Ashoka our Bharatavarsha was the seat of all knowledge---secular and spiritual. The Nalanda University was the centre of Education for the whole world. Students from all different nations spread all over the globe had to come here to specialise themselves in any of the branches of learning. We had such a glorious past. It is only Ayurveda which has a firm foundation on the highest spiritual doctrine, viz., this human birth is meant for Self-realisation; and this body is only an instrument for attaining the Goal. The founder of Ayurveda was not merely a great spiritual personality like Mr. Hahnemann. He was the very incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Naturopathist condemned all the 'pathists' and their 'pathies’, and said, "Let all your drugs be poured into the seas and the laboratories be set on fire. It will bring the greatest good to the humanity. All kinds of drugs are poisons. The diseases can never be cured by drugging the system. The drugs may for the time being! supress the diseases but these cannot root out the diseases. The reason for all the sufferings is a dirty colon. Here all the poisons are generated. Disease is nothing but auto-intoxication and constipation. If you have habitual constipation, instead of taking any concentrated laxatives or purgatives make the necessary change in your diet. Eat more leafy vegetables. Do not take starchy food. Drink a tumblerful of hot water in the early morning or take a blissful warm Enema and your bowels will be cleansed. All diseases will take to their heels. Follow the Path of Nature and the diseases will not follow you."

Words led to blows. Mr. Allopath snatched Mr. Homeo's portable chest. Mr. Homeo retorted by pulling at the stethoscope hanging around Mr. Allopath's neck. When the Ayurvedji intervened he received a violent push which sent him on top of the Chromopath, who was bending over his orange and green bottles kept in a patch of sunlight on the floor. In the meanwhile catching the contagion Mr. Herbopathist hurled out of the window Mr. Naturopathist's precious Enema. Mr. Naturopathist, in return, gave a mighty blow right on the nose of Mr. Herbopathist that it began to bleed. Thus by practical demonstration he showed Mr. Herbopathist that there is some suffering which does not fall in any of his three classifications viz., wind, bile and cough.

At this juncture there entered a short, black man with a smiling face holding the slightly bent Enema-can. The Enema-can which was thrown out of the window by Mr. Herbo fell upon the shoulder of this gentleman while he was passing by that way. He had a fair knowledge of Ayurveda. On reading some of the books especially Karma Yoga and Japa Yoga of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj he was inspired to take to Karma Yoga. He took the 'First Aid training and acquired the knowledge of some of the Allopathic patent drugs and started a charitable dispensary in his own village. Whenever any patient would come to the dispensary he would fold his hands and say, "Om Namo Narayana." He would offer him a seat and speak very kind and sweet words. He would give him the medicine and other instructions about diet and would also advise him to sing the Names of the Lord. To a malarial patient he would give the Quinine tablets together with a cup of milk. He was a very pious and noble soul. When he entered the hall where our meeting was held, he saw absolute confusion and indisciplined scuffle in progress. He immediately went straight to the centre of the hall, stood by a table and with his powerful voice chanted the Pranava O.....M....! The Omkara Dhvani was echoed and re-echoed by the walls of the hall and the whole hall was filled with spiritual vibrations. The doctors' attention was invited by the Omkara-Nada and its origin. Automatically they all ceased from the fighting and within half a minute perfect pin-drop silence was established. He addressed the meeting:

"Beloved brethren! Why are you fighting like cats and dogs? You all have assembled here for achieving something and if you fight amongst yourselves how can your purpose be ever fulfilled? You want to know which system of medicine is the best one. I shall tell you about it. You have never heard the name of this system. You cannot find it even in 'The New Standard Dictionary' which is the world's finest and most complete dictionary. The name of this system is ‘Divine Namopathy'. I shall read out to you a small leaflet which will tell you everything about this 'pathy'. Patiently and attentively listen to me. He reads out Sri Swamiji's leaflet.

Divine Namopathy

"When Allopathy, Homeopathy, Chromopathy, Naturopathy, Ayurvedopathy, and other pathies fail to cure a disease, the Divine Namopathy alone can save you. Name of the Lord is a sovereign specific, a sheet anchor, an infallible panacea and a cure-all for all diseases. There is an inscrutable Sakti in God's Name. All the divine potencies are hidden in Lord's Name. It is a cream or quintessence of Chyavanprash. Makaradhwaja, almonds, Vasanta-Kusumakar, Swarna

Sri Swami Sivananda's Leaflet published for free distribution by one of the Divine Life Society's Branches.

Bhasma or gold oxide. It is a imysterious ineffable Divine injection, '1910194'.

"This medicine of Nama Japa can be taken to cure any disease and administered to all patients. Sit by the side of the patient and repeat the Name of the Lord with sincere devotion and faith, like Hari Om, Sri Ram Jeya Ram, Jeya Jeya Rama; Om Namah Sivaya or sing Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Pray for His mercy and grace. All maladies and agonies will come to an end. Do this treatment of Nama Japa for at least two hours in the morning and evening, you will find the miraculous effect within a short time. The real doctor is only Lord Narayana.

"Lord Dhanvantri, the physician of the three worlds, has declared thus-"Achyuta, Ananta, Govinda, Namochcharana Bheshajath, Nasyanti Sakala Rogah, Satyam Satyam Vadamyaham" meaning-"By the medicine of the repetition of Achyuta, Ananta, Govinda, all diseases are cured; this is my definite and honest declaration." In all treatment Lord Narayana is the real doctor. Even the world's best doctors fail to cure a dying King. In many instances, where patients ailing! from the worst type of diseases are cured miraculously. This itself is a clear proof that there is the Divine Hand behind all cures. The Divine Name will eradicate the disease of birth and death and bestow Moksha, liberation and immortality.

"The son of a landlord in Meerut was seriously ailing. Doctors pronounced the case to be absolutely helpless. Bhaktas took the case in their hands. They did continuous Kirtan day and night for seven days around the bed of the patient. The patient stood up and began to sing God's Name on the seventh day. He recovered completely. Such is the miraculous power of Nama Sankirtan."

At the end of Dwapara Yuga, Sage Narada approached Lord Brahma and asked, "O Lord, how shall I, roaming over the earth, be able to overcome the evil effects of Kali." Lord Brahma replied:

"Bhagavatah Adipurushasya Narayanasya

Namoccharana Matrena Nirdhutah Kalir Bhavati."

Meaning: By the mere uttering of the Name of Lord Narayana, the Primeval Purusha, the evil effects of Kali are destroyed. And they say:

"Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare."

"Iti Shodasakam Namnam Kali Kalmasha Nasanam

Natah Parataropayah Sarva Vedeshu Drisyate."

Meaning: "These sixteen names are destructive of the evil effects of Kali. No better means than this are to be seen in all the Vedas." -The Kalisantaranopanishad.

All listened. They were convinced that the Divine Namopathy is the best of all the pathies. The Namopathist sang various Kirtans and all followed him in chorus. All the doctors took a vow to keep 'Divine Namopathy' as the chief item in their practice. The Namopathist again continued his inspiring address. "Let these two sentences- "The Real Doctor Is Only Lord Narayana' and 'There Is The Divine Hand Behind All Cures'-be carved on the walls of all the hospitals. The letters should be in full six inches height and should be filled with golden ink so that they should dazzle, shine and reflect in the eyes of everyone who happens to look at it. All the private practitioners should keep in their dispensaries a picture of the Lord and such placards. Every "pathy' has got its own advantages and disadvantages. Whichever 'pathy' we may follow if we want to disprove the unjust accusations made against us, we must join together and systematically work as a united organisation to keep up our reputation. To have such union and systematic work perfect military discipline is absolutely necessary. For acquiring discipline the military method of drill, parade and obedience to the leader is the best one. Therefore all the doctors of our A.W.D. Federation must henceforth undergo such training daily. "The Agenda Sheet was torn and shown the waste-paper-basket. One of the items of the Agenda was that a deputation should be sent to the Prime Minister. Now all the doctors unanimously agreed to the new proposal that the deputation should be sent to His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj.

Beloved patients, we realised the soundness of Sri Namopath's advice and have therefore started regular parades. We have removed all the military words from our drill and made it a cent per cent 'Doctors' Drill' with names and terms from the Materia Medica and the B.P. Today's parade has been fixed to be held at the Central Sadhana grounds, Bhajan Hall Mohalla, Sivananda Town. Now watch the Parade.

The Doctors' Militarisation Board

Parade

 

D.M.B. Commands

Military Commands

Doctors For

 

Operation Prepare:

Doctors! Fall-in For Parade

Appendicitis

Stand-at-ease.

Injection:

Attention

Enema:

Right-dress.

Nux Vomica:

Number.

T, B, G, E, R, M, A, C, I, D

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten.

Bacteria Nux Vomica:

In Twos Number.

Pneumonia:

Mark Time March.

Ring Worm, Ring Worm..

Left Right, Left Right Timings

Heart Fail:

Halt.

Double Pneumonia:

March Forward.

Arsanicalis:

About Turn.

Rheumatism:

Right Turn.

Lumbar Puncture:

Left Turn.

Calcaria:

Open Order.

Belladonna:

Close Order.

Eczema T Beri Beri:

Exercise One Begin. (Position-Hands Near The Chest, Palms Closed.)

Beri Beri T:                        

Hands Forward Palms Facing Each Other, With A Jump And Legs Side Ways. B Position. G Hands Up, Rest As At T.E. Position Hands Side Ways, Palms Facing The Ground Rest As At T.M. Injection.

Eczema b beri beri:

Exercise two begin.

Eczema B (Asthma Cure) T:

Slowly Raising The Hands Up And Standing On Toes Accompanied By Deep Breating. B The Reversed Process Of T. Coming Back To Injection.

Stethoscope:

Salute.

Fracture:

Dismiss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BHAKTA HARIDAS

Synopsis of a Drama staged under the direction of Sri Rampremji at Sivananda Ashram on the 7th June, 1953.

BHAKTA HARIDAS

Madan, the son of Seth Karori-mal (a millionnaire) and Manorama, the daughter of Haridas, a poor devotee of the Lord, are worshipping Lord Krishna and Sri Radha in the temple built by the Seth. The Seth's servant comes there in search of Madan and while taking the boy back to his house, scolds Manorama and snatches away the idol of Radha that she is worshipping. Later Sri Haridas and his wife worship the idols.

Seth Karori-Mal visits the temple and finds that the Lord had been worshipped with wild flowers. He grows angry: "What! Who has put this two-penny garland of wild flowers around the beautiful Jaipur-marble idol of Krishna which I have installed in this two-lakh Mandir I have built?" His servant informs him that it was Haridas' doing.

The Sethji comes across a hungry beggar on the way; but does not pay a copper. When the hungry man says: "Sethji! God is not in the temple but in the heart of a compassionate man," the Seth grows wild and rebukes the beggar. "You will have to endure the consequences of your own past evil actions," preaches the Seth.

Haridas is a terrant of one of Sethji's innumerable houses. Now the Sethji hits upon the best plan of getting rid of Haridas. He demands immediate payment of areas of rent, etc., which had increased ten-fold in the Sethji's false accounts. Poor Haridas is driven out of the house. Depending on God and His Merciful Grace, Haridas goes into the forest with his wife and daughter.

The little girl's hunger drives Haridas to try his hand at wood-cutting. The uplifted axe drops to the ground, for Haridas sees Lord Krishna in the tree. He turns a cooly; but is unable to earn anything. A merchant engages him to carry a heavy load; but Haridas unable to carry it collapses on the road with the load and returns to his jungle-abode severely bruised all over. Still Haridas and his wife believe in and depend on God. The poor Manorama, unable to endure the pangs of hunger dies.

In the Seth's house: Madan is confined to bed with high fever and delirium in which he constantly pines for Manorama and Radha-Krishna.

The Sethji gets some special worship performed for the early recovery of Madan. He gets the advice and treatment of a heart-specialist. In these two instances, he reveals his inborn characteristic: to a miser money is more sacred than his own life. Madan suddenly regains consciousness and tells his father: "Father, God is not in the temples alone, but lives in the heart of the compassionate. He is not a big man who has vast material wealth, but one who has a large heart......Manorama......Radha-Krishna”. He expires. The death of his beloved son turns the Sethji on the street as a half-lunatic carrying his son's corpse. He meets a pious man who directs the Seth to Haridas living in a nearby forest.

The Seth arrives at Haridas' forest-hut just when Haridas and his wife are wailing over the death of their daughter. In a fit of despair, Haridas shouts: “Is it for this that I have been worshipping the Lord? Are the words of the Lord in the Gita

Ananyaschintayanto Maam Ye Janah Paryupasate, Tesham Nityabhiyuktanam Yogakshemam Vahamyaham. (I protect that devotee who ever thinks of Me.) true? Is God Himself true?" He is about to take up the idol of Krishna he is worshipping and smash it.

As that instant, the Lord appears before him, blesses him and brings back to life Manorama and Madan. The devotees are immersed in joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GURU TATTVA

Synopsis

Four young aspirants renounce the world at the some time. One man (Buddha Kumar) is a saint-by-birth. The affluence in which he is born fails to bind him and in Buddha-fashion he renounces the world and reaches the feet of the Satguru (Swami Sevananda). Ramanathan meets a Free-Thinker who condemns the idea of following a Guru and becomes his 'disciple'. Krishnaswamy who renounced the world on account of failure, is lured by a Yogi-charlatan's promise of psychic powers. Ram Gupta, luckily, becomes Sevananda's disciple. That is the story of Act One.

In Act Two we find a situation in which Ramanathan, Krishnaswamy, Ram Gupta and Buddha Kumar each reveals the essential differences in the characteristics of aspirants taking to their diverse paths. Ramanathan's dry perverted philosophy, Krishnaswamy's wayward ways of using psychic powers for personal gain, Ram Gupta's readiness for service in accordance with his Guru's instructions, and Buddha Kumar's divine ministration are noticed here. In the second scene, Ram Gupta is 'tested' and Guru's miraculous Grace saves him in time.

In the Third Act, we find Ramanathan the Free-Thinker coming to Sevananda in a wretched condition. Krishnaswamy the Siddhi-hunter, has gone off the track completely and re-entered the Grihasthasrama. Ram Gupta clings to the feet of the Guru and is saved. Buddha Kumar shines as a resplendent saint. Sevananda with his characteristic love and compassion admits Ramanathan into his fold and accepts Krishnaswamy, too, as his lay disciple. His valuable discourse to the four Sadhakas sums up the leassons of the Play.

GURU TATTVA

Act One

Scene 1

On the bank of the Ganga. In the centre is a temple. A few cottages are seen in the background. The rest is forest. Behind all these is a hill, the Himalayan range, with a number of caves.

Three youngsters are coming down the steps of the temple. Along with them is a Sadhu.

Sadhu: Your problmes have been the problems that hundreds of the Sadhus here have faced and solved. Seek the lotus feet of the Mahatmas here. You will surely find light and guidance. Om Namo Narayanaya (Exit).

Enter Swathassiddhananda. All the three fall at his feet.

S.S. Ananda: Om Om Om. Well, my dear friends, what brought you here?

Ramanathan: Swamiji! We have become disgusted with worldly life. We wish to enter the Path of Renunciation. We are in search of a guide, a Guru.

S.S. Ananda: From your face, I thought you are an intelligent man. But your speech betrays you are a weakling. My dear friend, man is his own guide. The Infinite Consciousness which is all-Intelligence is within your own heart. Enquire ceaselessly. Do not run after Gurus. Do not enslave yourself to anyone. Be independent. Fly to the region of Immortality on the two wings of pure reason and powerful will.

Ramanathan: Swamiji, I am highly inspired by your teaching. I shall be your follower. I shall serve you and become your disciple. (Looks at the other two companions. They shake their heads in dissent)

S.S. Ananda: Well resolved. I will lead you to the other shore of the ocean of phenomenal existence. Fear not. (Hands his Kamandalu to Ramanathan to carry.) (Exit with Ramanathan).

Ram Gupta: Wonderful! He who asks you not to become the disciple of anybody wants you should become his disciple!!

Krishnaswamy: I am not also convinced by him.

R.G.: There may be a million and one circumstances when we are perplexed as to our duty. If our own intelligence is to be taken as our guide, Arjuna would have run away from the battle-field and Mahabharata would have been a different story

altogether. Oh! Look at this wonderful Tapasvi. He is surely a great Yogi.

Enter Yogi Siddhi Prakash Paramahamsa—

The two Sadhakas fall at his feet

Y.S.P.: Om Sakti! Om Sakti! Friends, I have already understood your purpose. I see your mind as I see this temple. I see the thought-waves that rise in your mind as I see the flowing waters of the Ganga. Come with me. I will make you a great Yogi. I will, by a mere touch, give you Samadhi. A few days' practice of the Kriyas I will teach you, will enable you to acquire great Siddhis.

Krishn.: I am speechless before your divine majesty. Is it true, even as you say? Can I, too, become a Yogi?

Y.S.P.: Ah! What doubt is there? Om Sakti. I have taught this Yoga to great Maharajas and Zamindars. Many high officials of the Government are my disciples. Come, tarry not. Time is precious.

Krishn.: (To Ram): Come, let us go.

R.G.: I wish to spend a little time alone on the banks of mother Ganga.

Y.S.P.: Well, it is all right. My young friend, let him sit on the banks of the Ganga for a little while and join us later. (To Ram). You will see a big bungalow further on. That is mine. I will instruct the Darwan to allow you whenever you come, (Exit with Krishnaswamy).

R.G.: (To himself): No. No. Siddhis are after all petty gains of a different order. If I wanted bungalows and servants, I need not have renounced the world at all. I could have been a prosperous doctor with a roaring practice, motor cars and servants. No. There is no point in running after Yogic practices to get these. Nor to acquire healing powers. Yogic healing may be spectacular and impressive. But greater miracles are wrought by surgery. Then, why renounce the world? I can as well go to America and learn brain surgery, plastic surgery and so on. No. My aim in renouncing the world is to get that wisdom which the Upanishads and the great scriptures speak of.

Enter Sevananda with Buddha Kumar

Sevananda: (Noticing Ram Gupta sitting on the Ganga bank with his luggage): Om Namo Narayanaya! Beloved Atma-Swarup! It is getting late. You seem to be a new-comer to this place. It will be cold out here. You have probably not taken your food, too. Kindly bless me with a chance to serve you. You can spend the night in yonder Kutir. I will share what I have with you.

R.G.: (looks up, amazed) (thinks) Oh, what a dazzling personality. And yet what humility! In spite of myself, my heart yearns to touch his feet. (Falls at the feet of Sevananda): Gurudev, accept me as your disciple. I know you are divinity personified.

Seva. (Prostrating to Ram): Brother, I am nothing but a humble instrument of the Lord. I am your humble servant, the servant of all humanity. It looks as though you have renounced the world and have come here to tread the path of Renunciation. Come. I shall serve you nicely. You can have the Satsanga of Mahatmas. You can quickly evolve through Satsanga, meditation, Sankirtan and Japa. Buddha Kumar! Take his bedding. I shall myself carry his suitcase. Come, let us go. (To Ram). See this young man. He has also renounced the world. He is the son of a big Zamindar. He is highly educated. He is full of divine qualities. He is a jewel. So are you. God will take care of you and lead you to His Lotus Feet.

(Curtain drops)

Act Two

Scene 1

A lonely path in a jungle.

An aged man and his wife are trudging along.

Old Man: (Panting for breath) I can't walk any more. I feel giddy. (Falls down).

Lady: (Wails aloud) Oh God! What shall I do now? Where shall I go? Oh Lord, please help me. Save me..... Ah, there I see a building. I shall run there. Perhaps I may get some medical help. (Throws the things she was carrying and runs). (Exit).

Enter Ramanathan

Ramanathan: What is this? (The old man moans: Water, water!) Why should such an old man undertake this pilgrimage at all? What is there in a pilgrimage? All imagination only. (Old man: Water, water please!) Old Man! Each man is his own guide. Every one is independent. Who are you to ask me to give you water? I am not your servant. (The old man moans and swoons.) Each one suffers his own Karma. Pain and pleasure are illusory terms. Phuh! Look at this deluded wretch. He lacks the will and discrimination that I possess. If he had, he will not suffer at all. What need has this old man for money? He may die at any moment. I have the need. (Takes the money-bag) One Self dwells in all. I am he. A thing is best placed where it is needed most. Well, good luck to you, old man! Even if you die here, your soul will enjoy comfort at the thought that the money is in the service of one of the greatest free-thinkers of the age.

(Exit).

Enter the Lady with a Doctor

Doctor: (Feeling the pulse of the old man) Well, it is only diabetic coma. I will give him an injection. It will revive him after half an hour. My fees are Rs. 5 for the injection and Rs. 10 for visiting a patient at his place. Should I administer the injection?

Lady: (Crying) yes, doctor please do.

Doctor: Where is the money?

Lady: (Searching the man's pocket) What has happened?

What! The money is also lost!! (Wails aloud)

Doctor: So, you have no money? (Rises to go).

Lady: Doctor, please doctor, give the injection. I have some money with me. (Takes out Rs. 15 and hands it over to him. The doctor administers the injection.)

Doctor: He will be all right in half an hour. If he does not revive, please come to me again. I shall prescribe some medicine.

(Exit).

Enter Krishnaswamy

Krishm.: Why are you weeping, sister? What has happened to this man?

Lady: He is unconscious. Doctor has given an injection. I don't know what to do. I come from Chettinad in South India. (wails).

Krishn.: (Looks around, takes a good look at the lady)

H’m. Fear not. I have great Yogic powers. I can cure anything and anybody. I will revive your husband in a minute. (Blows a powder on the lady's face. She falls down unconscious.) (To himself) If I revive the old man the lady may say the doctor's injection cured him. This man may die in all probablity; the lady will become a widow and will have to remove her ornaments. I can help her by relieving her of them now itself. (Removes all the ornaments) Let me go. The Mantra will have its effect for another ten minutes. Before that I can go back to my Kutir safe. (Exit).

Lady: (Recovers herself) What has robbed me of the jewels! Oh cruel fate! Why are you torturing us like this? Hey Bhagawan! Why are you so cruel? Where is that Sadhu? Ah, I understand now. He must have been a black-magician. Robber. Thief.

Enter Ram Gupta

Ram Gupta: Mother, what has happened to you? Are you ill? What service can I render to you?

Lady: My husband is ill. A devil in Yogi's garb came and promised to revive him; but he blew some powder on my face and I lay unconscious. Now I find I have been robbed of my ornaments. I have lost my money. I have lost my ornaments. And I am about to lose my husband, too. The doctor living in that house gave an injection and said that if he did not revive in half an hour I should go to him for some other medicine. He will not give anything without money. And I have nothing at all. Oh Lord! Who will save me in this great calamity!

R.G.: Mother, console yourself. God will surely come to your rescue. He is all-merciful. Poor doctor, what a great opportunity of serving the living Narayana you have lost. (Gently shampoos the feet of the old man) Oh, Buddha Kumar Maharaj! Please come. You are truly a God-sent messenger of hope and joy.

Enter Buddha Kumar

B.K.: Ah! What is this? Give me a little water from my Kamandalu. Rub his feet vigorously. (Sits down and chants the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Om trayambhakam yajamahe sugandhim pushti vardhanam; urvarukamiva badhananmrityormukshiya mamritat) Mother, you too please repeat this great Mantra, the giver of life and health. (Strokes the forehead of the old man, singing:

Guru Maharaj Guru Jai Jai

Para Brahma Satguru Jai Jai

Guru Maharaj Guru Jai Jai

Sevananda Satguru Jai Jai

Mother, by Gurudev's Grace your husband would be well. Dry your tears. Meditate upon the Lord. Brother Ram! While you shampoo his feet, always remember what Gurudev has instructed us to do: feel you are shampooing the feet of the Lord. Invoke Gurudev's blessings and healing power. There is nothing that Guru-Kripa cannot achieve. Guru-Kripa will flow through you as a mighty force for the welfare of the entire mankind.

The old man wakes up. The two Sadhus exclaim: Satguru

Maharaj-ki-jai! The lady weeps out of sheer joy.

B.K.: Bhagawan! You are all right now, by Gurudev's Grace. Kindly come to our Ashram and stay there for some days in our Hospital. We shall serve you nicely. When you are completely all right, you can proceed on your pilgrimage.

Lady: (Prostrates to Buddha Kumar) You are truly our saviour! We have been robbed of all our money. I have been robbed of my ornaments. We have been turned paupers in a minute. My husband has been saved by your miraculous power. You are truly mercy-incarnate. For, in this great calamity of ours, you alone have come to our help and rescue. I shall wire home and get money......

B.K.: You need not bother, mother. By God's Grace, we your Sevaks have got enough. You can have whatever you want. One Self dwells in all; your grief is our grief. We are all children of one God. We shall joyously share whatever we have, with you. That is what our Gurudev, Sri Swami Sevanandaji Maharaj has taught us to do. If we by our conduct today have proved ourselves worthy of his discipleship, we are truly blessed.

Old man and Lady: Maharaj! Will you take us to the lotus feet of the great Guru?

B.K.: Surely, yes. Come. (Exit),

Scene 2

A public bathing Ghat on the bank of the Ganga.

Ram Gupta is seen talking with his father and a young girl.

Father: What is the earthly use of wasting life like this! You were leading a princely life. God had granted much wealth to you and a very good position in society. Was it all only to be thrown away? Are you not really flouting the will of God, while professing to adore Him? Think over all these. Premalata says she will marry you and none else. So long she has waited for you. Do you think it is proper to break the girl's heart? Is it Ahimsa? Your mother is bed-ridden. She may pass away at any moment. Is it not your duty to fulful her last wish to wed Premalata and settle down to normal life? Come with me. Let us go.

R.G.: Father, give me some time to think. Leave me alone for a little while. I am puzzled.

Father: All right. I know you are an intelligent boy and you surely take wise counsel. Very well, I shall go to the bazaar and return in a brief while. In the meantime, make up your mind to start today. (Father gets up to go. Premalata looks back, hesitates, smiles at Ram and goes with father.) (Exit).

R.G.: (To himself) I thought they wanted me to show them around the town. The real intention seems to be to take me away. What should I do now? Father's arguments seem to be sound. My mind, too, says that I should marry Premalata. She is such a sweet girl. Spiritual path is so full of ups and downs that, but for Gurudev I would have gone astray thousand times. Truly is it said that a Guru is God-incarnate. How miraculously he protects us everytime we are about to fall into the fathomless ditch of temptations. How mercifully does he bear with our faults and patiently impart wisdom to us! Oh! Gurudev, what shall I do now? If you had been near me, I would have not thought over it at all. I would have just referred the matter to you and obeyed your command implicitly without ever questioning it. This great problem has cropped up unfortunately when I am not near you. What shall I do? (Sits musing)

Enter Buddha Kumar

B.K.: Om Namo Narayanaya, Ramji! Have they gone away? Have you shown them round? Shall we go back to the Ashram?

R.G.: Om Namo Narayanaya, Swamiji! You are a Godsend, brother. I need your counsel. Father wants to take me back to our home and to marry Premalata, the girl who has come with him.

B.K.: Ha ha! Gurudev! You are truly omniscient. You are truly all-compassionate. Ram! Now I understand why Gurudev sent me to the town on the flimsy pretext of purchasing a towel. And, he asked me to meet you and bring you back. Truly he is our saviour. Brother, our only duty is to realise God in this very birth. The wealth of the world and the highest position in society are nothing compared to Self-realisation. Seek God first. Then you will know the why and wherefore of everything. Then you will understand the nature of mundane objects, the utility of wealth, the use of social status, and our true relationship with people here. Renouncing wealth and social status is not renouncing divine grace. You keep yourself aloof in order that you must first realise the God within you, with the help of the pure intellect, Buddhi, that God has given you, of the discrimination that God has endowed you with first and foremost, even before granting you wealth and position. He who is deaf to the voice of the inner conscience, to the promptings of his Buddhi, which is God's greatest gift to man, and who wallows in the mire of wealth and position, forgetting God, forgetting the Goal of life, is surely a deluded man like one who enters a beautiful hall of mirros at night, but throws away the light he has and so knocks against the mirrors and breaks his head on them......But, why am I saying all this? Come let us go.

R.G.: (Falls at Buddha Kumar's feet) Brother, you have answered all my doubts. You have come to my rescue, at the most appropriate moment. They have gone to the bazaar to give me time to make up my mind to return. Come, let us go away before they return.

B.K.: It is all Gurudev's mysterious grace. It saves us from perils. It rescues us from the clutches of evil. It guides us along. Glory, glory to Gurudev. (Goes singing: )

Song of Guru Gita

[Thars: Sunaja]

Salutations, adorations, prostrations to Guru.

Guru is Brahman, Guru is Siva, Guru is Vishnu.

Guru is father, Guru is mother, Guru is real friend.

Serve him with all Bhava, wet with Bhakti.

He will teach you Brahma Vidya, show the divine path

Service of Guru is a great purifier.

Worship the Brahmavidya Gurus on Guru Purnima day.

Narayana, Brahma, Vasishta, Sakti, Parasara,

Vyasa, Suka, Gaudapada, Govinda, Sankara,

Padmapada, Hastamalaka, Trotaka, Sureswara

They will bless you, they will teach you, they will protect you.

Guru's grace is necessary for Self-realisation.

Have devotion to Guru as much as you have to the Lord

Then only the truths will be revealed unto thee.

Do not expect a miracle from him to enter into Samadhi.

You will have to yourself do rigorous Sadhana.

He will inspire, remove pitfalls, and all snares.

En Do not find any fault in your own Guru.

If you find fault, this will retard spiritual progress.

Worship him, deify him, glorify him.

Relation between Guru and disciple is very, very sacred.

Do not break this till the end of your life.

Your father gives only this physical body,

But Guru helps you to cross this ocean of Samsara.

He entirely changes your worldly nature.

His instructions serve as your eye-opener.

He helps you to drink the nectar of immortality.

You cannot repay his debt in millions of births.

Stick to one Guru steadily with faith and devotion.

This is the best way to reach the goal quickly and safely.

Act Three

A hermitage on the bank of the Ganga. In a room overlooking the Ganga, Sri Swami Sevananda is seated writing letters. Ram Gupta and Buddha Kumar are typing.

Seva: When is your friend Krishnaswamy coming?

R.G.: Today, Swamiji. In fact, he may be here any moment.

Seva: Is he coming with his wife, too?

R.G.: No, Swamiji.

B.K.: Oh, he is married? I thought he was great Yogi. When I met him here last time he was exhibiting wonderful Siddhis of thought-reading, clairvoyance and giving instantaneous Samadhi to others.

R.G.: Yes, yes. That led him into a trap. And he got married.

Seva: His Guru also is married! One should be careful in choosing one's Guru. But, if you have real Shraddha, if you have real aspiration for Self-realisation, God will Himself lead you to the proper Guru.

R.G.: Exactly, Swamiji. Krishnaswamy renounced the world because of some mishaps and failures. The Yogi tempted him with spiritual powers. He fell an easy prey.

Seva: That is it. He got what he wanted. Perhaps, he is happy now because he has now got what he had previously failed to get. But such a condition will not satisfy a real Viveki-purusha. A Sadhaka full of Viveka will know that Siddhis and Riddhis are mere tinsels before the great treasure of Atma-Jnana. This constant Vichara and yearning for Moksha will itself save him from charlatans.

R.G.: There comes Krishnaswamy. Oho! He is bringing Ramanathan also with him.

Enter Krishnaswamy and Ramanathan

Seva.: Om Namo Narayanaya, welcome. Are you all right?

Krish.: Yes, Swamiji, by your Grace and Ashirvad. My wife wanted to come, too, but she was detained because of a sprained ankle.

Sevananda hands him some autographed books on Sankirtan.

Krish.: Swamiji, I have for a long time followed the Yoga technique taught by my Yogi-Guru. But I have found that beyond giving a few psychic powers, it is useless. It does not give real peace and joy which one is after. Then I happened to come across one of your disciples who conducted a Satsanga at my place and sang some of the Kirtans taught by you. In that Kirtan I enjoyed the peace and that happiness that I could not get during years of my previous Yoga-practice.

Seva.: God's name is a fountain of peace and joy. Let us sing:

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

Ramanath.: I am overwhelmed with joy. Swamiji, you radiate such bliss that I feel that I am in the presence of God-incarnate. (Sobs in excessive emotion.)

Krish.: Swamiji! He was a free-thinker-follower of Swami Swathasiddhananda. He has had quite a lot of unhappy experiences recently.

Ramanath.: I have been ruined, ruined by that villain. No. No. I will never again even look at him. Swamiji, we three renounced the world on the same day. Ram Gupta is quite happy in your holy company. I see it on his face. I am in a wretched condition. Though it was all very rosy in the beginning, it led me constantly astray. The Free-Thinker Guru went his own free way. I was left in the lurch. Puffed up with the pride of superficial knowledge, deluded by a false idea of independence, I committed many crimes, fell into evil ways and I have endured many consequent hardships and tortures. I have now been thoroughly chastened. I fall at thy feet. Accept me as your humble disciple. Allow me to serve you. Guide me. Lead me. Save me.

Seva.: Ramanath! You are today a living proof of the need for a Guru. Scriptures say: Acharyavan purusho veda (the man who has a Guru knows the reality). They further command: Acharya Devo Bhava (May the Preceptor be thy God), and declare: Yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathitha hyarthah prakasante mahatmanah. (He who has great devotion to the Lord and has greater devotion to his preceptor, to him will the truths of the Upanishads be revealed.) And, the scriptures are not false. What has anybody learnt except through a Guru?

For learning even the simple art of cooking, you need a teacher. Can you learn mathamatics or physics without the help of an instructor? Is it possible for you to become proficient in botany or natural science without a teacher? No. If you require a teacher to instruct you in these petty sciences, how much more so is a preceptor necessary to teach you the Science of sciences, Brahma-Vidya or the Science of the Self? What a great foolishness it is to talk about independent free-thinking in this field of Atma-Vidya?

People vainly quote the instances of some great sages and Maharishis who attained Self-realisation without resorting to a Guru. But, if you have fully understood the theory of transmigration, you will not argue that way. They are great ones who have served their Guru in countless previous births, who have attained a high stage of evolution and have taken birth here now just to put their foot on the highest rung in the spiritual ladder. If you try to imitate them, you will only fall into great error.

Spiritual Path is rugged and full of pitfalls and by-lanes. At times you have to walk blind-folded on a moonless night in a dense forest to an unknown destination! How can you walk such a path without the aid of someone

Nor can a blind man lead you across the forest! Beware of charlatans. The Guru's conduct must be exemplary. He must be a man of perfect renunciation and great wisdom. Only he can guide you to the Goal.

But you need not waste your time searching for such a Guru. When you are in the elementary school, even a matriculate can teach you. When you enter the College, then M.A.s and Ph.D.s will be your professors. But, just as the student in elementary school aspires to become an M.A.,

Ph.D., you, too, should constantly hold the lofty ideal of Self-realisation before you. Then, the Almighty Lord who dwells in your own heart will guide you to the feet of the proper Guru at the appropriate time.

Nor is this all! You should be an ideal disciple to an ideal Guru. Then only will the divine electric circuit be complete. Then only the divine current of Atma-Jnana flow freely. Look at Buddha Kumar. I have never come across such a young man of great wisdom. He is a first-class aspirant. No temptations can ever assail him. He is ever-ready to serve. He is always intent on reaching the Goal. He is ever calm, peaceful, joyous, and serene. He is regular in his Sadhana. He sees God in all beings. He serves lepers and dogs. He is a friend of birds and beasts. He is a man of intuitive wisdom, a great saint even at such a young age. He is a first-class aspirant. He is a born saint like Suka Maharshi. I am to initiate him into Sannyasa on the Guru Purnima day with the holy name Chidananda. Rare are aspirants of his type.

Ramanath.: But, what about people like us Swamiji?

Seva.: If you are not already endowed with such great spiritual Samskaras, you should try to gather them now. Have the ideal before you.

You should devoutly approach a-Guru and serve him with faith and devotion. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya; Upadekshyanti te jnanam jnaninah tattvadarshinah says Lord Krishna. It means "Approach the great saints, the Knowers of Truth, serve them, prostrate before them and enquire of them and they will impart Atma-Jnana to you" Atma-Jnana is not an easy affair. It is not a commodity that you can purchase in the market. It is inner culture that has to be effected after protracted Sadhana and service, by acquiring the Grace of the Guru and God.

Obey the Guru implicitly. His word should be law to you. Gradually, cultivate the divine vision and see God in the Guru. Attain spiritual communion with him. Surrender to him totally, unreservedly and unconditionally. Then, his grace will flow into you and divinise you. You will rapidly grow in spirituality. You will be quietly transformed into a divinity. In due course, you will attain Atma-Jnana. The Guru himself takes over your responsibility. He will remove the obstacles on your path. He will save you from temptations. He will lead you by the hand till you reach the goal. That is the path chosen by Ram Gupta. Ramanath! You have seen the world. You have realised the hollowness of the worldly pleasures and position. You have understood that even the most brilliant intellect is only a chain that binds you to the Samsara, all the more because it creates vanity and egoism in you and leads you easily astray. Now take the path of Divine Life. Do real regular Sadhana. Have the ideal always before you: 'I must realise God in this very birth'. You, too, shall reach the goal! May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Kaivalya Moksha!

Guru Guru Japna; Aur Sab Swapna

Guru Maharaj, Guru Maharaj,

Guru Maharaj Pahi Mam

Para Brahma Sat-Guru Maharaj, Sat-Guru Maharaj

Raksha Mam

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.

Satguru Natha, Sri Guru Natha,

Om Guru Natha, Jai Guru Natha.

Rama Gurunatha, Krishna Gurunatha,

Datta Gurunatha, Dattatreya

Om trayambhakam yajamahe

sugandhim pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva bandhananmrityormukshiyamamritat.

Om sarvesham swasti bhavatu,

sarvesham shantir bhavatu

Sarvesham purnam bhavatu,

sarvesham mangalam bhavatu

 

Sarve bhavantu sukhinah

Sarve santhu niramayah

Sarve bhadrani pasyantu

Maa kaschit duhkha bhag bhavet

 

Asato ma sat gamaya

Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya

Mrityor ma amritam gamaya

Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate Purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate

Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!

OLD DRUM AND NEW PALACE

The very nature of the Lord is auspiciousness and all propitiousness. He is quickly moved by sincere heartfelt prayer and grants the desired boon to the earnest devotee. But in His aspect as Lord Siva, the Divine consort of Goddess Parvati, His propitious nature transcends all bounds. Siva's nature is so very simple and extremely guileless that He readily and instantly grants any request by a devotee. He never thinks of the consequence but accedes to any request forthwith. Listen to what happened at Kailas once.

All the Devas and their celestial hosts used to gather every day at Mount Kailas and listen reverently to the great Divine mysteries expounded by Lord Siva to Devi. Now, Siva, the Master of Yogas, dwelt there upon the majestic king of snow-peaks in the open utterly unaffected by wind or weather. The Devatas, accompanied as they were by their richly dressed spouses, all delicate Deva-kanyakas and Apsaras, had many an uncomfortable moment and bitter experience in the freezing icy winds and frequent chilling snowfalls. At last, after one terribly trying day they made bold to request Siva to make some arrangement to shelter them from inclemencies of the “Kailas region brand” of weather. Siva was too self-absorbed to make out their need. They went to Parvati, the mother, with their tale of woe. Parvati, advocated their plea for a building before Siva.

Siva (Shaking his head): "My dear Parvati! We are essentially Viraktas. Why do you want to burden me with a building? You know I can't keep anything for myself. Everything goes off from my possession. I am no good at maintaining property. Even you yourself were once in dire danger of being lost to me for ever. Only the blessed Narada saved me by his brilliant idea of creating Mandodari.”

Parvati (Prostrating): "See all others have got gorgeous mansions. Vaikunta and Brahmaloka are indeed the pride of the celestial regions. Only we are living thus in wilderness. Do have an ordinary flat-roofed shed at least."

Siva: "My dear, shed or sky-scraper, it won't stay with me. Some one will knock it away surely. Have you forgotten past experience? We built the most beautiful Lanka for our stay and that crafty Brahmin Ravana tricked me into presenting it away to him. He officiated as the priest in our moving-in ceremony and in the end when the question of his fees cropped up he wanted it in kind instead of in cash. When I assented the rogue at once named Lanka as the fee. And you know how we both had to move out of the blessed city the very next moment after the moving-in ceremony. We moved out before we moved in."

Parvati: But the poor Devas are getting chill and wet.

Siva: Let them get chill and wet. They'll soon get used to it.

Parvati: O but their delicate wives and children can't bear it.

Siva: Ask them to leave their wives and children at home. This is not a Dussera or Holi fair to get children and chatting women.

Parvati: Without them they can't come. They don't like to be parted.

Siva: Let them not come. Then you will at least listen to me more attentively and be less absent-minded. Some portions of the Siva-Samhita had to be repeated half-a-dozen times to you.

Parvati: My Lord! But the poor Devas like your discourses so very much. They are dying to hear it. Please don't say No. Do put up some sort of an auditorium.

Siva then said "All right I will do something about it."

Once Siva had consented to the idea of a structure upon Kailas. Parvati Devi at once grasped at the opportunity. She wanted to make the best of it. She was the all-compassionate Mother and She desired to get the maximum for Her children. So she said, “Do make it a regular Palace.

Siva scratched His matted head with the tip of His trident and said, “All right, my dear, have what you want," He had known that this was coming. Within himself he just said, “All right, my dear, lose what you want."

The next day when the Devas gathered for the Satsanga they gasped in utter amazement. Where the day previous had been bare snow now stood the most gorgeous palace they had ever seen. The entire audience-hall was cystal, decorated with gems and roofed with pure gold. The Devas moved from pillar to pillar and from room to room admiring the wonderful workmanship. But the celestial priest and astrologer, Brihaspati, alone seemed dissatisfied and regretfully remarked, "What is the good? The construction was not done in good Muhurta. It is inauspicious. The planet Saturn is not favourable to it. Through his influence the palace is destined to destruction by fire." This information greatly upset Mother Parvati. But in the general rejoicing the others did not pay much attention to it.

In the evening, after the Devas had departed Siva and Parvati sat silent. Parvati said, "My Lord, Brihaspati has throughly upset me now. How can it be! This accident must not happen."

Siva: "I told you not to start all these new schemes of palace, etc. We are suited to Kevala-Kailas. You should have remained content. - 3 Parvați: “It is not the loss I am worrying about. There is another point in this. That is troubling me

Siva (doubtfully): What is it, this other point?

Parvati: "Don't you see? Saturn is your own disciple. You have created this palace. If your own disciple is to burn it away and you sit watching helplessly, just think what people will say. Will it not reflect upon you?

Siva (thoughtfully nodding His head): Yes, I never thought of that.

Parvati: Now you know. You have to do something about it. Why not pay a visit to Sani (Saturn) and ascertain things from him first-hand? If he is going to commit arson surely be will know it himself. Try to make him give up his intention.

Siva: But how can ordained things be cancelled? You can't upset law like that. Sani may not comply with my request. I can't bribe him. I can't also threaten him; for he is only carrying out his duty.

Parvati: Well, if he insists upon setting fire then we won't give him a chance. We will ourselves burn it up. Then at least we can plainly say that we simple did it with our own free-will. This would be better than facing the shame of having our palace burnt by that limping imp (Sani has a limping gait).

Siva: Do as you please. (To himself: "There! Have your own way in the whole matter; from start to finish”).

Parvati: But look here. Your disciple is not a fool. He is shrewd. As soon as he knows that we know this, he won't lose a moment. He may immediately do some mischief. So if he refuses to cancel his burning programme you must at once give me some sort of signal. I will be ready with fire here. At once I will myself light the whole thing up before he can do anything.

Siva: What signal shall I give you?

Parvati (after a moment's thought): Sound your drum. If he says 'No' then at once sound the drum. I will set fire to this palace here. If no drum is sounded I will allow it to remain unburnt.

Siva agreed to this arrangement and started to the abode of Sani, the deity of the planet Saturn. Arriving there, He was received by his disciple with the utmost reverence and devotion that was very reassuring to Siva.

Siva said, “O Sani, the wise Brihaspati says you are not in favour of my new palace and that it will be burnt through your influence."

Sani was aghast. He vehemently protested saying, “My adorable Lord! This is impossible. How can I ever dream of doing such a thing! You are my most revered preceptor and Master. I am but your slave. I am here to obey your every command."

Siva: Then you won't touch the new palace?

Sani: Centainly I won't, my Lord. I promise you.

Siva (Immensely pleased): O beloved Sani, I am greatly

pleased at your devotion and goodness. Ask me any boon you like, I will grant it.

Now Sani had heard much of the wonderful, surprising grandeur of Lord Siva's Divine Dance or the Tandava-Nritya. Since a long time he had a great desire to see it. Therefore he humbly requested the Lord with folded hands, "Lord, pray show me once Thy renowned Tandava dance."

Siva was in a very pleasant frame of mine. He was greatly pleased at the success of His mission. Therefore, he readily acquiesced with Sani's humble request and started His graceful dance. As he went on dancing Sani was in ecstasy. He and all the beholders applauded rapturously. Siva was inspired. He was in a fine mood. In accompaniment to the rhythmic movements of the limbs, through force of habit, the hand that held the drum shook beautifully. In the elation of the moment He forgot himself completely. The drum-hand shook and the drum sounded majestically. It tattoed and rumbled as the dance proceded and sounded the most ecstatic "thum thumm, Damda-dumm-dumm-dadum dum" when the Tandava ended in a climax. Siva was pleased, Sani was pleased and everyone was immensely pleased. Siva proceded to return to Kailas.

T As he neared Kailas, He was puzzled to see streams of freshly melted snow flowing down in His direction. The air also seemed to smell of smoke. And finally, he began to perspire uncomfortably under His tiger-skin. When he actually reached the top, the sight he saw made him stop suddenly. The whole palace was fully ablaze. A major portion was already ashes. In those portions that were still standing Parvati was vigorously kindling the fire to complete the work. She evidently did not even want a bit to remain unburnt for Sani to meddle with. The simple Siva utterly failed to understand the meaning of all this. Here He was, returned after successfully settling matters with Sani and thus saving the palace from its unlucky fate. And now here was the wretched palace fast becoming ashes and charcoal before His very eyes. He shouted and made signs to Parvati to come and explain things to him. Parvati came. Siva asked, “What is all this?”

Parvati: Well, I hope I have out-witted him now?

Siva: Out-witted whom?

Parvati: Why, Sani, of course.

Siva: What do you mean?

Parvati: What else? You gave the signal. I heard it and at once carried out our plan.

Siva: What did you hear? What signal? (Parvati imitates the Damaru shake). O bless my heart! that drum sound. It was not a signal at all. Sani promised to leave the palace unharmed. I was pleased and asked him to name a boon. He desired to witnes Tandava dance. I danced and when I danced I just sounded the drum in sheer joy. That is all.

Parvati was too stunned to utter a single word even. Siva consoled her saying, "You see, I told you before. We are not meant for palace and mansions. And I can't refuse a request. The youngster asked me to dance. Therefore I danced and you burnt the palace with your own hand. Never mind. We will continue to live here itself on the open snow and I will still continue to grant ready boons to anyone that pleases me even a little bit. I can refuse no request."

Such is the all compassinate and propitious nature of Lord Siva. Even a little prayer to him, a single Bilva leaf offered with a little water, pleases Him immensely. You will get a millionfold return in the form of His grace. Pray to Bhola Sambhu, Siva, the simple. He will make you Immortal.

May Lord Siva bless you and make your life fruitful! May you enjoy the bliss of the Immortal!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FOUR LETTERS

Synopsis

This is a short play which imparts a deep philosophical lesson. It depicts the life of man upon the earth, and warns him to make proper use of life, to prepare himself for the life hereafter and to be ready to meet Death, when he comes.

Once upon a time, there was no death amongst men. Later on, when man became mortal, he extracted a promise from Yama that four letters were to be sent to him as advance warning of the approach of death. The God of Death agrees.

The play describes how he sends the promised letters one after another, but man in his blindness and ignorance fails to recognise them and remains heedless. At last the fatal hour arrives and Death himself comes to take him. Too late, the man realises, how truly Lord Yama kept his promise. There is no time to make amends now and thus life ends with his duty still undone.

Act One

Scene I

Introduction

(For many ages after creation mankind was gifted with immortality. He was also endowed with divine qualities. But gradually, with the diminishing of the Divine element in him, man became a mortal being, latter on. When the assembly of God met in the celestial region, there was deep discussion on the subject of the actions of man and the law of recurring birth and death came to be imposed upon mankind. From then on man began to be subjected to Death. The portfolio of Death was interested to Lord Yama, who have been made Minister of Death. But in course of time, feeling that man himself was in the best position to know all about the action of his fellow-beings, it was decided to select one amongst themselves to occupy this post. From then onward, a highly righteous man, with a highly meritorious record of virtuous actions came to be appointed as Lord of Death.)

Time: Dawn.                                                                  Place: Open play-ground

(Two men are taking walk; one an inhabitant of this world and the other a resident of Yama Loka).

Man: Hello old boy, you seem to be very well-off these days. It's quite long time, since of last had a squint at your blessed face. Perhaps you are coming along from Benares at the moment.

Yama: Well met, well met. You are the very person I was really eager to meet just now. Indeed I am not coming from Benares or anywhere else from the earth for the matter of that, but actually I'm hailing from Yama Loka.

Man: O enough, enough. Stop kidding me. Go and first change face before uttering such bare-face lies.

Yama: Look here old man, if you can't believe my words, just touch my body and see for yourself. You will find I've no gross physical body at all. I only appear to have a form. Due to my meritorious action, as a man, I've now been endowed with a subtle body, in which to enjoy the fruits of my good action. I have been ordered to take man in twin at the proper time to the celestial Chitragupta in order to reckon up their respective actions and their Karmic dues.

Man: You mean you tell me your's is now the duty of cutting of man's life on earth and taking him away into the region of death. How came you to hold this post?

Yama: Oh well, I shall certainly tell you. When celestials met in assembly some time ago, the Law of Death was passed and it came to be imposed upon mankind. In this connection I was appointed to the office.

Man: Gosh, you mean to tell me that you are appointed to execute the task of dealing death? So your's is now the mission of attacking man and depriving him of his birthright of immortality. But let me tell you this is most unfair. It is an example of the monstrous injustice done to man by these Devas. Everyone knows very well that since creation man has been immortal. But evidently the Devatas are too jealous to tolerate this and have thus dealt a death-blow to this privilege enjoyment by man. We know very well, we are human beings and we have in us the power, even to wrest victory from the Gods in combat. Now they are in a position of authority. Therefore man cannot interfere with their doings. Come now, whatever that be, you are anyway my good old friend. Therefore I beg this favour of you that if I am to die, you will please intimate me before hand of proper time, when my end is to come. By much information I shall at least be enabled to make proper provision for my family before departure.

Yama: O sure, this is a simple matter. I shall certainly inform you before hand, when you are to meet your end. But immediately you get by message, please set about making necessary arrangements for your dependants and look forward to my death-warrant, that I shall personally deliver to you.

Exit Death

Man: Oh! Law of Death! Indeed it was best, if we had not accepted this Law at all. But we did not seriously oppose it, for we were confident that we could easily overcome everything, including even Death. But now the state of affairs have taken such turn that we don't know, whose turn will come, when and where every one is to be snatched away. All our powers have failed in trying to deal with this problem. No scientific instrument has ever been able to give this knowledge. Our sages and seers, no doubt and its hidden ways, but unfortunately very few of us tried seriously to make an attempt to understand their precious revelation. What's to be done now? We are now caught in a situation, which has no escape. But any way, I'm lucky, Yama is my friend. He will certainly send me advance information, through his promised messages. When I receive his letters, I will certainly arrange my affairs and fix up all things. One has to croak and this is certain. To live on for ever is now a thing of the past.

Exit Man

THE FIRST LETTER

Act One

Scene 2

(Time: early morning. The man is seated before his mirror and carefully engaged in combing his hairs. A few strands of silver white hairs are discovered in the comb. Man is startled to see this and falls a musing. Enter a friend).

Friend: Hello, hello, where are you wandering off in beauty's fanciful realm? Gosh, every day a newer and newer style seem to adore your head.

Man: (Offering a chair to his friend) My dear fellow, why are you making fun? See, what's happening to me? My hairs have started turning grey. I'm getting old, that's it, God knows when I will have to pack up and leave this world.

Friend: Here, here, what wonderful nonsense you utter? Now you understand why I always call you cracked. Your intelligence and common sense have taken leave, eh? You seem to treat a few grey hairs as something an aweful calamity and catastrophe. Phoh! Havn't you seen that nowadays it isn't at all uncommon for even children to have white hairs at their very birth? Quit worrying my dear hero, you are still a youth and that's true. What comes later on, will deal with it, when it comes.

Man: Say what you like my friend, but I for one feel that my days are coming to a close and the dark end is ominously approaching. I feel that thing drawing near, which is going to thwart and destroy all my rosy plans and ambitions. It seems as though my Fate is soon to strike me down.

Friend: (Laughing aloud) O my aunt! You are getting quite dramatic. You are shaping into a fine tragedy. My dear fellow, get rid of this bee, that's got into your bonnet. Who cares for death. Moreover, you have not received any letter, which your fine friend solemnly promised, he would. Now's the time boy, for you to be merry. Eat, drink, dance and enjoy. Have a fling at life. Don't keep moping and lose this chance, for later on, you may not get it. Haven't you heard our poet-friend Shaukat Ali:

Heaven holds not earth's joys;

So thrilling and so gay.

Etherial pastimes clay the mind

As a dull doll's play.

Man: (Reflecting a while) Of course, you seem to be right. Surely I haven't received the letter, he promised to send. Oh well, let that be. Now tell me, what's our programme today?

Friend: My dear fellow, don't be so wooden. Put on some life. What's the sense in knowing a programme before hand. That way all adventure is lost. The thrill consists in sallying forth into the unknown.

..And lo, thus man heeds not Time's warning signs. Unheeding and thoughtless he plunges yet again into the poison-pool of world's sensual pleasures. He swims in it with blissful abandon. But this bliss is of ignorance, for, in the pool of pleasures are the sinister and terrible shranks and corcodiles of disease, pain and destruction, while above him ever hovers the aweful vulture of death. When providence sends a warning signal, he fully chooses to ignore it, blacken his hairs with dyes and goes on again on his fatal round of sensual pleasure.)

THE SECOND LETTER

Act One

Scene 3

(Two years later Man has lost his teeth. He can't even speak clearly. Now he has a tuff tussle with is daily food, frequently getting the worst of it.)

Young Son: (Playing nearby) Father, all your teeth are coming off. What will you eat now?

Man: Milk and Halwa......

Y. Son: Aha, now I know you have got rid of your teeth in order to be able to eat such a nice thing-Halwa!

Man: No my son, all have to lose their teeth. He is a fool, who loses his teeth just to eat Halwa.

Y. Son: But then father, why haven't my teeth broken off? Man: You are just a little child.

Y. Son: And you Papa, are you not a small child? If not what else you are?

Man: I am an old man drawing near to my end (suddenly becomes silent for a while) and when a man becomes old, he loses his teeth.

Enter the wife of man

Man: (Addressing wife) My dear, my teeth too are all but lost. I believe I am reaching my journey's end.

Wife: Oh, what terrible things you say. I pray, don't utter such inauspicious things. I feel frightened, when you speak like this. Why do you brood so? Take courage. While there is life, there is hope. Be up and doing. Science can conquer old age.

Man: No my dear, this body is a momentary evanescent thing. It is surely to perish one day. Depending upon this is like depending upon a house of straw. Reposing trust upon this body is like relying upon a courtesan's loyalty. In a flash it disappears into the void. Even as jungle rats keep gnawing at the roots and thus gnawing day-after-day the root is eaten away and finally the great tree comes down with a crash, even so time keeps grawing at man's life-span and day by day it goes on dismissing till at last the end suddenly comes one unexpected day. This human life which is like a flash of lightening is here now and off the next moment, I detest with all my heart. The passing period of youth fully deceives man and I trust it no more. Even invincible heroes who none has ever conquered in combat; even those impregnably protected in mountain-fortresses, even such death attacks and snatches away in a trice. As chilling dew destroys the tender blossoms, as cold wind scatters winter clouds and as fast-flowing river sweeps away tall trees, standing on her banks, even so old age and death overcome and destroy man. Death is as inevitable as the setting of the sun. Life diminishes moment by moment. Youth quickly fades away like a flower. Life is unreal and deluding like the illusion created by a magician. Happiness is fleeting and pleasures vanish in a trice. Ha! My dear one, no more can I bear this aweful suspense.

Wife: All this is very fine, but if sucht was your wisdom and dispassion, why on earth did you marry and rear a family? It would have been better if you had left home and turned into a monk right at the very outset. Now in your middle age, when you are father of so many children, such thoughts do not look proper. Children have to be married. The eldest girl has come of age. The people's tongues are already wagging about, why you have not yet found her a suitable match. Please listen to me.

Man: No doubt, all this and more has got to be done. But I don't bear this wretched condition; living upon Halwa and milk. Oh God, how I crave to eat all these things which I was able to when I had sound teeth.

Wife: Ugh! If this is all your problem, I will tell you that.

Get yourself a set of Pucca new teeth. Artificial dentures—that's what I mean. They would serve beautifully. You can eat everything.

Man: (Forgetting all his wisdom and discrimination) Here, here, this is wonderful advice. My God, why did I not think it before? Oh, what a lot of delicious things, I have lost through my folly! I must make up for it now. (hugs his wife) You are wonderful dear, I will hurry to Dr. Shekhar, our local dentist and get a set immediately.

(Our friend has now a beautiful set of symmetrical teeth. He eats what he likes, as he likes, and when he likes. Now once again he enjoys himself thoroughly. All pious thoughts vanish. Death is forgotten. Delusion grips him anew).

THE THIRD LETTER

Act One

Scene 4

Time: Two more years roll on.

Scene: Interior of Man's house. The man is seated listlessly. He has become old. Eye-sight has not grown dim. He cannot see properly even during day. Time: morning)

Enter his friend Girish

Man: (At the sound of footsteps) Who's that? Come in here.

Girish: Hallow, don't you recognise me?

Man: Brother, I can hardly see anything. My sight has failed me. There is a dimness and a shadow in my eyes (gazes intently). Ha, I see, I see. You are Girish. Come, sit by me. Tell me all the news.

Girish: What can I do for you Punditji. Tell me what service is there. I am thy humble servant. I shall deem it a great honour, if I could be of any help to you. I never knew about your present condition. The fact is, we are caught in this huge family's net. The children have to be provided for. Something has to be done in this work-a-day world. Am I not right? Don't our scriptures say so?

Man: Yes, indeed. This is a dreary world. There is no permanence in life. Dying is definite and so is rebirth. Yet I can't understand why we mortals hanker after this worldly life? The Lord has said in the Gita: Having come to this impermanent, joyless world, one must devote himself to the worship of God, by which alone he can obtain true happiness. Look my friend, my hairs have turned grey. My teeth have all fallen and my eye-sight has failed. After all this is what this worldly life boils down to?

Girish: Punditji, why do you despair in this manner? The Samsar is a dramatic stage, after all. Creatures come here, but to work out their respective Karmas and then depart. As long as life lasts we have to plod on somehow. Punditji, you know all this. You are a scholar. You have surely learnt that we should never accept defeat. All power is within us. Weeping doesn't beackon us. I think you can easily get back your sight.

Man: What, you mean to say, lost vision can be regained? If that is so, please tell me how it is done?

Girish: Don't worry Punditji. When I am here to serve you, depend it, I will leave no stone unturned. I am even prepared to give my eye-sight to you. I will deem it a good fortune to serve you.

Man: Then tell me Girish, what should I do to regain my vision?

Girish: Be ready at 2 p.m. today. You will have to come along with me. Before evening today I shall have your eye-sight renewed.

Man: Dear friend, I shall be grateful as long as I live. I will do you any service you require of me.

Girish: Well then. 2 p.m. today. Is that O.K.? Then I take leave of you, sir. Good-day.

(Exit)

(Scene: A busy street. Girish comes leading Punditji (man) by the hand.)

Girish: Careful, careful. Here is a man on a horse-back.

Man: Take me carefully my boy, I am not used to these busy streets.

(They approach a sign-board "OPTHALMIC OPTICIANS")

(Curtain goes)

(Interior of the opticians. The man's eyes are tested. The optician prescribes the necessary lense. The spectale is purchased and upon putting them on, the man finds that he can see fairly well. His joy knows no bounds.)

THE FOURTH LETTER

Act One

Scene 5

(The man is now in his last silence. Limbs have struck with paralysis. The pallor has now settled upon his face. The condition is very critical and pitiable. At this juncture one day...... the old man hears someone passing the street outside, singing the following song.)

Dead end now is all taste for pleasure,

No more doth man receives relatives regard;

Gone are his equals, gone from hither,

His own body he now prepares to discard.

With staff in hands he hobbles painful,

Dark cloud veils the eye;

Yet in this condition, so shameful

He trembles greatly and fears to die.

Thou didst not enjoy Life

But life did thee enjoy:

Vied Nor did the five fires of penance burn

But wert burnt by the senses five;

Time was not spent, but thou in turn

Life fully spent waiting Death to arrive;

Craving is not ended, but still prevails

Though soon thy life will be ended amidst relatives veils.

Wrinkles fill thy forehead and face

And the hairs on thy head are grey.

Thou hast reached the end of thy losing race

But the strong cravings continue to hold their sway. All life has now wasted away

In vain enjoyments of objects gross,

Wearied is loan man upon life's thorny way

Gain has he none, but great his loss.

Repair O man! to you Holy place

Pray now to God for Mercy and Grace

What use to weep now and lament on fate

Take refuge in Lord's Name, ere it is too late.

Man: (Calling his son) My son, go, look and find out who sings this chant? Bring him in to me.

(Boy goes out and returns presently together with a venerable aged monk of serene shining countenance.)

Monk: Why didst thou call me?

Man: Respected and holy sir, the message of thy holy song has entered the very core of my heart. My eyes are now opened. You have suddenly illumined the gloom of my life's twilight. I crave thy blessings, my Lord!

Monk: May thou perceive thy right duty. What greater can be the blessings to bestow.

(Exit).

Enter Wife

Wife: Who was that village boor?

Man: Hey Ram Ram, do not speak thus disrespectfully of a holy man. He was a saint, who imparted true wisdom unto me. He blessed me too.

Wife: What wonderful blessings did he so give?

Man: Now Death draws near. Renounce the cravings of this sensual life. Turn now thy mind to the Lord......!

Wife: Very fine. Your monk seems to be quite an astrologer, So he is right and your friend Lord Yama is proved a liar? You and your Sadhu! What other work has he? They wander about, pocketing everything, they manage to get and yet day and night they preach to you to give up everything and get away from home. Breaking up homes and splitting families is their only avocation. Curse be upon them. They cling to life and seldom die young. (The old man unable to bear this insulting talk, claps his hands to his ears)

Wife: (Continuing) When your friend Yama has given definite promise that he will come for you only after writing four distinct intimations, why then do you despair so? You haven't received a single letter so far. So many children...... this big household—why did you set up all this? If you had only thought to say your beads, you might have as well entered the cloister long before you met me. Every time you only make me cry. I have wept my eyes out and yet your hard heart is never moved. And if you go away, who will look after me? I have a good mind to jump into the river with a stone tied to my neck.

(Once again delusion seems to overtake the man.

He softens somewhat)

Man: There, there, don't you cry like that. I am not going away anywhere. Am I?

(A fit of coughing seizes him. He hastily call for his spitoon)

TOWARDS THE END

Act One

Scene 6

Time: Morning. The man is coughing ceaselessly.

Enter Lord Yama-the God of Death. A terrible stillness and silence prevails.

Yama: Friend, come now, you have suffered greatly. Today I have brought you the final call.

(Lord Yama takes out the fatal 'noose of death')! Man: (Trembling in extreme terror) Alas, you have betrayed me. You have not kept your word. By thy perfidy thou bringest disgrace upon tribe of gods. Four letter, thou didst promise to send before you came, but contrary to thy promise no letters have you sent and thus treacherously betraying me thou art now come to take me with thy fearful form. Are you not ashamed to thus deceive a friend?

Yama: O man! vile sinner thou, all thy life in shameless sensual indulgence you have spent. Casting aside all righteousness, you have lived a debaucherous life, full of sin and now you cast aspersions on me—who am the Lord of Dharma and justice. Pleasures and enjoyments made you blind. How then could you be even conscious of the letters that I sent to you. Not one, but all four letters did I duly sent you. But it was your wretched fate, O man, that you did not care to heed them. You tried to clearly evade them. The universal laws of nature you chose to insult by your rebellious desire for indulgence. Today you wish to dishonour me?

Man: Four letters! Did you say! But not even one reached me. It is just possible that they might have been lost. It might well be the postman's mischief. Well, let that fellow turn up tomorrow. See what I'll give him?

Yama (Laughing aloud): Fool! Blind fool, you yet think you will have a tomorrow and fool that thou art, you had not sense enough to know what form my four warnings would take. With all your so-called brain and worldly cleverness you were idiot enough to think, I would take up ink and paper and write a letter to you in black and white? Blindness unsurpassed to see and yet not to comprehend (becomes grave and speaks in a serious tone) Listen, o deluded mortal, Time was my messenger, who brought to you my letters. You discarded them and heeded them not. They lie crumpled in this waste-paper-basket, that thy body is (pointing to the man).

Man: What do you say? Did I really receive thy letters then? If so where are they? What waste paper basket do you refer to?

Yama: This is thy body-basket I referred to. It carries the cast-away letters. It is filled with impure, dirty and perishable stuff. Now remember, years ago, your hairs turned grey. That was my first letter. But what did you do? You treated my warning contemptuously and blackened the hair with hair-dye. Yet, as I was your friend and well-wisher, I minded it not and sent my second letter. That was when your teeth began to shake and come out. Then too, in thy blindness you took no warning, but provided yourself with a set of artificial teeth and continued the life of enjoyment. Despite this as I was forgiving by nature, I forgave you and sent yet another warning as I had promised. Your eye-sight failed. That was my third letter as per my word. But what did you do? In thy pride and craving you took the advice of your friends and with thy deluded attachment to thy family and friends, you sought to overcome the informity and wore spectacles and continued thy life of indulgence and sensuality. Yet my patience and forgiveness was equal to the occasion and a fourth warning I still sent thee in the form of old age and paralysis. What is more? I sent my messenger Time in the form of the venerable Sannyasin (monk) who came and reminded you of your duty. But you were overcome with the intoxication of attachment and love of life. You did not care for the warnings, nor did you realise the duty that stood before thee. By thus kicking aside my timely well-meant warnings, you have in reality kicked aside all the prospects of peace and happiness in the life hereafter. You have more firmly bound thyself to this ever-revolving wheel of birth and death. Now I have come. I came not to admonish. The time for talk has ended. I came to hie thee hence.

Man: Ha friend, I have greviously erred. Unforgiveable indeed is my error. Yet once more I crave thy indulgence.

Yama: Indulgence! What more indulgence is there to give?

Have I not borne with thee well-nigh these 60 years? What use didst thou make of this priceless opportunity, I bestowed upon thee. Indulgence, drunkenness, profligacy and debauchery-with these you wasted your life. Wasting this precious life, fie on thee, now you ask, shameless, for some more time. Time--for what?

Man: O friend, remember our past friendship. I did much for you of old. Recall those days now and one more chance on me yet bestow.

Yama: That friendship was of that time. Now it's done. I am now come not as friend, nor as foe either. But I'm come as the dispenser of granite Law. Above love and hatred both is Law. And Law is justice, true and impartial. No human servitor am I, who for gifts or money would from his duty's path swerve. My course is straight and true to the end. Stern destiny's dictates I carry out. To my final mandate all mortals have to bend and now hence we go (puts the noose over the dying man's head. The man begins to gasp and to choak. He clutches his heart with both hands, while an agonised expression fills his face).

Departing man! to this body thy farewell say;

And to Thy Maker for the last time pray!

(The man struggles to cry aloud to son and wife, but no word issues from his mouth except a hoarse gurgle. THE STAGE LIGHTS ARE DIMMED. Lord Yama recedes backward slowly step by step, until he disappea