The Sai Avatar – Retreat 2018 Play

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    Om Sri Sai Ram

    Introduction

    Swagatham Dance (any simple dance): to make little colorful and different

    Scene 1

    Narrator: Before we begin we pray to Swami that He gives us all the understanding that He is the one who speaks and He alone is the one who listens. It is indeed a great opportunity for us. It’s that very same Lord who came as the son of Nanda, who has come to recognize those that belong to Him. That very same Lord who came as Ramachandra has come as Aramachandra because He has enough time. As we go through his stories we will see that how leisurely He spends time with His devotees and That very same Lord whom we worship as Lord Shiva has come to play with those who He recognizes as his playmates and that Maha Vishnu has come as this Vishnu who belongs to this very earth to gather what He considers as His weapons.

    We would like to ask a few vital questions. The answers that we give out of our understanding give for these questions will make us understand Swami’s perspective when he started his Divine Advent on this Earth and when he had a few choices to make.

    Scene 2

    Person A: The setting is this… Imagine God, our Swami, calls you and you are in the cosmos. He points out to the planet Earth and He says “Dear child, the Earth is in a very bad situation today.”

    We agree right? The Earth is in a bad situation.

    God says: “I want you to go and transform the Earth, change the Earth. In order to help you in this whatever you need I will give. So, you ask, I will give I will equip you with all those. In return, I want you to go and make the Earth a beautiful place to live in.”

    What are the choices which will be placed before you?

    The Lord asks: “All right. You can choose which time you want to go and incarnate to take upon this task of transforming the Earth. It’s very simple: you want to bring in transformation.”

    What do you guys think?

    Person B: Guys, before we begin our discussion, I think it would be interesting to try to choose the time of Swami’s advent. That way, we can compare what we would do with infinite resources to what Swami has done. What do you guys think?

    Person C: Oh, that’s an awesome idea! Let’s keep in mind that time frame then: starting with 1926. With that in mind, what are some aspects we would want to address?

    Person D: Well, in order to bring about transformation, the time should be such that people are in a mood to accept spirituality. For example, we are sitting here and talking to this audience here. Will it be possible for us to speak if there is no silence in this hall? So, to be heard, you need silence and peace and Vivekananda would say that don’t teach spirituality to a hungry man because even to indulge in intellectual understanding or any such exercise you need your stomach to be full you need your basic needs to be fulfilled.

    Person C: That’s true. We should choose a time when people are well fed, are well taken care of, and are in a very secure situation so that they are ready to listen to our spiritual message.

    Person D: Ok, sounds good. Let’s keep that in mind. The next question would be: how many resources would we need? Finances specifically?

    Person B: I mean, we would need a lot. How about a trillion dollars? Or maybe even more?

    Person A: laughs That’s a good thought but remember that we have chosen to go to the Earth around 150 years ago. There were no dollars at that time, and even if it was there, maybe it was not as valuable as it is now, and so gold coins. Because you know it helps, whatever you want to do, build hospitals or build good things, do any activity. It is good to have a lot of resources and therefore about two palaces filled with gold coins is what we will ask from God to transform the Earth.

    Person C: The next question we should ask is how we will be born onto Earth. We will have to be born in a family and grow up like anybody else. But, we probably would want to be born in a family of influence, right? It would useful to be born in a household where we are automatically heir to a certain amount of influence so that any message we put forth would be accessible to all.

    Person D: That is true. It would be nice to be born to a powerful king or a politically powerful family.

    Person A: Wow, this discussion has taken an interesting direction. But, I just thought of something. Have you ever wondered why Swami chose 1926?

    Person B: 1926 was actually right in between two World Wars! People had the most insecure lives with no access to basic necessities, even in some of the biggest cities in the world. It was one of the most chaotic times for people.

    Person C: Oh wow, that is true! Can you imagine that? Why do you think Swami chose that time?

    Person D: Remember how Swami Vivekananda said don’t teach spirituality to a hungry man. What about an angry man? When two people are fighting and you try to tell them about spirituality, I highly doubt they would listen at all. And in such a situation, Swami decided to incarnate. Moreover, how many resources do you think he brought? When Swami’s button from his shirt fell, he went to nearby cactus plant, broke the thorn, and pinned his shirt. He had only one pair of clothes. Swami would wash his clothes, then take a metal pot with embers in it to iron his clothes and wear them again. He could barely eat two square meals a day.

    Person A: Even the residents of Puttaparthi would wash their vessels in a puddle on the read when it would rain. It is in this absolute lack of resources that the Lord chose to make his advent.

    Person B: Now that I think about it, Swami’s choice of family is also quite intriguing. We thought we should choose an influential family. But, the village of Puttaparthi itself was insignificant as discussed before. It was a small village in the district of Anantapur. Did you know that Puttaparthi wasn’t even on the postal map of India? Any mail to be sent would arrive to the neighboring village of Bukkapatnam, from where the mail would be sent out once a month.

    Person D: Nowadays, we can take a taxi and within 2 hours from Bangalore, we will be in Parthi. However, back then, you would arrive at the Pennakonda Railway Station from Bangalore. Then, you would take a cart to the bus stand. From here, the coal bus that ran on steam would take you to Bukkapatnam. You would ride a bullock cart from Bukkapatnam to Parthi. The journey was 9 hours long.

    Person C: Oh wow! But what if you wanted to have something to eat or take some rest? Or even use the washroom?

    Person D: laughs There would be small little places along the route every once in a while, and that was it. There were no rest houses, no hotels. Almost nothing on the way. People would rest under trees.

    Person A: And in such a village, this small family wasn’t given much significance in the village either. The family which Swami was born into was called the Batarajus, who told people the stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Swami’s family was so simple! There was nothing special about this family. Even if anyone from the family spoke up, not even the people of the village might listen and Swami chose to be born in such a family.

    Person D: Oh wow, that is true! Can you imagine that? The Lord chose to come down in the midst of us and he said: “I am not going to come down with influence, I am not going to come down with a high pedigree. I will seek nothing from anybody, but I will achieve everything.”

    Person B: The Lord came with no influence, no money, no power, but he achieved all of this. And yet, before, we were planning to come with infinite resources, with influence, and in the perfect time with peace all around. Even with all of this, do you think we would have been able to achieve at least a fraction of what Swami has done?

    Songs: “Dhanya Ho Eshwaramba” and/or “Lord of all life, Of all the world, Of us all”

    Scene 3

    Person E: You know something that is very unique about our Swami? Even the most profound and complicated messages, Swami conveys them concisely with simple examples that we can all understand and relate to.

    Person F: That is so true! Almost all the messages I have heard of are attached to a story, anecdote, or analogy. One of my favorite analogies is the one about mangoes. If somebody says Bejawada Mango or Alphonso Mango, my mouth already starts salivating. The Alphonso Mango is so juicy and fantastic! Swami says “If somebody gives you a mango in your hand, what do you do? You take it, smell it, and press it to see if there are any worms. The difference between the name and the form.” Where the name is there, there is instant faith. You get the experience already. When the form is there, doubt is automatically there. Is the mango good? Is it rotten? Is there an insect? Is it washed?

    Person G: Similarly, there were people who doubted Swami, especially in the early days. There was no body of literature. There was no “Saibaba-Man of miracles”, to read and come. Somebody who is half your age, who looks like a village cowherd boy, he’s supposed to be the supreme Lord?!

    Person H: Many people used to doubt Swami’s miracles. Once, there was this bunch of boys who had come and they said: “you know, there is something funny about this Sai Baba. I think He goes previous night and digs in Chitravathi and plants whatever he wants. Then, the next day He comes and digs them out and gives it.”

    Person F: Oh, yeah! I’ve heard of this story too. Swami called these boys and said “Today these boys will decide where we will go and sit in Chitravathi” These boys selected an area which was used as a burial ground. They all sat together.

    Person H: “What do you want?”, Swami asked them. “You want papaya? Do you want fruit? Do you want masala dosa?” They were stunned. Then Swami says: “okay, go and dig” So the boy asks: “Swami, where do You want me to dig?” Swami says “Wherever you want” Okay, then he goes and starts digging at one place. He digs for some time gets nothing. Swami says: “No dig further, dig further.”

    Person F: laughs You know even in all these little pranks or jokes, Swami gives so much message. Swami says: “Yatna praytnamul manava dharmamu, Jayaapajayamulu Daivaadheenamu” which was what Lord Krishna told Arjuna on the battlefield. Swami said “Efforts lie in human hands, but the results depend on God. So you concentrate only on the effort don’t worry about the fruit. Come on dig”

    Person H: He dug, he dug, he dug 3 feet. Now, this boy started getting scared. He thought “What if I come across some dead body now? Three feet I have gone in.” Suddenly, he touches something hard and cold and he’s sure it’s a skull. He shrieks! Swami says: “What happened? Bring it out.”

    Person F: He brings out a big mango, and everybody is able to smell it. Swami calls these five boys. And then, from next to the sand he picks out a knife. This is a spot chosen by the boys and Swami cuts the mango and gives one half of the mango to one of the boys. Then, turns the mango, cuts the other half in the middle of the seed and gives it to the other boy. And then, turns the mango, cuts another half, and gives it to the third boy. Turns the mango, cuts, fourth boy, fifth boy, and then again turn, goes on and on and on and on. After 15 minutes, the boys said “Swami, we can’t eat anymore”

    Songs: Chitravathi Theera

     

    Person E: claps Wow, that’s such a wonderful story! I bet that mango was especially tasty! laughs You know that reminds me of another story. At first, because people believed in different things, many would doubt Swami performing so many miracles. There was a lady by the name of Mrs. Kamal Sarathy who was brought up in the Ramakrishna order. We all know that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa always discouraged people from using their siddhis to do magical things.

    Person G: Oh yeah! She came to Parthi once, right? She saw Swami doing all kinds of things, the mango being just an example, she felt very uncomfortable. She was thinking: “If he is really a divine personage of substance, why is he doing all these things? Why should he do these things to boggle the people’s minds and attract them to himself?”

    Person E: But one day, she witnessed a group of devotees, who had come and stayed for approximately a month, that were leaving Parthi and going back to their towns and cities. The typical scene would be that all the devotees would board a bullock cart with all their belongings and Swami would be there helping them all. They would slowly drive away on the bullock cart and Swami would be standing at the edge of the Paatamandiram. He would take his handkerchief and would wave to them until the cart vanished from that horizon. Till the time they could see Swami standing and waving, it would be around 30-45 minutes.

    Person G: This lady was sitting standing there outside the mandir and saw that from the toddlers, to the youngsters, he elderly, the women, and the men, all of them were sobbing. The prospect of leaving Swami was making their heart tear. Everybody was crying and sobbing and falling at Swami’s feet, and Swami was telling them: “Don’t worry. I’ll call you again soon. Just for few months, go do your work and come.”

    Person E: She saw that sight and thought: “Can somebody who just does miracles, can somebody who just does magic attract another person like this? If it is just those miracles will somebody pine and cry like this like they’re leaving their dearer most one like this?” And as she was musing this over in her own mind, she thought: “It cannot be. These things cannot be the ones which are attracting these people. Maybe it is Swami’s pure divine selfless love.”

    Person G: And even as she came to this conclusion, she felt somebody patting her on her back. She turned and it was Swami, and Swami said: “Kamala Sarathy- right thought. Think in the same direction and you will understand My truth.” Swami did not come here with His weapons. His powers were his selfless love. That is the only resource or power Swami needs to for his advent to transform all of our lives. There is no need for an infinite amount of resources, influence, or power.

     

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