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Sai tale from Arkansas

…and the day was Golden


Published on Sunday, Nov 23, 2008 at 01:30.00 Hrs.IST

Convocation Drama 2008

Anand, an alumnus of Sri Sathya Sai University, rejects offers from many top companies and decides to dedicate his youthful years in uplift of villages. He chooses a village called Ramanathapuram for this endeavor. There he joins forces with an educated and hardworking youngster named Krishna for the hard task at hand. 

Anand gets a glimpse of the difficulty ahead at his first meeting with the village elders. During his arrival there is an altercation between two brothers on a property issue. Anand attempts to resolve the issue by various means and having gained their goodwill narrates the story of the two great brothers of Ramayana, Sri Rama and Bharatha. 

Sage Vasishta and King Janaka are the arbiters between the two brothers. On one hand there is Sri Rama who having got the command from His father is firm that he will not return to Ayodhya till He completes 14 years in the forest. On the other side is Sri Bharatha who emphatically states that only Lord Rama has the right to ascend the throne and that he will take his brothers place in the forest. Sage Vasishta raises his hands in surrender and says that he is incapable of judging in this confrontation not between two brothers but between Dharma (Righteousness) and Prema (Love) itself. He requests King Janaka to  do the honours. 

The RajaRishi then delivers a landmark judgment. He informs Rama that in a battle between Dharma and Prema, Prema has to be the victor. He then instructs Bharatha that though Prema is the victor, Prema by definition is Selfless and hence he should ask what his brother desires and act accordingly. The scene ends with Bharatha taking the Padukas of his brother and agreeing to rule the kingdom as the caretaker but not the king. 

Moved by the story, the brothers decide to set aside their differences and work together. What follows is a golden period for the village when Ramanathapuram becomes a model village enriched with development and communal harmony. However, the wheels of fortune turns and the village is engulfed by ravaging floods and epidemics. The same people who lived peacefully during all these years changed in the face of crisis. Selfishness became the order of the day. Anand is devastated and in a moment of severe introspection cries aloud to his Lord. He opens a book of Bhagawan’s message to his students and reads about the enthralling story of Emperor Shivaji.

Faced with a severe crisis wherein his kingdom was becoming weak internally and power of his enemies where growing exponentially, Shivaji longs to call it a day and renounce his kingdom. At that moment, Shivaji’s guru, Sri Samartha Ramadas enters and offers to give Shivaji renunciation. Shivaji surrenders his crown and sword to the sage and accepts the ochre robes. On the enquiry of Sage Ramadas he reveals that he feels extremely peaceful now. Content with the answer, the holy one commands Shivaji to rule the kingdom on His behalf and returns the crown to Shivaji.  

Having learnt this lesson in non-doership, Anand is now the very embodiment of peace and he feels confident that Bhagawan will take care and sets aside the burden from his shoulder. No sooner had he done this, he learns that Bhagawan has sent a contingent to the village to rebuild the houses. The whole village gathers together again in gratitude to Bhagawan.