Scene 1

(Left stage: courtyard of Sribas’ house; right stage: room adjoining the courtyard. Chaitanya is singing Hari Bol, Hari Bol and dancing in ecstasy with his followers in the courtyard of Sribas, a dear disciple of his. All of a sudden from inside the house is heard wailing and screaming. Sribas leaves the party and runs into the house. His wife is in tears; other relatives are also weeping.)

WIFE: Our only son! Our only son is lost forever! What can I do? What can I do?

SRIBAS: Why are you crying? Why are you weeping? What is there to cry about? His time has come. That is why he has gone to the other world. Today the Lord is dancing in our courtyard. Even the worst possible sinner will go directly to Heaven if he dies here. Since our son left the world from here, he will undoubtedly be happy. If you really love your son, then be happy, be delighted. Join us in our singing and dancing, for here, today, the Lord is with us.

WIFE: This is not the time to listen to your philosophy. We have lost our only son. I have love for our Master, Sri Chaitanya. But when one’s only son dies, it is impossible to maintain the same love for the Master and the same faith in the Master.

SRIBAS: You are crying, and our relatives are crying. But our Lord is dancing in ecstasy. He is in a divine consciousness. If he hears your crying and wailing, and comes back to his normal consciousness because of it, then I shall throw myself into the Ganges. If you put an end to his ecstatic dance, then I shall put an end to my life!

(The wife calms down. Other relatives are still crying.)

SRIBAS (to the others): We have lost our dearest; we have lost our only son. But my wife and I are not crying. If you have to cry, then leave our house. It is we who have suffered the loss. But to us it is no loss; it is a real gain, a real reward, because today my Lord has come to my house. Now it is not my responsibility to think of my son. My only responsibility is to think of my Master. My Master will take care of my son. So if you want to cry and weep, then all of you leave this house. This is not the place for you.

(Sribas goes back to the garden and starts singing and dancing with the others. All of a sudden, Sri Chaitanya stops singing and dancing.)

CHAITANYA: I do not know what, but something has gone wrong with me. Has anything happened at Sribas’ house? (To Sribas.) Has any calamity taken place in your house?

SRIBAS: Lord, on the day that you have blessed my home with your divine presence, how can there be any calamity here?

ANOTHER FOLLOWER: Lord, something has happened.

CHAITANYA: What has happened?

FOLLOWER: Something serious has happened.

CHAITANYA: What is it?

FOLLOWER: Sribas’ son has died.

CHAITANYA: When? When?

FOLLOWER: An hour ago.

CHAITANYA: Now why didn’t you tell me?

FOLLOWER: You were communing with Lord Krishna, my Lord. We didn’t want to put an end to your ecstatic dance. We didn’t dare to do it. And why should we have done it? To us your dance is infinitely more important than this death.

SRIBAS: To me your ecstatic dance is all-important. The death of my son is of no importance in comparison.

CHAITANYA (starts crying): He who can forget the loss of his only son in my presence — how can I forget his sacrifice? How can I appreciate his heart enough? How can I admire his heart enough? Sribas, you are really a man of divine sacrifice. I have never seen a man like you. Whose sacrifice can equal yours?

SRIBAS: Lord, there is no sacrifice on my part. For me there is only you. You have come to my home. Today is the happiest day of my life, the greatest day of my life.

CHAITANYA: Sribas, please go and bring the child. Let me see him.

(Exit Sribas. He returns carrying his son and followed by his wife. He places the child in front of the Master. Chaitanya looks at the child and concentrates on him.)

CHILD: Lord, it was Your wish that I should die. Who can violate Your law?

(Everyone is astonished to hear the dead child talking.)

CHILD: You brought me, Lord, into this world of Yours, and it is You who are sending me to the other world, which is equally Yours. Who is my father, who is my mother, if not You? You are the eternal Father; You are the eternal Mother. I bow to You, O Lord. I am going to Your other home.

CHAITANYA: Sribas, now your child’s soul has left the body. He has gone to my other world. I have a place ready for him in Heaven. I will take care of him there as I am taking care of you, your wife and all your spiritual sisters and brothers here. Sribas, you had only one son. Now you have two sons. I am your son and my dearest disciple, Nityananda, is your son. One son has gone to the other world; two sons will take his place here.

(Sribas touches the feet of Chaitanya then dances with joy.)

WIFE (touching Chaitanya’s feet): Lord, in You I see my child. In You I see the Heavens. In You I see the entire universe. Today I see not only Your physical presence, but Your universal Reality as well.

CHAITANYA: Today you have proved to be the real counterpart of Sribas. His aspiration and your aspiration have become totally one today. I shall carry both of you deep inside my heart and lead you to the abode of Hari.

(Chaitanya blesses Sribas’ wife with joy and pride.)

From:Sri Chinmoy,The disciple illumines the Master, Agni Press, 1973
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