RAGHUNATH (HIS FRIEND)
RAGHUNATH (HIS FRIEND)
(Chaitanya and Raghunath are in a boat crossing the Ganges, on their way to school.)
RAGHUNATH: I see a book in your hand, a special book. May I know what it is?
CHAITANYA: Oh, it is nothing. It is something silly.
RAGHUNATH: What is silly about it? Let me see.
CHAITANYA (hesitates): You won’t like it. If you want, I can read out a few pages to you.
RAGHUNATH: No, no. Please allow me to read it myself.
(Chaitanya hands him the book. Raghunath scans a few pages, then closes his eyes.)
CHAITANYA: Raghunath, what is the matter? Why have you closed your eyes? Is anything wrong with you? (Raghunath starts to cry.) Why are you weeping? Why are you weeping, my friend?
RAGHUNATH: Indeed, I am your friend. I am your friend, alas.
CHAITANYA: What is wrong with you? Please tell me. What have I done? Did you find some mistakes in the book? I am willing to correct them. Tell me. You know I care for perfection.
RAGHUNATH: Mistakes? No mistakes, but perfect Perfection. Alas, I also wrote a book on logic, and I thought that it would bring me immortal name and fame. And now I see your book. When people read your book, my book will pale into insignificance. Nobody will even touch it.
CHAITANYA: Ohhhhhh, is that why you are weeping? Is that why you feel miserable, my friend? Is this book of mine causing such suffering for you?
(Chaitanya grabs the book from Raghunath and throws it into the Ganges.)
RAGHUNATH: What have you done? What have you done? Such a precious and valuable book you have thrown into the Ganges?
CHAITANYA: Friendship comes first. I value my friendship with you infinitely more than I value my book. Raghunath, you need name and fame. God will give it to you. I need only one thing: the presence of Lord Krishna in my heart. I need only his presence, his feet in my heart.
Se je-gan geye jai gan geye jai amar hriday dhware
dake amar ashar prane premer parabare
se je-gan geye jai gan geye jai amar hriday dhware
bhuban amar raibe na ar moher karagare
(Ah, there He goes, singing around my heart’s door.
He calls my heart of hope to enter into His Ocean of Love.
Ah, there He goes, singing around my heart’s door.
My world will no longer remain in the prison-cell of attachment and self-delusion.
Ah, there He goes, singing around my heart’s door.)
CHAITANYA: Lord Krishna, Lord Krishna! My life can remain on earth without everything except Sri Krishna.
RAGHUNATH: But the world will curse me! You have made such a tremendous sacrifice for me.
CHAITANYA: No sacrifice. It is my love for you. My love for you has played its role. If God feels it necessary, He will make me known. If He wants me to be His instrument, He will make me His instrument and thus give me the opportunity to serve Him. With your book you will serve, you will illumine mankind. And with my love of God, I will illumine mankind.
RAGHUNATH: You see everything according to your inner Light, according to your own realisation. There is a vast difference between you and me. I am an insignificant creature. But you are the chosen instrument of God. In you I see God’s infinite Love, God’s infinite Compassion. In you I see God’s Message of highest Truth. A day will come when the entire world will appreciate you. The entire world will appreciate the knowledge of your mind, admire the love of your heart and adore your ecstatic oneness with God, with Lord Krishna.
A GROUP OF HIS DISCIPLES
THE YOUNGER HARIDAS (A DISCIPLE)
GOVINDA (A DISCIPLE)
(Chaitanya and a group of disciples. Enter the younger Haridas.)
CHAITANYA: Haridas, I understand that you have brought rice from Madhavi?
HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.
CHAITANYA: You have brought rice to me from a woman?
HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.
CHAITANYA: From a beautiful woman?
HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.
CHAITANYA: You have drunk her beauty?
HARIDAS (embarrassed): Yes, my Lord.
CHAITANYA: I shall never see your face again! Never! You have renounced the world, but you have looked at her face. How many times have I told you not to look at women’s faces, but to look at their feet? I told you to bring food for me. But you didn’t have to bring food from a beautiful woman. You have looked at her face and drunk her beauty to your heart’s content. Haridas, you have betrayed your spiritual life. I can’t have you with me any more.
(Haridas touches the Master’s feet, weeping bitterly.)
CHAITANYA: Haridas, enough. In this life I shall not see your face any more. (Calls.) Govinda, Govinda! Take him away! Take Haridas away.
GOVINDA (quietly to Haridas): Haridas, Haridas, don’t worry. Lord Chaitanya will forgive you one day. Right now he is just punishing you, but you know that his love is for everyone. His love is boundless, and it is for everybody.
(Exeunt Haridas and Govinda. A few minutes later, enter Haridas crying and touches Chaitanya’s feet. When Chaitanya ignores him he starts singing, imploringly.)
Khama karo khama karo ei sheshbar
samarpiba jaya malya charane tomar
ami taba asimer mauna barabhay
tumi sindhu ami bindhu mor parichai
(Forgive me, forgive me, this is the last time, forgive me.
I shall offer to You at Your Feet the garland of Victory.
I am the silent compassion of Your Infinity.
You are the Ocean, I am the tiniest drop.
This is my only identification.)
CHAITANYA: No, Haridas, no more. I won’t look at your face. You deserve this punishment. You should know not to look even at a wooden statue of a woman. Even the sages are tempted by women. Your renunciation was no renunciation. It was all a show — a farce! You deserve your punishment. In this lifetime I shall not see you any more. Do whatever you want with your life.
HARIDAS: Lord, I shall wait and see for a few months. If you do not accept me again, then I shall commit suicide. I shall cast this body, this life, into the Ganges.
CHAITANYA: Don’t threaten me, Haridas. Do anything you want with your life. Die today if you want to. I don’t need you. You have cast a slur on the life of renunciation. Householders can do anything. My householder disciples have received instructions from me about how they can lead a regulated vital life, about how they can control their vital life. In your case, you accepted the life of renunciation. After that, how can you enter into the world of mental and vital enjoyment, Haridas? I am ashamed of you. A world-renouncer does not behave as you have behaved. Leave the path of the sannyasin. Who asked you to offer your life entirely? Who asked you to pretend? Who asked you to deceive the world? Leave this place for good.
HARIDAS: Lord, since you will not see me any more, my life is useless. I shall enter into the other world. From there I shall serve you. This life without you is death, and I embrace death in order to offer you my dedicated service from Heaven. In Heaven also you have your divine existence. You have appreciated my voice many times, my singing capacity and my chanting. From Heaven, I shall sing through my soul and please you here, my Lord.
CHAITANYA: Haridas, leave me.
(Haridas touches the feet of his Master for the last time and leaves.)
CHAITANYA (to the others): I know he will take his life. But I have to show the world that the life of renunciation is not a joke. He who accepts the life of renunciation must not mix with women, wealth or worldly possessions. This path is arduous. This life is most difficult. Its goal is the Goal of Goals. I tell you, to commit suicide is the worst possible sin. But if one gets the inner assurance from his spiritual Master that the Master approves, the Master can compassionately relieve him of the sin of committing suicide. Then he will not suffer from it. Haridas is getting my inner assurance. I shall permit him to commit suicide, and I shall free him from that sin. He will be able to serve me in Heaven. From Heaven he will be able to sing inwardly, and please me with his divine voice. But I wish to warn you people, only on very rare occasions do spiritual Masters tolerate suicide. In his case, I shall tolerate it and forgive him. But this is an exception. Don’t commit suicide, thinking that you will be able to come down into the world again and make better progress. On the contrary, when you commit suicide, you take a wrong turn and go backwards. Not only do you lose your potentialities and destroy all your possibilities, but you start your spiritual journey over again from the very beginning. You are lost, totally lost. You delay your progress immeasurably. So, my children, never commit suicide. Be brave. Fight the world. Face your inner weaknesses and conquer them. Strengthen your inner life; strengthen your outer life. Act like a hero. Be the master of yourself. God has to be pleased in this world. Temptation has to be conquered; illumination has to take place on earth, in you, in each individual in the entire world.
DAMODAR (AN ELDERLY ADVANCED DISCIPLE OF CHAITANYA)
A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG BOY DISCIPLE
(Damodar is in the garden. Enter a young beautiful boy.)
DAMODAR: Are you here again? How many times have I to tell you not to come here? If you come here any more I shall punish you. I don’t want you to see our Lord.
BOY: It is our Lord who asks me to come here every day. He loves me and I love him. And I shall come here in spite of you.
DAMODAR: I shall punish you if you come again. What right have you to come here? You are a little boy. You don’t know how to pray or meditate. This place is for grown-ups like me, who know how to meditate and pray.
BOY: Yes, but our Lord is teaching me how to pray and meditate. He is all love for me, and I am all love for him.
DAMODAR: This is my last warning. If I see you here tomorrow, I shall thrash you.
(Enter Chaitanya. The boy bursts into tears.)
BOY (to Chaitanya): This man is scolding and insulting me. He says I must not come here any more or he will beat me.
CHAITANYA (to Damodar): What right have you to say that to this little boy? Damodar, this is my place. I want him to come every day. He is most devoted to me. He is all love for me. I want him. I need him. You have no right to prevent him from coming here. (To the boy.) Today I wish to teach you a special song. This is a song that I have sung millions of times in my life. I have travelled hundreds and hundreds of miles while singing this particular song. I want you to learn it.
Jagannatha swami nayana pathagami bhavatu me
(O Lord of the Universe, do appear before my eyes.)
(The boy sings. Chaitanya corrects him. He sings it again. They practise. Finally, Chaitanya is very pleased.)
CHAITANYA: You have a wonderful voice. I am so happy, so pleased with you. Come here every day.
Damodar, go and bring some food for him.
(Damodar goes out and returns with food. He is in a sulking mood.)
CHAITANYA: My child, sing the song again. That particular song pleases me most. (The boy sings the song most soulfully.) Tomorrow come here again. This is your home. Come every day. And give your mother my divine love and divine blessings.
(The boy bows to Chaitanya with deepest joy and pride. Exit boy.)
DAMODAR: Lord Chaitanya, you are a rogue, or else you are a fool!
CHAITANYA: I am a fool? I am a rogue? Damodar, why do you call me these things?
DAMODAR: You are a rogue because you are not practising what you are preaching. You are asking us to lead a spiritual life, a life of morality, a life of celibacy. But what are you doing?
CHAITANYA: What kind of immoral life have I led?
DAMODAR: You are associating with this boy outwardly, but inwardly you are establishing a vital connection with his mother. Just because of your affection and love for his mother you are showing this boy affection. I know it!
CHAITANYA: Stop, Damodar! Enough of your nonsense! You know very well that I am not doing anything of the kind. Now why do you say that I am a fool? I want to know why you called me a fool?
DAMODAR: Even if you are sincere, even if, as you say, you have nothing to do with his mother, still you are a fool. Why should the world believe you? The world has every right to suspect you. You know that this boy has no father. You know that his mother is young and very beautiful. People will say that just because of his mother you are showing him all affection and love. They will say that you actually care nothing for the boy and that you give him all this attention in order to get his mother in the future.
CHAITANYA: Damodar, the world is full of corruption and vital impurity. The world is very likely to misunderstand me. But I know that I have realised God. I have established my oneness with my Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was misunderstood when he used to offer his divine love to the Gopis, especially to Radha. He was misunderstood by many, if not all. If people think that I have some bad motive when I show affection to this boy, then let them think it. I cannot satisfy the world. I have to please my inner life, my own soul. I know his mother is extremely devoted to God, extremely sincere in her inner life. I am proud of her spiritual life. I know that one day she will become my disciple. One day she will follow my path. But if the world does not believe me, it is the fault of the world. Damodar, each individual sees others according to his own light. Human beings see me through the darkness of their own impurity. Their minds are full of impure thoughts and impure ideas, which they project into me. But I wish to say that I am millions of miles away from this impurity. My entire being is flooded with purity. When I see the world according to my own Light, I see purity in all of you; I see Light in all of you. A real spiritual Master of my height is infinitely higher than the bonds of morality. The life of morality and vital purification is for you and not for me, Damodar. So do not worry about my life. Think of your own life. I have come into the world to perfect the world, to liberate the world from temptation. I will not be caught by the temptation of the world. A day will come when you will also transcend the barriers of morality and enter into my realm, which is divine, perfect spirituality, the life of oneness, constant oneness with my beloved Krishna. I shall allow this boy to come here every day. He will be very devoted to me. I shall teach him songs; I shall teach him to pray; I shall teach him how to meditate. In him you will find a special gift of my Lord Krishna.
SRIBAS, GADADHAR (CLOSE DISCIPLES OF CHAITANYA)
SHACHI (MOTHER OF CHAITANYA)
(Chaitanya is alone.)
CHAITANYA: Krishna, where are you? Where are you? I can no longer bear your absence. I want only a glimpse of your smile, O my beloved Krishna, O my All. Show yourself to me. If not, to death this body of mine I shall give.
(Enter Sribas, Gadadhar and some of Chaitanya’s other close disciples, who sit near the Master’s feet.)
CHAITANYA: I am glad to see you all. I wish to tell you something quite important. I shall leave you soon. With an unparalleled devotion you all have served me. I offer to each of you my heart’s ceaseless gratitude. But I must go. I must go and find my beloved Krishna. Once I find him, I shall be back.
SRIBAS: Lord, your cruel announcement falls on us like a thunderbolt. Perhaps others can survive being separated from you, but I shall never survive it.
GADADHAR: I have lost all faith in God. Our Lord wants to see Krishna, and for that he is leaving us all. He is forsaking even his old mother. God’s ways are not mysterious at all. They are just cruel, unbearably and unpardonably cruel.
CHAITANYA: Gadadhar, for God’s sake, aim not your venomous arrow at my heart. My Lord Krishna is all Love, all Compassion, all Perfection. Indeed, my greatest difficulty lies in leaving my old mother. I must overcome the problem. With Krishna my life is my heart’s delight. Without Krishna my life is the torture of hell. Meaningless and fruitless is my life without him. I need only Krishna.
(Enter Shachi, Chaitanya’s mother.)
SHACHI: Nimai, I have just come to learn that you are leaving me. My son, that can never be done. Impossible! Your elder brother took to sannyasa. He renounced the world. I shall not allow you to follow in his footsteps. Time and again you promised me that you would not desert me like your brother. Tell me frankly, are you determined to leave me, my son? Don’t you know that I cannot bear your absence even for a fleeting second?
CHAITANYA: O Mother of my heart and soul, Krishna is calling me. Mother, please, please allow me to go. I want to go to a sacred place. I feel that then I shall be able to meet my Krishna. Mother, without your full permission I shall not go. But if you allow me to go and find my Krishna, I promise you, Mother, I shall be back.
SHACHI (blessing Chaitanya): My heart’s pride, my life’s only joy, you have my sanction. You go in search of your beloved Krishna. After you have found him, come back without fail. I shall be counting the moments until your safe return. (With folded hands and closed eyes she prays.) O Lord Krishna, show yourself to my Nimai. You are his All. And he is my All.
(Chaitanya touches his mother’s feet and goes away. Shachi opens her eyes.)
SHACHI: Nimai, Nimai!
ECHO: Nai, nai ... [nowhere, nowhere]
SRIBAS (A DEAR DISCIPLE OF CHAITANYA)
A FOLLOWER OF CHAITANYA
OTHER FOLLOWERS OF CHAITANYA
WIFE OF SRIBAS
RELATIVES OF SRIBAS
SON OF SRIBAS
(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.)
SRIBAS (A DEVOTED DISCIPLE OF CHAITANYA)
SHACHI (MOTHER OF CHAITANYA)
(Chaitanya is in Krishna consciousness.)
CHAITANYA: Sribas, Sribas! Where is my flute? Where is my flute? Give me my flute.
SRIBAS: My Lord, the Gopis have stolen your flute.
CHAITANYA: The Gopis? Where are they? Where are my Gopis? Where is my Radha? Where is she? Where is she?
(Enter Shachi, Chaitanya’s mother. Seeing his divine consciousness, she immediately bows down and touches his feet.)
SHACHI: O my son, O Nimai, you are no longer Nimai. You are no longer my son, Nimai. You are Lord Krishna, Lord Krishna Himself.
Jibana nadi tire dhire dhire
oi ase mor priyatama
benu hate madhur prate oi ase
praner jata asha
ranga oi sri charane
sapi aji tomai nami
(Behold, with His Flute in His Hand,
My Beloved slowly is coming
to the bank of my life-river
In today’s morning sweet.
All my life’s hope,
All my life’s love,
To Your Power-red Feet divine I offer,
And to You I bow and bow.)
CHAITANYA: Mother, I am so proud of you. This is the first time that you have touched my feet on your own. Previously I used to ask you to come and touch my feet when I was in Krishna consciousness. But today you have come and touched my feet spontaneously. Mother, I am so proud of you. You have seen me in my highest consciousness, and you know what I am.
SHACHI: My son, I know, I know what you are. You are God. But still I will never forget even for a moment that you are also my son, my darling. You have blessed me by coming into my family, and immortalised me by being my son. I know that one day you will leave me. You will renounce the world. You will take to sannyasa. You will follow the path of renunciation. I tell you, my son, the human in me will miss you and suffer, but the divine in me will be proud of you, knowing that you are liberating mankind from ignorance and giving men a new life. You are putting an end to their life of suffering and granting them the life of Bliss.
CHAITANYA: Mother, the human in you will not miss me either, because I will transform the human in you into the divine. Wherever I am, Mother, your physical consciousness will feel my presence. I shall eternally remain within you and around you. You will feel my physical presence too, Mother. My subtle physical presence will be around you all the time, I assure you.
SHACHI: My son, I know you are God. You can do everything and you will do everything, not only for me but for all of humanity. You are not only my joy and my pride; you are also the joy and pride of the entire universe. You and your creation are inseparable. When I look at your creation I see how great you are. And when I look at you yourself, I see how compassionate you are. In your creation I see the miracle of your indomitable power. In you I see the endless flood of compassion.
AKBAR (THE MOGUL EMPEROR)
(The palace of the Mogul Emperor Akbar.)
EMPRESS: Akbar, may I know in what you are so deeply absorbed?
AKBAR: I am absorbed in the thought of Chaitanya.
EMPRESS: Very often I see that you think of him and meditate on him. Have you forgotten that he is a Hindu? What will people think of you? What will your subjects think of you when they come to know that you meditate on a Hindu so deeply and so often?
AKBAR: Let them think whatever they want of me, but I can’t live without loving Chaitanya. His divine love has conquered my heart. His divine mystic dance has illumined my heart. He is the Lord of my aspiring heart. The depth of his love I can never express. I beg of him only to give me a drop from the sea of his nectar-love. He has already achieved by his boundless love what I am trying to do so desperately. In his heart Hindus and Muslims have become one. He has realised Allah; he has realised the highest Truth.
EMPRESS: You are great. Everybody admires you. I don’t think you have to be an admirer of Chaitanya.
AKBAR: They admire me, but their admiration of me is not as sincere as my admiration of Chaitanya. They admire my outer power. I admire Chaitanya’s inner power. My power destroys everything. Chaitanya’s power loves everything, loves everyone, fulfils everyone. This is the difference between Chaitanya’s power and my power. My power wants to destroy the world. My power wants to lord it over the world. My power wants name and fame. His power wants to love the world, become the world and fulfil the world. O Empress, I shall tell you what I feel about Sri Chaitanya. He is not an ordinary mortal like us. He is the son of Truth. He is Truth Itself. And this Truth is Love. This Truth is oneness with Allah and His Creation. This Love my heart constantly needs. Only the dust of Chaitanya’s feet can transform my life into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Kemane tomare pujibo bidhata kemane
kemane tomar charane bandhibo kemane
kemane tomar nayane heribo kemane
kemane basibo tomar tarite kemane
kemane tomar banshari bajabo kemane
kemane tomare debo ei hiya kemane
rupantarer alor gitika kemane
kemane gahibo dibase nishithe kemane
(How can I worship You, My Lord?
How can I bind Your Feet?
How can I see Your Eye?
How can I sail in Your Boat?
How can I play Your Flute?
How can I offer You my heart?
How can I sing day and night the
Song of Light for my transformation?)