The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Act I
Scene 1

(Gopagans like Nanda, Shri Krishna, Upananda etc.)

Krishna – Baba, I will not be able to forget your love and affection for life.

Nanda – Gopal, what are you saying? Where is Balai? Why are you delaying now? Come on, let’s go to Braja. Your mother is almost dying from the pangs of separation.

Krishna – Baba, please persuade mother this time; I don’t think I can accompany you at this time.

Nanda – Why can’t you come? What’s the matter? Come on, hurry up, and don’t delay any longer.

Krishna – I will come after making all the arrangements here. I’ll serve the parents for a few days and then come.

Nanda – Parents? Where have these new set of parents cropped up from? I can’t understand what you’re saying.

(Akrura’s entry)

Akrura – Brother Nanda, you do not know, Vasudeva is Krishna’s father.

Nanda – What are you taking about, brother? I am unable to comprehend anything.

Akrura – A wonderful mystery is hidden about the birth of your Krishna. As you know, Krishna was born in Kansa’s prison. To protect him, Vasudeva went to Gokul overnight. He placed the baby Krishna with Yashoda who was asleep, and in his place, he brought back Yashoda’s new born daughter. This is the baby girl who Kansa knocked on the stone. Breathing her last, the girl said, “Your real enemy, who will be the cause of your death, is already born in some place. Do not kill other babies in vain.”

Nanda – What are you saying? Gopal is my support for old age; he is the stick that will see me through my blurry blind days of senescence. Why do you want to conspire and take him away? Gopal! Gopal! You are my Gopal! Come into my arms! Let me just hold you fast to my chest and run far away.

(Clasping Krishna to his bosom, he breaks into tears.)

Krishna – Baba! Baba! Please calm down! I will come, I will come to Vrindavan again. Please cajole my mother so that she doesn’t cry for me.

Nanda – Gopal! Oh Gopal! I just can’t get what you’re speaking. Have you also forgotten everything after being blinded by the splendour of the city? How is it that you’ve started talking like these people?

Krishna – Baba, Baba! I can never forget your love and affection in my life. I will come back.

Nanda – Oh my God! What has befallen us? What are you saying? Gopal, Gopal! My Gopal, how have you become theirs’? You were born in Gokula eleven years ago on Bhadra Krishna Ashtami. Didn’t I behold you in the lying-in delivery chamber as soon as you were born? So how did you become Vasudeva’s son? My head is all muddled. Am I in a swoon or am I awake? I’m at complete loss. These people want to take away my Gopal. Gopal! Gopal! My Gopal! To you – I ask you directly, you tell me, who is your father? Tell me the truth.

Krishna – Baba, you are the father, but Vasudeva has given a birth to me and I am born from the womb of Devaki.

Nanda – What are you saying? How did you know that Vasudeva is your father?

Akrura – Brother Nanda! Don’t think of Krishna as an ordinary child, He is God incarnate.

Nanda – Get lost! Calling my Gopal as God is bound to attract bad luck. This is quite inauspicious. Gopal, Gopal, my Gopal, my blue ruby!

Akrura – Brother, if Krishna himself was not God, how could he have killed Putana, Bakasura and Aghasura in his infancy? How could he crush the hauteur of Kaliya? Is it possible in any way for a seven-year old boy to hold Govardhan Parvat upon one hand like an umbrella?

Nanda – I have not understood and cannot understand anything. I feel hysterical. Gopal, Gopal, Oh my Gopal! What is all this? Am I seeing a nightmare? What? My Gopal isn’t mine? What is this mystery? Who can unravel this for me? Who should I approach for enlightening me?

(Vasudeva’s entry)

Nanda – Brother Vasudeva! You have come at the right moment, that’s really wonderful. Speak up, brother! Am I awake or not? Why are these people speaking such untoward and ridiculous things? You are a great man pledged to truthful speech. Tell me, who does Gopal belong to?

Vasudeva – Nand! Gopal is yours. You have brought up my Krishna and Balarama like your own son. I will not be able to get rid of this debt of yours in any way in my life.

Nanda – You too? You say the same thing? Gopal is your son? How is this possible? I can’t understand anything.

Vasudeva – Brother, Krishna is not an ordinary man, God himself has incarnated in my house to slay the demons like Kansa etc.

Nanda – Don’t say that brother! You don’t call my Gopal a God. This will prove inauspicious for Gopal. What is all this? What’s the mystery? You must tell me the truth.

Vasudeva – Brother, both Devaki and I were prisoners in Kansa’s prison. Suddenly a very bright light spread in the prison! We saw the dense darkness of that prison being dispelled by the light emanating from the body of this four-armed Krishna. We witnessed that our hands and feet were freed from the chains and both of us were praising Him in great awe. Devaki beseeched him to take the form of an infant and immediately he assumed the form of a child. With his command, I reached Gokul with him on my chest. At that time, Yashoda and all the people of Gokul were asleep due to the illusion of maya created by him, and I saw a new-born girl playing next to Yashoda who was asleep. I placed Krishna in the place of that girl, and I took the girl back to the prison in Mathura. Even at the time of my arrival, all the guards were unconscious, cast in slumber, by the illusion of His maya. As soon as I approached the closed door, Krishna clasped my bosom, and the gate sprung open automatically. As soon as he went inside, the doors were closed once again. The guards also woke up just at that moment. Everyone knows what happened after that. This is the secret of Krishna’s birth. I have narrated it truthfully.

Nanda – What an impossible thing?! I can’t understand anything. My Gopal is your son, so was he not born from Yashoda’s womb?

Vasudeva – No brother! He is ajanma, an unborn one. He has not sprung from the womb, he has simply manifested. Okay, now let me share another mysterious thing. Have you ever heard of his umbilical cord being severed? That is, have you any report of a nurse-midwife cutting his umbilical cord? Have you ever heard that?

Nanda – No brother! I didn’t hear that one.

Vasudeva – He has appeared in the form of a son through sheer grace! This is all some great bungle, I seem to have forgotten everything. Ah, listen! Do you know that Garg Muni is the priest of Yaduvansha? I hope you’re aware of that at least?

Nanda – Of course, I know that.

Vasudeva – How did that Garga Muni come to name your sons? I had personally sent them to name these two brothers. And one more thing – there was a portent that the son of Devaki’s eighth womb will kill Kansa, didn’t you hear that? Krishna is my son, his being born to kill Kansa is proof enough.

Nanda – What should I do? What should I say? I can’t understand anything. Gopal, Gopal, my Gopal, come let me hold you close to my heart. Son! Clasping you to my bosom, I will run away from here.

Krishna – Baba! Baba! Why are you so sad, I will come back for sure!

Nanda – O Gopal dear! Oh, my Gopal! You are the soul of my life, how can I return to Braja like a lifeless body, leaving you here? With which words will I console that frenzied and delirious Yashoda – the one who can’t bear to keep you out of sight? She didn’t want to send you. I was the one who brought you with a promise of returning in three days. What answer will I give to those maids of Braja, dearer to me than my life? Don’t you remember their cries when they clung to the wheels of the chariot in which you left? Oh Gopal! Gopal dear! How did you become so cruel? Gopal, oh my Gopal! (Starts crying.)

Krishna – Baba, why do you cry? Please calm down. As you can see, everything has overturned, the affairs of the state have fallen into disarray as soon as King Kansa was killed. Let me attend to these exigencies. Once I settle everything here, I’ll come to you all. Don’t you know I can’t live without my mother?

Nanda – Oh Gopal dear! How cruel have you become? Have you forgotten everything? Don’t you remember your favourite cows, Shyamali and Dhauli? Vrindavana, Yamuna, Pulin, the Kadamba tree – sitting under whose shade you used to play the flute, and hearing your flute, the young and the old of Braja, used to come running, the cows and their calves used to run towards the Kadamba tree after hearing your flute. Oh, Oh Gopal! Oh dear, how have you completely forgotten all those things? How are you asking me to go back alone? No, I will never go back alone leaving you.

Krishna – Baba, I’ll settle things here and I’ll be with you very soon.

Nanda – Gopal, my precious Gopal! I never disbelieve in your words, but I do not know why, today my mind says that your words are incredulous, I remain unconvinced. I feel you will never come to Braja again. You have completely abandoned us. Gopal! Oh Gopal!

Krishna – No Baba, no. I tell you the truth, I will definitely come. You please go back.

Nanda – Oh! How can I leave you and go back? Gopal! When your mother sees me coming alone, she will at once fall down to the ground in great grief and die. Oh Gopal, are you not afraid of matricide? Oh, my dear Gopal! How did you become so cruel? Who made you so heartless? Could you please explain that to me? You tell me, if I reach Vrindavan alone, what will your female companions say when they see me coming alone? What will happen to them, can you conceive that thought? Oh dear, these girls love you since childhood. How many sports have they played with you! They hold you dearer than their lives. Gopal! How can you forget the affection of those troubled hapless damsels of Braja? Gopal, Gopal dear! (Starts crying.)

Vasudeva – Brother Nanda, be patient. Gopal is yours. At this moment, the state is in a chaos, anarchy and lawlessness prevails. It is necessary to put this in order. That’s why Krishna cannot go with you now.

Nanda – Brother Vasudeva, what can I say? You put your hand on your bosom and tell me how can I leave Gopal here, become lifeless in the bargain and return? On seeing me alone, Yashoda will go overboard, fall to the ground in shock and simply die, there is no doubt about it. Gopal, Gopal! My Gopal!

Krishna – Baba, believe me. I assure you, neither my mother nor the maidens of Braja will die from my separation. Be calm and return to Braja.

Nanda – Gopal! Gopal! How do I go back alone? (Cries.)

(Enter Balarama)

Balaram – Greetings Baba, why are you crying?

Nanda – Oh Baldau! What do I do? Gopal is now talking about not going to Vrindavan. Oh Balai! What’s happening to my Gopal?

Balaram – Baba, don’t you cry. You are seeing from the very beginning that the people of Mathura were suffering due to the atrocities of Uncle Kansa. Uncle Kansa had taken grandfather Ugrasen a prisoner and he had started ruling on his own, but Krishna killed Kansa. Since there is no ruler in the state at this time, someone needs to take charge. We will leave from here after making satisfactory arrangements in all respects.

Nanda – (Embraces Balarama) Oh Baladau! Won’t you go too? What will I do then? Oh Kanhai, Oh my Balai. (Cries.)

Balaram – Baba, calm down, don’t cry.

Nanda – Oh Balai! Oh Kanhai dear! What should I do? Where do I go? What a plight I am in? I am completely desolate! I have no one in the world anymore. (Cries.)

Krishna – Baba, Baba, get a hold of yourself. I will definitely come.

Upananda – Nanda, I have already told you that after seeing the extraordinary pastimes of Krishna that this boy is not an ordinary child. If he was a normal child, how could he have been so powerful right from his childhood? This is God almighty, we have already realized this.

Nanda – Dada, don’t you call my Gopal a God!

Upananda – Brother, whatever work Krishna is doing, it cannot be done by any human being. Why only me, everyone has seen his wonderful deeds, and everyone calls him God, and they will continue to do so.

Nanda – Gopal darling! Oh, my Gopal. What should I do? Where do I go? Oh Gopal, what have you done? You are my everything. I have lost everything by losing you. What to do? Gopal, my Gopal! (Starts crying.)

(Krishna and Balarama cling to Nanda.)

Both – Calm down Baba, we will come. There will be no delay. Please don’t cry now.

Vasudeva – Brother Nanda! You are intelligent. You’re exceptional. It doesn’t suit you to be so impatient. Let’s talk about our return later. For now, just come with me to the inner chambers.

(He holds Nanda’s hand and leads him. Everyone leaves together.)