Thamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya… a musical dance drama by Balvikas, Pune

The Peshwa City Of the erstwhile Maratha Kingdom, Pune, that ever gratefully endears Bhagawan’s magnificent munificence of His Divine Visit in 2009, took the reins this auspicious Ashadi evening here, presenting a thematic dance drama entitled ‘Thamaso Maa Jyotir Gamaya’ at the Sanctum Sanctorum in Prasanthi Nilayam. The 45-minutes dance drama on the theme Stree Shakti in three distinct episodes presented glimpses from the illustrious lives of three of the many celebrity woman reformers of the Maratha Kingdom. The three women for the evening were Sant Muktabai, Mother Jijabai and Savitribai Phule.

Beginning the presentation with a colourful dance offering to the tune of Jaya Jayahe Bhagawati Sura Bharati Tava Charanam offering salutations to  Mother Saraswati followed by Lord Vittala, the presentation then flowed on to Muktai Nagar where lived the great woman saint Muktabai, the youngest sibling of the great Jnaneshwar Maharaj.Though younger to the great Jnaneshwar Maharaj, Muktabai, right from her moulding age, stood by her brother, supporting and inspiring the evolving spiritual persona.

Devoted to Panduranga, Muktabai with her role-modelled life of values and principles, suffused with devotion, inspired one and all helping in removing the darkness of ignorance. The presentation shows an episode involving the Maharaj who was ‘upset’ with the villagers, them being rude and harassing to the devout. A composed Muktabai comes to advise her elder sibling asking him to maintain equipoise, by not punishing himself, forgetting and forgiving one and all, as One Godhood dwells in all. Bhagawan has said, Woman has satwa guna in ample measures and Dharma can only be made to occupy its position in the society and restored to its pristine glory only by women. Indeed, Muktabai lived a life of His teachings and values.

Chatrapathi Shivaji stands tall in the history of India and especially in the Maratha Kingdom. Bhagawan had often hailed the special role of Shivaji’s mother, Jijabai, in nurturing the little Shivaji to what he later went on to become, a ruler of exceptional abilities, valour, courage and statesmanship.

Highlighting the role of an ideal mother in nurturing her little one, the second episode for the evening was on Mother Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale, the illustrious mother of Chatrapathi Shivaji, who nurtured her son with greater values, training him in Swarajya and Surajya… independence and good governance.

Showcasing a miscreant attack in the village where the little bundle of joy of the illustrious mother was later born, the presentation highlighted how Jijabai dreamt of a great warrior fighting the battle with great valour, while being pregnant of Shivaji Maharaj. As the little one grew under the tutelage of the virtuous mother, he was nurtured and fostered in greater values, especially in destroying the darkness of unrighteousness that was then prevalent in the society. He was taught to respect every women in the Kingdom as Mother or Sister, the right sign of the making of a great ruler.

The final episode was on the story of social reformer Savitribai Phule. True to the slogan Bheti Bachao…Bheti Badaao… Savitribai became instrumental in initiating a pioneering job in removing the darkness of blind faith in the existing society, by initiating women education, against all oddities.

Where nature became the best classroom, where nature became the best teacher, Savitribai got her education done wide in the nature, and in turn, she started a reforming movement, fighting against the prevalent prejudice of keeping woman away from basic education. With steadfastness, patience and perseverance, she fought the darkness bringing justice to the folks, trudging the path with the support of her husband  Jyotirao Phule. True to her credentials, standing tall against all oddities, winning hearts with conviction, in 1848, the great reformer started the country’s first school in Pune.  In her memory, the city of Pune has now an institution in her name, Savitribai Phule Pune University, standing as a testimony of her relentless pursuit in the field of literacy for women.

Prasanthi Nilayam echoed a lot on women empowerment, especially during the last few days, with the Anantapur campus for women at SSSIHL celebrating the 50th year of Bhagawan’s educational mission, that began with a college for women. This evening’s presentation ably amplified the voice of unity for women, presenting some of the greats from the erstwhile Maratha Kingdom.

Interspersed with soul-stirring songs and dances, with the little ones aesthetically dancing to the centre-stage adding priceless beauty to the offering, with the unmatched theme of Stree Shakti reverberating the air, the city of Pune undoubtedly served the packed hall with a ‘Sailent’ reminder of the chosen theme, that is the absolute need of the hour. Truly, Dharma can only be made to occupy its position in the society and restored to its pristine glory only by women. The songs for the evening included an abhanga, a powada, and a soul-stirring lullaby along with other numbers.

A memorable Ashadi evening in His Divine OmniPresence. Colours literally rained in the evening turned twilight, with the beautiful children in colourful costumes  matching up with the ‘coloured magic’ in the multimedia screen at the backdrop. Over 60 Balvikas children from Pune participated in the 45-minute presentation. As the title echoes, let the ignorance be replaced by The Light… The Light Of Love Of Beloved Mother Sai.

Over 60 Balvikas children from Pune participated in the 45-minute presentation. As the title echoes, let the ignorance be replaced by The Light… The Light Of Love Of Beloved Mother Sai.

Bhajans by the twin states continued and the curtains for the evening programme came down with Mangala Arathi offering to Beloved Bhagawan.