Mahatma na Mahatma
Shrimad Rajchandraji, honoured as the spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi, had a tremendous and formative influence on the Father of the Nation.
Gandhiji met Shrimadji for the first time in Mumbai, upon his return from England as a barrister in 1891. Shrimadji's inner equipoise, absorption in spiritual pursuits, enlightening wisdom, knowledge of the scriptures and moral earnestness left a deep-rooted impression on Gandhiji. Their relationship blossomed over profound interactions in the two years that Gandhiji spent in Mumbai.
Upon moving to South Africa, Gandhiji corresponded with Shrimadji through letters. Shrimadji's insightful thoughts ignited the fire of spiritual inquisitiveness in Gandhiji. Their close association contributed in moulding Gandhiji's moral fibre. Shrimadji's inherent adherence to the principles of satya, ahimsa and dharma later crystallised as the fundamental tenets of Gandhism. Although Shrimadji left His mortal body at a young age of 33 in 1901, Shrimadji's letters and compositions were Gandhiji's dear companions. He contemplated upon them time and time again. Gandhiji would write about Shrimadji, speak about Him in speeches and discuss Him with close associates. He continued to be deeply inspired by his bond with Shrimadji and His spiritual works.
Gandhiji said of Shrimadji,
The more I consider his life and his writings, the more I consider him the best Indian of his times.
- Letter to HSL Polak,
April 26 1909
Yugpurush - Mahatma na Mahatma is a captivating representation of this special relationship between Shrimadji and Gandhiji, depicting the making of the Mahatma. What began as an honest friendship, progressed to Gandhiji proclaiming Shrimadji as his spiritual mentor. He says,
In my moments of spiritual crisis, Shrimadji was my refuge.
- The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Yugpurush highlights the values of expanding one's capacity to love and give selflessly, respecting diversity, supporting truth, fostering trust, and building lasting communities. It brings to the forefront a powerful experience of looking within, upholding truth and fearlessness, as well as transforming character and consciousness. It revives an inspiring spiritual legacy and the cultural ethos of our nation that lies mostly forgotten, today. The legacies of Shrimadji and Gandhiji continue to offer new paradigms to global peace and human progress.
Embodying Shrimad Rajchandraji's teachings for the present age is Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, the founder and inspiration behind Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD). The year 2017 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji. Commemorating this glorious occasion, and under the able guidance of Pujya Gurudevshri, SRMD presents Yugpurush - Mahatma na Mahatma.
The play is directed by acclaimed director Rajesh Joshi of 'Code Mantra' fame, and scripted by well-known playwright Uttam Gada of 'Maharathi' fame. The music direction is by popular composer duo Sachin - Jigar. Duration: 120 minutes with intermission.
The play is presently running in the Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and Bengali versions, and will soon be released in English and other regional languages.