Srila Prabhupada says, “In this material world, there is no comparison to a mother’s love for her child, without any expectation of return. The devotee doesn’t want anything for himself. He simply wants to serve God out of love, just as a mother serves her child. There is no question of profit in a mother’s service to her child. Out of pure affection and love, she serves him.” (Vedabase search on “mother’s love”)
Even the renowned, unknowing poet Rudyard Kipling penned his famous quote. ”God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.” Of course, we know Krsna IS actively present in all places, at all times. The idea is that mother’s love has been compared to God’s Love by numerous poets and philosophers over the centuries.
Serving as a devotee mother specifically, requires many sacrifices, commitment and patience that yields little outside rewards. We sometimes see a mother as an ordinary devotee yet they are actually exceptional devotees. Their daily routines of taking care of the child’s body and mind, many times through sickness or ongoing inconveniences doesn’t deter these mothers from engaging the child in healthy, Krsna conscious activities. Many of these mothers also give extra personal services for our Vrindavan Lords, like making garlands or the flower outfits.
One of their prominent services is the on-going progress of a Childrens’ Theatre Group. We know how much Srila Prabhupada enjoys the dramas depicting Krsna’s Pastimes and encouraged us to take up this cultural art. Many times, Prabhupada has mentioned that there should be regular dramas in all his Temples, even here in our Temple courtyard! A group of our busy mothers have taken this to heart. They have studied pastimes, written scripts, arranged music, created props from household items, and worked cooperatively, extensively with their children to give us such incredible dramas like the recent GAURA LILA and RAMA LILA.
Having served with the Cultural Department for so many years, we know how much consistent practice and focus it takes for our adults to present fantastic, well-rehearsed dramas. We are simply in awe of the innumerable challenges these mothers encounter while working with their children, ages three to fifteen! Together, these remarkable mothers have provided excellent, first-class dramas that we have been relishing recently, along with their on-going duties of family health, sadhana, and various other daily responsibilities, including Elder Care.
We also want to acknowledge our BGIS Bhajan Band as well, who have been involved with our Temple’s cultural productions for many years. Those senior students are Luv, Kush, Ujjvala, Mukesh and their various friends. Let’s offer our congratulations for their successful graduation this month from the BGIS, with impressive marks and splendid recommendations from their teachers. A hearty HARI BOL and Pranams for the parents too!
There are five mothers in particular who have been actively organizing and developing the Children’s Theatre Group. They are now preparing for a Big Surprise with the coming of Lord Nrsmhadev’s Appearance Day! We are confident the drama and dances will be a sublime offering of bhakti.
Ranga mataji shared her reflections on the service of presenting Krsna’s Pastimes. “Dramas are a deep meditation. They offer a full, emotional and physical immersion in Krsna’s Pastimes, giving the children and us mothers a personal understanding of these Pastimes. Dramas also give a memorable experience that our children will always remember.” Her 7yr old son Adwait comments, “When I was Advaita Acarya in the Gaura Lila drama, I learned that He was the one praying for Krsna to come as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When I was the boatman in the Rama Lila, I learned how the Lord takes us across the ocean of material existence, just like a boatman”
Kamala mataji, daughter of our dear departed Mother Parvati (ACBSP) and loving father Prassanatma prabhu (ACBSP) has been involved in devotee dramas since she was a child. As a diligent mother who also helps her husband Avdesh with his Gangotri shop downtown, she feels most thankful to engage her son and daughter in these dramas. “The children learn to appreciate the mood and consciousness of the particular Personality they are representing in the dramas. Also, this service bestows on us mothers and children a delightful opportunity to serve together, discuss suggestions, practice humility, keeping Srila Prabhupada and Krsna in the center of what we are doing. Kamala’s 12yr old daughter Kesavi added, “When I played the part of Lord Nityananda, I felt how much love He has for His Brother, Lord Gauranga. I felt happy.”
Mother Krsna Virya is also feeling blessed to engage her son at BGIS and daughter at Heritage School in these dramas. “I love engaging my children and participating myself because it’s a wonderful way to present Krsna consciousness, as Srila Prabhupada has so kindly given us. Serving in these dramas is a great way to develop community friendships and learn from each other.” Her 9yr old daughter Jahnava and 13yr old son Damodara expressed, “We learn more about Krsna and we get to do something fun with our friends. We’ve even seen families who are not in our devotee community who come and get inspired, simply by watching our dramas.”
Geetavali mataji is actively engaged in these Krsna conscious dramas as a way of preaching. “kaumaram acharet prajna. Practice begins from childhood. We mothers talk about how Lord Nitai acted out the Pastimes of Krsna as a Child and we want to engage our children like this. Getting so involved with scripts, music, props, finding time, our senses are fully engaged in Krsna. Her 8yr old son Vrndavana Candra described, “When I played the part of Laksmana in the Rama Lila, I learned that He always protects and serves Lord Rama and Sitadevi with great loyalty and devotion.”
Devaki mataji experiences the Mercy that comes from presenting these dramas. “Krsna and His Pastimes are non-different. I’m so grateful to fully engage my body, mind and senses in Smaranam, remembering Krsna through His Pastimes. What an honor to offer our dramas for Srila Prabhupada, our Vrindavan Lords and Their assembled devotees.” Her 13yr old son Giriraj happily commented, “When I played the part of Haridas Thakur, I learned the importance of getting the mercy of Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda and Their intimate Associates. I want that mercy too.”
So the next time when we see a drama produced by our Community mothers and children, we can truly value and respect their significant, devotional services. How fortunate we all are to be in Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON VRINDAVAN family of devotees.
Mahadevi dasi (ACBSP)