Conceptualised by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur and written by Gujarati playwright Uttam Gada, Yugpurush,the theatrical masterpiece and award-winning drama which has been taking India and the UK by storm,was staged at the Alban Arena in Hertfordshire in a landmark 500th show in the gracious presence of Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai….reports Asian Lite News
In a period of just over six months the play has been staged in over 170 cities across India and the UK, since its launch in November 2016 in Mumbai.
The drama, a unique celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of the Jain saint and philosopher Shrimad Rajchandraji, pays tribute to the transformational relationship between him and India’s great leader Mahatma Gandhi. The historically significant, yet little known relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and his spiritual mentor Shrimad Rajchandraji was a friendship that forged the character of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi into the ‘Mahatma’ or Great Soul, and shaped the Independence of India through the principals of non-violence and truth.
In a speech at Ahmedabad in 1921, Gandhiji stated, “I have often declared that I have learnt, and learnt much, from the lives of many persons. But it is from the Kavishri’s (Shrimadji’s) life that I have learnt the most. It was from His life that I understood the way of compassion.”
Invited guests from media, government, corporates and faith groups joined an enthusiastic and captivated audience to be part of this unique celebration.
Mr A.S. Rajan, Minister of Coordination at the High Commission of India, Mr C.B Patel,Chairman of APBL Group, Mrs Trupti Patel, President of the Hindu Forum of Britain, Mr Nemu Chandaria OBE, Chairman of Institute of Jainology, and Dr Jagdish Dave President of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation were invited on stage to receive mementos of the special show from Pujya Gurudevshri, founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, and took part in the candle-lighting ceremony prior to the show.
The story unfolds through the eyes of elderly Gandhiji recollecting his first meeting with Shrimadji in Mumbai, through to their letter exchanges whilst he was in South Africa. As Gandhiji faced internal and external struggles Shrimadji becomes his spiritual bedrock and the profundity of their relationship is revealed. Thereafter Shrimadji’s writings, thoughts and philosophy continue to guide Gandhiji as he pursues his life’s mission. Gandhiji said of Shrimad Rajchandraji, “The more I consider His life and His writings, the more I consider Him to have been the best Indian of His times.” Letter to HSL Polak 26th April 1909.
After the show, Mr A.S Rajan said, “The master-disciple relationship is an important part of Indian philosophy and when I learned that Mahatma Gandhi had a teacher, a Guru that had a profound impact on his life I thought I would like to learn more about it, and this play did not disappoint. Whenever Mahatma Gandhi had a doubt or confusion or situation he needed help with he turned to his Guru, Shrimad Rajchandraji and he got the answer. The soul connection is another important element of Indian philosophy and the union of body, mind and soul are beautifully depicted in this play”.
Yugpurush highlights the values of expanding one’s capacity to love and give selflessly, respecting diversity, supporting truth, fostering trust, and building lasting communities. This initiative aims to spread these values that shaped Gandhi’s beliefs, and supports the construction of the Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital a new 200-bed multi-speciality charity hospital in South Gujarat, India through all surplus proceeds from the shows.
Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, led by the spiritual visionary and modern day mystic Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai has a strong and dynamic presence in the UK with centres includingLondon, Manchester, Leicester and Birmingham. All centres are involved in a range of charitable, educational and spiritual activities with the aim of furthering the Mission’s goal “To realise one’s True Self and serve others selflessly.”
The accolades and awards bestowed upon the play in India, including the prestigious Dadasheb Phalke Excellence Award for Best Play, and the Gujarati Transmedia Screen and Stage Awards for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actorpay tribute to the depth of the relationship portrayed, and the talents of its creators.
The play is currently touring in four languages including Gujarati and Hindi in the UK,and is being prepared in English with the hope of taking this heart-touching story to a wider audience. The message of peace, non-violence, truth and love espoused by these two philosophical titans is more relevant today than ever before, and will have a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.
The play concludes its tour of the UK with shows in London, Birmingham and Bolton until May 14th. For more information visit www.yugpurush.org