Monday, May 14, 2018

Nisagardatta Maharaj - The Play Goes On

 Surprising though it may seem, Maharaj is a superb actor. His features are mobile and he has
large, expressive eyes. When narrating an incident or discussing some subject, his features
spontaneously respond to his words and actions. His speech is very articulate and when he talks he
makes free use of gestures. It is, therefore, one thing to listen to a tape-recording of his talks and
quite another to hear his vibrant voice accompanied by appropriate gesticulations. He is a star
performer indeed.

One morning, among the listeners was a well-known European actor. Maharaj was explaining
how the image one has about oneself is not a faithful one; it keeps on changing from time to time
according to the changing circumstances. He went through the entire gamut of the usual life span,
describing the image one has of oneself as an infant, sucking a nipple and wanting nothing else;
then as a teenager bursting with health and strength and with ambitions to conquer the world; then a
love-lorn man, followed by the weary bread-earner with family responsibilities, and finally on to a
sick old man, hardly able to open his mouth and even incapable of controlling his bodily functions.
Which is the real you? Which of these different images? he asked.

Maharaj's narration was alive with actions and sound effects appropriate to the various stages
of life he described. It was sheer drama! We heard him in dumb admiration and the professional
actor was flabbergasted. "Never before have I seen such a brilliant performance", said he, though he
did not understand a word of the language that Maharaj spoke so effectively. 
He was simply spellbound.
While the actor marveled, Maharaj, with a mischievous glint in his eyes, said to him: "I am a
good actor. Am I not?" He added: Do you really understand what I am driving at, though? I know
you have appreciated this little performance of mine. But what you have seen now is not even an
infinitesimal part of what I am capable of doing. The whole universe is my stage. I not only act but
I construct the stage and the equipment; I write the script and direct the actors. Yes, I am the one
actor acting the roles of millions of people — and, what is more, this show never ends! The script is
being continuously written, new roles are being conceived, new settings are propped up for many
different situations. Am I not a wonderful actor/director/producer?

The truth however is, he added, that every one of you can say the same thing about himself.
But, it is ironic indeed that once you are really able to feel with deep conviction that that is so, the
show is over for you! Can you perceive that it is only you that is acting the role of every character
in the world? Or, will you confine yourself to the limited one-bit role that you have assigned to
yourself and live and die in that petty role?



No comments:

Post a Comment