Part 7 – The Play
Once upon a time, there was a beggar called Chaman Lal. He used to spend his hard earned money on buying lottery tickets and hoped that he would make it big one day. And yes, one day he did hit the jackpot and soon he became a rich man.
Now that he had enough money to spend, he began to use it unwisely. Everyday, he would meet his favourite prostitute, Chameli. Chaman Lal would buy expensive jewellery and clothing for her and soon he fell in love with his new found love.
One day as he was preparing to go and visit Chameli, he realized that he had no more money. He was back to square 1 of being poor. But he decided to visit her anyway as she would have no idea that he was broke. And before she had a chance to ask for money, he would ask her hand in marriage. So, armed with flowers for her and lust in his heart, he ventured to the banks of the river to catch the boat to town. As the river was extremely rough and there was a storm approaching, the boatman refused to give a ride to Chaman Lal. Angry at being refused, he yells at the boatman and decides to cross the river on foot. As he was halfway, the river became even more rough, he lost his balance and the flowers fell of his hands. As he didn’t want the flowers to be wasted, he yelled out, “Govindaya Namah !”, hoping that it at least be given to God if no one else can have it. Shortly afterwards, he drowned. And died.
He, soon reached the abode of Yamaraj, the Lord of death. There Yamaraj asked his secretary, Chitragupt to read out his sins, so that he could award the necessary punishments. Chitragupt basically called Chaman Lal, a rascal, a good for nothing and a bad influence. He concluded that Chaman Lal should be sent to the darkest regions of hell for his sins. But Yamaraj insisted that Chitragupt see if Chaman Lal has done anything good. No one can be so bad. And in the book of sins, they saw that one of its pages was white. Chitragupt explained how Chaman Lal had offered the flowers in vain to Govinda. And this caused one of the black pages to be turned to white as the act was considered as a pious one. Yamaraj was pleased. As a reward, he allowed Chaman Lal to visit heaven for 10 mins after which he would be sent to hell.
He was delighted in having got a free trip to heaven. Once there, he had only one thing in mind. He asked some of the demigods there if they could point him to a garden nearby. They asked him to visit the one that belonged to the King of Gods, Indra. Once he entered the premises, he quickly utilized most of his 10 mins plucking the heavenly flowers and saying, “Govindaya Namah, Govindaya Namah”.
Back at the abode of Lord Yamaraj, Chitragupt could not believe that all the black pages in the book of sins of Chaman Lal had turned into white ! The rascal had utilized his 10 mins to serve Govinda seriously by offering flowers rather than satisfy his senses there. Happy with the change in Chaman Lal’s character, he is awarded a human body again and permitted to take birth in a good family so that he can practice his Krishna Consciousness even more.
Once the play was over, Prem Dham prabhu conducted a quiz competition to ensure that we all had been attentive during the show. The room was divided in the middle into 2 teams and he began to fire questions related to the just concluded play.
He asked, “What did you learn from this story?”
Even if you take Krishna’s name in vain, you still reap the spiritual benefits. Such is the compassionate nature of the Lord.
And coming soon – Part 8 – The End with a kirtan