Story of Rajjab Ali Khan
Gurupurnima Cultural Program
Even before the cultural program began, a certain anticipatory excitement was already floating in the environment. Mumukshus were eagerly waiting for what was about to come. And what followed was spectacular and mesmerizing.
The program began with enthusiastic, young children singing a welcome song for Pujya Bhaishree bringing a sweet smile to his face. After the introductory melody, came a beautiful act depicting inspiring virtues, utter devotion, rigorous penance, nobility and equanimity of Sulsa shravika.
What followed next was the highlight of the evening - an inspiring story of Rajjab Ali Khan from 17 th century and his supreme devotion towards his Guru – Dadu Dayal. As the scenes unraveled under the full moon night, so did the essence of Guru-Shishya relationship. The act also explored the otherwise undisclosed secrets of the path of devotion.
The play opened with Rajjab trying to convince his parents to allow him to get married to a girl from another community. With his persuasion, his parents reluctantly agree. However, the marriage procession soon changes into an inward journey when en route Rajjab meets Sant Dadu Dayal.
Rajjab’s unexplained attraction towards this Saint, their first meeting and Dadu Dayal’s first ingenious words reminding him of ‘the true responsibilities he was born to fulfill and instead the mistake he was about to repeat’, fills his mind with swirling thoughts. Rajjab starts contemplating ‘What am I doing? How come I am repeating history? How do I come up with excuses and keep stalling the only important thing in this world - My soul?’
Pondering upon these thoughts, a dawn of realization enriches his soul. This newfound enthusiasm immediately makes him retreat from wanting to get married. Instead, his determined spirit decides to spend his entire life at Guru’s lotus feet, in his service and seek answers and explore the secrets of unconditional surrender.
The series of events that unfold thereafter depicts Rajjab’s inspiring character, his simplicity, his mindfulness, depth of his devotion, his struggles as a disciple and above all - his love for Dadu Dayal.
Once, Dadu Dayal and his disciples were heading out to meet a certain person, where they had to face a demanding situation. In order to get to their destination, they had to cross a swamp.
While the other disciples go searching for rocks, Rajjab quickly lies down in the puddle of mud posing as a bridge for his beloved Guru to step on. Dadu Dayal impressed and elated with Rajjab’s thoughtfulness, climbs his back and crosses the bridge saying, ‘Rajjab, your thinking helped us cross this puddle but the underlying devotion has opened gates of liberation for you’.
This and other such incidents from Rajjab’s life remind us what a blessing it is to have a Guru in our lives and what it takes to be a worthy disciple. The path of worship is not a bed of roses. The seeker faces hardships - external and importantly internal but in the refuge of a self-realized Guru, a deserving devotee is able to revive his stability.
For a true seeker, it takes just that one moment of eye contact with an enlightened soul or few words from Guru’s lips to forget his false identity and previous beliefs. That one glance, changes how he sees himself and the entire world around him! That is because what follows after, is known to only those who have truly fallen in love with the divine! This beautiful emotion was well captured by a Sufi dance performed between the play.
Finally, after spending years in Guru’s service, a day comes when Rajjab has to face the painful day of seeing his Guru’s soul leave the immortal body behind. What becomes of the devotee who only wishes to see his Guru when he opens his eyes, who only wants to hear his Guru’s teachings, who wants nothing more than living each moment in serving Guru’s lotus feet? Since that heartbreaking day, Rajjab closes his eyes to the outside world. He spent all the remaining years with his eyes closed, seeking his Guru inside, that too in the same clothes he was wearing the day he first met Dadu Dayal. Such pristine devotion!
The ocean of thoughts and the feelings Rajjab experienced in the depths of his heart, came out in the form of love-filled words and salty tears. The audience mesmerized by his devotion, not just witnessed those pure feelings but also evidently experienced each of them. Tears flowed from everybody’s eyes and there were no words to describe what the soul felt.
This ode to true devotion deserved a thumping applause and so it did. While Mehul, who played Rajjab cried his heart out at Pujya Bhaishree’s lotus feet, Brahmnisht Vikrambhai came on stage to do the honors with tears still shimmering in his eyes.
He said: “I haven’t cried in many years but seeing this play unfold and the feelings behind it, has brought tears to my eyes as well. What people witnessed in these hours was the heart-warming devotion of not only Rajjab but also that of the person who played the character of Rajjab. Behind the spectacular final outcome was months of the entire team’s hard work and devotion of each waking moment. The characters in limelight and the backstage team did an outstanding job. Each dialogue, each line of narration was filled with spiritual knowledge, love and devotion towards Pujya Bhaishree. Each emotion that a true devotee would experience for his Guru was beautifully captured into words and expressions. This will truly be remembered by one and all till we breathe our last. May all of us ponder on the essence of this play and bring the changes in our live that is expected of a true seeker.”
This two and half hour of spiritual bonanza was shining in all aspects – meticulous preparations in advance, detailed research, hours of thoughtful planning, well written, beautiful script writing and narration, careful selection of actors – from India and even overseas, splendid acting, delightful choreography, live music and bhajans, majestic props and lively backdrops. This play very easily became a must watch blockbuster in the history of Shree Raj Saubhag Ashram.