The Story of Lord Krishna and the Demon Shishupala

Introduction to the Golden Tale by Denise Thomas

Many Siddha Yogis are familiar with the plays that for decades have been put on by the children and young adults in the SYDA Foundation. These young people have enacted stories of the saints and Siddhas of India, as well as tales from the two great Indian epics: the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

I’d like to share with you how these plays came about. In 1998 when Gurumayi first encountered a group of young people performing stories from the Mahabharata in Shree Muktananda Ashram, she said, “This is so wonderful––it’s the best-kept secret in the Ashram! However, we need to ensure that everyone in the Ashram gets to experience these plays and learn about the teachings that are being depicted in this vivid, enchanting way by the children.”

So Gurumayi requested that I produce additional plays, since I have an extensive background in theater. I enthusiastically accepted the task. And that very same year Gurumayi gave the name for these Siddha Yoga plays: “the Golden Tales.”

During the summers from 1998 to 2002, the children and young adults put on thirty-nine Golden Tales in both Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth. I had the good fortune to direct quite a few of them.

Since then, many children and families on the Siddha Yoga path have been putting on plays in Siddha Yoga Family Retreats. However, the Golden Tales as we’d come to know them had not been produced since 2002.

Fast forward seventeen years. On August 21, 2019, two days before Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, I was thrilled to direct a new production of the Golden Tales! The play was based on a story from the Mahabharata about Lord Krishna and the demon Shishupala. This same story was first produced as a Golden Tale twenty years ago, in 1999 in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. And guess what? In 1999 it was also performed two days before Janmashtami!

In fact, there were many similarities between this Golden Tale and its counterparts from years before. For instance, this play, like the Golden Tales that preceded it, was produced in just four days!

On Sunday, August 18 of this year, when a visiting sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram expressed their sadness about leaving the Ashram before the Golden Tale would be performed, Gurumayi said, “Well, if the videographers do a good job in capturing the children’s performance of this amazing story from the Mahabharata––remember, I said if––then perhaps Denise may consider posting it on the Siddha Yoga path website.”

It therefore gives me great pleasure to share with you that, yes, the videographers have come through! Now, not only everyone in Shree Muktananda Ashram, but everyone in the global Siddha Yoga sangham can be in the know about how incredibly the children and young adults on the Siddha Yoga path continue to portray the invaluable and esoteric teachings of the scriptures.

It is the custom, just before the Golden Tales commence, for the young actors to enter the satsang hall in procession as the town crier proclaims, “Make way, make way!” So now I say to you: make way, make way! Prepare to receive the darshan of Lord Krishna and have his teachings cleanse your heart.

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