The Evening Programme – ‘The Ten Commandments’ Drama

The Evening Programme – ‘The Ten Commandments’ Drama

After Swami had sat on the dais, He asked for bhajans to be sung. The bhajan troupe from Maharashtra sang 5 bhajans – Jaya Gabaraya Sri Ganaraya, Sadguru Sai Saraswati, Jaya Sai Narayan Keshava, Nanda Nandan Hari Govind Gopal, and Chandravadana Kamalanayana before Swami asked the evening’s main programme, a drama called The Ten Commandments, to begin.

The evening programme was presented by the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas children of Buldhana district of Maharashtra comprising of 67 boys and about 21girls.

 
   
The bhajan group

Long long ago, the Hebrews came to Egypt, fertile with the magnificent river Nile, in search of food during a famine which affected the ancient near East. At first, they were welcomed but after about four hundred years, the Hebrews were perceived as a threat and were enslaved. Yet, there was a ray of hope. The Hebrews believed that a Deliverer, a Messenger of God would come, set them free and lead them to the Promised Land. The Deliverer, the Messenger of God who came to set free the Hebrews and lead them to the Promised Land was none other than Moses.

 
Swami being welcomed with a rose before the Drama
 
The Hebrews were enslaved

The drama opens to show Pharaoh's order that all newborn male Hebrew babies be killed and their bodies cast in the Nile, so that the deliverer of the Hebrews will also perish. The next scene shows Jocheved, the mother of Moses, putting him in a basket and float him on the river Nile to save him from the mass murder of all the children. The basket was found by Batyah, the sister of the Pharaoh and she brought Moses up as her baby in spite of her maid warning her that the cloth in the basket was woven by Hebrew hands.

 
Moses abandoned on the river in a basket
 
Basket being found by Batyah


 

 

The scene shifts to a full grown Moses who has won favour with Seti after conquering Ethiopia and is now put in charge of building a new city for Seti – the Pharaoh. Continuing on, the next dramatic scene shows an old woman whose dress is caught under a stone being moved for construction.

The Egyptian taskmasters do not allow the stone to be stopped and she is in danger of being crushed. Lilia runs to Moses for help when Joshua is restrained, and Prince Moses frees the old lady.

Moses then questions Joshua why the Hebrews work so slowly.

An old woman caught under a stone
 
 

Joshua asks for enough food to eat and a day of rest to recover, to which Moses agrees. Seti hears about this and comes to visit, and sees the slaves working hard to raise an obelisk. In appreciation, Seti calls Moses a Pharaoh in-the-making and thus raises the ire of Ramesses, the son of Seti.

 
Slaves raise the Obelisk
 
Moses finds out his True Heritage

The next scene shows the transformation of Moses as he hears the maid-servant discuss with his mother that Moses is a Hebrew by birth from the cloth in the baby basket.

The Pharaoh to-be spurns the throne and lives among the slaves. Batyah pleaded with him that the truth will never be told and he should come back to the palace, but Moses refuses as truth was his very life.

One day an Egyptian taskmaster was beating a slave cruelly, and an angry Moses kills the task-master and saved the slave. For this he was shackled and brought before Seti. In a dramatic scene between Moses and Seti, Moses explains that there is only one caste - the caste of humanity.

He says it is evil to enslave men because of their caste and creed. The angry Seti left after telling Ramesses to sentence Moses, and after announcing that Ramesses will be the future Pharaoh. Ramesses banishes Moses into the desert.

 
   
Moses is shackled

Moses with a staff in hand wandered over the desert till he reached Median, met Jethro and married his daughter Zipporah. He became a shepherd and tended sheep.

 
Joshau asks Moses to deliver the Jews
 
Moses hears God's Voice on the mountain

One day Joshua came and implored Moses to redeem the Hebrews. Seti was dead and Ramesses was persecuting the Hebrews more than ever. Refusing to accept that he was the deliverer, Moses climbs up the mountain, where the Voice of God asks Moses to redeem the Hebrews and take them out of Egypt. For 7 day and 7 nights, Moses argued but God was adamant and His will prevailed.

Moses then came to the Pharaoh and asked him to free the slaves. The Pharaoh laughs. Moses turns the river Nile into a river of blood. The pharaoh pleads with Moses to turn it back into water and that he will let the people go. Ramesses does not keep his word (because of the taunts of his queen) and Moses says that now a deadly plague will enter Egypt and kill the first born in every home. The Pharaoh’s own son is dead and even his God Sokar could not save him.

 
Moses asks Ramesses to free the Jews
 
Pharaoh and his dead son

Finally, in humiliation, the Pharaoh asks Moses to take his people and leave. A song and dance of celebration is then shown.

 
Moses leading his people
 
The song of celebration

After Moses leaves, the queen sways Ramesses again to go behind Moses and avenge his son’s death. He leads his cavalry, pursues Moses and catches up with them on the shores of the Red Sea. In the most trying moment of his life, Moses remains calm. The Lord tests and brings one to the point of complete surrender – and at the last moment, when there is no ray of hope, He rushes to help.

Moses prays to God and raises his staff over the sea. A wind blows and the waters of the red Sea are immediately divided and gather into a wall on either side leaving a dry passage in the middle. The children of Israel were thus safely taken to the other shore, but when the soldiers tried to pursue them the waters closed in and the Egyptian army was destroyed. The song of praise was then heard.

 
The parting of the Red Sea
 
The song of praise


 

 

Leaving the Red Sea behind, the children of Israel finally reached Mount Sinai. One day in prayer, Moses heard God’s voice asking him to ascend Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.

If one has to enquire why Moses was the chosen Instrument of the Lord for the deliverance of the people from slavery at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaohs, the answer will indicate that his principal qualification was his adherence to truth, his upright character, unity of thought, word and deed, a great sense of justice and his ability to be equanimous both in glory and in fall.

Moses was the rare combination of confidence and humility. Real humility means transcendence of the self. He lived with the slaves and worked with them.

Moses receives the Ten Commandments
   


 

Thus, Moses was for God - "a treasure out of all people". Moses was exhorted by God to ascend Mount Sinai and receive the Ten Commandments. Two tablets of the Ten Commandments written by God himself and the entire Torah were given to him. At this point the Ten Commandments were read to the entire gathering, to a dramatic effect.

In Moses’ absence the word was spread that Moses would not return. The Jews start arguing about selecting a new leader. They finally made a golden calf with all the gold they had and they worshipped it. Moses was blazing when he came down and saw all the revelry and ritual. He chides them for how soon their faith in god is shaken. All are repentant and vow to follow him. Moses went up Mt. Sinai again and pleaded forgiveness from God for the behaviour of the children of Israel.

 
   
People worshipping the Golden Calf


 

 

Moses is a great example of the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba where Man is exhorted to manifest Human values in action and wear the jewel of character in day to day life. This was clearly expressed in the finale song.

The entire drama was very moving with good visual and sound effects that created a sense of realism and the feeling of being transported through time back into Egypt. But the celebrations were not over yet. There was more on the morrow.

 
The Finale Song

Sourced:

http://media.radiosai.org/Journals/Vol_04/01AUG06/Prasanthi-Diary.htm

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