On the eve of Saturday 2nd July in the outskirts of London, a cast and crew of 65 young people who are part of an upcoming performing arts group known as “Something Spiritual”, came together to put on a spectacular production depicting the life and struggles of Srila Prabhupada. A night that captured hearts, moved people to tears and transformed the lives of many had only one complaint: why there were no tissues given out to stop the tears from flowing.
Attended by over 400 watchers, the audience included close followers of the special personality to whom that night was a tribute, and also included many who had never met Srila Prabhupada in their life. Regardless of the relationship that people had, every soul who came was blown away by the production.
The story began with Lord Chaitanya expressing His desire for the Harinama Sankirtana movement to be spread across the world, and predicting that there will be a personality that will come and distribute the Holy Name in every town and village. As the audience followed the life of Prabhupada, they saw His relationship with His father grow, as well as his strong passion for independence being defeated by the meeting with his spiritual master. The struggles with His wife and printing Back to Godhead were all seen as part of the build up leading to him boarding the Jaladuta.
The second half of the play became even more emotional as it depicted the initial struggles in Bowery and the rapid expansion of the movement, crescendoing to His glorious departure from this world, at which point a pin drop silence could be heard throughout the theatre.
The process took 3-4 months including script writing and reviewing, soundtrack making, casting, promoting, rehearsing, organizing, and many of the team members had sleepless nights just so that they could deliver an offering of real value as a tribute.
Something Spiritual began at the end of 2015 with a goal of bringing together people who have amazing talents and engaging them in the service of something bigger than themselves – in the service of Krishna. So far, they have put on four small plays, launched a music album, and have reached a milestone with this production.
There were many senior members and devotees of ISKCON and Bhaktivedanta Manor who were present to give their blessings at the show. Jananivas Das said that “the play just got better and better.” Bhakti Rasamrita Swami said, “I have seen many dramas before, and I have also seen many dramas about Srila Prabhupada. But this was probably the best drama I have seen on Prabhupada so far.”
Since the night, the Something Spiritual team have received over a hundred messages and requests from people asking for another show. The team consists of Abhishek Joshi, Abhishek Gadhvi, Bhumi Agravat, Davina Padhiar, Dhruva Kusa Shah, Milan Parmar, Pranesha Patel, Radha Vinode Sivyer, Rahul Popat, Rishi Ruparelia and Sita Patel. Director and leader of the group, Abhishek Joshi says “I’m so glad that people enjoyed the show, and to see the demand afterwards for another show is extremely encouraging. This is just the beginning of an era, which will help conquer Britain through drama as Srila Prabhupada said. This is just the beginning of Something Spiritual.”
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The event was filmed by Rajesh Hirani of Filmworks Studios, who encapsulated the mood of the night in the highlights: https://vimeo.com/173331995
For more info about Something Spiritual: https://www.facebook.com/SomeSpiritual/
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies