'The Mahatma's Mahatma': Play Explores Life Of Man Who Inspired Gandhi

The play 'Yugpurush - Mahatma ka Mahatma' has seen nearly 1,000 shows in 308 days reaching over six lakh viewers across 288 cities.

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'The Mahatma's Mahatma': Play Explores Life Of Man Who Inspired Gandhi

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The play is based on correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and Shrimad Rajchandra.

Mumbai:  A play titled 'Yugpurush - Mahatma ka Mahatma' based on the life of Jain philosopher Shrimad Rajchandra has been awarded 'Best Play' at the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards 2017. With nearly 1,000 shows, the play has been created from records of correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and Shrimad Rajchandra to provide an insight into the relationship between Rajchandra and the Mahatma.

Set in the late 19th century, the play features the teachings of Shrimad Rajchandra and influences he had on Mahatma Gandhi through their interactions. In fact in his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, Mahatma Gandhi wrote in detail about his interactions with Shrimad Rajchandra.

The play has seen nearly 1,000 shows in 308 days reaching over six lakh viewers across 288 cities. It is currently being performed in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil and English and has travelled to the US, Canada, UK, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa and other countries.

As followers observe the 150th birth anniversary of Shirmad Rajchandra, the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission based in in South Gujarat feels not too many people know about the influence Rajchandra had on the Mahatma. And therefore they came up with the idea of a play that would explore this relationship.

Mayur Bhausar, who plays Mahatma Gandhi in Yugpurush said, "When Gandhij came to Shrimadji's dwelling, he got inspired by his thoughts. He found the calmness that he always wanted and then he spread that calmness to the world. As you know, many people know about Gandhiji but no one knows about Gandhiji's guru Shrimad Rajchandraji."

Mahatma Gandhi met Rajchandra for the first time in Mumbai on his return from England and in his autobiography, My Experiments With Truth, refers to him as a guide and a source solace in a time of crisis.

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Manil Mehta, who plays Shrimad Rajchandra in Yugpurush, said, "When I heard about this drama, I thought this would be a spiritual play and would not be fun to do. But when I saw the previous edition of this drama, I was like - Oh My God! Even I didn't know about them."

The proceeds from the play will fund a new 200-bed multispecialty charity hospital for the economically underprivileged in South Gujarat.

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