Sapna performed as Rukmani in Krishna Leela

Buoyed by the success of ‘Ram Leela’ staged in the sprawling open air auditorium on 20 April 2013 to mark Ramnavmi, ISKCON staged another dance drama – this time a Krishna Parva, on the occasion of Janmashtami 2013. This thrill and divinity dance drama was enacted by Vaikuntha Players in the prestigious Siri Fort Auditorium I which seats more than eighteen hundred people.

The hall began to fill up much before the programme was to start. Entry passes were in great demand and acute scarcity. Directed by Shri Adi Yogi Das who himself played the central role of Krishna, the actors were drawn up from different walks of life. The same actors who had enthralled a huge audience during the Ram Leela staged earlier at ISKCON temple, East of Kailash were in action once again, this time depicting scenes from the Mahabharata as well.

Sapna Attavar, a Dwarka resident and student of Jesus & Mary College was given a prominent role in the dance drama, the role of Rukmini. She performed two solo dances – ‘Kamal Lochan’ in praise of Lord Krishna – and ‘Binti Suniye, Naath Hamaari’ where Rukmini pleads to the Lord – her savior to take her into His fold. This young girl was the cynosure of all eyes and the packed hall watched in dazed admiration as she depicted the inner feelings of a distraught Rukmini, suffering the pangs of separation from her beloved Lord.

Rukmini wants to marry Krishna. However, Rukmini’s brother strongly opposes this. Rukmi is an ambitious prince and does not want to earn the wrath of ruthless Emperor Jarasandha. He proposes that Rukmini be married to his friend Shishupal, the crown prince of Chedi. Shishupal is a vassal of Jarasandha and an ally of Rukmi.

Rukmini overhears this conversation and is horrified. She immediately writes a letter to Krishna. She beseeches Krishna to come and kidnap her, to avoid a battle where her relatives may be killed. Krishna receives the message in Dwarka, and immediately sets out with elder brother Balaram.

Sapna performing as Rukmani in Krishna Leela – a scene depicting Revathi, 
Balram Krishna, Rukmini, Vasudev and Devaki
Meanwhile, Shishupal is overjoyed at the news from Rukmi that he could claim Rukmini. Jarasandha, not so trusting, sends all his vassals and allies along because he feels that Krishna would certainly come to snatch Rukmini away. Krishna soon sweeps Rukmini into his chariot with him. They both start to ride off when Shishupal notices them. All of Jarasandha’s forces quickly started chasing them. While Balarama occupies most of them and holds them back, Rukmi has almost caught up with Krishna and Rukmini.

Krishna and Rukmi duel with the inevitable result of Krishna’s victory. When Krishna is about to kill Rukmi, Rukmini falls at the feet of Krishna and begs that her brother’s life be spared. Krishna, generous as always agrees not to kill Rukmi.

This was followed by other scenes of Mahabharata. Sapna’s graceful dances and touching Abhinaya came up for special appreciation by all present specially the organizers who singled out Sapna’s performance as being the showpiece of the evening.

The chief guests on the occasion were Shri Yoganand Shastri, Hon’ble Speaker Delhi Vidhan Sabha and Shri Vijay Goel, General Secretary & President of Delhi State Unit (Bhartiya Janata Party).

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