Siddhartha Becomes Buddha: A skit by Deepak Shimkhada

Cast

1         Siddhartha Gautama (young male)

1         Mara (older male, rough and taugh)

5         Mara’s five daughters (young and beautiful females)

Narration

Some 2500 years ago, Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, Kapilavastu, now in Nepal.  Kapilavastu, at that time, was a republic ruled by King Suddodhana.  As the only son of his father, Siddhartha was poised to inherit his father’s riches, his power, and the kingdom.  As the years passed, Siddhartha married a beautiful woman and together they had a son.  Yet Siddhartha was very unhappy.  So at the age of 29, he decided to leave everything behind in search of happiness.

After Siddhartha left his palace under cover of darkness, he went straight to the forest where he spent six years, practicing austerity.  As he could not find the answer to his quest, he went to Bodhgaya and found a big tree where he sat down to meditate. This is the story of that seeker who left the comfort, riches and a kingdom in favor of a secret—the secret of happiness in life.

Act I

 The place is quiet and tranquil. Birds chirp, and soothing music is heard in the background.  Siddhartha is seated in a lotus position under a tree.  His eyes are shut, and he is in deep meditation with his hands on his lap.  After about two minutes, Mara enters.

 Act II

 Mara introduces himself looking to the audience:

“My name is Mara.  I am the Lord of Darkness.”  He laughs loudly, “Ha, ha, ha.”

“Look at this young man; he thinks he is going to overcome the darkness that is me.  Ha, ha, ha.”

“But I will not let him do so.  No one can escape me.  I am everywhere, and I am in everyone’s heart.”

“First, I am going to scare him.”

Mara then makes scary faces, shouts, blows air, and stamps.  But Siddhartha is not perturbed.  Then Mara says, “Ok, that is fair enough.  Obviously, he really is in deep meditation.  It seems he is beyond the physical realm.  He can’t hear me, nor can he see me.  So I will have to use my arsenal to break his concentration.”

He bangs on the floor with a big and tall staff  he holds.  Siddhartha does not flinch.  So Mara takes out his red light saber (Darth Vader’s light saber) and brandishes it in different directions, tapping it on Siddhartha’s shoulders in the manner of striking him.  But that doesn’t move Siddhartha either.  Then, Mara says, “OK, it didn’t work.  It seems he is intent on gaining enlightenment at any cost.  But we will see.  How can he resist temptation?  Everyone has desire and clinging.  So let me call my beautiful daughters of fear, ignorance, deceit, greed and desire. Let me see if he can resist them.”

Act III

Mara’s daughters enter.  Their anklets jingle, and they walk in a graceful manner, swaying their hips in different directions.

 Two enter from the left and three from the right, and each of them starts to dance seductively.  Music plays in the background.  The girls finish their dance by touching Siddhartha on his chest and on his face.  But they have no effect on Siddhartha.

Act IV

Enraged, Mara enters again.

 “Shame on you my beautiful daughters.  Five of you couldn’t seduce one single man.  Now go away—leave right now,” Mara orders them angrily.

“Now let me show him my strength.”

A sound of thunder is heard in the background and lights flicker.  Mara gets really mad, he staumps and growls.  But still Siddhartha is unaffected by all this.  So Mara gives up by throwing his hands in the air and sits down in front of Siddhartha.

“OK, Siddhartha, you made your point.  Now let us talk like two civilized people.”

“It’s good meeting you, finally,” Siddhartha spoke.

“Why are you being so stubborn?  Why don’t you want to join me?  I have money, I have power, I have women, and I have everything that people desire.”

“Remember that I was a prince before, and I had everything that you are promising me.  But I left all of them in favor of truth—that is freedom, freedom from all desires.  So why would I join you to get something that I don’t want?  Thank you, but no thanks.  Please leave me alone.”

“But I am a part of you; you live in me.  I am your house,” Mara says.

“No, Mara, you are a pure illusion.  You do not exist.  Earth is my witness,” so saying Siddhartha touches the ground with his right hand.  Mara falls on the ground.  Bright lights appear; again the sounds of birds are heard.  Siddhartha becomes Buddha.