The Chess Match

Script by Arjuna das
Based on chapters of KRSNA "The Supreme Personality of Godhead“
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Prince Rukmi
King of Kalinga
Lord Balarama
Lord Krishna
Queen Rukmini
Arjuna das
Parividha das
Kripamoya das
Damodara das
Syama Gauri dasi
Madhava Kanta das
Michael Carless

Recorded by Arjuna das
Mastered by Dwarakadisa das
Directed and produced by Parividha das © 1997


Servant: My Lord. My Lord, the king of Kalinga is here.
Rukmi: Oh. Bring him in.
King of Kalinga: Ha Rukmi.
Rukmi: Ah, what cheer it brings me to see you. (sighs)
King of Kalinga: What’s the matter? You look like you you. What?
Rukmi: (pours cup with drink) Do you know what I’m going through? Do you know what I’m going through?
King of Kalinga: Hmm?
Rukmi: Having to entertain a a hundred Yadus! (toast) Just to deal with one of them is enough to give me chronic indigestion!
King of Kalinga: T. Then I really don’t understand this eh wedding arrangement Rukmi?
Rukmi: Oh, my sister! T. I wanted to please Rukmini.
King of Kalinga: Ah well, such is life! Had I a sister as dear to me as Rukmini is to you, I too would find the circumstances difficult. So your feeling for your in-laws?
Rukmi: Ahrrr!
King of Kalinga: Are obviously somewhat reserved!
Rukmi: Arrrr!
King of Kalinga: It will be quite a party then for you!
Rukmi: O please! If only I could have killed Krishna, then and there, as he stole Rukmini. Someone should bring him down a few notches, then I would be a happy man.
King of Kalinga: Now, now Rukmi! That is no way to speak of your guest of honour and guardian of your granddaughter!
Rukmi: Hah!
King of Kalinga: Ha. With such a vengeance in your heart, I’m really amazed how you managed to give away your daughter and granddaughter to the Yadus?
Rukmi: I told you! It was just to please my sister!
King of Kalinga: I know, I know Rukmi and believe me, my feelings for the Yadus are the same as yours. If we could be rid of the lot of them, and particularly Krishna and Balarama, then the whole world would be a better place. We should put our heads together and decide upon a strategy, by which we may placate our smitten hearts. Hmm, Let’s think of a way, in which we could repay your in-laws for their infractions on our kith and kin. There is nothing sweeter than revenge Rukmi.
Rukmi: Tell me of a way that will work and our bond of friendship will be tattered for all time.
King of Kalinga: Amends must be made for the insults, that have been heaped upon us.
Rukmi: Yes!
King of Kalinga: And I have an idea! It may not be a call to arms, but at least it will be a thorn in the side of the Yadus!
Rukmi: Yes!
King of Kalinga: Ha ha! We can make their visit here to Bhojakata an unforgettable experience.
Rukmi: How? How?!
King of Kalinga: I speak of gambling Rukmi.
Rukmi: Gambling?
King of Kalinga: You’re expert in it and I know someone who isn’t
Rukmi: Balarama!
King of Kalinga: He’ll be the hapless (laughter Rukmi) victim of our little ploy. If the steaks are high enough we will embarrass our wedding party and simultaneously recover our prestige.
Rukmi: Yes!
King of Kalinga: All in the spirits of the festivities of the day of course.
Rukmi: Of course! (both exit laughing)
Lord Krishna: Well I must say, Mmm, that was a magnificent feast.
Lord Balarama: If I’m not mistaken I’d say that old grievances have finally been laid to rest.
Queen Rukmini: O, I’m so happy! Rocana and Aniruddha, you make such a beautiful couple! Don’t they?
Lord Balarama: O yes!
Lord Krishna: Exquisite!
Aniruddha: Grandfather!
Lord Krishna: Yes, Aniruddha?
Aniruddha:We have been so warmly received here. Don’t you think it would be nice in return to invite Rocana’s grandfather to Dvaraka? I’m sure he would appreciate that.
Lord Krishna: Hmm. You should indeed be most grateful that he has entrusting his granddaughter to you Aniruddha.
Lord Balarama: Rocana’s grandfather is a very sensitive man Aniruddha. He sometimes takes things so personally. But despite this, I think that his affections are in the right place now.
Lord Krishna: We could invite him of course, but whether he would accept it or not.
Lord Balarama: You see Aniruddha. Eh T. Rocana’s grandfather Rukmi promised his sister to his friend Sisupala, but then Lord Krishna abducted her and won her by dint of His courage. And that was a great blow to Rukmi’s pride
Queen Rukmini: No-one, but your grandfather could ever have been my husband. But all that took place so long ago! And I’m sure that my brother has forgotten about it now. How else has he given over his beautiful granddaughter to you my child? (All exit)
Lord Krishna: True!
Lord Balaram: (agreeing) Hmm!
Rukmi: (Enters, followed by the king of Kalinga) Wait! What if he declines to play?
King of Kalinga: T. He won’t! He is too attached to the game. And besides a ksatriya can’t decline a challenge, hmm?
Rukmi: (agrees) Hmm. (others enter)
Queen Rukmini: Ah, there is Rukmi.
Lord Balarama: Rukmi! What a great day it has been for all of us.
Lord Krishna: We have all dined most excellently!
Lord Balarama: You have been a most gracious host.
Queen Rukmini: I’m so happy. These two are a match, made in heaven. Aren’t they Rukmi?
Rukmi: My dearest sister, whatever it is that satisfies you, that is my pleasure. And now, if we will all be seated, we can relax and you can tell us more of the wonders of Dvaraka, Krishna. The finest citadel of, what is it? 16108 palaces?
Aniruddha: More than that! It is the home of all the Yadus!
Rukmi: My goodness!
Queen Rukmini: O Rukmi, it is so wonderful us all together like this.
Rukmi: As I said my dear sister, If you are happy, then I am happy. It is always reassuring to know, that there are those, upon who one can always count as having one’s interest at heart. T. The king of Kalinga my dear sister is exactly like that to me.
King of Kalinga: No, no.
Rukmi: It’s true. It is true. Anyway I have been thinking. We should come together like this more often. We could refresh ourselves with with some recreation!
Lord Balarama: O yes, good idea!
Rukmi: Anyone for a game of chess? I myself have a passion for the game.
Lord Balarama: Well, I can’t say no to a game of chess.
Rukmi: Good show Balarama!
King of Kalinga: Your reputation runs before you (He and Rukmi laughs)
Queen Rukmini: Eh, couldn’t we do something a little less energetic?
Rukmi: Energetic? (He and the king laughs) My dear, I can’t think of nothing more sedentary, than a nice game of chess.
King of Kalinga: Indeed.
Queen Rukmini: I mean, I mean less exiting. Not. Not so taxing.
Rukmi: Taxing? (king of Kalinga laughs)
Queen Rukmini: Well, you know, competition of any kind is always taxing. Even a game! One still becomes caught up. Isn’t it?
Rukmi: Whilst ladies may prefer a quieter form of relaxation, do not assume that the leisure of men should be restricted to talking pleasantries. There are livelier pursuits of pleasure, that can also give satisfaction and peace to the mind and heart, especially when one plays to win. Isn’t it Balarama?
Lord Balarama: O. Yes!
Rukmi: Here is the board. Your choice of pieces.
Lord Balarama: White.
Rukmi: White its is. Eh, what will the steak be?
Lord Balarama: Hmm? I’ll wager one hundred gold coins.
Rukmi: A pretty sum. Your move.
Queen Rukmini: I will take a walk in the gardens. It is such a nice day.
Lord Krishna: I’ll join you. (Both exit)
Rukmi: Eh, well don’t be too long! The game may be over sooner then you think. (laugther kings)(Both enter in front of stage and cross over)
Queen Rukmini: Rukmi is a master at chess and he knows it. Why is he so eager to defeat Balarama?
Lord Krishna: If they want to have a game of chess devi, then let them. It’s only a game. (Both exit)
Queen Rukmini: But played for gold!
Rukmi: Check mate!
Lord Balarama: Well played.
Rukmi: Another game?
Lord Balarama: Why not?
Rukmi: My move. And check mate! (reaction King of Kalinga)
Lord Balarama: Let’s have another game.
Rukmi: If you insist. (reaction King of Kalinga)
Lord Balarama: I’d like to put the wager up ten times.
Rukmi: Ten thousand? That is a great deal of money Balarama. Can you afford it?
King of Kalinga: (Laughs) Can he afford it! (laughs again)
Lord Balarama: Ten thousand is my wager! Will you match it?
Rukmi: Of course!
Lord Balarama: We’ll begin then. Your move.
Rukmi: And check mate! (laughter King)
Lord Balarama: Something seems to amuse you most heartily? Perhaps you could tell us what it is that you find so humorous?
King of Kalinga: Eh eh eh eh. I was just thinking of something funny my servant told me today. Excuse me.
Lord Balarama: O maybe you could share the joke with us?
King of Kalinga: Eh O! eh uh. Well actually it isn’t that funny.
Rukmi: Eh please! Do not mind my friend, Balaram. We can stop now if you wish?
Lord Balarama: No, no I wish to continue. I must at least have one more game. I don’t feel that I have played to my best ability yet.
King of Kalinga: Grr. Grr. Uh Sorry!
Lord Balarama: I will raise the bet to one hundred thousand coins. Do you agree?
Rukmi: A hundred thousand? Quite substantial! Very well! (laughter King)
Lord Balarama: Now look here! I don’t mind the fact that I’ve lost. You play a shrewd game, but I object to this inappropriate snorting. I find it quite distracting!
Rukmi: I’m sorry, I’m sorry Balarama. Maybe for the sake of the party we should withdraw?
Lord Balarama: No! Let us continue! Let us begin!
Rukmi: Very well. One hundred thousand gold coins it is. My move. Check!
Lord Balarama: Check mate!
Rukmi: Bbbut You can’t do that!
Lord Balarama: Can’t do what?
Rukmi: You eh you you castled your king! Once you castled your king you can’t move! It’s it’s not allowed. It’s a rule of the game!
Lord Balarama: But I didn’t castle my game!
Rukmi: Yes you did! Didn’t he?
King of Kalinga: Hmm? Eh eh Yes! Yes yes yes he did!
Rukmi: You see! You already castled your king!
Lord Balarama: In that many moves My castle would be in a far more useful position, had I ever castled My king! But as you can see. My castle is still here!
Rukmi: Eh I saw you! I saw you doing it and the King of Kalinga saw it too! This is a transgression of basic rules to obtain an unfair checkmate, which is a criteria for disqualification and I therefore say it is I who am the winner of this game!
Lord Balarama: It is not true!
King of Kalinga: Rukmi is right!
Lord Balarama: Give Me the pieces! (inhales) Let’s start again!
Rukmi: Bbbbbut but by default I have just won!
Lord Balarama: (bangs His fist on the table) Nobody has won then! Let’s begin again! I’m white. You’re black. Make the wager!
Rukmi: Alright! Let’s play for real stakes! I’ll wager you one hundred million gold coins!
Lord Balarama: So be it! Check mate!
Rukmi: Huh. How did you? This this is not possible! You did it again! I win by default! Is it not so Maharaj? Maharaj!
King of Kalinga: Eh eh uh uh uh. Yes yes yes definitely. Definitely!
Lord Balarama: But, it’s not true!
Rukmi: You hear! I have won definitely by default! You saw what happened, didn’t you?
King of Kalinga: Eh yes eh That’s not allowed! It it slipped my attention when he did it, but it is quite clear, that’s what he did!
Rukmi: T. in all my life I have never seen such trickery in a serious game. Hah! Look how easily I defeated you in the first three games! How is it possible that you can suddenly win like this? You have cheated again and therefore I say that it is I who has won, not you! I have won! What can you know about playing chess? What could you know?
Voice: The winner is Balarama. Rukmi’s words are false!
King of Kalinga: I didn’t hear anything. This is nonsense. Tell him to give you the money Rukmi! He owes you!
Rukmi: So? Will you give me your wager? (enter Krishna & Rukmini)
Lord Balarama: I will not!
Rukmi: You won’t? Where is your honor? Where were you brought up?
Queen Rukmini: Rukmi! Please!
Rukmi: Be quiet Rukmini! The truth may hurt, but the truth is the truth. How can a simple cowherd play chess?
Queen Rukmini: Rukmi!
Rukmi: Hahahahahaha! Perhaps he learned it in the forest, while he watched his herd?
Queen Rukmini: Noooo! Please?
Rukmi: Is that where you learned it?(Queen Rukmini sobs) Is it? Is that where you learned it? The better player wins the wager and now you owe me the coins!
Lord Balarama: The better player has won the game! You owe Me!
Rukmi: No! I won! I won! Hmmm?
King of Kalinga: Yes yes! He won. He won.
Lord Balarama: Now listen Rukmi! When you invited us here, I thought you had changed! I’ve always given you the benefit of the doubt! I even pleaded on your behalf, when you had your confrontation
with Krishna.
Rukmi: T. That trickster! Krishna! He steals! It is his nature! In his very childhood he’d steal butter from his neighbors. He is famous for it! Isn’t he? You know it!
Lord Balarama: I would stop if I were you! (Lord Krishna and Queen Rukmini enter)
Rukmi: He stole my sister! He stole my sister!
Lord Balarama: I won’t tolerate anymore! Now give me my gold!
Rukmi: A true ksatriya is honorable! A true ksatriya will stick to his word and submit the money.
Queen Rukmini: Rukmi!
Rukmi: he has wagered
Queen Rukmini: Nooo!
Rukmi: to the winner and I have won! I have won! I have won!
Lord Balarama: Aaaahh!
Narrator: From one blow of Balaram’s club Rukmi was dead. With the next blow Balaram broke the teeth of the king of Kalinga, who had so insolently scoffed. Other princes, supporting Rukmi, thought it wise to run away from the scene. During the strife between Balaram and Rukmi, Lord Krishna could not utter a word, for he knew that if He supported Balaram, His dear Rukmini would be unhappy and if he said that the killing of Rukmi was unjust, His brother Balaram would be unhappy. Therefore Lord Krishna was silent at the death of His brother-in-law.
Lord Krishna: My dear Rukmini, please do not lament. There is something you should know. The king of Kalinga has harbored enmity towards Myself and Balarama for many many lifetimes.He has only ever thought of trying to do Me harm. Rukmi always considered him to be his best friend.To tell you frankly, I was therefore always worried about him. Whilst he was your brother in this life. In other lives he may well have been at great odds with your pure devoted feelings for Me. Dearest Rukmini, you are my eternal queen. Your brother lives on in the spirit of his granddaughter Rocana and she will remain with us. It was an act of great charity on his part that he gave his grand daughter and although his bitterness to Me was only due to envy, his attachment to you was his saving grace.
Narrator: The Lord is equally disposed to every living being, as He is neither the friend nor the enemy of anyone.

Racitambara dasi (ACBSP): We have the whole set, but I wish we had more. My grand children listen to them all the time in the house. They love them! They sing the songs and act out the plays. It's a wonderful engagement for them and keeps them focused on Krishna's eternal pastimes.

Mahaprabhu das Radhadesh: Your productions are not only very professional but very devotional as well. I love to get transported into a world of transcendental pastimes of the Lord and His devotees. You must be ISKCON's best director.