Scene II

A most beautiful room. Enter AJATASHATRU and DEVADATTA

Devadatta: Ajatashatru, my friend, tell me frankly: are you jealous of anybody?

Ajatashatru: I don’t think so.

Devadatta: I am. I am so jealous of Buddha. But my jealousy does not help me at all. He now has thousands of disciples, while I have only a few. And even those few disciples are leaving me and going to him. I hate him! I want to kill him!

Ajatashatru: Oh, now it seems to me that I am also jealous of someone.

Devadatta: Ah, you are also jealous of someone? Please tell me who.

Ajatashatru: I am jealous of my father, the King. Everybody touches his feet; everybody adores him. He has so much power and wealth.

Devadatta: You see, you have as much reason to be jealous of your father as I have to be jealous of Buddha. But we can easily solve your problem.

Ajatashatru: If you solve my problem I will also try to solve your problem, Devadatta.

Devadatta: Ajatashatru, your father is old. This is the time for him to take rest and retire, but these old men never give way. Even until the last moment they want to enjoy the world, they want to lord it over the world. In every way you have surpassed your father. You have strength; you have power. Just throw the old man into prison and then you will become King. You can rule his Kingdom peacefully and bravely. Who is there to stop you? I shall help you.

Ajatashatru: It is an excellent idea, an excellent idea! I shall do it. And when I become King. I promise you, Devadatta, I shall help you kill Buddha.

Devadatta: Be sure you don’t eat your promise, Ajatashatru. Now you are the Prince, but you will soon be the King. And it is on the strength of my advice that you will become King.

Ajatashatru: I am not a mean fellow. I shall remember your help. I wanted to become the King and with your advice I shall fulfil my desire. Then I shall help you get rid of Buddha.