Scene 1

(Sunda and Upasunda, two most beautiful Asura brothers, are at their palace.)

SUNDA: Upasunda, today, I don’t know why or how, I am in a most powerful mood to sing.

UPASUNDA: Strangely enough, Sunda, I too am deeply inspired to sing.

SUNDA: Wonderful, then let us both sing.

UPASUNDA: You sing first, and then I shall sing.

SUNDA: Thank you, Brother.

(Sunda sings.)

What can I do?
Heaven is afraid of me.
What can I do?
I fly beyond its glee
Piercing the Blue.

UPASUNDA (cannot resist the temptation to interrupt Sunda): Marvellous!

(Upasunda sings.)

What can I do?
Earth is afraid of me.
What can I do?
I fell its ignorance-tree
To plant the True.

SUNDA: Marvellous! Let me continue, Brother.

(Sunda sings.)

What can I do?
Hell is afraid of me.
What can I do?
My compassion frees its pangs
From the racking screw.

UPASUNDA: Marvellous! Let me complete the song.

(Upasunda sings.)

What can I do?
My soul is afraid of me.
What can I do?
Body’s eternity
I know is due.

SUNDA: Marvellous, marvellous! No matter who composed the song, it was undoubtedly composed for us to sing. Brother, our love for each other is invincible; our beauty, unfathomable; and our power, immeasurable.

UPASUNDA: In us the world can see the supreme incarnations of authority and power. All we need now is the Life of Immortality. We have to be immortal like Indra. That’s all.

SUNDA: Indra! Don’t use that filthy name! He is our worst enemy. We must dethrone him. We must destroy him. We must prove to the world that he is but a speck of dust, doomed to nothingness.

UPASUNDA: Alas, he is a cosmic god. Hence he is immortal.

SUNDA: God, god? What kind of god is he? He has no sense of morality. His wild vital does not have even an iota of purity. He is a shameless creature. His life can never love the breath of Truth. It can only love the physical beauty of women.

UPASUNDA: You are not an inch from the truth. But we have to become immortal like Indra.

SUNDA: Indeed! Indeed!

UPASUNDA: We must start worshipping one of the principal gods in order to get a boon which will grant us Immortality.

SUNDA: Indeed! Indeed!

UPASUNDA: I personally don’t care for Shiva.

SUNDA: Neither do I.

UPASUNDA: I don’t care for Vishnu, either.

SUNDA: I also don’t care for Vishnu.

UPASUNDA: But I love Brahma.

SUNDA: I, too.

UPASUNDA: Let us then pray to Brahma day in and day out. Let us practise austerities. Brahma’s transcendental Blessing will grant us Immortality.

SUNDA: I am sure it will.

UPASUNDA: Let us leave our palace tomorrow and go to the forest to pray to and meditate on Brahma. Let us sacrifice everything for an immortal life.

SUNDA: A splendid idea, indeed!

UPASUNDA: From tomorrow on we must lead the life of true ascetics in the thick of the forest.

SUNDA: We must, without fail, we must.