Scene 1(Night. Thakur is walking in the Panchavati grove under the trees in a contemplative mood. Enter Hriday.)
HRIDAY: Uncle, let us go home. It is cold, and the wind is blowing very hard. I see fog being formed. You are not taking care of yourself.
THAKUR: You go. I am coming.
(Exit Hriday. Thakur meditates. Re-enter Hriday.)
HRIDAY: Don’t delay, Uncle, don’t be late. You forget everything, and then it is I who suffer afterwards.
THAKUR: What can I do? My Mother has called me here. The moment she asks me to go home, I will go. Do you think that I don’t suffer when I make you suffer for me?
HRIDAY: I am going, but don’t be late.
THAKUR (to himself): The synthesis of all religions, the union of East and West, self-dedication, self-sacrifice: these are all big, big words, big theories, big ideas, big ideals. But where are they, Mother? Mother, you are talking to me about all these things. These are such high ideals. But where are your dedicated soldiers? Mother, you never tell me lies. Where are they? Where are your chosen children? O chosen children of my Mother Kali, my heart is crying for you. Come. Come. Do Mother’s work. You have to fulfil the Mother. You have to manifest the Mother on earth.
THAKUR (with all affection and love): Ah, Naren, you have come. You have come to me after such a long time. I have been talking to worldly people for so long. I have become practically deaf from hearing the complaints and unaspiring chatter of ordinary people. People are throwing all their worldly desires into me. Now I have nobody I can speak to about my inner life. I have nobody to tell what is going on in my heart. Naren, tell me, when are you going to come again?
NAREN: The moment I get an opportunity I will be back again. Why do you think of me so much? Why do you speak to others all the time about Naren, Naren, Naren? Don’t you know the story in the Puranas about King Bharata who always thought of his deer? Then, in the following incarnation, he became a deer.
THAKUR: You are right. But what can I do? I can’t keep my mind away from you. All the time I think of you. When I don’t see you I feel miserable. (Closes his eyes and speaks to Mother Kali.) Mother, listen to what Naren is telling me. (After a few moments he opens his eyes and speaks to Naren.) I will not listen to you. You are not saying the right thing. Mother says that I see you as Narayan, I see you as the incarnation of God. The day I don’t see you as the incarnation of God, I will not even look at your face.
NAREN: If that is true, then why have you ignored me for such a long time? I have come to you and you have avoided me, ignored me mercilessly. You have shown me such contempt the past few times.
THAKUR: Mother, Mother, listen to this fellow! (To Naren.) Can I avoid you? Can I ignore you? Can I show contempt to you? Impossible! You do not know; you cannot fathom my inner workings. Naren, tell me one thing. Granted, I have not been nice to you. I have been very unkind, very rude to you. So why do you keep coming to me?
NAREN: I come here to listen to you. I adore you. I worship you. I want to see you, Thakur, even if you are unkind to me. I love your presence. I love your meditative mood. I love your trance. I love everything you do because I love you.
THAKUR: My son, I have been testing you. I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t show you affection and love — whether you would stay with me or not. It is only you who can bear such indifference and contempt from me. Had it been somebody else, he would not have come to my place any more. Nobody else would have stayed with me. Whoever got that kind of treatment from me would have hated me to the end of his life.
NAREN: It is all due to your compassion, to your love, that I stayed. You know that my anger is of the quickest. But you gave me shelter in your heart. You brought me into your soul and made me your true son.
THAKUR (smiling): Naren, I have occult powers, abundant occult powers, all occult powers. But what do I do with them? I don’t even wear clothes. Who is going to use these powers? I am thinking of telling Mother that I would like to give you everything, all my occult powers. You have to do much work for the Mother. If I give you these powers you will be able to work most effectively for the world. What do you think of this idea?
NAREN: Please tell me, will these occult powers help me in realising God?
THAKUR: No, they can’t help you in realising God. But when you start working for God, they will be of great help to you.
NAREN: Then I don’t want them. I want God first. After God-realisation it is up to you and God to give me occult powers.
THAKUR: Excellent, excellent. Oh, my Naren, who else is like you? Who is free from greed, but you? Most seekers cry for occult power, but I am eager to give you my occult power and you do not want it. You want God, my son, not occult power, and God is the only thing that we all need.
(Enter Rakhal, Baburam and Tarup. They bow to Thakur.)
THAKUR: One has to be a hundred per cent devoted to God like Naren. Only then can one realise God.
RAKHAL: I know that. His sincerity has impressed me greatly. My brother is all love for you, all love for God. May I ask you a question today?
THAKUR: Of course, of course. If I don’t answer your question, then whose question shall I answer?
RAKHAL: Please tell me the essence of the Vaisnava philosophy.
THAKUR: The Vaisnava philosophy is very simple. Love humanity and serve humanity: this is the philosophy.
RAKHAL: Please explain it to me further. It is not clear to me.
THAKUR: Remember the name of God. The Truth and the possessor of the Truth are one. Lord Krishna and his true devotee are one. The devotee’s whole world is nothing but Lord Krishna. It is Krishna who has become everything for him. This is what a real Vaisnava thinks and believes, and it is absolutely true. We have to show compassion to all human beings. (Pauses.) No, I am wrong. Who are we to show compassion to all human beings? We are feebler than ants. What right, what capacity do we have to help mankind? We have to serve all human beings and know that we are then serving God, for they are all manifestations of God. This is the right attitude. We have to serve all human beings, knowing and feeling that they are all manifestations of God.
TARUP: Please tell me how I can have purity.
THAKUR: Love mankind and serve mankind as devotedly as possible. Then automatically you will have purity. You have to see God in every human being. Only then will you have devotion. And when you have devotion, real devotion for God, then your heart will be pure.
NAREN: If ever God gives me the opportunity and capacity, I shall preach before the whole world. I shall speak to the whole world; the rich and the poor, the Brahmins and the Chandalas will hear your message from me. I wish to offer your message to the entire world. Please bless me so that my desire will be fulfilled.
THAKUR: My blessing is already there. It is for you, for all of you. It has been raining down on you for the last few years. The Mother is playing her own game in and through you all. You are all just instruments of the Mother.
HRIDAY: Uncle, I can’t bear you any longer. I can’t. You have really become insane. Now I know you will suffer from this cold and I will suffer even more.
THAKUR: Oh, I had forgotten. Hriday, forgive me, forgive me. Come, come, all of you, come.
(Exeunt all except Naren, who sits down on the ground and sings with folded hands.)
Jago amar swapan sathi
jago amar praner pran
jago amar chokher jyoti
rishi kabi murtiman
jago, jago, jago
jago amar bishwal hiya
byapta jaha bishwamoy
jago amar sei chetana
bishwatite shesh ja noy
jago, jago, jago
jago amar dhyani-swarup
jago amar baddhwa jib
sarba jiber tandra tuti
jago amar mukta shib
jago, jago, jago
(Arise, awake, O Friend of my dream.
Arise, awake, O Breath of my life.
Arise, awake, O Light of my eyes.
O Seer-Poet in me,
Do manifest Yourself in me and through me.
Arise, awake, O vast heart within me.
Arise, awake, O consciousness of mine,
Which is always transcending the universe
And its own life of the Beyond.
Arise, awake, O Form of my meditation transcendental.
Arise, awake, O bound divinity in humanity.
Arise, awake, O my heart’s Liberator, Shiva,
And free mankind from its ignorance-sleep.)