Scene 3

(The bank of the Ganges. The thief who had overheard the King and Queen’s conversation is wearing an ochre cloth and meditating with the religious people. He is chanting most devotedly, crying for God’s Grace and nothing else. He wants to show that he is the most religious person on earth. Enter the Prime Minister. He goes to these religious people and asks several of them, one by one, if they would like to marry the Princess. They all refuse.)

PRIME MINISTER (to another seeker): Would you like to marry the Princess?

SEEKER: What do you mean? We are crying for divine Light, Peace and Power. Do you think we will be satisfied with a human being?

PRIME MINISTER: Don’t argue with me! Don’t you know that I am the Prime Minister? I can easily take you to the palace and compel you to marry the Princess. If you don’t obey me, I can put you into jail.

A SECOND SEEKER: You can put us into jail, you can even kill us, but we are not going to marry the Princess, no matter how beautiful she is, no matter how wealthy her parents are. We want only the infinite riches of God, not human wealth. Do anything you want with us, but we shall not marry the Princess.

PRIME MINISTER (turning to the thief, who has kept silent all this time): It seems to me that you would agree to my request. Are you interested in marrying the Princess?

(The thief remains silent.)

A THIRD SEEKER: Shame, shame, shame! Look at this fellow. He has cast a slur on us. We are all spiritual people crying for God’s Peace, Light and Bliss, and he meditates with us. Now he is silent because he wants to marry an earthly woman. He wants to enjoy earthly pleasure. Shame, shame! Get away from here! We don’t want you with us!

THIEF: You hypocrites! You liars! Outwardly you are acting like saints, but inwardly you are really animals. Outwardly you are saying you don’t want women, but inwardly you are crying for earthly wealth and pleasure, and inwardly you are enjoying vital pleasure. I can see clearly that you people are all impure, impure, impure! I am sincere. I want God. But at the same time I still have not transcended the pleasures of the human senses. I shall marry her. And I shall realise God much sooner than you by gradually transcending my desires instead of suppressing them as you people are doing.

PRIME MINISTER: All right, tomorrow I shall come to you with the Princess and we shall take you to the Palace.

(Exit Prime Minister.)

THIRD SEEKER (to the thief): It is beneath our dignity to sit beside you. You are an earthly man, whereas we are all crying to be Heavenly beings. We would not marry any woman. We know we would fall if we did. Marriage is frustration. Frustration is destruction. Meditation on God is Illumination, and Illumination is transcendental Delight. This is what we have come to realise.

(Exeunt all the seekers.)