Scene 2

(Jamadagni is in a field, shooting arrow after arrow at a target. Renuka brings the arrows back to him. Hours pass.)

JAMADAGNI: Renuka, why are you no longer bringing the arrows back so quickly? Are you tired?

RENUKA: I am really tired. I am exhausted.

JAMADAGNI: Why? Why are you so tired?

RENUKA: Lord, you can see how bright the sun is. It is like a furnace. My head is aching and my feet are burning from this scorching heat.

JAMADAGNI: I have the power to curse the sun, to punish him. You know that I have tremendous occult power.

RENUKA: Yes, my Lord, I know it.

JAMADAGNI: Then right now I shall look at the sun and punish him.

(Enter Surya in the guise of a Brahmin.)

JAMADAGNI: What can I do for you? Do you want anything special from me?

SURYA: No, I have not come here for a favour. I saw from a distance that you were practising archery, and your wife was bringing your arrows back. I was really amused and inspired. I got tremendous joy from watching you play this game, so I came to observe it from close by.

JAMADAGNI: All right, wait and see what I am going to do. I am now going to destroy the sun with my occult power. The sun is ruining our game. Because of the heat, my wife is not able to bring the arrows back to me so quickly. There is no joy in the game if I have to wait such a long time for her to bring back the arrows. So I am now going to threaten the sun, and see what the sun says.

SURYA: May I give you some advice?

JAMADAGNI: Advice! Do I need advice from any human being after having realised God? I don’t need any advice. But anyway, tell me, what is your advice?

SURYA: If your wife could have a pair of shoes and an umbrella…

JAMADAGNI: Shoes? What are shoes? And what is an umbrella? I have never heard of these things. Brahmin, it seems you are talking nonsense.

SURYA: No, no, O Sage. (He brings out from his robe a pair of shoes and an umbrella.) This is called an umbrella and these are called shoes.

RENUKA: Shoes? What are they for?

SURYA: To protect your feet.

RENUKA: And the umbrella, what is it for?

SURYA: To protect your head, to protect your whole body.

RENUKA: But I don’t know how to use them. I have never seen them before.

SURYA: Come, I will show you. (He puts the shoes on Renuka’s feet and opens the umbrella for her.) This is how you use them. When it is very hot, when the sun is unbearably bright, your head will be protected by the umbrella’s shade, and your feet will be protected by the shoes. (Turning to Jamadagni.) O Jamadagni, O Sage, protection is needed from below and from above. When one has protection from above, one can rise, one can go up to the highest, one can realise the highest; and when one has protection from below then one can manifest the deepest. You have realised God; that is true. But in the field of realisation, there is no end. You have realised a portion of the Truth; the Transcendental Truth you have not realised. You have touched the foot of the tree — that is your realisation. But there is a realisation which is infinitely superior. That realisation you will have when you can climb up to the top of the tree, bring the fruit down to the ground and distribute it to others who do not know how to climb. This is the highest type of realisation. What you have realised within also has to be manifested without. For that you need protection. If you are not protected here on earth, you cannot manifest the Divine. Shoes and umbrella will protect your wife from the forces of the outer world, and will remind you of the protection which you need in the inner world in order to reach the highest Goal.

(The Brahmin changes into Lord Surya. With his effulgent Light, he looks at Jamadagni and Renuka. They bow at his feet.)

JAMADAGNI AND RENUKA (together): O Lord Surya, you came to us in the garb of a Brahmin, and offered us protection. Your outer protection will comfort our outer lives and your inner protection will immortalise our inner lives.