Scene 1

(Chaitanya and a group of disciples. Enter the younger Haridas.)

CHAITANYA: Haridas, I understand that you have brought rice from Madhavi?

HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.

CHAITANYA: You have brought rice to me from a woman?

HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.

CHAITANYA: From a beautiful woman?

HARIDAS: Yes, my Lord.

CHAITANYA: You have drunk her beauty?

HARIDAS (embarrassed): Yes, my Lord.

CHAITANYA: I shall never see your face again! Never! You have renounced the world, but you have looked at her face. How many times have I told you not to look at women’s faces, but to look at their feet? I told you to bring food for me. But you didn’t have to bring food from a beautiful woman. You have looked at her face and drunk her beauty to your heart’s content. Haridas, you have betrayed your spiritual life. I can’t have you with me any more.

(Haridas touches the Master’s feet, weeping bitterly.)

CHAITANYA: Haridas, enough. In this life I shall not see your face any more. (Calls.) Govinda, Govinda! Take him away! Take Haridas away.

(Enter Govinda.)

GOVINDA (quietly to Haridas): Haridas, Haridas, don’t worry. Lord Chaitanya will forgive you one day. Right now he is just punishing you, but you know that his love is for everyone. His love is boundless, and it is for everybody,

(Exeunt Haridas and Govinda. A few minutes later, enter Haridas crying and touches Chaitanya’s feet. When Chaitanya ignores him he starts singing, imploringly.)

Khama karo khama karo ei sheshbar
samarpiba jaya malya charane tomar
ami taba asimer mauna barabhay
tumi sindhu ami bindhu mor parichai

(Forgive me, forgive me, this is the last time, forgive me.
I shall offer to You at Your Feet the garland of Victory.
I am the silent compassion of Your Infinity.
You are the Ocean, I am the tiniest drop.
This is my only identification.)

CHAITANYA: No, Haridas, no more. I won’t look at your face. You deserve this punishment. You should know not to look even at a wooden statue of a woman. Even the sages are tempted by women. Your renunciation was no renunciation. It was all a show — a farce! You deserve your punishment. In this lifetime I shall not see you any more. Do whatever you want with your life.

HARIDAS: Lord, I shall wait and see for a few months. If you do not accept me again, then I shall commit suicide. I shall cast this body, this life, into the Ganges.

CHAITANYA: Don’t threaten me, Haridas. Do anything you want with your life. Die today if you want to. I don’t need you. You have cast a slur on the life of renunciation. Householders can do anything. My householder disciples have received instructions from me about how they can lead a regulated vital life, about how they can control their vital life. In your case, you accepted the life of renunciation. After that, how can you enter into the world of mental and vital enjoyment, Haridas? I am ashamed of you. A world-renouncer does not behave as you have behaved. Leave the path of the sannyasin. Who asked you to offer your life entirely? Who asked you to pretend? Who asked you to deceive the world? Leave this place for good.

HARIDAS: Lord, since you will not see me any more, my life is useless. I shall enter into the other world. From there I shall serve you. This life without you is death, and I embrace death in order to offer you my dedicated service from Heaven. In Heaven also you have your divine existence. You have appreciated my voice many times, my singing capacity and my chanting. From Heaven, I shall sing through my soul and please you here, my Lord.

CHAITANYA: Haridas, leave me.

(Haridas touches the feet of his Master for the last time and leaves.)

CHAITANYA (to the others): I know he will take his life. But I have to show the world that the life of renunciation is not a joke. He who accepts the life of renunciation must not mix with women, wealth or worldly possessions. This path is arduous. This life is most difficult. Its goal is the Goal of Goals. I tell you, to commit suicide is the worst possible sin. But if one gets the inner assurance from his spiritual Master that the Master approves, the Master can compassionately relieve him of the sin of committing suicide. Then he will not suffer from it. Haridas is getting my inner assurance. I shall permit him to commit suicide, and I shall free him from that sin. He will be able to serve me in Heaven. From Heaven he will be able to sing inwardly, and please me with his divine voice. But I wish to warn you people, only on very rare occasions do spiritual Masters tolerate suicide. In his case, I shall tolerate it and forgive him. But this is an exception. Don’t commit suicide, thinking that you will be able to come down into the world again and make better progress. On the contrary, when you commit suicide, you take a wrong turn and go backwards. Not only do you lose your potentialities and destroy all your possibilities, but you start your spiritual journey over again from the very beginning. You are lost, totally lost. You delay your progress immeasurably. So, my children, never commit suicide. Be brave. Fight the world. Face your inner weaknesses and conquer them. Strengthen your inner life; strengthen your outer life. Act like a hero. Be the master of yourself. God has to be pleased in this world. Temptation has to be conquered; illumination has to take place on earth, in you, in each individual in the entire world.