Scene 2

(Vashistha and Nandini.)

VASHISTHA: Nandini, your mother is Kamadhenu, the cow that fulfils all desires, earthly and heavenly. She has blessed you with her infinite capacities. You are now blessing me. You fulfil all my wishes. You are my everything.

NANDINI: Master, my Lord, you are my all. To serve you, to please you, to fulfil you, I came into the world. Your aspiration and realisation are fulfilling the Supreme in a unique manner. You are His chosen son. You are His colossal pride.

VASHISTHA: Nandini, the King will soon come back with a very large force. And then, God alone knows.

NANDINI: O greatest sage, like God, you and I know perfectly well that I am going to defeat the King easily. I shall produce an army infinitely more powerful than the army of King Vishwamitra. I shall smash his pride. He has told you that this time he will take me away. I assure you that I shall make him touch your hallowed feet. He must and he will.

(Enter suddenly Vishwamitra with a very large army.)

VISHWAMITRA: Vashistha, so — are you ready? Death is inviting you and your cow!

(Immediately Nandini produces a most powerful army. A battle ensues in which the whole army of King Vishwamitra is destroyed by Nandini’s army. Only the King is left alive.)

VISHWAMITRA: Forgive me, O sage, forgive me. You are my life’s only haven. My army is gone. Helpless, hopeless and meaningless my life now is. Once again I implore your loftiest bounty.

(Vishwamitra prostrates himself before Vashistha. Vashistha places his right palm on Vishwamitra’s devoted head.)

VASHISTHA: O King, I forgive you. My Nandini forgives you. Ask for any boon; I shall grant it immediately.

VISHWAMITRA: What need have I for any boon from you right now? Once I was the mightiest King and now, without my army, I am nothing. My life is worse than useless. Glory gone. Pride gone. What remains is a sea of tears.

VASHISTHA: Nothing is gone. I give you all back.

(Vashistha sprinkles sacred water on the dead bodies of Vishwamitra’s soldiers. Life is restored. Once again they are ready to fight against Nandini’s soldiers. Vishwamitra’s joy and pride now know no bounds. Once more he challenges Nandini. In a few minutes’ time Nandini again destroys Vishwamitra’s whole army. Vishwamitra’s life is at her mercy.)

VISHWAMITRA (to Vashistha): You have conquered me with your spiritual power. Our physical strength and military strength are no match for your spiritual strength. But listen, Vashistha, listen. I tell you I shall utterly smash your pride before long. I shall launch into the life of spirituality. I shall give up my palace, my kingdom and all that I have. I shall practise austerities. I shall meditate day in and day out until I have reached my Transcendental Goal. I shall transcend your highest height. I, Vishwamitra, accept no permanent defeat. God in Heaven is my witness!

VASHISTHA: Vishwamitra, in the realm of the Spirit, rivalry cannot live. If or when you transcend my spiritual height I shall garland you. I shall adore you. I shall worship you.

VISHWAMITRA: Action, action! I am a man of action. I don’t talk, I don’t preach, I just act. Today I touched your feet. Tomorrow I shall make you touch my feet. I shall cross the sea of ignorance-dream. I shall face the One Absolute alone. And then I shall see you, Vashistha, kissing the dust of my feet.

VASHISTHA (raising his right hand in the form of benediction): Tathastu [so be it].

(Nandini bursts into roaring laughter. Exit Vishwamitra.)

VASHISTHA: Nandini, my child, Vishwamitra has at last left us. What shall we do now? Shall we eat or shall we meditate?

NANDINI: My Lord, let us meditate first and then eat.

VASHISTHA: Fine, my child, that’s a splendid idea.

(Both Vashistha and Nandini start meditating. Light and delight are sporting in their eyes. Enter a divine messenger from the Supreme.)

MESSENGER: O peerless sage, the Supreme has sent me to you with a most special message: Vishwamitra in the distant future will become a sage. But your highest height he will never be able to transcend. The Supreme treasures your life on earth. You are His best instrument on earth. With you and through you He is manifesting His Divinity’s Height and Immortality’s Light on earth. (Turning to Nandini.) Nandini, the Supreme is highly pleased with you. With His infinite Love, Infinite Joy and infinite Pride, He unites the breath of your most devoted service to the life of your Master’s dedicated surrender.

(Exit messenger. Nandini sings.)

Tumi amai diyechha aj
samarpaner bani
ami tomai sapechhi mor
kusum hriday khani
andhar rate ashru sathe
moher karar ajanate
simar gehe thakbona ar
jani ami jani
tumi amar jenechhi ma
chirantaner rani

(Today You have given me the message of surrender.
I have offered to You my very flower-heart.
In the dark night with tears,
In the unknown prison-cell of illusion,
In the house of the finite,
No longer shall I abide.
I know You are mine.
I have known this, Mother,
O Queen of the Eternal.)