Scene 1

(Prince Siddhartha is walking in the garden in a contemplative mood. All of a sudden a bird falls down in front of him.)

SIDDHARTHA: Ah, poor bird! My heart is bleeding for you. Who has done this? Who has hurt you? Who has aimed this arrow at you? Poor, innocent bird! Let me take the arrow out of your body. (He removes the arrow.) Now let me try to cure you.

(Enter Devadatta.)

DEVADATTA: Siddhartha, this is my bird. What right have you to keep my bird? Give it to me!

SIDDHARTHA: No, this is my bird, Devadatta.

DEVADATTA: Your bird! I shot this bird. It belongs to me. This is my arrow. I aimed at the bird and it fell down here. It is mine, mine, my property, my possession.

SIDDHARTHA: Devadatta, if I had not removed the arrow from the bird, it would have died by this time.

DEVADATTA: The point is not whether the bird would have died or would not have died. The bird is alive, and it is my possession. It was my power, my skill, my capacity that brought the bird down to earth. You cannot have it. Everybody appreciates and admires you for your heart, for your kindness. But now let the world appreciate my capacity, my skill. You be satisfied with what you have: love. And I shall be satisfied with what I have: power. My power, my skill at archery deserves this bird, not your love.

SIDDHARTHA: O Devadatta, you have the power to kill, and I have the power to love. But since I have this animal, this poor innocent bird, you shall not get it back.

DEVADATTA: Siddhartha, there is a time to listen to your philosophy, and there are people to listen to your philosophy. But this is not the time, and I am not the person. You can advocate your philosophy to others who want to be like you, who want to live in the moon-world and have no practical sense. Life has to be practical. Life needs strength, life needs vigour. But your life is a life of laziness and false kindness. You should be strong. You are the Prince, and soon you will have to rule your kingdom. This kind of false attitude will not help you in any way. What I have done today, you will do millions of times more. I was about to kill a bird. You will one day kill men. At that time your philosophy will change.

SIDDHARTHA: No, Devadatta, my philosophy will always remain the same. My philosophy is the philosophy of compassion, and not the philosophy of destruction.

DEVADATTA: You stay with your philosophy, and let me stay with mine. My philosophy is power. Your philosophy is compassion. Well and good. Now give me my bird.

SIDDHARTHA: Sorry, I will not give it to you.

DEVADATTA: Are you prepared to go to the court to fight for this bird?

SIDDHARTHA: Yes, I am fully prepared.

Sri Chinmoy, Siddhartha becomes the Buddha.First published by Agni Press in 1973.

This is the 28th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Siddhartha becomes the Buddha, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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