Scene 4

(King Udayan of Kaushambi and his wife, Magandiya.)

UDAYAN: Magandiya, why do you always speak ill of Buddha?

MAGANDIYA: I hate him! I hate him! I hate him! He has insulted me! I must take revenge!

UDAYAN: How strange, how strange! Buddha, of all people, has insulted you? How? When?

MAGANDIYA: Before I married you I loved him most dearly. But he rejected my love brutally.

UDAYAN: I am surprised. I am sure he rejected your love gently and not brutally.

MAGANDIYA: Say whatever you want to say; to me Buddha is not a man of compassion. To me he is a man of cruelty. He creates frustration in others’ hearts. He creates destruction in others’ lives.

UDAYAN: But now that you have married me, are you not happy with me, my darling?

MAGANDIYA: Yes, I am, but an insult is an insult. Neither can I forget Buddha’s insult nor can I forgive him.

(Enter Gateman.)

GATEMAN (salutes the King and Queen): Buddha and his disciples are anxious to see you, your Majesty.

UDAYAN: Please bring Buddha and his disciples in. I am so happy that on his own Buddha has come to my palace.

(Exit Gateman.)

MAGANDIYA: Buddha! Buddha! Think of the devil and the devil appears. I can’t stand Buddha. I can’t stand him at all! You stay with your Buddha, but I am leaving!

(Exits angrily, breaking a vase. Enter the Buddha and his disciples. Udayan offers him a soulful salutation.)

UDAYAN: Buddha, please be seated on this throne.

BUDDHA: King Udayan, I prefer to sit on the floor. (He sits.)

UDAYAN: If you sit on the floor, then my seat must also be on the floor, Lord Buddha. (Sits.)

BUDDHA: My children, sit down. (All the disciples sit.) Where is the Queen?

UDAYAN: She is extremely busy. I am afraid she will not be able to join us.

BUDDHA: I understand, King Udayan. For some time you will be occupied in listening to my spiritual teachings, and she will be occupied in insulting and cursing me.

UDAYAN: O Buddha, nobody can hide anything from you. You are all knowledge.

(The Buddha smiles.)

ANANDA: O Lord, why do you come to this kingdom of Kaushambi where the Queen is so hostile to you? On our way to the palace so many people mocked you, insulted you and threatened you. You know perfectly well that it is the Queen who has been instigating them for the last few years to say and do all these undivine things to you.

BUDDHA: Ananda, my most devoted disciple, tell me one thing: if we go to some other place and are insulted there, if we are criticised and threatened the same way we have been treated in this kingdom, what would you suggest we do then?

ANANDA: Lord, we should immediately move to some other place.

BUDDHA: And in the new place also if we meet with the same problem, what should we do?

ANANDA: Then, Lord, we should go to some other place.

BUDDHA: Ananda, if the same thing happens over and over everywhere we go, what will you do?

ANANDA: Each time we are criticised and insulted, I think we should to go a new place to observe our fate.

BUDDHA: O Ananda, most loving child, if we move from one place to another with the idea of finding a better place for manifesting the Truth, we shall never be successful. Truth has to be manifested here where we are, and not elsewhere. Once the Truth is established here, in the twinkling of an eye the Truth will be founded everywhere. Either here or nowhere the Truth must be established. Again and again I must tell you, Ananda, the Truth has to be seen, felt and realised within, and then manifested here on earth, wherever we are, and nowhere else.

Sri Chinmoy, Siddhartha becomes the Buddha, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973