Scene 2

(The court.)

JUDGE: Prince, why do you keep a bird which belongs to somebody else? True, you have compassion, you have love for the bird. You have love for everything. But justice says the bird belongs to Devadatta. It was he who brought the bird down to earth. It is his possession.

SIDDHARTHA: O venerable Judge, I do not know anything about justice, but my heart tells me that he who saves life is the owner, not he who takes life. My heart was bleeding for the bird and I saved it. I am prepared to give my own life for this bird.

DEVADATTA: Siddhartha, you know how to talk. You know perfectly well that no one will kill you in place of this bird. Don’t show your false compassion.

JUDGE: Devadatta, I am the Judge. Let me hear more from him.

SIDDHARTHA: O sir, I feel that this bird belongs to me because I have saved its life. Devadatta practically killed the bird. Please tell me who is more important, the life-saver or the life-destroyer?

JUDGE: Prince, I agree with you. The life-saver is infinitely more important than the life-taker. You have saved the bird’s life; therefore it is you who can claim this bird. The bird is yours. He who saves life or gives new life is the real owner, and not he who takes life or destroys life. Today you have offered your life for a bird. A day will come, I clearly foresee, when you will offer your life for all of humanity. Your heart will cry to save the bleeding heart of humanity. Your heart will cry to illumine the unlit mind of humanity. Your soul will cry to elevate the consciousness of humanity.

DEVADATTA: Siddhartha, today your love-power has won the victory, but a day will come when I shall conquer you with my destruction-power. You will see that power conquers love.

SIDDHARTHA: Devadatta, you are wrong. Love will always conquer, for Love is the Almighty Power.

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