Scene 8

(In Sanjna's room.)

SANJNA: Chhaya! (Enter Chhaya.) Chhaya, I have made a decision. I have lived with my beloved Lord for many years, but slowly his fiery brightness is killing me. His light is so powerful that his very presence tortures me. When I look at him I am blinded; when I take a breath I breathe in only fire. I am burning up. His golden rays are destroying my very existence. It is impossible for me to stay with him in spite of his deep love for me. I wish you to replace me.

CHHAYA (with enormous joy): I will be Surya's wife?

SANJNA: Yes, Chhaya. He will not know. Even when he comes home after offering his light to Heaven and earth, his brilliance remains always with him. His own brilliance will blind him, and he will not realise that you are not his real wife.

CHHAYA: I am so grateful to you, Mistress, for allowing me to replace you.

SANJNA (blessing Chhaya): You take my place. I am going to take shelter in a cool, dense forest. There I shall live my own life, and everything will be mild, cool and soothing.