Scene 1

(King Harish Chandra and Queen Shaivya are roaming in the forest and enjoying themselves.)

HARISH CHANDRA: Shaivya, dearest to my heart and nearest to my soul, I have not heard you sing for a long, long time. Please do me a great favour: sing a song.

(Shaivya sings.)

Into the world of beauty's flame,
Into the world of offering's game,
Into the world of lustre-flood,
I came, I came, my existence came.

HARISH CHANDRA: Shaivya, your life's name is duty. Your soul's name is beauty. Your heart's name is purity. And the name of your voice is the flood of ecstasy. Shaivya, in you I am complete, and with you I am perfect.

(Suddenly, the King and the Queen hear a most pitiful cry.)

THE VOICE: Save me! Help me! Save me! Help me!

(Harish Chandra runs at top speed towards the sound. He comes to a spot where Vishwamitra is rapt in trance. The King is fully aware of the fact that Vishwamitra's anger is not only of the quickest but also of the wildest. Immediately he touches the feet of the sage. With his hands folded he speaks.)

HARISH CHANDRA: O sage of the highest magnitude, your august forgiveness my tremulous heart implores. I have tortured your sublime peace. Your forgiveness I deserve not, but my heart longs for your compassion-flood.

VISHWAMITRA: Your end is come. Today marks the end of your earthly existence. You heard the voice of the spirit crying. I want to conquer the spirit of sciences. I want to control the spirit. I want to lord it over the spirit. Tremendous success was fast approaching my fearsome attempt. But now, you fool, you rascal, you have ruined everything. Prepare yourself to brave my fatal curse. In the twinkling of an eye, my third eye shall utterly destroy your entire kingdom!

HARISH CHANDRA: O peerless sage, kill me; destroy my life, but not my kingdom. Innocent are my subjects. Pure is my kingdom. Destroy them not, I pray. Demand anything else. In no time I shall fulfil your express command, in no time!

VISHWAMITRA: All right. Remember your promise. If you fail to fulfil your promise, my all-destructive curse shall embrace your most beautiful kingdom. You have badly and shamelessly prevented me from fulfilling my desire of today. Tomorrow I shall come to your palace and bless you with my second and last, absolutely last desire. Tomorrow if you fail, your existence and the existence of your vast kingdom will be found in the land of nowhere.