Scene 8

(It is dark outside. The cows have returned without Upamanyu. Ayodadhommya goes out to look for his disciple.)

AYODADHOMMYA: Upamanyu, Upamanyu!

UPAMANYU: I am here, Master!

AYODADHOMMYA: Where are you?

UPAMANYU: I don't know where I am, but I am here!

AYODADHOMMYA: Ah, you are in a well! What is wrong with you? What have you eaten today?

UPAMANYU: I have not eaten anything.

AYODADHOMMYA: Nothing?

UPAMANYU: No food, Master. Only a few leaves from a tree. Now I can't see, I have no eyesight. While I was coming back home I fell into this well, and now I cannot get out.

AYODADHOMMYA (shocked): Upamanyu, again? Have you disobeyed me again? You have not asked permission from me to eat leaves. You have undoubtedly eaten leaves from the arka tree, and these leaves destroy the eyesight. Now you have lost your sight. What can I do? Disobedience, always disobedience. At first you begged food from door to door. Then you drank milk from the udders of the cows. Then you licked froth from the mouths of the innocent little calves. And now you have eaten leaves. You have to pay the penalty. I cannot help you.

UPAMANYU: Well, Master, if you do not help me, I shall have to remain here. But I shall pray to you. I shall pray to you for forgiveness. I have eaten these arka leaves, and now I have become blind. It is my own fault, so let me remain blind; but I shall pray to God to give you someone who will be able to take your cows to the pasture every day and bring them back.

(Ayodadhommya helps Upamanyu out of the well.)

AYODADHOMMYA: Just because of your disobedience you are now suffering. I did not want you to eat anything. The first time I scolded you, you should have understood me and taken me seriously. You should not have eaten anything at all. Every time you ate, I kept telling you, "Unthinkable," "Unpardonable," and you should have learnt. You should have understood that my intention was for you not to eat anything without my permission.

UPAMANYU: Master, I ate practically nothing. I drank practically nothing.

AYODADHOMMYA: But you did eat; you did drink.

UPAMANYU: Yes, Master. Forgive me, Master. I shall not do it any more.

AYODADHOMMYA: But you are of no use to me now. You have failed me. You are blind. You cannot help me in anything. And it is all because of your disobedience. Outwardly I told you that you must not eat anything, and inwardly I also told you. You did not understand my inner message and you did not obey my outer message. If you had not eaten for a few days, you would not have died. But look at your disobedience. All right, Upamanyu, I forgive you, but I cannot give you your sight back. Pray to the Ashwinikumar, the divine doctors. Invoke their presence. If they are pleased with you, they will come and cure your eyes.

(Exit Ayodadhommya.)