Scene 9

(With folded hands Upamanyu invokes the presence of the Ashwinikumar most sincerely and devotedly. The Ashwinikumar enter.)

ASHWINIKUMAR: Upamanyu, you are praying to us and we have come to you. Tell us, what can we do for you?

UPAMANYU: I have lost my vision by disobeying my Master. Please cure me.

ASHWINIKUMAR: That’s easy. Just eat this pill.

UPAMANYU: No, no, I can’t.

ASHWINIKUMAR: Why? What is wrong with this pill?

UPAMANYU: I have to get permission from my Master. Without his permission, I can’t eat anything.

ASHWINIKUMAR: You fool, your Master is so unkind, so cruel! He himself did not give you anything to eat. He did not allow you to beg food from others. He did not allow you to drink the scanty milk from the udders of the cows. He did not allow you to lick the froth from the mouths of the calves. And now you have to get permission from your Master to take this pill! What kind of Master is he? Stone-hearted, cruel, brutal! You are a fool! You don’t need that kind of Master.

UPAMANYU: Oh, please do not speak ill of my Master. He knows what is best for me. I am so grateful that you have come here, but I can’t eat your pill right now.

ASHWINIKUMAR: Then why did you invoke us?

UPAMANYU: I invoked you to ask you to come here and cure me.

ASHWINIKUMAR: Well, that is what we have come for. We have come to cure you, but you will not let us.

UPAMANYU: But you are giving me something to eat. If you do not give me anything to eat, but just cure my eyes, I shall be most grateful.

ASHWINIKUMAR: No, you have to take the medicine. When one is a patient, he has to eat or drink the medicine prescribed by the doctor. This is our medicine. If you don’t take our medicine, how are you going to be cured, you fool?

UPAMANYU: That is true, that is true. But how can I eat anything without my Master’s permission? You see, I have eaten other things without his permission, and this is my fate: I have become blind because of my disobedience. Now if I disobey him again, who knows what worse things may happen?

ASHWINIKUMAR: But your Master did ask you to meditate on us, to invoke us.

UPAMANYU: Yes, he did.

ASHWINIKUMAR: That means he wanted us to cure you. Now it is up to us to cure you in our way. We are doctors; we have to give you medicine.

UPAMANYU: That is true, that is true. But I can’t take your pills without his permission. I won’t disobey my Master any more.

ASHWINIKUMAR (pleased): Now you have shown what real obedience is. We are most proud of you. Upamanyu, we will give you back your sight.

(He gets back his sight.)

UPAMANYU: I am most grateful to you. I am most grateful to you. (He bows to them.)

(Exit Upamanyu, running.)

Sri Chinmoy, Supreme sacrifice, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973