Scene 4

(Shiva's home.)

SHIVA (to Durga): See? I listened to you, but he went out with his eyes closed and he didn't get the money that I left for him. If he had seen it, by this time he would have been very rich. And for the rest of his life he would have been most comfortable. But he didn't see it. Who can change his fate? His fate is like that.

DURGA: My Lord, now I understand. Many times I thought that you were unkind to people who think of you, who meditate on you. But now I realise that although you try your best to help them, their fate, their karma from the past, in some way does not allow them to receive your blessings. Today I have seen that receptivity is needed. They have to develop the capacity of receiving. If not, no matter what you give them, either they will not be able to receive it or they will not value it.

GANAPATI: But Father, you could have done something else.

SHIVA: What is that?

GANAPATI: You could have gone to his place and personally given him the money. Then he would not have missed it.

KUMARA: That is a nice idea. Why didn't you do that, Father? Tomorrow you can go and do it. Father, do it, do it, do it!

SHIVA: Kumara, Ganapati, you two sons of ours are really stupid. You do not know what will happen.

TOGETHER: What will happen, Father?

SHIVA: When I go to him he will say, "Lord, you have come!" When I give him the money he will say, "Lord, you have come here to deceive me! You are giving me money so that I will lead a comfortable life and forget you. I have no money now. That is why I depend on you. I go begging from door to door and all the time I pray to you. When I come back I also pray to you. When I am in front of other people's doors I beg, beg of you. I beg alms, and at that time I pray to you and repeat your name. The moment I become rich I will stop thinking of you. Please, please, don't be so unkind to me. I want only to think of you, pray to you, meditate on you. This is the only boon I want from you, my Lord. The little food that I need in order to live on earth you can give me in other ways. But do not take me away from your heart. I want to remain in your heart through my prayers, constant prayers." What shall I say to him when he tells me this?

DURGA: Nothing. Now I know why you say that your heart is all the time in your devotees. You are all for them. This particular devotee of yours far outshines the others. He is teaching the world that what is most needed is not money or wealth, but your heart, your feet, your compassion. This devotee of yours is teaching the world that you, you alone, are the supreme object of love and adoration. In you is the fulfilment of the world; with you is the perfection of the world.

(Shiva blesses Durga with tearful joy and pride.)