Act I, Scene I

A POOR BRAHMIN

HIS WIFE

SRI KRISHNA

MEN AND WOMEN SERVANTS

A SERVANT

A BYSTANDER

(A Brahmin and his wife inside their cottage.)

WIFE: My Lord, you always speak of your friend, Krishna. If he really is your friend, how is it that you don’t go to him and get some money to relieve our poverty? You happened to be a very close friend of his when you were both boys. Now he has become King of Dwaraka, a very opulent, powerful King ruling a vast territory. But your fate is otherwise. You are extremely honest, sincere, moral and spiritual, but you are extremely poor. Sri Krishna is so rich, and you always speak highly of him. Why don’t you go to him for help?

BRAHMIN: I don’t want to ruin our friendship now that I know Krishna is not an ordinary man. He is a King in the outer world, and he is also a King in the inner world. I think of him, meditate on him and pray to him. He gives me much joy, much inner treasure. Although I don’t have a lot of money and I do not wallow in the pleasures of riches, inwardly I am very happy. If I take money from him, then perhaps our friendship will come to an end. That is why I don’t want to go to him.

WIFE: No, you should go. He is not an ordinary man, and he is very generous. He will give you a large sum of money. And I assure you that he will maintain his same old friendship with you.

BRAHMIN: I really can’t do it. (Pauses.) All right. Since you have been insisting on my going for a long time, I will go there. I will kill two birds with one stone. I will please you by listening to your request, and I will please myself by seeing my intimate childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for a long time. I will go and see him, but not to ask for money. I will see him, my Lord Krishna, so I can be filled with inner joy. And at the same time, I will be fulfilling your request that I go to his palace. Give me some food. Krishna, if he is still the same old Krishna, may ask me for something home-made.

WIFE: I have a small quantity of popped rice that you can tie in the corner of your dhoti.

BRAHMIN: Thank you. I shall leave for his palace right now.