The Great Quest

A dramatic feature film based on the true life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha

11. Madness

An unrecognizable Siddhartha stands. His ribs protrude, collar bone almost rising out of his body. Black skin, eyes sunk in their sockets.
His once strong arms look like sticks. His hair reaches halfway down his back. He chants.
Beat the body... beat the body... beat the body...
Mara paces close by. His good looks and royal bearing contrast sharply with the emaciated Siddhartha.
Longer, Siddhartha, longer. You're doing marvelous.
He collapses to the ground, babbling as if insane.
Kaundinya and Mahanama rush over to him.
Not enough, not enough.
You're doing fine.
I've got to suffer more. I've got to defeat this bag of bones.
You've already suffered greater than anyone alive.
Mara whispers in Siddhartha's ear.
Don't worry about them. They haven't any noble markings of a Great Man. Not enough courage. You must blaze the trail. Kill the body, kill it. Freedom awaits you.
Tomorrow - rice one hundred grains. Next day ninety-nine, next ninety-eight and on.
But --
Siddhartha's face shows only madness.
No buts, kill the body.
Kaundinya and Mahanama look at each other in fear. Mara smiles.