Setting: A Hindu kingdom in India.
Characters: Malini, King, Queen, Supriya, Kemankar, some Brahmins, Prince
Malini has been taught by Buddhist monks, although she is the daughter of a Hindu king. She wants to leave the palace and go out into the outside world because she believes wealth does not cling to those whose destiny is to find riches in poverty. The Brahmins want the king to throw Malini out of kingdom because they feel threatened by her ideas on religion. Malini wants to be banished but the queen does not understand this.
Malini wants to help the people outside the palace to solve their problems.
A crowd of Brahmins appears in front of palace. They ask for Malini to be banished. They are led by Kemankar. They take Malini as poisonous snake aiming at the heart of the Hinduism. But Supriya disagrees with others. He accuses the Brahmins of trying to determine truth by shouting aloud. He says a creed does not need for its existence. The Brahmins hear the army has decided to support them against the king. They recite prayers calling for a goddess to take human form to help them.
At this moment Malini enters the crowd of the Brahmins. They believe she is a goddess, but even when they realize she is really Malini they are overcome by her love of the world and take back to the palace.
Kemankar is worried. He feels to have been cheated by his friends. It is a fearful moment for him because blind desire of Malini has become gospel and her fancy usurped the dead throne of the gods. He believes religion has been replaced by love for Malini.
Kemankar decides to go to another country to find soldiers to fight for his religion. He tells Supriya to stay in kingdom and send him information on the development of the events in his absence.
Act II takes place in the garden of the palace. It begins with Supriya talking to Malini. She says she cannot argue with him because he has read many books. Supriya says he is learned only among the fools of learning. Malini is tired and worried. She has found it too difficult to solve people’s problem. She asks Supriya about his friendship with Kemankar. Supriya says Kemankar was his greatest friend but that he had betrayed him by showing a letter to the king.
The king enters, Kemankar has been arrested. He offers Supriya any reward, including the chance to marry Malini. Supriya wants no reward and she asks the king not to kill Kemankar. Kemankar arrives looking proud. He looks like a god defying his captivity. Kemankar says will continue his rebellion if the king does not kill him. He asks to see Supriya and accuse him of going against his religion because he loves Malini. Supriya and Kemankar argue. Kemankar reminds Supriya of a time when they were students and stayed up all night arguing. In the morning they would go to teacher to find out which one of them was right. He says the only way for them to solve their arguments is to die together.
Supriya agrees and allows Kemankar to kill him. The king reaches for his sword to kill Kemankar, but Malini pleads her father to forgive Kemankar.