Aziz asks Fielding not to visit him while in Mau. Aziz explains that he still feels almost as betrayed as if Fielding had actually married his enemy and taken what should have been his reparation money. On the other hand, Aziz forgives Mahmoud Ali all things because Mahmoud Ali loved him. Aziz gathers his children around him and states in Urdu that he wishes no Englishman or Englishwoman to be his friend. Aziz returns home feeling excited.
Part III, like Parts I and II, begins with an introductory chapter that sets the tone of the section. This time, Forster describes in detail the Hindu celebration of Krishna’s birth at the royal palace at Mau. The celebration is disorderly, mirroring the “muddle” of India itself throughout of the novel: multiple musicians play different songs, not enough seats are available, and a sign on the wall confusingly proclaims, “God si Love.” Yet the mystical traditions of the ceremony transform the muddle into mystery. The overlarge crowd is strangely calm and happy, as each person surrenders himself into the moment. The Hindu celebration, which provides the backdrop for all of Part III, offers a vision of individualism merged into a complete collectivity—a dynamic in which all living things are one with love and no hierarchies exist.
During the birth ceremony, Godbole thinks briefly of Mrs. Moore and a wasp. The wasp, which appears throughout A Passage to India, represents the fact that even the lowliest creatures are still incorporated into the Hindu vision of the oneness of the universe. The wasp in Chapter XXXIII recalls Mrs. Moore’s gentle appreciation of the wasp in her bedroom on the night she meets Aziz in the mosque in Chapter III. Mrs. Moore’s contemplation of the wasp suggests that she was open to the collectivity of Hinduism. Likewise, Godbole’s vision of Mrs. Moore and the wasp, suggests that the professor, as a Hindu, has sensed the Englishwoman’s sympathy with Hinduism. Indeed, the vision of the mystical Mrs. Moore, along with Godbole and the Hindu religion, serves as a backdrop for Part III of the novel.
In the two years that have passed between the end of Part II and the beginning of Part III, Aziz and Fielding’s relationship has completely fallen apart. Aziz appears mostly at fault for this quarrel, as he has mistakenly assumed that Fielding married Adela Quested, failing to take the time to check the truth of his assumption. Impetuously, Aziz has completely shut himself off from Fielding. Forster implies that Aziz’s overactive imagination and suspicion—though they once served him well—have gotten the better of him, as he has relied upon them too much. Fielding, meanwhile, appears to have become the stereotypical Englishman in India. His note from the guesthouse is somewhat demanding of Aziz; later, when Fielding and Aziz meet at the shrine, the Englishman continues to ask for comforts and privileges during his visit.
Though two years have passed since Part II, we see that Aziz is still extremely bitter about his arrest—and that it still plagues his reputation in British India. However, Forster also suggests, through a series of images of prisoners being freed, that Aziz’s bitterness soon may be partially relieved. Chapter XXXV opens with the story of a Muslim saint whose great deed was to free all the prisoners in the old fort at Mau, and who died while doing so. When Aziz takes his children to visit part of the shrine to this saint, they pass a row of prisoners, one of whom will be freed during the Hindu procession of the Chief God that evening. These optimistic images in the chapter suggest that, although Aziz still identifies himself with prisoners, he too will soon be freed of his symbolic prison—his bitterness about Adela’s accusation.
The emphasis on rebirth in Part III reinforces and deepens this sense of optimism. The Hindu celebration that provides the backdrop of the section is a celebration of the birth of the god Krishna. Furthermore, Part III takes place at the beginning of the rainy season, the time after the blistering hot season that brings extraordinary rains to nurture new crops. Aziz himself can be seen as a manifestation of rebirth, as his children are now living with him, and he seems to be focused on their education and upbringing. All of Aziz’s hopes for a new India are invested in this younger generation.
Aziz, in a moment that epitomizes his character, feels torn between several different emotions upon learning that Fielding has actually married Stella Moore, not Adela Quested. In quick succession, Aziz feels embarrassed, then elated, then angry and prideful, then excited. Aziz’s pride in himself and his behavior battle with his relief and his affection for Fielding; his anger at the name “Ronny Heaslop” battles with his love for the name “Mrs. Moore.” Typically, Aziz intends for Fielding to take his words not literally, but as a performance of the emotions behind them. Indeed, though Aziz exhorts Fielding not to visit him while in Mau, several hours later, in the next chapter, Aziz himself rides over to the guesthouse and is disappointed to find that Fielding is not in. This confrontation between literal and figurative meaning that has been at the heart of the conflicts in the novel thus far continues to play a part here in the final chapters of the novel.