In the play The Little Clay Cart, Sarvilaka is a thief, but he is a thief for a reason, and this reason tells us some important things about his character. Sarvilaka is in love with Madanik, who is the slave of Vasantasen. Sarvilaka loves Madanik so much that he longs to marry her and have her with him forever. His love is true, yet he feels, perhaps, rather hopeless, for in her current condition of servitude, Madanik is not free to marry him.
Therefore, Sarvilaka makes a decision. He will steal the jewels from Chrudatta's home and use them to buy Madanik. This is not a good decision, of course, and Sarvilaka is using the wrong means to achieve what would be a good end, but he is desperate and believes that he must act to finally be able to attain the woman he loves. He cannot see any honest way to do this, so he chooses a dishonest way.
Madanik is not happy when she finds out what Sarvilaka has done, and she is worried that Sarvilaka has hurt someone in the process. Sarvilaka honestly assures her this is not so. Vasantasen overhears the couple talking, yet she is not angry. She understands what Sarvilaka has done and the difficult spot into which he has, rather unthinkingly, placed himself. Madanik comes up with a plan that allows Sarvilaka to pretend to be Chrudatta's messenger sent to return the jewels. Vasantasen accepts the claim and the jewels (even though she knows the truth) and gives Madanik her freedom. Sarvilaka and Madanik can finally be united.
Later in the play, Sarvilaka reveals a much more prudent and honorable side of his character. He supports his friend Prince Aryaka who has been imprisoned by the corrupt king and even comes to his rescue, managing to free him from the dungeon. When Aryaka throws down the king and takes the throne, he recognizes Sarvilaka's courage and growing wisdom by making Sarvilaka his adviser.