Deam Come True Final Part 8
This story is basically about a boy who is very lazy and boring, but he has a unique hobby. It is to listen to the stories of other people. He is an arm-chair traveller, who roams from one place to another and comes to know about different people, cultures, beliefs, enchanting and not- so-enchanting places, superstitions, miracles and super-natural encounters as also about the inner thoughts that at times bother us as human beings - all through the stories of other people or casual conversation with interesting characters
Visit to an Enchanting Place
Home Sweet Home
Siberian Winds in Hokkaido
Trek to Himalayas
Story in Revenge
Backlash at Payback Time
Backlash at payback time
‘Enough!, I said. Enough to seek my revenge on Saito. I must now go back to school and tell him my story. Landed from my SQ flight at 7 pm in the evening. Couldn’t sleep, but doesn’t matter. Saito is scared of ghosts and my story from India was going to scare him no ends. He would not be able to drink milk any more. Rajan’s uncle’s ghost would appear before him like Banquo’s in Macbeth.
Glad that the night was over. Rushed to school, waited for the classes to be over and pounced on Saito as soon as I saw him. Poor Saito, he was coming out of the library. ‘Let’s go to Hibiya Park’, he himself suggests, ‘to catch up on each other’s stories and experiences.’ I readily agree. My chance to take revenge, I relished the idea.
So we both head to Hibiya, sit down on the same bench that we always occupied and I start, ‘ Saito, let me tell you about a real life story from India that my great grandfather told my father.’ Saito, very confidently says ‘go ahead but would you like to first hear a story that a Buddhist monk told me in Akimichi Temple.’ Akimichi? I can’t resist. So Saito begins, “ You know, Shikamaru, I had never seen a monk like him before. He was almost divine and his story went like this:
“ I was there again the other day. What a view of the world I got from my little perch? Just couldn’t believe what I saw. No automobiles on the roads, no factories giving out smoke and no airplanes thundering in the skies. Has the world changed? No poverty, no illiteracy and no crime. Could the world change so fast?
To take the story a little backwards in time, I must tell you about my conversation with a hermit. I met him during my trek to upper Tibet the previous year. Or was it really so recent? You have to listen to the story carefully to find out for yourself.
I spent a week at Rampoche Temple in Lhasa; chanting mantras. Some kind of divine preparation, you can say before my trek to Mount Kailash. Half way through the trek, I lost my way and ran into a Buddhist hermit. I don’t know if he cast a magic spell on me, but I ended up as his disciple. Many years of meditation, prayers, recitation of holy books, elaborate rites and rituals followed. I thought I had enough for a few weeks till he announced, ‘ come on, soon you will have some unique powers. The 20 years you have spent here practising Tibetan secret mantras are going to bear fruit. Come the eve of the next lunar calendar and you will be able see the world as it was in the past or as it might appear in the distant future.’
Was I bewitched by the hermit? How could it be 20 years? I had come to Lhasa so recently. Looked the same young boy I was when I started on my trek. Lots of conflicting thoughts on my way back to my home in the foot hills of the Himalayas. Yes, it’s near India’s Nepal border.
To my surprise, all my friends and relatives had grown old. Oh, what a change in less than a year, I thought. But my parents had no difficulty in recognising me. ‘My son, you look the same even after 20 years.’ said my mom. Had I indeed spent two decades with that mystic in Tibet? Not much bothered; I was set to start my life afresh after this 20 year break.
The next day I went out for my usual evening walk and was happy to see the old ‘Peepal’ tree still there. It was so nice to sit again under it for a while. As kids, we had all learned from our grannies that ‘Peepal’ was a very holy tree. It brought enlightenment to the Buddha.
It was so cool and breezy. I felt like talking a short nap. Chirping of birds was the only sound breaking the silence. I soon slept off. Lo and behold! Within minutes, I was there in the hermit’s place in Tibet.
‘I sent you back to your home to meet your parents and take their final blessings. And there you are wasting your time sleeping under the tree’, I heard him say. He continued, ‘let’s meet tomorrow near the Ganges River at five o clock in the morning. Remember, it’s the eve of the new lunar year. ’ I woke up with a jerk, but saw no one around. A little bit shaken, I brushed it aside as a strange dream.
I briskly walked back to my house. Thought of meditating for a while to calm and quieten my head. An early dinner- no electricity in my village and we all retired to our bedrooms. Slept well, that is, till I heard the knock on my door. ‘Tick.. tick’, the sound was distinct. I could hear someone tapping lightly on the wooden door of my room. ‘Who could it be?, I wondered. ‘Wake up! It’s time you start walking to the banks of the Ganges’, the voice from outside the door said.
I woke up and quickly opened the door. Saw no one there. Must be a dream, I thought, but decided to go to the river out of curiosity. After all, the river was just a five minute walk from my house. I put on my slippers, came out of the house and started my stroll. Very soon I could someone standing on the banks. ‘What? that hermit from Tibet. What’s he doing here?’ that’s what I blurted out before he hugged my warmly. He chanted a mantra and soon we both were lifted off the ground. Within seconds, we were floating above the clouds. No jerks, no extreme cold winds and no fear. The journey appeared to be the most natural way to travel.
Half an hour or so later, we descended near his hermitage in Tibet. The same old routine of prayers, chanting of mantras and mystical movements was back. Stopped counting days, as it was no use. It was sort of living in timelessness. Chanting of mantras continued for hours by my watch, but it would appear like a minute or two. After some days, I threw off my watch.
‘Would you like to have some fruit, my son?’ my Guru asked me a few weeks later. I didn’t realise it till then. I had been there without having a bite of anything till that time. And yet no urge to eat. Astonished, I asked, ‘ how is that possible?’.
‘You have worked so hard and meditated so long; this is your first reward. If you are still willing to spend some more time, you will get a lot more than this’, the Guru said. I agreed in no time. Again his spell, I think. Or maybe the thought of being able to survive on sunlight alone kept me going.
‘Very well then, close your eyes in meditation and do the way I ask you to do’, he continued. I did what he said. My eyes were closed, but I could feel the sage coming towards me. He kept his hand on my head and chanted some mantras. I followed him. It was really soothing. No more anxiety. My mind was at peace again. It felt great.
‘You opened your eyes so early, it has just been 37 years’, that’s what I heard when I opened my eyes one day. 37 years? Couldn’t believe that. To me it felt like a few months. The Guru continued, ‘you mediated for 37 years, just enough to learn Vipasana. You can now transport yourself to any place you wish, without your body. It’s a very basic skill. Need to know before you can fly with your body.’
‘Come’, he said and I followed him to a chamber in his hermitage. Lots of strange stuff scattered. Many rosaries and expensive stones lay strewn around. No windows. Filled with incense smoke. He then sat down on a rug made of some animal skin. I sat in front of him facing eastwards. He took out some ‘charm’ from a small trunk and started chanting mantras aloud. ‘Close your eyes and think of a place you want to go’, he said. I slowly shut my eyelashes down, closed my eyes tightly and thought of the village I left years ago. Lo and behold! I was there in my village.
Everybody was in front of me, but nobody seemed to notice me. I could see all, but perhaps no one could see me. I knew I was there in a ‘spirit’ form. My body was still lying in the hermit’s room. So I had to return to re-enter the body as the ‘spirit’ could not roam free for more than a week. If it did, it wouldn’t be able to enter the body again.
Back in Tibet, I started my meditation again. Didn’t move around for what I thought was a year or so.
‘Get up. Now is the time for me to pass on to you all that I have’, I heard my Guru whispering in my ears. When I opened my eyes, the Guru appeared to be in a hurry to leave.
‘What’s the matter, my Guru?’, I asked and rushed towards him. He stayed cool and calm and chanted a very short mantra. It created strong energy fields all around me. I felt sort of uplifted in the air. ‘ May you travel without limitations, see into history and foretell future!’, I heard the Guru’s final blessings to me. The next minute my Guru was gone. He was nowhere to be seen, I could only hear echoes from the heavens, ‘I gave you all that I had and all that you could receive. May you live in this world as my successor and serve him when He arrives. You will know when He is there.’
I could understand what he was talking about. I knew it was time for me to sit in meditation again. Five thousand six hundred million years had passed by. His arrival was just some time away. To keep an eye on the world, I took breaks in between. At least once in a million years. Now good to know that 69 breaks are already over and Maitraiyee Buddha will reincarnate Himself in less than a million years from now.”
‘Nope’, I said. You can’t beat Saito...at least for now.