At last I stood in front of it, 18 years of sheer passion and hard work had finally paid off. The master stood right beside me. The man who had taught me to look into stars and peep into heavens. The moment for which I had lived was dawning upon me. Only an inch of metallic sheet was keeping me off from the honour that I deserved, my crown awaited; all that was needed was a push and I would walk into the paradise that I had dreamt about 18 years ago.
“Just a push” I said to myself. It had been an hour, not a muscle I had moved. The master kept quiet, he knew the dilemma that I faced. After all he knew everything He was a complete man. On my journey I had met a lot of men, but none of them were complete, some even had palaces to spare, some had chests of jewels to spare but none came close to The Master.
Because he was the one without regret, he said to me once “A true man is one who doesn’t have any regret to look upon”. Those kings who had palaces and chests of jewels to spare had regrets that were bigger than there entire kingdom. Their hands were filled with bloods of innocents; there souls were filled with darkness, and within darkness the monster of regret always lurks. It was not that The Master had not killed men; he had unleashed his fury upon men of all kind. He had survived battles which no common man can speak about. But through his teaching he made the picture clear to us. He said “It’s not our bad deeds that brings regret it’s our vision that does. You kill a man, but than you kill cattle or for that matter a plant.”
“But that is to fill our stomach” one of us replied.
He laughed as he said “Son, we kill a man so that we can feed our hungry soul, the same way a hunter kills cattle or a farmer harvests his crops to feed his physical hunger. I am regret free, which doesn’t mean that I don’t have a past to look upon, I do have memories that might shake the very soul of a common man, but makes me regret free is my perspective.”
His teaching were always very difficult to absorb. He said that we were the chosen ones, sometimes I think if we could not grasp his teaching, what would a common man do if he encountered our Master.
My mind kept wandering I was not at peace. We were taught to meditate whenever we felt uneasiness, so I sat and concentrated all my energy to bring peace to my soul. With the knowledge I possessed I should be able to calm myself, but that was not the case. Maybe I was not ready yet; maybe The Mater had made a mistake while picking me.
What was I thinking? Never to doubt The Master that was our first teaching. After absorbing every possible teaching of his, how could I even entertain such a thought?
“Inner peace, inner peace” I repeated it a hundred times, but my brain kept flashing pictures of the past. I had certainly sacrificed a lot in the past 18 years. We all had endured a filtering process like no other. We were brutally beaten; we were tortured by the people who taught us about peace. We had learned to eat minimal, some months we had even eaten just about nothing. But of course it was all for our own good. This dream that we all had dreamt together required such kind of brutality.
I had left my mother, I had left my younger brother just so that I could walk through this metallic door and claim my victory. And so I asked myself why was my soul not at peace with it?
“The questions of our own soul can be answered by none, only we ourselves can bring peace to our soul” the voice of The Master rang in my ears.
“I am puzzled; these doubts have clouded my thinking. I have waited for this moment for so many years. But I just cannot accumulate enough energy to open this door”
“Behind this door is everything that you dreamt of, your soul knows that. Maybe this is not what it wants then. Have you ever wondered why a King who already has a palace, who rules a thousand men still attacks his neighbouring kingdoms?
“Greed, I suppose”
“I would rather use the word peace.A king wages war so that he can find his inner peace. Every person on the face of this earth is required to quench the thirst of his or her soul. This king doesn’t know that winning other kingdoms will never bring peace to his soul, he already has a throne, if that throne cannot bring him peace a dozen more will also not.”
“Master I don’t understand how this will help me?”
“Tell me son, what is behind this door?”
“Behind this door is a room which can accommodate only two individuals at a time, how do you think that much space can contain the paradise that you dreamt about for the past 18 years”
“So is this an illusion? There is nothing behind this door? I felt “It was just a bait for all of us . When we came here for the first time we were told that everything that we dreamt about was behind this door, since then all we dreamt was of this door.”
“You knew the answers all along. So all my teachings are a lie?”
“No Master there are no lies. You just never told us that we were already in our paradise” the master heard me carefully, “I remember, once you said that the paradise that we dream about is the place where our inner peace rests. All these years we were taught the science of souls which gave us an insight into our inner peace. Every human is already in a paradise! I bow your intellect Master you truly are a complete man”
“I have summoned many men to this door, everyone of them opened it went inside and found that the room contains nothing. They ridiculed my principles, called me mad, some even tried to kill me. But after 36 years of patience I have found a man whose soul understood what this journey was all about, you are the first one who waited and thought how could a room so small can quench the thirst of your soul”
“Our world is so huge yet it cannot satisfy a thirsty soul, so how would a room so small do that. This was the very thought that troubled me, and it stopped me from opening this door.”
“Finally I have found myself a successor, son now I can surely die in peace. From today onwards you shall guide lost soul as the same way as I did because you are the only one who understood the real meaning of inner peace”
“So this is all, you have nothing to add? No mystical stones, no riddles, no secrets.”
“No son, this is the real truth there is no paradise, only an illusion. If you can grow over this illusion you may have the power over the entire universe, the power that you were promised when you entered this illusion. I should go now; I suppose you have a lot to think about.”
The Master was right I had a lot to think about, many of his teaching now made sense. He is indeed a complete man and now I was on my way to become one.
By- Ahmed Salim Edited by- Vaidika Kashikar