The holy man sat cross legged in front of the bonfire he had lit a few hours ago in front of the tree , that formed his home and shelter. His bundle of clothes lay by his side. He needed a change only daily just after a bath in the river, nearby, which had been polluted over the years. He sat undisturbed, oblivious of the barking of dogs in the village across the river and the noise of the crickets in the bushes surrounding the tree. He had just finished his meal of rice and lentils and gulped down a whole mug of cold water given to him by the villagers who regarded him as a saint. He was one of them, until the calling, he believes came from the heavens above, instructing him to follow the path of love, truth and beauty.His lovely, young wife tried to persuade him to stay, at least for the sake of their only child, a son. But he felt he had to forsake all worldly desires to follow the path laid for him by the Almighty. His love for God coupled with his feelings of attachment to his family worked on him like madness until the time when his son became seriously ill and a miracle saved the boy from the clutches of death. He had prayed that if his son survives the ordeal, it is the message that it is time for him to leave his home and family in pursuit of divine knowledge and everlasting life in the afterlife.
The much awaited moment arrived. He hugged his wife and son close to his heart for the last time. Tears flowed down his cheeks as he looked at the innocent smiling face of his little boy. His son looked into his father’s eyes and wondered why there were tears.
He asked,”Father why are you crying?”
“No son, these are tears of joy……. that you are well and free of sickness. I’ll be gone for a long, long, time. Take care of your mother and do not make her cry. Would you promise me that, son?”
“Yes, father,” came the prompt reply, as the boy wiped the father’s tears.
The man, then grabbed his bundle of clothing tied to a staff and came out of his dwelling, to greet his fellow village folk who were waiting anxiously for his blessing. He raised his hand in a friendly gesture, his body language reflected his intentions that he wished them all well and that he had to move on. Some of his friends couldn’t hold back the tears and fell at his feet.
He raised them up and advised them not to cry during this wonderful occasion.
“We meet to part my friends and that is the truth…..this is an illusion….. for the truth lies beyond this world of matter…….what you see here is temporary and it won’t last. Seek for the everlasting life…the truth….the love…..the beauty…..and freedom from eternal bondage.”
So saying and without turning back, he walked barefooted down the dusty path leading from the village into the forest, away from man and civilisation, to blend with nature.