in memory

Walking into an Oblivion

As I walked into the morning air, full of anticipation of the day ahead, the chill greeted me with full force. The wind was steadily sweeping on my face and I was no better with the new cardigan and muffler which I had bought with assumptions that they would stop the north Indian winds from charging against my weak bodily frame. Nevertheless, I stepped out into the cold, casually glancing at my watch and reminding myself that I was a good two hours ahead of schedule and would easily beat most of the people with whom I would otherwise have jostled to get a good look of the Living Master. I have many times after that reminded me that I was wrong in this assumption. As I walked along the road leaving the hostel, I saw sewadars standing every few feet, carefully guiding people about the correct path to the Satsang Ghar. I walked along the path they specified and soon reached a point where the road bent down into what was probably the river basin but had been transformed by hard work into a sprawling landscape of trees and grass, with a firm road leading down to my destination. As I stood on top of the road, I looked beyond and saw nothing more than a world of white mist. The landscape I knew had been transformed right in front of me into a white heaven and what was even more surprising to me than the beautiful sight which held me in its power was the overbearing fact that out there in the fog were huge patches of people, trudging along the path specified, leading the march to the Satsang Ghar and I was truly very late indeed. As I walked along the path, I could see the flowers sprouting in the plants very near to me, but I could feel the roar of a giant mass of humanity beyond the white veil, hidden from my eyes but not my thoughts. How many people were out there? Since when were they bearing the cold which I had felt the contempt of since the first moment I had gotten up this morning? What was this feeling which my heart felt when I saw this pristine beauty in front of me and heard the roars of countless people somewhere afar, who seemed to be at a place very distant from here and yet I felt connected to them as thought they were singing my hearts joy out. I was lost in my thoughts when a sewadar came by to ask me to move on. I did as was commanded, although that command came more like a request and was accepted more like a law. I moved on, slowly closing in on the ever evading white wall. As I moved on, I discovered more and more people and the more of them that I saw, the more assured I was that there were more somewhere ahead. At long last I reached the base of the road and although I could see just as far from myself here as I could from there, I felt deluged with humility and a calm which seemed to wash off of me, every small bit of bodily pain and doubt I had fielded ever. I felt like this place was there forever hidden inside me but only today, when I had risen and walked the path I had been told to did I discover it. I steadily walked again, for somehow, looking at the people around me and the mist around them, I knew that I was walking into an oblivion, aware of nothing less than supreme purity.

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