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    13 Beautiful Stories

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    American Gita Society Webpage, Stories by Jay Mazo

    THE HIGHER TEACHINGS

    The disciple approached a master to find out about the eternal light of God. The master meditated within, and the following wisdom was revealed. The eternal light is Godís first manifestation by which this universe is created and sustained. Godís highest essence is light. Hence by inwardly seeing the divine light in meditation, the soul shines as Godís awakened son. The eternal light throughout history has incarnated as God radiant souls to teach mankind the wisdom that manís soul exists in oneness as part of the Universal Spirit. Godís light which in an impersonal way created this universe, can take a personal form such as a spiritual awakening in manís soul by the practice of meditation. We must have a clear steady vision to see the light. Our consciousness should be one pointed, and our mind must be empty of obstructing thoughts. In purity, silence, and aspiration the light of God will manifest during meditation.

    The disciple wanted to know how God could be seen. The master entered a state of silence and received a clear answer. God can be seen by our inner eyes, but not in this changing outer world of finite matter. When man sees Godís highest spiritual form of light, he becomes a spiritual teacher with the divine work of bringing all truth seeking souls into the light. He teaches that during meditation focusing on the third eye, we are to keep our mind empty of all disturbing worldly thoughts and desires. The ultimate aim of all meditation is to realize within our true spiritual identity as separate from the movements of natureís activities. Thus if we practice this inner silence regularly everyday, peace of mind and an awareness in the soul of Godís blissful presence will radiantly manifest. Then the door to Godís eternal kingdom will open within the truth seekerís soul.

    The disciple asked how freedom in God could be found. The master remembered what his own teacher had taught long ago. Freedom in God is the theme of the divine drama of existence. God is free because there are no limits to His expression in creation. At all times God has absolute knowledge and will to accomplish His vision. In Godís cosmic play the seed of freedom has been planted to grow in manís soul. Man must light the flame of freedom by discovering his divine identity. Freedom comes when the chains of ignorance, limitation, and ego are broken by the sword of wisdom. Liberation causes man to live in total awareness of his soulís oneness with the Supreme Being. Divine grace flows into the spiritual seeker who has lit the heavenly burning flame of constant aspiration. All pursuits of pleasure and happiness are in reality a reflection of the soulís striving to find the one eternal light which brings fulfillment to life. Lasting freedom comes as an internal mystic experience to the aspirant who has dedicated his whole life as an offering to the Divine. The liberated soul is in direct contact with Godís presence, will, and knowledge. His vision spans the galaxies throughout the eternal cosmic cycles. The little ego is dead and has been replaced by the active divine witness who now guides and commands the life of the emancipated sage. The wall of separation between the soul and the Supreme Being has disappeared, and only the bliss of divine oneness and love eternally remain.

    The disciple wanted to know how such freedom could be lived daily. The master waited for divine inspiration to express itself in these words. Freedom has to be lived in God everyday of the year throughout oneís life. Each day of the year must present a new opportunity to discover and experience Godís reality. By aspiring to live the spiritual adventure, a divine transformation will take place in our life. Godís freedom is always here. All we have to do to realize this is to remove the obstacles of desire, ego, and ignorance in order to let the divine sun shine through the soul. The true aim of manís existence is to pursue and discover oneness with God through meditation and devotion. By centering the consciousness on the divine ideal, the aspirant at last realizes and becomes one with the Supreme Being. True freedom is found only in the heart filled with God. Where there is eternal love, infinite wisdom, and creative power there is freedom in God.

    The disciple wanted to find the way to realize truth. The master, from his many years of experience, gave the solution. To realize truth one must inquire Who Am I. Realization is the goal that is reached when the seeker knows his identity. To realize the highest goal, the seeker must practice such spiritual disciplines as prayer, renunciation, self inquiry, and meditation. Truth is the target which all of manís strivings try to reach. Truth is eternal because it is a quality that is the essence of both God and manís immortal soul. When the mystic discovers that his real nature is being a part of Godís oneness that is the final truth. When the devotee finds that a divine power pervades the universe that is the living truth. When the saint understands that a Cosmic Mind exercises its will to direct all of creation that is the eternal truth. Truth is manís destination because all souls are growing toward the light of Godís sun. The search for truth must become the guiding principle in manís whole existence.

    The disciple asked how to find the truth since manís mind is unsteady. The master smiled and gave this advice. Each moment of the day man must ask where is God to be found. Truth can be realized only in a mind that is at peace. The seeker must learn by practice how to reduce his thoughts to zero so that he can become the silent witness observer. This is the way to find the truth by experiencing the divine presence which manifests in the void of manís expanded silent consciousness. To realize the truth you must hear within the divine call to wake up, search for, and finally discover the truth of Godís reality in this very lifetime. There is no time to waste for the soul that understands that a higher reality waits to be discovered which alone can give man lasting peace and happiness. Meditation is the spiritual beacon that guides and inspires aspirants along the journey leading to self realization.

    The disciple was puzzled about where is the point when God and man meet. The master searched deep within his consciousness to present these spiritual teachings. The God point is the supreme moment in the life of the mystic when he reaches union with the Divine. This spiritual state happens when the arrow of manís soul flies straight into the divine target. God is at the center of existence. But the normal consciousness is obstructed from seeing truth by the veil of natureís world of matter. The problem to be solved by man is how to return to his original state of pure existence. To be aware of a problem is the first step in approaching its solution. First man must believe that reaching God is the true meaning of his brief life on earth. Hence man must make God the target of his aspiration. The arrow which man shoots toward the God target is his practice of spiritual discipline. The most powerful arrow to shoot at the God target comes from meditationís bow. Man must concentrate his mind on hitting the divine center of existence. The speed and accuracy of manís spiritual arrow depend upon his soulís aspiration and devotion. Aspiration gives the soulís arrow power, but devotion is the magnet that attracts it to hitting the God target. The God point is when the arrow of manís soul merges with the target of divine consciousness. When the God point occurs the mystic experiences union with Godís light, bliss, power, peace, and wisdom. Then the soul becomes a realized point of divine sunlight.

    The disciple wanted an explanation about what is the divine target. The master saw the answer by intuition and presented the teachings in this clear form. The divine target is like a wheel having spokes radiating from the hubís center. The spiritual disciplines of meditation, devotion, discrimination, and dedicated action are like spokes that all lead back into the wheelís hub. Life is like a wheel spinning with 365 spokes through space each year. Be it through meditation, devotion, discrimination, or dedicated action the soulís arrow when accurately aimed will pierce the divine target. When the God point is reached, the soul arrow and the divine target become of one essence. The aspirant must lift the bow of meditation, shoot the soul arrow, and merge with the God point. When the God point is known, then the soul experiences infinite peace, power, divine bliss, light, and wisdom. The supreme goal is reached when the awakened soul flies straight into the God pointís divine target. The disciple theoretically understood the masterís teachings but needed some practical examples in life to make the abstract more concrete. The master decided to make his teachings easier by presenting them in the form of God stories in which ordinary people were confronted by the challenges of life and managed to realize the divine presence.

    THE YOGI AND THE TWO QUEENS

    Thousands of years ago there lived in Rajasthan a yogi called Sivapremaraja, who was the chosen disciple of Sankartapasmuni. One day two queens visited the yogi. Queen Ayesha of Persia thought only of the yogiís material comforts and gave him much money. Queen Ratna of Nepal wanted to learn the yogiís spiritual knowledge, and so she stayed with him day and night. The yogi asked both queens who they thought he was. Queen Ayesha said that he was a poor holy man and that with her support, some ashrams could be built. The yogi agreed, but asked Queen Ayesha to think where Godís temple is. On the other hand, Queen Ratna said that only through meditation in the yogiís presence would his identity be revealed. The yogi looked at each equally. He knew that he was only a humble devotee of Sankartapasmuni, whose spiritual powers flowed through him. Suddenly, to test the faith of both queens, the yogi took on all their karma at once and appeared to have died. Queen Ayesha lost her faith in her guru at once and had his body cremated. Queen Ratna loved her guru beyond the body and sent word to Sankartapasmuni about his discipleís death. The old yogi replied that no disciple of his would ever fall to death prematurely and that the power of tapas would bring Sivapremaraja back to life. Queen Ayesha returned to Persia having learnt nothing. Queen Ratna sat silently chanting her guru mantra over his burnt ashes. Two months passed and nothing happened. Just then, in a dark cave, Sankartapasmuni started chanting Aum Namah Sivaya. By the power of his tapas, the old yogi called on the god to release his beloved devotee Sivapremaraja. Suddenly, in front of the meditating Queen Ratna, an explosion thundered, a trisula rose from the earth, and then a stone linga emerged. The linga split in two and by the grace of his old guru and the faith of his disciple Queen Ratna, there appeared the resurrected body of Sivapremaraja. Then Sivapremaraja told his disciple Queen Ratna that the real yogi lives by Godís power and is free from body and money attachments.

    Queen Ayesha returned to Persia and found her kingdom suffering from a famine and a plague. She wondered why her people were being punished so cruelly. Then a blind beggar told her that for the sin of burning the Hindu holy man while in communion with God, her kingdom would have to perish. Queen Ayesha got angry and ordered the blind beggar to be jailed, but he immediately vanished from her sight. At the same time, the blind beggar came in a dream to the mountain bandit chieftain named Pelgaz Kasim. In his dream the blind man told Pelgaz Kasim that because of Queen Ayeshaís sin toward the Hindu holy man, her kingdom would collapse as soon as he attacked it. So at midnight, Pelgaz Kasim led his mountain tribes in the invasion of Queen Ayeshaís kingdom. Although heavily outnumbered, fate made Pelgaz Kasim victorious. With her army annihilated, Queen Ayesha was taken prisoner. Pelgaz Kasim told her that her crime was very great, and that she would have to choose between death or total exile from Persia. Queen Ayesha chose exile. Wherever she wandered the people cursed her and said she was the evil murderer of a holy man. After months of lonely wandering in the desert, her clothes were in rags and her beauty had vanished. Yet fate was blindly leading her to cross the Indian border into Rajasthan. Queen Ayesha was in mental agony, but she now knew that all her sufferings stemmed from her premature cremation of Sivapremaraja. The desert sun was too much for her. She collapsed totally unconscious. Then she had a dream that a flame stood burning in midair and a voice thundered saying: "I am the flame and guide of your soul and can never die." While she was still unconscious, a lady on a horse rode toward her. It was Sivapremarajaís devotee, Queen Ratna. Queen Ayesha was put on the horse and swiftly taken to Sivapremarajaís ashram. Her bad karma caused by ignorance was soon to end.

    Queen Ayesha awoke and looked into the eyes of the blind beggar that came to her court at Persia. Suddenly the blind beggar changed his body into that of Sivapremaraja. Queen Ayesha started crying. "Oh Guru Maharaj, you have taught me a bitter lesson by taking everything away from me so that at last you would possess only my soul to direct," she moaned. The guru replied: "Ayesha, once you realize that only your soul is real, then you can know God. The guruís love is undying in spite of the discipleís unfaithfulness. I forgive you, but in order for your karma to be purified, you must die tomorrow." She answered: "now I have complete faith in you and will prepare to meet death." As expected, Queen Ayesha died early next morning of a heart attack. Sivapremaraja ordered that there should be no cremation of her dead body. The guru was in control of this little game of maya. He then left his body and went into samadhi. In the realm of death, Queen Ayesha passed through many fires where people had to suffer to wipe out their evil karma. Yet she did not suffer because she now had faith in her guruís protection. Suddenly she came face to face with Lord Siva. The god told her that by her newly acquired faith in her guru, she would be transported to experience the soulís liberation on the heavenly plane. Queen Ayesha now experienced herself as a body made up of luminous points of light. She saw a pink lotus descend on top of a mountain. The petals unfolded and there sat her guru, Sivapremaraja. The guru said: "now I will show you the secret of divine existence." Flames shot out of his eyes and Queen Ayesha felt an electric explosion within her being. Now she was everywhere at once. Her eyes saw the world pervaded by light, her heart felt an unending warm bliss, and her mind experienced thoughtless peace. She looked at her guru Sivapremaraja and saw unending galaxies revolving in his body. "This is enough for now," said her guru as he touched her forehead. Queen Ayesha awoke back to life and remembered all that had happened. She had lost her worldly kingdom, but by her faith in her guru, she had attained entrance into the kingdom of God.

    REALIZATION IN THE FOREST

    Long before men had formed countries with their gods, there lived a strong woodcutter named Kabinda. Each morning he would leave his village and go into the forest to chop wood. In those bygone days, the earth had many forests and few men. On this particular day, while cutting wood, Kabinda heard the sky explode with thunder and lightning. Torrents of endless raindrops attacked the tall green trees. Kabinda was afraid of the violent sky and ran deeper into the forest seeking shelter. After running for half an hour during the blinding rainstorm, Kabinda ran into a long dark cave. Near the cave there were skeletons of human corpses. Kabinda stopped running and sat down in the dark cave to catch his breath. Exhausted from running he fell asleep for the rest of the day. When he woke up refreshed, he was about to meet a new challenge that would change his life.

    Kabinda explored the dark cave. Suddenly he saw two flashing eyes and a huge mouth roaring screams that meant death. Kabinda did not want to find the answer behind this terror. He instinctively ran out of the dangerous cave. Slowly the roaring sound died down as Kabinda reached the light of the caveís entrance. A man with golden skin was seen at the foot of a huge forest tree. Kabinda asked the forest hermit his name. The golden man, with a serene smile, told Kabinda that his name was Mugesin. Kabinda wanted to know how Mugesin came to live in this deep uninhabited forest. Then the forest hermit told his tale.

    Many years ago, Mugesin was a rich merchant in another village. He had wealth but not real happiness. Mugesin wanted to know what is the power that gives meaning to life. Mugesin then left his village and asked this question to everyone he met. A woman at a well told Mugesin that he would have to find the answer alone in the deep forest. So Mugesin walked with courage deeper and deeper into the forest. At last he reached a tall tree which became his abode to seek truth. Many wild fruits grew on this tree and a quiet stream flowed nearby. While sitting under this tree in his quest for truth, Mugesin heard a loud terrible roar coming closer and closer to devour him. But Mugesin, unlike Kabinda, decided to face this deadly terror straight on and not run for his life. In the face of Mugesinís determination to continue his search under the tree, the roaring terror realized that it had met its match and slowly went away leaving Mugesinís life. After many seasons of living in the forest Mugesin gained illumination, and his body began to shine with a golden bronze color. Mugesin had realized the inner peace that pervades this universe.

    Mugesin told Kabinda to be courageous, return to the cave, and seek for the light instead of merely shelter from the rainstorm. Kabinda made the cave his home and only left it once each evening to eat fruits and drink cool water from the nearby stream. Kabinda heard the same loud roar of death in the cave, but this time he became iron willed and remained seated in his search for truth. Kabinda thought that if Mugesin could defeat the terror of life, he could also conquer it. Slowly, after many months, the terrible roar was no more heard in the dark cave. In fact, a strange glowing light was illuminating his cave day and night. The light shone from within Kabinda. The roar of death now became mystic ringing music in Kabindaís ear. His eyes shone with radiant ecstasy. The truth that an infinite Spirit of light and peace pervaded this universe dawned within Kabindaís awakened consciousness.

    The next morning, after Kabinda left the cave as a liberated forest sage, several former village friends met him. They now saw a different, radiant, and wise Kabinda who no longer was a simple woodcutter. Kabinda told them the truth he discovered in the cave and his meeting with Mugesin under the tree. But none of Kabindaís village friends could ever see Mugesin. Mugesin now had attained a level of spiritual existence beyond this material world and, only in rare moments of grace, would he appear again on earth to help a single brave truth seeker such as Kabinda. Kabinda spent the rest of his earthly life in the forest cave instructing now and then the few seekers that came to receive his guidance.

    THE DEAD LIVE TWICE

    Few in life are given a second chance to achieve the goal they failed at. This is a story about a mystic named Chadru who gave up his spiritual practices, got married, and became a king temporarily. Our tale begins late one afternoon with King Somanath and his daughter Kamalika riding through the forest in search of wild game to hunt. Suddenly the roar of an angry tiger echoed through the forest. King Somanath instantly shot a poisoned arrow at the great beastís head. The wounded animal felt the death drug speeding through his blood and ran blindly through the forest with Somanath and Kamalika shooting their winged shafts continuously. The hunted and the hunters raced through the forest in their struggle lost in the wheel of life. The tiger acted as he was born to be, but King Somanath, through his exercise of royal power, had let his ego grow to be no better than that of an animal. His daughter Kamalika was also very self willed and had vowed that she would only marry the man she chose. The afternoon slowly glided into night with the hunting drama of the king and his daughter still chasing the wounded tiger deeper into the dark jungle.

    Chadru was also a strong willed hero, but one who since his earliest childhood had sought to realize God instead of exercising power over other men. Chadru liked the peace of the jungle where no ordinary man ventured to tread. His place for meditation was a most unusual abode. He had dug a pit measuring six feet deep where no being could disturb his spiritual pursuits. Years of meditation passed by for Chadru, and he felt with each moment that he was getting closer to his divine goal. But the goal cannot be won without passing the test given by the Supreme Maker. God sent the wounded tiger to test the strength of Chadruís penance. The tiger was losing much blood as the poisoned arrow brought death closer. In his last moment of revenge upon mankind the wounded tiger lunged into the pit where Chadru was contemplating God. God came to Chadru in the wild blazing eyes of a savage ten foot tiger. With one final blow, the tiger struck out in all his fury at the sitting Chadru and died with human blood in his mouth.

    With the moon shedding light in the jungle, King Somanath and his daughter Kamalika saw the ghastly sight of a dead tiger and a bleeding ascetic lying in a pit. King Somanath got off his horse and climbed down into the pit to find out how the mauled ascetic was. Somanath slowly brought the unconscious ascetic out of the pit. Then when dawn came, Somanath and Kamalika slowly brought the unconscious Chadru back to the royal capital. Kamalika had learnt medicine from her family priest, and within a week Chadru opened his eyes and saw the kingís daughter. Kamalika felt that it was her destiny to marry the man she had nursed back from the shadow of death. Her father agreed and ordered Chadru to accept the hand of his daughter and to become crown prince. Chadru, by the fierce final blow of the tiger on his head, had forgotten his own identity. He was very grateful to Kamalika for saving his life. Before the marriage took place, Somanath spent ten days teaching Chadru on royal duties and policy since he would eventually become king. Satisfied that Chadru had learnt his lessons on kingly statecraft well, Somanath caused the marriage festival to be celebrated by everyone in the kingdom.

    During the marriage celebration, all the priests and sages gave their blessings to Kamalika and Chadru. Suddenly a tall saint with reddish hair startled everyone with his declaration that as soon as Chadru would see his son, he would remember his identity and renounce the kingdom. Six months after the marriage, King Somanath died during a hunting expedition when his horse stumbled on a rock and threw him off. So now Chadru, the man with no identity, became the king. After some time Chadru got used to exercising his functions as king and accepted that identity of himself. One night Kamalika told her husband Chadru that she was pregnant. Chadru was delighted and hoped a son would be born to carry on the royal line in the kingdom. Everybody by then had forgotten the prediction of the red haired saint at the marriage. The moon gave forth its silver light to this happy kingdom as Kamalika gave birth to a healthy son. Chadru looked intently into the eyes of his newborn child and was shocked with the vision that unfolded. Through the reflection in his sonís eyes he gazed into his own past. He had been the greatest yogi in this kingdom who had renounced power and sex in his quest for God realization. Then his memory saw the awful test sent to him by God in the form of the deadly tiger. He saw himself knocked out by the tiger and losing all his spiritual consciousness. Now Chadru knew his real identity. He prayed with tears of a child to God for a second chance in this lifetime to achieve God realization. Then Chadru saw the tall red haired saint with ashes on his body command him to go immediately into the forest to find God if he was sincere.

    Kamalikaís son grew up to be king under his loving motherís guidance. King Sivapriya was happy in all matters of life except that he wanted to meet his father. Kamalika told her son Sivapriya that nobody in the kingdom knew where Chadru had gone after his birth. Word was sent throughout all the kingdoms that the beautiful princess Aditi was holding a contest of strength and skill among all the kings to select her husband. So King Sivapriya, with the blessings of his mother Kamalika, rode off to seek a wife. His horse grew tired after miles of rapid riding and stopped during the evening to drink some water from a stream. A strange light glowed from a distance. The forest was all dark except this radiance. After the horse had satisfied its thirst and was rested, the king decided to ride toward the origin of this light. After a while, the king came to a clearing in the jungle and saw an old man sitting under a tree with beams of light radiating from his body. Sivapriya saw that this man bore some close physical resemblance to himself. Sivapriya looked into the blissful eyes of the saint who had found God. The son knew that he had found his father.

    SALVATION

    He was the most notorious and feared outlaw of the kingdom. Nobody was safe when his bandit gang would begin their raids of plunder. Once his father had refused to pay taxes to the king. So the king killed his father and confiscated his land. Thereafter Ganataka had sworn savage revenge against King Dharmavira. From his vast mountain hideout, Ganatakaís outlaw riders would attack and rob travelers and trade caravans with no fear of being caught. Ganataka had many scars on his chest and face to prove his bravery in battle. On his black stallion, with his sword and arrows, he had no equal match in the kingdom. But his heart was always full of the dark fires of revenge for his fatherís unjust murder. Ganataka was invincible as a fighter, but inwardly he had no peace of mind from all the robberies and murders that he had committed. He was a hunted man for whose capture or death the king had offered a huge reward. There was a price on his head and bitterness in his heart. In his mountain hideout, with his outlaw gang, he was free from the law, but inside himself he was a slave to the beast of his violent passions.

    King Dharmavira decided that alone he was not strong enough to defeat Ganatakaís bandit gang. So the king wanted an alliance to make himself more powerful. He gave his daughter in a marriage alliance to a neighboring kingdom after long days of careful negotiations. After celebrating the marriage, the armies of both kingdoms united to plan a punishing blow to Ganataka. The armies of both kingdoms approached Ganatakaís mountain hideout late in the night. Then they began their cruel plan of extermination. They poured oil all around the mountain hideout. At the signal of a thunderous drum they set fire to everything around the mountain hideout. Ganataka and his men awoke to see awesome walls of fire swiftly approaching them on every side. There was no hope except to make a suicidal dash for freedom. But on every side the united armies of the two kingdoms sat on their horses waiting to annihilate Ganatakaís men. Ganatakaís men fought savagely to break out of the deadly trap, but the arrows of the two united armies began to take their fierce toll. All around Ganataka his men were being murdered. Ganatakaís black stallion made one final charge. Three arrows caught the brave fighter as he slumped down in the saddle with his arm in a tight grip around his horse's neck. A cry of victory went up from the two armies, as they were confident that they had finally wiped out Ganatakaís fierce gang. Now there was peace in Dharmaviraís kingdom with the annihilation of Ganatakaís outlaw gang.

    A black stallion thundered across the plains with a bleeding rider slumped on its back. Mile after mile the horse galloped with some unfulfilled mission yet to be accomplished. At the dayís end, it entered the forest and its speed grew slower and slower. The weight on the horseís back seemed to grow heavier for the thirsty animal. It approached a stream of running water. There was a man bathing in the water. He was the forest rishi named Sivalaya. He led the life of a peaceful hermit who spent all his time in the worship of Lord Siva. As the black stallion stopped to drink the fresh water, Ganatakaís still body fell to the ground. Sivalaya ran to the fallen body and carried the once great outlaw bandit to his thatched hut. The rishi prayed to God to spare his life. The life as an outlaw for Ganataka had come to an end. Lord Siva reviewed the karma of the outlawís past and present lifetimes. The great god who annuls fate looked into the future. There was a great need for a saint to enlighten the people instead of choosing to remain hidden in the forest like Sivalaya.

    Ganatakaís soul hovered over the region of death. He saw awful picture images of all the innocent people he had robbed and murdered. He saw the grim fearsome image of the god of death approaching him with a noose to punish him for his sins. Suddenly a small light expanded and vibrated a message of hope. "Turn to Me with all your soul, and I will be in your heart for eternity. I protect all those who surrender to Me. The choice is always for you to make. I am willing to embrace you now." The point of light now became a huge divine person with three eyes, ashes all over his milky body, and a golden trident. Ganataka gazed into the eyes of Lord Siva, and his heart surrendered to the divine will. "Oh Lord I am always yours," cried Ganatakaís now radiant awakened soul. The still body of Ganataka now began to show slight signs of breathing. Sivalaya smiled and knew that the crisis to Ganatakaís life had now passed. The proud former outlaw chief slowly opened his eyes and whispered: "I will give my life for Godís service."

    Many weeks later Ganatakaís body had fully healed from its wounds. Now he was ready to leave Sivalayaís safe forest retreat and enter Dharmaviraís kingdom to give his life for Godís service. Ganataka was a changed man. He began to sing songs in praise of Lord Siva everywhere he went. Ganataka vividly felt Sivaís presence in his heart. Meanwhile Ganataka was all but forgotten in Dharmaviraís peaceful kingdom. After giving birth to a royal son, Dharmaviraís daughter Suseela had become very sick. Both kings offered a reward to anyone who could cure Suseela. All the doctors who had visited her failed. Only the grace of God could save Suseela. So as divine fate would have it, Ganataka found himself singing songs imploring Siva to grant Suseela a new lease on life as was previously done for himself. The music of his soul enthralling hymns seemed to soar up to heaven itself. Lord Siva remembered his devotee Ganataka and willed it for Suseela to fully recover. Dharmavira was also at Suseelaís bedside. He recognized Ganataka by his scars of battle. But upon his daughterís recovery Dharmavira was so overjoyed that he tightly embraced his once bitter enemy Ganataka. With tears of gratefulness, Dharmavira shouted with joy: "great are the ways of God."

    TRANSMISSION

    He knew that he was about to die soon. So the Mohant of the monastery gathered his eight chief disciples and told them to prepare for seven tests that would determine his successor. For seventy years the Mohant had led this monastery built on a mountain. He was loved and worshipped by the people of the surrounding villages. By his supernatural yogic powers he could heal the sick, bless the farmers with good crops, and grant babies to childless couples. His reputation had spread well beyond the mountain monastery. But he refused invitations to foreign kingdoms saying that God placed holy men all over the world to suit the different tastes of the people. The one hundred and twenty year old Mohant was known for his desireless humility besides his supernatural yogic powers. In the old days, the local people said, he had lived for eighteen years on top of a huge tree meditating on the sun. After attaining realization of God as the cosmic infinite light, the Mohant had the ability to reflect this through his big blazing eyes. But with kindness and patience he tried to teach his eight chief disciples the secrets of Hatha Yoga, the Upanishads, and meditation.

    The mountain monastery was built in such a way that one would have to pass through seven rooms in order to enter the holy meditation shrine of the Mohant. The eight chief disciples that were to participate in the seven tests determining the Mohantís successor were Kumar, Chandra, Dilip, Ravindra, Jagdish, Mukunda, Shankar, and Gopal. So the Mohant sat in front of them in the first room and told them to begin practicing the yogic heat breathing exercises. The eight disciples began to take deep rhythmic inhalations followed by rapid forceful expulsions. After fifteen minutes seven of the disciples had made their bodies hot with drops of perspiration running down their forehead. But Ravindra had failed in this first test, and so he was eliminated for consideration. Then the seven successful disciples entered the second room and were ordered to meditate oblivious to all distractions that they would encounter. After the disciples had closed their eyes the Mohant projected a phantom roaring tiger to test their firmness. Six of the disciples succeeded in entering a deep meditation state. But Chandra became frightened by the tigerís roars and opened his eyes. Hence he was eliminated for consideration. The first two tests determined yogic powers of endurance and the next three tests were to determine conquest of desire.

    The six successful disciples were led into the third room and told to wait. Suddenly a beautiful young lady with smiling eyes entered carrying a tray of sweets that she distributed to each. Five of the disciples did not raise their gaze above her feet. Jagdish looked at her beautiful body and was eliminated from the competition when the Mohant entered the room. Next the five successful disciples were led into the fourth room and presented with a piece of gold by the Mohant as a reward for their successful endeavors. Four of the disciples immediately showed detachment by returning the piece of gold to the Mohant. But Gopal would not part with his gold piece and was automatically eliminated from the competition. Then the four successful disciples entered the fifth room. The Mohant walked in and pretended to collapse dead before their feet. While the previous two tests were designed to measure sex and money temptations, this test was created to reveal the lust for power. Three of the disciples were extremely shocked and began to lament over the Mohantís apparently lifeless body. But Shankar argued that he should be the next Mohant since he was living in the mountain monastery longer than the other disciples. This was not to be since the Mohant opened his eyes, and an embarrassed Shankar was eliminated from the competition. So two final tests remained for the three surviving candidates.

    The three successful disciples entered the sixth room and prepared to discuss spiritual philosophy before the realized Mohant. "What is the most important thing on the spiritual path?" asked the Mohant. "Charity to help others, rooted in a realization that one is part of a universal Godhead" replied Dilip. "To surrender to the spiritual master and follow his teachings wholeheartedly" said Kumar. "To be detached from the world and pursue oneís own liberation" replied Mukunda. The Mohant evaluated the three answers. The first two answers he considered to be rooted in the foundation of desireless action transcending the individual ego. But the third answer was too self centered, and with such an attitude one would be unfit to serve others. Hence Mukunda was eliminated from the competition. Finally the last test was to begin. Kumar and Dilip entered the seventh room and saw a cup of milk in front of them. "The disciple who first takes this cup of milk will be disqualified," said the Mohant. So Kumar and Dilip sat without food in the seventh room for three days. Kumar began to feel very weak and dizzy. But he would rather die than touch the cup of milk. Dilip felt more compassion for Kumar. Having his friend alive was more important than becoming the head of a monastery. So Dilip touched the cup of milk first and poured it into Kumarís dry lips. The Mohant read the thoughts of each and decided that Dilip would be the successor because of his kindness and self sacrifice.

    The Mohant walked with Dilip into his holy meditation shrine. He sat before Dilip and entered into deep meditation. Dilip saw that the Mohantís body became brighter and brighter until it merged in Godís descending pure white light. Only a handful of ashes remained of the Mohantís body. With tender love Dilip put these ashes in his hands and contemplated the meaning of this experience. Suddenly the ashes became transformed into a sparkling golden lotus. Dilip became identified inwardly with the lotus. He closed his eyes and felt his soul climbing up a stalk within his spinal column until he reached the head summit of a thousand lotus petals. Now he was expanding world after world into Godís infinite light. He was in tune with the Creatorís cosmic mind. Throughout his expanded being he became identified with the eternal mystic Aum sound. Eternal wisdom descended into his previous human brain. His body began to undergo a strange transformation until it took a shape nearly identical with the old Mohant when he was a young disciple. Hence, by his guruís mysterious grace, the process of transmission had been accomplished. Dilip was now the Mohant of the mountain monastery.

    THE FISHERMANíS DISCOVERY

    Closer and closer the boat sailed toward the shore of a small fishing village. Among the party of men that landed there was a golden Brahmin youth. Shankaracharya was on one of his many travels throughout India to establish the supremacy of Vedanta. Before entering this sleepy little fishing village, Shankaracharya prayed to the goddess of knowledge, Sarasvati, to make these humble fishermen receptive to the truth of Vedanta. Besides holding scholarly debates in vast royal courts throughout India he also, with less fanfare, went to the common people living in villages. The sanyasi saint wanted all mankind to be receptive to the truth that this life was pervaded by a divine reality of which each soul was an integral part. All the people gathered at the little temple to hear the message of the golden Brahmin youth. After an hour of quoting the Vedas, chanting hymns to the divine powers of God, and answering questions from the people it looked like his short visit to this fishing village was a success. Suddenly a young fisherman rushed up through the little gathering and spat in Shankaracharyaís face. "I spit upon your Vedanta" cried Apu. "Nature is the only truth, and it is the vast ocean which supports our life with food. Where is your God that I can see it?" Shankaracharya looked Apu in the eyes and declared that Apu himself would reveal the truth of Vedanta to the fishing village. Only the great master Shankaracharya had the vision to see the past lives of Apu.

    Seven years later Apu was on his small fishing boat, when suddenly a great cyclone appeared. He knew that he was lost. Apu thought that not even God, if there was one, could save him. The waves violently smashed his small boat. Suddenly some heavy weight started pulling at his fishing net. All Apu wanted to do was to escape with his life from this fierce storm. Then he collapsed unconscious in his battered boat. But a miracle happened, and a huge gust of wind blew Apuís boat and the heavy object caught in his fishing safely ashore. The next afternoon Apu woke up and stared at the golden figure caught in his fishing net. Was this a dream or was he actually awake? All Apu could be certain was that he was thankful for escaping with his life from that terrible storm at sea. The shining image continued to remain before his eyes until at last he accepted its reality. It resembled the great goddess that Shankaracharya had often worshipped at Kanchipuram. Apu was fascinated with this gift from the ocean. So he built a little thatched hut and installed the goddess. Apu sat down and thought what mystery does the ocean hold.

    Now Apu was no longer a fisherman. Each day that he sat down in contemplation hastened his spiritual growth. At first he meditated on the vast ocean and its seawave roar. Finally he merged in the ocean and went beyond his mindís ideas into an infinite state of consciousness. He saw little bubbles floating in a cosmic ocean. Thousands of these bubbles radiated picture images showing a vast panorama of Apuís past lives. He was a merchant, a soldier, a priest, a farmer, a hunter, a criminal, and played numerous other roles in life. The outer circumstances were always different, but one luminous spark remained eternally the same. Apu witnessed his unchanging soul occupying so many different bodies throughout numerous lifetimes. In each life the central character always played his role and never looked beyond the passing show of events for a greater constant reality and reason for living. Now Apu saw that all these life bubbles floated in a luminous conscious ocean which was a mind of light without any limits. Apu became that conscious ocean and expanded beyond the range of mortal vision. He saw all life parading in the great cycles repeating themselves throughout eternity. All of creation was proceeding from the idea of an infinite Cosmic Mind.

    Suddenly Apu reviewed the events of his present life. He saw himself insulting a great saint who had come to enlighten his village. But in past lifetimes Apu saw that he was always a humble disciple learning spiritual wisdom from this great master. The mystic vision ended. The golden Brahmin youth was now again visiting the village. Apu opened up his eyes and began to preach his guruís Vedanta truth to the quiet fishing village.

    THE JEWEL ISLAND

    It was a lovely marriage. Sundar, the son of a cloth merchant, had just wed Usha, the daughter of a jewel merchant. Both families and the whole town were overjoyed at the marriage celebration. The two most powerful business families of the town had concluded an alliance. But for the just married couple the facts of money meant nothing when compared to the joys of youthful romance. For them it was a marriage of love, not money. When the priest recited the prayers they looked into each otherís eyes and knew they had found a treasure that was beyond the value of money. One month after the marriage it was decided by Ushaís father Prachar that Sundar would be his partner in the jewel trade. Sundar agreed because there was a great challenge in traveling to far off places to seek the best values in jewel trading. The profits were great but the risk of life was greater. Usha loved to be with Sundar, but she agreed with her father that a good husband must prove himself to be a hero that could conquer all the challenges involved in jewel trading voyages.

    Sundar also wanted to prove to his wife Usha that he had the courage to succeed in his own right. Unlike Prachar, he was not greedy for business profits. The only thing about the forthcoming jewel trading voyage that made Sundar sad was that he would have to be temporarily separated from his loving wife Usha. One early morning Prachar and Usha waved goodbye to Sundar and twenty five other men as they set sail to seek their profits in a jewel trading voyage. The days grew into weeks, and Usha was tearfully missing her young husband. Prachar told his daughter Usha that he had confidence that Sundar would return with a rich treasure of precious jewels. All was tranquil at sea until suddenly a dark cloud appeared overhead. Then there was wind and rain. The sea went wild with its huge waves attacking the ship. The sail was blown down, and water began going over the deck of the ship. There was no hope for survival. The ship went down. All the crew perished except Sundar. Sundar hung on to a big chunk of wood and swam until it seemed like he was living in a sea of eternity. Time had stopped for him. He was swimming for his dear life, not knowing where it would all end.

    Twelve hours later, in a semiconscious state, he reached a tranquil shore. Sundar thanked God that he was still alive and prayed that he might eventually rejoin his wife Usha. Meanwhile Sundarís immediate concern was to explore the island that he had reached. He was hungry and began to search for food. It seemed strange to Sundar that this island was so quiet. Although there was no animal life, there was fresh spring water descending from a mountain. After drinking that reviving water, Sundar decided to explore the mountain. The next day he began climbing the mountain. It was too good to be true. Many small caves on the mountain had gold and diamonds. But precious jewels in themselves are worthless when one is lost on a far off island. Sundar would trade all these expensive treasures just to be once again with his wife Usha. Sundar again prayed to God that he would live to leave this jewel island and rejoin Usha. He decided to continue his search on the mountain. At last he found one cave that did not have gems, which could be traded on the jewel market. A glowing crystal image of a goddess with a red cobra coiled around it suddenly startled Sundarís vision.

    In Sundarís presence the crystal image seemed to vibrate with light. When one calls for Godís help there is always an answer. Now the red cobra swiftly glided off the crystal goddess and entered Sundarís body. The young treasure hunter felt a massive explosion racing up his spinal column. The red cobra was now a dot of energy shooting up Sundarís central nervous system. Then it reached the summit of his head. Now there was a new consciousness awake in Sundarís mind. The crystal goddess in the cave became alive in his being. "I am the Chintamani jewel residing on the island of delight inside your soul. Most men seek the jewels of this world hoping that they will yield all the objects desired. But I know you are different. In past lifetimes, in another age, you worshipped me constantly in this cave with your sincere prayer ĎMother of the universe reveal thy love.í This jewel island is of another purer age, and soon it will disappear. But before my crystal image vanishes take its third eye and wear it as a locket. Whenever you or your wife gaze at this crystal locket with the prayer ĎMother of the universe reveal thy loveí, I will appear within your consciousness and bless you. I protect my devotees throughout eternity." The words and vision of the crystal goddess had faded in Sundarís awakened consciousness. But he took the third eye of the crystal goddess for a locket and again prayed to leave the jewel island and soon be with his wife Usha.

    Prachar had a dream. He told Usha that a lady whose body was made of crystal jewels came to him telling the location of the jewel island where Sundar was stranded. Usha asked Prachar what he wanted most, the jewels or Sundar. Prachar was honest and told his daughter that he wanted both the jewels and Sundar to return. So Prachar built a bigger ship and sailed toward the jewel island. But all was not so tranquil on the jewel island. Deep rumbling noises were exploding inside the earth. Finally, Prachar and his crew reached the island. Sundar embraced his father in law and showed him where all the jewels were. Then Prachar told Sundar about his dream of the crystal goddess, and Sundar told Prachar about his experiences in the cave. Just as they had boarded the big ship and set sail for home, the jewel island exploded in one gigantic volcanic eruption and disappeared into the sea without a trace. Sundar and Prachar returned safely home. With all the jewels Prachar was rich beyond his wildest expectations. Suddenly he remembered the crystal goddess of his dream, and all worldly greed left him. Prachar built a magnificent temple to the crystal goddess, and every year distributed large sums in charity to all those who were in need. Sundar, with the rediscovered knowledge that he had been a devotee of the crystal goddess in past lifetimes, began teaching his wife Usha the secret of the crystal locket. By meditation and prayer they discovered within Godís spiritual wishfulfilling Chintamani jewel that put them in the divine presence.

    THE BIGGEST MIRACLE

    "Make way, make way for Shandu the magician." A ten foot tall grey elephant with a dark man wearing a turban slowly approached the royal palace of King Bhadrayu. The day was sunny, and the kingdom was at peace. On such days the king took great delight in being entertained. The king had seen many illusions performed by magicians, but there was one trick that he longed to witness. That feat of magic was the ancient Indian rope trick. Many had heard of it being done in the past, but none had ever seen it performed in their lifetime. King Bhadrayu offered the most precious prize to anyone in his kingdom who could do this trick. He knew that he was growing old and had failed to have a son, and so he offered his daughter Chandrika to the clever man who could perform this feat of magic. The possessor of such skill would alone be fit to rule his kingdom. Many had answered his invitation, but all had failed. The only reward for their effort was a royal execution. So on this bright summer day the magician Shandu decided to leave the jungle and accept King Bhadrayuís challenge. Once Shandu was a prince in another kingdom but by the decree of dark fate, he was driven into the jungle after being defeated in war.

    For many years Shandu had lived in the jungle practicing Tantric yoga to gain supernatural powers in the hope of regaining his kingdom. He worshipped the fearsome Naga serpents and could command them to do his bidding by his awesome mantra power. He contemplated the clouds and by his mystic rites to Indra had power over the weather. He concentrated on the lord of death, Yama and learnt the science of reviving the deceased. He prayed to the spirits of the ether and could cause objects to be transported from their world to this world. Shandu had gradually acquired the power to fly through the air with the grace of the wind god Vayu. He cam to King Bhadrayuís palace armed with every Tantric power, except one. Shandu had not conquered desire. He falsely saw reality in the changing illusions that were created by the power of his mindís concentration. He lived trapped by the wild desires of his own mind. He was a stranger to the realm of the cosmic truth of Godís existence. For Shandu the only god was his mindís lust for power. This mental god he had cultivated well by exercising it in the visualization of ideas to such an extent until the ideas became materialized into the shapes of earthly reality.

    "Show me what magic you possess," came the stern voice of King Bhadrayu. Shandu cast a blazing glance at his elephant and whispered some secret words into the ethers. Suddenly the huge beast collapsed dead at his feet. Feeling an air of confidence, Shandu calmly commanded "arise oh servant of the master." In an instant the elephant arose perfectly normal like nothing had happened. Shandu cast his glowing eyes at the sunny sky, and quickly clouds appeared over the royal palace, and the rains began. Chandrika cried out "father tell him to restore this sunny day." So Shandu quickly invoked Indra, and the sun shone peacefully again. Shandu looked at Chandrika and desired to marry her. He prayed to the spirits of the ether, and instantaneously a diamond necklace appeared which he put around the trembling Chandrika. Chandrika admired Shanduís magic powers but thought that he was very arrogant. At last King Bhadrayu said "oh Shandu, you have impressed my kingdom with the powers of your magic illusions, but still you have not shown us the Indian rope trick."

    Shandu sat still for ten minutes concentrating on a cobra that he kept in a basket. Shandu opened his eyes and took a flute out of his pocket. He tenderly put the flute to his lips and played a melody that put everybody in trance. King Bhadrayu and his people all felt that they were leaving their body and flying toward heaven. Slowly the cobra unwound itself and slid out of the basket. It began expanding and extended its body all the way up to a cloud that appeared one thousand feet above King Bhadrayuís palace. The giant magic cobra had now become a rope that Shandu was climbing in front of his entranced audience. Higher and higher Shandu went until he finally disappeared into the cloud. He had courage and ambition, but he was not prepared for the mystery that awaited him in the glowing cloud. "Shandu, we have been awaiting you" came two voices deep inside the cloud. Shandu, the master of illusion, could not believe what his own eyes were now seeing. The divine holy couple and origin of all Tantric yoga, Siva and Parvati, met him face to face. "Your feats of magic are mere childís play compared with the divine creative power that sustains all the worlds," said Parvati. The Divine Mother, at the command of Lord Siva, raised her hand and streams of luminous cosmic bubbles flowed out which became endless universes pervaded everywhere by the divine holy couple. Parvati showed Shandu visions of all his lives, always striving for power but never satisfied. She showed him how he was trapped by his mindís desires since he was blind to searching for Godís reality. Then the Divine Mother touched Shanduís heart. He felt the ecstatic bliss of being a soul that was expanding into infinity, while yet being in one place at the same time. Shandu realized that beyond life and death the bliss of God was the only reality. Shandu bowed touching the feet of the divine holy couple and prayed for forgiveness for his mindís ignorance.

    Slowly Shandu descended from the cloud and reached the royal palace. By now the cloud had disappeared. King Bhadrayu and his people were amazed by Shanduís magic. King Bhadrayu offered Shandu his daughter Chandrika and his kingdom. But then Shandu did the biggest miracle of his life. He renounced his craving for power. Shandu told the people his vision of Siva and Parvati in the cloud. The people looked up, and all saw the holy couple blessing the kingdom with beams of light descending from their hands. Shandu had now experienced something greater than all the illusions of magic. By the grace of the divine holy couple Shandu the magician had become transformed into a saint who saw beyond this fleeting transient world. Shanduís whole being now experienced Godís reality everywhere. All the people witnessed the radiant light coming out of his bliss filled body, and they also felt the reality of the divine presence pervading their soul.

    THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM

    It was so dark and still that one could feel an invisible presence overlooking the coming battle. Two kingdoms were preparing to destroy themselves for land and glory. Inside a blue tent housing the king, a conference was going on between the king and Lomar, his general. The kingís strategy was for Lomar to attack the enemy center with a third of the army and then the rest of the kingís army would strike from the rear. But the distance between hopeful plans and reality is sometimes as wide as the space between two mountain cliffs.

    The sun arose waking up thousands of warriors on both sides. The bright glistening sky overhead and the vast plain of the sandy earth below became a huge arena waiting to witness the explosion of the coming war. Both sides were armed and all tense for the grand killing to begin. Suddenly Lomarís band of cavalry rode headlong toward the enemyís center with arrows and shouting filling the sky. The enemy kingís response was to form his troops into a half moon semicircle to trap the attacking thrust of Lomarís cavalry. Something went wrong with the plan of Lomarís king to attack from the rear. They delayed too long, and Lomar was forced to turn around and ride in swift retreat. The enemy army sped on in hot pursuit. Suddenly a frightening scene appeared to Lomarís outnumbered retreating cavalry. The battlefield ended as they rode toward a mountain cliff whose bottom seemed to have no end. Ten feet separated the mountain cliff from another large stretch of land that appeared as an impossible hope for freedom. The horses were racing too fast to be stopped.

    Suddenly Lomar awoke all alone. The sun had set. The brave warrior felt ashamed of his retreat. He was a stranger in a new unexplored land. A gentle wave of string music was coming closer. A luminous misty cloudlike form was manifesting before his startled eyes. A golden robed woman touched his hand. Lomar felt her hand and knew that this touch was not that of an earthly woman. Amela told Lomar that she was his guide. Lomar asked her where he was to go. Amela told Lomar when he was a boy he always dreamed of what lay beyond the perilous mountain cliff. Amela taught Lomar that there is a universal king who made his devoted subjects live in eternal freedom. Lomar said he was ready to see the king of freedom. Amela made Lomar promise never to let go of her hand in their journey, no matter what happened.

    While holding Amelaís golden hand, a giant golden eagle with wings of fire waited to help their journey to the king of freedom. They both sat on the bird of heaven, and the journey beyond earthly reality began. This Garuda bird was a celestial eagle that the gods rode upon in heaven. Higher and higher they went as the earth and the stars began to recede into nothingness. There was only an endless wall of light stretching everywhere. Suddenly a ringing music with bells and a flute came nearer and nearer. An infinite tree was seen growing from a vast garden. A little child was lying asleep on a lotus leaf. Amela told Lomar to prepare himself to meet the king of freedom. The divine child opened his blue eyes, and the tree and garden disappeared. Lomar suddenly felt that his guide Amela had also vanished. Only the divine child existed. He played on his flute and became all the worlds and, at his will, became again just a sleeping boy. Lomar knew within his heart that he had met the king of freedom who no earthly mind could comprehend.

    The smiling divine child told Lomar that in many lives he struggled hard to realize Godís presence. Lomar asked the blue boy how he knew about past lives. The divine child told Lomar that as the eternal king of freedom he lives beyond time and body limitations in a playful way that no human mind could comprehend. The divine child promised to teach Lomar more about the realization of God in his next lifetime. After spending vast ages in the celestial kingdom of the golden lotus, Lomar was again reborn on earth.

    It was so dark and still that one could feel an invisible presence overlooking the coming battle. Two kingdoms were preparing to destroy themselves for land and glory. The sun arose waking up thousands of warriors on both sides. So Arjuna woke up that day finding Krishna by his side.

    THE LOST CALF

    One afternoon a group of cowherd boys were relaxing in the bright green meadow. The cows were slowly wandering through the pasture nibbling bits of grass. Next to some of the cows their frisky calves were jumping with the joy of youthful spring. Just as the cowherd boys knew who their parents were, each calf knew with the instinct of love who was their mother. This link of affection was happily shared by the cows moving through the pasture. Suddenly one tan cow let out with an awful cry. The cow ran this way and that way. The cowherd boys woke up from their afternoon sleep. All the other cows were tranquil except this one agitated cow. This cow knew with the instinct of a mother that her lovely little calf was missing from the meadow. The cowherd boys counted the cows in the fields and found that one calf was indeed missing from the herd. So they decided to bring the cows back to the village and let one cowherd boy remain to search for the missing calf. When something is lost in this world, one must carefully search for it until it is found. Surya was young and alert and had much courage for this task.

    Surya knew that his mission would be made more difficult with the darkness of evening approaching. Still he moved quickly through the grass searching for clues that would reveal the trail of the innocent calf. He searched for areas growing food and near water. His ears listened carefully for the sound that a frightened calf would make. The sun set and the moon arose, but still Surya would not give up in his quest. By now Surya had long since left the green meadow and was passing through a forest. He heard many strange sounds but was not afraid. The one who had set out in search of a lost calf found that he himself was lost in the night. He approached a riverbank and found the hollow of a huge tree to sleep in. An old spider web on the entrance showed that the tree hollow was empty inside. Surya, with youthful imagination, began to marvel at the beauty of the spiderís web. From out of the center he gazed at soft strands projecting an expanding circular masterpiece of beauty. Suryaís eyes grew heavy with weariness, and soon he was asleep within the empty tree hollow. That night he had a dream that changed his whole life. He dreamed he existed as a mind floating in infinite space. A point of light appeared in the cosmic void. Suddenly many forms started projecting themselves out of this central sun. But at the center there was a divine being that Surya felt was simultaneously radiating from his heart center. Surya saw that all existence was a living part of the mysterious cosmic whole. God was the cosmic spider of light and from his mindís manifested web of thought there flowed outward all of creation. The divine being of light was always hidden in the center of existence. But since all of creation was projected outward, God remained unknown. Surya realized his soul as a living part of that hidden divine creator. The imagery of the spiderís web had worked to awaken his spiritual consciousness during the dream. Suddenly the sound of a vibrating flute woke him up from his dream. The music of the flute was coming from the riverbank. Surya got up and left the tree hollow to see where this entrancing music was coming from. The silver beams of the moon above aided him in reaching the scene of the musicís origin.

    What Surya saw was even more fantastic than the dream he had in the empty tree hollow. There was dancing and music that was out of this world. He saw a circle of dancers holding hands, and in the center was a huge being dancing alone playing a flute. All the dancers were each holding the hand of that same mysterious person whose huge form in the center was directing this dance of joy. The entrancing music of the flute liberated the souls of the dancers from their body consciousness. They all felt united with the blue boy in the center of the dance. Their souls had answered the divine call, and now they all merged in the flute player. Suddenly there was no dance, only the flute player remained. Because all the individual dancers were only a projection of Krishnaís cosmic play. Surya stood entranced with ecstasy gazing into the eyes of Sri Krishna. "You came searching for a lost calf, but it was your soul that was lost from its creator. Now by your good karma in many lifetimes you have found the divine person. I am always with you in your heart, but now you are aware of my presence." Just as Sri Krishna had finished speaking these words, his huge shape of blue light became smaller and smaller and melted into Suryaís opened heart.

    INNOCENCE

    "One, two, three...one hundred. Where are the rest of the gold coins in the royal treasury?" demanded King Vishnupriya. After the king had finished his annual treasury audit, it was found that nearly all the royal wealth had mysteriously disappeared from the treasury. The king questioned his prime minister Rajan but got no answer. The king next talked with his army commander general Ugrapati about the theft. Now that the kingdom was financially broke there was a real danger that it would be an easy prey for any invading army. Both the prime minister Rajan and the army commander Ugrapati were considered to be the two most powerful men in the kingdom. King Vishnupriya suspected that one of these two ministers were behind the treasury theft in a plot to seize control of the kingdom. The prime minister Rajan had proven himself to be the most clever astute politician of his time, and the defense minister Ugrapati had proven himself to be the most successful military commander with a string of many battle conquests to his credit. The pressing question facing King Vishnupriya was how to determine which one of his two powerful ministers had secretly looted the royal treasury.

    The king decided to search the houses of the two ministers. Ugrapatiís mansion was found to be full of detailed maps of all the neighboring kingdoms. But no unusual amount of royal coins were discovered there. After three hours of searching Rajanís house, there was found a freshly covered hole in the back wall. The kingís servants broke through the wall and found over five hundred gold coins. Still the bulk of the missing royal treasury was not found. But all the evidence pointed to Rajan as the treasury thief. Rajan protested his innocence to the king. Nobody would believe his innocence. There were now two choices left open to Rajan. First he could meekly let himself be wrongly punished for a crime that he did not commit, or his second choice could be to escape with his life immediately from the kingdom. Rajan looked at the hostile faces of King Vishnupriya and defense minister Ugrapati. Rajan saw that just in front of the royal palace was his trusted white horse. So Rajan surprised the kingís guards by bursting out of the palace window with one terrific jump. Now Rajan was on his white stallion riding for his dear life with hundreds of royal troops chasing him in hot pursuit.

    While Rajanís white horse gained speed, he kept thinking to himself about where was there justice in this world when might apparently seemed to make right. By nightfall the mighty white stallion had raced through plain and forest in its quest to escape the royal cavalry that was pursuing Rajan. Under the cover of darkness Rajan reached the shore of a vast river. He was afraid that now with the deep river in front of him and the royal cavalry somewhere behind him in the darkness, his liberty would soon end. "Are you coming my way?" called a boy steering a small wooden boat. Rajan had no choice but to put his life in the hands of this young unknown boatman. "Where do you come from?" asked Rajan. "I come from the other side of the shore. Please step onto my boat. I have taken many others before to the safe side of the far off shore" answered the mysterious boatman. So Rajan abandoned his loyal white stallion and got onto the little boat to seek a life of freedom safe from the clutches of a hostile world. "I know the way to safety. Please put all your trust in me, and you shall be free of all worldly fear" said the confident master of the boat carrying Rajan to freedom.

    Rajan reached the other shore and in terror saw himself between two huge armies composed of endless hordes of roaring warriors. "Have no fear. I protect all those who surrender their lives to me," said the child who had previously assumed the disguise of the boatman. Rajan saw a huge hand lifting him above the two battling armies. A gigantic cosmic being whose body was composed of all the universes was tenderly holding Rajan. Rajan saw himself as a little speck existing within the enormous endless body of the unbelievable deity that he was now witnessing. Then Rajan saw his soul as a point of light that now began expanding beyond the stars and galaxies. He saw the past, present, and future. Rajan discovered that he too was in reality this Universal Godhead. It did not make sense to his mind that he could be a tiny soul and yet exist simultaneously as the Divine. The Divine Being that Rajan was now experiencing inwardly and outwardly slowly began to speak. "I too was accused of theft long ago. They said I stole the Shyamantaka jewel from King Satrajit. You Rajan have lived a pure life inwardly, and I will prove your innocence when you return to the kingdom.

    Suddenly the sun arose and Rajan found himself returned back to the shore where his trusty white stallion was waiting for him. Rajan returned to the kingdom with faith that God was always protecting him since he realized his soul as part of the Cosmic Godhead. King Vishnupriya looked into Rajanís eyes and saw the courage of an innocent man. Still the evidence pointed to Rajan as the treasury thief, and it was the duty of the king to have him executed. If Rajan would die, Ugrapati would also become the prime minister. King Vishnupriya decided to secretly search the powerful Ugrapatiís house again. There were dozens of military maps of neighboring kingdoms and also one map of a deserted Vishnu temple on the outskirts of the royal capital. Rajan stood the next morning before the royal executioner with serenity in his heart. Since Rajanís experience of cosmic consciousness on the other shore, he felt Krishna protecting his life. As the executioner raised his sword over Rajanís neck, a sudden burst of wind blew the sword to the ground. Then a thunderous explosion came from the deserted Vishnu temple. The doors opened and a bright light glowed inside from the ancient image of the Lord. The discus in one of his four arms began revolving and throwing out sparks of fire. A whirling circle shot out of the temple doors into the royal palace and severed the head of Ugrapatiís thick neck. Divine justice had triumphed. Shortly afterwards King Vishnupriya, using Ugrapatiís temple map, found the stolen treasure money hidden beneath the old templeís floor. Rajan never became prime minister again. Instead he became the priest of the newly rebuilt Vishnu temple which attracted devotees to come for worship even beyond the kingdom. And so the people had discovered a treasure beyond the value of worldly gold.

    THE FIRST CUSTOMER

    It was market day, and the doctor strode down the hot dusty road. To everyone in the city he was known as the angel of mercy. Five years before there was a war whose aftermath spread a plague that killed hundreds. Among those lost in the plague was the doctorís wife. Ever since that tragic loss, he dedicated himself to healing and comforting the sick. The doctorís perception of life had grown beyond that of the average man. He regarded all men as part of his family. Whenever he visited the ruler of the kingdom, he would talk about the futility of war. War was a disease of the nationís consciousness whose deadly poison eventually manifested as an unknown plague killing more people than all the battles combined. But unfortunately the majority of the people were not receptive to the doctorís ideas of universal brotherhood. Still the doctor was a dedicated crusader who would not stop in spreading his message of peace and hope to all those suffering people in need. His ideas of mental hygiene were well ahead of his time. But the people greeted the good doctor with respect everywhere he went since they were grateful for all the many loved ones that were restored to good health.

    The doctor continued walking through the market place. Each road presented the different products offered by the merchants. Some sold food, others sold clothing, many games of chance took place, every form of entertainment was offered, and yet the variety of goods and services seemed endless on market day. The roads were full of continuously moving customers. Everyone looked, bargained, and then selected. The slow jingle of exchanged coins was continuous throughout that day. It seemed that everything had a price and that all oneís desires could be satisfied by money. This was the day that drew all the people together for a great interchange of mutual needs and services. Yes, everyone in the kingdom was bound together by the great wheel of commerce. They all were part of this living ocean. Everywhere the doctor went he saw that one sold and another bought. He too had basic needs to be supplied on market day. The sun began to set and at last the good doctor had made all his basic purchases and chatted with his many friends. Now it was time to return home. He thought that he had visited every shop in the market place until he discovered a little shop at the end of the road.

    From behind a half opened door came a voice saying: "what do you want?" This was a most fascinating voice because the doctor felt like the question had come from within his own heart. "I do not know" replied the doctor. "Then open the door fully" came the voice from inside. So the doctor entered the strange shop not knowing what to expect. Inside the shop he saw beautiful carpets on the floor, smelled perfume pervading the air and felt vibrantly refreshed. In the corner sat a mysterious proprietor. "You are the first customer in a long time because most of the people do not have the time or patience to look for my shop" said the orange robed proprietor. "But what do you sell?" asked the puzzled doctor. "I do not sell anything. I can only give what you are willing to receive" replied the peacefully sitting merchant. "I wish I could find a way to end all suffering. Please show me some magic formula if you can" said the doctor. "I am not a miracle man my good doctor. All I can show you is that the lasting answer to all of lifeís problems comes from within" replied the patient merchant. Then the merchant took the doctor by the hand, and they both left the shop.

    "Look throughout this whole market place and tell me what you see" asked the mysterious merchant. The doctor carefully surveyed the entire market place and found it to be empty. All the shops had closed. All the customers had returned home. Only the mysterious merchant and his own self remained in the market place. "You know life is like this market place. It flows constantly with activity and rest, but behind all the transactions there is a higher reason of being. Today you opened the door to your soul. But beyond the house of the body there is an immortal king. If only people could rise above the daily routine of lifeís market place and search for this eternal treasure, then there would be no more sickness of broken lives in this world." After hearing these teachings of the mysterious merchant, the doctor tried to penetrate beyond the twin diamond fires of the wise merchantís eyes. Suddenly there was no merchant, no market place, and no doctor. All dissolved in one huge blazing light pervading the universe. Everything revealed itself as part of one gigantic heart of love. In the consciousness of the Divine Healer there was no sickness, no health, no patient, no doctor, because all flowed in harmony with Godís light.

    The next day the doctorís mind returned to the market place. But he felt like a new man. He glowed with inner light and wisdom. All the people knew that their beloved doctor had become a saint by tasting the nectar of divine love. The mysterious merchant had always existed, but until yesterday he was hidden deep in the heart of the doctor. Every man has this soul of divine nectar waiting for the first customer to taste the ecstasy of union with God.

    IMMORTAL LOVE

    In the early days of creation there lived a divine couple in love. The woman was radiantly beautiful and brought joy wherever she moved. The man was serious and brought peace wherever he resided. It was a strange union of opposites between lifeís creativity and Spiritís withdrawal. Each needed and lived for the other. The whole universe was their palace of love. Everywhere they went life reflected their bliss and serenity. But on the dark side of the universe there were the masters of materialism. These wizards of the lower powers planned to turn creation in a path entirely opposite that seen by the divine couple. The masters of materialism wanted a world to develop that was governed only by ego, strife, and short lived sensual pleasures. So all the lords of the lower powers decided to perform a sacrifice whose success would determine the future course of lifeís evolution in this world. Everyone was invited to attend this pompous grand sacrifice except the divine couple. With the ingredients of wealth, desire, and violence being magically poured into the sacrificial flame the ceremony of the masters of materialism moved ever closer to completion. Only one force could stop this sacrifice of the wizards of the lower powers.

    The divine woman of bliss and beauty decided to end this dark sacrifice by throwing her life into the flames. So while her divine husband was lost in the Spiritís contemplation, she separated from him and went toward the place where the sacrifice was being held. She was an uninvited guest, and her appearance startled all the masters of materialism. It was an absolute contrast of characteristics. On one side was all the darkness and limits of egoís growth in matter, while on the divine womanís side was all the hope and possibilities of the Spiritís growth in creation. To make the worldís evolution into Spirit safe, she jumped into the flames of the evil sacrifice. Her body was burnt to ashes, but she vowed never to separate from her ascetic husband. She would return and join with the divine ascetic in a love that would never die for the welfare of all of creation.

    The divine ascetic awoke from his meditation with a shock of anger. He saw in his yogic vision his wifeís supreme sacrifice to end the scheme of the lords of the lower powers to conquer and control the future evolution of life in the universe. From out of the divine asceticís third eye materialized a fiery ghost of vengeance armed with a trident and a sinister grin. The ancient yogi commanded the ghost of vengeance to march toward where the sacrifice was being held and to annihilate it from the face of the earth. So bowing low to the lord of yoga, the ghost of vengeance set off to destroy the evil sacrifice being armed with his thunderbolt trident. Soon the ghost of vengeance reached the spot where the pompous sacrifice of the masters of materialism was being held. Without showing any trace of mercy the ghost of vengeance began to immediately destroy, with his punishing trident, every article and utensil used in the sacrifice. The area of the sacrifice swiftly became one chaotic shambles. Next the ghost of vengeance, with supernatural speed, appeared to be everywhere at once engaged in the cruel task of slaughtering all the evil wizards of the lower powers. There was no escape for anyone responsible for the death of the asceticís wife. Finally with his mission of destruction completed, the ghost of vengeance returned to his lord of yoga and became absorbed into his third eye.

    Now all existence seemed full of loneliness and sorrow for the once great ascetic. Every place he wandered, he was haunted by the lovely face of his departed wife. There was no peace of mind for the divine ascetic. He tried to lose himself in meditation, but instead only tears of loneliness ran down his eyes. His love for his wife remained although the ages slowly passed on. The divine asceticís only meditation was a hope beyond hope to be again reunited with his departed wife. Then a new age arose. In this cosmic cycle divine love would triumph over death and materialism. The goddess reentered this world by being born on the same icy high Himalayan Mountain that Siva was meditating on. Siva suddenly felt loveís warm embrace expanding in his heart. The great yogi opened his eyes and saw Parvati worshipping her husband.

    OM TAT SAT

    SWAMIJIíS MESSAGE

    Aum. My best wishes for publishing this book. The author Jay Mazo came to my Bangalore Ashram in 1970 and was initiated into meditation. After following my instructions he is revealing through this book his experiences received in meditation to the world. Those who read this book should also learn meditation and then spread the practice among the people. By doing this they will attain peace of mind. This is my advice.

    With Blessings, SivaBalaYogi, Bangalore, India 1973