A Mere Dream
A Mere Dream
Last month, I along with my family went to Haridwar to immerse the ashes of my great grandmother in the Ganges. The immersion of ashes gives liberation to the departed soul.
We all prayed for her liberation, peace, and eternal rest. We asked for her blessings for all of us. Our pundit lit a lamp, put in the vessel with some flowers that my uncle was asked to float on the water gently. Our eyes followed the lit up ‘diya’ till it last seen.
Everyone had their emotions of love and respect for her. Keeping sweet memories of her we came back to our hotel room. We had our lunch and rested for a while.
The next day I was wandering and exploring the serenity, purity, and divineness of the place. The cool breeze I had never experienced. The air was fresh and fragmented. The waves were dancing on the river with joy. The sun rays were glorifying the river waves.
Saints were moving around giving sermons and preaching to the masses. At the bank of the river Ganga, I noticed a young boy who was lonely, tall, and gentle. He looked poor, yet he walked as though he were the king of the Earth. I fastened my pace and drew near to him. As I gazed into his radiant face, I could not resist myself to talk to him. I asked, who are you?
He said he was a pilgrim in this city of Haridwar. People call him ‘Master’. Suddenly I felt something inside and I called him a master.
In the meantime, another young man passed by. In one of his hands was a basket in which imprisoned a number of tiny birds. The master called out to him, ‘Where lost thou go carrying these little creatures of God?’ The young man answered, ‘I have been able to capture these birds after a whole day’s weary waiting. I am taking them to the market to sell them. The young man held out the basket before the master.
He looked long and tenderly at the little birds, already half-dead in fear of approaching death. Tears filled in the master’s eyes. He whispered to them. Little children of God! In their ignorance, men catch you and kill you! And eat you! “Ah! But I can see tomorrow is coming when men will regard and realize you as their younger brothers in one of the families of Him whose name is Love!”
The young hunter was moved and gave the cage to the master and surrendered all his birds to him. The master received the basket and one by one he took the birds out of the basket, gently stroked them, spoke to them a few loving words, and set them free. And as the birds flew away, they sang in joy. The master felt happy as a wave dancing on the sea.
The master told me that today is Meatless and Animal Rights Day. I asked to master, “They who know, tell us that life can never be killed. It is the forms, which perish. Why then must we feel sad if birds and animals are slaughtered?”
He answered, “Life it is true is eternal. It is, also true that the law of life is compassion and love, out of love cometh joy, and every other blessing. All killing is the denial of love.”
The master continued, “He who kills another kills himself. He who inflicts suffering upon another brings suffering to himself. Such is the law.
All incarnations like Ram, Krishna, Jesus taught the lessons of love and compassion to humankind. They all had simple life fulfilling all duties and responsibilities righteously. They set examples of tolerance, patience, purity, and simplicity.
Further, I asked: “Master! What of those who eat corn & vegetables and fruits? There is life in them too!” The compassionate master replied, “In minerals and in plants, in vegetables and fruits, life does slumber still. Different is the case with birds and animals. They feel the joy of living and the agony of dying. The birds singing on yonder tree, the faithful dog following his master, they have reached the stage of duality. They are sensitive to pleasure and pain. Like us, they are moving on towards the goal. The goal is unity. And we must help them.
As I was going to ask another question, the master had disappeared and suddenly I woke up. It was a dream.