Humans have spent their whole lives in the quest for truth. In this puddle of lies we live in, truth is a rare invaluable jewel.
As a kid growing up in urban India it was unusual for people to find me too interested in the unknown, the mysterious. Kids of my age grew up learning to be afraid of ghosts, spirits and everything supernatural, while I had an unwelcomed interest for everything that wasn’t to be found in realms of our everyday life.
I was probably 14 or 15, hearing a commotion in the neighborhood, I ran to that side and saw an old man, his long white beard and saffron clothes divulging his potential identity of a sage. Surrounded by dozens of dwellers encircling him, his old eyes seemed like they had seen everything life had to offer, still the calm in them was astounding. He claimed to read minds, he was telling people what they were thinking, what they had in their minds right then and amusing them. I was impressed, really was. But then came my turn to be present before him. He just said, “Son, I know you like this art, but I can read that you still doubt me. Do you? Even now?” with a wry smile on his serene face. Now I had none, I was just speechless. I knew I had a purpose in life now, my quest. The quest for truth.
He never told me his name, but in his short stay he did tell me what I wished to know for attaining the only purpose of my life. After I constantly pestered him with that question, he just had one reply “It will ruin you, it will break you”, but I was adamant. I kept asking him, how, just how could I have this ability to read minds. I don’t know why he changed his stern stance, but his last words to me before he left our colony were ” Up north, in the Himalayas stay the Shabd Yogis, only they can teach, what you seek.”
By the time I was 20, this obsession grew so much that I left my home. I took blessings of my parents, and waived at my younger siblings, all they knew was that I was going out to find work. They didn’t know, it was my life’s only aim that I was treading on. It was a long journey to the mighty Himalayas, but the worst came while trying to find clues where do shabd-yogis inhabited. No one really knew for sure if they even existed. One year passed by, I kept doing petty jobs to make ends meet. Then one day, I saw one Sadhu walk by just in front of me. His eyes, they were just the same as the man I met years ago, there was something about those eyes. They spoke of all the pain this world can confer on a human soul, yet they were calm, nonchalant, brimming with positivity.
I touched his feet and asked for his blessings. I inquired if he was a shabd yogi. He nodded, affirming that my search was finally over. For the rest of our journey through the harshest of weathers and wilderness, I carried his belongings. I just had to please him somehow. On the fourth day, as I could estimate we were half way to the top of this mountain we were ascending. It was called Shilindra. Yogiji told me that Shilindra meant slanting in sanskrit, I found the name apt.
In the constant fall of white snowy matter a sudden sight of a huge opening in the mountain filled me with a sudden gush of euphoria. The cave of the shabd-yogis, right in the heart of the Shilindra mountain. I noticed the child-like excitement I was going through, my gaping mouth subtly speaking about it. He gestured me to follow him into the cave, I was more than happy to obey. As the chilling cold of the mighty Himalayas was gently being healed with the warmth of the cave, my enthusiasm for my new life was rising.
To be continued in The Truth about Truth – II