Tulpa (Of Faith, Love And Other Such Things)
An Excerpt From My Unpublished Novel Swayambhu
“Suhi”, Rudra looked at me from where he was still sitting.
“Yes”, I responded.
“Don’t you want a tulpa?”, he asked minus any preface or context.
It was a strange question, “I want…why would I want a tulpa?”
“I was generally curious”, he shrugged.
I paused and considered the question, “No”, I said firmly, “I don’t want a tulpa. I think I am done with my quota of imaginary friends in this life”, I said a little tightly and turned to leave.
“You know what is the opposite of a tulpa?”, he asked, voice quiet.
I turned around, took a deep breath and shook my head slowly. I knew there was a reason behind this conversation. With Rudra, there always was, whether I understood it or not.
“Tulpas are hallucinations. They are born out of meditative energy. But they are unreal. Human mind is fascinating. But it is still not powerful enough to create something that is real”
I listened to him intently.
“You know what has that kind of power? The kind of power that can impact the core of the Universe. Alter its rules. Set inexplicable forces in motion. Create something that is real”
I gulped. I thought I knew what the answer was. But I still shook my head, signalling Rudra to continue.
“Come on. I know you know it”
I kept quiet.
“Faith”, he whispered with a tone that dripped with awe and wonder, “it is faith. Faith is the only force in this Universe that has that kind of unquantifiable power. And the opposite of tulpa is Swayambhu — the self manifesting divine revelation of faith. Swayambhu is not a hallucination. It is not a symbol. It is faith in its purest form, faith in motion — the faith that makes real Gods out of dead stones”
I don’t know what Rudra was thinking. I never did. But at least for me, this conversation had served its purpose.
To remind me that if I were ever trapped with my tulpa and my Swayambhu in a room, I wouldn’t know who is who.
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