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Dialogues Of Self And Soul — 6

‘MAYA — THE ILLUSION.’

Digging deeper into Samadhi…

I opened my eyes to find myself standing in a forest. Something was very wrong — it was an unfamiliar place, not the Garden of Soul I knew so well.
That was not all, the whole forest was on fire and I could see the wild fire spreading around at an alarming rate. Sky high flames and black smoke filled the atmosphere. I stood there for a brief moment, feeling the heat intensifying with every passing moment, then suddenly a dreadful feeling crept up from the pit of my stomach — I was about to get incinerated! Desperately trying to contain my fear, I swiftly turned back to run in the opposite direction.
I was apparently late, the blazing fire was already raging behind me — having completely encircled me by now. It was clearly evident that I could not escape the giant red and orange flames moving towards me, all the while engulfing everything in their path.

‘This is the end!’
I was about to lose hope when a young boy appeared from nowhere and touched my hand.

“Come this way! You will be safe there.” He said in a calm and gentle voice.
Before I could protest, the boy grabbed my hand and started guiding me in the direction of raging fire. I hesitated, I was in a dilemma, the boy was taking me towards certain death! Then a strange thing happened, my lips moved and a Mantra came out — ‘AUM TAT SAT’- all that is true — the Mantra of purification and salvation.
I continued the chant of Aum tat sat and soon faith overtook my inhibitions. I stopped protesting and we started running towards the fire……I ran with all my strength, sweat pouring down my forehead.

As we ran, miraculously, a small opening became visible on the rim of the raging flames, as if somehow the fire had not managed to reach the spot as yet. 
Still running hard, the boy left my hand and jumped into the open space and disappeared into a dense bush. Without the slightest hesitation I also jumped in, falling and rolling down on the ground. 
I glanced back, we had escaped at the last possible moment; the flames were now ravaging the very spot where I was standing a moment ago!

“Oh! What a narrow escape! Who are you and what are you doing in this forest?” I asked, getting up with a sigh of relief. 
The boy just stood there, he said nothing but smiled in a benevolent manner while staring affectionately at me. Then he turned around abruptly and started walking away. Out of curiosity, I followed him and after a while we were out of the forest, walking in to a clear field that ended at the edge of a cliff. 
At last, he stopped at the edge of the cliff. I came to stand beside him and instantly a startled cry escaped my lips — it was a sheer drop of at least three hundred meters with nothing but thin air in between the edge and the river flowing on the distant ground below. I looked up, the young boy seemed to be excited and happy.

“Go!” he said with a mysterious smile on his lips.
I was shocked and shouted at once, “Go where? The only way to go is towards the forest. No one can jump from this height!”
The boy struck a pebble with his foot and the stone fell down the edge, gaining speed with every moment — becoming smaller and smaller in the process. Surprised, I craned my neck to look where the pebble had disappeared.
I was busy peering down when I felt a gentle touch on my back. My eyes grew wide in disbelief just as the boy pushed me down into the abyss.

The very next moment I was falling down with great speed, throwing my hands frantically to grab the air itself. However, there was nothing to stop my fall! I looked around fervently, my heart pounding furiously when suddenly the time started to slow down, I felt my body becoming lighter and the speed of my fall decreasing greatly.

A strange yet familiar voice startled me,
“Death is an illusion. You are me and I am indestructible. You are the one, all encompassing, omnipresent, you are the beginning and you are the end. In other words, you are a part of me, the Brahman.”

I turned my head to find the young boy suspended in the air beside me — we were floating together in air.
He had the same alluring smile on his lips — reminding me of the image of the God smiling, while playing a divine melody on flute. I closed my eyes and bowed my head in recognition and reverence.

Finally understanding, I muttered involuntarily, .
“Ahem Brahamasmi — I am Brahmana, I am God.” 
“ AUM TAT SAT’- The Aksara is ‘AUM’ (ॐ)! Aum is all that is true.”

The words started echoing inside my being, giving me unfathomable confidence and power. Gradually my body started reverberating with a beat of rhythm of the universe…Aum — Aum.

A pair of white wings started taking shape and slowly grew out between my shoulder blades. In no time, they grew to their full length, long, strong, and majestic. Impulsively, I flapped my newfound wings and to my utter astonishment instantly took flight as a giant bird.
I looked down, the boy had disappeared.

I laughed aloud with sheer joy, spreading my wings and climbing higher and higher until I started feeling dizzy. I circled the sky for some time and then gathered my wings and turned my head down.
I dived like an eagle with great speed, falling like a stone from the sky until I attained a dazzling speed. I was ecstatic, feeling like a child on a giant roller coaster ride who was enjoying the ultimate thrill. I looked down and saw the water below, approaching with astonishing speed but there was no fear anymore. My body arched like an arrow as I waited until the last moment before spreading my wings once again. I managed to scrape the water surface just before the mighty wings scooped me up again. 
“Thank you my lord!” I shouted as I flew away with renewed vigor.
Finally, I landed on the cliff like a seasoned bird after flying in the sky for a long time. My wings retracted and dissolved into my body as I touched the ground.

She was standing there with an enigmatic smile on her face.
“Where is that boy? Who was he and what is this place?” I asked, barely able to conceal my excitement as I approached her.
“Calm down, I will answer all your questions. But first let us return to our garden of bliss.” She said.
She started walking and I followed her, instinctively turning my head to look back and found the young boy standing at the edge, he was smiling.

To be continued…

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