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To Mariyah
all haters of untruth
All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds
then to the understanding, and ends with reason.
There is nothing higher than reason.

- Immanuel Kant
Source: Critique of Pure Reason, 1781
So listen to the voice of reason.
For is the voice of Truth.


T he words reverberated in his head.

“You have only 6 months to live.”
Richard White was dying. He was only 39 years old.
“You can’t be serious, doctor,” he had asserted. But the
doctor had a grim look on his face.
Richard was devastated. He had millions of dollars in his
bank account. But all his wealth was pretty useless. All the
money in the whole world could not save him. There was no
cure for the disease he was suffering from.
He thought about his huge, grand mansion in which he
lived, the number of cars he had and his great army of
employees and servants who were always at his beck and
call. He sat in his hospital room thinking. And many were
the thoughts that passed through his mind. He remembered
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his past life, his childhood days, his adolescence and the
days of his youth.
How quickly the years had sped by! It was like it all
happened yesterday. And now, his time was nearly up!
Death was coming closer and closer by the minute.
The thought frightened him. He was scared. So very
scared. And there was nowhere to run. There was absolutely
nothing he could do! Never before had he felt so helpless.
The subject of death was one he always avoided. He had
always read about people dying, and he had also attended
several funerals. But he had never dwelt upon the unpleas-
ant subject of his own death. And now, after the doctor had
conveyed the dreadful news to him, he found himself think-
ing of nothing but death.
He remembered the story of Emperor Shih Huang Ti, a
Chinese ruler who was afraid of death and who wanted to
live forever. He sent many people in search of an antidote
that would make him immortal. But such an antidote was
never found.
“In this day of computers and great medical progress,”
thought Richard, “no one has yet found a cure for death. Or
even old age. I don’t fancy any one ever will.”
“I wonder what happens after death,” he murmured to
himself. “Is death the end of our existence?”
“Or is there life after death?”
“Does anyone know?”
“How can I know for sure?”
Richard was seized by a burning desire to know what the
truth was. He suddenly wanted to solve the greatest riddle
mankind had been puzzling over for centuries, and which
was still enshrouded in complete mystery. Why do we die?
What is the purpose of life, and what lies beyond death?
He was a practical man and very shrewd. He was not a


fool. He was not satisfied with religious explanations. He

wanted a scientific answer. An answer that made sense.
The phone rang.
“Your chauffeur is here,” said the receptionist.
“I’ll be down in a minute,” said Richard.
Richard changed his clothes and left his hospital room.
He signed some papers at the receptionist’s desk and then
turned and walked a few steps towards the glass doors
above which a sign said “EXIT”. But something caught his
eye and he went back a few steps. The object of his atten-
tion was the huge community board where several notices,
flyers and posters were pinned. He was looking at one
particular flyer pasted there. In bold letters, it said:




“E ligibility test!” exclaimed Richard.

“Yes, sir. You will have to qualify before you can
attend this retreat,” said Henry. “Not everyone who
applies is accepted.”
“Why is that?” asked Richard.
“Because we want to make sure that we do not waste
our time, sir,” replied Henry. “Only serious parties will be
“Alright,” said Richard. “When do I come for the test?”
“Thursday morning, at 10 o’clock,” said Henry. Then he
gave him his address.
Richard hung up the phone.
“Hmmm. An eligibility test. This is going to be extremely
interesting,” he thought.

At 10 o’clock sharp the next morning, Richard was

seated in a hall full of people. Each person was given a
questionnaire and the test was over in just five minutes.
There were only two questions for everyone to answer:
Question 1: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest
and 10 the highest, how greatly do you rate your desire to
know what happens after death?
And... Question 2: How much can you pay to know the
answer to the question: what happens after death?
For the first question, Richard had no problem at all in
circling the number 10. And for the second question, he said
to himself, “This is a million dollar question. What would I
give to know the answer?” And he put in the amount of one
million dollars.
The papers were collected and those who had answered
“10” for the first question were asked to step forward. Out
of fifty people, only nineteen had answered “10”.
“The rest of you can leave now,” said Henry to the
people who had not qualified.
After they had gone, Henry turned to the nineteen candi-
“Congratulations,” said Henry with a big smile. “You
qualify for this retreat. You are most welcome to join our
camp. But first, I thought I might inform you that your stay
at the retreat isn’t going to be exactly comfortable. You
shall wear simple clothes, eat simple food and sleep on the
floor. Dr. Singh has organized this retreat at a remote island.
So you’ll be totally cut off from the rest of the world for ten
whole days. Once you join, no complaints will be tolerated.
Also, this re-treat will cost you some money. It’s not for
free. Therefore, please think carefully before you join.”
“Ah!” thought Marie Marchessaux, instantly deciding to
join. “This sounds like an adventure I simply can’t afford to

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miss! A remote island! How exciting!”

Jim Garrison, a poor, struggling lad in his teens also
decided to join. “Ten days away from everyone will do me a
lot of good,” he said to himself.
Richard was not so sure. “I’m so used to living a com-
fortable life,” he thought. “Will I be able to stay at the
retreat for ten days? It’s going to be extremely hard!”
Unlike Richard, a girl by the name of Amy Smith had no
hesitation at all in making her decision.
“It doesn’t bother me that I will have to sleep on the
floor and eat simple food,” she said to Henry. “I would do
anything to find out what happens after death. In fact, I
think it’s going to be a lot of fun!”
Henry smiled at her enthusiasm. “Well,” he said. “There
are no age restrictions for this camp. We encourage you to
come, in fact.”
Amy beamed.
Richard looked at her in amazement. Such extraordinary
courage and that too from a little girl! No, he would join
this retreat. Yes, he would. And he stepped forward.
23 year old Andrew Armstrong was thinking of not
going. But he too changed his mind when he heard Amy’s
words. “If this little girl can do it, why can’t I?” he told
And then there was Martha Woodridge, a 71 year old
lady. Lately, she had been thinking about death a lot and her
curiosity to know what lay beyond death was incredibly
strong. “I will go to this retreat,” she said firmly. “I don’t
know if I’ll be able to go another time.”
And so, there they were. Six people eagerly looking
forward to Dr. Singh’s exciting ten day retreat on a remote
island. The rest of the people, thirteen in all, mumbled their
apologies and left the hall. They decided they weren’t that


interested after all.

Henry regarded the six brave people who would attend
the retreat with great approval.
“You have proven that your desire to know the truth is
strong and genuine,” said Henry appreciatively. “You may
now join our retreat. Please make your payment.”
“How much do we pay?” asked Richard.
“Why, the amount that you wrote in your question paper
of course,” replied Henry very much amused. “How much
can you pay?”
“Yes,” said Richard, taking out his check book. He wrote
out the amount, signed the check and then handed it over to
“Thank you!” began Henry. And then he saw the amount
of one million dollars written on the check. It was Richard’s
turn to smile as he watched a very astonished Henry blink
his eyes in utter disbelief.


A my couldn’t keep still.

“When is the boat going to come?” she kept asking.
Her governess, Mrs. Patil, a plump 38 year old Hindu
woman told her to be patient. She was accompanying the
little 10 year old to Camano Island. She was not personally
interested in the retreat, but she didn’t mind going. After all
she was being paid good wages for the job of looking after
Marie Marchessaux felt as excited as Amy. She was a
famous Canadian actress who had come to Seattle for a
vacation. She had been to many places and seen many
interesting things. She had tasted the finest things in life and
had enjoyed every luxury and comfort. However, she was
quite bored with her lifestyle. There was no real fun. No real

excitement. Each day of her life was party, play and amuse-
ment. She had grown quite sick of it all. What was the
meaning of life? It seemed so meaningless.
“What a bit of luck to see Dr. Singh’s ad in the newspa-
per!” she thought delightfully. “Here’s my chance to find out
what life is all about!”
The boat was about half an hour late but nobody seemed
to mind. Henry got off the boat full of apologies. “Good
morning! Good morning!” he said. “Are you all ready?
Please come on board!”
The six passengers eagerly got on the boat carrying their
bags and suitcases. Soon they were on their way to Camano
Island. It was a pleasant trip over the blue waters of the sea.
Richard felt relaxed and happy. “It feels wonderful to be
in the company of people who don’t know anything about
me,” he thought.
Marie was thinking along the same lines. She hated
people prying into her life. Being a celebrity, she was always
in the limelight and hardly ever left alone. Here nobody
knew her. “It’s so nice to be unknown,” she thought with a
“Alright!” shouted Henry at last. “Here we are! We have
arrived at Camano Island!”
The boat halted at the pier and the passengers got off one
by one. A mini bus was waiting for them and Henry directed
them to board it at once. The bus took them to The Round
House, a huge circular building all white in color. The doors
to the entrance were made of glass and so were the many
windows around the building. It looked like a grand science
Inside the building, Henry turned to his new enthusiastic
guests. “Welcome to The Round House,” he said. “I shall
take you to your rooms in a moment. But first, I must ask

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you to surrender all jewelry items.”

Everyone stared at Henry.
“Don’t worry, they will be returned to you after your
stay,” he said reassuringly.
He looked at the several expensive rings that Richard
wore on his fingers. Richard took them off and handed them
over to Henry. Marie was next. She gave Henry her dia-
mond rings, bracelet and necklace.
Martha then spoke, a little concerned. “I just have this
simple necklace,” she said.
Henry regarded her simple necklace and nodded. “That
too,” he said. “Especially that. Your necklace has a cross on
it. Nothing religious of any kind is allowed over here.”
Martha removed her necklace.
“You’ll get it back,” said Henry taking it from her.
“But I shan’t give you my necklace,” said Mrs. Patil
defiantly. “Mine has an amulet on it which protects me from
danger and harm. It was given to me by my grandfather and
I will not surrender it under any circumstances!”
Henry looked at Mrs. Patil scornfully. “We have a policy
here, ma’am,” he told her. We do not at all tolerate supersti-
tious beliefs of any kind. They are most unscientific and
utterly baseless. If you feel you can’t give up your amulet,
you will have to leave this island immediately and go back
“But she came with me!” cried Amy.
“I know,” said Henry. “But your companion is not coop-
erating with us. She will have to go. And you will have to
go as well. I’m sorry.”
Mrs. Patil didn’t want to be fired. She needed the money
and couldn’t afford to lose her job. So she blurted out,
“Alright! I’ll take it off!”
Richard watched as Mrs. Patil reluctantly placed her


precious amulet and necklace upon Henry’s palm.

“I’m glad I came to this retreat,” he thought. “I do not
regret my decision one bit!”


M rs. Rekha Patil was very upset.

“That man has absolutely no respect for other
people’s feelings!” she declared with much antagonism.
“This is a most horrible place!”
Amy felt a little sorry for her. “Don’t worry, Mrs. Patil,”
she said. “You’ll get your chain back. After just ten days.”
Martha nodded. “It made me sad when they took away
my necklace with my cross too,” she admitted. “This room
of ours isn’t exactly comfortable to live in either.” She
gazed around the apartment that had been assigned to the
women with an air of resignation.
“But we had been warned beforehand about that,” said
Marie. “We agreed to the terms and conditions before we
came here, remember?”

“So we did,” said Martha. “So we did. There’s no point

in complaining now.”
Mrs. Patil was in tears. “I don’t mind sleeping on the
floor or eating simple food,” she sniffed. “I don’t mind the
discomfort. I was told about that before I came here. But
what bothers me is that they took away my necklace! My
amulet! My grandfather had given it to me when I was a
little girl of ten and I have never ever taken it off till now!”
“What’s an amulet?” asked Amy not having a clue what it
“It’s an ornament worn as a charm against evils,” Mrs.
Patil explained with a sob. “All my life I’ve worn it and it
has protected me from all kinds of harm.”
“Oh,” said Amy thoughtfully. “Henry was saying that this
amulet thing was unscientific.”
“Unscientific!” exclaimed Mrs. Patil. “I don’t know about
all that! There are some things in life that science can’t
explain. Faith, for example. I have great faith in my amulet.”
“And I in my cross,” said Martha slowly. “I have great
faith in my religion just like you do, Mrs. Patil. But I de-
cided to come to this retreat nevertheless.”
She paused. Then she continued in a serious tone, “You
know, in schools and colleges across the US, young people
open their science books and are taught that human beings
descended from apes. The evolution theory is taught to
them as though it is very scientific. I don’t agree with that
theory of course. I believe in my cross, my Bible and my
Martha stopped a few seconds to catch her breath. “I’ve
grown old now,” she went on. “I’m weak. These years are
my twilight years. But for the past few months I have
become rather contemplative. I am well aware that my time
to leave this world is coming nearer. Frankly I am very

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frightened. I don’t understand though why I should be.

After all, I believe that I will go to heaven. I believe that
God will take good care of me.”
She looked at the faces of Amy and all the women who
were listening to her with rapt attention. “I guess everyone
is scared of death,” she said. “I am. And I want to believe
that everything is going to be alright. But still there is that
nagging doubt in my mind that doesn’t go away. This doubt
terrifies me. You see, I’m not absolutely sure what is going
to happen after death. And I want to be sure. I want an
answer which will remove all doubt from my head, you
understand what I mean?”
Everyone nodded. They understood perfectly well what
she meant. “Then I got Dr.Singh’s postcard in the mail.”
continued Martha. “I made up my mind to attend the retreat
as soon as I read it. He offered scientific and reasonable
answers to the questions I had on my mind.”
“Bah!” said Mrs. Patil. “Scientific answer! You’ll prob-
ably hear about the evolution theory again. Didn’t you hear
what Henry said? That there is no tolerance for religion or
superstition in here?”
“Oh no,” responded Martha. “The ad sounded genuinely
scientific to me. I’ve told you that I don’t believe in the
evolution theory. I believe in a God. And Dr. Singh talked
about a God in the ad.”
“What!” cried Marie. “Do you by any chance have that
postcard with you?”
“I sure do,” replied Martha reaching for her suitcase.
Everyone gathered around her to read the postcard.
It read:

The God of All Things

An invitation to think and ponder.


Come solve the mysteries of life and death

with Dr. Singh.
Get scientific explanations and reasonable answers.
Sign up for our 10 day class and retreat today!
For more details, please turn over.


D r. Suryaveer Singh was in his study reading a book

of fiction - The Taming of the Shrew by William
Shakespeare. He was totally absorbed in it.
There was a knock at the door. Dr. Singh looked up.
“They are in the classroom waiting for you,” said Henry.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, I’ll be right there. Just give me
five more minutes. This book is positively unputdownable.”
“Unputdownable?” Henry raised his eyebrow.
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “I simply can’t put it down!”
“Oh!” said Henry and smiled. “I’ll be in the classroom.
See you in five minutes.”
Exactly five minutes later, Dr. Singh walked into the
classroom. He was dressed in white and looked very much
like an important scientist. He had in his hand a glass of

milk. He put it down on the table and then regarded his

students seated at their desks. They had their notebooks and
pencils before them and were ready for their first lesson.
“Welcome to The Round House,” said Dr. Singh. “We
certainly wish that we could call it The White House, but
that name is already taken.”
Martha couldn’t help smiling.
“We conduct some very special classes over here,” he
said. “Classes which help people find answers to life’s most
serious questions. Who are we? What are we doing here on
this planet? Where are we going? What happens after
“Man has attempted for centuries to answer these time-
less questions. But most of the answers are nothing but
conjecture. Basically, it’s all guesswork if you ask me.”
“What we want is an answer that is scientific and reason-
able. An answer that is based upon evidence and reason. We
want to know for certain what is the truth and reality and
steer clear from wild guessing.”
“So Truth and Reality - that is the focus of our ten day
class. Now, I have a question to ask you. If you wanted to
pick a color that would represent Truth, what color would it
“White!” said Marie instantly.
Dr. Singh nodded.
“Exactly. Now you know why you are all dressed in
white,” he said looking at all his six students who had
obediently put on their white uniforms. “And also why we
have painted our building white.”
“Truth is spotless,” he went on. “You can’t add anything
to it. Nor can you deduct anything from it. Truth is there-
fore hundred percent pure. It is indivisible. It is one.”
He held in his hand a dropper with some dark blue ink it.

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“See this glass of milk? Now watch!”

He squeezed one drop of ink in the milk.
“What happened to the color of the milk?” he asked.
“The milk is no longer white,” said Andrew.
“Meaning it is no longer pure,” said Dr. Singh with a
smile. “Truth cannot be mixed with anything. If it is, then it
no longer remains the Truth. It becomes corrupted.”
Dr. Singh by now had everyone’s undivided attention.
“However,” he said. “Truth is also most horrible. You
have come here to learn what the Truth is. But I must warn
you that you are asking for trouble. Truth is very bitter and
not everyone can take it.”
“Do you know what it is?” asked Amy.
“Yes, I certainly do,” replied Dr. Singh.
“Then why don’t you just tell us all about it?”
“Actually,” said Dr. Singh. ”The Truth is right under your
very noses. Such a pity that people can’t see it.”
“Really?” said Amy in astonishment.
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. ”Special qualities are needed to
see this Truth. Do you know what qualities?”
Nobody answered.
Then Jim said, “Intelligence?”
“No, but good try” said Dr. Singh picking up a piece of
chalk and going to the blackboard. “There are two.”
He wrote the two qualities on the board:

1. Sincerity
2. Humility

“You have proven that you have these two qualities. You
passed our eligibility test. We wanted to know how sincere
you were and also how humble, for Truth can never be seen
by people who are proud.”


“I know, you are perhaps wondering why proud people

can’t see it? It is because proud people always think that
they are right. And hence if they were to discover that they
were wrong, their pride would come in the way and stop
them from accepting the Truth. I could declare to the world
the Truth. But what is the use? People won’t listen.”
Then he turned and wrote something on the blackboard:

If Truth is bitter, then Falsehood must be sweet.

“Do you understand what that means?” he asked.

“People don’t really want to know what the Truth is.
Falsehood is much more pleasing to them. If you were to go
to them and tell them the Truth, they are not going to listen
to you. Why? Because if they were to listen to you, they
would have to give up all that Falsehood that is so sweet
and wonderful to them. It takes real courage to accept the
Truth. Do you think you have such courage?” he asked.
Amy was quick to say, “Yes!”
The rest nodded in affirmation.
“Good,” said Dr. Singh very pleased. “There are some
other qualities that you are going to need in this quest for
And he wrote them down on the board:

1. Hatred for lies and untruth.

2. Looking at things objectively
3. Sticking to facts
4. Open-mindedness
5. No prejudice, no bias


“T he Truth that you are looking for is something

that is not within the grasp of most people,” said
Dr. Singh. “There are many things that come in the
way….things that obstruct people’s vision. But in reality
what seems to be a mystery is in fact not at all a mystery.
Truth is actually very obvious. It’s there loud and clear for
all to see.”
“How come we don’t see it if it’s so obvious?” asked
“Because,” replied Dr. Singh. “Truth doesn’t come to
the person who is not looking for it.”
Richard couldn’t help agreeing. “That makes a lot of
sense!” he thought.
“If you are not interested in knowing what the Truth is,

you are never going to know it,” Dr. Singh went on. “If you
don’t seek it, you are not going to find it. It’s as simple as
that. I’m here only to help you find it, not actually tell you
what it is.”
He turned to look at the notes he had written on the
blackboard. “Now, there’s a lot of ground to cover,” he
said. “But first, let us get to know each other a little better.
Henry, give me the list, will you please?”
Henry walked to Dr. Singh and gave him a sheet of paper
that had the list of all the six students who had enrolled for
the class. He called out the first name on the list.
“Richard White,” he read. “What made you sign up for
this class? Could you share that with us please?”
“I’m here because I don’t want to die ignorant,” said
Richard. “I want to be prepared in case there is anything
after death. And besides, I have very little time left to find
“What do you mean?” asked Dr. Singh.
“I’m dying, sir,” he said. “I have only five more months
left to live.”
There was a murmur of sympathy in the classroom.
“Well,” said Dr. Singh after some thought. “I can tell you
one thing.”
Richard looked at him expectantly.
“This is the best decision you have made in your entire
life!” said Dr. Singh encouragingly.
“Now,” he said looking at his list again. “Jim Garrison.
Let’s hear what you have to say.”
“Well,” said Jim. “I grew up in a poor family. And I had
big dreams. I wanted to become rich, famous and success-
ful. Just like that eighteen year old kid named Ben Thomas.
He had become a millionaire and he had everything. I
wanted to be just like him. Then one day, this Ben met with

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an accident and died and I was thinking a lot after that. I’ve
been thinking what is the use of acquiring all this wealth and
money? Ben left all his money behind. He could take noth-
ing with him. And there I was dreaming of things that I
couldn’t take with me after death. So it seems to me that
becoming rich couldn’t be our goal in life. So what is? I was
very much attracted to your ad, Dr. Singh, because you said
you had the answer to the question - what are we here for?
And I also wanted to get away from life’s everyday prob-
lems that were bugging me. I’m really glad to be here.”
“Very interesting,” remarked Dr. Singh. “You are a
thinker, Jim. I like that.”
Andrew Armstrong’s reason was different. “I’m not a
good person, sir,” he said. “I’ve been to jail and been
involved in a lotta crimes. I done a lotta bad things in life.
I’m sorry about what I done. But what’s done is done. I had
a lotta time to think while I was in prison. And I been
thinking about all those people who do bad things and don’t
get caught. There are people who are even worse than me
ya know. And they’re roaming around free. They live and
they die and they’re never caught. And I don’t understand
that. I paid for the things I done. But not everyone does. It’s
just not fair! When I was in prison I also met a guy who was
charged with something he didn’t do. He was innocent. And
I was wondering about it all. It’s not fair! And I wanna
know if there’s life after death. It would make a lotta sense
to me if there was. But I need to know for sure. So that’s
why I joined this class.”
“I don’t think you’re a bad person,” said Dr. Singh.
“Anyone who feels sorry for the things he did can’t be bad.
I’m happy to have you here.”
Andrew smiled. “Thank you, sir,” he said.
Dr. Singh threw a glance at his list again.


“Who’s next?” he said. “Ah! Marie Marchessaux! What

brings you here? Share that with us please!”
“I’m seeking happiness,” said Marie. “I have everything
anyone could want. But I’m unhappy. I guess I am search-
ing for meaning in life. Like Jim.”
Then it was Martha’s turn. “I’ve come here to get assur-
ance that what I believe is true,” she said. “I have great faith
in my God and I’ve lived all my life worshipping Him. Yet,
when I think about death, my faith wavers a little. I have
doubts in my mind. I want to be certain. So joining this class
seemed to me a sensible thing to do.”
“Yes ma’am,” said Dr. Singh. “You have indeed done a
very sensible thing. And now let us hear what our little child
here has to say. Amy Smith? What is your reason for coming
“I had to come to this class,” said Amy. “I’m so very
afraid of death. I know that people die. And I know that my
mom and my dad are going to die. I love my parents, my
grandpa and grandma a lot. And I can’t bear the thought of
losing them. I sometimes go under the sofa and cry because
I’m so scared thinking about death. I want to know why
people have to die and stuff. I don’t want to die either. But I
know I will one day. I’ve asked so many people questions
about dying. But it seems nobody really knows what hap-
pens after death. Then I saw your poster in the library and
after that nothing was going to stop me from coming here.”
“Well, Henry!” commented Dr. Singh after a lapse of a
few seconds. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such
extraordinary wisdom and sincerity in people. This particu-
lar class promises to be most interesting. Most interesting


D r. Singh was addressing his class. He had a serious

look on his face.
“I have no doubt,” he said earnestly, “that you have what
it takes to find and see the Truth. But finding the Truth is
one thing, and accepting it is quite another.”
He looked at the puzzled expressions on the faces of his
students. “What I want to know is, do you really have the
courage to accept the Truth when you do find it?”
“I don’t understand,” said Jim.
“Well,” said Dr. Singh. ”Would you be willing to admit
that you were wrong once you find the Truth? For example,
Jim, let’s say that you do not believe there is life after death.
If you were to learn that your idea was wrong, and that
indeed there was life after death, would you be willing to

accept that fact?”

“Certainly,” replied Jim at once.
“And what about you, Martha?” asked Dr. Singh. “You
believe that there is life after death, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do,” answered Martha. ”I believe that there is life
after death.”
“What would your reaction be if you learnt that there was
no life after death? Would you be willing to accept such an
idea?” Dr. Singh asked.
Martha gave no answer. She sat there with a frown on
her face.
“I’ll accept the Truth, whatever it is!” said Amy suddenly.
There was silence in the room as everyone tried to absorb
the significance of what she had said.
Dr. Singh was highly impressed. “That’s the spirit!” he
said finally. “That’s what I wanted to hear.”
Martha appeared to be lost in thought.
“People are complicated creatures,” said Dr. Singh.
”They love indulging in Falsehood. Most of them are
unreasonable, sentimental and highly emotional. You can’t
talk to them about things that are contrary to their beliefs.
They will just shut you out and refuse to listen to you. It
happens to be a fact that ninety-nine percent of the time,
people are quite wrong about their views concerning life
and death.”
“You’ll understand what I’m saying in a little while,” he
continued. “We’re going to discuss the properties of Truth.
Actually, there is one outstanding property that makes Truth
easily recognizable. Do you know what it is?”
Nobody knew. And they waited for Dr. Singh to reveal it
to them.
Dr. Singh gave a broad smile. “What’s two plus two?” he
asked. “Amy?”

Rajasa Robbins

“That’s easy! It’s four!” said Amy.

“Andrew? What about you? Two plus two is equal to...?”
“Four,” he replied.
Dr. Singh turned, walked to the blackboard and wrote
down the equation:

2 + 2 = 4.

“Okay,” he said. ”Does everyone agree that the answer is

four, and not three or five?”
Everyone nodded.
“What does this tell you?” Dr. Singh enquired. “Is there
anything of significance that you note by this simple equa-
Again nobody said anything. They didn’t see anything
significant at all.
“Well,” said Dr. Singh. ”There is certainly something very
important to note over here. Do you think someone in Japan
or Russia would give a different answer?”
“No,” said Richard. ”That answer is the same in every
“Do you think the answer would have been different, say
- a thousand years ago?” Dr. Singh asked.
“No, the answer would be the same even two thousand
years ago,” said Richard.
“Then here’s what we learn from this seemingly simple
equation,” said Dr. Singh.
And he wrote down the following on the blackboard:

1. There is only one correct answer. And that answer is 4.

2. All answers besides 4 are incorrect.

“Does everyone agree with what I’ve written here?”


Dr. Singh enquired.

Everyone was in agreement. It was so obvious and clear.
“So from this, we come to one conclusion. An extremely
significant and important conclusion,” said Dr. Singh. “And
that is Truth is singular in nature. That is the most outstand-
ing property of Truth. Only one percent is the Truth.
Ninety-nine percent is false. Got that?”
Marie gasped in astonishment. “This is awesome!” she
“Ninety-nine percent of the answers are wrong because
there can be only one correct answer,” explained Dr. Singh.
“If you were to believe that the answer is anything other
than 4, such as 8 or 7 or 9 - you would be sadly mistaken.”
“People don’t have a problem when it comes to math-
ematics and they discover they were wrong,” he went on,
“but they do have a problem admitting that they are wrong
in other areas. It is this tendency in people - their refusal to
admit that they are wrong -that prevents a lot of people
from seeing the Truth. Like I said, pride comes in the way.
But there is more to it than that. It has to do with human
nature. It is a peculiar condition that we human beings
suffer from. And in your search for Truth, it would do you a
lot of good to get acquainted with this phenomenon. There-
fore, your homework for today is to do some research on
this subject. Henry will show you where the library is. We’ll
discuss your findings tomorrow morning. Class is now
Dr. Singh wrote down the subject for their research on
the blackboard. The students jotted it down. And the words
that they wrote down were these:

Cognitive dissonance


T hey were in the library. Amy had made friends with

Andrew and was sitting excitedly on a stool next to
him as he typed in the words cognitive dissonance in the
search box.
Marie and Jim were also surfing the internet, doing their
Martha sat at a table, referring to a book and writing
down notes.
Richard was in a corner all by himself. He had a book in
front of him and was pretending to read it. His thoughts
were actually elsewhere. He was deeply troubled.
“I shouldn’t have come here,” he was telling himself. He
recalled the words of Dr. Singh:
THE GOD OF ALL THINGS you really have the courage to accept the Truth

when you do find it?

Richard didn’t think he had the courage. He suddenly

didn’t want to know what it was. His thoughts were now on
Andrew. He was watching him earnestly doing his home-
work, sitting before his computer. Andrew’s words had
chilled his heart right to the core. He couldn’t forget what
he had said:

I been thinking about all those people who do bad things

and don’t get caught. There are people who are even worse
than me ya know. And they are roaming around free.

Everyone had their secrets. And Richard had his own. A

terrible secret that he never talked about. It was two years
ago. He closed his eyes as he remembered so very vividly
that dreadful day. His girlfriend Anne Johnson had been
cheating on him and he had found her in bed with another
man. In a fit of jealous rage, he had killed her. And the man
she had been with went to prison for a crime that he did not
commit. Richard had money. He had influence. He was thus
able to escape punishment. He didn’t think much about the
murder he had committed. Anne deserved to die for being
unfaithful. She wasn’t a good woman. So he had rational-
ized and locked away this secret in the back of his mind and
gone about his daily activities as though nothing had hap-
pened. But now he had been forced to think about that
incident again. He hoped that there wouldn’t be life after
death. But what if there was? Would he be able to face such
a possibility? Did he have the courage to accept something
he didn’t want to be true? He covered his face with his
hands, not wanting anyone to see his anguish.

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“Are you alright?”

He looked through his fingers and saw a pair of dark
brown eyes gazing at him with great concern.
“Did you bring your medicine with you?” Amy was
asking. She had not forgotten that he had only a few more
months left to live, and she felt very sorry for him.
Richard was a little surprised. “I’m......I’m alright, I
guess,” he said. “Just a little disturbed.”
“Have you been thinking about death then?” asked Amy.
“That makes a lot of people worried. Do you feel very
Richard looked at Amy with a little bit of annoyance. He
wanted to tell her it was none of her business. But instead
he said, “Yes, I do. I feel very scared.”
Amy nodded her head in sympathy. She did not miss the
unfriendliness in Richard’s tone and knew that he wanted to
be left alone.
“I’m sorry if I disturbed you, Richard,” she said.
Richard watched Amy as she went back to her stool.
“Yes, I’m scared,” he admitted. “I’m afraid of death. But
more than that I’m afraid of the Truth -the Truth that I will
have to pay for what I did.”


R ichard had made up his mind. He wasn’t a coward to

run away from the retreat. He would stay and
summon the courage to face the Truth whatever it turned
out to be.
“After all,” he thought. “Dr. Singh didn’t exactly say that
there was life after death.” And even if there was, perhaps
he could learn something important that would show him a
way to make things right. That made him feel a little better.
He had been impressed with Dr. Singh’s introductory
lecture. Everything he had said made a good deal of sense
to him. Then he thought about the homework that had been
given to them. He was the only one who had not done any
research. He decided to look up the term cognitive disso-
nance the first thing in the morning before class. The library
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was always open for their use. For the first time that night,
he slept on the bare floor. Thankfully it was carpeted. The
physical discomfort he experienced was actually quite
bearable. What was unbearable was the mental agony he
was suffering from.
Andrew and Jim were already fast asleep. He looked at
them enviously. They certainly didn’t have a guilty con-
science to wreck their peace of mind. With a sigh, he turned
on his side and closed his eyes.
At 6.00 a.m, there was a loud knocking on the door. It
was Henry. “Good morning,” he said to a sleepy-eyed
Andrew. “Breakfast is at 7. Class begins at 8 o’clock sharp.
You don’t want to be late. You have a long day ahead of
Andrew nodded, closed the door, turned and went back
to his place to sleep a little more. Jim hadn’t awakened but
Richard had.
A few minutes later, he was in the library writing his
notes on cognitive dissonance.
At 7.00 o’clock everyone gathered in the cafeteria for
breakfast. Amy was positively bursting with enthusiasm.
“I can’t wait for our class to start,” she said. She was
trying to persuade Mrs. Patil to attend the class, but the lady
was just not interested. Amy gave up. Then she stole a
glance at Richard. She felt really bad for him. Last night, he
seemed to be so worried. Today, he looked a little more
Richard caught Amy looking at him and couldn’t help
smiling. This was her chance! She boldly walked over to
where he was sitting and sat down beside him.
“I’m so glad you’re feeling better today,” she said. “My
mom and dad don’t believe in God. But Martha does. And
she thinks that all good people go to heaven after they die.”


Amy obviously thought that if she told Richard that he

would go to heaven he would feel better.
Richard frowned. He did not consider himself a good
person at all.
“And what does Martha think about bad people?” he
enquired. “What happens to them?”
“Oh!” cried Amy. “Wait, I’ll go and ask her!” And she ran
to where Martha was, deep in conversation with Mrs. Patil
and Marie.
Soon she returned to Richard with a puzzled expression
on her face.
“Martha told me that even bad people go to heaven.”
Richard stopped eating his sandwich. He looked at her
waiting for an explanation. And Amy did explain.
“Martha says that all people are sinners. And that Jesus
Christ paid for all our sins by dying on the cross.”
“Amy,” said Richard after considering her statements for
a full two minutes. “What do you think? Do you believe
what Martha believes?”
Amy laughed. “Actually I don’t know what to believe,”
she said. “My parents say there is no God. Martha says
there is and that he died for our sins. And you know Mrs.
Patil over there? Well, she believes in something called
rebirth. Everyone has something different to say. I don’t
know who to believe.” She paused. Then she smiled after a
bit of thought. “But I do know one thing!” she declared.
“I’d believe Dr. Singh. He is a scientist.”
“How do you know that he is a scientist?” asked Richard.
“I asked him!” replied Amy grinning. Then she abruptly
changed the subject. “Richard, were you able to finish your
homework? Andrew helped me do mine. But I didn’t under-
stand anything. It sounded so complicated. I hope Dr. Singh
will explain everything to us.”

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Richard listened to her chatter with amusement.

“I managed to get a little time this morning to do a bit of
research. And I do agree with you. Cognitive dissonance
does seem very complicated. I read about it and I think that
you need not bother your head over it. It’s not for kids
Amy withdrew a folded piece of paper from her pocket.
“This is for you,” she said. Richard took the paper and
opened it. There was a drawing of a flower and Amy had

To Richard. Love from Amy.

Below these words he read:

I shall pass this way but once, any good therefore that I
can do or any kindness that I can show to any human
being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for
I shall not pass this way again.

Richard was touched. He was at a loss for words.

“I found that on the internet,” said Amy. “I really liked it.
I thought you would like it too. Do you?”
Richard nodded. “Yes, I do. I like it very much. Thank
you. I’ll stick this letter of yours on my wall and I’ll think
about you everyday.” He looked at the last line: ...for I shall
not pass this way again. That was the cold hard Truth he
was looking at. He sighed. He didn’t want to be reminded
that he was going to die soon. But there was no running
away from that reality. He couldn’t afford to.
The bell rang. They had fifteen minutes to get dressed
and go to class. When they entered the classroom, they
were in for a surprise. There was a catalog of furniture and


decorative items on each student’s desk. Dr. Singh was

sitting in his chair. He greeted his students warmly.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” he said. “I want to know if
any of you might want to buy any of those items for your
rooms. You know, to make your stay more comfortable?”
Marie picked up her catalog and flipped through it to
look at the pictures of beautiful furniture. “My! These are
lovely items!” she exclaimed.
Martha too had a look. “Lovely, yes,” she commented.
“But they are too pricey.”
“Here’s a catalog that has pretty affordable items,” said
Dr. Singh giving it to Martha.
She took the catalog and nodded. “Yes, this is much
better. Cheaper prices here.”
Dr. Singh watched his students going through the cata-
logs with interest.
“So tell me,” he said. “Who wants to purchase some
furniture or home decor items for their room?”
Richard shook his head. “Not me,” he said.
“Not me, either,” said Marie.
Nobody wanted to buy anything for their rooms.
“May I ask the reason why you don’t want to buy any-
thing?” enquired Dr. Singh. From the look on his face, it
seemed as if this was a very important question.
“Because,” said Richard, “we’re going to be here for only
a few days more. What’s the point in purchasing this stuff
when it is for such a short period of time?”
“Don’t you want to make yourself comfortable for the
time you are here?” Dr. Singh asked.
Now it was Marie who spoke. “It would be a waste of
time and money to get these things,” she said. “We’d be
comfortable for a few days, and then after that we’re leav-
ing. And we can’t take these things with us. Neither do we

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want to. We are guests over here.”

Dr. Singh gave a big smile. “Aha! This was the answer I
wanted to hear.”
“We come into this world bare and alone, with nothing.
And we leave this world bare and alone, with nothing. We
are here in this world for a very short time. You are here
today, gone tomorrow. Just like you are guests over here on
this island and you are going to leave in a few days, you are
also guests in this earthly life. You are going to have to bid
farewell one day to this world.”
Dr. Singh waited for his words to sink in. “Richard, you
know that your time is coming near. I’d like to know if you
would be making any more purchases to make yourself
more comfortable when you return home?”
“No, I wouldn’t,” admitted Richard. “It would be fool-
ishness to do so.”
Marie thought about the posh apartment in which she
lived. It was very elegant and she had certainly decorated it
with beautiful works of art. She also thought about the
many things she owned.
“Dr. Singh is right,” she thought. “If I am a guest in this
world, I should behave like a guest as well.”


A my was playing chess with Henry. She picked up her

rook and moved six squares.
“Check mate!” she cried ecstatically.
Henry frowned. Amy had defeated him in the first game.
“Let’s see if you win in the second game,” he said and
began putting his pieces back on the board.
Dr. Singh and the other students were watching TV. They
were watching The Forensic Files. It was the episode
entitled Once Bitten.
“This program is not suitable for children,” Dr. Singh had
said. And he had ordered Amy out of the room. To his other
students, Dr. Singh had said, “The program you are about
to see is about cognitive dissonance. Children do not suffer
from this condition. Therefore it is not at all necessary for
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Amy to watch this program.”

Richard felt good. He had been right about it. Cognitive
dissonance didn’t apply to kids.
They watched the film with great interest. It was the
story of a man twice wrongly convicted of murder. A
woman was murdered and a man by the name of Ray Krone
was arrested because his bite mark seemed to match the bite
marks found on the woman’s body. During the first trial, Dr.
Raymond Rawson, the State’s dental expert and a nationally
known forensic odontologist said that the bite mark was as
good as a fingerprint. His testimony convinced the jury that
Krone was the killer. Later, when other scientists analyzed
the marks, they discovered that there were too many incon-
sistencies and that the bite marks actually did not match.
There was a second trial and three other bite mark experts
came to Ray Krone’s defense. These experts spoke to Dr.
Rawson about their findings and Rawson realized that he
was wrong about his opinion. But he did not withdraw his
statement in court. He said, “I’m in too deep.” And stuck
with his original testimony. The jury again found Ray Krone
guilty. Krone spent more than 10 years in prison, for a crime
that he did not commit due to Dr. Rawson’s erroneous
opinion. He was set free after DNA testing proved beyond
doubt that the killer was someone else.
Dr. Singh turned off the TV.
“This is a story,” he said, “of a man who was innocent.
But he spent more than ten years in jail because of a scien-
tist who was unwilling to admit that he was wrong. What do
you think about this man - this Dr. Raymond Rawson?”
Martha’s hand went up. “I hate this man!” she said with
great emotion. “How could he do this to a poor, innocent
man? I can’t believe that a scientist could do such a thing!”
“Richard?” said Dr. Singh. “What is your opinion?”


“It’s shocking,” replied Richard. “I don’t think much of

this man.”
“Marie,” said Dr. Singh. “You don’t have a high opinion
of Dr. Rawson by any chance, do you?”
“Certainly not!” answered Marie. “He is so proud and
arrogant! And wicked! I don’t like him at all.”
“Then I guess I could say that none of you has any
respect for him?” said Dr. Singh.
“Respect for this man!” cried Andrew. “I wouldn’t have
spared him if he done this thing to me! It really makes me
mad to see innocent people in jail!”
“Very good,” said Dr. Singh. “I’m pleased to know that
none of you thinks highly of this Dr. Rawson. I certainly
don’t. I’ve never liked people who refuse to admit their
mistakes. But frankly I’m not surprised. You see, human
beings are like that. Not all of them of course. But most.
Scientists are supposed to be objective in their opinions and
they are supposed to be free from prejudice and bias. But
scientists are also human beings and they are not above
making mistakes. They can be wrong. Dr. Raymond
Rawson was wrong. And he knew it. But what did he do?
He stuck to his wrong opinion. Was he proud? Yes, he was
proud. He was a well known forensic expert. He had a
reputation to protect. He wasn’t going to admit that he was
wrong under any circumstances. He didn’t care if an inno-
cent man went to jail. Dr. Rawson suffers from a human
condition known as cognitive dissonance.”
Dr. Singh paused for a minute to make sure that his
students had absorbed what he had just said.
“What is cognitive dissonance? Anyone?” he asked.
Jim put up his hand. He had a paper in his hand and he
began to read:

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Cognitive dissonance is a condition first proposed by

the psychologist Leon Festinger in 1956. The theory
holds that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving
force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new
thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so
as to minimize the amount of dissonance or conflict
between cognitions.

Dr. Singh nodded appreciatively. “Is that all? Or do you

have anything more to explain what it is?”
“No, there is more,” said Jim. He resumed his reading:

Festinger claimed that people avoid information that

is likely to increase dissonance. Not only do we tend
to select reading material and television programs
that are consistent with our existing beliefs, we
usually choose to be with people who are like us. By
taking care to “stick with our own kind,” we can
maintain the relative comfort of the status quo.
Likeminded people buffer us from ideas that could
cause discomfort. In that sense, the process of
making friends is an example of selecting our own

“Excellent!” cried Dr. Singh. “You have certainly hit it on

the button.”
“I’m sorry,” she said with a bewildered expression on her
face. “I don’t understand a thing!”
“It’s really not that difficult to understand,” said Dr.
Singh. “Cognitive dissonance simply means this -that people
do not like to be wrong.”
“Take the example of Dr. Rawson. He was wrong about


his opinion, wasn’t he? Well, he didn’t like it. He didn’t like
being wrong. So what did he do? He rejected all informa-
tion that was contrary to his opinion.”
“You might want to jot this down,” he said and went to
the blackboard. He wrote:

cognitive dissonance = information that causes

disturbance and imbalance

“People don’t like to be wrong,” he repeated. “They live

in their own world. They have a bubble around them and
they fight hard to keep out any information that causes them
discomfort. They may be wrong about many things, but they
won’t admit it. They keep out all info that threatens to burst
their bubble. For example, let’s say that you like eating ice-
cream and you are trying to lose weight. Then you pick up a
health magazine. You read that a new study says that ice-
cream is more fattening than originally thought. This piece
of information is unpleasant to you. It causes a disturbance
in your mind. So what you do is ignore the information
altogether. You reject the info. You ignore that info because
doing so would allow you to continue eating ice-cream.”
“You can see this at work everywhere,” he went on.
“People are extremely selective about the material they
read, the friends they make and the TV programs they
watch. For example, atheists would read about only those
things which deny the existence of God. They would refuse
to look at evidence that proves that He exists.”
“Any information or evidence that suggests that God is
non-existent would be shut out by people who believe in
God...people known as theists.”
“Information about many gods and goddesses would be
shut out by people who believe in only one God, the people

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who call themselves monotheists.”

“And the polytheists would be very vicious indeed in
rejecting any evidence that proved that their many gods and
goddesses did not exist.”
“We all have our bubbles around us. We build these
bubbles to protect ourselves from information that is dis-
pleasing or threatens to upset our sense of balance. We want
to keep out information that is going to burst our bubble.
But if we do this we are in danger of shutting out the Truth.
You have to understand that Truth will never force its way
through that bubble of ours. We have to come out of our
bubbles to see it. And for that we need courage and the
willingness to consider every bit of information regardless
of whether we like it or not. We also need to crush our pride
when we go searching for the Truth. Because if we refuse to
admit that we have made a mistake, then we would continue
walking on the wrong path.”
“And I’m sure,” said Dr. Singh with a smile. “That you
wouldn’t want to be like Dr. Rawson, would you?”


T he balloons were big and colorful. Each student had

a balloon. Amy’s was a bright yellow and she was
squealing in delight. Richard’s was blue, Jim’s purple,
Andrew’s green, Marie’s red and Martha’s orange.
Dr. Singh looked at his students extremely amused.
“No,” he said. “We are not having a party. Henry, could
you provide each of them with a needle please?”
Amy’s eyes opened wide. “Ooooh! We’re going to burst
our balloons! What fun!” she thought.
Dr. Singh noticed the excitement on Amy’s face. “You
don’t need to burst your balloon, Amy. You can keep your
balloon and play with it. But the rest of you have a choice to
make. The balloons you are holding represent the bubbles
you have built around yourselves. If you want to see the
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Truth, you are going to have to come out of your bubble.

I’d explained to you earlier that there are certain things you
are going to need in your quest for Truth. And one of them
was -open-mindedness. If you have a bubble around you,
you are not open-minded. You are close-minded. Close-
minded people are very selective about the type of informa-
tion they let through their bubble.”
“So........if you burst them, that would mean you are
willing to come out of your closed world. And if you don’t
that would mean that you prefer to remain in darkness. For
darkness it is. People who do not have Truth in their life,
live in utter darkness.”
A balloon instantly popped. Richard had pricked his
balloon. The next balloon to go was Andrew’s. The rest of
them did not hesitate much in bursting their balloons.
Martha was the last one to do it.
Dr. Singh nodded in appreciation and was all smiles. He
had a fountain pen in his hand. He walked over to Richard
and shook his pen a little. Several droplets of blue ink
stained Richard’s nice and white coat. It startled Richard a
little and he looked at his beautiful coat in dismay, all
“Oh,” said Dr. Singh, “I’m not going to apologize for
that. Henry will get you a new coat in a minute. I just
wanted to bring your attention to these little spots here on
your uniform. How do they make your coat look?”
“It’s all spoilt!” cried Martha. “It looks awful.”
“Yes,” said Marie. ”These ink spots don’t look good.”
“White clothes get dirty easily, don’t they?” said Dr.
Singh. “We usually take extra care of our white clothes. And
if there are any stains on them, we try to remove them, am I
Martha nodded. “Yes, we use detergent, bleach, stain


remover and things like that to get the dirt off the clothes.”
“Truth is just like this white uniform you are wearing,”
said Dr. Singh. “Truth is spotless and one hundred percent
pure. It is free from impurities. It is unadulterated and
“As a seeker of Truth, you wear white because this color
best represents the Truth. Let me now ask you -would you
tolerate these stain marks on your white uniform? Richard,
tell me how you feel about these stains.”
“I wouldn’t like them on my uniform at all,” replied
Dr. Singh took a piece of chalk and went to the black-
“These ink marks on your white uniform can be called
impurities. If these impurities fall upon Truth, what would
they be known as?”
And he wrote down one word on the blackboard:


“Just as you wouldn’t tolerate these ink marks on your

clean white uniform,” he went on, “you shouldn’t tolerate
any form of Falsehood in your quest for Truth. And what I
mean by no tolerance is......” He stopped and looked at his
students meaningfully. “Having hatred for lies and untruth.”
“We have learnt that ninety-nine percent of all answers
are false. And only one percent is true, correct and right.
That means that we are going to have to deal with a lot of
falsehood. A lot of it! They are like all these stains on a pure
white uniform. However, Falsehood has some properties
that you should be aware of. It is unfortunate that many
people find it pleasing and attractive. The reality though, is
as you can see,” and he pointed to the stains on Richard’s

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coat. “That Falsehood is very ugly.”

“Let us now recall some of the things that we have learnt
about Truth. Can you remember its most outstanding
Amy’s hand shot up. “Truth is one percent, and every-
thing else is ninety-nine percent!” she answered.
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “Correct! Truth is one,” he
said with great emphasis on the word one. “We’ll under-
stand this better after we do a little exercise.”
“I’m going to give you five minutes. I want you to write
down three things that you know are true.”
He looked at his watch and then said, “Start now!”
When the time was up, Dr. Singh asked Amy what she
had written.
She stood up and read her answers:

1. I am a girl.
2. My mother’s name is Samantha.
3. I am 10 years old.

Dr. Singh considered her first statement. “I am a girl,” he

repeated. “Yes, that is certainly a true statement. That is the
only answer that is one percent correct. Ninety-nine percent
of answers would be wrong.”
“But,” said Marie, “the only other answer besides I am a
girl would be I am a boy. So that means only fifty percent of
the answers would be wrong.”
“Hmmm,” said Dr. Singh. “I see that you have missed the
whole point. There are indeed ninety-nine percent answers
that are going to be wrong. For Amy is a girl. And that is
the only Truth. She is not a boy, yes. But she is also not a
woman, or a tree, or a dog, or a cat, or a hen or a stone.
She is not a chair or a book or a flower or a house. I can go


on endlessly.”
“And then consider Amy’s second statement,” he contin-
ued. “Her mother’s name is Samantha. It is not Patricia or
Diana or Sara or Betty or Laila. There are countless women
in this world. So you are going to have ninety-nine percent
wrong answers. And only one answer that is correct. Only a
woman named Samantha is Amy’s mother.”
“And the last statement that Amy made. She is ten years
old. Not one or two or twenty or eighty or hundred or two
thousand. Only one answer is correct. Ninety-nine percent
of the answers are incorrect. There is only one Truth.”
Marie’s eyes regarded Dr. Singh with the greatest amaze-
“This man is incredible!” she thought. “I wonder if he’s


I t was a hot day but everyone was glad to be out and

breathe in the fresh air. Amy was jumping up and
down extremely thrilled. Dr. Singh had said that they were
going to go on an adventure. They were standing outside
The Round House under the tall, magnificent pine and fir
trees. It felt wonderful.
“How would you like to go on a treasure hunt?” said Dr.
Singh. “I know that you are very hungry, so what you are
going to do today is to locate a restaurant that is situated
pretty near here. That will be your treasure - finding that
He then divided his class into two groups. Group A was
the ladies group and Group B was the men’s. Then he gave
each group a sheet of paper.

“This is a map of the island,” he said. “Follow the direc-

tions given and you should have no problem getting there.”
Everyone was excited. This was going to be so much
“You have a time limit,” said Dr. Singh. “You have to
find that restaurant, eat your food, and come back here
within two hours. I’ll be waiting here for you.”
Dr. Singh himself wasn’t hungry. He had already eaten.
He brought out a chair and sat down on it. He had a book
with him. Henry looked at it and noticed that it was the
same unputdownable book - The Taming of the Shrew.
The students turned to go but Dr. Singh had one more
thing to say. “You are going to need money to buy your
lunch,” he said and he handed each group several green
dollar bills.
“Dr. Singh thinks of everything,” thought Marie. She had
grown to greatly respect this man. She was extremely glad
to have met a man like him. He was so different, so mature,
so sensible, so knowledgeable.
Dr. Singh wanted to get on with his reading of The
Taming of the Shrew. But he also wanted to make sure that
the ladies would be safe.
“Henry,” he said. “You will go with the ladies. They
might need your assistance.”
Marie blinked her eyes a little. She wasn’t sure if she had
seen Dr. Singh wink at Henry. She must have been imagin-
ing it. Henry nodded keeping his face expressionless.
It was about two hours later that Dr. Singh was awak-
ened from his nap. He had fallen asleep in his chair after
reading only a few pages. The men had returned from their
treasure hunt. They had no problem finding the restaurant
and they had enjoyed a fine meal. They looked very pleased
with themselves.

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“Ah! Group B, it seems you found your treasure,” said

Dr. Singh knowingly. “I’m going to ask you about your
experience a little later after Group A gets back and it would
be lovely to hear all about it. But you might want to get
yourself some chairs. It’s going to be a while before the
ladies return.” And he went back to his book.
The men sat there waiting in their chairs for two more
hours. It was certainly getting very late, and just when the
sun was about to set in the horizon, Henry appeared with
the members of Group A following him looking extremely
tired and weary.
“Henry, take them to the cafeteria and fix them some-
thing to eat, will you?” said Dr. Singh getting up from his
chair. “When you are done, please come on over to the
classroom for the final lesson of the day.”
Half an hour later, all six students were sitting in their
classroom. Marie, Martha and Amy wondered how Dr.
Singh knew that they hadn’t eaten their lunch. They had not
found the restaurant at all. They were so glad to have Henry
take them back to The Round House. And after eating some
vegetable sandwiches they were feeling much better.
“So let us talk about your experience today, shall we?”
Dr. Singh said. “Let’s hear what Group B has to say.”
“We found the restaurant easily,” said Andrew. “We had a
nice meal there and we didn’t have no trouble finding our
way back here.”
“And what about Group A...what was your experience?”
questioned Dr. Singh.
“We never found the restaurant,” said Marie. “We
searched for it for a long time and we didn’t even realize
it.....but we had gone deeper into the woods. If it hadn’t
been for Henry, we wouldn’t have found our way back.”
“It was an awful experience,” said Martha.


“And I was very disappointed,” said Amy looking mo-

rose. She had wanted to find the treasure so badly. And
when they weren’t able to find it, she had felt very unhappy.
Dr. Singh didn’t seem to sympathize with the ladies at all.
He had a smile on his face. For some reason he seemed to
be genuinely amused.
“Well,” he said at length. “I knew very well that you were
not going to find that restaurant. And I also knew that you
were going to lose your way. That’s why I sent Henry with
you. So that he would bring you back here safe and sound.”
“You knew?!” cried Marie perplexed.
“Yes, I knew,” replied Dr. Singh. “You see, the map that
I had given you was false. It did not contain true directions.
Hence, it was certain that you were going to lose your
There was a stunned silence as all the six students stared
at Dr. Singh incredulously.
“I gave Group B a map that was true. It was correct and
it was precise. Therefore, the men had no problem whatso-
ever in finding their treasure. I knew that they would find
their way back because they had something solid to depend
on - the Truth. Now, we know that there are certain things
we need in our search for Truth and one of them we learned
was...” and he wrote on the blackboard:

Hatred for lies and untruth

“I wasn’t sure if you really had a hatred for lies and

untruth,” he said. ”So I had you go on a treasure hunt to
find out how you felt about it. I hope it is now clear to you
that if you follow a map that is incorrect and false, you are
going to lose your way. You are never going to find what-
ever it is that you are looking for. But if you follow a map

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that is true and accurate, you would never lose your way.
You will certainly find what you are searching for. False-
hood leads people astray. And because of that you must hate
it with all your heart. You must have a hatred for lies and
untruth. I hope that after this experience, you will develop
this hatred.”
Martha nodded her head. She had to agree with Dr.
Singh. A false map was no good. It got them nowhere.
“One more thing,” said Dr. Singh. “I gave you the maps
and you went looking for the treasure. You assumed that the
map I gave you was correct.”
He paused. It seemed from the expression on his face
that he had something very important to say.
“Assumptions are dangerous things,” he said. “In real life
people follow guides and maps assuming that they are true
and correct. But one must never assume. Before we follow
any directions we must first make sure that the map or
guide that we are following is true. In other words, we must
confirm the Truth of that map or guide before following the
directions given in it.”
Dr. Singh waited for a minute to help his students think
over a little about what he had just said. It was really a great
piece of advice and when the students returned to their
rooms that evening, they had plenty of things to think about.


T he next day, the students watched Dr. Singh write the

following words on the blackboard:

The Properties of Falsehood

“Today, we are going to learn some very important

lessons,” said Dr. Singh. “Yesterday you went on a treasure
hunt. Group A was given a false map and Group B was
given a true map. We are now going to reflect upon your
experience to isolate first the properties of Falsehood and
then the properties of Truth.”
He pointed to what he had written on the board. “Let’s
talk about Falsehood. What do you know about it?”
Andrew raised his hand. “Falsehood is the opposite of
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“Very good,” said Dr. Singh and he wrote his words
down on the blackboard for all to see, understand and
“What else?”
“It’s bad,” said Martha thinking about how her group had
lost its way following a map that was false. “And it leads
Marie nodded her head. “Yes, and I think it’s unreliable
too. We can’t depend on it.”
Dr. Singh wrote down their answers on the board:

It is bad.
It leads nowhere.
It is unreliable.

“Great observations,” remarked Dr. Singh. “Falsehood is

indeed bad. It is in fact evil for it leads to nothing but utter
ruin, devastation and destruction. It leads people astray.
Now one of its interesting properties is that there are many
ways that lead to it. People who take the path of Falsehood
are clearly on the wrong track. They have taken the wrong
way. So......” and he wrote:

It is wrong.
It is evil.
Many ways lead to it.
It leads to ruin and destruction.

“How does following Falsehood lead to destruction?”

asked Jim curiously.
“If you follow a map that is inaccurate or false,” replied
Dr. Singh, “you are going to end up being totally lost. You


would be walking in darkness and be unable to walk

straight. You would stumble and fall because you wouldn’t
be able to see where you are going. You would be chasing
shadows, things that aren’t really there. Falsehood isn’t
solid like Truth. It isn’t real. Consider now a situation where
a person devotes his entire life to Falsehood. He believes in
things that in reality do not exist and walks in a direction
that leads nowhere. Such a person would be living in total
darkness, wouldn’t you say?”
He paused and then went on. “This is really a very
serious matter. Falsehood can never guide nor help anyone
in reaching their destination. People who spend their entire
life following Falsehood are in fact ruining their lives. A
person who loses his way, who can’t see where he is going,
who keeps stumbling and falling with nothing solid to walk
on, is headed for destruction. There is no hope for such a
person, is there? The members of Group A could never have
found their way back with a false map to guide them. That
was the reason why I sent Henry with them. Can you
imagine what would have happened if Henry had not gone
with them?”
Jim nodded his head. He was thankful that Dr. Singh had
given his group the true map and not the false one!
“You could be extremely sincere and earnest,” went on
Dr. Singh, “but if you are following false directions, every-
thing you do would be in vain! Just think about it! Wouldn’t
you have wasted your precious time running after shadows
and things that are non-existent? Wouldn’t you be headed
toward nothing but disaster? And can disaster and destruc-
tion ever bring anyone any happiness? A false map or guide
leads to only one thing, my friends. Eternal grief! It spells
nothing but utter dejection, disappointment and sorrow!”
Dr. Singh’s students listened to him with all their atten-

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tion. This was deep. Really deep. And Dr. Singh was going
to go deeper still. And they waited to hear more. They
wanted to hear more.
“So if you really care about where you are going.....if you
really care about should follow the Truth....
and nothing but the Truth!” said Dr. Singh. “And since it is
the only thing that is solid, dependable and real, it is the
only thing that can save you. Now - t0here is only one path
that leads to the Truth. And that path is the Straight Path. It
is the right way and the only way that you should take. Why
do I say that the path of Truth is Straight? Because it is not
a path that twists and turns unexpectedly. Truth does not
bend. But more than that it is dependable. You can rely on it
one hundred percent.”
Richard loved what he was hearing. They had found the
restaurant, had their lunch and found their way back all
because they had a true map. That was absolutely correct.
Truth was indeed hundred percent reliable.
Dr. Singh then wrote the following on the board:

The Properties of Truth

“Let us now discuss the properties of Truth. What do you

know about far?”
“Truth is always in the singular,” said Marie. “There is
only one Truth.”
“Right,” said Dr. Singh and wrote on the blackboard:

Truth = One

“This is the most outstanding property of Truth. But

there are many other outstanding properties. Can you think
of any?”


They all looked blankly at him.

Dr. Singh smiled. “Okay,” he said. “Do you remember the
last exercise we had done? We found that two plus two is
four. So let me write that again here.”
He wrote:


“Do you think you can put any other answer there be-
sides the number four?”
Everybody shook their heads.
“That means there is no substitute for the number four.”
And he wrote the following words upon the blackboard:

There is no substitute for Truth.

Truth = Unique.

“The next question. If there is no substitute for the

number four, then there is no other number like it. Right?
We couldn’t take for example the number five and say this
number will do.”
“Right,” said Richard. “There is no number like the
number four.”
“That means that there is nothing like the Truth,” con-
cluded Dr. Singh. He wrote that down on the board:

There is nothing like the Truth.

“Now we aren’t finished yet with our equation. There are

some more things that we can deduce from it,” he said
pointing to what he had written: 2 + 2 = 4.
“From this we learned that Truth is One. It is one whole
unit. Now, this is very important. If Truth is one whole unit,

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it means that it is indivisible. You cannot add anything to it

nor can you deduct anything from it. You cannot divide it
nor can you multiply it.......because if you did your answer
would change. Two plus two is always four. There can be
only one answer to that equation and it doesn’t matter at all
who adds up these two numbers, in which country or place
or age. The answer will never change. It is always going to
be four. You can’t do anything to it. If you don’t like that
answer it is not going to change for you. In fact, Truth is
indestructible. And because it is indestructible, it is power-
ful. It is solid and unshakeable. It is real.”
Dr. Singh wrote the following on the board:

Truth = Indestructible
Truth = Powerful
Truth = Real

He continued writing:

Truth = Indivisible, can’t divide it, can’t multiply it, can’t

add to it, can’t deduct from it
Truth = Never changes

“Now, about Truth never changing. This is another

outstanding attribute of Truth,” said Dr. Singh. “It is fixed.
It is constant. It never changes. Think about it. Thousands
of years ago man needed food, water, air, shelter and
clothes. What has changed? Nothing at all. In this time and
age, man still needs food, water, air, shelter and clothes.
What about the attraction between the opposite sexes? Men
and women are attracted to one another. This is true for any
age -past, present or future. Thousands of years ago women
gave birth to babies. They still do. Men don’t. And they


never will. Our earth is round in shape. It always has been.

Fire burns wood. It always will. Truth never changes. And
because it never changes, it is eternal in nature. It is stable.”
He turned and wrote the following on the board:

Truth = Eternal
Truth = Stable

“And because it is eternal and never changes, Truth is

one hundred percent dependable. It is the only thing that
can guide us and save us. So.........” and he wrote down:

Truth = Trustworthy
Truth = The Best to Guide
Truth = The only thing that can save us

“Truth is also........” Dr. Singh wrote:

Truth = Straight
Truth = Precise
Truth = Accurate

Marie raised her hand excitedly. “I know one property,”

she said eagerly. “Truth is Perfect!!”
“Very good, Marie,” said Dr. Singh. “You are absolutely
right about that.” And he wrote down:

Truth = Perfect

“How about if we thought a little more on this quality,”

he said. “If Truth is Perfect then it means that it does not
suffer from any faults. It has no flaws. There are no impuri-
ties to be found in it. So that means........?”

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“I know! I know!” shouted Amy. “That means Truth is

“Excellent!” said Dr. Singh. “But we’re going to write
another word to describe it. We already know about this
property.” And he wrote down:

Truth = Pure

“What else can you say about the Truth?”

This time it was Martha who gave an answer.
“Truth is Good,” she said.
“Marvelous!” said Dr. Singh very pleased with her
answer. He wrote down:

Truth = Good

“Why do you say that Truth is good, Martha?”

“Because it is trustworthy and dependable,” replied
Martha quietly. “If I follow it, I will not lose my way.”
“Great answer! I’m impressed!” said Dr. Singh apprecia-
“I think Truth is Beautiful,” said Richard. He had been
watching Dr. Singh write so many exceptional things about
Truth that he couldn’t help saying it. “It’s really beautiful.”
Dr. Singh smiled. He didn’t say anything but he wrote it

Truth = Beautiful

“I agree,” said Dr. Singh heartily. “And I’ll tell you the
reason why I agree. You see, when you find the Truth, you
enter the world of light. Light is after all that which makes
things clear. Before the discovery of Truth we are blind and


ignorant. When we find the Truth, we begin to see. It

banishes our blindness. So.......”
He wrote down:

Truth = Light

“But there is another more important reason why I think

Truth is beautiful. And it is this: Truth is the way to peace.
You see, when there are no more doubts in your mind, that
is when you find peace. Truth is the answer to all your
questions. So when you find the Truth, you will find Peace.”
And he wrote:

Truth = Peace

Richard was pleased. Very pleased. “That is what I want

the most,” he thought. “Peace of mind. Nothing means
more to me than that.”


T he lessons that the students learnt that day were

unforgettable. They had learnt many things about
Truth and also about Falsehood. They felt greatly enlightened
and happy. But there was more coming and they were all ears
as Dr. Singh went on with his lecture.
“Foolish are the people of this world,” he said. “When
Truth comes to them, they reject it as false. And when false
tales are related to them, they take them to be the Truth. In
other words, they consider Falsehood equal to the Truth. It
looks like this to them,” and he wrote on the board:

Falsehood = Truth

“It is just like this equation here....” and he pointed to:



“Four is the only correct answer. That is the only Truth

there is to the question - what is two plus two. And when
people reject the Truth it is as if they are denying that the
answer to this equation is four. Instead they accept other
answers such as three, five, six, seven, eight and nine. But
what they think and believe does not harm the Truth in the
slightest, does it? The answer to the question - what is two
plus two is always going to be four, whether you like it or
not, believe it or not, accept it or not.”
“Why would anyone want to reject the Truth?” asked
“Because people prefer Falsehood,” replied Dr. Singh.
And he rewrote the following words on the board:

If Truth is bitter, Falsehood must be sweet.

“I’m afraid Truth is not pleasing to many. It is really

bitter and people are in fact afraid of it. They want to run
away from it. And there is indeed a very big reason why
Falsehood is so sweet and alluring to people. I’ll get into
that later when the time is right. But for now, let’s try to
find out why anyone would follow Falsehood in the first
Dr. Singh looked at Henry who nodded and left the
room. He came back with a big tray, some watercolor paint
and three damp sponges.
“We’re going to conduct an experiment,” said Dr. Singh.
He made three little puddles of water on the tray. And he
colored each of them a different color. The first puddle was
blue, the second red and the third green. He put a sponge on

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each puddle.
“Now, tell me,” he demanded. “What is going to hap-
“The sponge is going to absorb the water,” said Jim.
Dr. Singh picked up the sponges and sure enough they
had all sucked up the colored water.
“You are absolutely right,” he said. “These sponges
absorbed all the water. And it didn’t matter what color
water it was. Red, blue or green.”
He then looked at them all intently.
“Children are like that,” he said. “They are just like these
sponges. They absorb everything around them. Hence, they
will pick up everything in their environment. They will
absorb the good as well as the bad.”
“They don’t know what is right and what is wrong. They
simply copy the ways of their parents or guardians. So if
their parents do bad things, their children are going to end
up doing bad things. If their parents use foul language, their
children are going to use foul language as well.”
“I’m six feet two inches tall. I inherited that from my
father. We are the way we are because we have inherited the
genes of our parents. But there are many other things that
we inherit from them. We inherit the traditions, customs and
beliefs of our parents as well. We also inherit their preju-
dices. Which is most unfortunate.”
“Really, we ought to be grateful we are living in this age
of science and technology. If you had been born hundreds of
years ago in a Viking family for example, you would have
ended up just like them. If you had been born in an Aztec
family, you would have accepted their beliefs about offering
human sacrifices to the sun. I shudder to think about it, and
I’m indeed glad that I was born in this age.”
Richard nodded. He was glad too. Everyone was.


“I’d like to tell you a little story,” went on Dr. Singh.

“One day I had gone to the library to do some research
on mythology. I had a little chat with the librarian there.
“Mythology is indeed full strange and weird tales,” I said.
She nodded her head in agreement. Then I said, “Maybe I
could make up a story myself about strange gods and
goddesses. Maybe with heads of birds and bodies of
snakes.” She laughed. “Sure, you can try,” she said. “But
who would believe you?” I looked at her in the eye and I
was very serious when I said it. I said to her – “my chil-
dren”. She laughed again and then said, “Yes, you are quite
right about that. And then I suppose your children would
pass on your story to their children and it will go on and on
from generation to generation.””
“Wow!” was all Andrew could say.
“I found a very interesting book in the library the other
day,” said Dr. Singh. He took it out of the drawer and
showed it to them.
“The name of the book is Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill
by Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano. I’m going to
read out to you some things that will really amaze you.”
And he read out loud:

Children will imitate anything including behaviors

most adults would regard as destructive and anti
social. They will believe everything. There is no limit
to a child’s credulity. For example, an Indiana school
board had to issue an advisory that stated that there
is no such thing as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -
that they do not exist. Too many children had been
crawling down storm drains looking for them.

Dr. Singh shut the book and put it away. The point was

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“Now you know one of the reasons why people follow
Falsehood. All people at one time were children. And they
learnt whatever they did from their parents. They absorbed
everything, the good things as well as the bad. Truth as well
as Falsehood. And when they grew up they built great big
bubbles around themselves to stop any information that did
not support their views and opinions from coming through
to them.”
“Just think a little now. There is this man who grew up in
an ancient family. He believes in strange gods and goddesses
with heads of birds and bodies of snakes. You go to him and
tell him what the Truth is. You tell him that his gods and
goddesses don’t exist. Do you think he is going to thank
you for that piece of information?”
“He’d probably throw me out of his house,” chuckled
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “That’s cognitive disso-
nance at work. People who have been following the tradi-
tions of their forefathers would continue following them
even if they are wrong. They just can’t admit that they are
wrong. Whatever they do pleases them and they are happy
in their ignorance. They don’t want to know what the Truth
is. They don’t want to change.”
“I understand,” said Richard slowly. “I am beginning
to understand.”
“Understand what?” asked Dr. Singh.
“That Truth is not going to change. It is we who have to
change. That is hard for most of us because we like to
remain as we are.”


A fter lunch, the students had a some time to do a little

bit of research on the things they had learned. They
went back to their classroom excitedly, eager to share their
Dr. Singh welcomed them and they all settled down in
their chairs behind their desks. Yet again Dr. Singh gave
another extraordinary lecture. He was indeed full of sur-
prises. They had thought that they had dealt with most of
the properties of Truth and couldn’t imagine that they might
have left anything out. But they had. There was still one
more property of Truth that they hadn’t considered. And
they stared at the words Dr. Singh had written on the
blackboard trying to fathom its meaning. The words that Dr.
Singh had written were:
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Truth = Knowledge

“Can anyone explain that?” he asked grinning.

They looked blankly at him.
“Perhaps you need a little bit of time to think about it?”
Dr. Singh gave them about five minutes. They thought
about it. What did it mean? Truth is Knowledge?
Dr. Singh smiled. “Okay,” he said. “I see that I’m going
to have to explain this. And really, I don’t at all mind. You
see, it is pretty simple. Man has always been curious about
the world in which he lives. And he has a deep thirst for
knowledge. Now listen carefully. What is meant by knowl-
edge? Knowledge means having an awareness. An aware-
ness of the true state of affairs. In other words, knowledge
means awareness of the Truth. Perhaps you will understand
this better if we again look at this equation,” and he wrote


Marie looked at that familiar equation with the greatest

respect. It was a simple equation. But it had taught her so
many extraordinary things; things that were pretty obvious
and apparent but which were understood only after a little
bit of thought and reflection.
“If you say that the answer to two plus two is four, we
can say that you have knowledge. We can say that you
know what the Truth is. But if you say that the answer is
five, six or seven, then we can’t say that you have knowl-
edge at all. We would say that you are ignorant. Knowledge
is light whereas ignorance is darkness. So.......,” and he
wrote on the board:


Truth = Knowledge = Light

Ignorance = Darkness

“I’m sure you have heard of the saying - Knowledge is

Power.” And he wrote that down too:

Truth = Knowledge = Power

“Now it is important to note that progress is made only

when you stick to the Truth. If you say that two plus two is
five, your calculations are going to be wrong. You won’t
make any progress at all. You will make progress only when
your calculations are correct, accurate and precise. You will
make progress only if you have knowledge that two plus
two is four. Only then will your calculations be right.”
“In our quest for Truth, I had mentioned that we would
be needing several qualities. One of them was -sticking to
facts.” Then he wrote:

Truth = Fact

“We must always stick to facts during our experiments,

observations and investigations. Because fact is another
name for Truth. And because science is concerned only with
facts, we can say that science is the study of Truth. Scien-
tific observations are always objective. This is good because
then it enables us to see things the way they really are. In
other words, we see reality - or the Truth. Reality is after all
another name for Truth. So I had better write that down

Truth = Reality

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“We have made tremendous progress in science and

technology. We have computers, space ships, airplanes and
submarines. But none of this progress would have been
possible if we had not stuck to the Truth, been objective in
our observations and eliminated all error. It is only by
harnessing the power of Truth that we can make any
“Since Truth is reliable, precise and accurate, we are able
to make planes, fly in the sky, go out in outer space. The
plane, rocket, ships etcetera are all built upon Truth. They
are founded on Truth. Even a small, slight error or mistake
would result in collapse and devastation. All calculations
therefore have to be accurate. Or else it spells disaster.”
“A man can succeed in life only with knowledge of the
Truth. Those who do not follow Truth remain backward and
make no progress. They are plunged in the darkness of
ignorance. So the mission in man’s life ought to be this -
seeking knowledge. Knowledge, which is the other name
for Truth.” He wrote that down:

Our mission = seek knowledge

“Why seek knowledge? Because Knowledge is Light,

Knowledge is Power, Knowledge is Truth and more impor-
tantly, Knowledge enables us to make progress. It leads
straight to success.”
Dr. Singh finished speaking at last. The students were full
of awe. Everything they had heard made such perfect sense.
All of them were extremely glad to have come to that
retreat. They were certain that no school in the whole world
taught such great, terrific and fabulous lessons. Richard felt
even a million dollars was insufficient to pay for the knowl-
edge he had acquired so far. Indeed he had made the best


decision of his life.

“I’m going to write down some famous quotes right
now,” said Dr. Singh turning to the blackboard again. “I
believe you will find them most interesting.”
He wiped away all that he had written and wrote the

1. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are

ignored”. - Aldous Huxley
2. “Facts are facts and will not disappear on account
of your likes.”- Jawaharlal Nehru
3. “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be
our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our
passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and
evidence.” - John Adams

“I hope these quotes make sense to you now,” said Dr.

Singh smiling. He watched them write down the quotes
earnestly in their notebooks. Then Marie raised her hand. “I
found one quote today which I thought was good,” she said.
“Go ahead. Read it out for us please,” said Dr. Singh.
Marie cleared her throat. “Leo Tolstoy said this,” she
said. And she read out loud:

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one

thinks of changing himself.

Dr. Singh nodded appreciatively. “Very good, Marie,” he

“Can you repeat that?” asked Amy. “I want to write that
Marie smiled and repeated the quote.
“By now,” said Dr. Singh. “I think all of you have a

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pretty clear idea about what the Truth is. And I also think
you have an immense hatred for untruth and lies. Am I
They all nodded.
“Then I think you are ready for the pledge,” he said.
Henry was holding some sheets of paper in his hand. He
handed a sheet to each student.
“This is your pledge,” said Dr. Singh. “A promise that
you make to yourself. Keep this with you and read it every-
day. I think it will do you a lot of good.”
Richard looked at the words printed on the paper. He
immediately made up his mind to memorize it thoroughly.
He agreed with everything that was written on it.
It said:




T here was that equation again:

2 + 2 = 4.

Dr. Singh wasn’t finished with it yet. He had written it

again on the blackboard to make yet another point.
“How do you know that two plus two is four,” he asked.
Everyone was surprised to see Amy raise her hand.
“Because we can count!” she said confidently.
“Okay,” said Dr. Singh. He had two pens in his hand. He
placed them on the table.
“How many pens are these?” he asked.
“Two,” replied Amy.
He withdrew two more pens from his pocket. He placed
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them beside the other two pens. “Now how many pens are
there altogether?” he asked. “Amy, come and count them
for us please.”
Amy went to the table and counted the pens. “One, two,
three, four. Four pens!” she said.
“Good, you may sit down,” said Dr. Singh. Amy re-
turned to her seat. “Are you absolutely sure that two plus
two is four?” he enquired.
All of them were a little bit annoyed by the question. It
was so ridiculously simple, they couldn’t understand why
Dr. Singh was asking them that again.
Amy answered quickly, “Yes, I’m absolutely sure of that.
Very very very sure.”
Dr. Singh said, “So we can say without hesitation that it
is a fact that two plus two is four.”
“Yes,” said Jim. “That’s a fact alright.”
“You know something?” said Dr. Singh with a twinkle in
his eye. “I simply love facts. Even though they are stubborn
things according to John Adams. Do you know why I love
them so much?”
“Because fact is another name for Truth?” said Andrew.
“Well, yes, of course. Fact is another name for Truth. But
that is not the reason why I love facts so much.”
He gave them some time to think. But no one seemed to
know the reason.
“Alright,” said Dr. Singh at last. “I’ll tell you why I love
facts. It is because facts do not allow us to have our own
They listened carefully as he went on, “That’s the won-
derful thing about facts. Nobody argues over them. They
are not subject to personal interpretation. There is abso-
lutely no need to wonder about them. They are clearly
observable and like Jawaharlal Nehru said - they are not


going to disappear because you don’t like them. A fact is a

certainty that has universal acceptance. It doesn’t matter
which country or age you live in; whether it is America or
China. At all times and at all places, two plus two is always
four. There are no disagreements about it. Absolutely no
disputes. That is the Truth that prevails - as they say in India
- Satyamev Jayate. Truth will prevail.”
He had a match box on the table. He took out a match
stick and set it alight. He then took a piece of paper and put
it over the flame. It caught fire.
“It’s a fact, isn’t it?” said Dr. Singh. “That fire burns
paper? Nobody will argue with you about that.”
There was also a glass of milk on the table. This time he
didn’t drop any ink into it. He simply pointed to it and
stated another fact.
“It’s a fact that milk is white in color. Everybody agrees
with that. Nobody can deny it.”
“I don’t like disagreements. I don’t like disputes. But it
so happens that in the world of man there are plenty of
disagreements and disputes. The question is why do dis-
agreements arise? Anyone?”
Dr. Singh waited again for someone to answer. But no
one said anything.
“Disagreements and disputes arise only under one condi-
tion. And that is when the Truth is unknown.”
“Let me explain. The earth was once considered to be at
the center of the universe. Now we know for a fact that it is
not. We no longer have any opinion about it. There was also
a time when people thought the earth was flat. They feared
falling off at the edge! Today we know that the earth is not
flat. It is spherical in shape. It is round. Nobody argues over
this fact anymore.”
“I can give you some more examples. Hundreds of years

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ago there were some people who believed that a great giant
by the name of Atlas carried the earth upon his shoulders.
And some ancient folks thought that the earth was sup-
ported on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant
sea turtle.”
“Today there are no more arguments and disputes about
these issues. Because with the help of science and technol-
ogy, we’ve gone out in space and seen the Truth with our
own eyes. We have seen that there is no Atlas carrying the
earth upon his shoulders. Nor is the earth supported by four
elephants. It is not flat. And it is certainly not the center of
the universe.”
“I hope that makes it a little clearer for you when I say
that disputes only arise when the Truth is unknown. This is
because some facts lie beyond our power of perception.
This happens when we are confronted with matters that are
imperceptible. They cannot be perceived by our senses.
These facts are enveloped in darkness, totally concealed and
“For example, say there’s a crime scene. A man lies dead
in his living room. He was shot dead. This is something that
happened when there were no witnesses. Who killed him?
Nobody knows. This matter belongs to the realm of the
unseen, the unknown. How are we to know who killed this
“Another example. News reports. There are many events
taking place all around the world. They are reported in the
newspapers. But how are we to perceive the truth of those
reports? It’s impossible for us to be physically present at all
times and places to know what really happened, right?”
“A friend might come to you and tell you about a dream
he had. It’s impossible for you to get into the head of your
friend to see for yourself whether he really had the dream.


So how are you to know if he is telling you the truth?”

“Well?” Dr. Singh waited for an answer.
None came.
He said the words slowly.
“This is where we engage in something called belief.”
He explained. “When confronted with anything that lies
beyond our sense of perception, we have no other option
but to believe it or not believe it.”
“Dreams. When someone tells you about a dream he had,
you have no option but to either believe him or not believe
him. It is the same with news reports.”
“Now, regarding the murder mystery. A man has been
killed. Nobody knows who did it. The truth is unknown. So
because it is unknown, people are going to come forward
with a lot of theories and explanations. They are going to
have a lot of opinions. This is what happens when the truth
is unknown, concealed and hidden. But that doesn’t mean
that we can’t find out what the truth is.”
“It is the job of detectives and the police to find out what
it is so that they can catch the killer and put him behind
bars. Before their investigations, they too are in the dark.
They don’t know what the truth is. They know nothing. But
in the end, they do uncover the truth and catch the killer.
These detectives didn’t witness the murder. But they find
out what the truth is by searching for clues and looking at
the evidence. They stick to facts and are thoroughly objec-
tive in their approach. They are dealing with the unseen and
unknown. So of course they are going to have their beliefs
about who committed the murder. But their beliefs are
always supported by evidence. They do not indulge in wild
“So the key word here is - evidence. Whatever we
believe must always be supported by evidence. Sure, we can

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believe whatever we like, but without evidence our beliefs

have no ground to stand on. This is extremely important! If
we believe in something, we should be able to say why we
believe it. We must be able to provide the proof, evidence
and reason why we believe what we do. Otherwise we
would be like those ancient people who believed that the
earth was flat and that it was supported on the backs of four
“You are here to find out about things that belong to the
world of the unseen. You want to solve the mysteries of life
and death. You want to know who you are, what you are
doing here, what is the purpose of your life and what hap-
pens after death. Now please listen carefully.”
Dr. Singh stopped speaking to catch his breath. He was
very passionate about the subject that was under discussion.
And he had reached the point that was the most important
of all.
“These questions have answers. Some real answers. And
I have no doubt, given the sincerity and drive you have
shown so far, that you will find these answers. But you need
to understand one thing. These questions are related to the
world of the unseen. The world that is totally concealed and
hidden. Therefore you have no other option but to believe in
it or not believe in it. That world cannot be grasped by our
perceptions.....we cannot see it, hear it, taste it, smell it or
touch it. Just as you cannot perceive the dream of your
friend. You either believe him or you don’t. There is no way
you can get into his head and experience that dream for
yourself. Do you understand?”
They all nodded. They were actually wonderstruck.
Finally Dr. Singh had touched on the subject they were all
dying to know more about.
“Detectives find the Truth by looking for clues and


evidence,” said Dr. Singh. “And you too must do the same.”
“Of course,” he went on with a big smile. “I’ll be here to
help you look for those clues and evidence. They are found
in great abundance all around you actually. Frankly, I think
you are going to be quite amazed when I point them out to


T hey were sitting on comfortable white sofas in an air-

conditioned room, sipping lemonade. There was a
Hindi movie going on and they were all watching it with
interest. Nobody except Dr. Singh understood Hindi, but
that was okay. They could follow the story by reading the
English sub-titles.
It was odd. Entertainment was the last thing they ex-
pected at that retreat. But they were glad. It was a nice
break from all the serious thinking and contemplation
exercises that had rattled their brains for the past few days.
The name of the movie they were watching was Dilwale
Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. It was the story of a young girl
named Simran who is dismayed to learn that her father had
arranged her marriage with his friend’s son in India. She

asks her father to let her go on a month long holiday on the

Euro-rail with her friends before she goes to India to marry
a man who she had never seen or met in her entire life. Her
father is very strict, but he agrees. On the train, she meets
Raj, a guy who is also on holiday with his friends. The two
of them fall in love. Simran’s father comes to know about
this. In a rage he informs his entire family that they are
leaving for India the next day. Raj then goes to India to find
his beloved Simran and bring her back to England. But his
task is difficult because everyone is preparing for Simran’s
wedding. Simran’s mother soon discovers that Raj and
Simran love each other. But she also knows that her hus-
band would never accept Raj. She tells Raj and Simran to
run away. At this point, Dr. Singh stopped the movie.
“I want you to listen carefully to what Raj says,” he said.
“He is about to speak about a universal Truth and it is
important for you to take note of it.”
He pressed the play button.
Raj was saying to Simran’s mother. “When I was a little
boy, my mother passed away. Whatever I am today is mainly
because of her. She said to me, “Son, in your journey of life
you will come upon many turns and cross-roads. The wrong
road will be the one that will be easy. It will be very attrac-
tive and pleasing. You will be drawn towards it. While the
other road which is the right road, will be hard. Bear in
mind son, that if you take this road, you may face a lot of
difficulties and hardships in the beginning, but ultimately it is
by walking on this road alone that you will win.” Raj did not
want to run away with Simran. He felt that it was the wrong
road to take.
They watched the movie till the end. Amy was clapping
her hands because she was so overjoyed that Simran and
Raj got together at last. It was a happy ending and they

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were all smiles. To Richard, this was unusual entertainment.

He had never watched a Hindi movie before.
“Most extraordinary!” he thought.
They all looked relaxed and pleased.
Henry got them all some more lemonade.
“I hope you enjoyed the movie,” said Dr. Singh. “I watch
Hindi movies quite frequently. But not for entertainment,
though I must say that these movies are certainly very
“Not for entertainment?” Marie was puzzled.
“Yea,” said Dr. Singh. “There are many lessons we can
learn from watching them. For example, that dialogue
between Raj and Simran’s mother. Did you take note of it?”
“Actually I have written down some notes on that,” said
“Let’s hear what you’ve written,” said Dr. Singh.
“There are two roads to take. One is the wrong road and
the other is the right road. The wrong road is easy, the right
one is hard. The one who takes the right road will win in the
end,” Marie read out.
“Very good,” said Dr. Singh. “I hope that makes it pretty
apparent why Truth is so bitter for many people?”
“I know!” said Andrew. “The right road to take is the
path of Truth, and that road is full of hardships and difficul-
ties. So that’s why Truth is so bitter for many people. They
don’t like to take the hard road.”
“Yes,” said Richard. “It makes so much sense now.
There’s only one way that leads to real success and that’s
the way of Truth. Anyone who takes the wrong way cannot
expect to win.”
“You know,” said Jim thoughtfully. “There isn’t just one
way that is going in the wrong direction. There are thou-
sands and millions of them. Only one way is the right way to


Dr. Singh nodded his head appreciatively. “Sharp obser-
vation there, Jim. Very good!”
Martha wanted some words of appreciation as well.
“Truth is bitter for another reason,” she said. “Truth
won’t change. It remains the way it is whether you like it or
not. And you can’t have an opinion about it either.”
“Marvelous!” cried Dr. Singh. “You have hit it right on
the button. People hate the Truth because it won’t change.
Very good!”
Martha felt as if she was on cloud nine.
“Truth and untruth can never be the same,” said Dr.
Singh. “Truth will not change. It remains the way it is. It
will not become what you want it to be. On the other hand,
untruth keeps changing. Untruth is whatever you want it to
be. If you don’t like it, you can always change it to fit your
view of things.”
“I never knew so much about Truth like I do now,” said
Richard. “I think more people should attend this retreat.”
“Most people are just not interested in learning about the
Truth,” said Henry matter-of-factly.
“It’s such a shame!” said Martha. She was really pleased
to have made it to the retreat and was sorry for all the
people who had not qualified.
“Most people don’t want to know what the Truth is,”
said Dr. Singh. “It is bitter after all. Who likes swallowing a
bitter pill? And talk about bitter, does anyone know which is
the bitterest Truth of all?”
“Ah, you mean that bitter Truth that everyone flees from
like frightened rabbits?” chuckled Henry.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yep. It’s a bitter piece of Truth that
people don’t like to think about. It terrifies them.”
“I know what it is,” said Richard quietly. “There is

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nothing more terrifying than the thought of death. Am I

Dr. Singh smiled. “Yes, you are. People don’t like to
think about dying. So they don’t think about it at all. Until it
comes to them suddenly.”
Richard nodded. He was at the retreat for no other
reason than to know more about this mysterious phenom-
enon. The thought of death terrified him, that was true. And
he had always evaded thinking about it all his life. Until the
doctor had broken the news to him that he hadn’t much
longer to live.
“I have a little story to tell you,” said Dr. Singh. “It has
to do with people’s attitude towards death.”
All of them leaned forward to hear the story.
“Once a man named Simon had a dream. He dreamed
that he was on a train. The train was traveling at full speed.
The passengers on the train were busy eating and drinking.
They were playing music at full blast and singing and danc-
ing and decorating their compartments with artistic draw-
ings and paintings. When the train stopped at various
stations many passengers bought things to make their trip
more comfortable. Simon saw that some people were very
wealthy, while others were not. But the same merry atmo-
sphere pervaded the entire train. Or so it seemed. He
walked from one coach to the next and saw all the people
were engaged in enjoying themselves. Suddenly, the train
entered a deep, dark tunnel. The doors opened and some
people were snatched away by some dark mysterious hands.
When the relatives of the people who were taken away saw
that they were no more, they wailed and cried. But soon
afterwards, they went back to their merry-making.”
“What a strange dream!” thought Marie.
Dr. Singh continued with his story. “The train stopped at


many tunnels and many more people were snatched away.

Simon was extremely scared. He decided to ask one of the
passengers what it all meant. “What are these mysterious
tunnels?” he asked. “Where are these people taken?” “Oh, I
don’t know where they go,” said the passenger. “I just
know that they come to get us at these tunnels.” “Do they
come to get you at any time?” asked Simon. “Oh yeah, they
can come any time to get you. I suggest you don’t think
about it,” was the reply, and the passenger went back to
playing cards.”
“Well, Simon was terrified. The train could stop any
moment at one of those dreaded tunnels and it could be his
turn to go! He wanted to know more about those tunnels.
So he kept looking for an answer. He went through many
coaches and was dismayed to find the same carefree attitude
in every coach. He decided to ask somebody a question. He
tapped one man on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” said Simon.
“Could you please tell me where this train is going?” “I
don’t know,” said the man. “And I don’t care!” He laughed
and offered Simon some beer.”
“Simon was of course very upset. What kind of attitude
was this!? He couldn’t understand how these people could
be so merry and so ignorant. He had never seen such incred-
ibly foolish people. And then he found one coach that was
different from the rest. The passengers in that coach didn’t
have many belongings. Their compartment was not deco-
rated. They wore no fine clothes but were dressed in simple
white attire. When the train stopped at a station, they would
purchase lots of straw, hay and grass. All of them read
books and seemed to be memorizing some instructions
given in them. “How odd!” thought Simon. “Excuse me,”
he said to one passenger clad in white. “Do you know
where this train is going? And what happens to people when

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they are taken away at those dark, mysterious tunnels?” The

passenger nodded his head. “Yes, I know where this train is
going. And I also know what happens to those people at
those tunnels. We are actually preparing ourselves for
Dr. Singh paused for a few seconds. Then he continued
with a smile. “At this point, Simon was awakened from his
dream by the loud ringing of his alarm clock.”
“Aww!” cried Amy. “Now we’re never going to know
where that train was going or what those dark tunnels were
“It doesn’t matter,” said Martha. “I think Dr. Singh has
made his point.”
Everyone except Amy could see the point. She looked at
them all extremely perplexed.
“Will anyone volunteer to explain the dream to Amy?”
asked Dr. Singh.
Richard turned and looked at Amy. “You see Amy, it is
really quite simple,” he said. “We are all on the train. Every
person on earth is on it. We are all going somewhere. And
most people don’t know where. The problem is not that
they don’t know where they are going. The problem is, they
don’t care.”
“In the story, you saw that the passengers on the train
were carefree and busy enjoying themselves. That’s how the
people of this world are. Well, most of them anyway. They
know that death can come to anyone at any time, but they
don’t want to think about it. Those tunnels are tunnels of
death. And anyone can be snatched away at any time. Simon
asks people questions. Where is the train going? What do
people say? They tell him they don’t know and they don’t
“And then he finds some people who do know where


they are going. These people are wearing white clothes and
purchasing straw, hay and grass. It’s not important why they
were collecting these things. It’s important that they knew
the answers to the questions that Simon was asking. It’s
important that they were preparing themselves for the time
when the tunnels would get them.”
“Oh!” cried Amy. “I understand! This dream is about
foolish people and clever people, isn’t it?”
“Foolish people and clever people?” Richard wondered
what she meant.
“Yes,” said Amy. “The foolish people are the ones who
don’t care. The clever people are the ones who do.”


“I t feels so nice to be here in this room,” remarked

Marie. “It’s nice and cool and I feel so refreshed
after watching that movie.”
Richard agreed. This room was the kind he was used to.
It was indeed very comfortable.
Dr. Singh smiled. “I thought a little break would do you
some good. And besides you deserve a little bit of reward
for being such outstanding students.”
“We’re the clever people,” said Amy smugly. “Aren’t we,
Dr. Singh?”
“Oh yes! Certainly!” he replied at once. “This room is
specially reserved for you to help you unwind and relax.
Believe me, you’re going to need it. Our journey in search
of Truth and in search of answers has only just begun. You

have a long way to go, many discoveries to make and a lot

of work to do.”
“You’re very kind, Dr. Singh,” said Martha. “Thank you
so much!”
“Not at all! Not at all!” replied Dr. Singh.
“Well,” said Amy. “I knew all along that it was going to
be a lot of fun! I’m so happy I came here! Thank you so
much Dr. Singh for taking me in even though I’m so little.”
“We encourage children to come,” said Dr. Singh. “Since
they absorb everything, it would do them a lot of good to
learn what is right and distinguish between true and false
early in life. That is what we teach over here. Our aim is to
help you know what is true and what is not. It’s the adults
who have a harder time actually. They have to unlearn all
the things that prevent them from seeing the Truth the way
it really is.”
“That’s so true,” remarked Martha.
“Yes,” said Richard. “It’s harder for us who are grown
up. But I sure am glad to be here. You are so right. This has
been the best decision I have ever made. And like Amy, I
must admit that I am having fun too.”
Everyone was in agreement. Yes, it was a lot of fun. It
was fun to find answers to questions and listen to stories
and watch movies. They enjoyed thinking about things and
making great discoveries. It was fun because it was all so
meaningful and enlightening. It satisfied their burning
curiosity. It was like court TV. Seriously entertaining.
“Let’s play a game,” said Dr. Singh suddenly.
Amy’s eyes sparkled with delight. More fun! How won-
Henry left the room and came back with a basket con-
taining various objects. He withdrew them one by one and
placed them upon the table:

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A pair of shoes, a pair of gloves, a pair of sunglasses, a

cap, a t-shirt, a belt.

“Okay,” said Dr. Singh. “The name of this game is - Built

upon what Truth.”
“Built upon what Truth….?” Jim repeated the words.
“Yes!” said Dr. Singh enthusiastically. “This game is
extremely easy but by playing it you will come to under-
stand how everything you see around you is built upon
Truth. These things you see here are all built upon Truth.
Let’s see if you can tell me what Truth each of these things
is built on.”
He picked up the shoes and asked, “What Truth are these
shoes built on?”
“I know! I know! I know!!” cried Amy excitedly. “These
shoes are built on the Truth that we have two feet!”
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “What about this cap? No,
Amy. Let someone else answer.”
Marie answered. “This cap is built on the Truth that we
have one head and it is round in shape.”
“These sunglasses?” Dr. Singh picked up the pair and put
them on.
“Those sunglasses are built on the Truth that we have
two eyes,” said Martha. Then as an afterthought, she added,
“And also the Truth that we have two ears to hang them
“Good observation. Very good!” said Dr. Singh. He then
picked up the t-shirt. “What Truth is this t-shirt made
“It is built on the Truth that we as human beings have
two arms. The right sleeve for the right arm and the left
sleeve for the left arm. We also have one chest. The t-shirt is
shaped to fit our torso, or upper body. We also have a neck,


so there is a hole in the middle of the t-shirt for that,” said

“Right! Now what about these gloves?” Dr. Singh put
them on.
“Those gloves are built on the Truth that we have two
hands,” said Andrew.
“And this belt?”
“It is built on the Truth that we have a waist and need
something to hold up our trousers or pants,” said Jim.
“That wasn’t a difficult game, was it?” said Dr. Singh. “It
is pretty apparent when you think about it. Everything you
see around you is built upon Truth. We can make progress
only when we stick to the Truth.”
He picked up the t-shirt. “This t-shirt doesn’t have three,
four or seven sleeves.”
He pointed to the shoes. “Shoes are always in pairs.
When we make them, we have to make two of them. We
never make just one. Nor do we make more than two.”
He put on the sunglasses. “The same logic applies to
these sunglasses. And these gloves as well.”
“This cap is designed to fit the head. One head. Not three
or four heads because we don’t have three or four heads.
This belt is designed to fit our waist. Now did you notice
something while doing this exercise? Did you take note of
anything else significant?”
He waited. And when no one spoke, he said, “Well, it’s
pretty obvious. Everything you see has a certain size and
proportion. When we make shoes, we have to make shoes
in different sizes. One size does not fit all people. Clothes
are made in different sizes. Tailors take your measurements
to make clothes that will fit you perfectly. Those measure-
ments have to be accurate. You can’t have one sleeve longer
and the other shorter, for example. So size, shape and

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proportion. These things are pretty apparent. When we

make anything, we have to keep in mind the true dimen-
sions. Our measurements have to be accurate. In other
words, we make things keeping the Truth in mind. Sure,
these shoes are built on the Truth that we have two feet. All
shoes are made in pairs because of that. But there is also
another Truth and that is, our feet come in different sizes.
There are shoes for babies, children, men and women.”
“There’s also another thing that we can take note of.
These shoes are made of leather. We don’t make shoes out
of iron or steel. That would be most uncomfortable, don’t
you think? These sofas you are sitting on. They are not
made of iron either. Neither are our beds. When I go to the
kitchen, I make an omelet on a frying pan that is made of
metal. We never make our frying pans out of plastic. Do you
know why?”
“Because plastic would melt,” said Amy at once.
“Very good! So do you see how we make things keeping
the Truth in mind? We build things with knowledge. Knowl-
edge of the Truth. We know the properties of metal and we
know the properties of plastic. And because we know, we
make our frying pans out of metal. It doesn’t matter what
country you go to, in what age or time. People everywhere
follow the same principles. These things you see here and all
the things that man has made, they are all built upon Truth.
Now suppose you see a man placing a pot made of wood on
the stove, what would you think of him?”
“Silly!” said Martha.
“Of course! That’s right. He would be silly to do such a
thing. But there’s an important point to be made here. The
point is, if you follow anything other than the Truth, you
would be silly.”
It made sense to them now that he put it that way.


“You see, Truth never changes. It doesn’t matter what

you think or believe, it is not going to change. You might
believe or you might think that you can boil some water in a
wooden pot. Sure you can go ahead and believe and think
whatever you like. But your belief or thought must be based
on knowledge. Knowledge of the Truth. It’s important that
you know what the Truth is before you do anything. Doing
things in ignorance can land you in serious trouble. There is
therefore a big difference between a person who knows and
a person who doesn’t know. A knowledgeable person is not
the same as one who is ignorant. Like those people who
were on the train. They didn’t know where they were going
and they didn’t care to find out.”
“You are here today because you care and because you
want to find out where we are going. Of course that’s very
clever of you. Why? Because you will benefit from all this.
You will be a winner. You won’t be like those thousands of
people who are ignorant and who are lost. Frankly it’s all in
your own self interest. Tell me, if a person is headed in the
wrong direction, would that affect you? Or anyone else?”
They shook their heads.
“No, whoever goes in the wrong direction would meet
with his own doom. It is his loss alone. And he has no one
but himself to blame, because he is the one who didn’t care
where he was going. He chose that direction. He chose
ignorance. But a person who chooses the right way and
who walks on the path of Truth, he is the one who will win
in the end, even though he will face difficulties and hard-
ships on the way. So it’s really alright with me that hundreds
and thousands of people are headed in the wrong direction.
It is their loss and their problem. I won’t suffer because of
the decision and choices they have made. I know that I am
on the right path and I know that I will win if I stay on this

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path. That’s all that matters to me. I must admit I am rather

selfish in this regard. There is room over here for over
seventy people. But only six of you managed to make it. I
don’t really care about the people who didn’t qualify for this
retreat. It is their loss, not mine or yours. So, it is my ardent
hope that you will be as selfish as I am as far as hunting for
the Truth is concerned. I believe that you will find the
answers to many questions here. And I hope you will have
the courage to accept the Truth, whatever it is. After all,
you are the one who will reap the fruit of your labor. Your
hard work will pay off and in the end, success and victory
will be yours. And yours alone. Don’t worry about other
people I always say. Worry about yourself.”


T hey were back in their classroom, ready for action.

Dr. Singh had written one word on the blackboard in
huge big letters. That single word announced to them that
they were going to learn about a subject of paramount
importance. The word was - Beliefs.
Henry had a paint brush and a pail of black paint with
him, and he was painting the side door black.
“What on earth is he doing?” wondered Martha. A black
door looked very much out of place.
Dr. Singh meanwhile was sitting in his chair, a broad
smile upon his face. He liked to keep his students in sus-
pense. He called Amy. She got up and went to him. He had
something in his fist and he showed her what it was. Then
he whispered something in her ear. Amy giggled and went
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back to her seat.

“What’s in my fist?” he asked. “Can you guess what it
They all tried.
“Is it a penny?” said Marie.
Martha thought it was a button.
Richard said, “I think you have nothing in your fist.”
“I believe it’s a pebble,” said Jim.
Andrew didn’t answer. He remained quiet.
“Well, Andrew? What’s the matter? Can’t guess what
I’ve got in my fist?” Dr. Singh waited for him to respond.
“Actually sir, I don’t wanna guess. I don’t know what
you got in your fist.”
Dr. Singh was impressed. “Now that’s a great answer!
Good job! Bravo!”
Andrew was surprised. So were the rest of them. They
did not at all understand why Dr. Singh was so pleased with
his answer. Dr. Singh wasted no time in explaining.
“Too many people indulge in guesswork,” he said. “Very
few people are honest enough to admit that they do not
know the answer. When searching for the Truth, it is vital to
have this element of honesty. I admire people who have the
grace to say that they do not know and are honest about it.
And I despise people who claim that they know the answer
when in fact they are doing nothing but guesswork. You’ll
understand precisely what I mean in a moment.”
“Amy knows what’s in my fist. Tell us Amy, who has
guessed correctly.”
“None of them!” said Amy.
“Now please understand that I am not condemning you
for trying to guess what’s in my fist. You were doing so
under my instructions. This was in reality an experiment. By
participating in this exercise I am hoping you will under-


stand how people believe in all kinds of things when they

are dealing with things that are beyond their powers of
perception. You cannot see, hear, taste, smell or touch what
is in my fist. So what do most people do? Yes, they guess.
They make a lot of guesses. And with the passage of time,
their guess becomes their faith. Their belief. Their convic-
He held out his fist.
“Amy knows what’s in my fist. If you ask her she will tell
you what it is.”
He told her to tell them what it was.
“It’s an orange seed!” said Amy.
Dr. Singh opened his hand. There it was. An orange seed.
“I hope you have learnt something very important about
belief from this,” he said. “But let’s hear it from you. What
did you learn?”
“Uhh…that people do a lot of guesswork?” said Jim.
“People are wrong to indulge in guesswork?” said An-
“Ah, I know!” said Richard. “People are usually wrong
when they guess the answers. But they are even more
wrong when they believe whatever it is that they guess.”
“And we have learned that it is better to say that you
don’t know the answer rather than guess it,” said Marie.
“Very good! Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “You have
learnt well. But just in case it has escaped your observation,
I shall explain in more detail the meaning of all this.”
He took a deep breath. “I have an orange seed in my fist.
Nobody except Amy and I know about this Truth. There is
only one Truth. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that already,
have you? Only one answer is correct. Ninety-nine percent
of answers are going to be wrong. So……..”
“If you believed that I have a penny in my fist, would

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your belief turn that orange seed into a penny?”

“No,” said Marie.
He looked at Martha. “If you believed that I held a
button in my fist, would your belief turn that orange seed
into a button?”
The answer was of course negative again.
“And Richard, if you believed that there was nothing in
my fist, would your belief cause that orange seed in my fist
to disappear into thin air?”
Richard saw the point. Loud and clear.
“You see,” continued Dr. Singh, “you can believe what-
ever you like. You can believe the moon is square in shape
for example. But would that belief make that moon become
square in shape?”
Henry had finished painting the door. Dr. Singh took no
notice. He went on. “If you believe something, you need to
have a reason why you believe it. For example, if you
believed that I have an orange seed in my fist and I asked
you the reason why you believe it, you can tell me that you
asked Amy. She had seen what was in my fist. So you have
a good reason to back up what you believe.”
“People have many beliefs. And most beliefs are un-
founded and baseless. If you ask people why they believe
what they do they won’t be able to give you a reasonable
answer. Usually people simply follow the beliefs of their
forefathers. And that’s not surprising.”
“Yeah, I understand that pretty well,” said Andrew. “It’s
children, isn’t it? They would inherit the beliefs and customs
of their parents and pass that on to their children. And it
goes on and on and on.”
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “Glad to know that you have not
forgotten our previous lessons. Blind beliefs. That’s what
we are dealing with. Remember those ancient people who


believed that the earth was supported on the backs of four

elephants? What reason did they have for believing such a
“I guess they had no reason,” said Andrew.
“That was made up. A figment of their imagination,” said
“Guesswork,” said Marie.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “Their belief had no basis
whatsoever. It was not founded on fact, nor evidence nor
reason. Therefore their belief was clearly in error.”
“The problem with people is that they believe anything.
They entertain a strange notion that if they believe in some-
thing hard enough they will make possible what is impos-
sible. In other words, they think that faith and belief can
perform miracles. They believe that Truth is whatever you
want it to be if you believe in it with all your heart.”
“That’s preposterous!” exclaimed Richard.
“Yea, I know. But that’s how people are. I watch Hindi
movies a lot. There are many lessons to be learned in watch-
ing them. Lessons that teach you what to avoid. It’s in
watching nonsense that you actually gain wisdom. Now that
doesn’t mean that all Hindi movies are rubbish. But I’m sure
many people are aware that these movies revolve more
around fantasy and things that are untrue.”
“Take for example, the movie Karan Arjun. It’s the story
of rebirth. A mother loses her two sons and she goes to the
temple and beats her head on the stone before the goddess
Kali, begging this goddess to return her sons to her. In the
beginning of the movie, there goes the commentary - This
story is about belief. Belief and faith that can make the
impossible, possible.”
“So, this mother has strong belief and faith that her two
sons will come back. And the movie shows the birth of her

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two sons. Born again. In other words, the belief of this

woman is so strong that her belief becomes true. It makes
possible what is impossible.”
“By now, you already know that Truth is universal in
nature. It applies to all people, at all places and at all times.
The concept of rebirth is found only in India. It is not
known in other parts of the world. I leave you to decide
whether you want to believe it or not. And to help you
decide perhaps you could ask these people who believe in
rebirth why they believe what they do. See if you can get a
reasonable answer.”
“I’m almost certain they believe that because that is what
their forefathers believed,” said Richard.
“Uh huh,” said Marie. “Blind faith. That’s what I think it
is. They’ve got no reason to believe it.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “There’s a TV show I’ve been watch-
ing lately - on Zee TV, called Shabash India - Naa mumkin
kuchh bhi nahin. To translate that, it means - Well done
India - Nothing is impossible.”
“The producers of that show say - Nothing is impossible.
You get to see many astonishing feats. Like a man setting
himself on fire and jumping from a height into a tank of
water that has been set ablaze. And a man who does some
stunts with his motor cycle, flying over many buses. A little
boy with roller skates, skating under 30 cars, with his legs
outstretched on either side. A man blowing up a massive
rubber tube by blowing into it, and so on. However, all this
does not mean that nothing is impossible. This is a highly
misleading statement. Here are some things that are impos-
sible to do.”
He turned and wrote the following on the blackboard:

1. Turn copper into gold.


2. Kill a man and then bring him back to life.

3. Get a dead man to make a woman pregnant.
4. Go without food, water, sleep for three days and then
win in the Olympic race.
5. Change our parents.
6. Change the age in which we live.
7. Pluck a leaf from a tree and then put it back.
8. Prevent fire from burning paper.
9. Teach dogs, cats, rabbits and goats to speak English.
10. Obtain a Master of Arts degree without studying.

“My! These are impossibilities indeed!” said Martha.

“I can think of many more impossibilities. The greatest
impossibility is changing the Truth. But I hope you see the
point. That slogan - Nothing is impossible has done a fine
job in reflecting the mentality of the Indian people. They
believe in anything and everything. They believe even in
“That’s really absurd!” said Marie.
“Yes, it is,” said Dr. Singh. “But it’s not just the Indian
people who are that way. It’s people all over the world. This
is a condition which afflicts all human beings.”
Richard nodded. He thought about the American people.
They believed in impossibilities as well. There was no
denying that. Dr. Singh spoke the Truth.
“Well, not all human beings are like that,” said Jim. “I’m
“Me neither,” said Amy quickly.
“That’s true too,” said Dr. Singh. “Not all human beings
believe in absurdities and nonsense. That’s a good thing to
know. And it’s nice to know there are people in this world
who want answers that make sense, and who are not con-
tent with the answers provided by their forefathers. And hey,

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I’m talking about all of you.”

He smiled and they smiled back in return.
“And now,” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s turn our attention to
this mysterious black door over here.”


T his black door and what lies beyond it is a mystery,”

said Dr. Singh. “Would you like to guess what’s on
the other side of this door?”
They shook their heads.
Jim spoke for all of them. “We don’t want to indulge in
guesswork,” he said.
“Nice to know you’ve learned your lesson,” said Dr.
Singh. “Guesswork and conjecture can never help us know
what is the truth and reality. So we are not going to guess.
We don’t know what lies beyond this door. But we know
for sure one thing. What?”
They looked at him blankly.
“We know for certain one thing, my friends. And that is,
there is only one correct answer.”
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“Right!” exclaimed Jim. “Now why didn’t I think of

“Yeah,” said Andrew. “There’s only one Truth. Whatever
lies beyond this door, we don’t know what it is. But we can
say for sure that only one answer has gotta be the right
“And that answer will not change,” finished Richard.
Dr. Singh was about to speak when Marie raised her
“Also one more thing!” she said. “No amount of belief or
faith is going to change that answer either.”
“I’m very pleased,” remarked Dr. Singh. “You really are
brilliant students.”
He took a piece of chalk and went to the blackboard. He
made a little dot and then drew a horizontal line.
“This point here is our entry into this world, our birth.”
He wrote the word Birth under the dot.
“And this line here is the length of our life here on earth.
It comes to an end here….” And he made another dot at the
end of the line. He wrote the word Death under it.
“This point is where we leave this world. Our death.
Now, this is a scary topic. I’m not sure if you really want to
know more about it. Not only are we looking at a subject
that is frightening, we are also looking at a subject that
people are very sensitive about. You see, people have a lot
of beliefs about death and what happens after death. And
these beliefs have been drummed into our consciousness
since we were little by our parents, guardians, elders and
society. You already know that there is only one Truth. That
means ninety-nine percent of beliefs are going to be wrong.
“I understand what you mean,” said Richard. “You’re
wondering whether we have the guts to face that Truth,


especially now that we know that believing differently won’t

change it.”
“Yes, I want to know if you have got the courage to
admit that you’re wrong about whatever beliefs you have
entertained about this subject. We shall not proceed unless
you’re ready.”
They all looked at one another. There was determination
on their faces.
“We’re ready!” said Martha.
“Alright then,” said Dr. Singh walking to the black door.
“Consider this door the door by which you leave this world.
This door indicates Death. Everyone of us will have to go
through this door one day. We have seen people go through
that door and we know very well that they never come
back. We don’t know where they go. They simply disappear
and vanish into thin air and we know that the same fate
awaits us all.”
Amy shuddered. It gave Marie the shivers. Richard found
himself trembling. It was a scary subject alright. But they
were not going to run away. Running away was not the
“Since we’re dealing with the unknown, of course it’s
inevitable that people are going to indulge in a lot of guess-
work. A lot of it, I’m afraid,” said Dr. Singh. “The question
is, how are we to solve the mystery of death without mak-
ing guesses?”
He paused for a few seconds. “You know that things are
built upon Truth. But did you know that things are also built
upon reason?”
“Built upon reason?” said Richard.
“Of course! Isn’t that obvious? Think about it.”
He gave them some time to think. They thought about it
for ten minutes.

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Finally Richard had something to share. “Well, come to

think of it, I’ve always believed that there was a reason for
everything. I can’t say why I believe that. It just seems kind
of logical. And it makes sense to me now that you bring it to
our attention. I agree wholeheartedly that all things are built
on reason. Just can’t explain why I agree. Maybe there’s
something deep down inside me that finds this idea most
“Well said and well expressed,” commented Dr. Singh.
“Yes, you’re right. Certainly there’s a reason for everything.
It’s a good thing too. It becomes easy for us to find answers
to questions because of it. All we need to do is ask the
magic question - why. And when you ask why, you’ll get to
know the reason behind anything. Asking the question why
gives you an answer that is reasonable. An answer that
makes sense. And that’s the answer you want. You should
settle for nothing less than that.”
“This is a mystery. What happens after death? No one
seems to know. But I’ve solved this mystery and I think you
can too. It’s really easy but we’ll handle this one step at a
time. Firstly we need to understand that the world of the
unseen – and we’re dealing with the unseen here – this
world cannot be reached through any of our five senses. We
cannot see it, hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it. Now let us
consider what things belong to this unseen world.”
He wrote on the blackboard:

1. Events that happen in this world in different

places and times that we did not personally witness.

“Because we didn’t witness the event – that doesn’t mean

that it never happened, by the way…..” He continued


2. Dreams of other people.

“It is impossible to experience them for ourselves,” he

commented. And lastly….”

3. The minds of other people, their hearts and their


He explained, “It is impossible for us to know what is in

the hearts of other people and what they think. This defi-
nitely belongs to the world of the unknown and unseen. This
is something that we cannot perceive through any of our
five senses.”
“So these three things here – these are the things which
we cannot perceive with our senses. This is where belief
comes in. But this is also where many people fall into a trap.
They think they can believe whatever they like. This is most
“At this point, I’d like to inform you that I’m not going
to tell you what the truth is. You are going to have to find it
on your own and I’m here only to help and guide you. I
shall put before you all the relevant facts and details and I
shall leave you to come to your own conclusions.”
“Speaking of conclusions, I do have something important
to say. In order to reach the right conclusion, you need to
have the right facts and the right premise. A faulty premise
will lead to a faulty conclusion.”
He wrote on the blackboard:

False premise – wrong conclusion.

“You see,” he explained. “If your premise is not based on

fact your conclusions are going to be wrong. For example,

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some people say that Truth is unknowable. That it is impos-

sible to know what happens after death. Impossible to find
out. So their conclusion is – it’s alright to believe whatever
you like.”
“In this case – where people say that Truth is unknow-
able – this is a false premise. It is something that is not
based on fact. Because it is false – their conclusions are
going to be wrong. As you can see – their conclusion is that
any belief is valid.”
“The reality is this, my friends. It is not impossible to
uncover the hidden Truth. It is very much possible to find
out and know what the Truth is. It is certainly possible to
solve mysteries.”
“If it was true that Truth is unknowable – then detectives
could never have solved all those murder mysteries. Histori-
ans and archaeologists could never have known what
happened in the past. Scientists would never have found out
so much about the universe.”
“Detectives, lawyers, historians, archaeologists, scientists
– the common man – you and I – in fact, any human being
can find out what the Truth is. Even a child – like Amy –
can do it. But I want to hear from you. Can you tell me how
they do it? How they solve mysteries and find out what
happened in the past?”
“They look for clues and evidence?” said Marie.
“Right. But clues and evidence don’t solve mysteries.
What does?”
He waited for them to give an answer. When none came,
he said, “It’s our power of reason, and in our quest for
Truth – this is what we shall be using, for the world of the
unseen can only be reached through it.”


D r. Singh went to the black door and tapped on it.

“It’s a mystery what lies beyond this door,” he said.
“And we’re going to solve this mystery by using our power
of reason. That’s the only way to do it. Do you agree?”
“Yes,” said Marie, “whatever lies beyond that door is part
of the unseen.”
“And it cannot be reached by our perceptions of sight,
hearing, taste, smell and touch,” said Dr. Singh. “But before
we proceed to solve this mystery, perhaps you could tell me
something about Sherlock Holmes. I’m sure you must have
heard of him.”
“Who hasn’t heard of Sherlock Holmes!” said Andrew.
“He did some very clever detective work.”
“He’s a fictitious character, created by Sir Arthur Conan
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Doyle,” said Martha. “He wasn’t a real person.”

“Yes, yes,” said Dr. Singh. “You are right about that. But
the mysteries he solved were very much like the mysteries
we have in real life. So even though he was a made-up
character, the way in which he solved his mysteries is pretty
valid. He used his power of reasoning just like real people
would do.”
“Yeah, I can understand now why he is so well-known all
over the world,” said Jim. “He was so much like a real
“Uh huh,” said Dr. Singh. “This is where fiction shines.
Heard of William Shakespeare? Well, he wrote his plays
based upon popular stories that were circulating around in
his days. Even though his plays were fictitious, they are
considered masterpieces in English literature. Why? Be-
cause his work is directly connected to real life situations
and real life people. His plays have universal appeal. We can
relate to the characters in his stories. We can understand the
problems his characters face because their problems are so
much like our problems.”
Marie was thinking and she looked at Dr. Singh with a
quizzical expression on her face. She would have expected
this man to read nothing but books of science. But he
seemed to have his nose into all kinds of things. He watched
movies and read fiction. Just like ordinary, normal folk
would. But Marie didn’t at all think Dr. Singh was ordinary.
He had such a towering, charismatic personality.
“Now, about Sherlock Holmes,” said Dr. Singh. “He was
able to solve many mysteries that others couldn’t because of
just one remarkable thing. What?”
They waited for Dr. Singh to tell them what it was, but
he didn’t. He smiled enigmatically. He posed the question
again. “What was Sherlock Holmes so good at that no case


was too difficult for him to solve?”

Amy couldn’t bear it. “Oh, Dr. Singh!” she cried. “Please
tell us!”
Dr. Singh walked to the blackboard. “Sherlock Holmes
was good at one thing,” he said. And he wrote down one


“This is the starting point. This is where you must begin

if you want to be successful at solving any mystery. In any
investigation, this is the first step. Observation is the key to
solving all mysteries.”
He wrote another word on the board:


“What does a detective do? Well, he solves mysteries,

doesn’t he? That word detective - if we were to break it up,
you’ll find another word in it. And that word is - detect. A
detective is therefore a man who is good at detecting. And
you can’t be good at the art of detection, if you are not
good at observation.”
They listened with great interest.
“Now why is observation so important? It’s because we
are searching for clues. We want evidence that will lead us
to the Truth. Sherlock Holmes observed everything. He
even took note of things that we might consider trivial and
unimportant. In our quest for Truth, we too must take note
of everything. Every clue is important. Nothing must escape
our scrutiny. So first comes observation. Second comes
clues and evidence. And third comes our use of reason.”
He paused and then said, “I don’t know if Sherlock

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Holmes would have been able to solve the mysteries of life

and death however. I actually think you can do it more
easily than him!”
“You mean me? I can do it better than Sherlock
Holmes?” asked Amy incredulously.
“Yes, you. All of you!” answered Dr. Singh. “Do you
know why?”
He was smiling again. He loved to tease them.
Amy was impatient once more. “Please Dr. Singh! Please
tell us!” she begged.
“It’s going to be easier for you, my child,” responded Dr.
Singh. “Because you are well acquainted with the properties
of Truth!”
Amy was puzzled. So were the rest of them.
“You don’t understand?” said Dr. Singh. “Well, let me
explain. Tell me.......what is the most outstanding property
of Truth?”
Several hands shot up in the air. “Truth is one!” they
“Well then,” said Dr. Singh. “That is the number one
observation, the number one clue and the number one
reason how we solve any mystery. There is only one Truth.
So there’s only one correct answer. Now, tell me what
conclusion would you arrive at from this simple observa-
“That all other answers are incorrect,” replied Richard.
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “And what does that mean
for us? What would be the reasonable thing to do when you
know that only one answer is right?”
They sat there wondering for a few minutes.
Dr. Singh became a little impatient. “Okay, I’ll tell you
what would be the reasonable thing to do. It would be to
eliminate all answers that are wrong!”


“That makes sense!” exclaimed Richard.

“Of course it makes sense. That’s why it’s the reasonable
thing to do. If Truth is one, then all other answers are going
to be wrong. Now, how do we know which answers are
wrong? They are the answers that are improbable and
unlikely. So all we would need to do is eliminate improb-
abilities, whatever is unlikely, and which doesn’t make
sense. It’s as simple as that. I call it the elimination method
and it’s a very effective method of finding the Truth. Just
think about it. If we were to eliminate all the wrong an-
swers, what are we going to be left with? The Truth of
course. And that’s what we want, don’t we?”
“A lot of people are going to dislike this elimination
method,” observed Jim.
“You are quite right about that,” said Dr. Singh. “Imagine
living all your life believing in something that is not true.
Something that is false, and then learning that it is all false.
That you were on the wrong track. It’s going to hurt the
feelings and sentiments of many people.”
“But don’t people who walk on the path of untruth hurt
themselves the most?” commented Marie.
She thought about the treasure hunt and the false map
they had followed. “If I found out that I was walking on the
wrong street and someone told me what the right street
was, I really don’t think I’d feel hurt. I think I would thank
the person who showed me the right way actually.”
“Aha!” said Dr. Singh. “I like what you said. This is how
we should react. But you must remember that people are
complicated creatures. Many of them don’t like to be
wrong. So they’ll continue walking on the wrong path even
if you told them which was the right path.”
“I guess this is it then,” said Jim. “The time for us to face

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“Right!” Dr. Singh nodded. “Truth is one. And this is a

fact that will provide us with all the ammunition that we
need to blast all falsehood, lies and untruth into outer space.
Are we ready for business?”
“Yes sir!” they all shouted enthusiastically.


A my felt rather important. Dr. Singh had chosen her

and she was going to solve the first puzzle.
“Are you ready Amy?” said Dr. Singh with a twinkle in
his eye. “You are going to be our little detective. You are
going to solve this mystery and you are going to do it using
the elimination method. Don’t worry, it will come to you
Amy listened carefully.
“There’s a classroom. The blackboard has nothing writ-
ten on it. There’s a table in front of it and a chair. On the
table is a piece of chalk. There are several desks there too.
Some people enter this classroom. A man by the name of
Sebastian, his son Robby who is three years old, a blind lady
named Seema and her service dog. Seema is from India by
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the way. And she can’t speak English. Okay, so these are the
people who enter the classroom. Seema, the blind lady,
Robby, the three year old and the man named Sebastian.
And yes, don’t forget the dog, Seema’s dog. They stay in
the room for ten minutes. After they have gone, you enter
that classroom and see that there’s something written on the
blackboard. It’s a simple sentence - Two plus two is four.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Can you tell me Amy, who did not
write that sentence on the blackboard? I don’t want to
know who wrote it. I want to know who didn’t write it.
“Oh, okay,” said Amy. It was instantly clear to her that it
was the man named Sebastian who wrote the sentence on
the blackboard. But that was not the answer Dr. Singh
wanted. So she said, “Well I know that Robby didn’t write
it. He’s only three years old and I know that little kids that
age don’t know how to write. They don’t know how to add
up numbers. Then, there’s that blind lady. I don’t think she
did it. She couldn’t see. And you said that she didn’t speak
English. So she couldn’t have written that sentence on the
Dr. Singh nodded. “See how easy it is for us to reason
and rule out the improbabilities? Good job! Seema and
Robby couldn’t have done it, so we are going to rule them
out. Is there anything else that you need to rule out Amy?”
Amy thought about it. “Oh yes!” she said. “There was
that dog. Seema’s dog. He couldn’t have done it either.
Dogs can’t write.”
Dr. Singh was pleased. “I’m glad you thought about
that,” he said. “Certainly, we can rule out the dog. Is there
anything else left to rule out?”
“No,” replied Amy.
“You have left out the table, the chair, the desks.....and


the piece of chalk,” said Dr. Singh extremely amused.

Andrew laughed. And everyone was smiling. They now
understood what Dr. Singh meant when he said that nothing
should escape their observation.
“I know, I know,” said Dr. Singh. “Tables, chairs,
desks....why should we even consider them? Simply so that
we can rule them out. We want to eliminate 99% answers,
right? So.....we have ruled out all the wrong answers. Now
tell me Amy, which is the only answer that remains?”
Amy had no hesitation at all in saying that it was
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “Eliminate all the wrong answers
and the only answer left is the Truth. You may not have seen
Sebastian actually write two plus two is four on the black-
board - with your own eyes. But you know for sure that it
must have been him because you know that all the other
answers are wrong. You know what the Truth is by using
your powers of observation and reason.”
“Reason tells you first that there’s only one correct
answer. Meaning there is only one Truth. So you reason that
it couldn’t have been the dog. Dogs can’t write. It couldn’t
have been the blind lady. She couldn’t see. Plus she didn’t
know English. It couldn’t have been Robby because he’s
only three years old. He hadn’t learned how to add num-
bers, nor could he write. And of course tables, chairs and
desks are non-living things. They cannot do anything. So the
only answer left is the man named Sebastian. We eliminated
all the wrong answers. In this case, they were all so obvious
that we didn’t need much time to think about it.”
“Now, have you ever heard of those multiple-choice
tests? You know - those tests where you are given four
choices - A, B, C or D. Three of the choices are wrong.
Only one is right?”

Rajasa Robbins

“Yes,” said Martha instantly. “I do them all the time. In

Reader’s Digest, when I take the word power test.”
“Okay,” said Dr. Singh. “Often it so happens that you do
not know what is the correct answer. But many times it is
possible to figure out what the right answer is. You see -
you know that there’s only one right answer - there is only
one Truth - so what you would do is eliminate or rule out
those answers you know for sure are wrong. If you can
eliminate three wrong answers - which by the way is 99% of
the answers - what would you be left with?”
“The correct answer!” cried Marie.
“So let’s do one of those multiple-choice tests. I’m going
to ask you a question and I’m going to provide you with
four answers. Let’s see if you can figure out what the right
answer is by using the elimination method. Okay?”
He wrote on the blackboard:

What looks like a man and lives in the jungles of South

East Asia?
A) octopus
B) zebra
C) orang utan
D) eagle

“This is so easy,” said Richard. “It’s got to be C - the

orang utan.”
“Can you tell us why you selected this answer?” asked
Dr. Singh.
“Well of course I don’t know what an orang utan is. But
I do know that the octopus lives in the sea. Not in any
jungle. The zebra might live in a jungle I suppose, but it
certainly doesn’t look like a man. And it can’t be the eagle.
The eagle is a bird. So the only answer left is the orang


Amy clapped her hands in delight. She was enjoying this
kind of puzzle-solving very much. “This is so much fun!”
she said excitedly.
“Our little formula of eliminating all improbabilities - a
highly effective method of uncovering the Truth. I’m sure
you all agree with me there. And now that you understand
how it works, let’s solve a mystery that has baffled people
since the beginning of history. It still remains a mystery for
many people even today. But you, my dear friends are going
to solve it easily. So easily that it’s going to be a breeze.”
Dr. Singh took a piece of chalk and wrote on the black-
board the mystery question:

What came first - The chicken or the egg?

“I don’t think it’s gonna be easy to solve that!” exclaimed

“I’ve come across that question many times,” said Rich-
ard. “The debate goes on. Nobody has been able to give a
satisfactory answer. The chicken comes from the egg and
the egg comes from the chicken. So what really came first,
nobody really knows.”
“Ah, but you can know what came first, my dear friend.
I’m going to solve this mystery step by step for you. I think
you’ll be quite amazed to learn how incredibly simple it
really is to solve this mystery,” said Dr. Singh.
They were all ears.
“First of all, we’ll consider all the possibilities and op-
tions, alright?”
He wrote on the blackboard:

Possibility 1 - The chicken came first.

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Possibility 2 - The egg came first.

He turned and asked them a question. “Do any other

possibilities come to your mind?” Nobody spoke so Dr.
Singh wrote down:

Possibility 3 - Neither the chicken nor the egg came first.

“To solve this puzzle,” said Dr. Singh. “We’re going to

use the formula of elimination. Of all the options written
down here, which one would you rule out or eliminate
“Possibility number 3 of course,” said Richard at once.
“Right,” said Dr. Singh crossing out the third option.
“We’ll rule out that possibility. It can’t be the right answer.
Because life comes from life. A dead chicken cannot pro-
duce any egg nor can a dead egg produce any chicken. So
we have two other possibilities left over here. Which one
are you going to rule out next?”
It suddenly became very clear to them and Marie in-
stantly raised her hand. “I would rule out the egg!” she said.
Dr. Singh crossed out possibility number 2. “Tell me
Marie, why did you select this option to rule out?”
“Because it’s highly improbable that the egg came first. If
the egg had come first, then a baby chick would have come
out of that egg, not a full-grown chicken. And a baby chick
cannot survive without the care and protection of its
mother,” was Marie’s reply.
Dr. Singh was pleased with her answer. “Great observa-
tion Marie! Very good!” he said appreciatively.
He then turned to the blackboard again.
“Now my friends, tell me what’s the only answer that’s
left here on this blackboard?”


There it was. Loud and clear for all of them to see. It was
the chicken. It was the chicken that came first.
“So the mystery is solved,” said Dr. Singh. “The chicken
came first. This is the truth that we should believe. But
wait! Now that we know that it was the chicken that came
first, we must think a little further and reach another conclu-
sion. Another truthful conclusion. You see, all of us know
that a chicken by itself cannot produce an egg. It needs a
partner to help it produce an egg that will hatch into a
chick. So the logical conclusion would be - it wasn’t just
one chicken that came first. Mama chicken came along with
Papa chicken. And from the first pair came all the chickens
that we see today.”
“What a clever way to solve mysteries!” thought Jim.
Richard was thinking the same thing. But now he was
beginning to grow worried. He could sense that they had
reached a point of no return. They were getting dangerously
close to the Truth. Soon it would be there before them to
see in crystal clear clarity, and although he had told himself
that he would be brave, he found himself feeling exceedingly


I t was a beautiful, bright and sunny day and they were

happy to get out in the open. Dressed in white all of
them looked and felt rather grand and important. They were
going out on an assignment. Henry led the way. They had
not gone very far when a loud cry made them stop and look
behind. It was Mrs. Patil.
“Wait for me!” she shouted at the top of her lungs. “I’ve
had enough of staying indoors,” she said panting for breath
as she came up to them. “Dr. Singh told me that you were
going out to do some investigating or something. I just
hope you don’t mind if I come along.”
“Of course we don’t mind!” said Martha at once.
Henry quickened his pace and the men were forced to
walk a little faster. They were headed towards the lake and

to reach it they had to go through a forest. The ladies

however walked at a lazy pace for Martha couldn’t walk
too fast.
“You should really come and attend our class,” said Amy
to Mrs. Patil. “We are in the middle of solving the greatest
puzzle ever!!”
“And what puzzle is that?” asked Mrs. Patil.
“The puzzle of life,” answered Amy.
The men were walking ahead and having their own
“I really do think we are on a strange assignment,”
Andrew was saying. “Dr. Singh told us to go out and make
observations. But observations about what?!”
“I’ve been thinking the same thing,” said Jim. “I’ll just
write down all the things I see.” And he took out a note-
book from his pocket and began to jot down a few observa-
tions. Amy saw what Jim was doing. She too took out her
notebook and wrote down a few things.
Mrs. Patil was intrigued. She wondered what they were
“I hope you don’t get bored with our company,” said
Martha to Mrs. Patil. “We have an assignment on our hands,
so we’re going to be a little busy writing down notes.”
“Bored? Of course not!” said Mrs. Patil. “I’m just glad to
get out of that White House!”
“The Round House, Mrs. Patil,” corrected Amy.
“Whatever!” mumbled Mrs. Patil. And then she caught
sight of Amy’s shiny new badge. There was something
written on it. “Untruth busters!” she read.
Amy giggled. “Untruth busters - that’s what we are!”
“What on earth does that mean?”
“Just that we eliminate all the wrong answers in order to
get to the Truth,” explained Marie.

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“Oh, I already know what the Truth is,” said Mrs. Patil
with a trace of arrogance in her voice. “I don’t need to
attend some silly classes to know what it is.”
“Don’t you call our classes silly!” said Amy angrily.
“Alright, I won’t,” said Mrs. Patil seeing that even Marie
and Martha looked offended.
However Mrs. Patil couldn’t conceal her emotions. She
looked at Henry who was now guiding them through the
forest. She frowned as she remembered how she had to
surrender her amulet to him. There was much hatred in the
eyes of Mrs. Patil and Amy was quick to mention it.
“You hate Henry a lot, don’t you?” she said.
Mrs. Patil did not deny it. “He took my amulet, remem-
“But Mrs. Patil!” exclaimed Amy. “He was only doing his
job! He is really a very nice person.”
“I don’t care what anyone says,” replied Mrs. Patil. “I’ve
always worn that amulet and I’ve never taken it off. Without
it I feel very unsafe and unprotected.”
Amy thought about the amulet. What was it? A charm
that warded off evil? She walked closer to Mrs. Patil. She
had a question to ask her.
“How do you know that this amulet thing works?” she
“Of course it works!” said Mrs. Patil quickly. “I have
been kept safe and sound all these years because of it.”
“But Mrs. Patil,” said Amy slowly and clearly. “Look at
all of us! I don’t know how old Henry is. But I think he is
much older than you. And Martha is older than all of us.
What I mean to say is - Mrs. Patil - none of us wears any
amulet or anything. But no harm has come to any of us.”
Marie and Martha raised their eyebrows in astonishment.
They couldn’t believe it! Whatever Amy had just said made


perfect sense! Mrs. Patil was quite speechless. Now what

answer was she to give this little brat?
A couple of squirrels were scurrying up and down the
trees and Amy instantly forgot about the question she had
just posed to Mrs. Patil. Squealing in delight she watched
the little animals with the greatest fascination and wonder.
Mrs. Patil secretly breathed a sigh of relief. “I can’t wait
to get out of this place!” she said to herself.
At last they reached the lake. They marveled at the lovely
scenery before them. Richard had spoken very little during
their little excursion. He hadn’t written down anything in his
notebook at all. But now as he looked at the beautiful lake,
the green forest and the splendid blue sky, he withdrew from
his pocket his notebook. He seated himself on a huge rock
and began to scribble down the many thoughts that were
racing in his mind. Thoughts about the beauty of nature and
the remarkable order prevalent in the world around him. He
was surprised that he had never thought about such things
before. He had never had the time for it.
When they returned from their trip to the lake, they
found Dr. Singh waiting for them in the classroom. A loaf of
bread was on the table. Amy looked at it hungrily.
They settled down behind their desks and placed their
notebooks in front of them.
“Welcome back,” said Dr. Singh getting up from his
chair. “This will be our last lesson for the day. I shan’t take
too long. I know that you are tired and hungry and want to
get back to your rooms. But the lesson you are going to
learn in a few moments is an important one. Once you
understand it, you’ll be able to see the Truth so clearly that
half of the answer to the mystery of life and death - will be
He pointed to the loaf of bread that was on the table. “As

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you know - all things are built upon Truth. So tell me -what
Truth is this loaf of bread built on?”
“The Truth that we need to eat?” said Jim.
“Right. Now you also know that all things are built on
reason. Everything is built upon reason. In other words,
there’s a reason for everything. So if we take a look at this
bread over here - we can say with the greatest certainty that
there’s a reason why this bread exists on this table.”
“Now let’s consider this a mystery. There’s a loaf of
bread on the table. It’s a mystery how it got there. So how
shall we go about solving this mystery? Of course - by
asking the magic question why. Why is this a magic ques-
tion? Because when you ask the question why - you get to
the bottom of the mystery. You find out the reason behind
the mystery. In this case, we shall know the reason why the
bread is on the table.”
Everyone listened in rapt attention. This was so ridicu-
lously simple that they were amazed how they never
thought about it that way!
“So tell me my friends, why is there a loaf of bread on the
table?” Dr. Singh had a smile on his face.
The answer to that question was just too easy. Amy gave
the answer. “Because,” she said with confidence. “Someone
put it there!”
“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “Someone put it there. And
that’s the reason why the bread exists on the table. The
mystery is solved, isn’t it? You know that someone had to
put that loaf of bread on the table. Even though you didn’t
see anyone do it. Now tell me, would you be reasonable if
you said that nobody put this loaf of bread on the table?
That it got there all by itself?”
“That’s not possible,” said Jim. “And anyone who says
that that loaf of bread got there on the table by itself - well


seriously - I think he needs to have his head examined!”

“So all of you agree that nobody would ever come to the
conclusion - that the loaf of bread appeared on the table by
itself - or that nobody put it there.”
Dr. Singh had a way of making things abundantly clear
and the students had absolutely no hesitation in agreeing
with what he said.
“Let me however tell you the reason why nobody would
come to such a conclusion,” went on Dr. Singh. “It’s be-
cause there is a certain law that operates in this universe.
It’s a law that provides us with one of our most important
clues in solving any mystery. A law that leads us to conclude
that everything is built upon reason. What law am I talking
When nobody answered, Dr. Singh revealed, “It’s the law
of cause and effect!”
There were heads nodding in total agreement. And they
listened intently as Dr. Singh continued speaking. “The law
of cause and effect tells us that if there is an effect, there has
to be a cause. And if there is a cause, there is bound to be an
effect. So when you see this loaf of bread on the table - we
can ask - what caused it to appear there on the table? We
ask about the cause because it was not there before. So if
something exists, then it means that it was caused to come
into existence. In other words, it was created or made. So
what are our conclusions going to be when we see this loaf
of bread on the table? One - that someone put it there. And
second - that someone made it.”
“How right you are!” exclaimed Marie with the greatest
“It would be unreasonable to say,” went on Dr. Singh,
“that nobody made this loaf of bread. Agree?”
They agreed indeed.

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“Okay now, let us think a little about the millions of

things we make or create. Tables, chairs, buildings, refrig-
erators, cars, pots and pans, clothes etcetera. Why do all
these things exist? They exist because we made them. In
other words, they were caused to come into existence. They
are the effect and we are the cause. A thousand years ago,
the car didn’t exist. It exists today however. And the reason
why it exists is because we made it. We created it. We
caused it to come into existence. Got it?”
“This is not all hard to follow,” commented Andrew.
Dr. Singh desired to explain the phenomenon of cause
and effect a little more. He went on with his speech, “Yes, it
is not at all hard to understand how the law of cause and
effect works. For example, let’s say we are walking in the
desert. Suddenly we come across an abandoned truck. We
didn’t see who made it, but certainly we would never come
to the conclusion that nobody made it. Or that it appeared
there by itself. We would never say that it formed itself out
of thin air. There’s also another conclusion that we would
reach. And that is - the truck was made by human beings.
Not by any animal, insect or bird.”
“Oh, but that’s so obvious!” said Marie.
“You’ll be surprised how many people shut their eyes to
things that are so obvious,” said Dr. Singh. “Especially in
this area - about things of the unseen. They would come to
unreasonable conclusions and say things like - nobody made
the truck. Or that it was made by a hyena or an eagle or a
“Nobody would say things like that!” said Martha swiftly.
“You’ll understand what I mean in a little while,” re-
sponded Dr. Singh.
Henry could not help chuckling.


“W hen we are confronted with a mystery to

solve,” said Dr. Singh, “we usually have to deal
with effects. We identify and observe the effects and then
ask about the cause. That’s how mysteries are solved. So
what are effects? How do we recognize them?”
Dr. Singh wrote down the following on the blackboard:

Effect = Existence or presence of anything which was

previously non-existent

“Any event, happening or occurrence is also an effect,”

he went on. “For example, if you come across a burnt
building - what would you think? Why is the building burnt,
right? You would ask what caused the building to be in that
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state. Obviously that building wasn’t like that when it was

built. So we can say that at one time that building did not
exist in that burnt-down state. But now it does. Therefore
the existence of the building in that burnt state indicates that
it’s an effect.”
He paused and then continued, “We’re always asking
about causes. Why do we ask for causes? Because we want
to know the reason why a thing exists - such as this loaf of
bread. We want to know the reason why things happen.
Like a building that gets burnt down. We want to know the
reason why things are the way they are. Our mission there-
fore is to find out what is the cause. And if we can find the
cause - we have solved the mystery.”
“Just like when we see a dirty and smelly old man?”
asked Amy.
Dr. Singh raised his eyebrow.
“I mean - we can ask why he is dirty and smelly,” ex-
plained Amy at once, wondering if she had said something
stupid. “We can ask what caused him to be like that - dirty
and smelly?”
Dr. Singh smiled. “You’re right! Certainly we can ask
that. Very good!”
Amy felt very encouraged. “Also what about a messy
room?” she said. “We can ask what caused that room to be
“Excellent!” cried Dr. Singh very much pleased. “Can
you think of any other examples?”
“How about an accident?” said Jim. “We can ask what
caused it, right?”
“And murder?” said Andrew. “Like when the police want
to know who is the person who caused the murder?”
“Good,” said Dr. Singh. “It looks like you have under-
stood the principle of cause and effect well. We are now in a


position to solve our little mystery...the mystery of what

happens after death.” He walked towards the black door
and stood before it. There was a serious look on his face.
“Like I said - I’m not going to solve the mystery for you.
Nor am I going to tell you the answers to the questions you
have on your mind. You’re going to have to come to your
own conclusions. But Truth is very clear and obvious
especially to those people who are looking for it. So in just
a few moments you’ll be face to face with the Truth. The
Truth which you may dislike. The Truth which is very bitter.
I have asked you before and I’ll ask you again - do you wish
to proceed?”
Richard’s face grew pale. The time had come at last. He
knew that he was very close to the Truth. And he didn’t
want to know it. Somehow he felt that it was going to be
something he wouldn’t like. “But I don’t have to accept the
Truth if I don’t like it,” he told himself. “Nobody can make
me accept it!”
“We’re ready to face the Truth!” declared Marie. The rest
of them were all eager to know what Dr. Singh was going
to reveal next.
“Alright!” said Dr. Singh. “All of you went outdoors
today. You were told to make observations. So tell me -
what did you observe?”
Amy went first. “I saw many things,” she said opening
her notebook. “Lots of trees and plants - pretty flowers,
green leaves, green grass - an ant-hill - some termites. I
even saw a big spider-web! There was a spider on it too -
and some squirrels. They had bushy tails!”
“I made some different observations,” said Marie. “I saw
falling leaves and I felt the wind blowing. And I was think-
ing about how things fall. Because of the earth’s gravity. I
saw birds flying in the air. They have wings and that’s why

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they can fly. Then at the lake, I saw some fish in the water.
They have gills, fins and tails.”
“Very good observations,” commented Dr. Singh.
“I wrote down pretty much the same things that Amy
wrote,” said Andrew.
“Richard? Let’s hear what observations you made,” said
Dr. Singh noting how Richard seemed to be a little with-
Richard opened his notebook. “I’ve observed,” he said
slowly. “That my legs had grown weak and tired after
walking only a little distance. And that I was feeling thirsty
and hungry. I’m sorry if I’m talking only about myself - but
these are my observations -about how I felt. At the lake, I
sat down and wrote down many other things. I’ve been
thinking about my own death - which is going to be soon.
And then I looked around me and saw that death comes to
all things. The trees, plants, animals - the birds, insects,
fish....reptiles. There are many living things on earth. They
all die. And another thing I’ve noted is day and night. I felt
rather thankful that night was going to come in a few hours.
It’s the time for rest and sleep....which I need very badly.
Lastly I must say that everything in nature is so orderly and
systematic. And peaceful.”
“Awesome!” said Jim looking at Richard in admiration.
“Yes,” agreed Dr. Singh. “That’s deep thinking -observ-
ing how everything around us is perishing. Wonderful!”
Then it was Jim’s turn. He cleared his throat. “Well, I
have made some very obvious observations,” he said. “Like
we’re wearing clothes. There’s no other animal out there
that wears clothes. Then the fact that the earth is round in
shape. And so is the sun. Actually each thing seems to have
a specific size and shape. Including us human beings. We
have two hands, two feet and we walk erect. And also one


more thing. We don’t have tails!”

“Ah, those observations are obvious alright,” remarked
Dr. Singh. “But I love them! People have a tendency to
overlook what is most obvious - and that isn’t good at all.
We need to take into consideration all things, including
things that are obvious - in order to come to the right
conclusion. Nothing must be left out.”
Martha was the last one to speak. “My observation is
this,” she said. “We’re different from the animals and crea-
tures that exist on this planet. There are many things to see
and observe. But that has been my main observation - that
human beings seem to be special creatures.”
“I’m impressed,” commented Dr. Singh. “All of you have
made some really great observations. You have seen the
existence of many things - living as well as non-living. It’s a
fact that there are many things in this universe. The logical
question to ask therefore is - why do these things exist?
Why are things the way they are?”
“You’ve learnt that the existence of anything that wasn’t
there before is an effect. So the question to ask is - have all
the things you have seen and observed always existed? Or -
was there a time when those things didn’t exist?”
“You see - if there was a time when these things did not
exist - then we must ask the question what caused them to
exist. All the things you have seen and observed are effects.
If so, we should ask about the cause. This is where we
wonder about our own existence. We want to know what
caused us to be here.”
“Nothing caused us to be here,” said Richard at once.
“All things have evolved to be what they are.”
Martha rolled her eyes. “That stupid evolution theory!”
she thought.
“Evolved?” said Dr. Singh. He laughed heartily. “No, no,

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my friend! The evolution theory does not have any ground

to stand on. I personally think it’s all nonsense!”
Richard was not very pleased. It showed on his face.
“You’d think it was nonsense too, Richard,” said Dr.
Singh seeing that he had to explain the matter clearly to
“You see, the evolution theory rests on two assump-
tions,” and he wrote on the board:

Assumption 1: The universe has always been there

Assumption 2: Life emerged from non-living matter

“The first assumption has been totally destroyed by

recent astronomical discoveries. We have found that our
universe is in a continuous state of expansion. And the
galaxies are speeding away from one another. Based on this,
scientists have come to the conclusion that at one time the
universe did not exist. It came into existence as a result of a
big bang. What does that mean? It means that it was caused
to come into existence. In other words - the universe hasn’t
always been there.”
“The second assumption is absolutely ridiculous,” he
went on. “Life comes from life. Non-living things never
become alive all of a sudden. Scientists have tried with all
their might and technological expertise to create living
things out of non-living matter. To this day they have not
succeeded. They never will! Just think about it! Can a dead
man ever make a woman pregnant? Can a dead woman ever
give birth to a child? This is an impossibility!”
Martha was extremely pleased. She simply loved the way
Dr. Singh blasted the evolution theory. Marie threw her a
glance and nodded her head in support.
“Let’s get back to our observations,” said Dr. Singh


totally ignoring Richard’s reaction to what he had just said.

They all looked on as Dr. Singh wrote a few things on
the board:

Observation 1: The tails of squirrels are bushy.

Observation 2. Birds have wings.
Observation 3: The sun is round in shape.
Observation 4: Spiders make spider-webs.
Observation 5: We are living beings.

“We’ve learned that the first step in solving any mystery

is observation. These are some of the things you have
observed. And now - what we are going to do is simply ask
the magic question why. So tell me -why are the tails of
squirrels bushy?”
They were silent for a while. Then Jim had an answer.
“Because that’s the way they have been made,” he said.
Dr. Singh wrote on the board:

1. The tail of a squirrel is bushy because that’s the way it

has been made.

He asked the rest of the questions and then wrote down

their answers on the board. The answers were as follows:

2. Birds have been given wings so that they can fly.

3. The sun is round in shape because it has been made
that way.
4. Spiders can make spider-webs because they have been
taught how to do it.
5. We are living because we have been given life.

“Now - we’re going to do a grammar exercise,” said Dr.

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Singh with a big smile. “All these sentences are in the

passive voice. Change them to active. What do you get?”
They gave their answers and Dr. Singh wrote them all
down. They were as follows:

1. The tail of a squirrel is bushy because SOMEONE

made it that way.
2. SOMEONE gave birds wings so that they can fly.
3. The sun is round in shape because SOMEONE made it
that way.
4. Spiders can make spider-webs because SOMEONE
taught them how to do it.
5. We are living because SOMEONE gave us life.

The Truth was staring at them in the face. There it was -

as clear as crystal right before their very noses. They
couldn’t deny it. It was after all the only answer that made
sense! But Dr. Singh did not declare that Truth to them. It
was something they had to figure out on their own. How-
ever, Dr. Singh decided to help them a little.
“Who is this someone? Do you know?” he asked his
awestruck audience. “Remember the elimination method?
We must eliminate all those answers which are unlikely and
improbable. So what answers must we rule out? We must
rule out all animals, insects, birds, reptiles that live on earth.
We must rule out all plant life. We must also rule out all
non-living things. And yes! We must rule out human beings
as well. Human beings did not teach the spider how to make
that spider-web - nor are they the ones who made the sun
round in shape. So who is that SOMEONE - what is the
only answer that is left?”
“Mon Dieu!” exclaimed Marie quite forgetting that she
was speaking French.”


Dr. Singh nodded his head. “I think I agree with you

there,” he said. “He would be known as Dieu in French,
Bhagwan in Hindi, Allah in Arabic, Tuhan in Malay.....and in
the English language?”
There was silence in the classroom as they waited for Dr.
Singh to finish speaking.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said at last. “In the English
language He is known as God - the Creator of this universe
and all things in it!


R ichard tossed and turned on the flat, hard floor. He

was having a hard time going to sleep. It wasn’t the
discomfort of the floor that was bothering him however. It
was his state of mind.
There were two loud voices in his head.
“You made a huge mistake coming here!” cried the first
voice. “Why did you have to come? And mingle with all
these ordinary people? You’re used to a life of comfort and
luxury! You have everything that you want! You left all that
behind - for what? To live under these miserable circum-
stances!? You have been stripped of your identity. You have
no more importance. You are not even recognized. You
have become like these common people. What have you
accomplished by coming here? What have you found? That

a God exists? What rubbish! You know that there is no

God! These classes are nothing but a waste of time!”
“Yes, maybe I did make a mistake,” thought Richard.
“You did not make any mistake,” said the second voice.
“You wanted to know what the Truth was. You wanted an
answer that made sense. So you got what you were looking
“Oh come on!” said the first voice angrily. “There is no
need for you to go looking for the Truth. You already know
“Do I?” thought Richard doubtfully.
“Yes, of course!” insisted the first voice. “You know that
there is no God. You’ve never believed in God. And there is
no reason why you should start believing in Him now.”
“You’re right,” said Richard feeling a little better. “Why
should I believe in God all of a sudden?”
“Because,” said the second voice matter-of-factly. “You
have no other choice.”
Richard opened his eyes. He knew that he had no choice
but to believe in the existence of a Creator. After all, there
was no other answer that was reasonable. He dearly wished
he could accept the idea that nobody caused the universe to
come into existence. He wished he could believe that life
began on earth by itself - and that nobody had given him
life. But now -after attending Dr. Singh’s classes, and after
having learnt the amazing properties of Truth, he found it
difficult to accept anything that was unreasonable....or false.
“Untruth Busters”. He thought about the badge he wore.
“I’m supposed to hate untruth,” he reminded himself.
Then why was he finding it so hard to accept the obvious
“Why am I so unhappy to learn that God exists?” he

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He thought about this for a good while. He stared at the

ceiling and tried to think objectively. He didn’t want his
emotions to cloud his thinking. It wasn’t long before the
answer came to him. He remembered some of the lessons he
had learnt earlier. One of them was the lesson on cognitive
dissonance. And that was when it hit him full force. That’s
what it was! He was suffering acutely from this condition!
He had found information that created a disturbance in his
mind. Information that was extremely unpleasant. Informa-
tion that showed that he was wrong about what he believed.
“You’re not wrong!” cried the first voice instantly. “The
evolution theory can’t be wrong! How can it be wrong if it’s
taught in schools?! We learn about it in science text-books -
in all kinds of books. Scientists have shown how life began
on earth. You have seen the diagrams, the illustrations -
you’ve seen how man evolved from lower-life forms.
Scientists cannot be wrong!”
“Oh yes, they can!” retorted the second voice. “Remem-
ber Dr. Rawson - that forensic scientist?”
Richard thought about Dr. Rawson. He didn’t think
highly of that man. He was proud and arrogant. That’s what
he was.
He blinked his eyes as sudden realization dawned on him.
Wasn’t he being proud as well?! He had seen the Truth and
he had disliked it. And he had turned away from it - simply
because it was not something he believed! It was not what
he thought it would be! He remembered the lesson of the
orange seed. There was no changing the Truth. It remained
what it was regardless of how anyone felt about it. And
hadn’t he said that Truth was beautiful? And that he would
love the Truth with all his heart? Hadn’t he pricked the
balloon and shown everyone that he was going to be open-
minded? And hadn’t he circled the number 10 in answer to


the question: How great is your desire to know what hap-

pens after death? Didn’t he want to know what the Truth
was? Of course he did! Then why was he running away
from the Truth when it came before him? Dr. Singh was
right. Pride had come in the way. It was making him feel
unhappy and worse than that - it was preventing him from
accepting the Truth.
But there was something else. He thought about his girl-
friend - Anne. And how she had shreaked and grabbed at
him as he had taken a pillow and suffocated her to death. He
remembered that scene very clearly and vividly. Sweat lined
his brow as he relived that awful moment. He had been
quite overcome with a mad rage. He scarcely recognized
himself. He had refused to hold himself guilty of the crime
however. “I’m not guilty,” he had told himself a thousand
times. “She deserved it! She was asking for it!” he would
say again and again. He consoled himself thus - by placing
the entire blame on the girl who had been so unfaithful to
him. The world did not know that he was a murderer. He
was confident that nobody would ever find out. But now -
he was extremely worried.
“If God does exist,” he thought fearfully. “Did He wit-
ness the murder - and know what I did?!”
He wanted to know! He wondered about this new,
strange God. Who was He? What was He like? Did He care
about His creatures? Did He take note of their doings? Did
He forgive people for the bad things they did? Why did He
create man? Why did He keep Himself invisible?
Richard became more and more curious about this God -
who had made all things. There was much fear in his heart
no doubt. But along with it, there was also a flicker of hope.
He recalled the pledge that he had made to himself:

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There is no other Truth but one Truth.

Anything other than Truth is false and vain.
I shall love the Truth with all my heart.
And I shall reject all falsehood.
My mission in life is to seek knowledge,
And walk upon the Straight Path alone,
For I know that only the Truth has the power
to help me, guide me and save me.

He recited the lines over and over again. They had a

calming effect on his mind.
“I had better forget about how I feel,” he thought eventu-
ally. “I came here to find out what the Truth was - and if it’s
true that God exists - then I shall certainly accept it. I will
not run away nor will I refuse to admit that I have been
He suddenly felt as if a tremendous burden was lifted
from his shoulders. The voices in his mind became silent.
Peace and tranquility descended upon him. And two minutes
later, he was fast asleep.


T here was great excitement in the air. Dr. Singh put on

a broad smile. He knew that his students were eager
to get on with their next lesson.
“Today - we’re going to learn something quite extraordi-
nary,” he began. “We’re going to learn what our Creator is
like. And we’re also going to learn what our Creator is not
like. But first - I’d like to do a bit of revision - for the
benefit of those of you who may still object to the idea that
God exists.”
Richard listened attentively.
“It was way back in the early 1900’s. Astronomers
discovered a strange phenomenon - known as red shift.
They found that light from distant galaxies shifted toward
the red end of the color spectrum. What did this mean?”
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He paused for a few seconds before explaining, “It meant

that the universe is expanding. In all directions. Now - I’d
like to read to you what conclusion one professor of as-
tronomy came to based upon this discovery. This guy’s
name is John D. Barrow and this is what he writes in his
book The Origin of the Universe.” He withdrew a book
from the drawer, flicked open its pages and read out:

“If the universe is expanding, then when we reverse the

direction of history and look in the past we should find
evidence that it emerged from a smaller, denser state - a
state that appears to have once had zero size. It is this
apparent beginning that has become known as the big

Dr. Singh turned and wrote on the board in big letters:


“What is meant by zero size?” he asked.

“No existence!” answered Andrew at once.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “There was a time when the
universe did not exist! If there was proof to show that the
universe has always existed - we would have reason to
believe that it was not caused to come into existence. We
could have said with confidence that the universe was not
made - or created. It would have been alright to say that
there is no Creator or Maker. However - the facts are
before us and they are undeniable. The facts show that the
universe has not always existed. At one time the universe
had zero size. This means that the universe is an effect. You
remember what an effect is?”
“Yes,” replied Jim. “The existence of something which


wasn’t there before - is known as effect.”

“Therefore the universe must have been caused to come
into existence,” Dr. Singh concluded. “If there is an effect -
then there has to be a cause. So.....” He wrote on the board:

The universe must have been caused to come into exist


“This sentence is in the passive voice. We shall change it

to active. We get.....” And he wrote:

Someone must have caused the universe to come into


Never had the Truth been so clear to them. It was so

evident and obvious.
“Isn’t it strange how people like to say things in the
passive voice?” went on Dr. Singh. “The passive voice is
used when the doer or subject is considered unimportant.
You will find that science text-books are all written in the
passive voice. No - change all those passive voice sentences
to active voice - and the Truth will become abundantly clear
to you.”
“Biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, geometry, geogra-
phy, history .....these are some of the subjects you learn in
school. And what are they but facts? Science is the study of
things as they are. It’s the study of Truth - remember? And
you will find observations written down in those books -
written in the passive voice. Obviously people give more
importance to the effect. Not to the cause. They will write
down that the sun is round in shape. But they would never
write that someone gave the sun that shape.”
“Oh - they wouldn’t write it down like that!” commented

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Jim. “If they did, that evolution theory that is taught in

schools would have to be chucked out the window.”
“Yeah- that’s right!” agreed Andrew. “The theory of
evolution says that there’s no Creator. That nobody made
this universe. So if we were to convert those passive voice
sentences to active voice - then that theory would look
extremely silly!”
Dr. Singh was all smiles. “Do you remember that puzzle
we solved the last time - about what came first - the chicken
or the egg? Do you recall I had listed three options?”
“I remember them,” said Amy at once. “Option one was
the chicken came first. Option two was the egg came first.
And the third option was neither the chicken nor the egg
came first.”
“And which option did we eliminate right away?” asked
Dr. Singh.
“The third option,” replied Richard.
“It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?” said Dr. Singh. “You had
no hesitation in ruling out that option immediately. It sounds
too silly. We cannot imagine anyone believing in such a
thing.” He paused. “But this is precisely what people who
support the evolution theory believe. According to them -
neither the chicken nor the egg came first. They think that
life began on earth by chance.”
“This is too funny!” said Marie unable to suppress her
laughter. Laughter being contagious, soon everyone includ-
ing Richard was laughing.
“So the next time you read any science book -simply do
this simple exercise,” said Dr. Singh. “Change all those
passive voice sentences to active voice. You’re going to be
amazed at the wonderful things you will discover.”
“I can’t wait to do this exercise!” said Marie excitedly.
“Alright - so now let’s move on. Based upon the law of


cause and effect - it has been established that Someone

created this universe. We call that Someone - God. It
doesn’t matter at all what you think or feel - this is the only
Truth there is. No other answer would make sense and
therefore all other answers have to be eliminated. God
created this universe - and we know that this has to be the
Truth - because we have observed that every effect has a
cause. We have used our power of reasoning to arrive at
this answer. It doesn’t matter at all whether you like it or
not. This is the bitter, unpleasant Truth that’s not going to
“But I don’t consider this Truth to be bitter at all,” said
“Perhaps not you,” responded Dr. Singh. “But those who
do not believe in God would. They would find this answer
most repugnant. Do you know why?”
Richard knew why but he didn’t speak.
“Because,” said Dr. Singh slowly, “it would prove that
they have been wrong!”
“Yeah,” said Andrew, “I remember. Cognitive dissonance.
People don’t like to be wrong.”
“Right! People are like that. They hate being wrong. But
is this a good thing? No - not at all. You must remember
that it is only the Truth that can guide you - and save you. If
a person refuses to accept the Truth when it comes to him -
he’s going to continue walking on the wrong path. And
what would that lead to?”
“That would lead to his doom,” said Andrew.
Dr. Singh nodded. “If you turn away from the Truth
because of your dislike for it - that would indeed be a pity.
Because that would mean you allow your emotions and
feelings to rule your life. It is often the case that we like
things that are bad for us and dislike the things that are

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good for us. Therefore we must not get misled by our

“That’s so true!” thought Andrew.
“So now if I were to ask you - do you believe in the
existence of God - what would you say?”
Dr. Singh looked straight at Richard.
“I believe that He exists,” confessed Richard.
“And why do you believe that?”
“Because I have no other option but to believe it. This is
something that is related to the unseen - something that I
am unable to perceive with my five senses. I either believe it
- or I don’t.”
“And you have chosen to believe it?”
“Yes - because I have seen the evidence.”
“And the evidence is?”
“The existence of the universe...which was at one time
“Great!” commented Dr. Singh pleased to learn that
Richard had accepted the Truth. “Let us now focus on the
Creator of this universe - and find out more about Him.”


“T ruth is very clear and evident,” said Dr. Singh.

“When you see a loaf of bread you instantly know
that human beings made it. Not some animal, insect or bird.
Your mind works like lightning - and you know what the
Truth is - even without thinking about it. Or so it seems.”
“That loaf of bread - it did not exist at one time. But now
it exists - only because we made it. Similarly the universe
once had zero size. It did not exist. So what can be the only
reason why it exists?”
“Because Someone created it,” said Jim.
“And we know that it was no human being!” said Dr.
Singh. “We can apply the same logic to the mystery regard-
ing the chicken or the egg. We found that a pair of chickens
- male and female came first. If this is true - then what does
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it mean?”
They looked at him blankly.
Dr. Singh smiled. “It’s really very simple my friends. It
just means that before they came - they did not exist.”
“Oh yeah! That was easy!” said Andrew.
“So they didn’t exist,” went on Dr. Singh. “But then
there they were! The first chickens. What could be the only
reason why they suddenly appeared?”
“I know!” cried Amy. “That’s because Someone made
them. God made them.”
“How about if we applied the same reasoning to human
beings?” asked Dr. Singh. “If there was the first pair of
chickens - then there must also have been the first pair of
human beings. The first man and the first woman. What do
you think?”
“I agree with that,” said Marie. “I can’t imagine a baby
coming first. God couldn’t have created the baby first.”
“We have therefore solved one mystery,” said Dr. Singh.
“We now know that all of us are children of that first man
and first woman that God created.”
“This is awesome!” said Jim. “I never thought that we
could figure out something like this!”
“And it does make perfect sense,” added Richard quietly.
“What seems to be a mystery - is in fact not at all a
mystery,” said Dr. Singh. “You have the beautiful gift of
reason that helps you to know what the Truth is. By the
way, I have a question to ask you in this regard.”
They waited to hear the question.
“Can you tell me - what is meant by the word gift?”
“Something that is given for free?” said Martha.
“Right!” replied Dr. Singh. “If you have the gift of reason
- it’s only because it has been given to you and that too for


There was no denying that.

“But wait a minute!” exclaimed Dr. Singh. “There’s that
passive voice sentence again.”
He walked to the blackboard and wrote it down.
“We must change this to active voice,” he said firmly.
“What do we get?”
Martha had the answer. “If you have the gift of reason -
it’s only because Someone gave it to you for free.”
Dr. Singh wrote her words down. Then he turned and
regarded his class. They were all wonder-struck. Here was
another Truth staring at them in the face!
“Wow!” was all Jim could say.
“That’s the Truth my friends,” said Dr. Singh. “God is the
One who has given you the ability to reason - so that you
can know what the Truth is - so that you can know Him!
You don’t need to be exceptionally clever or smart to
understand or know this Truth. Even a little child can
understand it.”
Amy smiled. She was very pleased.
“Actually,” continued Dr. Singh. “People have believed in
the existence of God since the beginning of history. If a man
came across a spear lying in the jungle - he would instantly
reason that the spear was made by someone - a human being
like himself. Similarly when people looked at the stars, the
moon, the sun, the trees and the mountains - they also
reasoned that these things existed because Someone made
them. Not a human being of course. But Someone who was
very powerful and great.”
The students had no more doubts in their minds regard-
ing the existence of God.
“Alright, class,” said Dr. Singh abruptly. “We’re going to
another room. We’re going to watch a slideshow!”
The students followed Dr. Singh and entered the same

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room where they had watched The Forensic Files.

Henry began to set up the projector and prepare the
“I’d like to tell you a story,” said Dr. Singh when they
had taken their seats. “I have a friend who lives in England.
His name is John. He’s an artist and he teaches art. He had a
class of ten students and they were all very good at draw-
Amy loved listening to stories. Especially the stories that
Dr. Singh told. She listened eagerly and attentively little
realizing that everyone else was as eager and interested as
she was.
“Well one day,” went on Dr. Singh. “John told those ten
students that he was going to marry a girl who lived in
Singapore. He asked them to draw a portrait of this girl.”
“Did he give them her photograph?” asked Jim.
“No,” replied Dr. Singh smiling. “He gave no information
about her at all. Of course they were very surprised. How
were they to draw her picture without seeing her? John told
them he just wanted to see how good his class was. So they
made their drawings and displayed them on the wall for
John to see. John brought a picture of his girlfriend the
following day and he showed all his students the picture he
had brought.”
He stopped speaking. Was this the end of the story?
“What do you think?” asked Dr. Singh. “Which student,
do you think, had drawn the picture that looked just like his
“No one!” they all said aloud.
“Are you sure?”
“Very sure,” they said confidently.
“You’re right,” said Dr. Singh.
“When John showed them her picture - she was nothing


like what any of them had drawn. Now here’s a question for
you. If a million people tried to draw a picture of someone
without seeing him or her - without knowing anything about
that person - how accurate do you think their pictures are
going to be?”
“They are not going to be accurate at all,” replied Rich-
“That would be nothing but guesswork,” said Jim.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “And here’s the point I want to
make. God is Unseen. If so - how does anyone know what
He looks like?”
There was silence in the room. Dr. Singh walked over to
the switch and turned the lights off.
“Alright, Henry,” he said. “Let’s begin the slide-show!”


I t was a slide-show of many different gods and god

desses. They saw the many faces of Jesus Christ.
Some people drew him as a white man with blonde hair and
blue eyes. Others drew him as a black man. Each picture
was different. Then there were images of Buddha. In India
he was drawn with big eyes and rounded eyebrows. In
China he had slant eyes. Next came the pictures of Hindu
gods and goddesses. Many of these gods and goddesses had
several arms and several heads. They saw the elephant god
Ganesha - the god of good fortune, the terrifying goddess
Kali and the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The slides showing
pictures of the Hindu gods and goddesses seemed to be
“Did you know,” informed Dr. Singh, “that in Hinduism -

there are around 330 million gods and goddesses?”

It was unbelievable - but there they were - hundreds and
hundreds of pictures of gods and goddesses. The slide-show
went on. People from other countries had their own gods
and goddesses. Egyptian gods and goddesses were different
from the Japanese gods and goddesses. There were Greek
gods, Chinese gods, African gods. All kinds of gods and
goddesses. They watched the slide-show in great fascina-
tion. They had never seen so many images and forms of
God. They watched the slide-show for half an hour. Then
Dr. Singh turned the lights on.
“People cannot see God,” he said, “so they have drawn
him in all kinds of shapes and forms. Can you tell me -
which of these images depicts God accurately?”
“None of these images,” said Richard. “All these pictures
and images - they are all false!”
“You are sure about that?”
“There can be no doubt about it,” said Richard.
Martha had to agree as well, though a little reluctantly.
She believed that Jesus was God. And she had seen many
different pictures of him in the slide-show. She had to admit
that all the pictures she had seen were false. None of them
could be the picture of the real Jesus simply because nobody
knew what he looked like. It was all guess-work. She had
never thought about it - but now she could see how wrong
it was to make guesses. That little story that Dr. Singh had
told them earlier about his friend John had made her think a
little more deeply. She glanced at her white coat and looked
at her badge that had “Untruth Busters” written on it. She
was not supposed to tolerate any form of falsehood. She
was supposed to hate it with all her heart and she was
supposed to guard her uniform from getting filthy. She
remembered how Richard’s coat had looked so awful when

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Dr. Singh had shaken some drops of ink on it. It spoiled

everything! She thought about the painting of Jesus she had
in her bedroom. “I had better remove it when I get home,”
she secretly told herself.
“Many people believe in God,” said Dr. Singh. “Like I
said, it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to figure out that
He exists. But people have all kinds of ideas and beliefs
regarding Him. They indulge in a lot of conjecture. You can
go to any library and check out an illustrated book on world
mythology. You will be amazed at the number of gods and
goddesses people have believed in - and still do believe in.
And you’ll be astonished to read about the incredible opin-
ions, stories and theories people have come up with regard-
ing God.”
He paused before continuing, “You know that there is
only one Truth. And the Truth is - God is Unseen. Therefore
people who make images of God are clearly in error.”
“But there are people who do not make any images of
Him,” Jim pointed out.
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “And these are the people who are
on the right track. No see God - no make image of God.
Makes sense, right?”
“Yeah, that makes sense,” said Andrew.
“It’s not surprising however that people should come up
with so many different beliefs and opinions about God. This
is something that’s bound to happen. You remember what
we had learnt? Disputes and disagreements only arise when
the Truth is unknown, concealed or hidden? It’s only when
Truth is unseen that people indulge in guesswork?”
“Yes, I remember!” said Marie recalling the lesson of the
orange seed. They had made a lot of guesses -and all of
them were wrong.
“And I also remember,” she added, “that the world of the


Unseen can only be reached through our power of reason.”

“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “We have found that God
exists - not because we did some guesswork but because we
used our power of reason. And we also learned that God
gave us the gift of reason - so that we can find out what the
hidden Truth is - so that we can reach the world of the
Unseen. So what does that mean? It means that we can find
out more about God - what He is like - and what He is not
like - simply by using our powers of observation and reason.
If you guess - you are going to be wrong. But if you use
your reason - you are going to be right.”
“I absolutely agree!” said Richard. He didn’t care about
people’s opinions and he didn’t like making guesses. He
liked using his power of reasoning to uncover the Truth.
They all did.
“I have a story to tell you,” said Dr. Singh. “Listen
carefully. After hearing this story - I shall be asking you
some important questions.”
Dr. Singh knew how to stir their interest and they listened
with great eagerness.
“A long time ago in ancient Egypt,” began Dr. Singh.
“There lived a couple who worshipped the goddess Isis -
the god Osiris and another god named Horus. They had
been childless for many years and naturally they yearned for
a child. So they prayed to these idols everyday. In another
country - in ancient India - there was also one couple - who
were in the same predicament. They too wished for a child.
But they had different gods. They prayed to the god Shiva
and the goddess Parvati.”
“Then what happened?” asked Amy curiously.
“Well, the prayers of the Egyptian couple were answered.
They were of course overjoyed.”
“And the Indian couple?” Marie wanted to know.

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“Their prayers were also answered,” said Dr. Singh. “But

now - it’s question time! The Egyptian couple worshipped
Isis, Osiris and Horus. They prayed to these gods - and their
prayers were answered. And the Indian couple worshipped
Shiva and Parvati. They prayed to these Hindu gods - and
their prayers were also answered. My question to you is this
- Did the Egyptian couple know anything about the gods
that the Indian couple worshipped?”
“I don’t think so,” said Amy.
“And did the Indian couple know anything about the
gods that the Egyptian couple worshipped?”
“No,” said Marie. “Not if this was in ancient times.”
“So tell me what conclusions you are going to come to
based on these observations,” said Dr. Singh.
No one spoke and they looked at Dr. Singh blankly again.
“Alright,” said Dr. Singh a little amused. “I’ll tell you
what our conclusions are going to be. In the case of the
Egyptian couple - we can conclude that the Hindu gods
couldn’t have been the ones to answer their prayers. And in
the case of the Indian couple - the Egyptian gods couldn’t
have been the ones to answer their prayers.”
“Yeah! That’s right!” said Jim.
“Let’s think a little more, shall we?” continued Dr. Singh.
“If it’s true that the Egyptian gods and goddesses exist -
then a question arises which must be answered - and the
question is - why didn’t these Egyptian gods hear the
prayers of the Hindu couple?”
“Hmmm,” said Richard. “I never thought of that!”
“And if it is true,” went on Dr. Singh, “that the Hindu
gods and goddesses exist - then why didn’t these gods hear
and respond to the prayers of the Egyptian couple?”
The answer was pretty clear.
“It’s because - these gods and goddesses don’t really


exist!!” exclaimed Jim. They had already seen hundreds of

gods and goddesses in the slide-show. And they knew that
all those gods and goddesses were false. They were made by
human beings!
“Then we have another question that we must answer,”
said Dr. Singh, “and the question is - if these gods and
goddesses don’t exist - who listened to and responded to
the prayers of these two couples? Who gave these couples
what they wished for?”
Again the answer was loud and clear.
“Only a God who possessed power and ability could have
answered the prayers of these people,” said Richard. “Our
Unseen God.”
“I agree!” said Jim. “The true God is the One who is
Unseen. Images and pictures can’t be made of Him. He’s
the same God who created this universe and He’s the same
God who listens to and answers the prayers of people all
over the world.”
“And He is also the One who created the first man and
first woman from whom we all came,” added Martha. “He’s
the God who created the Egyptians as well as the Hindus.
He created us all.”
Dr. Singh was impressed and pleased. They had figured
out the answers all on their own. They were doing pretty
well but they had only just begun. They had a lot more to
learn about the God of all things.


R ichard was at the library reading a book on mythol-

ogy, a disgusted expression on his face. Amy won-
dered what he was reading and went up to him.
“Are you reading about gods and goddesses?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes, I am. I’m reading about Greek my-
thology. And there’s a story in here about how the world
Amy was naturally curious and wanted to know more.
“No!” said Richard firmly. “This stuff is not for kids.”
He shut the book. He wasn’t going to read anymore. It
was too barbaric.
The bell rang and it was time to go back to class.
“I hope all of you had a good time at the library - doing
your research on world mythology,” said Dr. Singh. “It’s

important that you investigate and find out for yourself - the
different beliefs people have about God.”
“Yes - I’ve been reading Chinese mythology,” said Marie.
“There’s a myth about how the earth formed.”
“Well go on - tell us all about it!” said Dr. Singh.
Marie opened her notebook and read out loud, “A pro-
fessor of Oriental art, Anthony Christie writes: “We learn
that Chaos was like a hen’s egg. Neither Heaven nor Earth
existed. From the egg P’an-ku was born, while of its heavy
elements Earth was made and Sky from the light elements.
P’an Ku is represented as a dwarf, clad in a bearskin or a
cloak of leaves. For 18,000 years the distance between
Earth and Sky grew daily by ten feet, and P’an Ku grew at
the same rate so that his body filled the gap. When he died,
different parts of his body became various natural
elements.......His body fleas became the human race.””
Richard shook his head. He couldn’t understand how
anyone could believe in such a story.
“I’ve been reading about Hindu mythology,” said Amy.
“Mrs. Patil is a Hindu - and she believes in rebirth. So I
decided to find out more about it. Andrew helped me to get
some information on that.”
Andrew nodded. “There are some very interesting stories
in Hindu mythology,” he said. “I was especially drawn to the
epics - the Rama-yana and Mahabharata.”
Dr. Singh smiled at Andrew’s pronunciation.
“The Hindus believe in rebirth and reincarnation,” went
on Andrew referring to his notes. “They believe in Karma -
the belief that the deeds of a former existence or past life are
the cause of one’s present state in life.”
Dr. Singh made no comment. He knew all about the
beliefs of the Hindus.
Martha raised her hand. “This is a myth from Japan,” she

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said reading from her notebook. “Shinto myth says that far
back in time, the god Izanagi - washed his left eye, and so
gave birth to the great goddess Amaterasu, goddess of the
Sun. Later on, Susanoo, the god of the sea plains, so fright-
ened Amaterasu that she hid in a rocky cave of Heaven,
blocking the entrance with a boulder. The world was
plunged in darkness. So the gods devised a plan to get
Amaterasu out of the cave. They collected crowing cocks
who herald the dawn and made a large mirror. On the sakaki
trees, they hung jewels and cloth streamers. Then the
goddess Ama no Uzume began to dance and drum on a tub
with her feet. In her frenzied dance, she stripped off her
clothes, and the gods burst out laughing. All this activity
aroused the curiosity of Amaterasu, who looked out and
saw herself in the mirror. The reflection drew her out of the
cave, whereupon the god of Force grabbed her by the hand
and brought her out into the open. Once more the world
was lit up by the rays of the Sun goddess.”
Dr. Singh raised his eye-brows. But again he did not say
“I’ve been reading about Buddhism,” said Jim. “It seems
to me that Buddhists are really atheists. There’s a book
called What is Buddhism? - and it’s published by the Bud-
dhist Lodge, London. This is what it says: “If by atheist you
mean one who rejects the concept of a personal God, we
are. A growing mind can as easily digest the idea of a
Universe guided by unswerving Law, as it can the concept
of a distant Personage that it may never see, who dwells it
knows not where, and who has at some time created out of
nothing a Universe which is permeated by enmity, unjustice,
inequality of opportunity, and endless suffering and strife.””
“You are right then,” commented Dr. Singh. “Buddhists
don’t believe in God or a Creator.”


“But there are Buddhist temples in nearly every country

where Buddhism is practiced,” said Jim. “And if you go
there you will find images and statues of the Buddha. These
images, pictures and statues are objects of prayers, offerings
and devotion by devout Buddhists! See what’s happening?
The Buddha never claimed to be God but he has become a
god in every sense of the word!”
“That’s not unusual,” remarked Dr. Singh. “People are
like that. They will worship anything and everything. They
will worship even animals, rocks and stones.”
Richard was the last one to speak about his findings. “I
read about a Greek myth,” he said. “It was too ghastly - so I
didn’t read any further. But I did read a little about Aztec
beliefs. I was curious about the Aztecs because I found that
they practised human sacrifice. They held a certain belief -
that after each cycle of 52 years the universe would stop
functioning - if their gods were not strong enough. So every
52 years - a special New Fire ceremony would be per-
formed. They put out all fires and in the middle of the night
- a sacrifice was made. If the sun appeared the next morning
- they would think that the sacrifices for that particular cycle
had been enough. Then they would ignite a fire on the body
of the victim -and this new fire was taken to all the houses
and cities. And did you know that this New Fire ceremony is
still practiced today?”
“With human sacrifice?!” cried Marie disbelievingly.
“No, of course not. Today nobody does things like that,”
replied Richard.
“There are thousands of beliefs regarding God,” said Dr.
Singh. “You could spend several weeks reading about these
beliefs - and still not finish reading them all - there are so
many of them! So now there’s a question we must definitely
ask - and that question is - how many of these beliefs are

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“I think this is going to be a rather sensitive topic,”
remarked Martha. “People are very passionate about their
beliefs - and they won’t like anyone to question them in
such a manner.”
“You are absolutely right about that,” said Dr. Singh,
“but let me remind you that we are here to find out which
beliefs are true - and which are not. You remember the
lesson we had on beliefs?”
“Yes,” said Jim. “We believe - only when confronted with
the unknown or unseen.”
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “But if we must believe
anything - it must be the Truth. The Truth that we find using
our power of reason.”
“And not indulge in guesswork,” added Marie.
“Very good, Marie,” said Dr. Singh. “If you remember -
some examples of the unseen and unknown are?”
“A murder,” said Jim.
“Someone telling you a dream?” said Amy.
“Events that you did not witness personally,” said Rich-
“Good, very good!” Dr. Singh was visibly pleased. They
had not forgotten. “So let’s take the example of a murder. A
man named Simon is found dead. The Truth is unknown at
this point. So how would it be if people came up with all
kinds of explanations and theories to explain his death? One
may say a giant spider bit him. Another might say a martian
from outer space came and killed him. Others may say
Jonathan his friend killed him - or it was his girlfriend Sue
who poisoned him and so on and on.”
“But all that is guesswork,” said Marie.
“Right - it is guesswork,” agreed Dr. Singh. “Do you
think the detectives or the police would ever find the killer -


if they indulged in guesswork? Would it be okay if they

arrested everyone in the city? Supposing someone - a stupid
detective - came up to you - and said that he was arresting
you for killing a man named Simon - what are you going to
“I would say....” replied Andrew at once. “What’s your
proof that I did it!?”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “You need proof. You need
evidence. If you believe anything - you need to have evi-
dence or proof to support your belief. Otherwise your belief
is blind. It’s nothing but guesswork and conjecture.”
“People believe in many gods and goddesses,” he went
on. “They worship the sun, the moon, the rocks, the trees -
human beings like themselves and even animals. They
believe in all kinds of things. And they have all kinds of
stories to explain how this world came about. The question
is - how do they know that these stories are true? When the
earth was created, no one was around. And the first people
did not write nor have records about what they did. So how
do these people who have come up with all these stories
know how the world came about? How do they know about
the gods and goddesses that they worship? What’s the proof
and evidence to show that these stories are true?”
“There’s no evidence,” said Richard.
“So what does that mean?” asked Dr. Singh.
“It means that their stories are nothing but conjecture.
It’s all guesswork,” said Jim.
Martha had a frown upon her face. She didn’t like what
she heard. She respected the beliefs of other people even if
she believed differently. At the same time - she had to admit
that Dr. Singh was right.
“People can’t see God - so they indulge in a lot of guess-
work,” explained Dr. Singh. “And you have seen that there

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are all kinds of ideas and beliefs about Him. The question is
- which of these beliefs is correct? All beliefs cannot be right
since there is only one Truth. So what we are going to do -
is use our very powerful and effective - elimination for-
He walked to the blackboard. “Let’s write down then the
different beliefs there are about God.”
And he wrote on the board:

Belief 1: There is no God.

Belief 2: There is one God.
Belief 3: There are many gods.

“We know that only one of these beliefs is right. There is

only one Truth. So which of these beliefs would you elimi-
nate first?”
“Belief 1,” said Richard at once. He had already seen
how ridiculous it was to believe that God did not exist.
Dr. Singh crossed it out. “I’d like to know the reason
why you ruled this belief out.”
“Because,” replied Richard, “I know that Someone
created this universe - based on the law of cause and effect.
It would be silly to say that no one created this universe.”
Dr. Singh smiled. He loved it when students used their
power of reason the way it was meant to be used.
“Okay now - which belief would you eliminate next?” he
Again it was Richard who answered.
“I would eliminate Belief 3,” he said.
“Why would you eliminate this one?” asked Dr. Singh.
Everyone waited for Richard to speak. They were very
curious to know what he would say.
He was silent for a while as he thought hard about it.


“There can’t be many gods,” he said eventually. “I just

don’t think there can be more than one.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “You need to have a reason to elimi-
nate this answer,” he said.
“But I can’t think of a reason!” said Richard.
It seemed as though they were now stuck. Nobody was
able to provide a reason for eliminating belief number 3.
At last Dr. Singh spoke. “There’s a good reason for
doing away with belief 3,” he said.
But he didn’t tell them what it was.
Amy was impatient. “Please tell us, Dr. Singh!” she
“Alright,” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s assume that belief
number 3 is correct. Let’s assume that there are many gods.
You know that the Hindus believe in 330 million gods and
goddesses. And there are the Greeks, the Egyptians, the
Japanese, the Aztecs etcetera. They too have their gods and
goddesses. If we accept the Hindu gods - we must also
accept the gods that other people worship. Otherwise that
wouldn’t be fair. So if we were to count the total number of
gods and goddesses that people all over the world believe in
- we would get an incredibly big number...”
“That would be something like one billion I’m sure!” said
“So just imagine! There are countless gods and god-
desses out there. The Hindu gods, the Greek gods, the
Aztec gods, the Egyptian gods etcetera. They all exist.
Imagine such a scenario.”
Suddenly Richard saw things clearly. He knew the reason
why belief number 3 had to be eliminated.
“Belief number 3 has to be eliminated,” he said confi-
dently. “And the reason for that is - if many gods do exist -
there would be chaos and disorder in this universe. And

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since that is not the case - since the opposite is true - there
cannot be many gods.”
“Yippeee!” cried Amy. And Marie thought to herself,
“Now why didn’t I think of that?!”
Dr. Singh crossed out belief number 3.
There couldn’t be many gods. And it became pretty
evident that if many gods did not exist - the stories that
people related about these gods - they were all untrue.
They now knew what the Truth was and it was there
staring at them - loud and clear. It was the only answer that
was left on the blackboard. It was Belief 2 - There is one
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh drawing a circle around
belief number 2. “This is the Truth - there is only one God.
There is no other god but He.”


D r. Singh had written the following on the black


God is One
He is Unseen
He is The Creator

“Alright, class,” he said. “This is what we know about

God. And we know this not because we have guessed it.
But because our power of reason has informed us that this
is so. We are now going to find out more about God. We
are going to find out what He is like - and what He is not
“Without doing any guesswork,” said Jim with a grin.
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Dr. Singh nodded. “We cannot see God,” he said. “But

we can’t see things like wisdom, intelligence, compassion
either. But we know that these things exist. How do we
know that they exist?”
“By looking at the things a person has done,” said Rich-
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “There are some things
that are abstract - things that cannot be seen, smelt, heard,
tasted or touched. But we know that they exist - by looking
at the things a person has done. We know a person is silly if
he does something silly. And we know that a person is wise
when he acts wisely.”
“We know that God exists - because He created the
universe,” he continued. “The universe is an effect. And
every effect has a cause. That’s how we reasoned that God
has to exist. And to know what God is like -what must we
do? We must study the things He has done. We must look at
the things He has created. So tell me - what did He create?”
“He created the universe,” said Jim.
“So what does that say about Him?” asked Dr. Singh.
He waited for one full minute. Nobody spoke.
“Alright,” he said. “Let’s think about the universe. Do
you have any idea how big the universe is? Let’s try to
imagine it.”
He withdrew a piece of paper from the drawer and
referring to it he said, “Let’s consider the sun to be the size
of an orange. On that scale - the earth is a grain of sand. It
is situated 30 feet away from the sun. The gigantic planet
Jupiter is as big as a cherry pit. And it is 200 feet away.
Saturn is also the size of a cherry pit - and it is two blocks
away from the sun. Next Pluto - the outermost known
planet in our solar system - is another speck of sand -
approximately half a mile from the sun.”


He stopped speaking. This was the size of the solar

system. He hoped they had grasped how huge it was. After
a few seconds he went on, “The sun’s nearest neighbor is
the star Alpha Centauri. This star is 1,300 miles away. Can
you imagine that?”
They nodded. It was hard but not impossible to imagine
“Our sun - and the star Alpha Centauri - are just two
stars in our Milky Way galaxy,” said Dr. Singh. “Do you
know how many stars our Milky Way galaxy has?”
They shook their heads.
“About 200 billion stars!” revealed Dr. Singh. “Now
imagine 200 billion oranges - each an average of 2,000 miles
Their imagination could not go that far. This was mind-
boggling! But Dr. Singh had not finished. “Our Milky Way
galaxy - on this scale would have a diameter of 20 million
“If we imagine the sun to be the size of an orange!?”
exclaimed Marie.
“Yep,” replied Dr. Singh. “You think that the Milky Way
galaxy is huge? Ah! It is really nothing compared to the size
of the universe, my friends. Scientists and astronomers have
used their most advanced telescopes and they estimate that
there are around 100 billion or more galaxies in the uni-
verse. And if that is the case, our Milky Way galaxy is
nothing but a dot in this universe.”
They gaped at Dr. Singh. This was something beyond
their comprehension.
“So now - once again I shall ask you. God created this
universe. So what does that say about Him?”
“He is Great!!” said Jim in awe.
“Yes - certainly God is Great. There can be nothing

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greater that Him. What else?”

“He is so strong and powerful!” said Marie. “I can’t even
imagine the kind of power it takes to make the Earth spin!”
“So we can say that there is none more powerful than
God. He is Almighty. And if He is the strongest, what does
that mean?”
“It means that He alone is the ruler,” said Richard after a
bit of thought.
“So He is the Ruler or Governor,” concluded Dr. Singh.
“Do you know which is the territory that God rules over?”
“The whole universe!” said Andrew without any hesita-
“And what are His subjects?”
“Everything in the universe. All things - the stars, the
galaxies, the planets - our planet Earth and all things on
Earth,” said Jim.
“Right! Next - you already know that there are many
laws existing in our universe. There are the laws of gravity,
energy, motion, mass, matter - and life itself. Question -
who made these laws?”
“God of course!” said Jim. “After all He is the one who
rules over all things!”
“Then we can call God the Law-Maker. Now - let’s think
a little more. Consider the size, shape, color, dimensions and
properties of all things. Why is the sun that particular shape
and size? Why does it have the properties it has? Why does
a zebra have black and white stripes? Why does wood float
on water? And birds have feathers? Why is milk white in
color and blood red? Why do cows eat grass and lions eat
meat? Why do we need to eat food, breathe in air and drink
water? Why do we grow tired? Why do we sleep? Why is it
that only women give birth? Why are things the way they


“Because God set it up that way,” said Richard. There

was no doubt in his mind about that! Things were beginning
to make sense to him now. The mist that was around many
mysteries was beginning to clear up.
“Yes - that is the right conclusion,” said Dr. Singh nod-
ding. “God set up everything - which means that He is the
One who gave order and proportion to all things. He deter-
mined the size, shape, color, dimensions and properties of
every single thing that is in this universe - things that we can
see as well as things that we can’t see - down to the smallest
particle - the atom. He is therefore the Determiner and the
One who decided how each thing will be. If you have ever
wondered why your nose is shaped that way - or why you
grow to a certain height and not more than that or less -
well - now you know why.” He smiled.
“Now I know why we don’t have tails!” remarked Jim
thinking about the observations he had made when they had
gone out the day before.
“And I suppose you know very well that God designed
our planet earth to support life. So that means?”
“He is the Giver of Life!” said Martha.
“Right! And we have also been provided with all the
things that we need in order to survive. We are living today
only because countless generations of people before us were
taken care of. Their needs were met. They were provided
with all the things that they needed. And not just people -
every creature on earth has been provided with whatever it
needs for its survival.”
“So God is the Provider. And He cares for all His crea-
tures,” commented Marie.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Well - there is something else that I
want you to take note of. And that is - our planet is well
protected from dangerous comets and asteroids. God has

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created two giant planets - Jupiter and Saturn - that shield

the earth from such destructive matter. In 1994 - there was
a comet named Shoemaker -Levy 9 headed straight towards
earth. Jupiter’s strong gravitational pull caused the comet to
break apart and it crashed into Jupiter’s atmosphere.”
“Wow!” said Andrew. “That means - if it wasn’t for
Jupiter - our planet earth would have been destroyed!”
“I don’t know about destroyed, but damaged, yes,” said
Dr. Singh.
“God is our Protector!” cried Martha.
“And it also shows that God has knowledge of all
things,” said Richard. “I can see that He created everything
with perfect knowledge and wisdom.”
“Great observation!” remarked Dr. Singh. “I’m glad you
figured that out on your own. It is pretty evident, isn’t it? If
God is the Creator of all things - and He made all the laws -
and if He determined how each thing would be - then it
follows that He is All-Knowing. And yes, certainly - He is
The Wise. There is a Persian proverb that says - God knew
the donkey when He did not give it horns.”
They had to agree. God’s wisdom was apparent in the
way He set up everything. Donkeys were not given the
minds of men. Nor were men given the minds of donkeys.
“Another thing too is the fact that God’s creation is
perfect,” observed Marie. “I mean I can detect no mistakes.
Everything is so accurate and precise!”
“Good point,” said Dr. Singh. “That means we can say
that God does not make mistakes. He is free from imperfec-
tion. He is therefore the Most Holy. There is none Holier
than Him.”
Martha was thinking about what was written in the Bible.
“But God did make a mistake,” she said. “He created
Adam and Eve and they both disobeyed Him.”


Dr. Singh looked at her and frowned. “That’s an opinion

that is not supported by any evidence,” he said. “Neither
does this opinion have a scientific, reasonable or logical
basis. Just think about it! Suppose you wanted to create
something and you made a mistake while creating it. It’s just
like when you are drawing a picture. You’re not going to
get it perfect the first time. You will make mistakes. So tell
me....when you do make a mistake, what do you
“I would wipe out that mistake,” said Jim.
“Right! You will erase those imperfect lines and curves
you drew until you get it right. You are definitely not going
to leave that mistake alone! If you did, you would be terri-
bly foolish. The logical train of thought is - if you make a
mistake, you try to cover it up or get rid of it. We don’t like
to dwell on the mistakes we made and we don’t like other
people to know about them. If so, what makes you think
that God - who has all power - wants us to know about a
mistake that He made!? If you think that God made a
mistake when He created man - He could have easily de-
stroyed him and created another one to replace him! God
could have said to Himself.... “Oh this creature I made
disobeyed me. I made a mistake. Let me destroy this crea-
ture at once and make another one.” Right?”
Martha didn’t know what to say. She had admit that Dr.
Singh did have a point.
Dr. Singh was silent for a few seconds.
“There are many people who believe that God is like a
man,” he continued. “If you have seen the numerous gods
and goddesses that people worship - you will note that most
of them are made in the image of human beings. In the
image of man. Regarding this - I would like you to think
about a few things.”

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They listened with great interest.

“Fish live in the sea. God gave them fins, tails and gills.
Birds fly in the sky. God gave them feathers and wings. We
human beings don’t have fins, gills or tails. Nor do we have
feathers and wings. If we did, that would be very odd, don’t
you think? Just imagine what it would be like if we had gills
like the fish, or feathers like the birds. And we had no need
for them.”
“Those things would be superfluous and totally useless,”
commented Richard.
Dr. Singh nodded. “We don’t have fins, tails and gills. Or
feathers. We live on land, so we have been given feet. If
God had intended for us to fly, He would have given us
wings. If He had intended for us to live in the water - He
would have provided us with fins, tails and gills. People
imagine God to be like a man. So tell me - if God has feet
what does He walk on?”
“Hmmm,” said Richard. “It would be odd if God had feet
like we do. Especially since He wouldn’t need them!”
“And if He has feet,” went on Dr. Singh. “Then He must
also have arms, hands and body like us as well. So let’s
imagine some more. If God has teeth, what food does He
chew? If He eats food, then He would need a digestive
system. If He needs to breathe, He would need lungs. He
would need the excretory system as well. But what if God
does not eat any food or drink any water? Is He going to
“No, of course not! God won’t die if He doesn’t eat or
drink,” said Marie.
“If so, then He doesn’t really need to eat, does He? He
doesn’t need to drink water. He doesn’t need air to breathe.
He is not in need of lungs, or a digestive system. He is not
in need of anything. He is independent. Free of all needs. He


won’t die if He doesn’t eat or drink! He isn’t going to be

affected in the slightest if He doesn’t sleep or take rest. He
is not going to get tired no matter what happens. That
means He is Indestructible. Nothing can destroy Him. So
what does that mean?”
“I think it means that He has always been there. He has
always existed,” said Marie.
“And if He has always existed - then that means nobody
created Him. So.....if God does not need to eat or drink, or
take rest or sleep....isn’t it obvious that God is not like us?
Isn’t it clear that God cannot be anything like us? He cre-
ated the birds and fish as well. He is not like them either.”
“That means God is Incomparable,” said Richard. “There
is nothing like Him in this universe.”
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “There is also another reason
why God isn’t like man. Human beings are in pairs. Whereas
God is One. He does not depend on anyone or anything.
And therefore he is not in need of a partner. He is Indepen-
dent and Self-subsisting.”
“You know - that makes so much sense!” said Jim. “It
makes perfect sense! I definitely agree. God cannot be like a
“You know that God cannot die,” said Dr. Singh. “He is
The Living. He cannot be destroyed - that also means He
cannot be killed. He cannot be defeated. There is none
greater or stronger than Him. Therefore He was, is and will
always be there. He is Eternal. He is the First as well as the
Last. This clearly establishes the fact that God does not die.
He made a rule however that all things must die. You have
seen that everything perishes. Even stars are known to die.”
“Yes, He is the Giver of Death,” said Richard. He
understood now why people died. It was because God had
decreed that for everyone. Nobody could escape death.

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“Finally here’s a sentence that I want you to change to

active voice,” said Dr. Singh going towards the blackboard.
And he wrote:

Everything is built upon Truth.

Marie changed it to active voice. He wrote it down:

God built everything upon Truth.

Dr. Singh smiled. “God determined everything,” he said

slowly. “He fixed even the properties of Truth. And He fixed
it that way so that we could use our power of reason to see
it. And the biggest Truth of all is - this universe wouldn’t
have existed if He hadn’t made it. In other words - God
gave existence to this universe and all things in it. We owe
our existence to Him. Nothing in this universe would have
been what it is if God had not created it. So.....what does
this tell us?”
They listened in mesmerized silence. They knew that Dr.
Singh was going to reveal something awesome.
“It tells us,” revealed Dr. Singh. “That God is The Truth.
There is no Truth greater than He. He is the only Reality.”


M artha was unhappy. She was thinking about what

they had learnt. That God was not like a man.
Amy noticed the despondency on her face and asked,
“What’s wrong, Martha?”
“The Bible says that God made man in His image,” said
Martha, “and now we hear that God is not like a man at
“So what’s there to be so sad about?” asked Amy know-
ing very little about how grown-ups felt when they discov-
ered that their ideas were wrong.
“Well,” said Martha, “I’m a little confused at this point. I
don’t know what to think!”
“What’s there to think?” said Mrs. Patil. “You go ahead
and believe whatever you want, Martha. Don’t you let
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anyone persuade you to give up your beliefs!”

“Beliefs!” said Marie. “Any belief that’s not supported by
evidence is supposed to be busted. We’re Untruth Busters -
“Yes,” admitted Martha reluctantly. It was true what Dr.
Singh had said. People did not like the Truth because it
meant giving up their false beliefs. But was her belief false?
What did it mean? That God made man in his image?
“I’ll have to ask Dr. Singh,” said Martha after some
“Why do you talk about what’s in the Bible?” asked Amy
suddenly. She remembered what Henry had said. Nothing
religious of any kind was tolerated at the retreat and cer-
tainly the Bible was something religious.
“Because the Bible is the Word of God,” explained
Martha a little surprised at the question.
“Well - for us, it’s the Bhagvad Gita,” said Mrs. Patil
“Do you believe what’s written in the Bible?” Marie
asked Mrs. Patil.
“No, I believe in my book,” she replied. “But I have no
problem with what others believe. I think that all paths lead
to God.”
Martha frowned at this. She recalled what she had learnt.
All paths did not lead to the Truth. Only one path was the
right path. Mrs. Patil was very wrong. But she didn’t tell her
this. There would have been no point in telling her. Dr.
Singh was so right! Only people who were sincere and
humble could see the Truth. And as far as she could see,
sincerity and humility were two qualities that Mrs. Patil
certainly lacked! But then she thought about her own self
and her own reactions. She had been feeling unhappy. Why?
Because she had been proved wrong. Nobody could draw a


picture of any person without seeing him or her and cer-

tainly nobody knew what Jesus looked like. Then it fol-
lowed that all the pictures that she had seen of him were
false. None of them could be the true picture of him. Yes,
she had made a mental note that she was going to remove
the painting of Jesus from her bedroom. But she still be-
lieved that he was God. He had come to earth in the form of
a human being. Wasn’t that what the Bible said? No, wait a
minute! That wasn’t what the Bible said! That was what the
preacher said! The thought sent a shock-wave through her
body. And she sat there on the floor rigidly - thinking.
Preachers and scientists. What did they have in common?
They were human beings. And being human they could be
Marie picked up her notebook and got up. “I’m going to
the library,” she told the ladies. She was going to do that
exercise - changing passive voice sentences to active voice.
As she was walking toward the library she heard some
voices. They were coming from Dr. Singh’s study.
“Why don’t you get married?” Henry was saying. Marie
stopped in her tracks. She knew she was eavesdropping but
her curiosity got the better of her. She stayed to listen.
“I would if I could find the right woman!” replied Dr.
Singh laughing.
“What kind of woman do you want?” asked Henry.
“Well....someone who is well-educated, witty and beauti-
ful. But more important than all that - she should be terribly
sincere....and humble.”
“Humble!” cried Henry. “How can you tell if a woman is
humble or not?”
“Ah! That’s easy, Henry! Modern women - aargh! They
are just too proud. A little bit of education - a little bit of
beauty - and they begin to think the world of themselves! I

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can easily spot them. They are the ones who dress like men
- in pants, jeans and trousers - as if to show they are equal
to us. It’s a total turn off I tell you! A woman should dress
like a woman and behave like one as well. I tell you Henry -
if I can find a woman like Kate - I wouldn’t think twice -
but I would marry her on the spot!”
“Kate? Who’s Kate?” Henry wondered.
“Kate? Oh - yes! Katherine! She’s the heroine in the play
- The Taming of the Shrew. You know - the book I’ve been
reading written by William Shakespeare?”
Marie tiptoed past Dr. Singh’s study and raced to the
library. She forgot the passive voice - active voice exercise
she was going to do. Her interest was now in something
else. It was the book called The Taming of the Shrew.
The next morning, everyone was in high spirits and
eagerly waiting for the next lesson. Dr. Singh entered the
classroom and greeted his students warmly. He walked to
the black door and stood before it. He was no longer smil-
“What happens after death?” he asked in a serious tone.
“This is an extremely important question. After we die - we
shall certainly know what the Truth is. But what good
would that be?”
“Yeah,” said Andrew. “We won’t be able to come back
here and do something about it....coz we’re dead!”
“Therefore it’s better for us to know what the Truth is
before we die,” said Dr. Singh. “It’s a good thing that you
are here at this retreat. Whatever you learn and discover
here - it will be for your own good. Remember - that it is
only the Truth that can guide you and save you. And you
care about nothing but the Truth.”
He walked toward the blackboard and made a little dot.
Underneath it he wrote Birth. From that dot he drew a


straight line which he ended with another dot. Beneath that

dot he wrote Death.
“How do we come into this world?” he asked.
“We are born,” answered Richard.
“Right - we are created in our mothers’ wombs - and
then our mothers give birth. An occassion of joy most
certainly! God is the One who makes you - gives you shape
and form. He is the Bestower of shape and form. You were
without life. God gave you life. He gave you being - and He
gave you several other gifts. The gifts of sight, hearing,
smell, taste and touch. He determined everything for you.
The color of your hair, eyes, skin. The shape of your nose.
How tall you will grow. God knows what else He has
written for you!”
“I’ve written down something regarding that!” said Jim
opening his notebook. “This was an article about why we
grow old and I thought it was very interesting. And I wrote
down here what the Encyclopaedia Britannica says. Let me
read it out to you - “Locked within the code of the genetic
material are instructions that specify the age beyond which a
species cannot live.” They say here that maximum life span
is written in the genes. So if we do the passive voice to
active voice exercise - we learn that God wrote all the
instructions in the genes.”
“I’m glad you are doing that passive voice - active voice
exercise,” said Dr. Singh. “Keep it up!” He then pointed to
the blackboard - to the dot under which was written Birth.
“So we come into this world - and we are born. We enter
this world babies. Then we become toddlers.
Then children. Then adolescents - or teenagers. After that -
we become young adults. Then comes middle-age. Then old
age. And after old age?”
“Death,” said Richard grimly.

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“Yep - that’s our journey of life,” said Dr. Singh. “We go

through various stages. And we grow only because God
makes us grow. He has determined that all of us will go
through these stages in life. Inevitably our journey comes to
an end. After old age comes death. However - not all people
die from old age. Many people die before reaching that
stage. Actually we can die at any time. There’s no guarantee
that any one of us will live to see the sun rise - or set.”
They listened in gloomy silence. This was a very disturb-
ing subject.
“You read in newspapers everyday about people dying. It
is all over the TV. It’s everywhere you turn and look. Death
is all around you! This is the reality that all of us face. We
can’t run from it! I know it’s frightening but we must do
whatever we can to prepare ourselves for this eventuality.
There’s absolutely no doubt that this is going to happen. It
is the biggest reality - for human beings. A reality that most
people flee from. So the question is why? Why has God
decreed and written down that every one of us must taste
He wrote on the board in big letters:


That was the million dollar question. Richard felt excited.

This was what he had been waiting for!
“So how do we begin to find the answer to this ques-
tion,” said Dr. Singh. “Certainly - it’s by looking at the
evidence - by looking at the things that God has made. And
the greatest clue is?”
They didn’t have a clue what it was and they looked at
Dr. Singh blankly.
Dr. Singh smiled. “The greatest clue - is something most


obvious and evident. It’s right before your noses! It’s the
difference between human beings and the rest of creation.”
“Yes, we are different,” he went on to explain. “And it’s
in the way we differ from animals and other creatures - that
you will find the key - that will solve this mystery of life and
death. When you find this key - you will know for certain
what will happen after death.”
“We greatly differ from animals in many ways,” he
continued. “One difference is - our world is full of injustice,
suffering, violence and bloodshed. Human beings face
untold number of problems in their lives which animals
“Yes,” said Richard. “There is much cruelty and wicked-
ness in the world of men. We read about crimes being
committed everyday. All over the world.”
“And it’s very distressing and disturbing,” said Martha. “I
get rather upset when I read or hear news about bombings,
terrorist activities and war.”
“And what about horrible things people do?” said Marie.
“There are so many people who openly declare that they are
homosexuals. And they live together as though they are
married. Yuck!!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Human beings commit crimes every-
day. The pages of history are full of stories about man’s evil
deeds. The question is - why does man do all these evil
“There can be several reasons,” said Richard. “Some
people desire to take revenge for some wrong done unto
them. Or perhaps they are just frustrated.”
“I know that money is the cause of much evil,” said Jim.
“People will do anything for money. They are so greedy and
want power, status - things that money can buy. I think
that’s the main reason why people do evil things.”

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“Some people don’t agree with other groups of people.

So they rebel and fight,” said Andrew. “And sometimes
people do evil things just to attract attention. They might
want to get their message across -and nobody’s listening -
so they resort to evil.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Your answers are very interesting,” he
remarked. “But none of you has given me the answer that I
Amy was very curious. “Please tell us what the answer is,
Dr. Singh!” she begged. “Why does man do all these evil
“It’s very simple, my friends,” answered Dr. Singh. “Man
does all these things because he can!”


T he day’s lesson continued and all the students lis

tened with their fullest attention.
“So now you know the reason why there is so much
bloodshed and violence in the world of man,” said Dr.
Singh. “Man has been given free-will - and he uses his free-
will to do whatever he likes. The question is -why does man
have it?”
“That’s easy,” said Jim. “Man has it because God gave it
to him.”
“Right! You know very well that things are the way they
are - because God made them that way. So if man has free-
will - it’s only because God intended to give it to him.”
Martha raised her hand. She had to ask the question that
had been on her mind. “Dr. Singh, could you please explain
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what it means when the Bible says that God created man in
His image?”
“I don’t read the Bible,” Dr. Singh informed her. “But I
can tell you what it might mean. Nobody knows what God
looks like. Therefore - we cannot imagine him in any form.
So by that word image I believe it means something else. I
think it means that God made man like Himself.”
“God made man like Himself?!” exclaimed Marie.
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “Yes, that’s right! God
made man like Himself - and I can explain to you how that
is by a very simple illustration.”
He asked Henry to fetch a loaf of bread. Henry left the
classroom and returned with the requested item in his hand.
He placed it on the table and went back to stand at his usual
place - behind all the desks, by the glass window.
Everybody’s curiosity was terribly aroused. What did a
loaf of bread have to do with God?!
“What can you say about the maker of this loaf of
bread?” asked Dr. Singh.
“It’s made by human beings,” said Andrew. That was
pretty obvious!
“What else?”
They stared at the loaf of bread. What else was there to
say? They remained silent.
“Well, class,” said Dr. Singh. “Isn’t it clear to you that
this loaf of bread was made by someone who must have
been living at the time of making the bread? A dead person
couldn’t have made it!”
He wrote down on the board:

Attributes of the maker of loaf of bread

1. Living


“The second attribute is...” and he turned around to look

at them. “Whoever made this bread must have had knowl-
edge. He knew how to make this loaf of bread. He had
knowledge of a recipe. He knew how much flour to use,
how much yeast. He knew how to knead the dough and
how to shape it. He knew how to bake it. He knew what
was the right temperature to bake it at - and also for how
long. So he possessed knowledge.” And he wrote down:

2. Had knowledge

“The third attribute is - he had the ability to make this

loaf of bread. Think of a donkey. He may know how to
make a loaf of bread - but with the kind of body he has - he
won’t be able to make it. So that’s the third attribute -
ability.” He wrote that down:

3. Had ability

“And the fourth attribute is - the maker of this loaf of

bread had desire. He wanted to make this loaf of bread. In
other words - he had free-will. Man can make whatever he
wants - whatever he desires. Because he has free-will. So
that’s the fourth attribute.” He wrote that down:

4. Had free-will or desire

“This is what man is like,” said Dr. Singh. “He is the

creator of many things - and he makes them because he
possesses the same attributes that God Himself possesses.
He has to be living to create anything. He has to have
knowledge. He has to have ability and he has to have free-
will. In this respect man is like God. Man is a creator like

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“That makes a lot of sense,” remarked Martha. “I never
thought about it like that!”
“I can now understand why man rules over earth,” said
Marie. “He is like a god himself!”
“Mini god!” giggled Amy.
“Yeah - a mini god who has to die one day,” said Andrew
at once. It was pretty clear to him that God had no competi-
“Why did God make that rule?” asked Amy unhappily.
“Why do we all have to die?! Why couldn’t we just live
Everyone felt the same way. They wanted to know why
God created death. Martha too was interested especially
now that it was clear to her that God did not make a mis-
take when He created Adam and Eve. God didn’t make
“Also - I would like to know why God created us,” said
“It is not at all hard to figure out the answers to those
questions,” said Dr. Singh. “I’ve told you that the key is in
observation. And the greatest clue before us is the difference
that exists between human beings and all other creatures on
earth. Perhaps at this point you don’t understand - it’s all a
mystery to you. But don’t worry. You’ll soon know the
answers. So now - let’s reflect upon how different man is
from other creatures. We already know one thing and that
“God gave man free-will,” said Jim.
“Right! Human beings are free creatures. And they are
free to do whatever they like.”
He paused and then said, “I have a question for you.
What do you think would happen if this free-will was taken


away from human beings?”

“They would be just like the other creatures God has
made,” said Richard after a bit of thought. “The rest of
creation has no free-will.”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh pleased with his answer. “Now
- compared to other creatures - how does man fare when he
is born into this world?”
“Ooooh! He is such a helpless little baby!” cried Marie.
“It is many years before he can take care of himself.”
“Which means that man is totally dependent on his
mother to take care of him after he is born,” added Jim. “If
not for his mother he would die in no time!”
“Yes, that’s so true!” said Martha. “Mothers have to do
everything for their babies. Feed them, bathe them, change
their diapers - and then later on - keep them out of trouble.”
“Aha! Keep them out of trouble you say,” said Dr.
Singh. “Why do we have to keep our children out of
“Because they don’t know what they are doing,” replied
Martha. “They do things like poking their fingers in electri-
cal sockets - or running out in the street. They have to be
constantly watched! Mothers have the additional job there-
fore to protect their children from danger and harm.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Doesn’t that give you a clue? You see
- it’s pretty obvious! Man might build airplanes and fly in
the sky when he grows up - he might build a spaceship and
go to the moon when he grows up - but the fact remains -
that when he is born - he is born ignorant. He is not given
any knowledge. The only thing he knows is to cry for his
mother when he is hungry. He knows how to suck his
mother’s milk. That’s it! And when he grows older - of
course he is going to get into trouble. He is after all born
ignorant. He has to learn about the world around him. All

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the knowledge that he acquires - it has to be learnt.”

“Isn’t it strange how man is so weak and helpless as a
baby - but so strong and powerful when he is fully grown?”
commented Marie.
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “Man is the most powerful
creature on earth. He has made a lot of progress in science
and technology. And if you go to the libraries - you will see
that man has acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge.
There are books on every subject you can think of. Cer-
tainly there is no other animal out there that has acquired so
much knowledge like man has. So here’s a question. What
difference between man and animals has been responsible
for the incredible progress man has made?”
They thought hard about it.
“I think it is his great desire to make things better for
himself,” said Jim at last. “I don’t think animals have this
kind of desire.”
“And God has given man the ability to think and reason,”
added Richard. “This is the major difference in my opinion.”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, man has the ability to think and
reason. But it wouldn’t have been possible for man to think
and reason - unless God had given him a certain gift. Do
you know what gift it is?”
They looked at him expectantly.
Dr. Singh smiled. “It is the gift of language,” he revealed.
“Wow! I never thought of that!” exclaimed Jim.
“In order to think and reason,” said Dr. Singh, “you need
to know words. Without words you cannot think and if you
cannot think, you cannot reason. God gave us the ability to
reason so that we could distinguish between truth and
untruth. And you have learnt that we cannot make any
progress unless we stick to the Truth. Do you remember?”
“Yeah, but there are so many languages in this world,”


said Andrew. “Doesn’t that mean man created languages on

his own?”
Dr. Singh smiled. He walked over to the table and
opened the drawer. He withdrew a book from there and
showed them the front cover page. The title of the book
was Story of the World’s Worship.
“In this book,” said Dr. Singh. “We learn something
about man’s language. Let me read it out to you.”
He read out loud:

Those who have studied the languages of the world

and compared them to each other have something to
say, and it is this: All languages can be grouped into
families or classes of speech, and all these families
are seen to have started from one common source.

“So what does this tell us?” asked Dr. Singh putting the
book down. “It tells us that the languages of the world did
not originate separately and independently. Man did not
create language. It is something that he inherited from his
parents. And this in turn leads to the conclusion that God
must have taught the first man and first woman words. He
bestowed the gift of language to them, and they passed it on
to their children. So what is the common source of all
languages? It’s God. God taught man speech. And that’s the
reason why man has made so much progress.”
“Is that the reason why God created man?” asked Rich-
ard inquisitively. “To make progress - and acquire knowl-
“Aha! That’s a good question. Why did God create man?
We’ll find out why by doing a little bit of thinking. You see,
God has created many things. Zillions of things. He has
created the sun, the moon, the stars and the galaxies. He has

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created plants, trees, birds, insects, reptiles and animals. On

earth life is found everywhere you turn and look. In the
water, in the ground, in the air. Our planet earth is packed
with life. Man is just one of God’s creations. He is different
from everything else that is in the universe, however. He has
the ability to create many things just like God can.”
Richard wondered why he didn’t think of these things.
They were so obvious! A little bit of contemplation revealed
so many truths!
“So man is a creator just like God is a Creator,” went on
Dr. Singh. “We have made many things. We have built cities.
We have made houses, airplanes, boats, computers. We have
TVs, radios, dvd players. Refrigerators, microwave ovens.
Millions of things. Now - here’s a question for you. Why do
we make these things? Why do we create them?”
“To make our life comfortable?” said Martha.
“Because we need those things?” said Andrew.
“Yes - we make things so that our life will be more
comfortable and also because we need those things,” replied
Dr. Singh. “However the main reason why we make things
is so that these things would serve us. For example - we
created the refrigerator so that we could keep food cold or
frozen. Then suppose the refrigerator breaks down and
stops functioning. It no longer keeps the food cold. And all
your food gets spoilt. What would you do with a refrigera-
tor that does not work?”
“I would try to get it fixed,” said Marie.
“And if it can’t be fixed?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“I would get rid of it!” answered Marie.
“So there you are! There’s the reason why we make
things. We create things only for one reason. And that is so
that they would serve us. If a thing we make does not serve
us, we just get rid of it. Therefore all the things we create


are our servants. Even the nuts and bolts that we use in
making cars and other vehicles. Even a small thing like a
needle or a button. They are all our servants.”
“The clothes we wear too,” said Amy. “And the pots and
pans that we have in the kitchen.”
“Right! Now that you know why we create things, you
are now in a very good position to answer the question -
why did God create all the things that are there in this
“Oh, now I know!” cried Marie excitedly. “God created
all these things to serve Him!”
“Yep, that’s the right answer,” said Dr. Singh. “And while
on this subject - let me tell you something quite extraordi-
nary. Man has created many things and all the things that he
makes serve him. Man can make anything he wants except
for one thing. What?”
They hadn’t a clue what it could be and they shook their
“The one thing that man can’t make is this,” said Dr.
Singh with a broad smile. “He can’t make something that
will serve him of its own free-will. The only one who has
power and ability to do that is God.”


M arie was thinking and she had a question on her

mind. “I know that we are like God in the sense
that we can create things like God can,” she said, “but don’t
we create things because we need them? God is not in need
of anything. So He is not in need of the things He has made.
If so - why did He create all these things?”
“Why did God create the things He has made when He
doesn’t need them?” said Dr. Singh. “That’s a very good
question. And the answer to that is very simple. God created
all things because He can! He did it because He is God. If
He didn’t create anything - who would know what He can
do? Who would know about His power, might and great-
ness? The entire universe and all things in it need God - for
their very existence. God is not in need of us. But we are

certainly in need of Him!”

“That is so true!” remarked Martha.
“Like God we can create many things,” went on Dr.
Singh. “It’s easy to create things that obey us. For example
we create computers and robots and they do exactly as they
are told. The things we make don’t act or behave the way
they want to. They behave and act exactly the way we want
them to. Even if you were to make a tea-pot - that tea-pot
will look exactly the way you intend to make it. It will be
whatever size you want it to be. It will be made of whatever
material you choose to make it from. And it will have
whatever shape you give it. That tea-pot doesn’t have a
choice regarding its shape, size and what else you determine
for it. It’s easy to create such things. But can we create
something that will obey us of its own free will? Can you
imagine a robot that obeys you of its own free will?”
“If it was possible for us to make robots like that and we
made them,” said Jim, “then those robots would probably
choose not to obey us! And if these robots do whatever they
like - there will be chaos and confusion.”
“And that’s the case in the world of man,” said Dr. Singh.
“There is suffering, injustice, disorder, chaos and confusion
because God gave man free-will - and because man makes
the wrong choices.”
“I don’t understand why God gave man free-will,” said
Amy. “It would have been better for us if we didn’t have it!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, Amy - I agree with you there.
Indeed, it would have been better for us if we weren’t given
this free-will. Frankly I think the animals are better off than
we are. They don’t have to make choices.”
“But aren’t there people who make the right choices?”
asked Marie. “I mean - people who obey and serve God?”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Yes, there are,” he said. “And these

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are the people who God loves. They are the best of cre-
ation. Why are they the best of creation? Because they obey
and serve God of their own free will. They obey Him volun-
tarily and they do so even without seeing Him. So, by
creating man - God created His masterpiece. A being that
chooses to obey Him of his own free will. By giving man
free-will - God created a creature unlike any He ever cre-
ated. The creation of man and giving him the freedom to
choose - proves the greatness of God as a Creator. He can
create whatever He pleases. It’s easy for Him. Because He
is God - and He has power over all things.”
He paused for a few seconds and then he went on, “So
now you should know the answer to the question - who are
“We are a special creation!” said Richard a little amazed
at the discovery.
Dr. Singh nodded. “So now you know why God created
man,” he said. “He is a special creature who can choose to
obey God of his own free will.”
Amy was thinking about all the evil things that man did.
“I have a question,” she said raising her hand. “If God is so
powerful why doesn’t He stop people from doing evil? Why
does He let people do all kinds of horrible things - like
murder and stealing?”
Richard’s face went a little pale at the mention of the
word - murder. He quickly regained his composure how-
ever. This was a question that even he wanted to ask.
Actually, they all did.
Dr. Singh was smiling. “Again - the answer to that
question is very simple,” he said. “If God were to stop
people from doing the things that they wanted to do - what
would be the point in giving them free-will? What is the
point in giving anyone free-will if they can’t use it? Certainly


God can stop people from doing evil. He has the power to
do that. But if He were to interfere with people’s affairs -
people would no longer have any choice. All of them would
have to do what God wants them to do.”
“And people think God doesn’t exist because He permits
so much suffering!” observed Andrew.
“Yes - people do think that way,” agreed Dr. Singh.
“They watch TV and read in the newspapers - uncountable
stories of men’s evil deeds. They think about the tragedies
that strike many people and how much injustice there is in
this world. And they think -if God exists - why does He
allow all this to happen? Then they come to the erroneous
conclusion that He doesn’t exist!”
“Also - think about people who commit crimes them-
selves,” he went on. “They would think that God doesn’t
exist either! They do all these evil things - and nothing
happens. They are not struck by lightning from heaven.
There is no thunderstorm. There is no calamity that befalls
these people who do wrong. The sun continues to shine.
The rain continues to fall. Cows continue to give milk. The
grass continues to grow. Flowers continue to bloom. The
world goes on. And people think - oh nothing happened! So
there’s no God!”
“Why - oh why did God give this free-will to man?!”
wailed Amy again. “If man didn’t have it - he would have
done no wrong!”
“But not all people do wrong, Amy,” Marie reminded her.
Dr. Singh looked thoughtful.
“There’s no point in wishing that we didn’t have free-
will,” he said at last. “We must look at the facts - and we
must face reality. We are human beings and we have free-
will. So let’s focus on this free-will that we have. And if you
were to think about it a little - you will realize that we have

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limited free-will.”
“Limited free-will?” Richard wondered how that could
be. Man was able to do whatever he wanted to do. There
were no limits to what he could do!
“Definitely!” said Dr. Singh. “Man has limited free-will.
Let me explain. It is only God who has total and absolute
free-will. He can do whatever He likes. But man - he is very
much limited. You see - there are many things that are not at
all within our control. We cannot choose the time of our
birth. We cannot choose where we shall be born. Nor can
we choose our gender. We cannot choose our parents. We
cannot choose what we shall look like. Nor can we choose
the color of our hair - or the color of our skin or eyes. We
cannot choose our talents and abilities. Some people can
sing. Some can’t. Some people can draw very well. Others
are good at writing or dancing. We don’t give these abilities
to ourselves. We don’t choose them. All these things have
been chosen for us. God made those choices. He determined
all these things for us.”
“Whow!” exclaimed Jim. “That is correct! Absolutely,
totally correct! We don’t choose any of those things.”
“There are many other things which we cannot choose,”
went on Dr. Singh. “God controls everything. Including our
behavior. You see - when you go to the toilet - why do you
do so? It’s because you are compelled. Why do we eat?
Because we are compelled by our hunger. Why do we drink
water? Because we are compelled by our thirst. Why are we
compelled to do these things? It’s because God is The
Compeller. We need to eat, drink and go to the toilet -
because God created us that way. We don’t have a choice
with regard to how we are made. So what is the only thing
over which we have any control?”
“Our actions,” replied Jim.


“That is correct,” Dr. Singh said. “We have control only

over the things we can do. Everything else is controlled by
Richard nodded his head. He understood now what was
meant by limited free-will.
“We are going to do an exercise now,” said Dr. Singh
smiling. “I would like you to write down all the things that
you can think of that make human beings so different from
animals. It is essential that you do this exercise. Because
when you are finished you will have before you the key that
will help you to solve all our mysteries. And for the person
who comes up with the most number of differences - there
will be a special prize!”
He asked Henry to fetch the prize. Henry left the class-
room and returned holding a silver platter upon which
rested a large chocolate cake. He placed it on the table.
After several days of eating tasteless food the chocolate
cake looked fabulous to them. What a treat! Amy’s eyes
shined brightly and she made up her mind that she was
going to write many things - and win the prize.
After fifteen minutes Dr. Singh asked them what they had
written. Richard read out his answers. “We are different
from animals because we can think and reason,” he said.
“Second - we can speak languages. And third - we have
very good memory.” That was all he could think of.
The next to speak was Jim. “We wear clothes. No other
animal wears clothes!” he said. “And we have to cook our
food. We can cry and we can laugh. We have sense of
humor too. And one more thing! We like entertainment -
like watching movies and listening to music.”
“We can sing and dance,” said Marie. “And we can also
act. We can paint and draw. No animal can paint and draw!
We also can play games. And there are so many of them -

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like chess, soccer, badminton and table-tennis.”

Then it was Amy’s turn. And her list was pretty long. “I
wrote down here,” she said, “that we have to go to school. I
don’t know of any animal that goes to school. And we go to
the dentist for our teeth checkup. Animals don’t go to
dentists - right? Then we have doctors to take a look at us if
we fall sick. We go to the hospital for that. My dad has a
car. He is a mechanic and he fixes cars. And he drives me to
school. So we have things - like cars, buses, trains and
airplanes that help us to go where we want to go quickly. In
my house we have separate places - like the kitchen, bath-
room and bedroom. I mean there is no animal who makes
kitchen or bathroom.”
“Yes - that is certainly a difference between us and
animals!” remarked Andrew.
Amy wasn’t finished. “Then we have shopping centers.
We buy and sell things and we use money. We have banks
and we open bank accounts for keeping our money. We
have all kinds of shops. Like beauty salons - grocery stores -
computer stores. Also there’s the post office. And restau-
rants. I wasn’t able to write everything that is there. There’s
a lot!”
Dr. Singh was very impressed. Those were differences
alright! Amy had done a fine job.
Then it was Andrew’s turn. “Some of the things I wrote,
they have already been mentioned,” he said. “But here are
three things that I wrote down. One is fortune-telling.
Second is - we have prisons. And third is - we have law-
“That is good observation,” commented Dr. Singh.
The last one to speak was Martha. She had nothing to
add except for a few things. “We human beings - our sexual
behavior is different from animals,” she said. “We can have


children any time of the year. And also one more thing. Only
human beings get married. I don’t know of any animal out
there that has a wedding ceremony.”
Dr. Singh clapped his hands. “Bravo!” he said. “All of
you have done a splendid job! And I must say that our little
Amy has outdone you all. That’s a lot of differences she has
noted. Well done! You are the winner of this delicious
Amy felt on top of the world.
“Thank you, Dr. Singh!” she said. “But I can’t eat all this
cake. So could we cut it into little pieces and share it with
“That’s an excellent idea!” said Dr. Singh. Henry got a
knife and they cut it into several pieces. All of them enjoyed
the cake very much. Richard couldn’t resist having a little
piece. It tasted heavenly!
After they had eaten, Dr. Singh sat on his chair looking
very relaxed. Then he got up. “The observations you have
made are wonderful,” he said. “We are now going to focus
on the most important differences. And the first has some-
thing to do what Amy said. She said that we have to go to
school. That is correct. No animal goes to school. Now here
- there’s a very important point to be made. Why don’t
animals go to school - do you know?”
“Because they don’t need to learn anything,” answered
“Why don’t they need to learn anything?”
“Because they already know what to do!”
“Aha! That’s the biggest difference right there! You see,
all animals know how to live their lives. They don’t need to
learn how to live. That knowledge is already given to them.
An orange seed knows how to grow into an orange tree and
produce oranges. An apple tree knows how to grow into an

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apple tree and produce apples. A spider knows how to spin

a web. Bees know how to make honey. Animals know how
to live their lives. They have their code of conduct. And
they follow the rules and commandments that are given to
them perfectly. No such code of conduct is given to man
however. As a baby he is totally helpless - and looks to his
parents to teach him how to live.”
“Codes of conduct are guides that teach us how to live,”
he continued. “This code or guide is known as religion.”


“E verything in the universe has its code of conduct -

or religion,” said Dr. Singh. “God gave each thing
its religion - except”
“Why didn’t God give man his religion?” asked Andrew.
“Because religion is the only thing that man can choose!”
replied Dr. Singh. “You have already learnt that we have
control only over our actions. God controls everything else.
This means that God has chosen everything else for us -
except for our religion.”
Richard was astounded at the discovery. They all were.
They had never thought about things like that!
“What is religion? It is nothing but a guide that shows
you how to live your life,” went on Dr. Singh. “It’s a code
of conduct that is programmed into every single thing by
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our Almighty Creator....with the exception of man. And to

help you better understand what this means - I’m going to
give you some examples.”
He turned and walked to the blackboard and wrote down
the following:

1. The blackpoll warbler.

“What’s that?!” asked Amy.

“It’s a little bird,” answered Dr. Singh. “It weighs only
three quarters of an ounce. Let me tell you more about this
extraordinary bird. In the fall - or autumn - it travels from
Alaska to the eastern coast of Canada or New England.
There it will eat lots of food and store up fat. Then - it waits
for a cold front. Or wind. When it comes - the bird takes off
- and begins its journey. Did you know that its final destina-
tion is actually South America? But it first heads toward
“But doesn’t that mean this bird has to fly over the
ocean?” asked Richard.
“Most definitely! It flies over the Atlantic Ocean at an
altitude of some 20,000 feet! At that height - it picks up a
prevailing wind that turns it toward South America.”
This was amazing!
“So here are some questions for you,” said Dr. Singh.
“How does this warbler know that it must wait for the cold
front, and that it means good weather and a tail wind? How
does it know that it must climb higher and higher - up to
20,000 feet altitude - where the air is thin and cold - and has
50 percent less oxygen? How does it know that only up at
that height does the crosswind blow that will carry it to
South America? How does it know that it must fly toward
Africa - to allow for the southwestern drift from this wind?


How does it go on this trip of some 2,400 miles - and fly for
three or four days and nights - and reach its destination
without any errors? Tell me, class - how does this warbler
with a brain the size of a pea know so much about weather
and navigation?”
They were speechless.
“God is Great!” said Jim at last. “He really can create
anything He likes!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “But this is just one bird,” he said in
amusement. “There are several other the white
stork, the golden plover and curlews. These are migrating
birds - and many migrations are made for the first time by
young birds -without any adults. So the question is - how
do they know where they are and where they are going,
when they don’t have anyone to guide them on their first
“It’s like they are born with a map in their heads!” said
Marie in admiration.
“You are right,” said Dr. Singh. “These birds are born
with the map - code of conduct - or religion. God provides
them with accurate and precise instructions and they know
exactly what to do. Their religion is the one that God gave
“And that’s the reason why they don’t make any mis-
takes!” exclaimed Jim. “It’s because God gave them their
religion! And God never makes mistakes!”
Richard was beginning to understand many things that
were previously mysteries to him. He now knew why man
made mistakes. It was simply because God had not given
him his religion!
Dr. Singh continued writing on the blackboard. He

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2. The seed of the sequoia tree

“At least the warbler had a brain - even though it was the
size of a pea,” said Dr. Singh. “But what about the seed of
the sequoia tree? It doesn’t have a brain. It is no bigger than
a pinhead! Yet - that seed knows how to grow into a giant
tree - over 300 feet high! Just four feet above the ground -
its diameter may be 36 feet! And listen to this! One tree can
contain enough wood to build 50 six-room houses! Want to
know more? It’s bark is around two feet thick - and is
flavored with tannin that repels insects! And its spongy,
fibrous texture makes it almost as fireproof as asbestos!”
Richard’s stared at Dr. Singh with his mouth open. Could
this really be true!?
“No, I’m not finished yet,” went on Dr. Singh. “The
roots of the sequoia tree cover three or four acres! And
guess how long it lives...!”
“Two hundred years?” said Jim.
“Nope. It lives over 3,000 years!!”
“God is Great!” said Jim again. He had no more words to
describe his awe and wonder at what he had just heard!
Dr. Singh nodded. “This is just one seed and a tiny one.
Imagine how many seeds there are on earth -and they all
know what to do. Obviously - a brain is not needed to
follow the instructions of God!”
He turned and wrote the final example on the blackboard.
It was:

3. Our planet earth

“That tiny sequoia seed doesn’t have a brain. We are now

going to consider something else much bigger - which also
does not come with a brain - our lovely planet earth. There


would have been no life on earth - if our planet did not

follow the instructions given to it precisely and accurately.
The earth too has its code of conduct. It too has its religion.
It’s not a fluke that life is found only on our planet. There
are many conditions that are vital for life on earth - and one
of them is the amount of light and heat received from the
sun. The earth gets only a tiny fraction of the sun’s energy.
Yet - it is exactly the right amount needed to sustain life.
And this is possible only because the earth is just the right
distance away from the sun - average of 93,000,000 miles.”
He wrote the number 93,000,000 on the board so that
Amy could understand what a huge distance that was. “I
don’t think all the water on earth is enough to put out the
fire in the sun,” she said.
Andrew laughed. “Amy, don’t you remember? The earth
is just a grain of sand compared to the sun!” Amy nodded.
She remembered how enormous the universe was. It was
too huge to be imagined!
“Do you know what keeps the earth at just the right
distance from the sun?” Dr. Singh asked. “It’s the earth’s
orbital speed! And that speed is about 66,600 miles an hour!
Of course God fixed its speed. It’s not that the earth chose
it. If it did - there would have been no life on it! If it was
just a little closer to the sun - everything would burn up. If it
was a little further - everything would freeze. Under such
extreme conditions - life cannot flourish. And by way -that
speed is just right. If it was decreased - the earth would be
pulled toward the sun. And it would become like the planet
Mercury. For your information Mercury’s daytime tempera-
ture is 600 degrees Fahrenheit!”
“Thank God we aren’t nearer the sun!” exclaimed
“And if the earth’s orbital speed was increased - it would

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move farther away from the sun. Then what would happen?
It would become an icy wasteland -like the planet Pluto.
Want to know what the temperature is on Pluto? 300
degrees below zero Fahrenheit!”
“Thank God for that accurate speed!” said Jim. “God is
“Another thing that you may want to know. God pro-
grammed the earth to make a complete rotation on its axis
every 24 hours. And the earth dutifully obeys. That’s how
we have regular periods of light and darkness. We have day
and night. During the day we work and during the night we
sleep. Wouldn’t it be awful if the earth refused to obey
“Yeah - all of us would die in no time - if it did!” said
“We have day and we have night,” said Dr. Singh. “But
we also have seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter.
In other areas of the world there are other seasons - like the
monsoon. Anyway - there is a reason why we have these
seasons. And the reason is God commanded the earth to tilt
23.5 degrees in relation to the sun. If it didn’t tilt - there
would be no change of seasons. The earth’s climate would
be the same at all times. What would happen then? It
wouldn’t make life impossible but it would certainly change
the present crop cycles in many areas. And if the earth was
tilted too much we would have extremely hot summers and
extremely cold winters.”
“I like the seasons,” said Marie. “I love the spring when
the flowers bloom. The summer when the fruit is ripe.
Autumn is so colorful! And winter too has its own beauty!
I’m so glad that God made the seasons!”
“It’s alright for the earth to be at the right distance from
the sun - to be tilted at just the right angle to allow all the


seasons that we know of - and to rotate around its axis so

that we can have day and night,” said Dr. Singh. “But what
if the earth was not given its atmosphere? The earth’s
atmosphere serves as a protective shell. About 15 miles
above the ground, a thin layer of ozone gas filters out
harmful radiation from the sun. Without this ozone layer -
such radiation could destroy all life on earth! Not only that -
the atmosphere shields the earth from meteors. Most mete-
ors never reach the ground. They just burn up as they fall
downwards - and appear to us as falling stars. If it wasn’t
for our atmosphere - millions of meteors would wreck
destruction all over the earth!”
“God is Great! He is so Great!” said Martha. “He is our
only Protector!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “So our atmosphere is a protective
shield. It is also built to sustain life! It contains the right
proportions of gases that are necessary for life. By them-
selves, some of those gases are deadly. But because the air
contains safe proportions of these gases, we breathe them -
and there’s no harm done. Let me tell you about one of
these gases - oxygen. Without oxygen human beings as well
as animals would die - and that too within a matter of
minutes! But too much of oxygen is not good. Pure oxygen
becomes toxic if you breathe it too long. What’s more - if
there is too much of oxygen - things burn more easily. So if
our atmosphere had too much of this gas - combustible
materials would become highly flammable. There would be
fires everywhere and these fires would be very difficult to
control. So what has God done? He has diluted oxygen with
other gases -especially nitrogen. So oxygen makes up just
21 percent of the atmosphere - and nitrogen makes up 78
“God is Most Wise!” commented Richard.

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“Have you heard of carbon dioxide?” went on Dr. Singh.

“It makes up less than one percent of the atmosphere. Yep.
Just one percent! You think that’s a small amount. Why
even include this gas in our atmosphere? Well - it is very
very necessary. You know why? Because without it - plant
life would die! That one percent of carbon dioxide is all that
the plants of this earth need to thrive and grow. And by the
way - did you know that plants take in carbon dioxide - and
give off oxygen? And we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon
dioxide? It really is a perfect system, don’t you think?”
“It’s marvelous!” said Marie. “What a superb system!”
“The atmosphere also keeps the warmth of the earth
from escaping to the coldness of outer space,” said Dr.
Singh. “And the atmosphere itself is kept from escaping by
the earth’s gravity. By the way, our earth’s gravity is just
strong enough to keep the atmosphere around it - but not so
strong that we cannot move around easily.”
“It is just right!” said Andrew. “Man! God is Awesome!”
“Well - those are just a few things to think about. If you
look around you - the number of things that will astonish
and amaze you are simply unlimited! Each and every thing
you see and observe has something wonderful to tell you.
Even a simple substance like water. You will be amazed to
discover that it becomes heavy when it is cooled and it sinks
to the bottom. But as soon as it reaches freezing point - it
becomes lighter and floats! What does this do? It acts as an
insulator and keeps the deeper water underneath from
freezing! This protects marine life. But it also prevents the
earth from becoming a frozen planet!”
“Everything is made in the right quantity, the right size
and the right proportion!” commented Marie. “God is
certainly The Most High!”
“As you can see,” said Dr. Singh. “Everything in the


universe has its code of conduct or religion. Each thing,

whether it is the blackpoll warbler, the seed of the sequoia
tree or our planet earth - each thing follows all the instruc-
tions given to it. They make no mistakes. Mistakes - these
are made only by human beings.”


A fter their lunch break they were allowed to spend

half an hour at the library to do some research.
They went back to their classroom excitedly, eager to share
their discoveries.
Amy told the class about fireflies. They came with built-
in flashlights!
Jim told them about bats that used sonar and eels that
made electricity.
Martha talked about gulls that desalted seawater!
Richard found some intriguing information about wasps.
“Did you know that they make paper?!” he said.
“And I found that there are termites that install
airconditioners!” said Andrew.
“I was rather fascinated by that sequoia tree seed,” said

Marie. “So I searched for information on other seeds. And I

found something really interesting. There are some seeds of
some desert annuals - they seem to know in which direction
the water comes from. So if these seeds are soaked up from
below -they will not sprout. But if it rains down from above,
they will! They won’t sprout until a half inch or more of rain
has fallen! You see - if these desert annuals started growing
only after a light shower, they would die soon. Heavy rain is
needed for these seeds to grow. Because then the soil will
retain enough moisture for the plants to grow and it will
save them from later dry spells!”
“It is true that there are many marvelous things on earth,”
said Dr. Singh. “But really - nothing is more wonderful than
God’s greatest masterpiece - man. God is the Master Pro-
grammer. He programmed everything and gave each thing
precise and accurate instructions. And they all obey God.
But man? God has programmed him a little differently. He
gave man a brain. A brain that has many built-in capacities
for learning. In other words - God provided man with a
brain that would help him learn.”
“So man is a learning creature,” said Andrew.
Dr. Singh nodded. “We were not given our religion at
birth. We come into this world with no knowledge about
anything. But as we grow older - we learn many things. For
example, a child may not know that the hot stove in the
kitchen can burn his hand. He learns that when he puts his
hand there and then withdraws his hand in pain. Do you
think he will do that again? No, of course not. He has learnt
his lesson. And there are many more lessons he learns. He
learns very quickly about the law of cause and effect. He
throws something in the air - and it falls down. He hits his
little sister with his toy - and when she starts crying, he
realizes that it hurts when he does that. If he sees a scar on

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the face of his friend - he will ask what caused it. When he
falls down on the ground, he gets several bruises on his
knees and elbows. So he is more careful the next time.
Children are very curious about their surroundings and they
are always asking questions. Which is good. Because when
you ask questions - that’s when you find the answers. That’s
when you learn. And children learn very fast by the way.
Most important of all - they are very quick in learning
languages. God preprogrammed the human brain with the
capability for learning languages. There was one girl who
was exposed to several languages from the time she was a
baby. And by the time she was five years old - she had learnt
eight languages - and she spoke them all fluently! Such is
the power of our brain. It has a terrific capability to learn!
What is more - we can program our brain to learn whatever
we like. It is something that God gave us to use in any way
we like!”
“We can program our brains!?” exclaimed Marie.
“Of course we can!” said Dr. Singh. “When you go to
school - and you choose the subjects you want to learn, you
are programming your brain to learn the subject you choose.
You may want to learn German -and your brain will obedi-
ently learn it. It is at your service, you see. And that’s how
we have people with so many different abilities - and people
with different learning. We have doctors, engineers, archi-
tects, filmmakers, teachers, pilots and astronauts. Why?
Because each person has programmed his brain to learn the
subject of his choice.”
“Our brain is like a muscle,” he went on. “It is strength-
ened by use and weakened by disuse. How much is the
human brain capable of learning? has been stated
that the human brain could take any load of learning and
memory put on it now -and a billion times that!!”


“Did you say a billion times?” asked Martha in disbelief.

Dr. Singh nodded. He was not kidding. “God has pro-
vided us with an organ that we still haven’t learnt to use.
Our brain can hold information that would fill some 20
million volumes! And every second - I’m talking about
every second! Every second - the brain receives about 100
million bits of information from the various senses. And it
has no trouble processing this incredible amount of informa-
Andrew couldn’t help whistling. This was awesome!
“So although God did not give man any religion - He did
give him a wonderful brain. A brain by which he thinks and
reasons and learns so many things. He may not have wings.
He may not be able to fly in the sky - but he can observe the
birds. And he can copy them and make airplanes. He can
even go to the moon. He may not have fins and gills. But he
can go underwater in submarines. Man can do many things -
only because God has given him an extraordinary brain - a
brain built for learning. So to be human is to think, wonder
and ask questions...and to learn.”
“And we have certainly learnt a lot!” commented Jim.
“Yes - we have learnt a lot. We have made a lot of scien-
tific and technological progress. We have all kinds of gad-
gets and instruments. All kinds of things to make our life
more comfortable. We have cars, airplanes, ships, space
shuttles. We have computers, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators
and all kinds of electrical appliances. We have great build-
ings and great cities. We have schools, colleges and many
other educational institutions. Indeed man has made much
progress. He rules supreme on this planet. He has even the
power to destroy earth. And all this....because God has
given him an awesome brain.”
“But at least he has made good use of it,” commented

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Dr. Singh threw back his head and laughed. “Man has
made good use of his brain? No, my dear friend. I don’t
think so!”
Everyone was a little surprised at Dr. Singh’s reaction.
They didn’t think it was something to laugh about.
“If man has made any progress - it’s only thanks to God,”
he explained. He turned and walked to the blackboard.
“You see, none of the progress we have made would
have been possible unless God had given us the following
things....” And he wrote:

1. Life.

“Dead people cannot make any progress whatsoever.

Only the living can. And we live only because God gave us
life. So that’s the first thing.” Then he wrote:

2. Language

“It’s pretty simple,” he explained. “We cannot think

without the help of language. And if we cannot think - we
couldn’t have progressed even a little bit. So we should
thank God for giving us the gift of language. And the third
thing is...” and he wrote:

3. Reason

“People have thoughts in their minds. They think about a

lot of things. But in order to learn and discover new things -
it is necessary for us to use our faculty of reason. It is
reason that helps us solve mysteries....remember? And who
gave us this remarkable gift? God - no doubt!” Then he


wrote the fourth thing:

4. Ability

“We have made progress only because God gave people

different abilities. It is not that people gave themselves the
abilities they have. He also created circumstances that
would help people become successful. If a person is suc-
cessful - it’s only because God enabled him to be successful.
For example - there may be a young child living in a remote,
rural part of the world. He is the son of a farmer. He has a
beautiful voice and can sing very well. He has the ability -
yes. But he is never going to become a popular singer. The
world would never know about his talent. Why? Because
the circumstances are such. There are no opportunities out
there where he lives. And the people of this world - who are
rich and famous - and who are considered so talented -
these people have become successful only because God
created favorable circumstances for them to rise and shine,
and to prove their mettle. So God gave us these gifts - He
gave us life, language, reason and ability. If so - we owe our
success to God. And by the way - God knows what man can
do - and can’t do. We think we are so great - and that we
have accomplished so much. But did you know that some
ancient people had perhaps even greater knowledge than we
do now?! Evidence has been found to show that they made
instruments that were far more sophisticated than our
present day gadgets!”
“Like the pyramids of Egypt?” asked Jim. “I have always
wondered how they built such massive structures! And that
too such a long time ago.”
“Yes, that’s one of the wonders. Something to marvel
at,” said Dr. Singh. “This only shows that God gives knowl-

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edge to whosoever He pleases. We think we are clever. But

the ancient people were cleverer! However, they wouldn’t
have been able to make any progress - if God had not given
them the four gifts we just talked about - life, language,
reason and ability.”
“So that means God is always in control,” observed
Marie. “He regulates the behavior of all things.”
“Certainly!” agreed Dr. Singh. “God is the Supreme
Ruler of this universe and although He has given man free-
will - He is still in total control of all his affairs. Remember
that all the things that God has created - they are all his
servants. Including man.”
“But how come man is His servant?” said Andrew.
“There are plenty of men out there who don’t even believe
in Him. So there’s gonna be a lot of people who don’t serve
Him. They are not God’s servants!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “You are right,” he said. “They are not
voluntary servants of God. They do not serve God of their
own free-will. But they are definitely God’s involuntary
“What does that mean?!” asked Jim.
“It’s very simple,” said Dr. Singh. “People may not
believe in God. They may deny Him and they won’t serve
Him of their own free-will. But what can they do about
eating, drinking and breathing in air? They have to eat - and
not only that they have to cook their food. Then don’t have
fur or feathers. They don’t have a thick hide. So they have
to wear clothes - to protect themselves from the heat, cold -
the weather and insects. They need shelter too. A roof
above their heads. And another thing is - privacy. They go
to the bathroom - to clean themselves, to bathe and use the
toilet. To do these things - they need privacy. This is what I
mean by - involuntary servants of God. They are still doing


what God intends for them to do. Their behavior is con-

trolled by God. You will never see a man or woman who
doesn’t eat, drink, breathe, sleep - or take rest. Man has
control only over his actions - that’s true. But these particu-
lar actions - the ones I mentioned just now - these action are
those over which he has no control. He has to obey God
and do whatever He has written for him. He is an involun-
tary servant of God.”
“Just like women - they get pregnant and they have
babies,” said Amy. “They do what God wrote for them,
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “God is the Controller of
all things,” he said. “He gave instructions to all things and
all beings - and they all are made exactly the way God
wanted them to be. He made man different however. He
gave him a brain that has great capability to learn.”
He looked at Richard. “However - man hasn’t made
good use of this gift. All this progress that man has made is
pretty useless. Because none of this progress has shown
man how to live his life. Landing on the moon has not
helped to solved any of man’s uncountable problems.”
“Animals live and die, we too live and die - but there’s a
big difference in how we live our lives,” he went on. “How
to live - this is a question that human beings alone face. This
is our problem. This is our dilemma. This is the human
condition. Many people who are educated - scientists,
mathematicians, doctors and engineers - they may have
knowledge about certain subjects. But knowledge with
regard to how to live their lives - they are very much in the
dark. You see - God gave man his five senses. The brain
processes a lot of information and man learns many things.
He acquires a lot of knowledge and he knows many things -
only because he has his five senses. These senses or percep-

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tions were given to man so that he could learn about the

world in which he lives. They were given to him so that he
could think and reflect - and know God. But most people
don’t use their thinking abilities. They don’t use their rea-
son. They don’t want to know what the Truth is. They live
their lives - only to enjoy themselves. They indulge in all
kinds of pleasures. The pleasures of the senses. They spend
time entertaining themselves, eating, drinking and making
merry - and listening to music. Life is a big party for them.
They figure - life is short - so we might as well enjoy our-
selves before we die.”
“I think most people are like that,” remarked Andrew.
“They live only to enjoy themselves - to the fullest. But
what’s wrong with that?”
“There is certainly something wrong with that,” said Dr.
Singh. “God gave us our five senses and these senses give
us plenty of enjoyment. But think! These pleasures don’t
last, do they? You eat some cake. It gives you great plea-
sure and you enjoy it. But how long does that pleasure last?
You have to keep eating to enjoy that pleasure again and
each time you eat, you enjoy it only for a very little while.
Even the supreme pleasure which is enjoyed between man
and woman - it lasts for a very short time. You are free to
use your senses in any way you like. But purely for enjoy-
ment? How wise is that? Especially when you know very
well that nothing lasts for long!”
“People put their senses to the wrong use - when in fact -
they should use their senses to look at the world around
them - and think, reason and reflect,” he continued. “They
should use their senses to acquire knowledge - to see and
understand - and to know - one very great Truth. And that
is - everything is perishing. Everything is temporary. Noth-
ing lasts. Nothing is permanent. How long is a person going


to enjoy himself? One day all that enjoyment is going to

come to an end. A person like that - who does not use his
powers of thought and reason - is as good as an animal.”
“I agree,” said Richard. “A man who does not think is
just like an animal. Animals don’t think either!”
“But there’s a very good reason why people want to
spend their lives enjoying themselves,” said Dr. Singh. “It’s
because they are suffering from a very big delusion. They
are totally deceived. By the glittering life of this world.”


T hey were going out again. And this time Dr. Singh
came along. The mood was sombre and a bit serious.
They knew that they had come to a point where they had to
face many bitter realities. Dr. Singh and Henry didn’t reveal
where they were going. So they sat in their seats in silence,
waiting to reach their destination - wherever that was. At
last the van came to a stop. And they all got out.
The air was fresh and crisp. There was a gentle breeze
blowing. The sky was a clear blue with a few clouds here
and there. They looked at their surroundings curiously.
There were no birds around at this part. The pine trees
stood tall, green and majestic. Amy loved to look at them
with her head tilted up. It was a very quiet place. And
although it was broad daylight, they felt a peculiar eeriness

in the air. They soon knew why they felt that way. They
were at the graveyard.
“We’re going to spend some time here to do some
serious thinking and contemplation,” said Dr. Singh. “We’ll
spend half an hour here and after that we shall return to our
classroom to continue with our discussion. Please - no
talking. I hope you understand the gravity of the situation.
All of us are going to end up here one day. This is a very
serious matter.”
Richard looked very unwell. He knew that he was going
to join the company of the dead in a matter of a few
months. The thought frightened him. Amy saw the look on
his face. She went to hold his hand. And they stood there
together along with the rest of the company, staring at the
They returned to their classroom, each of them occupied
with his or her thoughts. The visit to the graveyard had been
unexpected. They would never have gone there - it was a
place to run away from! But Dr. Singh seemed to know
what he was doing. His objective was to make them think
and as he regarded his students - he smiled. He had certainly
succeeded in his mission.
He drew a straight horizontal line on the blackboard.
“This is our journey of life,” he said. “At one point we
enter this world and at the other point we exit. We live and
then we die. However, people do not give importance to
how they spend their time. They give more importance to
how long they can enjoy their life!”
Marie nodded her head in total agreement. This was so
absolutely true!
“But how long we live - is that in our hands?” went on
Dr. Singh. “Does any man know how long he will live? Ever
heard of Christopher Reeve? He played Superman and

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became world famous. Who would have imagined that a

man with a physique like he had would fall off his horse -
and be paralyzed for life? He died just recently. What about
Princess Diana? She died when she was pretty young -
along with her friend who was with her in the car crash. And
then there was also Kennedy and his wife - very rich, influ-
ential people - meeting a sorry end. They died in a plane
crash. These were famous, well-known people. There are
countless unknown and ordinary people who die every
single day...before reaching old age.”
He paused before saying, “So God is the Giver of Death.
And He also decides how long each person will live. This is
another thing we cannot choose. Our birth and our death. It
is not in our hands at all. Babies, children of all ages, ado-
lescents, young adults, middle-aged people and the elderly -
can actually die at any time. Death often comes unexpect-
edly for many people. It comes without warning. Out of the
blue. There are natural disasters that take the lives of many
people as well. Disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
These disasters can claim the lives of millions of people.
God is indeed The Destroyer!”
“I can’t imagine God to be like that!” said Martha at
“Well then,” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s think a little bit, shall
we? Earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions
- why do these things happen? They happen only because
they are caused to happen. God is the One who is in charge
here. He controls all these things. He is certainly aware of
the things He has made. And if a volcano erupts - it is only
by His command. If He was not controlling it - there would
have been earthquakes, floods, cyclones and typhoons all
over the place. You say that God can’t be behind all this
activity? Well.......if He is not - then who is?!”


Martha had to admit Dr. Singh had a point.

“Be reasonable!” said Dr. Singh a little impatiently. “It’s
like - God can do this - and He can’t do that! You know
very well about the law of cause and effect. If there’s an
effect, there has to be a cause. God is the cause behind all
things, remember? Nothing happens unless it is His will!
And now to continue with our discussion - people can die
from all kinds of things besides natural calamities. What
other things can you think of that cause people to die?”
“Sickness, disease and all kinds of illnesses,” said Marie.
“Many people also die in wars and fights,” said Jim.
“And accidents,” said Andrew.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, there are many ways a person
can die.” He looked at Richard. “Yes - you have informed
us Richard - that you have just a few more months left to
live. But it is quite possible that some of us might die even
before you! Yes, Amy - even you!”
They gasped in horror at the statement. At the same time
they couldn’t deny its truth.
“So if this is the reality,” went on Dr. Singh. “How can
anyone feel secure? No indeed! There is no security here on
earth! Death is all around you. It will come to get you -
when your time on earth is up.”
They stared at Dr. Singh in stony silence, fully aware
that what he was saying was absolutely correct. Dr. Singh
was pleased that he had their attention.
“People give importance to how long they can live. So
they occupy themselves in the task of lengthening their life-
span. They’ll eat healthy foods, exercise and stay fit - just so
that they can live longer. But what do you know? A person
who is a fitness freak is walking across the parking lot and
wham! He is hit by a speeding truck and dies instantly.”
They listened with ever-growing interest. Dr. Singh was

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taking them to deep territory. And deep thinking.

“See what I mean?” he continued. “You may want to live
a long life. But that is not for you to decide. It’s God who
decides when you have to go. Therefore - it’s not how long
- but how you live your life that counts. So let’s consider
how people live their lives, shall we? Let’s examine the life
of a sixty year old man. What can you observe about a man
who has lived sixty years?”
They looked at Dr. Singh blankly. What was there to
observe about a sixty year old man?
Dr. Singh looked pretty amused. “There are so many
things that you can observe!” he exclaimed. “First of all, we
can say that this man - he did not exist at one time. God
gave him life - and then he was born as a baby. All of us
were babies once upon a time! It doesn’t matter whether
you are a king or a queen, a President or a Prime Minister.
And as babies we were weaklings....and totally dependent
on our mothers. So for many years - sometimes for as long
as twenty to thirty years - our parents took care of us.
Otherwise we wouldn’t be sitting here.”
“Yes, I agree,” said Jim. “I really must thank my parents!
I was weak, helpless and couldn’t take care of myself. And
my mom and dad took care of me at that time. If they
hadn’t, I would have surely died!”
“Well, yes,” responded Dr. Singh. “You must thank your
parents, especially your mother. But more than that - you
should thank God! You see, He is the One who put that
maternal instinct in the hearts of mothers. If He hadn’t - no
mother would have sacrificed her life for her babies and
children. Why do mothers take care of their young? Why are
they even ready to die to protect their infants? Only because
God made them that way. No other explanation for that, is


“God is Great!” cried Jim. “Certainly I can see now how

great He is! I feel as though my eyes are only just opening!”
Marie nodded her head. “I never thought of that before!”
she said. “God is the Most Great! How shall I ever thank
Him - I have no words!”
“Well, we must go on with our observations,” said Dr.
Singh smiling. “We have a sixty year old man before us. And
these are the first observations that we have made. That
God gave him life, and that he came into this world as a
baby - so weak and helpless - and that God provided him
with parents to look after him. Now - the next observation.
If you have noticed - we need to eat, drink water and
breathe in air. But have you really thought about it? We
need to eat - not every week or every month - we have to
eat every three to four hours! We need to eat at least two or
three times a day! That’s 1,095 times a year. In sixty years -
that would be....” And he made a quick calculation on the
board. “65,700 times!”
“Wow! That’s a lot!” said Andrew.
“And mind you - that’s just for one person! What about
water?” continued Dr. Singh. “We need water more dearly
than food. Most of our body is made up of water. God
made us from water. You can go with out food for many
days - but water? You need it in constant supply. If you
don’t drink water for a few days - you will most certainly
die! And even more than that - we need air. We breathe in
air every few seconds! We cannot do without air. If we stop
breathing for a few minutes - that would be enough to kill
Richard turned pale. He remembered how he had suffo-
cated Anne to death. She had died in a matter of minutes.
He hoped that Dr. Singh wouldn’t notice the terrified
expression on his face. Fortunately Dr. Singh was too busy

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delivering his lecture to notice anything.

“So if we need to eat food, drink water, breathe in air -
think about the billions of people who have lived and died.
If people lived to the age of sixty - it was only possible
because God provided them with everything that they
needed in order to live. Furthermore, think about our
special needs with regard to eating food. We need to cook
our food. Not only that we need spices to enhance the taste
of our food. We have salt and pepper and all kinds of
seasonings. We make pots and pans to cook our food in. We
have various kitchen appliances - like blender, coffee-maker,
juicer. These are all needs, aren’t they? And God provided
each person with all these things necessary for cooking. Of
course God has also provided man with a great variety of
food as well. He has provided him with everything he needs
to make his food nice and tasty. And water - well, He is the
One who provides man with clean, drinking water. He sends
down the rain. And we need to use water for several pur-
poses. For cooking, bathing, doing our laundry and clean-
ing. A sixty year old man - how much water do you think he
would have used in his entire life-time? We shan’t even
calculate that. The amount would astound you. Next - think
about it a little more. Every time you eat and drink - you
have to go to the bathroom, right? So each day of his life -
that sixty year old man must have made several trips to the
bathroom. And to go to the bathroom, he must have had a
house, right? And what about the time when he needs to go
to bed? He needs blankets, pillows, bedsheets. Why does he
need these things? Well - it’s because when he sleeps, his
body temperature drops - and he needs to keep warm. Each
and every day this is how the sixty year old man lived. And
from a baby, he grew into a child. He then went to school.
He learned how to read and write. After that he must have


worked to make his living. As you can see, all throughout

his life - God provided him with all the essential things.
Including books - because man didn’t make the tree out of
which paper and books are made. And the last point is this -
God kept this man safe. He protected him all the days that
he lived his life. So sixty years is how many days?” He
wrote the equation on the board:

60 x 365 = 21,900 days.

“God is Great!” said Andrew. “He is The Provider! And

He is also The Protector!”
“Right you are, Andrew! So my friends, you eat of the
things that God provides. You drink water that He provides.
You breathe in air that He provides. And you get a wife or
mate that He creates and provides. Everything that you have
- it’s all been given to you by God. This is a fact. Nothing
that is in this world actually belongs to you. It all belongs to
God. Even your own body is not yours. God gave it to you.
If it was not for His care and protection - you wouldn’t be
alive, would you? Yet many people live their lives - they eat
and drink -and they enjoy all the things that God has pro-
vided them - without so much as a thank you!”
Richard shook his head. “I’ve been extremely ungrate-
ful!” he murmured holding down his head in shame.
All of them were feeling morose. All their lives they had
never even stopped to consider these things. But it was true.
They had been most ungrateful to their Creator. All of them
inwardly reproached themselves for such ingratitude.
“I wish I could do something to thank God for all the
things He has done for me!” cried Marie.
Dr. Singh smiled. “I’m glad to know you feel that way,”
he said. “But I would like to continue with our discussion.

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We have learnt that we need God for everything. In fact,

man is the neediest of all creatures! Since the beginning of
mankind’s history - people have always prayed to God for
help. They need Him for everything anyway. They pray to
Him to provide them with food, water, shelter, clothing. To
grant them children, to cure them when they are sick and to
save them when they are facing major hardships, difficulties
and calamities. Man is very needy. Therefore he has to pray
to God. And in his code of conduct - or his religion - he has
to include God! Because without God’s help - he cannot
Martha nodded. “This is so true! So true!” she ex-
“There are people who don’t believe in God,” said Dr.
Singh. “Even then God still provides them with what they
need. He sends down the rain and when it falls, it falls on all
people - the good as well as the bad. The reality however is
- God has the power to destroy us all. What is our planet
earth but a speck of dust in His hands - which He can crush
at any time?”
“He is so Merciful!!” said Richard completely awestruck.
He was amazed at what he was discovering.


“T here is no greater deception than the life of this

world,” said Dr. Singh. “Everyone knows that they
have to leave this world one day. Even people who don’t
believe in God know that. Yet, they live in this world as if
their life is not going to end. They think of death as a far-off
event. They think it will come to them when they are old.”
Richard had to admit that Dr. Singh’s observation was
correct. He himself had lived his life in that way! He had
thought that death was far away! Even though he had seen
people die at any age, from all kinds of causes.
“And how do people live their lives?,” went on Dr. Singh.
“They need God to provide them with their needs but they
also need God to provide them with their wants. And their
wants are far more numerous than their needs. For both -
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needs as well as wants -they have to ask God. Of course

there are people who don’t believe in God. And they don’t
ask Him for anything. But that doesn’t mean that He
doesn’t provide them with their wants! God is The Provider.
He provides us with what we need - as well as what we
want. And what do most of people of this world want?”
“Riches, wealth. Money,” said Jim without hesitation.
“They also want power,” said Andrew.
“Some people want to be famous and well-known,” said
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, these are just a few things that
people want. They are not satisfied with a simple house.
They want a nice, furnished house with all comforts and
amenities. They are not content with the car they have. They
want the newest model, fully loaded. People want the latest
gadgets. They want to travel and see the world. And women
- well - many women want jewelry. Gold, silver, diamonds
and rubies. They want nice fur coats. They want to dine in
the most expensive restaurants. You simply need to go the
shopping centers. Go to the malls and see all the things that
are on sale. You’ll find a dazzling array of goods - and
He paused. “And then there are other things that people
want,” he continued. “In addition to worldy goods - people
also want to become great. A person might have a dream to
become the greatest singer in his country. That’s his goal in
life. That’s what he wants the most. To be the best dancer,
the best actor, the best swimmer or athlete. He may want to
break the world record. He wants to be recognized as the
best. And he devotes his entire life pursuing his goal. That’s
how he lives his life. And in the end - when he is successful,
he has medals and trophies. He has awards and certificates.
He is well-known all over the world and he savors the sweet


taste of success.”
“Well,” said Andrew with a frown. “What’s wrong with
wanting to be the best - or famous?”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Don’t you see it yet?” he asked.
“Fame - worldly gain and riches - recognition and worldly
success. Gold, silver and diamonds. Your medals and tro-
phies. Your numerous certificates and degrees. All the
qualifications that you have....these are things which God
gives you. You might have earned your degrees or you
might have received the award for best actor or singer. But
you must remember - that you owe all your success to
Andrew frowned even more. “How do we owe all our
success to God?” he asked.
Dr. Singh laughed. “I see you have totally forgotten,” he
said jovially. “Success - or progress, it’s the same! Man has
made a great deal of progress only because God gave him
four gifts. Do you remember what they are?”
“I know!” said Amy instantly. “Life, language, reason and
“Very good, Amy! Do you think a person who dreams of
becoming a great singer would ever become one if he was
born dumb? What about a person who is born blind? Do
you think he can ever become a great painter? Think of all
the people who have been successful in their respective
fields.....none of them would have been successful if God
had not granted them the four gifts - life, language, reason
and ability. Think about it!”
Richard had to agree. He couldn’t have made his millions
if God hadn’t given him those four gifts. Marie had to agree
as well. She was a very good actress but that was only
because God gave her that ability. Plus she had also the
other three gifts - life, language and reason.

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Andrew nodded his head. He now understood what Dr.

Singh meant. He was right. People did owe their success to
Dr. Singh explained further. “You might be an eminent
scientist. And people might admire you and think you are
great. But certainly God is Greater! Because if it wasn’t for
God - you would never have become a scientist! If God
hadn’t given you life, given you the ablilities to speak, think
and reason.....if He hadn’t given you ability - and taken care
of your needs - cured you when you were sick - protected
you from harm and serious injury - and created conditions
suitable for you to receive your education and learn - you
would never have become a scientist! So if a person has
become a great actor, singer, dancer or chess player - it not
due to man’s greatness. It is God’s!”
“God is Great! God is Great! God is Great!” cried Jim.
“Thank you Dr. Singh for explaining this to us! This is really
Marie thought about herself and her success. “I am
nothing!!” she said to herself. “Absolutely nothing!” And
Richard was thinking the same thing. They began to under-
stand and realize how insignificant they were.
“No man is great,” said Dr. Singh in a serious tone. “And
those who are proud of their accomplishments and their
abilities - we don’t exactly have a high opinion of such
people. But the man who has humility in his heart - and who
knows that only God is the One who has the right to be
called Great - who is in awe of God and holds his head
down in humility and who is always praying to God -
acknowledging his weakness and utter helplessness and who
thanks God when he sees a blind man - realizing that God
could have made him blind as is this man who is


“I agree,” said Richard with emotion. “I totally agree!”

“But a man who is proud,” went on Dr. Singh. “He will
not think of God. He will think that he is successful because
of his own effort - his own cleverness. He gives credit to
himself. And there are women who are proud - because they
are beautiful in appearance. These people forget that they
did not make themselves that way. They did not give them-
selves those abilities - or looks. Some people think they are
superior simply because they are fairer. Ever heard of white
“Yeah, I read one time something about the Nazis. They
thought that they were a superior race,” said Andrew.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Such people - they did not choose
their color, did they? Just as a black man did not choose to
be black. So if color is something that people did not
choose - how does that make them better? And by the way -
if a person is richer than another - that doesn’t make him
better, either. Because a person is not rich by choice. It is
something that God writes down for him. For example, a
baby is born in a rich family. That baby didn’t choose to be
born in such a family. Neither did a baby who is born in a
poor family choose that. These things are determined by
God. He is the One who determines all things.”
“Let me see if I understood you correctly,” said Jim.
“You’re saying that a man is not better than another because
of color, looks, wealth and abilities.”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “Man did not choose these
things, did he? If he had a choice, do you think any man
would have chosen to be born blind, deaf or dumb? Do you
think any man would have chosen to be born in a poor
“You’re right Dr. Singh,” said Marie. “We don’t choose
those things. God chooses those things for us. It’s indeed a

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shame that people think so highly of themselves. They think

they are so important and so great! And they look down on
people who are not as fortunate or successful as them-
“There are around 6 billion people living on earth,” said
Dr. Singh. “Where do you think they will be a hundred years
from now?”
“In their graves!” said Andrew. “We’ll all be dead!”
“Right! And what do people run after? Temporary gain
and fleeting pleasure? People want to be rich, successful,
famous and well-known. But a hundred years from now - a
thousand years from now - who will remember what you
did? Who will care? The great kings and queens who ruled
over ancient kingdoms - who built splendid palaces, forts
and castles -what remains of them now? What happened to
their greatness? What happened to the beautiful faces of the
queens and princesses and the strength and power of kings?
We read about them in history books. We think about them
for a while and then we go back to our daily business. We
forget about them. They were great kings and queens. Not
any longer. They are now nothing but dust and bones. What
remains of their pomp and glory? Their might and power?
And these were kings! What about ordinary mortals like us?
Who remembers ordinary people - people who were not
successful or famous? They have vanished and disappeared.
And we too shall vanish and disappear.”
“You’re so right!” said Jim. “So right! I never thought of
these things before!”
“Well - it’s about time you thought about it!” said Dr.
Singh. “When you die - you can take nothing with you. You
have to leave your wealth behind, your medals, certificates
and degrees, your excellent qualifications and terrific
achievements. All these things can’t be taken with you. You


came into this world alone - and you will go alone. You will
be alone in your grave. You will have worms for company.
There will be no more entertainment for you there in that
little space. There will be no TV, no music and no friends. In
this worldly life - if you feel lonely and bored - you have
friends and relatives to keep you company. What’s there in
the grave? Aren’t you there all by yourself? Gone will be the
days of eating, drinking and making merry. You can no
longer enjoy food and drink. There’s no party in the grave.
Death puts an end to all your enjoyment. It is the destroyer
of all pleasures.”
Richard nodded. “This is so true!” he said.
“So if you have lived only for pleasure,” went on Dr.
Singh, “what pleasures do you think await you in the
“I want to know what happens after death,” said Amy
keenly. “Please Dr. Singh! Please tell us!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Ah! That I can’t tell you,” he said.
“This is something you are going to have to solve on your
own. And believe me you are very close to solving this
“Really?!” Amy was now excited.
Dr. Singh nodded. “One of the clues is in the fact that all
of us are going to leave this world one day. Compared to
eternity - the time that we spend on earth is pretty insignifi-
cant. We are going to be dead much longer than alive!”
“So if there is life after death,” commented Jim thought-
fully. “Then that life is going to be much much longer than
the life that we live on earth!”
“Hmmm. So let’s talk about the life that we live on
earth,” said Dr. Singh.
He looked at Henry and gave him a signal. Henry nodded
and left the classroom, returning with a vase in which was a

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beautiful red rose. He placed it carefully on the table and

returned to his position.
“This rose - so pretty and so beautiful,” said Dr. Singh.
“It’s going to wither and die. Its beauty and fragrance does
not last for long, does it? That should teach us a very
important lesson. And that is - everything in this world is in
the process of being destroyed. There are agents of destruc-
tion everywhere. Bacteria, germs, worms, the wind, the
rain, the sun. Food rots and decays. Water evaporates. Iron
rusts. Nothing lasts. Nothing is permanent! Think about a
nice house. If you were to abandon it and come back to it
after a hundred years - you’ll find it in ruin. Dust would
have settled on it. The wind and rain would have battered it.
There would be cracks in the walls. Weeds would grow
around it. Creatures like snakes would make their home
there. Fast forward a million years. That house would be
totally destroyed and you would find nothing there! You can
take a brand new car - and leave it in the desert. What will
happen to it? Of course the process of destruction will
begin. And now - think of the great paintings that are on
exhibit in the museums. Paintings that show the great skill
of the painter and his ability. These paintings are breaking
down - decomposing. They are falling apart. There have
been excavations made - and people have discovered great
cities. Those buildings are old - and they are crumbling
down with the passing of time. People try with all their
might and expertise to save these buildings and magnificent
structures. But in vain. Everything has a life span and all
things will meet with their death. And a time is certainly
coming when this earth will also be destroyed. And along
with the destruction of the earth will be gone mankind’s
delusions of greatness.”


verything has a life span,” said Dr. Singh. “Do
you have any idea how long a bee lives? Or a

He turned and wrote on the blackboard the following:

Bee - 90 days
Mouse - 3 years
Dog - 15 years
Monkey - 30 years
Alligator - 50 years
Elephant - 70 years
Human - 80 years
Parrot - 100 years
Giant tortoise - 150 years
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“Do you remember the giant sequoia tree?” he asked.

And he wrote that down:

Giant sequoia tree - 3,000 years

“Can you think of anything else that lives more than

3,000 years?” he enquired. And without waiting for them to
respond, he wrote down on the board:

Bristlecone pine - 4,700 years

“What’s that?” asked Amy incredulously. She couldn’t

believe that anything could live that long!
“It’s a tree,” replied Dr. Singh, “and the things that I’ve
written down here are all living things. All living things must
die. Each living thing has a maximum life span that has been
determined for it. That means God wrote down the life span
of each living thing. However, all things - whether living or
non-living - have a life span. Our planet earth is a created
thing - it too has a life span. And a time is certainly coming
when our beautiful planet will be no more.”
“Is our planet really going to be destroyed one day?!”
cried Marie in dismay.
“Yes, most definitely!” replied Dr. Singh. “A time will
come when all life on earth will be completely wiped out!”
“No! That can’t be true!” exclaimed Martha shaking her
“You may not want to believe it,” said Dr. Singh. “But it
happens to be a fact. You see, life on earth is totally depen-
dent on the sun. The sun heats our planet - it provides
energy for plants and prevents the earth from becoming a
cold, life-less place. But let me remind you that our sun is a
star. Stars are born and they have a life span after which


they die. Our sun was born in the heavens about 4.5 billion
years ago. Our sun is about one-third of the way through its
expected life. And in the next 1.1 billion years its brightness
will increase by 10%. Do you know what this will do to our
planet earth? Well - all the oceans upon earth will boil away.
Yep. All life will be destroyed! And in about 8 billion years
the sun will swell to 166 times its present size! It will then
be called a Red Giant - because it will be very large and red
in color. And guess what? It will swallow up Mercury,
Venus, and maybe even our Earth!”
They gasped in horror.
“But won’t we able to escape by then?!” asked Jim. “I
mean - we are making a lot of progress in science and
technology - and in a billion years - we might be able to find
other planets and go there to live.”
Dr. Singh threw back his head and laughed. “Sorry about
that,” he said. “But you must use your reason to know that
this is impossible!”
“Why is it impossible?!” asked Jim.
“Well - it’s pretty simple,” responded Dr. Singh. “Man
was made for the earth and made of earth. There’s no other
planet out there that man can live on - no matter how much
progress he makes in science and technology. Let me
explain. You know that a penguin lives in a cold climate and
a camel lives in a hot climate. Why? Because the penguin
was created for the cold region and the camel for the hot
region. You couldn’t take a penguin and place it in the
desert where the camel lives. It would die in no time! And
you couldn’t take a camel and place it in the polar region
where the penguin lives. It’s just not created to live in that
kind of environment! So if man went out to explore the
universe in search of a planet that was similar to earth - he
would certainly die during his search! Man cannot go out of

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his environment - because if he did, he would die!”

“Yes, you’re right,” said Richard. “Astronauts have to
take with them all kinds of things to live in space. They need
special space suits. They need air, water, clothes. They need
to have the right temperature and air pressure. I can under-
stand now that man cannot live outside earth - and even if
he does - not for long!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “True,” he said. “And even if there’s a
planet somewhere that he can live on - he would never be
able to reach it! Simply because it’s too far away! He would
have to travel thousands of years in order to reach that
planet. And you know very well that no man can live that
long. Therefore it is futile to think about escaping. We can’t
escape what lies in store for us. God has determined that.
He is The Destroyer!”
What a grim and a terrible reality was this! They were
very disturbed. The information was extremely depressing.
“Well - at least I shall be dead by then,” said Jim consol-
ing himself.
They all nodded. They were glad that they weren’t going
to live to see that day!
“That’s right!” said Dr. Singh. “We are going to be dead -
in less than a hundred years. So that’s the mystery. Why do
we die at all?”
Martha wondered whether she should answer that ques-
tion. She wasn’t so sure now but she decided there was no
harm in answering it.
“Well - this is what I think,” she said hesitantly. “Adam
and Eve disobeyed God. They sinned by doing so. There-
fore they had to die. Because the wages of sin is death. So
that’s the reason why all of us have to die.”
Dr. Singh smiled. He didn’t say anything for a moment
and Martha felt highly uncomfortable.


“If that’s true,” he said at length, “then why do animals

and plants also have to die? They never disobeyed God, did
they? Why does the sun also have to die? When did it ever
disobey God? That explanation would have been valid if
only human beings died. The rest of creation should not
perish at all since nothing in the universe is disobedient to
God. Therefore, it simply cannot be true that death is faced
by human beings because of that one sin that Adam and Eve
“Yes, I agree,” said Richard. “There has to be another
reason why we die.”
“Let’s try to solve that mystery then,” said Dr. Singh.
“Animals live and die. We too live and die. What’s the point
of it all? If you remember - I had told you that the key to
solving this mystery is by observing the differences there are
between man and animals.”
“I remember the major difference,” said Marie. “Animals
know how to live their lives. Man doesn’t.”
“You have said it beautifully,” said Dr. Singh. “Short and
sweet. Yes, that’s right. Animals have their religion or code
of conduct given to them, whereas man doesn’t. Man is a
learning creature. Therefore he is bound to make mistakes.
Bearing this in mind - imagine what would happen if man
was created like the animals. What would have happened if
every child looked the same? What would have happened if
every man - looked the same?!”
“What do you mean, Dr. Singh?” asked Amy a little
“I wonder if you have watched Men in Black,” said Dr.
Singh. “Towards the end of the movie, our hero, Will Smith
is having a battle with a giant cockroach and he crushes
under his shoe several little cockroaches that come out of a
garbage dump - saying -“You know you all look alike!” And

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then there is a movie called Born Free. It’s a movie about a

lioness by the name of Elsa. But the lioness that plays Elsa
is some other lioness that looks exactly like Elsa. And those
guys who made the film - The Lion King. They had a
difficult job on their hands - trying to make each individual
lion or lioness look different - so that people could identify
which lion was which. Do you understand what I’m trying
to say?”
“I do!” cried Amy. “All cockroaches look the same. And
all lions look the same too!”
“All zebras look the same,” said Marie. “And so do
giraffes - koala bears - kangaroos - elephants - gorillas and
chimpanzees! Oh my! I never realized that!”
“So if human beings looked the same - there would be
total chaos!!” cried Richard. “If anyone made a mistake - or
if anyone did something wrong - there would be no way of
saying who did it!”
“Wow!! I never ever thought of that!” exclaimed Andrew
in amazement.
“And now I am beginning to understand why God made
each human being different - and totally unique!” said
Marie. “It makes perfect sense now! Indeed God is the
Most Wise! He has thought of everything!”
“God is Great!” said Jim. “He has created billions and
billions of people - and all of them have been different. We
can recognize each individual because each person has a
different face! And not only that - each person can be
identified by his fingerprints - as well as DNA!”
“Well - it was essential to create human beings that way -
if they were to be given free-will,” said Dr. Singh. “Some
people are going to make the wrong choices. And some
people the right. If all people looked the same it would have
been impossible to know who did what. How would anyone


be able to catch a thief for example? Or a murderer? How

would people engage in trade? If buyers and sellers looked
alike - certainly there would be chaos.”
“Yeah! It would really be a crazy situation if the Presi-
dent looked the same as the street sweeper or beggar!” said
“It would never have worked if people were made to
look the same,” said Dr. Singh. “So God gave each person a
unique identity by which he or she could be recognized. And
this is the biggest clue. This is that clue which is going to
help you solve the mystery - why do we die.”
“Really?!” said Amy getting excited.
Dr. Singh nodded. “There’s a reason for everything,
right? All things are built upon Truth. As well as reason. So
certainly there’s a good reason why God created death.
Animals live and they too die. But they do no wrong. They
don’t have free-will. It’s only human beings who have free-
will. They are the only ones who do wrong. And if you
study the history of mankind - you will see that man has
been involved in a great deal of evil, violence and blood-
shed. Certainly many have been the people who have done
wrong -and made the wrong choices. But God has not
interfered with people’s decisions. He allows them to do
whatever they like! God can certainly interfere and stop
people from doing wrong. But if He were to do so - nobody
would have free-will!”
“Oh! Is that why God keeps Himself Unseen?” asked
“Good observation!” said Dr. Singh. “Yes. If people
could see God they would not be able to exercise their free-
will. Nobody would steal, nobody would kill, nobody would
tell lies, nobody would do anything wrong. It’s just like
when you are driving your car and a police car is right

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behind you. You would never violate any traffic rules with
that police car behind you! You would obey all rules -
because you know that there’s someone watching you.
However, when there’s no police car - you can take the
liberty to break some rules. You can go over the speed limit
for example. Or run a red light.”
“So God keeps Himself Unseen - so that people can go
ahead and do all kinds of wrong things?” said Richard with
a slight tremor in his voice.
“No, Richard,” said Dr. Singh. “God gave man free-will.
He gave man the freedom to choose between right and
wrong. People can choose to do evil. Many people do. But
they can also choose to do good. It’s entirely up to them.
And if He were to interfere in their decisions and choices -
there would be absolutely no point in giving them free-will
in the first place! So He never interferes. We make the
choices. God wants to see what we are going to choose.
And this is serious because then it means that we have to
carry upon our shoulders the huge burden of responsibility.”
“Oh no!” cried Richard as he suddenly saw the Truth
bright and clear. “This means that God is testing us! God is
going to hold us totally responsible for the choices that we


E veryone was disturbed by Richard’s statement. Was it

really true that God was testing them? They looked
toward Dr. Singh hoping to get some assurance that this
was untrue. But Dr. Singh wasn’t going to tell them any-
thing. He was going to let them come to their own conclu-
sions. After all, Truth stood clear from Falsehood - and if
they had come this far, he knew that they would surely
figure out the Truth on their own. However, it was clear
that they needed help.
Dr. Singh smiled. “What makes you think that God is
testing us?” he asked.
“Well - if He wants to see what choices we are going to
make - that certainly sounds like a test to me!” replied
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“Yeah - it does sound like a test to me too,” said Andrew.

“Just like those multiple-choice tests where you got several
choices. You got choices when there’s a test.”
“You have a point,” said Dr. Singh. “A man cannot be
tested if he doesn’t have freedom of choice. And since man
has freedom of choice - it therefore follows that he has to
face the consequences or bear the responsibility for the
choices he makes. The law of cause and effect applies here.
You reap what you sow. If you make good choices, you will
get good and if you make the bad choices, you will get bad.
For example, if you work hard in school, you will get good
grades. But if you do something wrong - let’s say - you steal
someone’s bike - then you will end up in jail.”
“If God had given me a choice,” said Marie. “I would
never have accepted this gift of freedom - or free-will. I
don’t want it! I would rather be like the trees and mountains
- who have no free-will - and who do no wrong!”
“Why did God have to give us free-will?!” cried Amy
dolefully. “Why didn’t He give it to other creatures or things
like the sun, the moon - or the trees or mountains?”
“The rest of creation must have wisely declined the offer
of freedom - if God had made such a one to them,” said Dr.
Singh. “But obviously - man greedily accepted the gift. It’s
pretty apparent - just look all around you! See how the
whole world is - see how people love and cherish their
freedom! They love to have the ability to choose. They love
the idea that they can do whatever they like - and that
nobody can interfere in their affairs! Indeed people are
foolish. Because they don’t realize that there’s a great price
that they have to pay for this freedom that they so greatly
enjoy. The price is - they have to carry the deadly burden of
responsibility. It would be fine if people made the right
choices and chose things that were good for them. But most


people don’t make the right choices. They choose things

that are bad for them.”
“But why?” asked Amy. “Why do people choose bad
“You should know the answer to that question,” re-
sponded Dr. Singh. “You just need to think a little bit that’s
Amy didn’t want to think. She wanted to know what the
answer was without thinking about it. She just didn’t have
the patience!
“Oh, Dr. Singh! I can’t think right now. Please can’t you
just tell us the answer?” she pleaded. And from the look on
everyone’s face, it seemed as if none of them were willing to
trouble their brains with more work!
“It’s so simple, my friends,” said Dr. Singh in amusement.
“People make the wrong choices because.........”
They waited eagerly for Dr. Singh to finish his sentence
and when he did, they had to agree that the answer he gave
made perfect sense!
He had said, “People make the wrong choices because -
God has wrapped all the bad and evil things in extremely
attractive and glittering packages. People flock to these
packages like flies flock to honey.”
“That’s so true!” exclaimed Andrew.
“And the problem is compounded by the fact that there
are evil whisperings in our hearts. They are suggestions -
voices. We don’t know where they come from. But they are
there. And they persuade us to choose the wrong things.
We’ll call them evil voices. And they lead many people
astray. Let me give you an example. Stealing is a bad thing
to do. But people do it. Why? Because of the suggestions
that come to them. The evil whispers say things like - oh
nobody would know you did it. Nobody is looking. This

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guy is rich anyway. He won’t miss his watch if you take it.”
“Yeah - I’ve gotten into trouble because I listened to
these evil suggestions,” said Andrew. “These voices said to
me that I wouldn’t get caught. They said to me that this
would be the only time I would need to steal. And after that
I would be so rich, I wouldn’t need to steal again. They told
me that I was too clever and smart. And the cops would
never catch me if I left no clues for them. Boy - was I
wrong! The cops did find me. And I landed in prison for
several months because of the evil that I did.”
“Hmmmm. Very interesting,” remarked Dr. Singh. “I
hope you realize something important from this. These evil
voices - these evil suggestions - they can only persuade us
to do evil. But they can’t make the choices for us. Their job
is simply to make those evil suggestions. You listened to
these suggestions and you chose to do evil. However, you
cannot blame these evil voices for the choices you made. Do
you know why? It is because - you - made the choice! A
human being is a free creature and nobody can force anyone
to do anything against his or her will. A person cannot be
forced. Therefore - when people do evil - it’s not because
they were forced to do so. They chose to do evil of their
own free will! And that’s the reason why they alone must
bear the responsibility for their actions. They cannot blame
the evil suggestions at all. Why? Because they had a choice.
They could have chosen not to listen to these evil voices!”
“You are so right Dr. Singh!” said Jim. “Everything you
have just said is so so true! God has really made evil very
attractive and pleasing. And on top of that - God has also
put these evil voices in our hearts. I can understand now
why this world is full of people who choose to do wrong.”
“It’s a test!” said Richard feeling rather overwhelmed.
“I’m sure this is a test!!”


Martha didn’t like the sound of those words at all. She

was highly distressed and dearly wished that the ground
would open and swallow her up! She didn’t know if she had
the strength or courage to hear much more. It seemed as if
the whole world was collapsing around her! Dr. Singh
didn’t notice the anguish on Martha’s face, however. He
was too busy explaining to them why evil was so attractive
to people.
“Evil things have been made very attractive and alluring,”
he said. “They give people a lot of pleasure. And that’s the
reason why people go after them. However, the result of
choosing evil - choosing things that look so nice and pleas-
ing - is in fact very ugly. Let me give you some examples.”
And he turned to the blackboard and wrote:

1. Alcohol

“This is one of the major problems in human society,” he

explained. “Alcohol abuse accounts for many ugly things
such as - domestic violence, accidents, rapes, homicides and
violence. Alcohol is responsible for broken or bereaved
families. It damages people’s lives adversely. It poses a risk
to your health - as well as others. So the consequences of
consuming alcohol are pretty serious. It affects us physically
and mentally, and it also affects us on the social level. A lot
of teenagers get hooked on drinking - and they drink them-
selves to the grave. It’s easy to get addicted on alcohol and
many people do.”
Andrew nodded. He had been lured into drinking by his
friends and had got involved in a serious accident. He had
been arrested for driving while under the influence of
alcohol. It was a good thing that nobody had got hurt in the
accident. He mentioned this to Dr. Singh.

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“Yes, certainly!” said Dr. Singh. “It is against the law to

drink and drive. And there’s a good reason for that. You see
- even small amounts of alcohol can impair your driving
ability. It affects your eyesight and road signs appear to be
smaller. Your peripheral vision as well as your ability to
judge distances - and to focus on distant objects is reduced
while under the influence of alcohol. Information process-
ing, reflexes and coordination get slowed down as well. And
if you have an accident after drinking alcohol, your injuries
are likely to be more serious than if you had been in a sober
state. Not only that, your chances of surviving any emer-
gency surgery become less...because alcohol has a bad effect
on the heart and circulation.”
“And what about the tragic outcome it has on unborn
babies?” said Marie knowingly. “Babies suffer something
called the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because the mothers
drank during their pregnancies!”
“Yes, that’s true,” said Dr. Singh shaking his head sadly.
“Fetal Alcohol Syndrome causes babies to be mentally
retarded. They have language problems and suffer from
mental delay. Their growth is also slow. They are hyperac-
tive sometimes and they could also have hearing and sight
disorders. On top of that - they can also have facial deformi-
“And the mothers who consume alcohol are to be blamed
for this!!” cried Marie agitatedly. How she hated women
who destroyed the lives of their babies by drinking alcohol!
“As you can see,” said Dr. Singh. “Alcohol is a very evil
thing. There’s a chemical compound called ethanol in most
alcoholic drinks. This ethanol is a neurotoxin - a substance
that can damage or destroy the nervous system. So when
someone is drunk - he is in fact suffering from a form of
poisoning. And did you know that in large quantities -


ethanol causes coma and death?”

They all shook their heads. They had no doubts in their
minds whatsoever about the evil that was present in alcohol.
“So alcohol is evil. It is very evil. Why is it evil? Because
God made it evil. And He wrapped it in a very attractive and
pleasing package. People are hooked on alcohol. They run
after alcohol. They will do anything to get it! It intoxicates
them and gives them a heady feeling. It makes them feel
good. That’s the pleasing package that alcohol is wrapped
in. An evil wrapped in a glittering package.”
He then wrote another evil thing on the board:

2. Drugs

“People get hooked on drugs the same way they get

hooked on alcohol,” said Dr. Singh. “Again - drugs are evil.
They are evil because they are extremely harmful and can
even kill people. It has destroyed the lives of many people -
especially the young. They get hooked on drugs and then
they will do anything to get it. They will lie, steal and even
kill to get drugs. And why do they go after drugs? Simply
because God wrapped these evil things in very pleasing
He wrote a third evil on the board:

3. Gambling

“Ah ha! Gambling! Think about the lotteries, horse and

greyhound racing, sports pool, casinos and the like! People
get hooked on this evil habit - and go without food and
clothes. They resort to theft and other illegal activities to
get money so that they can gamble. And gambling is wrong.
Why? Because gambling is about instant monetary gratifica-

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tion. It’s about instant riches. It’s about making money

without working for it. It’s about getting rich overnight -and
losing all your hard-earned money. But people are hooked
on this evil habit. Why - oh why? Only because God has
wrapped it in such a pleasing package. Ah! The lure of easy
riches! Who likes to work hard?” He turned and wrote the
fourth example on the board:

4. Tobacco

“People love to smoke even when there is a warning

notice on the cigarette packet from the surgeon. Smoking
tobacco can cause cancer. It can cause early death. Even
then many people are addicted to smoking. Isn’t it strange
how addictive evil can be?! Just because of the package it
comes in! And now......before I write down another example
of evil, I’d like to ask you a question. How many of you like
to eat ham? Or bacon?”
“Mmmmm. That’s the good stuff!” said Jim. “I love it!
It’s my favorite item for breakfast actually.” Then he
frowned. Why was Dr. Singh asking them this question.
Especially when he was on the subject of evil things!?
“I like to eat ham too,” said Amy. “It tastes really good!”
Dr. Singh smiled and he wrote on the board the fifth
example of evil:

5. Pork

“Are you saying that pork is evil?!” cried Jim.

“Oh yes!” replied Dr. Singh. “It’s an evil thing wrapped
in a delicious little package. And if you would keep your
emotions and feelings aside and look at things a little objec-
tively - you will realize that what I am saying is absolutely


They listened attentively. They had grown to respect Dr.
Singh’s opinions for they were all based on obvious truths.
“Let me tell you a little bit about the pig. It’s a lazy
animal and indulgent in sex. It’s extremely dirty, greedy and
gluttonous. It hates the sunlight and possesses no fighting
spirit. It eats almost anything. Yes - even human excreta or
even its own excreta.”
“Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!” cried Marie. Was this true? It had to
be! She knew a little about pigs and she knew how filthy
they were.
“Amongst all animal flesh, pork is the favoured cradle of
harmful germs,” went on Dr. Singh. “Pork also serves as a
carrier of diseases to mankind. Some examples are -
scrofula, erysipelas, leprosy, biliousness, consumption,
dispepsia, tapeworm and trichinae. I wonder if you have
ever heard of J.H. Kellogg? The breakfast cereal Kellogg
corn flake bears his name. Anyway - he wrote a very inter-
esting article called Pork - Or The Dangers of Pork-Eating
Exposed. If you get a chance - do read it for some great
information on how deadly and dangerous pork eating can
be! And yet - people are addicted to pork meat simply
because God wrapped it in such a wonderful and tasty
package! People consider pork to be such a delicacy that
they don’t want to waste even a tiny particle! And while on
this delightful subject, let me read out to you what Kellogg
says to people who say that the hog is cleanly if you give
him a chance to be so!”
He withdrew a piece of paper from the drawer and read,
“It is surprising to us that any one who knows anything of
the real nature of a hog can make such an assertion. Who
has not seen hogs wallowing in the foulest mire right in the
middle of a green, fragrant clover pasture? The dirty crea-

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ture will turn away from the nicest bed of straw to revel in a
stagnant, seething mud hole. If one of his companions dies
in the lot or pen, he will wait until putrefaction occurs, and
then greedily devour the stinking carcass. The filthy brute
will even devour his own excrement, and that when not
unusually pressed by hunger.”
Jim made up his mind that he was never going to eat
pork again! Amy thought the same thing though she didn’t
quite understand everything that was read out.
Putting the paper down on the table Dr. Singh said, “The
pig’s nature is fixed. It was like that a thousand years ago
and it will be like that a thousand years later. God created
the pig that way. Remember that He built everything upon
Truth. And Truth never changes. Therefore - if it was bad to
eat pork thousands of years ago - it will be bad to eat it
even well as in the future. Something that is evil
doesn’t suddenly become good. Nor does something that is
good suddenly become evil.”
“I’ve never liked to eat pork,” said Marie. “Thank God
I’ve stayed away from it! Now that I know all this - I won’t
even touch it!”
“Evil! See how pleasing evil is to people! You have seen
many examples of evil. But there’s one more that I must add
to our list of examples. Can you guess what it could be?”
He smiled enigmatically and wrote on the board the sixth

6. Flesh


“F lesh is evil? How come?” asked Andrew.

“Oh yes, it’s evil,” said Dr. Singh. “Remember
that things are evil if they cause harm to us. And flesh
certainly causes a lot of problems in human society. And by
the term flesh I’m talking about the skin - or - body. More
specifically a woman’s body. God has given the woman an
extremely beautiful and attractive form. Her shape is a
delight for the eyes of men. And certainly, a woman dressed
in a skimpy outfit, baring her body and flesh - is one of the
greatest evils a man can face!”
Richard had to agree. He had been attracted to Anne
because she had a fabulous body - which she didn’t quite
cover. And she attracted not just his attention but the
attention of other men as well.
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“You see, men are turned on visually,” Dr. Singh ex-

plained. “God created human beings naked. They were not
born with clothes on. But it is necessary for them to cover
themselves - simply because of the sexual attraction that
exists between men and women. In men it’s very strong -
and their sexual awareness and desire is heightened when
they see a woman’s bare body. The gambling habit is fueled
by the feeling of greed. In the case of a woman’s bare body
- it gives rise to the feeling of lust. Greed and lust. Well,
these are feelings that drive people do a lot of wrong things.
Prostitution is a thriving business because of lust. Then
there’s pornography. Think of how many people go for such
things - and you will begin to understand what an evil thing
it is for a woman to expose her body - for the pleasure of
men. It causes many problems in our society. Prostititution
and pornography however, are just two of the evil effects.
Can you think of any more?”
“Rape!” said Andrew.
“Uh....adultery and fornication,” said Marie.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Ah! Just think about the innumerable
pleasures of the flesh and senses that people run after!
Adultery breaks up marriages. Fornication and premarital
sex cause great suffering as well. How does it cause suffer-
ing? Well - think about all those teenage pregnancies! Think
of those babies that are born to unmarried girls! What
security and stability are these girls going to offer their
children? Children born out of wedlock? Aren’t the lives of
children destroyed because of fornication, premarital sex
and adultery? Indeed children are the ones who suffer the
most! Remember that they are like damp sponges and they
absorb everything in their environment. So if their mother
doesn’t have values, morals and principles - they are going
to learn the same thing and copy it! And guess what? When


they grow up, they do the same thing that their parents did.
And the vicious cycle goes on!”
Amy was very glad that her parents were married. They
didn’t believe in God but at least they had some values! She
had many friends in school and some of them didn’t have
their dads stay with them. Their dads had just been having
some fun with their moms and then left them.
“I’m not yet finished with the pleasures of the flesh,”
went on Dr. Singh. “There’s prostititution, pornography,
adultery and fornication. But people can be even more
perverted. Because they also indulge in things like incest
and homosexuality.”
Richard looked disgusted. He greatly detested homo-
sexuals. And he had always wondered why people had such
preferences. “I can’t understand how people can be at-
tracted to their own sex!” he said. “Men with men and
women with women! Ugh! It’s horrible!”
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “It is disgusting, isn’t it?”
he said in agreement. “Homosexuality is indeed a great evil.
You can take a look at the animal kingdom. There’s abso-
lutely no animal out there that mates with its own sex. A
lion would never mate with another lion, for example. But
in the world of human beings, you will certainly find this
particular perversion. Only because it’s wrapped in such a
pleasing package. The only reason why there are lesbians
and gays - is because - the pleasure that people get out of
this evil - is something outstanding. That can be the only
reason why people indulge in homosexuality. The pleasure
that they get is unlike anything in the whole world! And they
absolutely don’t care what the world thinks. Their pleasure
is all that they care about! They live exclusively to enjoy
“I had a friend who was homosexual,” said Andrew with

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a grimace. “I asked him why he preferred men over women.

And he told me that he was made that way.”
“Nah! God doesn’t make anyone that way!” said Dr.
Singh emphatically. “People are whatever they are only
because it’s their choice! Your friend is a homosexual not
because he was made like that. It’s because he chose to be
like that! He liked indulging in fantasies that involved his
own sex and it gave him enormous pleasure.”
Andrew nodded. It was all a game of choice it seemed.
Dr. Singh sat down in his chair. “I think you are now in a
very good position to solve the mystery of life and death,”
he said with a big smile. “We have discussed many things
and the clues are all before you. And from all this informa-
tion - I’m pretty sure that you’ll be able to figure out all by
yourself - what happens after death!”
They looked at Dr. Singh wonderingly. All the clues were
before them? They could now figure out what happened
after death?
Richard spoke up. “I don’t know what happens after
death,” he said. “But I do think that God is testing us. I’m
sure of it!”
“Well - that’s the biggest clue there,” responded Dr.
Singh. “You say that God is testing us. If this is true, then
you will have solved the mystery! But the thing is - you
need to have evidence to back up what you believe. Any
belief that is not supported by evidence is a blind belief.”
“But my belief is not blind!” cried Richard. “There’s very
good evidence before us! It shows that God is testing us!”
“I’m waiting, Richard,” said Dr. Singh. “Please tell us
about the evidence.”
“The evidence is,” replied Richard thoughtfully, “that
human beings have free-will. They have choices to make.
They have to choose between right and wrong, good and


evil. This means that God is testing us!”

Dr. Singh nodded. “Okay, we’ll accept that. A man
cannot be tested if he has no freedom of choice. And since
man has freedom of choice it follows that he is being tested.
Agreed. But is that the only evidence there is?”
Marie raised her hand excitedly. “God created every
human being unique and different so that they could be
identified! Animals look the same because they don’t have
free-will. They don’t have to make choices. So they are not
being tested. But human beings have to be different from
one another! Because they have free-will, they have to make
choices. So when God gave every person his own unique
identity that is enough proof to show that we are being
tested! Otherwise He would have made us look the same,
Dr. Singh got up from his chair. “I think I’ll write down
your clues here on the board. Clues that show us that God
created man to test him.” And he wrote:

1. Man has to make choices.

2. God gave every person a unique identity.

“Yes, Marie, whatever you have just said is true. And it is

also one of our biggest clues. Actually I’d say it is the
biggest clue! Take a look at each other! And see for yourself
how God has created each one of us different. Why didn’t
He create us the same? Obviously for one reason. So that
we could be tested. That’s good evidence!!”
Marie smiled feeling rather pleased. Then her face bright-
ened as she thought of another clue. “Clue number 3!” she
cried. “God keeps Himself unseen! If people could see God
nobody would have a choice, would they? Nobody would
be able to exercise their freedom of choice and there

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wouldn’t be a test at all!”

“Very good!” said Dr. Singh writing down clue number 3
on the board:

3. God is Unseen

Dr. Singh smiled mysteriously. “We have some very good

clues here,” he said. “And they certainly point to the idea
that God is testing us. There’s a fourth clue however which
confirms this idea. Do you know what it is?”
Amy was impatient again. “Please, Dr. Singh! Please tell
us!” she cried.
“Alright, alright!” said Dr. Singh. “You see, in order to
support the idea that God is testing us - we can ask a very
simple question. And that question is - what would be the
best way to test man?”
They looked at Dr. Singh blankly.
“The best way to test man would be to forbid him!”
revealed Dr. Singh. “And you can see very well how God
has wrapped evil in pleasing, attractive and glittering pack-
ages! This is your fourth clue, my friends! God simply has
to forbid man from running after evil pleasures. And that
would be the test indeed! To see which man would obey!”
And he wrote clue number 4 on the board:

4. Evil is wrapped in attractive packages.

“Oh my God!” cried Jim. “You’re right, Dr. Singh! I can

see now that God made evil very pleasing for man for one
reason alone. It’s all there to test him! Oh, it’s all so clear to
me now!!” All of them were blown away by the discovery. It
confirmed what Richard believed.
“So, Richard,” said Dr. Singh. “You are absolutely right


about what you think! All the clues mentioned here lead us
to only one conclusion. And that is - God created the life
this world - simply to test us!”
Martha shook her head wildly. “No! It can’t be true! I
won’t believe it!” she said. “We are not responsible for the
choices we make! And this is no test! Jesus carried all the
burden of sin on his shoulders! He died for our sins, yes he
Everyone looked at Martha in surprise. They couldn’t
believe what she had just said!
Dr. Singh regarded Martha with a grim expression on his
face. “You may leave the classroom if you wish,” he said. “I
had warned you before. Truth is not something that many
people can handle. I’ve told you that Truth is very bitter.
And what’s coming up ahead is going to be even more
bitter! We do not force anyone here to believe anything. We
only ask that you look at things objectively - that you look
at the facts and keep your emotions and feelings aside - and
be reasonable. We want you to look at things the way they
really are. We want you to face reality. We want you to see
the Truth - and accept the Truth. Because Truth is the only
thing that matters in our life. There’s no place for blind
belief here. There’s no place for guesswork. And if we have
come to the conclusion that God created man to test him -
it’s only because there’s plenty of evidence to support this
belief. If you do not wish to accept it that is perfectly fine.
You can leave the class and go to your room. There would
be no point in you sitting here, would there? If you don’t
accept this truth, you won’t accept what follows.”
Martha looked very unhappy. One part of her wanted to
leave the class and seek the refuge of her room. But there
was another part of her that insisted on staying. They were
so close to solving the mystery of life and death!

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“Don’t be silly!” said a voice within her. “Don’t let your

emotions get the better of you! You wanted a scientific
explanation and answer and you’re going to get exactly
what you wanted. And Dr. Singh is right! Every belief must
be backed by evidence otherwise it is blind! And all the
evidence that you have seen does prove that God is testing
us. So just sit back and listen!”
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said finally. “You are
right, Dr. Singh. Truth is indeed very bitter and you have
told us repeatedly that it’s something that many people
dislike. I have disliked hearing all the evidence because it
proves that God is testing us. I don’t like the idea really. But
I also understand that I must keep my feelings aside. The
Truth is not going to change because I don’t like it. I re-
member our lessons on Truth well.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “You have courage,” he said. “I’m
pleased! Do I take it to mean that you have accepted the
idea that God created man to test him?”
Martha nodded. “I accept it,” she said quietly.
“But why do you accept it?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Because of the undeniable evidence that’s there before
me!” she replied.
“Great!” cried Dr. Singh enthusiastically. “We need to
celebrate now!” And he walked straight to the black door
and stood before it. “Now you have the key in your hand!
You have as good as solved the mystery! Now - you’re in a
position to tell me - what happens after death!”
They didn’t understand what he was saying at all!
“What do you mean, Dr. Singh?” asked Amy.
“Oh, come on!” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “You
say that the life of this world is a test. And you’re sure
about it because you have plenty of evidence to prove it. So
if it’s true that God is testing us - then the mystery of death


is solved! You see, my friends - a test cannot last forever,

can it? A test must come to an end!”
Richard understood then what Dr. Singh was talking
about. “That means death marks the end of our test!?” he
“And what happens after the test?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“The same thing that happens when you sit for a test or
“Yes! After a test the teacher or professor evaluates our
paper and gives us marks,” said Jim. “If we make the right
choices, we pass the test, and if we make the wrong
choices, we fail!”
“So now you know what happens after death!” said Dr.
Singh triumphantly. “After death comes - the Day of Judg-


T hey were back in the air-conditioned room. There

was an air of festivity and gaiety, balloons every-
where and sumptuous, delicious food. Henry had placed
wonderful, exotic dishes on the table which made their
mouths water. It was time to rejoice. It was time for a real
party! However, this party was without wine and beer. It
was without music and dancing.
They had solved a very important mystery and Dr. Singh
wished to reward them for it. It was a good reason to
celebrate indeed! They ate to their hearts content and
enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
“Dr. Singh is full of surprises,” thought Marie as she bit
into a slice of a delicious cheesecake. Richard was on a
special diet and the strawberry cheesecake was one of the

things that he was not supposed to eat. But he couldn’t

resist it and ended up helping himself to a large slice. “One
of life’s simple pleasures,” he told himself relishing every
After they had eaten, they settled down in their comfort-
able sofas. Henry served tea and coffee and to Amy he
offered a mango milkshake.
They had gone through a tumultuous, turbulent and
difficult journey and they had discovered many bitter truths
and realities. They had seen things which they didn’t like -
yet they had bravely looked at them for what they were and
had accepted them. Richard had accepted it all. Actually he
was very pleased with himself. He congratulated himself for
his decision to join the retreat and despite his fears regard-
ing the Day of Judgment he couldn’t help feeling enor-
mously satisfied. The logic of the whole thing gave him
immense pleasure. He loved using his powers of reason and
common sense. And the best thing was he had learned to
keep his emotions under control. As for Martha - the dis-
coveries had caused her much pain. It was like there were
two people within her and each was pulling her this way and
that. But because she had been so well-informed about
cognitive dissonance - she was able to look at things more
objectively and realize that she should choose only that
which made sense.
Dr. Singh was in a cheerful mood. “You all enjoying
yourselves?!” he asked.
“I sure am!” said Amy licking her lips. She was really
enjoying the mango milkshake.
“How about playing a game?” said Dr. Singh.
“A game! Ooooh! Please - lets!” cried Amy excitedly.
“Okay - the name of the game is - Better or Worse,” said
Dr. Singh. “I’m going to describe to you certain things and

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you are going to have to tell me if the world would be a

better place or worse as a consequence. So now - here’s the
first example. Tell me - if everybody were to drink alcohol -
this world would be a better place to live in or worse?”
“Worse!! Definitely worse!” answered Jim at once. There
was no doubt in his mind about that at all.
“Why do you think it would be worse?” enquired Dr.
“Well - we already learned that alcohol is bad for us,”
replied Jim. “It causes many problems in society. And if
everybody were to drink alcohol - then there would be more
babies suffering from that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. There
would be more deaths on the roads. There would be more
domestic violence. This world wouldn’t be a safe place to
live in!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “I just wanted to make sure you knew
why it would be worse. For everything there has to be a
reason. Okay, so now, here’s the second example. Tell me -
if everybody were to gamble - this world would be a better
place or worse?”
“Worse!” said Richard. “I’m sure of this. And I’d like to
explain why I think this world would be worse if everybody
They were all ears.
“Think about a lottery - for example,” said Richard. “A
lottery for 40 million dollars. To win that lottery the odds
would be very great. And those who run the lottery would
be making more money. They would collect more than 40
million dollars from people - numbering in the millions! And
as for the winner - he has got a big prize for doing abso-
lutely nothing! He did not work for it. So if he wins it - he
can’t possibly expect us to admire him. We admire people
who through hard work and perseverance have become


successful. Not people who are too lazy to work - and who
blow their money on lotteries. And the truth is most people
will never win.”
“And gambling is addictive too,” said Andrew. “Say a
person wins $10,000 at a casino. Guess what? He’s not
gonna stop gambling. He’s gonna play some more to win
even bigger money! He wants more money and is not
satisfied with what he has won. He’s not satisfied with
“And then what about those evil suggestions in his
head?” added Marie. “They would tell him - you won this -
you can win more! You’re on a winning streak!”
“Right! Right!” said Andrew. “And before he knows it -
his entire $10,000 is gone! Left with nothing! At this point -
he refuses to accept his loss - and says to himself - I’m
gonna try again. Just one more try! This time I shall surely
win. And after I win - I shall stop. I really will stop.”
“Well - that’s how people become bankrupt,” commented
Richard. “What’s worse - they even commit suicide - after
putting on the stake everything that they have and then
losing everything. So if everyone were to gamble - this
world would be a terrible place to live in alright. It would be
worse not better!”
Dr. Singh was pleased with the explanation. “Here’s the
third example,” he continued. “If all women were to cover
themselves and conceal their bodies - this world would be a
better place to live in or worse?”
“Better! Much much better!” cried Richard thoroughly
enjoying the game. “And the reason for that is - there would
be fewer rapes. Fornication and adultery would be also less.
And I also think women deserve to be respected because
they are our mothers. So if women cover themselves they’ll
get the respect that they deserve. Not only that - it would

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also strengthen marital relationships...and families would

have stronger foundations.”
“Okay - example number four,” said Dr. Singh. “If
everybody lied - this world would be better - or worse?”
Amy raised her hand. “This world would be worse!” she
“And why would it be worse?” Dr. Singh asked.
“Because.....” Amy stopped. She couldn’t think why it
would be worse. She just knew that lying was bad.
Andrew came to the rescue. “It would be worse because
it would destroy people’s relationships with one another,”
he said. “We couldn’t trust anyone in a world where every-
body lied. There would be suspicion, doubt and chaos - if
everybody lied.”
Dr. Singh accepted Andrew’s explanation. “Okay -here’s
the last example,” he said. “How would this world be if
everyone was honest? Better or worse?”
“Better! Very very better!” said Amy. “And I can tell you
why it would be better. Because when everybody is honest -
there is nobody going to cheat you. And then we’ll have no
worries. All of us will be very happy too.”
Dr. Singh smiled at Amy’s answer. “You’re right,” he told
her. “This world would be better if everyone was honest. So
folks, I hope you enjoyed playing this game. I just wanted to
point out to you that - what’s good for the whole society is
good for the individual and what’s bad for the entire society
is bad for the individual. So if we want to ascertain which
action is good and which is not - we simply need to ask the
question - would it be better for the whole society or
worse? If it’s better - then it’s good. If not - then it’s bad.”
“Makes sense to me,” commented Jim.
“You can go to your rooms to unwind, relax or take a
nap,” said Dr. Singh. “But before you go - we have these


very interesting quotes for you.”

Henry gave each of them a sheet of paper. The paper had
the following quotes printed upon it:

1. “Science without religion is lame, religion without

science is blind.” - Albert Einstein.
2. “Things do not change; we change.” - Henry David
3. “To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire
wisdom, one must observe.” -Marilyn vos Savant
4. “Life is a long lesson in humility.” - James M. Barrie
5. “Death’s brother, Sleep.” - Virgil

“I really like the first quote,” said Marie. “Religion

without science is indeed blind!”
“I like the second quote,” said Richard. “Things don’t
change. That’s because God built everything upon Truth.
Truth never changes. We’re the ones who change.”
“These are really good quotes,” Andrew remarked. “But
I’m wondering about the last one. Sleep is the brother of
“Would you like me to explain that?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Yes, please!” Andrew was eager to know what it meant.
But so were the others.
Dr. Singh asked Henry to get something. Henry brought
it and Dr. Singh held it up for all of them to see. It was a big
poster. On it was a diagram. There was a large circle. At
one end there was an arrow that penetrated the circle. The
arrow went through the circle and came out of the circle at
the other end. At the first point was a label that said Birth -
Enter, and at the other point of the circle was a label that
said Death - Exit.
“The life of this world is like this diagram here,” said Dr.

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Singh. “We enter this world at one point and then we leave
it at another point.”
“It looks like a big bubble!” exclaimed Jim.
“I think I’m beginning to understand!” said Andrew. “The
life of this world is just like a dream! When we are dreaming
everything is so real. And we realize that we were dreaming
only when we wake up!”
Dr. Singh smiled. He didn’t really need to explain any-
thing. They were figuring it out all on their own!
“So now it makes sense,” went on Andrew. “When we
sleep we’re dreaming. Then we wake up. When we wake up
- we see the reality and we know that we were dreaming.
And if the life of this world is just like a dream - then death
is pretty similar to sleep. Because after death - oh my God!”
“What happened?” asked Jim. “After death -what?!”
“Don’t you see?” said Andrew. “After death - we shall
wake up! And that’s when we shall know that the life of this
world was a mere dream! That’s when we shall see reality!”


R ichard wasn’t in the mood to take a nap. They had

reached a very exciting point in their search for
truth and his mind was thirsty for more information. Richard
dearly wanted to go back to class but it was two hours
away. So he went to the library and began surfing the
Actually, everyone except Martha flocked to the library.
“Good, very good!” said Richard smiling in glee.
“Serves him right!”
Andrew heard Richard’s words and walked over to him.
“Serves who right?” he asked.
“It’s this guy, Jack Whittaker,” replied Richard. “He was
a Powerball winner. Won nearly 315 million dollars in 2002!
After taxes he got a lump sum of 113 million dollars!”
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“You serious!?” cried Andrew. “113 million dollars!!

Wow! That’s a lotta money!”
“But it was bad for him,” said Richard. “How do you
think people feel when something like that happens? One
man getting the sum of 113 million dollars - for doing
absolutely nothing? It’s not fair, is it?”
“Hmm. It doesn’t sound fair to me,” said Andrew. “He
just got lucky. And other people weren’t lucky.”
“What are you two talking about?” asked Jim coming
over. “What’s all this about 113 million dollars?”
They told him about Jack Whittaker. Jim whistled loudly.
It attracted the attention of Amy and Marie. They walked
over to listen to the story as well.
“When someone wins that kind of money - and that too
for doing nothing - people don’t like it,” said Richard.
“Guess what happened? Thieves cleaned out his bank
accounts - and he is now broke!”
“Really?! Are you saying that this guy has got nothing
now?!” cried Marie.
Richard nodded. “And he’s up to his eye-balls in debt!
And you know what? After this guy won the lottery, it was
such big news. Look at this....” He pointed to the screen.
There was a snapshot of Jack, his wife Jewell and “Today”
host Matt Lauer on NBC. And beneath the snapshot were
some words. Jim read it out loud.

Whittaker and wife Jewell discuss the jackpot

with“Today” host Matt Lauer on NBC shortly after
theirwin. Jewell later said, “I wish I would have torn
the ticket up.”

“Fancy wishing to tear a ticket worth 315 million dol-

lars!” commented Andrew.


“After they won this money - life didn’t get better for
them. It got worse,” said Richard. “Jack Whittaker has run
into problems galore after winning the lottery. All the money
that he had won couldn’t save his granddaughter’s life. She
died of drug over dose. He has been sued for bouncing
checks at several casinos - he has been ordered to undergo
rehabilitation after being arrested on drunken driving
charges - his vehicles and business have been burglarized -
thieves have cleaned out his bank accounts -and he has been
sued by the father of an 18-year-old boy who was found
dead in his house.”
“Those are terrible problems!” said Marie. “But some-
how I don’t feel sorry for this guy.”
“Neither do I,” said Andrew. “This lottery and gambling
stuff isn’t good. It’s evil.”
“I’ve been doing some research on gambling,” said
Richard. “And you are not going to believe what I found!”
He printed out a few pages. Clearing his throat, Richard
read out:

If you feel lucky, don’t play the lottery! Your odds

of winning are awful! You have better chances of
getting into a car accident, plane accident, or struck
by lightning, than to win your lottery.

Andrew chuckled in amusement.

“It’s crazy, isn’t it? Wait - here’s some more,” said Rich-
ard. “Did you know that one-third of people in the United
States think winning the lottery is the only way to become
financially secure in life?!”
“Wow! I had no idea how many people were hooked on
this!” cried Jim.
“Do you know why people are so hooked on this?” went

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on Richard. “Well - it’s because they are drawn in by the

huge amount they can win. Lotteries require a low stake
and you can potentially win millions of dollars. However
people tend to overestimate their chances of something
good happening - even if the odds are terrible. I mean - I
really wonder if people understand what it means to have a
one-in-a-14-million chance. Do you know what a big
number 14 million is?!”
“With those odds - it’s certain that I would never win the
lottery,” said Jim. “I would much rather give my money in
charity - or help someone than blow it on lotteries and slot-
“Spending money on lotteries is like taking some dollar
bills and setting them on fire!” said Andrew. “Dr. Singh is
right about gambling. It’s an evil thing wrapped in a pleas-
ing package.”
“I wonder what God will do to people who choose the
evil things,” said Amy. “I really want to know what happens
on the Day of Judgment.”
Richard smiled. “I’m as eager as you are to know that!”
he said. “I can’t wait to get back to class!”
Dr. Singh was waiting for them in class after their two
hour break. They entered the classroom full of enthusiasm.
Dr. Singh stood before the black door.
“Well friends,” he said. “I’m sure you are curious to
know more about what happens on the other side of this
door. But before we discuss that - is there anything you
want say? Or talk about? Anything that’s on your mind
regarding what we’ve learnt so far?”
Andrew raised his hand. “I’m thinking - how foolish
people are. Because they live for the life of this world.”
Richard thought about himself. He had spent most of his
life running after comforts, luxuries and worldly pleasures.


Things that were part of a dream!

He nodded in agreement. “I can see things so clearly
now,” he said. “We run after materialistic things. We acquire
knowledge that will help us live here more comfortably. And
all our efforts are for worldy gain. For pomp and show.”
“And in this dream all that people want to do is enjoy
themselves!” said Andrew. “All they want is money, money
and more money! And all the stuff that money can buy. All
they wanna do is enjoy themselves as much as possible!”
“Oh, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the good
things in life,” said Dr. Singh. “You can enjoy good food for
example. And God has provided us with such a vast variety
of food. Think about all those fruits and vegetables. Ba-
nanas, apples, oranges, mangoes, guavas, pomegranates,
grapes. Milk and eggs. Meat - chicken, beef, fish and mut-
ton. And a great variety of seafood - such as shrimp, lobster,
“Yes - it’s really amazing how much variety there is to
choose from!” remarked Marie.
“You can be fair and honest with your dealings with
people,” went on Dr. Singh. “And you can enjoy the respect
and honor that people give you because of your honesty.
You can enjoy the company of good friends and relatives.
You can show kindness to your neighbors and those in need.
You can show mercy and compassion to others. In return
you get people’s love, regard and affection. Believe me,
there’s much joy in giving.”
Martha nodded. “It’s true,” she said. “I feel great joy in
giving to people. It feels better to give than to receive!”
“So the good life - yes - you can enjoy a good life here
on earth,” went on Dr. Singh. “All you would need to do is
stay away from evil things. And your life will automatically
be good and blessed. Your life would be better than the lives

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of those people who drink, gamble or take drugs.”

Amy looked at Richard and smiled. Dr. Singh had men-
tioned gambling. That was something she would certainly
stay away from!
“Think of all the problems that a person addicted to
alcohol faces,” said Dr. Singh. “A person who doesn’t drink
doesn’t face those kinds of problems. Those who stay away
from alcohol are better off. Their lives are better. They are
free. And much more free than an alcoholic or chain smoker.
Evil habits are hard to break. One sip leads to another - then
another. It always starts with the first step! But if people
resisted that urge to try evil things - if they practised re-
straint - there’s no doubt at all that their lives would be a
whole lot better! So the good life - what is it? It’s a life
where you are not enslaved to evil things. So you see -
practising restraint and doing good - leads to a happy life. A
life that you can enjoy.”
“I agree,” said Richard. “If we stay away from evil -we
can enjoy life better!”
“God has provided us with a lot of good things for our
enjoyment,” continued Dr. Singh. “It’s not wrong to look at
a woman with desire for example - if she happens to be your
wife! Marriage is one of the good things in life. And we can
enjoy marital bliss by remaining faithful to one another. The
result is a happy family - with a rock solid foundation. A
family that enjoys peace and security. That would be what I
call a good life!”
“Are you married, Dr. Singh?” asked Amy.
There was a brief silence and Marie wished she didn’t
look too interested.
“No, I’m not married,” replied Dr. Singh visibly amused.
Henry couldn’t help speaking. “He says he’s waiting for
the right woman,” he said. “And at this rate I’m afraid he is


never going to find her!”

“What do you mean, Henry?” asked Amy.
“He’s too fussy!” responded Henry. “She should be like
this and she should be like that! She shouldn’t be like this
and she shouldn’t be like that! She shouldn’t have an atom’s
weight of pride in her! And the type of woman he is looking
for - I doubt if she even exists on this planet! And besides -
he is too busy. He never stays still!”
Dr. Singh opened his mouth to protest. But Henry wasn’t
going to stop.
“You see, friends,” he said. “Dr. Singh has big plans. He
is very ambitious. He wants to build a huge orphanage in
India. And that is all he can think of! He is always thinking
about other people. And he wants to do everything he can
to reduce pain and suffering in this world by educating and
helping little children. So if he gets married, his wife would
have to go to India and help him with his work. Not at all an
easy task - I must say! Going to India and working with
orphans - how many women would be willing to do that?!”
“Henry - please stop!” cried Dr. Singh. “I do want to get
married - but I won’t marry simply anyone! I’m waiting for
the right woman to come into my life - and when she does, I
shall certainly marry her.”
“But it’s been ages! And you always say that,
Suryaveer!” retorted Henry. “You should think about
yourself sometimes!”
Marie was touched by the concern that Henry showed for
Dr. Singh. What a deep friendship there was between the
two men!
“Could you tell us more about this orphanage?” asked
Martha. The idea of building an orphanage and taking care
of children was very appealing to her. There was something
noble and wonderful about it.

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“Alright - since Henry has already spilled the beans...”

said Dr. Singh. “I didn’t want anyone to know about this.
It’s a secret project that’s been on my mind for many years.”
He looked at Henry in mock anger. “It’s not a secret any-
more - thanks to Henry’s big mouth!”
Henry grinned. He knew that his dear friend would never
talk about it. He would never tell anyone that he wanted to
build an orphanage as well as a school. That he planned to
hire thousands of people to work at the orphanage and
create employment opportunities for people. He wasn’t
going to tell anyone about it. And the reason was - he
wanted to run the whole thing and yet didn’t want anyone
to know that he was behind it! Dr. Singh believed in some-
thing called charity done in secret.
“I just have a soft corner for orphans,” said Dr. Singh.
“And I want to do everything in my power to take care of
them and help them. I’ve dreamed of doing this since I was
a teenager. It’s a big project and the operation will be on a
massive scale. I’m thankful to God - this is no longer a
dream! We have been fortunate to receive the sum of a
million dollars - from a very kindly gentleman. We now have
the funds to at least get started on this project. We’ll be
building an orphanage and school pretty soon.”
“You’re going to build a school too?” asked Amy in
Dr. Singh nodded. “Of course! What point is there in
building an orphanage - and not a school to educate them
about the reality of this worldly life? What better thing can
there be for the orphans than a school? A place where they
can learn about Truth and the real meaning and significance
of life! A place where they can learn to express themselves
and receive education that will prepare them for death and
the Hereafter!”


“Wow! That means it isn’t going to be an ordinary

school,” remarked Jim.
“No - it isn’t going to be ordinary,” said Dr. Singh. “And
the teachers that will be appointed will need to go through
special training to teach these kids.”
“And I figure they are going to be taught the same things
that we are learning at this retreat,” said Marie.
“Yes certainly!” said Dr. Singh enthusiastically. “I really
do prefer to teach kids. Adults are more difficult to teach.
Adults have many things to unlearn whereas children don’t
have to unlearn anything. I can start with a fresh new slate
with every child. And he or she will learn early in life to
think and ponder -and then accept the Truth. Frankly I
believe that the gift of Truth is the best gift that you can
give a child.”
“I wish I had met you when I was little!” said Andrew
emotionally. He hadn’t told anyone but he was an orphan
too! He had lost his parents at the tender age of 3. A couple
had adopted him but because of their mistreatment of him
the government had to intervene and take him away from
their custody. Since then he had foster parents look after
him. He had gone from one home to another. And he had
been unhappy, rebellious and angry, for those foster moms
and dads didn’t really care about him. They took him into
their homes only because they were paid by the government
to do so. And each home had a shaky, unstable foundation.
It gave him no peace or security. He thought about all his
foster parents. They were dishonest, mean-minded people
running after nothing but money. What did they care about
an orphan? As a consequence Andrew had gone astray and
ended up in bad company.
Dr. Singh looked at Andrew and narrowed his eyes. “You
are an orphan?!”

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Andrew nodded his head. “And I sure am glad I came to

this retreat, Dr. Singh! You given me a wonderful gift. The
gift of Truth. And I shall be forever obliged to you for all
that you done for me!”
Dr. Singh walked over to Andrew and patted him gently
on the shoulder. “Orphans are special,” he said. “And you
are very special. I just want you to know that. You’re not an
orphan by choice. This is something decreed by God. You
have learned that nothing is within our control except our
actions. Everything else is controlled by God.”
Andrew nodded. “I understand,” he said. “But why does
God make some of us orphans? Isn’t this injustice?”
“Injustice?!” cried Dr. Singh. “You think God is unjust to
make you an orphan? No, Andrew - no. God is not unjust.”
Dr. Singh walked to the blackboard and drew a large
circle. He drew the same diagram that they had seen before
- the diagram that showed that the life of this world was
nothing but a dream.


“F rom this diagram,” said Dr. Singh, “you can see

that the life of this world is not everlasting. It’s
temporary. It comes to an end. It’s just like a dream from
which all of us will wake up. From this diagram it’s pretty
clear that whatever pleasures people go after - they are not
going to last. But it’s also clear that misfortunes and miser-
ies that befall us are not going to last either!”
“You’re right!” said Marie. “Death puts an end to all our
pleasures - as well as our miseries!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “I like the way you put it,” he said.
“Death puts an end to all our miseries. Now that’s impor-
tant! Think about all the unfortunate people that are out
there. People who are blind. People who are deaf and dumb.
Some cannot walk. Others are suffering from terrible dis-
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eases. Some children have lost their mothers. Others their

fathers. Still others have lost both. Then what about women
who have lost their husbands? And husbands who have lost
their beloved wives? What about parents who have lost their
children? Think about all the calamities that can befall us!
There are so many of them. Don’t you listen to the news?
Don’t you hear reports about natural disasters? News about
earthquakes, hurricanes and floods - that claim the lives of
thousands of people in one stroke? Hunger, sickness,
disease, fatigue. Old age, senility and decrepitude. Mental
insanity. Naturally you are going to ask the question - why.
Why does God send down these calamities upon us? Why is
one person rolling around in luxury, comfort and filthy
riches while another is begging people for food in order to
Richard had often wondered about these things and he
had never been able to understand why things happened the
way they did. Now, he listened attentively to Dr. Singh. “Dr.
Singh has an explanation for everything!” he thought.
Dr. Singh went on with his speech. “I’ll tell you why,” he
said. “It’s because God created the life of this world for only
one reason. To test us. So because the life of this world is a
test - it makes perfect sense why God has given people
differing fortunes. This world comprises of all kinds of
people. Some are poor, some are rich. Some are wise, some
are foolish. Some are talented and others are not so tal-
ented. So I want you to think a little! Don’t you think God
could have created all of us with the same talents, abilities
and fortunes? He could have made all of us rich - and
healthy. Right?”
“Yes! I really do wonder. Why didn’t God make all of us
rich - and healthy?” said Jim.
“Because He is the Most Wise,” said Dr. Singh smiling.


“You see, if He had made all of us rich - then none of us

would be in need of anything. All of us would have what-
ever we desire. And if that was the case - then nobody
would be in need of generosity. Or mercy. Or kindness.
People wouldn’t know what these things meant either. They
wouldn’t know what generosity was. What mercy or kind-
ness was. The fact of the matter is - you understand the
meaning of a thing - only when you see its opposite. You
understand what generosity and kindness is when you see a
person who is not generous, when you see a person who is
stingy and unkind. You understand what mercy is when you
see a person who is not merciful. You understand the
meaning of justice when you see a person who is unjust and
unfair. You understand the meaning of goodness when you
see its opposite - evil. So think! If everything was good -
how could there be a test? With no wrong choices to make -
a test would not be possible at all!”
Richard nodded. It made sense to him. “I agree,” he said.
“If there was no evil in this world - we wouldn’t know nor
understand the meaning of goodness.”
“Wow! I never thought of it that way!” exclaimed An-
“And another thing,” went on Dr. Singh. “If all of us
were healthy, we wouldn’t ever appreciate what we have,
would we? We realize the value of a thing we possess - only
when we lose it. Meaning - it is only when we lose our
health that we begin to appreciate what we had. So if there
weren’t such possibilities - of people being unhealthy - and
suffering from sickness, disease and ill health - we would
never have understood the meaning of good health.”
“I’m amazed at God’s wisdom!” said Marie in admira-
tion. “He has knowledge of all things! And there’s a reason
for everything that He does!”

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“So think about it! If there were no blind people in this

world,” said Dr. Singh. “Would you ever be thankful for the
gift of sight that you have?! If there were no deaf and dumb
people - would you ever be thankful that you have the
ability to hear and speak?!”
“You’re right Dr. Singh,” said Jim. “It’s only when we
see a blind person that we begin to appreciate the eyesight
that we have. God could have made us blind too.”
“So when you see a blind person - what does that teach
you?” continued Dr. Singh. “It teaches you that God could
have made you blind as well! And when you think about it -
you learn to appreciate what you have.”
“And thank God for it!” said Andrew. “But what about
the person who is blind? Why does God make him suffer
like that?”
“You might think that it’s a bad thing for a person to be
blind,” said Dr. Singh. “But what you think is bad is in
reality good.”
“How come, Dr. Singh? I really wanna know how it can
be good!” said Andrew.
“It’s good because the blindness of this person prevents
him from seeing evil. For example - the vulgar display of
women’s half-naked bodies, pornography, violence and
bloodshed. Can you imagine a blind man feeling lustful? Can
you imagine him having a great desire to watch movies that
are full of sex and scandal? Can you imagine him drinking
alcohol and then driving under its influence? He’s blind - so
he is never going to drink and drive. He is never going to
land in jail for that offence. His blindness prevents him from
getting into a lot of evil. You can apply the same logic to a
person who is deaf and dumb. Being deaf is good. Being
dumb is good. Why? Because it prevents people from
listening to evil - and from speaking evil. It prevents them


from listening to lies, gossip and slander. It prevents them

from cursing, using foul language, speaking ill of others and
telling lies. Believe me - it’s all good!”
Marie’s admiration for Dr. Singh had grown and grown.
“What a wonderful explanation!” she thought.
Dr. Singh carried on with his speech. “As for those of us
who think that we are better off because we have eyesight
and the ability to hear and speak. Well - just think how
much evil we could do with all these abilities that have been
bestowed upon us! Those who have eyesight use it to see
evil things. Those who can hear - use their ears to listen to
evil. And worst of all -its our ability to speak and tell lies -
which can go against us big time! Frankly the dumb people
are better off than we are! And besides - you must remem-
ber that the majority of people who have lived and are living
- the majority of them are not disabled. Those who suffer
from disabilities are only a small fraction of the entire
human population. The blind people of this world are a
minority. The majority of us can see.” He looked at Amy.
“One more thing. Do you feel sad when you hear about the
death of a little child?”
“Yes, I do!” Martha instantly. “When I hear news about
babies and little children dying - it really breaks my heart!”
“Well - that’s how most people feel,” said Dr. Singh.
“You might think - oh what a terrible thing to happen! That
the child didn’t even get a chance to live his life! You might
even feel the same way about young men and women - who
die when they are at the prime of their life. Remember
Kennedy? And Princess Diana? You feel sorry for these
people. But if you would think a little - you would come to
realize that their early death was good for them. Why?
Because if they had lived longer, they might have committed
more crimes and sins. If a child had grown up to be an adult

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- he or she might have done a lot of evil things. But since

they died early - they were prevented from doing all those
things. It’s actually good for us to die when we are children
- because children cannot be held accountable for the things
that they do. Only adults are accountable for their actions.”
“Accountability....” muttered Richard fearfully.
“And besides,” went on Dr. Singh, “a person who dies
young is spared of all the problems that he or she would
have to face in old age. Problems such as loss of memory,
weakness, and all kinds of diseases, mental as well as
Marie sighed. “We think that we know what is good and
what is not. But in reality we don’t really know!”
Dr. Singh then withdrew a white sheet of paper from the
drawer and held it up for them to see. It was blank. He
placed the paper on the table and with his black ink pen
made a little black dot in the center. Then he held it up again
for them to see. “What do you see?” he asked.
“A little black dot,” said Richard.
It was so obvious. Everyone nodded. That’s what they
saw too. A tiny little dot in the middle of the paper.
Dr. Singh smiled. “That’s how the people of this world
look at things,” he said. “They see only this tiny dot. They
don’t see this vast portion of white space that is around this
dot! In other words, when anything bad happens to people -
that is all that they can see! They completely forget the
overwhelming amount of good that is around them! This
black dot represents the tiny amount of afflictions and
hardships that God sends down upon us. And the white
portion here represents the amount of good that He has
given us. It represents the uncountable favors of God that
we receive every single day!”
“God is Great!” cried Jim.


“I’m thankful that God didn’t make me blind!” said

Andrew. “He took away my parents but He didn’t take
away my eyesight! Or my hearing! I can walk, run and
dance! I am healthy and not suffering from diseases! Thank
“So you see my friends,” said Dr. Singh. “God is Wise.
There’s a reason for everything He does. And if He sends
down upon us any calamity - it’s only to test us and see how
grateful we are to Him.”
“Yes - it makes sense now,” said Jim. “The life of this
world is nothing but a test. And I can see that all things
happen only by the will of God. I am grateful -really I am!
Dr. Singh you have opened my eyes! I never gave thought
to all the tragedies that happen to other people. I hardly
ever think that those same tragedies could also happen to
me! God could have made me blind, deaf, dumb - but He
“I’m grateful too!” said Martha. “All these years of my
life - God has kept me safe. Some of my friends died in a
car crash and a good friend of mine died of cancer. It was
not that they chose to die that way. God determined that for
them. He could have determined that for me too. So I’m
grateful! I really am grateful!”
“It’s good to know that you are grateful to God,” said
Dr. Singh. “But most people are ungrateful. Do you remem-
ber that terrible tsunami that was in the news a few years
ago? It was in the year 2004. Thousands of people were
killed. More than 220,000 people.”
“Yes, I remember!” said Jim. “It was all over the news.
Made major headlines because so many people died!”
“Well - a lot of people were angered over the great loss
of life,” said Dr. Singh. “They wondered how God could kill
so many people like that. There was anger and displeasure

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expressed over this disaster. During calamities like these

people are quick to forget the uncountable favors and gifts
they have received from God. They focus only on the bad
and forget about the good. They fail to see - that yes - a lot
of people were killed in the tsunami - and it was a tragedy.
But billions more lives were spared! It is certainly in God’s
power to wipe out the entire civilization of mankind on
earth with a single blow. But He spares most of us. This is
something people don’t see at all. Think about the number
of people who died in the tsunami - 220,000 people. That’s
a small number compared to the number of people that
were spared. God spared the lives of more than 5 billion
people! He spared you and He spared me! How many
people considered this fact?!”
Jim praised God. “God is Great!” he cried.
“And So Merciful!” added Richard.
“You know what?” said Dr. Singh. “If I were to give you
two choices, I am absolutely positive that you would select
the choice of great poverty. Not the choice of great riches.”
“You mean we would choose to be poor rather than
rich?” said Marie.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, most certainly! Tell me...what
would you prefer? To be a millionaire who cannot see, hear
and walk or a very poor person who can see, hear and
They all looked at each other.
“Man! I’d be crazy if I chose the first option!” said
“You’re right, Dr. Singh,” said Marie. “I would defi-
nitely prefer to be poor! And now I realize what a luxury
and privilege it is to be able to see, hear and walk! Thank
God for all His mercies!”


T he sky was clear and the stars twinkled brightly.

There was a chill in the air. They sat in a circle
around a campfire and warmed their hands.
“Isn’t it wonderful?!” said Amy. “Dr. Singh is going to
roast some chicken for us tonight!”
Andrew looked at Amy sadly. It was wonderful to sit
under the stars, around the campfire, in the company of
good friends - and eat a good meal. But their stay at the
retreat was going to end soon. There were only two more
days left before they headed back home.
“I’ve really enjoyed myself at this retreat,” he said. “I’ve
been counting the days - and this is our eighth day. In two
days it will all be over.”
Richard pulled his blanket more closely around him. He
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stared at the campfire, lost in thought. Andrew was count-

ing the days? He was counting too. But it wasn’t the days at
the retreat he was counting. He was counting the days he
had left to live.
“I’m going to die soon,” he said his voice shaky with
feeling. “But I’m glad in a way. I’m glad that I got this
disease for which there is no cure. I think it’s a blessing in
Amy got up and sat down beside Richard. “I’m so
sorry!” she said.
“No, don’t be sorry!” he responded. “If I had not got this
disease I would have carried on with my life, living fool-
ishly. Interested only in making more money. When the
doctor told me I had only a few more months left to live - I
felt as if my entire life was shattered. But actually that was
the best thing that ever happened to me! It made me want to
know what was the meaning of life - and what happened
after death. I thank God for giving me this disease! Really!
If it wasn’t for this disease I wouldn’t have come here. I
wouldn’t have found out about the existence of God. Or
that the life of this world was created for no other reason
than to test us!”
“Isn’t it strange that things that seem bad for us are in
reality blessings in disguise?” remarked Marie. “We really
need to thank Dr. Singh. If he hadn’t explained things to us
- so beautifully as he did - we would still have been in the
dark. Without understanding. We would still be thinking that
we are better off than the blind, deaf and dumb people of
this world!”
“Yes, but there’s one thing that frightens me,” said
Richard. “It’s that thing called accountability. And the Day
of Judgment.”
“There’s nothing to be frightened about,” said Martha.


“God is love. He loves us and He cares about us.”

“I would like to believe that,” said Richard. “But all the
things that I’ve done in life! I don’t know - it just makes me
“I’m very glad that there’s a Day of Judgment!” said
Andrew. “If you been in prison - you would know! There
are innocent people who done nothing who are in jail. It’s
not fair! And people who are guilty - they are roaming
around in the streets free! So I’m glad there’s a Day of
Judgment. I’m sure God will see to it that everybody gets
“Well, we had better start solving the mystery that Dr.
Singh gave us,” said Jim. “When Henry and Dr. Singh come
back here with the food - we need to have some answers!”
“What was the mystery? Ah yes! Dr. Singh had asked us
to answer a very simple question,” said Richard. “And the
question was - how should a man live his life.”
“This has to be easy,” said Andrew thinking hard. “We
have solved many mysteries so far. This one shouldn’t be a
problem at all.”
“Well - we don’t have Dr. Singh here to help us out on
this one,” said Martha.
“Oh, come on! We can certainly find out the answer all
by ourselves,” retorted Andrew. “Let’s remember what Dr.
Singh taught us.”
“Hmmm. I remember! The key to solving any mystery is
in observation!” said Marie.
“Yeah, but observe what? What are we supposed to
observe?!” said Andrew.
“Okay - the question is - how should a man live his life,”
said Marie, “so I think we must observe how other animals
live their lives. I mean there are obvious differences between
us and animals. Animals know how to live. Whereas we

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“Code of conduct! That’s right! God didn’t give man his
code of conduct. He is born ignorant,” said Jim remember-
ing his previous lessons.
“And he is also very needy. We have so many needs! Man
is the neediest creature on this planet.”
“That’s a valid observation,” commented Richard. “It’s
certainly true that we have many needs. And God is the only
One who can give us what we need. And He does!”
“I remember!” cried Jim. “Nothing is ours. Everything
belongs to God. And we are totally dependent on Him. For
everything! Food, water, air, shelter, clothes etcetera,
etcetera, etcetera!”
“What was that quote - I can’t remember who said it,”
said Andrew, “but he said something like - life was a long
lesson in humility.”
“I have that quote!” said Marie withdrawing a piece of
paper from her pocket. She read the quote. “It was James
Barrie who said it.”
“Then it’s pretty clear how man should live his life,” said
Richard firmly.
“How?!” they all asked in chorus.
Richard smiled. “Praying - of course!”
“Hurrah! We solved the mystery!” cried Amy excitedly.
Then she saw two figures emerge from the Round House.
“Oh look! It’s Dr. Singh and Henry!”
Dr. Singh and Henry were carrying some baskets in their
arms. Dr. Singh put aside his basket and sat down to join
the company sitting around the campfire. “So friends! I
hope you have been able to solve the mystery I posed to
you,” he said. “Can you tell me - how man should live his
Marie raised her hand. “Man should live his life in humil-


ity. And prayer.”

“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “That’s the right answer!
Man needs to pray to God for everything. We don’t have
control over anything except our actions. But even there -
we need to pray to God for help. More than anything else -
we need God’s help in showing us how we should act.”
Richard was thoughtful. “I didn’t think of that!” he
exclaimed. “But you are right - as always. We need God’s
help for everything - including how to live our lives. And
especially that - since we are born in total ignorance!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “So that means you now know in
which area we need the most help. We pray to God for all
our needs. But this happens to be our greatest need!
Richard suddenly realized what it was. “Guidance! That’s
what we need the most!” he cried.
Dr. Singh nodded. “We have many needs and we have to
pray to God for providing us with all that we need. We pray
to God for our needs - as well as our wants. We can pray to
God to provide us with a nice house to live in, fancy cars to
drive, for more money, status and success in this worldly
life. We can pray to Him for all kinds of worldly comforts
and luxuries. And guess what? He can give you all that you
desire. After all He is the One who has power over all
things. Only He has the power to grant you what you want.
But all these things that you pray for - materialistic wealth
and worldly success - is it any good? If the life of this world
is like a dream - then all these things that you pray to God
for - they are pretty useless. All those things are going to
vanish into thin air. You can’t hold on to the things that you
have in a dream, can you? So if you must pray to God for
anything - it must be guidance. You should pray to Him to
show you how to live your life!”

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“I now realize how foolish I’ve been!” said Richard. “All

my life I’ve been running after things that cannot benefit me.
Things that are temporary. Everything I ever did in life - it’s
all been in vain!”
“But now you know what the truth is,” said Dr. Singh
kindly. “That is all that matters, my friend. Consider yourself
fortunate that you have realized where you stand. There are
many people in this world who remain in the darkness of
ignorance. They are headed towards utter doom and ruin.
But - you are not one of them! Not if you accept the Truth
with all your heart.”
Richard felt comforted. “Thank you, Dr. Singh. You do
know how to make me feel better!”
“Okay - so I had asked you a question,” said Dr. Singh.
“How should man live his life? You were correct in saying
that he should spend his life praying to God. But praying to
God for what? For guidance. But there’s something else.
Something pretty obvious which you have missed.”
“Now that’s something you’re gonna have to tell us,”
said Andrew.
“Cleanliness, my friend!” revealed Dr. Singh. “It’s pretty
clear that man faces all kinds of problems if he doesn’t keep
clean. This is something most evident. Animals don’t need
to wash their hands before they eat. But man does. Animals
don’t need to wash their hands after answering the call of
nature. But people have to wash their hands after using the
toilet. Animals don’t need to cook their food. They eat their
food raw. Just think! If a lion were to eat some beef that is
uncooked - that isn’t going to harm him in the least. But if
we were to eat meat that is not cooked -we are going to get
into serious trouble. I wonder -have you ever heard of E.
coli? E. coli is short for Escherichia coli.”
“What is that!?” asked Amy.


“It’s a germ. You can be infected with the E. coli germ if

you don’t cook your beef long enough! The doctors advise
people to follow some rules so that they don’t get this
deadly E. coli infection. They tell you to wash your hands
carefully with soap before you start cooking. You have to
cook beef until you see no pink anywhere. You must not
taste small bites of raw beef while you are cooking. You
must never put cooked hamburgers on a plate that had raw
beef on it before. They tell you to cook your hamburgers to
at least 155°F. Not only that they tell you to defrost your
meat in the refrigerator or the microwave. They tell you not
to let the meat sit of the counter to defrost. And if raw meat
and poultry has touched your cutting board and dishes -
they tell you to use hot water and soap to get it off! This is
not all. You are also advised not to drink raw milk!”
“Oh my God! I never knew all this!” cried Andrew.
“It’s pretty clear. Man has to maintain cleanliness in every
part of his life. He has to drink clean water and clean food.
He has to keep his house clean, neat and tidy. He has to
keep his body clean. His teeth have to be cleaned as well. If
a man doesn’t keep clean - what will happen? People
wouldn’t want to associate with him. They will shun him,
ostracize him. Because a dirty man is very repellent. If he
doesn’t clean himself, his body would give off a horrible
odour. His hair would be unkempt and full of lice. His
mouth would stink.....”
“Uuuggh! Stop, Dr. Singh!” cried Marie putting her
hands to her ears.
“So how should man live his life?” continued Dr. Singh.
“He should keep clean. And it doesn’t matter in what age
you live in. It doesn’t matter what country you are from. All
men must keep clean. In the past, people were ignorant.
Doctors who handled dead bodies didn’t wash their hands.

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And from the mortuary they went to assist women who

were in labor. This resulted in more deaths. Why? Because
the doctors didn’t wash their hands! Today - you will find
that doctors take great care when performing surgery. They
will wear gloves and sterilize everything. Hospitals take
great care in maintaining cleanliness.”
“I agree!” said Marie. “Isn’t there a saying - cleanliness is
next to godliness?”
“You are right again, Dr. Singh,” said Jim in admiration.


I t felt wonderful to be outdoors beneath the stars. It

was a night that they were never going to forget. It
was to remain in their minds for the rest of their lives. For it
was on that night that they learned something about God
which made them tremble with fear.
They were talking about their stay at the retreat. There
were two more days left before they headed back home.
Henry was grilling some chicken on the grill - a few feet
away. Amy couldn’t wait to eat.
“I have really enjoyed myself!” she said. “Thank you so
much for everything, Dr. Singh!”
Andrew nodded. “We had a great time here,” he said. “It
was no hardship for us at all. All these things we are learn-
ing - they are so important! Whatever discomfort we might
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have faced over here - I think it’s a small price to pay.

“What you teach over here is marvelous,” said Jim in
agreement. “I only wish more people knew about this
“We really must thank you, Dr. Singh,” said Marie, “for
making clear so many things.”
“Oh, don’t thank me,” said Dr. Singh modestly. “Thank
God. He is the One who guided you to be here and He is
the only One who can grant people understanding. This is
not within my control.”
“But we could never have solved any of the mysteries
without your help,” said Marie.
“Believe me,” Dr. Singh responded, “I’m only looking
out for myself. I am actually a very selfish person.”
Marie wondered. How could that be? He was planning
on building an orphanage and a school. He loved orphans
and children. He desired to educate them. He was helping
other people - such as themselves to find the Truth and he
was organizing retreats for this purpose. How on earth was
that being selfish? She couldn’t understand it.
“I want to know what happens on the Day of Judgment,”
said Richard suddenly. “I don’t know why - I just feel so
scared thinking about it!”
“I’ve told you before,” said Martha. “There is no need to
be scared. God loves us. And He cares about us. You’ll be
Dr. Singh smiled. “Yes - definitely God is love,” he said,
nodding his head. “And He cares for all of us. He is Most
Caring. That’s the reason why we should fear Him.”
Everyone was puzzled at this statement. If God was love
what was there to fear?
Dr. Singh explained. “It is true that God loves us all.


Every one of us. Therefore - on the Day of Judgment, He

will see to it that no one - not a single one of us - will be
Andrew was pleased. What Dr. Singh had just said was
simply wonderful!
“Let me give you an example,” went on Dr. Singh.
“There was once a poor man named Joseph. A rich man -
we’ll call him George - he hired Joseph and gave him a job.
Well - Joseph worked all day. At the end of the day Joseph
went to George and asked to be paid. But George refused
to pay Joseph his wages. Joseph went to the king and
complained. Okay now - here - I’m going to ask you a
question. What do you think of this rich man - George?”
“A villain!” cried Andrew. “He’s a thief!”
Richard nodded. “Yes, I agree. He has stolen Joseph’s
Marie was thoughtful. “George is a wrong-doer,” she
said. “He has wronged Joseph.”
“Good, very good!” said Dr. Singh. “George is a thief -
and he is a wrong-doer. Joseph is suffering because of his
wrong-doing. Okay, so let us continue with our story.
Joseph goes to the king and puts his case before him. The
king commands George to come before him. When George
appears, the king looks at him kindly. He forgives him and
tells him to go. He says that he is doing this to show how
greatly he loves all his subjects. Such was the love the king
had for his people.”
“Love! This is not love!” cried Richard. “This is foolish-
“Well - I thought George was a villain,” said Andrew.
“But this king turns out to be a greater villain!”
Dr. Singh looked at Martha. “What do you think of this
king?” he asked.

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Everyone’s eyes were now on Martha. She frowned. “I

don’t like him,” she said finally. “He is not fair.”
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “This king has been unfair.
He has been unjust to Joseph. He let George go free. And
he didn’t care about what Joseph was going through.”
“This king is a liar!” cried Marie. “He says that he loves
all his subjects - but by letting George go free - he has
shown that he loves only the wrong-doers! He doesn’t love
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “By his actions the king has
proven that he doesn’t love Joseph. He has been most unfair
and unjust. Now - tell me, do you think God is like this
“God is not foolish!” said Jim. “God cannot be like this
king at all!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “God loves all of us. Every single one
of us. So if we are kind to each other, help one another and
treat everyone well - God would be pleased. But if we
wrong one another, if we are unkind and cruel - if we are
unjust - God would not be pleased. He would see to it that
the wrong-doers are punished!”
“The wrong-doers... will be... punished?!” stammered
“Why - of course!” said Dr. Singh. “If God were not to
punish the wrong-doers - that would mean He does not love
us. Just think! There’s a man who has murdered your son.
Can you imagine God letting this murderer go free? If He
were to forgive him for this crime - God would be most
unjust. He would be unjust to the son who was murdered.
Unjust to the parents who lost their son. The son suffered
pain and his parents suffered pain. The murderer caused a
lot of grief to many people. Therefore God has to punish the
murderer. He can’t let him go. That’s for certain!”


There was a grim silence as they reflected upon what

they had just heard.
“On the Day of Judgment - every one of us will stand
before God,” Dr. Singh continued. “And if we have
wronged anyone - or any creature - even an animal - we will
have to pay for it!”
Amy turned pale. Martha felt a great wave of terror
overwhelm her. And Richard struggled hard to appear calm.
“Therefore it is important that we make amends before
we die,” went on Dr. Singh. “If you have wronged anyone
ask that person to forgive you. If you owe anyone anything,
do your best to pay him or her off. If you have been unjust
to anyone - try to correct it. But you must do all these
things before you die. Otherwise I fear the punishment you
will face for wronging God’s creatures.”
“I have wronged someone,” said Richard hesitantly, “and
it is not possible for me to ask her for forgiveness. What
shall I do?!”
“Why can’t you ask her for forgiveness?” asked Dr.
“Because.......because she is dead!” Richard was in
“That’s a grave situation,” remarked Dr. Singh. “But take
heart my friend! You are human. And it is human to make
mistakes. It’s natural for people to make mistakes - espe-
cially since they are all born in ignorance. Don’t worry.
There’s hope for you. God is Oft-Forgiving.”
“God is Forgiving?” Richard felt his spirits reviving.
Dr. Singh smiled. “Well - haven’t you heard the saying -
To err is human, to forgive divine? It is the business of
human beings to err - and God’s business to forgive!”
“But didn’t you say just now that God would be unjust to
forgive the wrong-doers?” said Richard.

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“Yes, you are right. God would be unjust to forgive the

wrong-doers. But what if the wrong-doer feels sorry for
what he has done? What if the wrong-doer is repentant?
What if he resolves never to repeat his mistake again? God
loves the person who repents. And there’s a reason for that.
A repentant person asks for forgiveness and knows what it
means to be forgiven. A repentant person is more grateful to
God than a person who has never had the need to repent!”
Richard was repentant. He was willing to do anything to
secure the forgiveness of God for what he had done. But he
wasn’t so sure God was as forgiving as Dr. Singh had said
He was.
“I need to know for sure that God will forgive me - if I
repent,” he said.
“Oh, it’s pretty simple,” said Dr. Singh. “Just imagine that
you repent and God does not forgive you for what you did.
How would you feel?”
Richard thought about it. “Then there would be no point
in repenting. No matter what I do, God is not going to
forgive me. So I might as well go on doing wrong!”
“That’s right! But it’s for God to decide who deserves
forgiveness and who doesn’t. Repentance qualifies a person
to receive forgiveness. It doesn’t guarantee it. That’s why
it’s so important to do as much good as you can. Good
deeds cancel out evil deeds, you see.”
Richard felt comforted. So all was not lost. There was
hope for him! “God is truly Great!” he said. “If He forgave
me for what I did - it will be as if He has given me a new
“My dear friend,” said Dr. Singh with a smile, “you have
no idea how merciful and great He is!”
Henry finished roasting the chicken. “Chicken’s done!”
he shouted. It was time to eat.


my was frightened and in tears. “Oh, I’m so scared!”
she sobbed. “God is going to punish me! I know He

Mrs. Patil put her arms around her. “Now, child! What’s
the matter? Why do you speak like this?”
Amy pulled herself away. “You wouldn’t understand!”
she said unhappily.
Mrs. Patil wondered what was wrong with them all. Even
Martha and Marie looked afraid, withdrawn and silent, lost
in their thoughts. “What is this about God punishing you?”
she asked Amy kindly.
“He’s going to punish me! Because I did something
terrible!” wailed Amy.
“But you are just a child!” said Mrs. Patil. “I don’t think
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God punishes little children.”

“I was a bad girl!” said Amy. “So bad! There was a little
kitten - it wasn’t a very pretty kitten....oh! What have I
“You hurt that little kitten, Amy?” Marie enquired.
Amy swallowed hard. “I just threw it...from my balcony,”
she revealed. “It didn’t die! I’m so glad that it didn’t! But
that was a bad thing to do!”
Martha listened to all this in silence. What Amy had done
was nothing compared to her own deeds. Her past life
flashed before her eyes. She saw the people she had
wronged. The lies she had told. The people she had be-
trayed. The affairs she had had behind her husband’s back.
Her husband - she had wronged him the most! The daughter
they had was not his! She couldn’t even ask her husband to
forgive her. He had died of a heart attack the year before.
Panic rose in her throat as she thought about all the evil she
had done. Dr. Singh was right. The longer a person lived -
the more the evil he or she would do! She wished she had
died in her childhood. That would indeed have been a good
thing for her!
Marie was comforting Amy. “It’s going to be alright
Amy,” she said to her soothingly. “Remember what Dr.
Singh had said? He had said that children are not account-
able for the things they do. And besides - you are feeling
sorry for what you did, right? That’s important. If you feel
sorry for what you did, God will certainly forgive you.
Especially you - because you are not yet an adult.”
Amy wiped her tears with her sleeve. “Really?! Oh
Marie! I’m so glad!” She threw her arms around her in
gratitude. “If God forgives me - then He is the best God in
the whole world!”
Marie smiled. “He is the only God there is, Amy.” she


reminded her.
Mrs. Patil frowned. The women were behaving strange
that night. “I’m going to bed!” she declared. “You had
better go to bed too! I’m turning the lights off.” Soon she
was fast asleep.
But Martha was unable to sleep. She stared at the ceiling
thinking. There were many things that she had discovered
and learnt at the retreat that had destroyed her erroneous
views. She had been wrong about a lot of things. So now
she knew that God was not like a man. But man was like
God in one sense. Man was a creator just as God was a
creator. Jesus could not have died for the sins of mankind.
There was nothing in the Bible as far as she could remember
that supported this idea. Evidence. That was the most
important part, wasn’t it? If she believed in anything - there
had to be evidence to support that belief. Otherwise it was a
blind belief. Such was the reasoning that Dr. Singh had
taught them. And it made sense to her. Last of all she had
believed all her life that God loved everyone uncondition-
ally. Because of such a belief she had not taken life seriously
at all. She thought about the number of churches that had
signs and boards that loudly proclaimed the news “God
loves you! God loves you!” She began to feel disgust then.
Because she knew what those words implied. The implica-
tion was that God loved everyone so much that He over-
looked their sins and forgave them for everything. The
implication was God was blind to the faults of people. He
was love and only love and nothing else but love! She
thought about the example Dr. Singh had given them. About
Joseph. That poor man! Her heart went out to him. She
knew that there were many rich people like George who
exploited the poor and took advantage of them. There were
many treacherous and mean people out there in the world

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who took delight in making other people suffer. Joseph was

wronged. And the king who let George go free - was it
possible that God could be like him? It was unthinkable! Yet
- that was precisely what she had believed all her life! That
God loved her so much that He would forgive her for
anything she did! No! She had been blind! The idea that
God loved all sinners was very pleasing to her. She had
done all kinds of things and wronged many people. And
while doing so she had thought nothing of it! She had
convinced herself that God loved her too much to punish
her! But now she understood the real meaning of love. Love
meant being just.
She remembered the lessons on Truth and the false map
she had followed. She recalled the pledge that she had

There is no other Truth but one Truth.

Anything other than Truth is false and vain.
I shall love the Truth with all my heart.
And I shall reject all falsehood.
My mission in life is to seek knowledge,
And walk upon the Straight Path alone,
For I know that only the Truth has the
power to help me, guide me and save me.

When the light of Truth had fallen upon her false ideas,
all the lies that she had believed had nowhere to hide. They
vanished into thin air for they had no ground to stand upon.
She thought about God’s love. If He really loved his sub-
jects He had to be just and punish all those people who
mistreated others - people who were cruel, unkind and
unjust. He had to punish those who persecuted others and
oppressed them. The voice that had dominated her thoughts


for most of her life, which led her astray, which clouded her
thinking by appealing to her emotions and which always
stifled her voice of reason, had no more strength to influ-
ence her. The voice of reason within her had grown stron-
ger. And she was glad. Because it banished her blindness.
She could now see. Her heart was now filled with joy. She
was happy that she had come to the retreat. She was happy
that she had doubts in her mind regarding the Afterlife. She
thanked her doubts with all her heart. She knew that with-
out them she would never have made the decision to join
the retreat. She was thankful that before she died she had
found what the Truth was. She was ashamed of the things
she had done in life. She was repentant. And she dearly
longed for God’s forgiveness. Dr. Singh had mentioned
something about repentance. He had said that God was
Forgiving. So there was hope for her!
Her thoughts were now on God. This was a new God she
was looking at. All her life she had thought that she knew
who her God was. But in reality she didn’t know anything
about Him! She had entertained false ideas about Him. She
had thought that He looked like an old man with a white
beard. That He was like a man. Like a father. And worst of
all she had believed Him to love even the sinners! She had
believed that He wouldn’t punish anyone!
She sighed and turned on her side. She was feeling very
sleepy now. She closed her eyes. She couldn’t wait for the
next day’s class. She wanted to know more about her God,
the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and how He would
judge His subjects on the Day of Judgment.
Marie on the other hand also couldn’t wait for the next
day’s class. She had been thinking about her past life as
well. The stardom, fame and wealth that she enjoyed didn’t
come easily. People had taken advantage of her when she

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was struggling on her way up. She had slept with men just
to get to the top. But that was the price that had to be paid
for what she wanted. She was disgusted. What had she got?
Wasn’t it all temporary and fleeting? What could she take
with her to the grave? She then thought about the baby that
she had aborted. She had killed a little life! More than
anything else this was what was troubling her the most.
Would God forgive her for what she had done?
“Oh God! Please forgive me!” she cried. And her hands
went up in prayer. In the men’s room there was another
figure kneeling and praying to God for forgiveness. It was


T he next morning everyone ate breakfast quickly.

They couldn’t wait for their class to begin. When Dr.
Singh entered the classroom he found them all there behind
their desks. He and Henry received a very warm welcome.
“How are you all this morning?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“We’re doing great!” said Andrew. “Can’t wait to learn
more about the Day of Judgment!”
Dr. Singh stood before the black door. Pointing to the
door he said, “On the other side of this door is the Day of
Judgment. So let’s find out what it will be like. Can you tell
me what comes to your mind when we speak about judg-
“Judgment...well - what I think about is - a judge,” said
Jim. “There can be no judgment without a judge.”
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Andrew raised his hand. “A court room! That’s what I

think of!”
“Good!” said Dr. Singh. “So we can imagine the Day of
Judgment to be like a huge court room where every one of
us will be judged. The question is - who will be the judge?”
“God, of course!” answered Marie without hesitation.
“How do you know that God will be the judge?” asked
Dr. Singh a faint smile playing upon his lips.
This question made them think. After a brief silence
Marie spoke. “Because there is nobody who can judge
better than Him?”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Well, obviously! God is the One who
created us. He is the One who created the life of this world.
He created it to test us. So naturally He will be the judge.
And you are right. There is no one else who can judge
better than Him. Now the next question is - what is God
going to judge?”
“The things we did? Our deeds?” said Richard.
“That’s right! God will judge our deeds. In other words -
how we lived our lives. He is not going to see how many
degrees you have. How educated and qualified you are. He
is not going to look at your wealth or the money that you
made. He isn’t interested in how much fame and name you
earned while you were alive on earth. You might have won
the Nobel Prize. You might have been a great mathematician
or scientist. A great tennis player. A successful novelist. Or a
billionaire. All these things - all your worldy achievements
and materialistic wealth, the color of your skin, your race,
your nationality, your status in society, your noble birth and
lineage, your abilities and talents, even the fact that you
lived a long life - I’m sorry my friends. All these things don’t
carry any weight on the Day of Judgment. Remember that
everything is controlled by God except for one thing - and


that is -our actions. How we act and behave - that is the

only thing that is within our control. And therefore only our
actions can be judged. It is not what we have that makes us
better than others. It is how we act. So all of us will stand
before God stripped of all our worldly accomplishments.
The rich and the poor, the uneducated farmer and the genius
mathematician, the unknown, ordinary people and the
famous actors and singers, the white men and the black men
- all of them will stand before God with nothing except their
deeds. God will sit on the throne and administer perfect
justice. Not a single one of us will be wronged on this day.”
“Please Dr. Singh! Could you tell us what’s going to
happen to the wrong-doers?” said Marie.
Dr. Singh smiled. “All of us are wrong-doers, Marie!
Remember that we are human. And being human we are
bound to make mistakes. In our ignorance we can do a lot
of wrong things. God made us like that. But you see what’s
important is that we learn from our mistakes. Mistakes are
actually good for us if we learn from them. They are step-
ping stones to success not only in this life but also in the
Next. We become better human beings when we make
mistakes - and then correct ourselves. Let me see - I think I
had my notebook here..”
Dr. Singh rummaged in his drawer. He found his note-
book and opened it. Walking to the blackboard he wrote:

1. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honor

able, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”-
George Bernard Shaw.
2. “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is
always another chance for you. What we call failure is
not the falling down but the staying down.” - Mary

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3. “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes

that can be made in a very narrow field.” - Niels Bohr
4. “Mistakes, obviously, show us what needs improving.
Without mistakes, how would we know what we had to
work on?” - Peter McWilliams

“These are wonderful quotes!” commented Martha.

“The last quote,” said Dr. Singh. “Mistakes are good for
us because they show us what needs improving. Neils Bohr
says that an expert is a person who has made all the mis-
takes that can be made in a very narrow field. Note the
word - expert. An expert becomes an expert after he has
made mistakes. You can apply the same logic to the conduct
of human beings. The more the mistakes, the more do you
learn! There’s another saying that comes to my mind. One
thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning!
However, the wise person is one who learns not only from
his mistakes, but from the mistakes of others as well.
There’s one more quote. Let me write it down here.” And
he wrote:

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the

other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”-
Henry C. Link

“As you can see,” continued Dr. Singh. “Mistakes help us

to become better people. But! There is a but. You can
become better only if you acknowledge your mistake and
correct yourself! This is where repentance comes in. If we
have done something wrong, repentance makes it right.
Because a repentant man is one who sees the Truth. One
who knows that he did wrong. And one who has humility in
his heart to admit it. Pride prevents a man from repenting.


Those who are proud refuse to admit their mistakes - and

continue walking on the path of error. They can never get
back on the path of righteousness if they continue with their
wrong-doing. So what God is going to look at is not that
you did wrong but whether you continued doing wrong! If
you accepted your mistake, turned away from wrong-doing
and corrected yourself - then you can consider yourself a
winner! The losers are the ones who do not correct them-
“Life is a long lesson in humility...” Andrew remembered
the quote by James Barrie.
“It’s a good thing for a man to be humble!” “There’s a
saying isn’t there? Pride leads to a fall,” said Richard.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Pride and arrogance - these are our
enemies. Humility and sincerity - these are our friends. You
see, it doesn’t even matter how many mistakes you have
made. Your sins could be a mountain ful - but as long as you
repent for every one of those mistakes - God will forgive
you! We wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t make
mistakes. And He wouldn’t be God if He didn’t forgive us
after we’ve repented. God loves us and wants to forgive us
for our wrong-doing. But we must give Him a reason to
forgive us. And that reason is repentance!”
“So God punishes only those wrong-doers who do not
repent, right?” said Jim.
“Yes. That’s the greatest tragedy I’d say for a human
being. To die without repenting.”
“Thank God I came to this retreat!” exclaimed Martha.
“And thank you Dr. Singh for helping us see this Truth. We
really can’t thank you enough!”
Dr. Singh dismissed her words with the wave of his hand.
“Don’t thank me, thank God,” he insisted.
Then he turned and referring to his notebook he wrote

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something on the blackboard. He wrote:

1. Admission of mistake, error or wrong-doing.
2. A promise or resolve not to repeat the offense.
3. An attempt to make restitution for the wrong or in
some way reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where

“This is the repentance that God accepts from you,” he

told them. “The main thing is that you admit your mistake
and resolve never to repeat it. It’s never too late to repent.
Even on the day of your death you can repent and God will
accept it. It doesn’t matter if your sins reach the sky. God
will forgive you on the condition that you repent! Repen-
tance makes a man better. It opens the doors of forgiveness
and mercy.”
Richard was aware of an awakening in his heart. It was
love. A great overflowing love for God!
Marie was thinking. “But what about the people that
were wronged?” she asked. “Like in the example you gave -
about Joseph and that rich man, George.”
“First of all,” replied Dr. Singh. “You need to un derstand
that God will only forgive people if they repent. So if
George did not repent there is no question about it. God
will punish George. But if George was truly repentant, what
would George do? He would admit that he was wrong. He
would resolve never to repeat that mistake again. And he
would try to make amends. He would pay Joseph his wages.
He would pay him the money that he owes him. Not only
that he would pay him a little more than what he owes. And
he would ask Joseph to forgive him for his error. This would
definitely indicate that he was sorry for what he had done.


After all this - don’t you think he deserves God’s forgive-

ness? God will forgive him. As for Joseph, well, the wrong
that was done unto him was corrected. So he has got his
money - and more. Joseph will also not hesitate to work for
George again. Because he now knows that George would
never repeat that offense again!”
“I understand,” said Marie. “But what about those cases
where it is not possible to make amends? I mean those cases
where it is not possible to undo the wrong that has been
done? You know what I mean? What if the person who was
wronged is dead and you can’t ask that person to forgive
“People who have been wronged? They will receive
compensation of course!” answered Dr. Singh. “All the
injustice, pain, suffering that you endure in this worldly life
turns out to be a blessing for you. Those things will be
credited to your account. The poor people of this world will
discover that they are better off than the rich in the Hereaf-
ter! The blind, deaf and dumb people of this world would
thank their disabilities on the Day of Judgment. Because
God will credit their account with good deeds. Like I said,
God needs a reason to forgive you. And He needs a reason
to add credit to your account. The pain, grief, agony,
suffering and injustice that you face in this worldly life will
be transformed into good credit for you on the Day of
Judgment. It is pretty similar to what happens when an
innocent person is put in prison and later on it is discovered
that he was not guilty. The government offers the person
some compensation for the injustice that he suffered. In this
world of course the compensation is in the form of money.
In the Hereafter the compensation will be in the form of
good deeds.”
“God is Great!” cried Marie. “I’m so glad to hear this!”

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“But there will be many people who will face a severe

punishment,” said Dr. Singh. “Justice demands that the
unrepentant wrong-doers be punished. And if they are
punished it would not be because God wronged them. It
would be because they wronged themselves.”


“H ow do people wrong themselves?” asked Jim.

“People wrong themselves when they do
wrong,” replied Dr. Singh. “That is correct. You wonder
how? Well - it is because they are responsible for their
actions. If they make the wrong choices they have to pay for
it. Let me give you an example. Supposing you decide to
steal somebody’s new car. Is stealing wrong? Of course it’s
wrong! But you are a free creature. And there is nobody
who is going to stop you from doing what you want. So the
new car. That’s what you want. And you can’t buy it with
your own money. So you decide to steal it. Unfortunately
there is a witness to the car theft. This witness informs the
police. The police catch you. The judge sentences you to a
year in prison. And you find yourself in jail. Now that’s what
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I mean by responsibility! You committed a crime. And for

that crime you have had to pay. You are in jail because of
what you did. You have wronged yourself, haven’t you?
You cannot blame the witness for informing the police. You
cannot blame the police for catching you. And you cannot
blame the judge for sentencing you to a year in prison. You
have to blame yourself.”
“Okay! Now I get it!” said Jim.
“So you see wrong-doers cannot blame anyone for their
loss. They have to blame themselves because they made the
choice to follow their own whims and desires. By their
wrong-doing people wrong themselves as well as other
people in society. But there is one thing you must under-
stand and that is - it is impossible to wrong God. Nothing
that we do or say is going to hurt God in the least. Remem-
ber that He is not like us. He has power over all things. And
He is not in need of anything. But He created us. He has
created the life of this world to test us. And He has also
created the Day of Judgment to evaluate our deeds. No
doubt God will be the Master of the Day of Judgment. And
the justice that He administers will be what is called the
ultimate justice. The unrepentant wrong-doers will face
punishment. And for the punishment they get they can blame
nobody but themselves.”
“This makes me feel good!” said Andrew. “I always
thought about people who are in jail for things they did not
do. And people who are walking about free even though
they committed the most gruesome crimes. It feels good to
know that everyone will get justice on the Day of Judg-
“God is The Judge,” continued Dr. Singh. “And since
there is none wiser than Him, there can be no other judge
better than Him. God does not make mistakes. Therefore


there can be no error in His judgment. Now in order to

impart perfect justice it is necessary to take into account all
things. God has to take everything into consideration. He
will take into account the things you did and said, the
circumstances under which you did those things, your
intentions, your motives and your thoughts and feelings.
Each and every deed even if it is the weight of an atom will
be thrown in the scale for judgment.”
“God will look at our intentions?!” said Marie.
“Of course! Don’t you think that your actions should be
judged by your intentions? Let me give you an example.
There are two women who are brought before a judge.
Both the women are guilty of the same crime. Murder. But
the judge sends one to prison and the other woman - he lets
her go free. Why the difference in judgment? Well, it is
because the first woman murdered a man in cold blood. The
second woman also killed a man but she did so in self-
defence. If she had not killed him he would have raped her
and killed her. So you see - it is crucial to take intentions
into consideration. The worldly judges and courts of this
world however, are unable to look into the hearts of people.
They cannot see their intentions. But God can. God is the
creator of all things. Things that you can see as well as
things that you can’t see. Even emotions such as greed, lust,
anger and love are created things. Abstract things such as
wisdom, knowledge, truth and falsehood - these are also
created things. Don’t you recognize what humility is when it
is mentioned? You recognize it because God created it and
gave it its identity. Humility resides in the heart. And if you
have it, God is very well aware of it. God is The Aware. He
knows what is in the hearts of people. He knows your
thoughts. He knows your feelings. He knows your inten-
tions. He has knowledge of all things.”

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“This is getting scary......” said Andrew.

“What is in the hearts of men must definitely be taken
into account,” went on Dr. Singh. “It is impossible for us to
know who the hypocrites are, for example. But God knows
who they are. Appearances are deceptive. You might look at
a man and think that he is so pious. So good and so kind.
But in his heart there may be a grave, serious fault. Perhaps
pride or arrogance. You are not aware of it. But God is!
And then there may be a person you think is very bad. But
there may be some good in him. He might have some
humility in him. Only God knows it. People cannot deceive
God. You have learnt that you need to repent if you want
God to forgive you. Repentance is also a created thing. And
God knows very well who are the ones who repent and who
don’t. You can’t hide from God! God knows everything you
did and said!”
“But I’m sure on the Day of Judgment - many people are
going to deny the things they did and said!” said Richard.
“You are absolutely right about that,” said Dr. Singh.
“People will certainly deny their actions. But how will they
be able to deny them if everything they do and say is re-
“Mon Dieu!” cried Marie. “Are you saying that every-
thing we do and say is being recorded?!”
“Yep! Every word that we utter,” said Dr. Singh. “Every
single thing that we do. It’s all being recorded. Since God
has power over all things He can certainly appoint some
special invisible beings for this task. They are recording the
words that I am uttering right now! Even if I were to fall
down and say “Uff!” that is also written down. You can be
sure of that!”
“It makes sense,” said Richard. “If God is to administer
perfect justice He has to look at everything. Not a single


thing can be left out! That would be the only way people
would get the justice they deserve.”
“So if anyone has done wrong - even if it is a little bit -
God will bring it out!” said Marie. “If someone has been
hurt because of our actions we will have to pay for it?”
Dr. Singh nodded. “God will settle people’s affairs and
disputes first. You remember the example I had given you
about George and Joseph? Well, suppose George died
without repenting. What do you think God would do on the
Day of Judgment?”
“Make George pay Joseph his wages?” said Marie.
“Yes, you are right. He will make him pay. But you can
be sure it won’t be in dollars. Do you know what is the
currency in the Hereafter?”
Andrew recalled what Dr. Singh had said about compen-
sation. “Good deeds!” he said.
“So God will deduct some good deeds from George’s
account - and put it in Joseph’s account!” said Dr. Singh.
“So the situation is reversed on the Day of Judgment!
Joseph has gained credit in his account for the wrong that
he suffered at the hands of George. Whatever it was that
Joseph suffered - it turned out to be good for him! And as
for George - for temporary worldly gain - and for wronging
Joseph -he has suffered a terrible loss! It’s not a good thing
for good deeds to be taken out of your account in the
Hereafter! Imagine how it will be if a person has been cruel
and wicked all his life. Whatever good he might have earned
- all those good deeds that he earned would be taken away
to be given to people who he has wronged! Until there are
no more good deeds left in his account!”
Richard shuddered. “What happens when a person has no
more good deeds left in his account?”
“Certainly - that’s something that you can figure out!”

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said Dr. Singh.

“I can’t think of anything - except that he will have to
undergo punishment?” said Richard.
“Right! There may be many other people who he has
wronged. But there are no more good deeds left in his
account to pay them. So of course he would have to be
punished! That’s certain! The punishment of God is indeed
Richard was thinking about the number of people in the
world who were ignorant about the Day of Judgment. “If
people knew about the punishment that they would have to
face for wronging other people - I don’t think they would
hurt even a fly!” he said.
“Hmm. Knowledge,” said Dr. Singh. “That’s what many
people don’t have unfortunately. The opposite of knowledge
is ignorance. We are born in ignorance - that’s true. But if
we remain in the darkness of ignorance - and do not try to
seek knowledge - that would be our fault. People are
ignorant by choice, you see. All of you have acquired
knowledge at this retreat. And you have acquired it because
you were seeking it. If you hadn’t sought it you would have
remained ignorant. And ignorance leads to nothing but
“Am I glad that I came here!” said Jim. He remembered
the pledge he had memorized. Their mission in life was to
seek knowledge. Now he knew why!
“But let me go back to our example,” said Dr. Singh. “I
was talking about George and how he would have to pay
for the wrong that he did to Joseph. But you musn’t forget
the king. He forgave George and let him go. And by doing
so he was terribly unjust to Joseph. So this king would have
to pay for wronging Joseph as well! Ah! When I think about
the judges of this world! They pass judgments without really


thinking whether justice is done or not. But God takes into

account everything - remember? If the kings, rulers and
judges are unjust - believe me - God is going to make them
pay for it!”
“Oh, this is beautiful! Absolutely wonderful!” cried
Andrew. “God is Great!”
“But don’t we have punishment in this world as well?”
asked Marie. “What if person A wrongs person B and the
judge punishes A? Will the wrongdoer face more punish-
ment in the Hereafter?”
“Indeed it is better for the wrongdoer to undergo punish-
ment for his crime in this world than face it in the Hereaf-
ter,” replied Dr. Singh. “If the judge is just and punishes
person A for what he did, then I don’t think person A would
face any more punishment for what he did. Because he has
already paid for it. But this is in case of a punishment that is
“What is a just punishment?” asked Andrew.
“A just punishment is a punishment that fits the crime,”
answered Dr. Singh. “If it is too much that would be injus-
tice. If it is too little that would be injustice as well. Let me
give you an example. There are three people who are
brought before a judge. All for the same crime. Theft. The
first person stole a loaf of bread. The second stole his
neighbor’s money. And the third robbed a bank. Now a just
judge would not prescribe the same punishment for all of
them. If the judge is just he would treat each person differ-
ently. The person who stole the loaf of bread - he may even
decide not to punish him. He might take into consideration
the circumstances under which the person stole the bread -
and he might even pardon him. As for the second person,
the judge might sentence him to two years in prison. And
for the third - he might sentence him to ten years in prison.

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If the judge pardoned them all, he would be unjust. If he

sentenced them all to two years in prison, he would be
unjust. If he sentenced them all to ten years, he would be
unjust. So you see - justice demands that the punishment be
appropriate. Not too much. Not too less. But just right.
People should get exactly what they deserve. That is what
justice is all about!”
Andrew was glad. He had already paid for the things he
had done. He was sorry for those who hadn’t.


D r. Singh had written a question on the black board.

The question was:

What does it mean to be human?

It was a question that they didn’t find too difficult to

answer. Richard was the first to speak. “Human beings are
born in ignorance, aren’t they?” he said. “They don’t have
their code of conduct or religion given to them.”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, you are right. Human beings are
ignorant. And because of that their greatest need is...?”
“Guidance!” replied Richard at once.
“So to be human is to be ignorant and to be in need of
guidance.” Dr. Singh wrote down Richard’s answer on the
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blackboard. “What else?”

“Well, because human beings are ignorant they are going
to make mistakes,” said Andrew. “To err is human.”
Dr. Singh wrote Andrew’s answer on the board.
Jim remembered what they had learned about mistakes.
They were good for people if they learned from them. “And
human beings are always learning,” he said. “They are
always seeking knowledge.”
“And we acquire knowledge by thinking and reflecting,”
said Richard. “To be human is to think!”
Marie raised her hand. “Human beings have to make
choices,” she said.
“And because people make the wrong choices -they face
a lot of problems!” said Martha.
Dr. Singh quietly wrote down their answers as they
“And responsibility,” said Richard. “Human beings are
responsible for their actions.”
Dr. Singh wrote it down. “Can you think of anything
else?” he asked.
They stared at the seven answers that Dr. Singh had
written down on the board:

1. To be ignorant and in need of guidance.

2. To make mistakes.
3. To learn and seek knowledge.
4. To think and reflect
5. To be faced with choice.
6. To be faced with problems
7. To carry the burden of responsibility.

They couldn’t think of anything else.

Dr. Singh smiled. “To be human is to be free,” he told


them. And as he spoke he wrote it down on the board:

8. To be free.

He circled number 8. “Freedom! That’s what human

beings fight for,” he said. “You cannot bind a human being
in chains. Because to be human is to be free! We are now
going to proceed to the TV room to watch a slide show.
Come along!”
They arose and followed Dr. Singh out of the classroom.
Henry was already in the TV room waiting for them. They
took their seats and Dr. Singh turned off the lights. The
slide-show began.
The first pictures were of people from India. There was a
Hindu mahant. A bald man who had his face and head
painted grey. His eyebrows were painted yellow and on his
forehead was a huge red mark like that of a tear drop. He
sported a long beard and moustache. They were also
painted grey. And around his neck there was a garland of
orange flowers. Next was a picture of a sadhu standing in
meditation. He was wearing nothing except for his under-
wear. He stood on one leg. His hair was unkempt. And the
third picture was that of a guru from Nepal. He wore a
turban. His forehead was smeared with ash. There was a red
dot upon the middle of his forehead. And he had a blanket
around his shoulders. Then came pictures of women dressed
in white clothes. They had a piece of white cloth across
their nose and mouth.
“Who are these people?” asked Amy. She had never seen
anything like it!
“These are the Jain nuns,” said Dr. Singh. “They are
wearing what is called the mukha-vastrika - or mouthpiece.
They wear this to prevent insects from entering and being

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The slideshow went on. Now they saw pictures of people
from other parts of the world. There were Buddhist monks
with their heads shaved, wearing saffron robes. There was a
priest wearing his priestly robes, conducting mass in a
Catholic Church, picture of a man being baptized, a picture
of a nun and a woman wearing a burqa - a garment that
covered the woman from head to foot. Then in stark con-
trast came a picture of a girl in a mini-skirt. And another
wearing shorts and t-shirt. The slideshow came to an end
and Dr. Singh turned the lights back on.
“I have a question to ask you,” he said. “You saw all
these pictures - of people - from different countries and
religions. And all of them had different ways of dressing. My
question is - who forced them to dress that way?”
“Nobody!” said Jim. “They put on whatever they wanted
to wear.”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “To be human is to be free.
And that means nobody can force anyone to do something
he or she doesn’t want to do! Those Indian godmen with
their weird and strange ways of dressing. Nobody forced
them to wear those type of clothing. Nobody forced that
sadhu who was standing on one leg - to be clothed in just
his underwear. Nobody forced the nun to wear her nun
Richard was thinking about the woman who was wearing
the burqa. He knew that women dressed like that in Saudi
“What about that woman who was covered from head to
toe?” he said. “She had even her face covered. Aren’t those
women forced to wear that kind of clothing? Isn’t there a
law in Saudi Arabia that forces women to cover themselves
like that?”


“Ah yes! It is the rule of that land,” responded Dr. Singh.

“And women are bound to obey it. But in America too you
can see many women wearing such attire. If so, can you tell
me who forced them to dress in that way?”
It was true. Richard had seen several women in America
wearing the burqa. But he had always thought that they
were forced to wear it. However now he could see that he
was mistaken. In America there was no law that compelled
women to wear such clothing. Even then there were women
who wore it. That meant they wore it of their own free will.
Nobody forced them.
“Yes, you are right,” said Richard. “People wear what-
ever they want. Of their own free will. Nobody forces
“As for that girl in the mini-skirt,” said Dr. Singh. “And
the girl in shorts. Who forced those girls to wear such
“Nobody,” said Andrew.
“In America,” said Dr. Singh. “If girls dress in mini-skirts,
shorts and t-shirts - it is considered a sign of progress.
People think that the women who lived in the past were not
as free as they now are. And the less clothes they wear - the
more is it an indication of how free they are! If a girl wears
a mini-skirt that’s an expression of her freedom. But if a girl
covers herself from head to toe......”
“That’s an expression of her freedom too!” said Jim.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “But they are not considered
free by the modern society. People think they belong to the
old, ancient times! But the truth is, a girl who covers
herself can also choose to wear t-shirt and shorts. And the
girl who wears mini-skirts can also choose to cover herself.
It’s all a matter of choice. And each person on earth is free
to choose whatever he or she wants. So you see, the way

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that people dress, the way they behave and act - and live
their lives - whatever it is that people do - it is all done
voluntarily. A human being cannot be forced to do anything
against his will. Based on this - do you know what is the
only way that you can get a human being to do something?”
They thought about it for a while. Then Richard spoke.
“By making him want to do it?”
“Yes! That’s the only way to do it! Can you imagine what
would happen if you were to use force?”
“That won’t be good!” said Andrew at once. “If anyone
forces me to do something he’s askin’ for trouble!”
“That’s right!” said Dr. Singh. “If force is used - human
beings will fight! They will rebel. They will strive to break
Richard nodded. He was thinking about the rebellions,
the wars and revolts that occurred in human history. “We
can read about all that in history books,” he said.
“People have laid down their lives for the cause of
freedom,” said Dr. Singh. “And they have fought not just
for freedom but for equality as well. You are going to find it
hard to believe - but less than 40 years ago - America had
separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks and
“colored balconies” in movie theaters!”
“There was much racial discrimination then,” said Rich-
ard. “That was a shameful period in American history.”
“Who says the situation now is better?” said Andrew.
“Even now people think they are better than others because
of their color!”


T hey were back in the classroom. Dr. Singh wiped the

blackboard and wrote in big capital letters the follow-
ing word:


“What do you think of when you hear the word - free-

dom?” asked Dr. Singh.
This question made them think a little.
“I think of a bird flying in the air,” said Marie. “That’s
freedom. Versus a bird that is in a cage.”
“You have a wonderful imagination!” remarked Dr.
Singh. “That is a very nice way to describe freedom.”
Dr. Singh’s words of appreciation took Marie by sur-
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prise. And she fought hard to conceal her elated emotions.

Why did Dr. Singh have this effect on her she wondered.
She thoroughly admired the man that was true. But so did
everyone else!
“A human being is a free creature,” Dr. Singh was saying.
Marie forced herself to concentrate on the lecture. “What
that means is - a human being cannot be forced to do
something against his will. If he is forced, he will fight to
break free. The opposite of freedom is bondage or slavery.
If you read the history of mankind, you will find numerous
instances where one group of people forced another group
to do things against their will. This is known as oppression.
And whenever there has been such oppression, people have
rebelled. What did they fight for? They fought for freedom -
from oppression.”
“Not just oppression,” said Andrew. “People have also
fought against discrimination. You know how it was in
America. How black people suffered at the hands of the
“And they did fight for their freedom,” said Dr. Singh.
“There were valiant fighters who sought to liberate the
black slaves from bondage. The names that come to my
mind are John Brown, Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey and
Gabriel Prosser. All of them were caught and executed
because of their plots to kill the white slavemasters and
liberate the slaves. Must tell you about Nat Turner. His plan
was a plan of terror and devastation. He organized a revolt
that became America’s most famous and violent act of slave
resistance. He and six other slaves killed the plantation
master and his family. Then with more slaves joining the
revolt, they went about killing a total of 60 white slave
owners - including their wives and children.”
“Oh! That is terrible!” cried Martha. “They killed the


wives and children?!”

“Yes, they did! And guess what happened? The state
troopers killed most of the rebelling slaves. Including other
slaves who were not connected with the rebellion!”
Andrew turned to look at Martha. “Now what do you
think of that!?” he said. “It wasn’t right for the slaves to kill
the wives and children. I agree. But them troopers had no
business killing slaves that were not involved in the rebellion
“Nat Turner and John Brown believed that the slaves
could only be liberated by acts of violence,” said Dr. Singh.
“But there was one person - a woman who did not resort to
violence. She wanted the world to know about the cruel and
inhuman treatment of blacks in America. So she wrote a
book. That book did wonders for the Anti-Slavery move-
“I know who she is!” said Richard. “Her name was
Harriet Beecher Stowe. And the book she wrote was Uncle
Tom’s Cabin.”
“Yes, that was her name,” said Dr. Singh. “Besides
Harriet, there was another person who did not resort to
violence. He was a prominent figure during his time. He had
gone to India and was profoundly influenced by Gandhi’s
non-violence policy. He dreamed that blacks and whites
would live together in peace and harmony as equals one
“That would be Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Richard.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Martin Luther King Jr. fought for
freedom and equality. And his dream seems to have come
true. It is a pretty common sight today to see white children
playing with black. But America is not the only place where
people have been oppressed. It wasn’t very long ago that
there prevailed in India a very unjust system called the caste

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They listened with the greatest interest. Henry drew a
chair and sat down.
“The caste system lasted in India for more than two
thousand years. It was only in 1949 that this system was
outlawed. It was a system where society was divided into
four main castes. At the top were the Brahmins. These were
the priests, the scholars and philosophers. Next came the
Kshatriyas - the warriors, the rulers and those concerned
with the defense and administration of the village or state.
Third came the Vaishyas - the trader, merchants and people
involved in agricultural production. And the lowest caste
was that of the Shudras. These were the laborers and
servants. And below this caste were the untouchables.
People who had no caste.”
To make it more clear, Dr. Singh wrote on the black-
board the following:

1. Brahmins - priests, scholars and philosophers

2. Kshatriyas - warriors, rulers and people dealing with
administration of village or state
3. Vaishyas - traders, merchants and farmers
4. Shudras - the laborers and servants
5. The untouchables - people of no caste

“The untouchables - who were they? They had no caste.

These unfortunate people did the most menial jobs, such as
dealing with dead bodies and cleaning toilets. And people
who belonged to the higher castes believed - that if they
touched one of these people, they would become contami-
nated! And in order to become pure again they would need
to go through cleansing rituals.”
“I don’t believe this!” said Richard. “I can’t believe that


there was a system like this! It is highly unjust!”

“How did they determine the castes of people?” asked
“Caste was determined by birth,” replied Dr. Singh. “You
fell into the same caste as your parents. And there was
almost no way to change it.”
“What if a person did something that was not part of his
caste?” asked Andrew. “For example if a warrior wanted to
become a trader or marry a person who did not belong to
his caste?”
“That person was excommunicated,” answered Dr.
Amy looked bewildered.
“Excommunicated means the people of his caste cut him
off,” he explained. “And because you could only do the jobs
allowed by your caste, an excommunicated person found
that he was unable to work to support himself.”
“This is terrible!” said Martha. “What a terrible system!
And I thought that there were no people who suffered more
than the blacks did here in America! I really don’t under-
stand! How does touching a human being make anyone
“I feel sorry for the untouchables,” said Amy. “Why were
they treated like that? Who made that caste system?”
“Nevermind all that,” said Dr. Singh. “These are the
facts. There existed in India this horrible, unjust system. And
thanks to the efforts of one man, who was himself born as
an untouchable, the caste system in India was abolished.
And the untouchables tasted real freedom and equality.”
“Oooh! I’m so glad!” cried Amy clapping her hands.
“Was it Gandhi?” asked Marie.
“No, Gandhi was not born into the untouchable class,”
replied Dr. Singh. “It was a man by the name of Bhimrao

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Ambedkar. He had personally tasted the injustice of the

caste system.”
“Please Dr. Singh!” said Amy. “Could you please tell us
more about him?”
“Certainly! As a young boy, he faced a lot of humiliation
from people just because of the caste he belonged to. Once
he and his brother went to see their father. They got off at
the Masur Railway Station and hired a cart. After going
some distance the cart driver came to know that the boys
belonged to the untouchable caste. A caste called Mahar. He
stopped the cart at once and raised one end of it. The boys
tumbled out of the cart and fell on the ground. The cart
driver said all kinds of unkind things to the boys. It was
afternoon. And the boys were thirsty. They begged for water
but nobody would give them water! They were not even
allowed to go near the tanks and wells!”
“Oh, the poor boys!” exclaimed Marie her heart going
out to them.
“Well, you have to listen to this,” went on Dr. Singh.
“One day Bhim was very thirsty. He drank water from a
well. Someone noticed this. Guess what happened? A few
people gathered and beat little Bhim mercilessly. He had to
get his hair cut. And even a barber who used to cut the hair
of buffaloes would not touch Bhim’s hair!”
“Horrid people!” said Amy. “Horrid! Horrid! Horrid!”
“On another day,” continued Dr. Singh. “Bhim was going
to school. It was raining heavily. So he took shelter near the
wall of a house. Poor Bhim! The lady of the house saw him.
She pushed him and Bhim fell into the muddy water. All his
books fell into the water too.”
Richard was shaking his head. “I don’t believe this!” he
kept saying. “This is outrageous!”
“So you see, Bhim was insulted and mistreated as a


young boy. He did not understand why people illtreated

him. He had done no wrong. He had not committed any sin!
It didn’t seem fair to him that people could ill-treat him just
because of his caste. So he resolved to fight this injustice.
When he grew up, he became the first Law Minister in free
India. He was the one who framed India’s constitution. And
he was the one who introduced laws to wipe out untouch-
ability. People who practised untouchability were to be
punished. The punishment was in the form of imprisonment,
fines, dismissal from employment and withdrawal of licence
to follow a profession.”
“It feels good to know this!” said Richard. “I’m glad that
there is punishment now for practising untouchability!”
“The point is,” said Dr. Singh. “Human beings are free
creatures. And all of us regardless of race, color and nation-
ality have equal freedom. None of us can be forced to do
things we don’t want to do. If we are forced, we will fight.
We will rebel. There will be fighters like Martin Luther King
Jr. and Bhimrao Ambedkar. Freedom is dear to us, isn’t it?
But this freedom that we fight for. It comes with a heavy
price. And that price is - responsibility.”


I t was their lunch break.

“Arrgh! The same bland food again!” said Marie
picking at the boiled vegetables with her fork.
Martha however had no complaints. “Tomorrow is our
last day,” she said. “It’s such a shame! I wish I could stay
here forever! I wouldn’t even mind eating this kind of food
for the rest of my life!”
Amy got up from her chair and put her hands around
Martha. “Oh, Martha! I feel the same way! I too wish I
could stay here forever!”
Andrew had seen Marie picking at the food. He walked
over to her table. “Er...I don’t know. I’m not sure. But if
you don’t feel like eating I shall be happy to......” He didn’t
finish. Marie threw him a cold look.

“You’re not getting anything,” she told him. “I’m going

to finish this all up!”
Andrew shrugged and went back to his table. Jim and
Richard grinned and welcomed him back.
Mrs. Patil ate her food in silence. She didn’t enjoy the
food but she didn’t enjoy being hungry either. One had to
eat in order to live. And vegetables were good for health she
told herself. One more day! Ah! There was only one more
day left and then she could go back home, away from that
wretched place. She would get her precious amulet back.
Then she frowned. She thought about what Martha had
said. Not just Martha but all of them seemed to be sorry
that their stay at the retreat was coming to an end. It
showed on their faces! Really! How on earth could anyone
want to stay at that retreat forever? It was ridiculous!
“I wish I could stay here forever too!” declared Marie
putting the last morsel of food into her mouth. She had
indeed finished everything on her plate. She picked it up and
showed it to Andrew.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with you people,” said Mrs.
Patil getting up. “I’m going to take a nap now. I’ll see you
later on in the evening.” And she left the cafeteria.
“Mrs. Patil doesn’t like this place,” said Amy. “But I do. I
wish I could go with Dr. Singh to India too.”
“Go to India?” Marie was astonished. “Is Dr. Singh going
to India.....soon?”
“Oh, don’t you know?” said Amy in surprise. “Dr. Singh
told me that he was going to India next month. He’s going
to start work on that orphanage. And he’s going to be away
for two years.”
Marie wasn’t very happy to hear this piece of news. And
she did her best to conceal her feelings.
“Well, I’m glad I came to this place,” said Martha,

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“before Dr. Singh goes to India! We found answers to many

questions, didn’t we? They are very important questions.
And I also liked the things we learnt about Truth.”
“The properties of Truth,” said Marie thinking about
their first lessons. “We came here to find out who we are,
what is the purpose of life and what happens after death.
And we have found all the answers.....uh....haven’t we?”
“Well, I think we have found answers to two of those
questions,” said Martha. “We know who we are. And we
know what happens after death. But what is the purpose of
life? That is not very clear.”
“Yes, you’re right,” said Marie. “We must ask Dr. Singh
about that.”
Amy’s thoughts were elsewhere. She was thinking about
the Jain nuns. “Do you remember those Indian nuns in white
clothes?” she asked.
“You mean those Jain nuns who covered their mouths
and noses?” said Marie.
Amy nodded. She had been pretty fascinated with all the
pictures she had seen in the slideshow. But the Jain nuns had
fascinated her the most.
“Dr. Singh told me that these nuns were strict vegetar-
ians. And they even sweep the ground before them to avoid
stepping on insects. What do you think of that? I mean their
way of life?”
“What is there to think?” said Marie. “That’s just how
they live.”
“I don’t think I can live like that,” said Amy. “These
people don’t kill anything. And that doesn’t make sense to
me. Coz you have to kill sometimes.”
“But Amy,” said Martha. “Killing is bad. So if these
people do not believe in killing, I personally think it is a
good thing. They look like good people to me.”


“No, it is not a good thing!” retorted Amy. “Is it bad if a

lion kills a cow? No, it’s not bad! Not if the lion is killing
the cow because he needs to eat. And just imagine there is a
big mosquito on my skin and it’s sucking my blood. I’m
going to kill that mosquito! And I won’t feel bad about it
Marie began to understand what Amy was trying to say.
She grinned at her. “You certainly have a point,” she said.
“Jainism - I think that’s what it’s called. It doesn’t seem to
be a very practical way of life.” She thought about it a little
and then continued, “I wonder if the Jains even go to the
hospital for treatment.”
“Why do you say that?” asked Martha.
“Well, you see, it’s like this,” replied Marie. “In the
hospital the nurses and doctors have to sterilize their equip-
ment. They have to use cleansing agents which kill germs
and harmful bacteria. A Jain wouldn’t like that, right? He
wouldn’t even take medicine or antibiotics in order to kill
the viruses in his body!”
Martha laughed. “Okay, now I understand what you two
are getting at!” she said. “Killing is alright if we are doing it
to protect ourselves. Isn’t that what you are saying?”
“Yes! And also if you have to eat!” said Amy.
“Exactly!” said Marie. “It is just like that example Dr.
Singh gave. A woman kills a man because she was trying to
protect herself. Otherwise the man would have raped her
and even killed her.”
“Then I suppose it’s alright to kill mosquitoes,” said
“And rats! And cockroaches! And flies!” added Amy.
Then she thought of one more. “And snakes! Especially the
poisonous ones!”
“I wonder,” said Marie, “if a Jain nun has lice in her hair,

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would she kill them? I really wonder! And what if she finds
a scorpion in her house? And what if there is a community
of Jains who are living near the jungle. And a man-eating
tiger turns up and kills people? I really wonder if those Jains
would kill that man-eating tiger...”
Martha was thoughtful. “You certainly have a vivid
imagination!” she said. “I think I agree with you. Jainism
isn’t a practical way of life.” She looked at the clock ea-
gerly. “Class starts in ten minutes! I can’t wait for our next
Amy thought about their last lesson. “Dr. Singh said that
our next lesson was going to be about responsibility.”
Martha nodded. “Yes, that’s right! Responsibility. Dr.
Singh said that it was a terrible burden to carry. But I
wonder why he talked about it like that. I mean - as if it was
really terrible.”
“Yes,” agreed Marie. “I know that we are responsible for
the choices we make. Like that thief who stole the car. He
has to pay for what he did. If we do wrong then we have to
pay for it. The price of freedom is responsibility. I under-
stand all that. But it does seem there is more to it.”
“Well, we’ll soon find out,” said Martha. “Dr. Singh will
explain everything in the next lesson.”
Marie had been thinking about Dr. Singh a lot lately.
“How old do you think Dr. Singh is?” she asked suddenly.
Martha thought about the little patch of grey hair above
Dr. Singh’s right ear. “I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe 45?”
Henry was walking across the cafeteria and he overheard
a little of their conversation. “Dr. Singh is going to be 48
today,” he told them.
“You mean today is his birthday?!” asked Amy excitedly.
“My birthday is in this month too! I’m going to be 11!”
Henry nodded. “Is that right? Now you had better hurry!


Class is going to start any minute!”

They rushed to their class. They wanted to get there
before Dr. Singh.
When Dr. Singh entered the classroom he got a big
surprise. “Happy birthday!” they all said. Amy ran to him
and presented him with a little flower.
Dr. Singh was very touched. “Thank you!” he said.
“Let’s celebrate!” said Jim. Dr. Singh shook his head.
“You are very kind,” he said. “But I don’t celebrate my
birthday. Nor do I attend birthday parties.”
“But why?” asked Amy.
Dr. Singh didn’t say anything for a moment. Then he
said, “Perhaps we have reason to celebrate when a baby is
born. We can celebrate to give thanks to God. After all it’s
an occassion of great joy. But to celebrate every year? I
just don’t believe in that. I think it’s a waste of time.”
Richard looked thoughtful. “Come to think of it, it is a
waste of time, isn’t it? We are born just once, not every
year! I agree with you!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Thanks, Richard. But I must tell you
that I did celebrate on one occassion. I threw a grand party.
Want to know what the occassion was? It was when I found
the true religion of mankind.”
“The true religion of man! What is that religion, Dr.
Singh?” Andrew was very curious.
Dr. Singh smiled. “Well - that’s what you are here to find
out - for yourself, right? You’re actually very close to
finding it!”


“R esponsibility is closely connected to freedom,”

said Dr. Singh. “Therefore let us discuss the
concept of freedom a little more. To be human is to be free.
Okay. Can you tell me why - if we are free creatures, why
do we have fines, penalties, prisons and jails? If we are free
why can’t we do as we please? Why can’t we do whatever
we like?”
“People can’t do whatever they like,” said Martha. “If
they did there would be chaos, lawlessness and anarchy.”
“There would be disorder,” added Richard.
“So what do human beings do in order to maintain
order?” asked Dr. Singh.
“We make laws and rules,” answered Marie after a little
bit of thought.

“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “We make laws and rules to

regulate human behavior or conduct. Without rules there
would be no order. Agree?”
They all nodded. How could they not agree?!
“But people are free creatures,” went on Dr. Singh. “And
being free they can break these rules. So we have punish-
ment. Now can you tell me what it would be like if we
didn’t punish people who disobeyed the law?”
“That won’t be fair!” said Jim.
“That would be most unjust!” said Marie. “If they are not
punished that would be injustice.”
“Hmm. That’s true. It would be unfair,” agreed Dr.
Singh. “But can you explain why that would be unfair?”
Marie thought about it. Why was it unfair? She felt it was
unfair that’s all. Now Dr. Singh was asking for a reason. He
wanted a reason for everything! “Aha!” she said as the
answer suddenly came to her. “If criminals are not punished,
it won’t be fair to other people!”
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “You are absolutely right,”
he said. “If criminals are forgiven and not punished then
there would be no point in other people remaining obedient.
They might as well break the rules too.”
“Yeah! And then everybody would be breaking rules,”
said Andrew. “I mean I would break the rules too if I knew
there was no punishment for it!”
“So that means for every law made there has to be a
punishment for disobeying it,” said Richard thoughtfully. “If
punishment is not prescribed then laws will not be obeyed.”
“Yes, justice demands it,” said Dr. Singh. “Without
punishment justice is not possible.”
Jim shuddered. “Then that means on the Day of Judg-
ment people cannot escape punishment. If they are not
punished it won’t be fair to other people.”

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Dr. Singh nodded. “Human beings are free creatures. For

every rule made there will be someone breaking it. People
can choose to obey. They can choose to disobey. If they
choose to obey they have made a choice. They could have
also chosen to disobey. Whatever the choice - it’s an expres-
sion of their freedom. When they keep the law that also
expresses their freedom. However, people mistakenly think
that a person who obeys the law - who is tied to rules and
regulations - is not free. They think a really free person is
one who is not tied down by anything. So those who break
the rules are considered free. Whereas those who abide by
the rules are considered - like a bird in a cage. Tied down.”
“You are right!” said Richard. “We do tend to think that a
free person is one who is not bound by anything.”
“Yep. But that is a wrong notion,” said Dr. Singh. “The
one who obeys and keeps the law - is as free as the one who
breaks it. The one who is obedient can the next day choose
to be disobedient. And the one who is disobedient can the
next day choose to be obedient. Whatever the choice -
whether you obey or disobey - it’s an expression of your
“Society is built upon rules and laws,” he went on. “They
are a must! Take the rules away and the society collapses.
There will be unprecedented evil and violence. People
would live in fear and insecurity.”
“And we would be able to trust nobody,” said Martha.
“Relationships would also be broken. It would be hard to
maintain ties without rules and laws.”
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “You can imagine what it would be
like if there were no rules. People are free - but they make
rules and laws - so that they can enjoy peace and security.
Citizens or members are obligated to obey the rules. If they
don’t then of course they have to be punished. Rules are


made for the good of all. They are made keeping in mind the
interests of the society as a whole. At every level - rules and
laws are a must. For example we have rules in family, school
and office.”
He turned and wrote on the board:

Family, school, office.

“What about business transactions?” asked Richard. “I

know that there are rules that have to be followed by the
buyer and seller. They have to agree to terms and conditions
and get it down in writing.”
Dr. Singh wrote it down on the board:

Business transactions (buying and selling)

Amy raised her hand. “I know that there are rules in

buses! If we want to listen to music we have to wear head-
phones so as not to disturb the other passengers. And also
we are not allowed to eat and drink.”
“Yes - and ladies who have strollers have to collapse
them,” added Jim. “There are plenty of rules on the buses!”
“And what about planes?” said Marie. “We need to have
passports and visas. And we have to go through security
check. We can take only a limited amount of luggage on
board...there are many many rules!”
“Alright - let’s write that down here,” said Dr. Singh.
And he wrote:

Travel by bus and plane etc.

“There are rules in government offices,” said Jim. “I

know that there are many organizations. Public and private.

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But all of them have rules. Even the military.”

“So you get the point,” said Dr. Singh, writing down
Jim’s answer on the board. “There are rules at every level.
We make them for the protection of the entire organization
or society. Selfishness plays no part. An employee is not free
to do as he pleases. The manager is not free to do as he
pleases. Both of them are bound by rules and regulations. In
the home children have to behave themselves. If they don’t
parents scold them and punish them. In the school there are
rules that students have to follow. If they don’t obey the
rules they are expelled from school. Rules are everywhere!
And people are obliged to obey them. Now I want to ask
you a question. If you submit to a rule or law - does that
mean that you have lost your freedom?”
“No,” said Marie. “The person who submits to the law is
as free as the person who does not submit to it. To be
human is to be free! Whatever the choice - it expresses a
person’s freedom.”
Dr. Singh was pleased. He smiled at her. “I’m glad you
understand the concept! Yes, you are right. A person does
not lose his freedom if he submits to any law or rule. But
when you submit to a job’s rules -what you have done is -
you have voluntarily given up your freedom to do as you
He paused and then continued, “Let me give you an
example. Stealing is against the law. Anyway person A steals
his neighbor’s car - thinking that he is free to do whatever
he likes. But he ends up in jail. In prison. Now -there’s
another person. Person B. He obeys the law. He does not
break the law. And because of that - he is not in prison. You
tell me! Which person is really free?”
Amy’s hand shot up. “Person B!”
“Person A is in prison while person B is walking free,”


said Marie. “So definitely person B is the one who is really

Dr. Singh nodded. “So if people really want to be free -
they should obey the law. But that law should be a just law.
A law that is good for all.”
“But what if the law is unjust?” asked Andrew thinking
about the Hindu caste system.
“Then of course people should not obey it,” replied Dr.
Singh. “Remember that people value their freedom. And if
their freedom is trampled upon and they are forced into
slavery, people are going to fight. They will rebel. Therefore
it is important that the laws be just. The laws must ensure
equality, peace and security for all people. There should be
no discrimination.”
“But even though we have just laws,” said Jim, “there are
many people who break them. Crime in this country is
“Not just here,” said Richard. “There is an increase in
crime rate in many other countries.”
“How can we ensure that people obey the law?” asked
“This is where law enforcement comes in,” said Dr.
Singh. “And no law can be enforced without a suitable
punishment. The question is - which punishment will be
most effective?”


D r. Singh wrote on the board:

Law enforcement.

“We have learnt that laws and rules are a must in human
society. Without them every organization will fall apart. But
the big question is - how do we make people obey the
“By prescribing a punishment for every offense,” an-
swered Richard. “Without punishment there can be no law
Jim raised his hand. “There’s a fine of $101 here in the
State of Washington - if people don’t wear their seat-belt.
Isn’t a fine a form of punishment?”

Dr. Singh nodded. “Oh, definitely! The more serious the

offense, the more the fine. For some offenses there is not
only a fine but a term in jail as well. For example - people
who make illegal copies of movies -people who steal other
people’s work and infringe on copyright - they can have a
maximum penalty of up to five years in jail and or pay a
$250,000 fine.”
“Wow! $250,000! That’s a lotta money! Who can pay
that kind of fine?!” said Andrew.
“I suppose if they can’t pay - they just spend more time in
prison,” said Martha.
“I have a question to ask you,” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s say
there’s a certain law. If the punishment that is prescribed for
breaking that law does not deter people from disobeying it -
would you say that punishment is good or bad?”
“You mean if people do not obey the law despite the
punishment?” asked Marie.
Dr. Singh nodded.
“That punishment won’t be good,” said Richard. “What
good is it if people are not obeying the law!”
“And what if the punishment is successful in deterring
people from committing crimes? Would you call it a good
punishment or bad?”
“Good! A very good punishment!” said Marie.
“Alright! I’m going to tell you a little story,” said Dr.
Singh. “There are two cities. City A and City B. In city A
crime is on the increase. Everyday more and more people
land in jail. The jails and prisons in that city are packed to
full capacity. There is a need to build more jails, prisons and
correction centers. There are many juvenile delinquents -
teenagers who are committing crimes. They need special
jails because of their age. City A needs more police officers.
More guns and ammunition. It needs more police cars.

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Stealing is common news. There are robberies and internet

scams. Much cheating and fraud. Honest people make
money and dishonest people take it away. There is a need
for elaborate security systems and alarms. There is a rise in
domestic violence. There are child molesters. Children are
abused. There are homosexuals, prostitutes and perverted
people walking on the streets. Women are raped. There are
many drug dealers. Many people who are addicted to
alcohol. People don’t feel safe and secure in this city. This is
city A.”
Richard frowned. City A sounded very familiar!
“Now let me tell you about City B,” went on Dr. Singh.
“City B has few police stations. Few police officers. Stealing
is unheard of. People sleep soundly even with their doors
open! Nobody dares to enter and steal! If someone steals -
that crime becomes headline news. Women and children are
safe and secure in their homes. There are very few juvenile
delinquents. Alcohol is banned. So nobody is arrested for
drinking and driving. The streets are safe. People enjoy
peace and security in City B. Now can you tell me - which
city would you prefer to live in?”
“City B!” said Amy at once.
“No doubt about it!” said Marie. “I too would prefer to
live in City B!”
“The ruler of which city is wiser?” asked Dr. Singh.
“The ruler of City B!” answered Jim.
“Which city is better?”
“City B of course!” said Andrew. “But does such a city
exist? Or what?!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Yes, my friend! It certainly does! After
this period I want you to go and do some research regard-
ing crime rates in different countries. I want you to find out
which country heads the list in crime and which countries


have the lowest rate.”

“That would be a wonderful exercise!” remarked Marie.
“Okay now,” said Dr. Singh. “Can you explain to me why
City A has so many criminals? And why City B has so few?”
“I was hoping you would explain that,” said Andrew. “I
still can’t believe that a city like City B exists on this earth!”
“It’s very simple,” responded Dr. Singh. “The reason why
City B is able to maintain peace, order, security and ensure
obedience - it’s because the ruler of this city has prescribed
a punishment that people fear. The people who live in City A
do not fear the punishment that has been prescribed for the
crimes they commit - so many people merrily disobey the
“That makes sense!” said Richard. “You are right! If
people don’t fear the punishment - it won’t deter them from
committing crimes! And if they fear the punishment - there
will be a wonderful decrease in the crime rate!”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “So tell me - the punishment in
which city is good? The punishment that is prescribed in
City A or City B?”
“The punishment in City B is good,” said Jim. “Defi-
nitely! If it stops people from committing crimes - it is very
“Let me tell you what the punishment is in City B for
stealing,” said Dr. Singh. “If anyone steals - the hand is cut
There were gasps of horror at this revelation.
Dr. Singh smiled. “You wouldn’t want your hand to be
cut off, would you?”
Marie shook her head. “No, I wouldn’t!”
“Hmmm. This is definitely a punishment that people
would fear,” said Richard. “I understand now why nobody
dares to steal in City B! Who wants to lose his hand?!”

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“Nobody would even risk it!” said Andrew.

Martha was thinking about City A. “I can see now why
people in City A are committing so many crimes. And why
crime is on the rise there. And why so many people steal! It
is simply because people in City A don’t fear the punishment
that is prescribed for theft! They don’t mind spending a few
months or years in prison.”
“Yeah - in prison one is pretty safe,” said Jim. “At least
you can keep your hand!”
“What do you think God is like?” asked Dr. Singh. “Is He
like the ruler of City A or like the ruler of City B?”
“I think He is like the ruler of City B,” said Marie. “The
ruler of City A is - rather foolish! I can’t imagine God to be
“I agree!” said Jim. “God is Wise. Not foolish.”
“Based on the story of City A and City B,” said Dr.
Singh, “what do you think? Is God strict in punishment?”
“I think so,” said Marie thinking about the dreadful
punishment that was prescribed for theft in City B. But she
had also acknowledged that this punishment was good!
Because it provided peace and security to all citizens!
Richard was beginning to feel extremely afraid. And
Martha was beginning to understand the real meaning of the
words - fear of God. These words were there in the Bible
but she had always interpreted them to mean - God was to
be respected. Not so! God was to be feared. And feared
greatly! The punishment of God was something to fear!
“Want to hear another story?” asked Dr. Singh. “This is
the story of two fathers. The first father’s name was
Howard. He had a son named Christopher. Howard told
everyone that he loved his son a lot. So he never punished
Christopher for any wrongdoing. He always let him do
whatever he wanted. Christopher soon went astray. He got


into trouble with the police. And each time - Howard

shielded and protected his son. Christopher once got drunk
and broke the glass windows of a liquor store. Howard paid
for the damages. Christopher soon got into bad company
and began to smoke marijuana and sell drugs. He went to
the casinos and gambled his father’s money. He made three
girls pregnant. Christopher did not fear his father at all. And
because of this lack of fear -he got into serious trouble. One
day Christopher took an overdose of drugs - and died.”
“Stupid father!” said Marie. “What kind of love is this?!”
“This is not love,” said Richard. “This is foolishness!
Utter nonsense!”
“And then there was Jonathan. The father of a son
named Sebastian,” continued Dr. Singh. “Jonathan loved his
son too. But Jonathan was a strict man. He did not allow
Sebastian to do as he liked. If Sebastian did something
wrong he was promptly punished. Jonathan showed his
anger and told Sebastian where he went wrong. And when-
ever Sebastian corrected himself, Jonathan expressed his
pleasure and praised him. One day - a friend invited
Sebastian to a party. Sebastian knew that his dad didn’t like
those parties. But the curiosity got the better of him. He
wanted to know what those parties were like. So he went to
this party. There his friends were smoking cigarrettes and
drinking beer. They persuaded Sebastian to try the
cigarrettes and beer. And a girl began to pull him and take
him toward her bedroom. Then Sebastian suddenly remem-
bered his father. And he was overcome by fear. He knew
that his father would be very angry if he found out that he
had come to such a place. So he fled from the scene and
took refuge in his room. He was ashamed of what he had
done. He tells himself that he should never have accepted
the invitation and gone to that evil place! He goes to his

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father and tells him about what he had done. He begs him
for forgiveness. And Jonathan seeing that he is repentant -
smiles and forgives him.”
“Sebastian is lucky to have a father like Jonathan,”
commented Andrew.
“It turned out to be a good thing for Sebastian to fear his
dad!” said Jim. “It prevented him from getting into trouble!”
“So tell me,” said Dr. Singh. “What do you think God is
like? Like Howard or Jonathan?”
“Like Jonathan!” answered Andrew. He couldn’t imagine
God to be anything like Howard!


“I don’t believe this!” cried Jim.

His eyes were on the computer screen. He had
been doing research on world crime and had found some-
thing most astonishing. He called the others who were also
investigating crime statistics. They flocked around him
wondering what he had discovered.
“I found these statistics on!” Jim told
them. “Guess which country tops the list in total world
crime!?” And he clicked on a link to show a pie chart.
“Good grief!!” cried Andrew. “It’s the US?!”
“Yup! The United States of America leads the world in
total crime!” said Jim. “Here - see what it says? Crime
statistics - total crimes by country. USA tops the list!
34.1%!! And look at this interesting fact! The United States
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puts 0.7 % of its population in prison - a vastly higher

percentage than any other nation!”
“Well, I’m not surprised,” said Richard.
“Who’s next?” asked Marie curiously.
“Germany is second,” Jim informed her. “With 9% of
total crime. The United Kingdom is third with 7.4%.”
“What about India?” Marie asked.
“India is at number 10 with 2.5% of total world crime,”
said Jim.
Henry noticed the crowd around Jim’s computer and
walked over to see what was going on. When he saw the
statistics he smiled. “Isn’t it weird?” he said. “The US is
supposed to be the most advanced country in the whole
world! It has made so much progress in science, medicine
and technology. It has accumulated so much materialistic
wealth. It’s a land of abundance and great prosperity, no
doubt. But its people do not live in peace and security.”
“America has got a lotta problems, man!” said Andrew.
“Yeah - it’s rather strange. We got so much of money and
wealth. But all that money isn’t able to stop all this crime
from happening!” said Jim.
“America is especially notorious for gun violence,” said
Richard. “See if you can find something on the Columbine
High School massacre.”
Jim typed it in the search box. A page came up with the
information they wanted. Jim read it out, “The Columbine
High School massacre occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999,
at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson
County, Colorado, near Denver and Littleton. Two teenage
students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a
shooting rampage, killing 12 fellow students and a teacher,
as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide.”
Marie shook her head. “Why on earth does the US allow


people to carry guns!?”

“It’s in the constitution,” Richard told her.
Jim was intrigued enough to search for some more
information on gun violence. “Here’s the wikipedia site,” he
said. He read it out loud, “Gun violence in the United States
is associated with the majority of homicides and over half
the suicides, and two-thirds of non-fatal violent injuries. It’s
a significant public concern, especially in urban areas and in
conjunction with youth activity and gang violence. Gun
violence is not new in the United States, with the assassina-
tions of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, and of Presi-
dents James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F.
Kennedy. High profile gun violence incidents, such as the
assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther
King, Jr.......blah blah blah. Oh! Here’s what we were
looking for! The constitution!” He continued reading, “Gun
policy in the United States is also highly influenced by the
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,
which reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the
security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and
bear arms, shall not be infringed.””
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms!! What a
lotta baloney!” muttered Andrew. He thought about City B
that Dr. Singh had described. “Come on Jim! Let’s find out
what countries got low crime rates!”
Jim went back to the world statistics page. “There are
many countries here. You have Yemen.... Azerbaijan....and
Martha had been reading a book. “Here’s one country I
found that has a low crime rate,” she told them. “In this
country a stolen car is considered to be a serious news
event! What intrigued me was the punishment they have for
robbery. The hand of the thief is cut off!”

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“Hey! That sounds like City B!” cried Andrew. “I really

didn’t think such a city existed! What’s the name of that
Martha opened the book and found the page she was
looking for. She showed it to him. Andrew read it aloud,
“Brunei. Where’s this country situated?! I wanna go there!”
“It’s in South East Asia,” said Martha. “It’s pretty inter-
esting the punishment they have for different crimes.” She
read out some lines from the book. “Fornication by unmar-
ried persons and alcohol consumption are punished by
flogging, but adultery by stoning to death.”
“Wow! We don’t have any punishment for things like that
over here!” said Andrew.
“Did you say alcohol consumption?” said Richard. “I
really wonder now! How is it that this country has success-
fully banned alcohol - and here in the US - we failed miser-
“What are you talking about?” said Jim.
“Prohibition! Don’t you know? It was the era between
the years 1920 to 1933 when the US government banned
alcoholic beverages. There are many problems that arise due
to alcohol abuse and the US government simply wanted to
reduce those problems by banning alcohol. Well - guess
what happened? Instead of solving problems - the problems
grew worse. Crime increased! People would smuggle
alcohol into the country. I don’t know if you know this. But
Joseph Kennedy, father of John F. Kennedy, smuggled
alcohol from Canada to the U.S! He built a huge fortune
both during and after Prohibition!”
Marie was thinking about the high rate of crime in the
US. “I wonder why people are so attracted to this
place....this country, I mean. It sounds so much like city A
that Dr. Singh described!”


Richard nodded. He agreed with Marie. America was

very much like City A. “You are right! I know for a fact that
many people from other countries are dying to come here.
They dream of living in this country! And it is no secret why
they want to come here!”
“Why?” asked Marie.
“Oh, don’t you remember?” said Richard. “Evil comes in
very attractive and glittering packages? The life here in
America is very alluring. People can do things here that they
can’t in their countries! This is the land where you are free
to indulge in as much evil as you like! Alcohol, gambling,
drugs, midnight parties and half-naked women! People
come here to enjoy themselves. Have the time of their
“Would you know which place in America is the ultimate
destination for all these pleasure-seeking people?” asked
“Of course!” said Andrew at once. “I went there just
three months ago. Las Vegas! The city of sin! I went there
to enjoy myself. And I did have a great time. But
now....after coming to this retreat...I don’t think I’m gonna
go there again!”
“Uh....I’ve learnt quite a bit of things here...myself,”
admitted Richard. “I don’t think I’ll be drinking like I used
to......” He wasn’t going to be running after women like
Anne either. But he didn’t say it.
“I think it’s a real shame,” said Henry. “There are people
who live in a peaceful, secure environment. In countries
where the crime rate is low. These people don’t seem to
realize what they have! They want to leave their country
and come here to enjoy all these evil pleasures!”
“Hmmm. It’s truly a test, isn’t it?” said Richard. “Coun-
tries with low crime rates. I understand that these countries

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have low crime rates because the punishment is harsh and

severe. And we mistakenly believe that obedient people are
not free. We think they are not free because they are bound
by rules, laws and regulations. And we think the people in
America are the ones who are really free. Those who break
the rules are considered free.”
“Yes, but the reality is - those who are bound by rules
and regulations are as free as the people here,” said Marie.
“But that’s not how people think,” said Henry matter-of-
factly. “People who live in secure environments and who
live in a society ruled by a strict ruler - these people resort
to other means to satisfy their craving for evil pleasures.
Behind closed doors, they drink and gamble. They smuggle
drugs and alcohol into the country. They have illegal sex.
Nowadays there’s the internet. In their homes behind locked
doors - you will find people taking pleasure in pornography
and watching movies that are full of sex and violence. The
only difference is - people do all these forbidden things in
secret. Here in the US, they do it openly!”
“So what?” said Andrew. “God is aware of all things!
Nobody can hide from Him! People can do whatever they
like in secret. But God sees everything!”
Marie thought about the invisible beings who recorded
everything a person did and said. “If people knew that their
deeds were being recorded, they would never do those
“Ah! But that’s the point,” said Henry. “They don’t know
that everything is recorded. They don’t believe in......”
“The Day of Judgment!” Marie completed the sentence.


T he bell rang. “Mon Dieu! It’s 5.15!” cried Marie as

her gaze fell upon the wall clock that was in the
library. “We had better hurry! We don’t want to miss this
class. Dr. Singh had said it was going to be a very important
“It’s about responsibility, right?” said Martha getting up
from her chair.
“I think so!” responded Marie.
Everyone raced to the classroom and sat down eagerly
behind their desks. They had learnt a lot of important things
the past week, but somehow they knew that this particular
lesson was going to be the most important of all.
Dr. Singh entered the classroom followed by Henry. He
looked refreshed and very composed. He greeted them
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warmly and then picked up a piece of chalk. In big capital

letters he wrote on the board one word:


He turned to look at them and smiled. “Tonight, we are

going to learn about responsibility. But first let’s do a bit of
revision. You have learnt that to be human is to be free.
That means a human being cannot be forced. Everything
that a man does - is all done voluntarily. Agree?”
They all nodded. They had learnt enough about freedom
to know this truth. God made man a free creature. Unlike
the rest of creation - which was not free.
“But let’s say there is person A - who forces person B to
kill person C,” said Dr. Singh. “Can you tell me who is
responsible for C’s murder?”
“Person A!” answered Martha.
“And what if person Y kills person Z? What if nobody
has forced person Y to kill person Z? Who is responsible for
Z’s murder?”
“Of course it’s person Y!” said Andrew.
“So what does this mean?” asked Dr. Singh. “It means -
if you do something voluntarily - and nobody forced you to
do it - then you have to take the blame for it. God will hold
you responsible for that deed. But if someone forced you to
commit a crime, then the person who has forced you - will
be held responsible for the crime. Now here’s another
example. There’s person G. He takes his own life. He
commits suicide. Tell me - who will you blame for this
“Person G,” said Jim. “But I have a question to ask. Is it
wrong to commit suicide?”
“Most certainly it’s wrong!” replied Dr. Singh. “Suicide


is wrong - it’s a crime. Because you are wronging yourself.

You are hurting your self. You are causing harm to the body
that God gave you. But supposing person G was forced to
commit suicide. In this case, who would you blame? Who
would you hold responsible?”
“The person who forced G to commit suicide,” said
“Okay, here’s another example. There’s one man. We’ll
call him person D. He is killed by a crowd of people. Alto-
gether there were 30 people who attacked person D. So tell
me - who is responsible for the murder of person D?”
“Those 30 people!” said Amy at once.
“It’s just one person who died,” said Marie. “But each
person who hit person D has to take the blame.”
“Here’s still one more example,” continued Dr. Singh.
“There’s a President of a large company. He is shot by a
revolver by person K. But before the shooting - there was a
meeting attended by 100 people. There was a big con-
spiracy. Person Q made the plan. Person R handed person
M with the murder weapon. And person S drove person M
to the place where the President was to be assassinated. So
tell me - who is responsible for the murder of the President?
Is it just person M?”
“No, all the people who were involved are responsible,”
said Richard. “The person who planned the attack, the
person who gave the gun to the attacker and the person
who drove person M to the place of assassination. They are
all guilty!”
“Alright! Here’s another situation. But first - I wonder if
any of you have ever heard of the term - sati?”
They looked blankly at him. So Dr. Singh explained,
“Sati is a Hindu funeral custom. They say they don’t prac-
tise this anymore in India - but I’m not so sure. Anyway -

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sati is a custom in which the dead man’s widow used to

immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.”
“What’s immolate?” asked Amy.
“Burn herself,” replied Dr. Singh. “The widows would
throw themselves on the burning funeral pyre of their
husbands. Meaning they would burn themselves alive!”
“Mon Dieu!” cried Marie. “Are you serious?!”
“India has its share of strange customs and beliefs,” said
Dr. Singh. “Anyway sati was supposed to be voluntary. But
in reality it was not voluntary in practice. There are many
accounts of widows being physically forced to their deaths.
Women were forced to sit on the unlit pyre. They were tied
and then restrained to keep them from fleeing after the fire
was lit. Sometimes women were even drugged. Men used
long poles to prevent from fleeing the flames. In some cases
where the husbands were buried, their widows were buried
alive along with them.”
“This is dreadful!” exclaimed Martha.
“It wasn’t very long ago,” said Dr. Singh. “An 18 year
old girl - by the name of Roop Kanwar committed sati. That
was in the year 1987.”
“Only 18 years old!?” cried Marie in disbelief.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Well, listen to this. Several thousand
people attended this event. They watched Roop Kanwar
being forcibly dressed in her red wedding dress and put to
the fire. Now tell me - who is responsible for this crime?”
“The people who forced her!” said Jim. “Roop Kanwar
cannot be blamed for it because she did not do it voluntar-
“Wait a minute!” said Richard. “Not just the people who
forced Roop Kanwar - the bystanders - the several thousand
people who watched the event - and did nothing - they are
also responsible!!”


“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “That brings to my mind

two very interesting quotes. I’ll write them down here....”
And he wrote on the board:

1. “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of

the people who are evil, but because of the people who
don’t do anything about it.” -Albert Einstein
2. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that
good men do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

“These are great quotes!” remarked Andrew. “I agree

totally with them!”
“In modern India,” said Dr. Singh. “After such instances
of sati - fresh measures have been passed against this prac-
tice. The laws now make it illegal to be a bystander at an
event of sati. Now - the law does not make any distinction
between passive observers to the act and people who are
actively engaged in the event. All are held equally guilty.”
“That means people who don’t oppose wrongdoing are
as guilty as the wrongdoers?” said Marie.
“Certainly!” said Dr. Singh. “You have no idea how
terrible and serious the burden of responsibility is!”


“S upposing you are 5 feet tall,” said Dr. Singh. “Can

anyone blame you for that height?”
“Of course not!” said Jim.
“What if you are born with a crooked nose? Can you be
blamed for it?”
“No - how can we be blamed for something that we
didn’t choose?!” said Marie.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “We cannot be blamed for
these things because we didn’t determine them. We didn’t
choose them. We didn’t choose the color of our skin, our
eyes or our hair. We didn’t choose the time of our birth. Nor
did we choose our parents, our abilities etcetera, etcetera,
etcetera. All these things have been determined by God.
Therefore we can say that God is responsible for these

things. If you are 5 feet tall, we can say God is responsible

for giving you that height. If you are born blind, we can say
that God is responsible for it. Now - can you tell me what is
the only thing that God did not select and determine for
“His actions! His code of conduct!!” said Marie remem-
bering quite clearly the previous lessons.
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “Because God does not deter-
mine our actions - it naturally follows that God is not
responsible for the things we do or don’t do. If God forced
us to do things - then yes - God would be responsible for
our deeds.”
“That makes perfect sense!” remarked Richard.
“God is responsible for the behavior and conduct of all
things in this universe,” went on Dr. Singh. “He is The
Compeller. He compels each thing to act according to the
laws and rules He has set. But God does not compel or
force man to do good. Nor does He compel man to do evil.
God does not force any man to make the right choices. Or
the wrong. If so - then man has to take the responsibility on
his shoulders - for all the things he does - and all the choices
he makes. Let me give you an example to make this clear. A
lion kills a lamb. In this case we can say God is responsible
for this act. Because a lion does not act of his own free will.
A lion is compelled by God to behave in that manner. So in
this case - God is responsible. But if person A kills person B
- we cannot say that God is responsible for this crime. A
human being has free-will. A lion does not. A lion does not
have a choice. But human beings do. Person B might be at
the mercy of person A. And person A can even choose to
pardon person B. So to kill or to pardon - that’s a choice
that man makes. Not God. Hence man has to take the
responsibility for the choice that he makes. This is pretty

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serious. Responsibility is indeed a terrible burden to carry.

People have no idea what a terrible burden it is!”
“Why is it so terrible, Dr. Singh?” asked Amy.
Dr. Singh looked very serious as he spoke. “Man was
created to live in society. That’s pretty apparent - as you
learned before - that God created each person different.
Each of us can be identified and recognized by our faces,
fingerprints and even DNA. If God had not made us this
way - it would have become impossible for us to have a
society in which we could interact with one another. God
made us this way so that we could be tested within the
social network. Society is all about relationships. Relation-
ships develop between people because they have to interact
with one another. For example, there’s a relationship be-
tween the buyer and seller. Husband and wife. Parents and
children. Employer and employee. Teacher and student.
Ruler and citizens. We have many relationships with people
and along with relationships come - obligations. For ex-
ample, buyer must pay seller for goods and services. He is
obliged to do so. Can you think of any other obligations
people have toward one another?”
“Children!” said Marie. “Children are obliged to obey
their parents!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Right! Parents are the providers,
protectors and guardians of their children. And in return for
all this it is only fair that children respect, honor and obey
Andrew thought about the parents he never had. “I think
children should obey their parents out of gratitude. Because
there’s people out there who don’t got no parents.”
“What about a military commander?” said Martha. “The
soldiers are obliged to obey their commander, right?”
“And a student has to obey his teacher,” said Amy.


Richard thought about all his employees. “Employees are

obliged to obey their employer,” he said.
“And the citizens of a country are obliged to obey the
laws set by the ruling party,” said Jim.
Marie thought of one more example. “What if a person
saves a lady from drowning? Wouldn’t the lady be obliged
to this man for saving her life?”
“Great!” said Dr. Singh. “I’m glad that you have under-
stood the concept of obligation. As you can see man is
bound by obligations, responsibilities and rules. But people
are free creatures. They like their freedom but they don’t
like the responsibility that comes attached to it. The free-
dom that they desire is freedom from rules, obligations and
responsibilities. So children can be disobedient. Students
can disobey their teachers. An employee can disrespect his
employer. And the citizens of a country can disobey the law.
Tell me - what do you think of people such as these?”
“Ungrateful!” said Marie at once. “After all the things
that parents do for their children - if the children are disobe-
dient - that’s very bad! They are very ungrateful!”
“People don’t realize that their actions can have serious
consequences,” said Dr. Singh. “By their disobedience and
disregard for laws and rules - they harm themselves the
most. However, it’s not just themselves that they hurt, they
can also hurt others.”
Amy was thinking about the example that Dr. Singh had
given previously. About the thief who landed in jail because
of what he had done. He had harmed himself that was true.
But how had he harmed others?
“How do people hurt others?” she asked.
“There’s something called influence,” said Dr. Singh.
“Your actions can influence other people around you. And if
it affects them negatively - you have to take the responsibil-

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ity or blame for it! And this is what makes responsibility

such a terrible burden to carry!”
Dr. Singh could see that they hadn’t fully understood the
significance of what he had just said. So he continued, “Do
you think you harm only yourself by your actions? No, my
dear friends. People don’t realize the number of people they
can cause harm to by the things they do! A person might
think that he is only harming himself by consuming alcohol.
Of course he is causing harm to himself. But he is harming
others too! Think of the number of people who are influ-
enced by his drinking! And if he has children it would be
terrible indeed if they followed his example. Because then -
God will hold him accountable for it! If you gamble - then
your children too would learn to gamble. And if they gamble
- God will hold you responsible for it!”
“Mon Dieu!” cried Marie. “This really is serious!”
“We have to be really careful about what we do and say -
especially around children,” said Dr. Singh. “Remember
they are like damp sponges. They don’t understand what is
right and what is wrong, what is good and what is not good.
They absorb everything around them! So if they do evil
things because of your conduct - then on the Day of Judg-
ment - you can be sure they are certainly going to put the
blame on you! And then besides children, there are also
other people around you who are influenced by our actions.
If they copy your ways - you will have to take the responsi-
bility for it!”
Jim was thoughtful. “What you say is so true, Dr. Singh,”
he said. “I had gone to a clinic once and there was sign
board that said - “Zero tolerance zone. Please watch your
language. Children are present.” We really have to be
careful around kids!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “When people see the punishment in


store for them on the Day of Judgment - what are they

going to say?”
“I think they will say my parents taught me that,” said
Marie. “They would probably mention the names of all
people who influenced them to do what they did.”
“That means on the Day of Judgment there will be much
finger-pointing!” said Richard.
“Right,” said Dr. Singh. “Most people would be pointing
their fingers at their forefathers. But God will punish the
wrongdoers - the forefathers as well as those who blindly
followed their ways.”
“But why would God punish the followers?” asked Jim.
“Because God gave human beings reason, my friend!”
replied Dr. Singh. “Reason helps man to know what is right
and wrong and to distinguish between truth and untruth. So
if people did not use their reason - and followed the ways of
their forefathers blindly - they can blame only themselves.
By their wrongdoing people do not hurt God. They hurt


A fter a fifteen minute break they returned to their

class for the final lesson of the day. What they had
learnt about responsibility had shaken them. But there was
more. Dr. Singh hadn’t finished with the discussion of
“No one can carry the burden of another,” he said. “For
example, if I murdered someone - I will have to face the
punishment for my wrongdoing. Someone else cannot carry
this burden for me. A person who is a thief carries an evil
burden. But what about a man who is a thief as well as a
“He carries a bigger burden,” said Jim.
“That’s right! The more the crimes and sins committed
the greater will the burden be,” said Dr. Singh. “Apart from

criminals however there are people who are not criminals -

people who carry more burden than others. Do you know
which people they are?”
When no one spoke Dr. Singh revealed, “It’s the people
who have more responsibility on their shoulders. They are
people who have more power and strength. A man has more
responsibility to shoulder a woman, for example. Why?
Because God gave him more strength and because he has
more strength he is the one who rules the household. He has
to provide for his family and look after his wife and chil-
dren. He is responsible for paying the bills and protecting
his family.”
“Nowadays there are many women who work and pro-
vide for their families,” said Jim. “They work while their
husbands stay home with the kids!”
Dr. Singh frowned. “I know,” he said. “But God didn’t
make women for that kind of work. Women should behave
like women and not try to take the place of men!”
From the expression on his face Marie could tell that this
was a sensitive subject for him. She decided to get
everybody’s attention back to the topic under discussion.
“So women have less responsibility than men, right?” she
“Yes, they have less responsibility,” said Dr. Singh. “Men
are stronger than women - so their responsibility is defi-
nitely greater. They will be accountable for how they used
their strength. So the man who shows kindness to his wife is
better than he who doesn’t. However, many men misuse the
strength and power that God gave them.”
“Domestic violence!” said Andrew. “It’s a major problem
in this country, man!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “It’s not just in the US, it’s all over the
world. Women have been abused since the beginning of

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history. So many crimes are committed against them be-

cause they are not as strong. They are raped, beaten and
oppressed. This is clearly a misuse of strength.”
“I’m sure these men will be severely punished in the
Hereafter,” said Marie.
“Most certainly, they will be!” agreed Dr. Singh. “By
misusing their strength - men only harm themselves. People
who oppress others are in reality hurting themselves.”
“Yeah! Coz God is gonna see to it that nobody is
wronged!” said Andrew with a grin. “All wrongdoers are
gonna be punished. And punished really good!”
“But these men wouldn’t wrong women in that way if
they knew about the Day of Judgment, right?” said Marie.
“That’s true,” said Dr. Singh. “Anyway, all men came
into this world through women. Women are the mothers of
men. They carry them in their wombs for 9 months and go
through much pain and hardship. Childbirth is a very painful
experience. And after the birth of a child women take care
of their babies by nursing them, protecting them and fulfill-
ing their every need until they grow big and strong.
Shouldn’t men therefore revere and respect the wombs that
bore them? Shouldn’t they place their mothers in high
regard for all the difficulties and hardships they endure? For
all the sacrifices that they make? It is indeed the mercy of
God that He made mothers the way they are. So if anyone is
disrespectful and ungrateful to his mother - what would you
think of him?”
“I would think he is guilty of a major sin!” said Andrew.
“I never had a mom. But I know that if I did I would never
have disrespected or disobeyed her.”
“Anyway, those who have more power and strength are
naturally more responsible,” said Dr. Singh. “The power
that God gave men should be used to protect their wives


and children and ensure security and justice. Not for ruth-
less exploitation. Women on the other hand are stronger
than their children. So they will be held responsible for their
care and upbringing.”
“Women are suited for that kind of thing,” said Martha.
“Tell me - if a child misbehaves and uses foul language,
who is at fault?” asked Dr. Singh.
“I’d say it’s both the mother and father,” said Richard.
“Right! Now - do you remember the story I had told
you? Of the two fathers Howard and Jonathan?”
“Yeah,” said Jim. “Howard’s son Christopher died of
drug overdose.”
“Christopher of course has to bear the responsibility for
his actions,” said Dr. Singh. “But Howard is also respon-
sible for the things that he did. Do you agree?”
“Definitely!” said Richard. “Parents are responsible for
their children.”
“Alright! I’m now going to tell you about a real-life
crime story,” said Dr. Singh. “This happened in England. It
was a terrible crime committed by two 10 year old boys -
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. They skipped school
and went to the Liverpool mall. There they selected a two
year old toddler whose name was James Bulger. What they
did to this toddler is something even I am unable to de-
scribe. It was so horrific.” He looked at Amy, then Marie
and then Martha. “I’m not going to give you the details of
that ghastly crime because I know that you would possibly
not be able to sleep tonight. But the story must be told. The
two boys were only 10 years old - but they were the ones
who led little James out of the mall and killed him.”
“No!” cried Marie putting her hands to her ears. This was
something she couldn’t bear to hear. Neither could the rest.
There was a grim silence in the classroom.

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At length Dr. Singh spoke. “Can you tell me - who is

responsible for the murder of little James? What do you
think Robert and Jon would say when they are questioned
on the Day of Judgment?”
Amy was quick to answer. “They would probably say it
was the TV programs they watched!”
“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “Nowadays there’s a lot of
violence and bloodshed shown on TV. There are many
children who watch these TV programs and are negatively
influenced by them. Crime by juveniles is on the increase
mainly due to this. Remember the book I had shown you.
The title of the book was Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill!
And the main focus of that book was the influence that TV
and movies had on children. So who is really responsible for
the crime that Robert and Jon committed? All those people
involved in making those misleading TV programs and
movies! The director, the actors, the scriptwriters, the
editors. They are all responsible! The parents of Robert and
Jon will also be held responsible for allowing their kids to
watch such programs. The boys might also have been
influenced by other things like books, magazines and pic-
tures. Things which they found in their homes or school.
Every person who influenced the boys to kill little James -
all of them will be held responsible! The people in society
who do not object to such TV programs will also be held
responsible! The only people who will not be held account-
able or blamed would be those who opposed those kinds of
TV programs, books and literature.”
“Yeah. I remember. The bystanders who just stand there
and watch are just as guilty,” said Jim.
“Now do you understand how terrible the burden of
responsibility is?” said Dr. Singh. “We really need to watch
our actions. What we do and say. All adults were once


children and how we are as adults depends a lot on our

upbringing and the influence of parents and society. Every
person that influences children, teenagers and youth to do
wrong - they are all going to be held responsible. Do you
know who will be trembling on the Day of Judgment? They
will be parents, teachers, employers, rulers, judges, actors,
actresses, singers, leaders and all celebrities. Especially
celebrities. Because their behavior influences so many
people. Millions of people! Actresses don’t think much
about exposing their bodies on screen. But for every person
who views them and as a consequence turns to wrongdoing
- those actresses will have to take the blame for every
wrong done!”
Marie turned pale. She suddenly realized what an evil
burden it was that she carried.


I t was a beautiful night. There was a crescent moon in

the sky. They were sitting around the campfire again.
This time Henry was grilling hamburger patties.
“It’s a pity Mrs. Patil won’t come and join us,” said Amy.
“She is a vegetarian. She won’t touch meat!”
“Well, I know for sure she won’t eat beef,” said Dr.
Singh. “In India many people worship the cow!”
Richard had read a little about India in magazines. “Why
do those Hindu women put that red dot on their fore-
heads?” he asked.
“Nowadays that’s just an adornment,” replied Dr. Singh.
“But a red dot usually indicates that the woman is married.”
Marie was still thinking about their lesson on responsibil-
ity. She sat there immersed in her own thoughts. Dr. Singh

noticed the faraway look in her eyes and enquired what the
matter was.
“I think she is sad that our retreat is coming to an end,”
said Amy drawing closer to Marie.
“We are all sad,” said Martha. “We have enjoyed our stay
here very much. I shall never forget the wonderful time that
I spent over here.”
“I’m alright,” said Marie. “I was simply thinking that
before I came to this retreat I lived in a world of total
darkness. I didn’t know what I was doing - what I was
saying. I was ignorant. In my ignorance I did a lot of things
which influenced other people in a negative way. For which
I have to take the blame. And that really frightens me!”
“Yes,” agreed Martha. “Whatever I learnt today fright-
ened me as well. Because I’ve been a parent and I have
misled my daughter. I have misled many people by my
Marie suddenly laughed. “I’m sorry!” she said. “I just
realized that all the men here are unmarried! You lucky
“Yeah!” said Andrew. “I’m lucky! I’m gonna be really
careful how I bring up my kids - that’s for sure!”
“All of you are lucky,” said Dr. Singh with a kind smile.
“Remember I had told you that God is not going to look at
your mistakes. He is only going to see if you continued
making those mistakes. It’s never too late to repent. And
repentance comes naturally with knowledge and under-
standing of the Truth.”
Richard was thoughtful. “I’ve learnt a very important
lesson today. One that opened my eyes to the truth and
reality. We indeed wrong ourselves when we walk on the
path of ignorance. But knowledge - which I have gained
over the past few days - has helped me a great deal. I now

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see things clearly!”

“Yep, with no light of Truth to guide them - people walk
on dangerous waters,” said Dr. Singh. “Ignorance is indeed
very dangerous!”
Amy was a little tired after a long day. The seriousness of
the lessons they had learnt that day had also made her feel a
bit depressed. “Dr. Singh, please tell us a story!” she said.
Everyone’s face brightened and they looked at Dr. Singh
“Alright!” said Dr. Singh. “What kind of story do you
want to hear?”
Marie looked at Amy. “Uh - we don’t want to hear a
Cinderella - or the little mermaid type story. We want to
hear a story about....uh....about....”
“About justice,” said Richard.
Amy looked at Richard and smiled. She didn’t mind what
story it was - as long it was a story!
“Hmmm. Let me see if I can remember one,” said Dr.
Singh thinking for a while. “Ah! Now I remember!” He
cleared his throat. “Once.....there was a man by the name of
Jack. He sold his well to a farmer named Sam. The next day
Sam went to the well to draw out some water. Jack sud-
denly appeared on the scene. He did not allow Sam to take
any water from the well. Jack said to Sam, “I sold you the
well, not the water. The water is not yours. So you cannot
withdraw any water from this well!””
“What a bad man!” said Amy. “That’s not fair!”
“Sam, the farmer of course became very sad. He went to
the king and put his case before him. He asked for justice.
Well - the king summoned Jack to the court. When Jack
came, the king asked him, “Why won’t you let this farmer
use the water of the well? You sold the well to this farmer,
did you not?” Jack said, “Yes, I sold the well to this man.


But not the water. He has no right to draw any water from
the well!””
“Then what happened, Dr. Singh?” asked Amy. “What
did the king do?!”
“The king? Well, the king just smiled at Jack. The king
said to him, “You say that the water in the well is yours.
You sold only the well to this farmer. Well then - if the
water is yours, you have no right to keep your water in this
farmer’s well. You must either pay rent to the farmer to
keep your water in his well - or take your water out of the
well immediately!””
Amy clapped her hands.
Marie laughed. “Oh, this is a wonderful story! I’m so
glad the farmer got justice!” she cried.
“Another one! Another one!” said Amy excitedly. Every-
one else wanted to hear another story. It was apparent from
their faces.
“Alright! Here’s another story,” said Dr. Singh. “Once
there was a man named Patrick. He hated a certain man by
the name of Matthew. One day Patrick falsely accused
Matthew of stealing his necklace. He reported this theft to
the police. The case was brought before the judge. Now the
judge knew Matthew very well. He knew that Matthew was
not a thief. So he asked Patrick, “Why do you say that
Matthew has stolen your necklace?” Patrick replied, “Be-
cause I saw him steal it with my own two eyes!””
“Bad man!” said Amy. “He is lying!”
“Then Matthew said, “I am innocent! I don’t know
anything about his necklace!” When Patrick heard this he
said, “If he is innocent let him prove his innocence. Let’s
bring a hot iron rod. If he can hold it in his bare hands, then
I will agree that he has not stolen my necklace - and that he
is speaking the truth.””

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“Is this guy crazy or what?” said Andrew.

“Matthew said, “Do you mean to say that if I am speak-
ing the truth - the red hot iron will not burn my hands?!”
Patrick nodded and said, “Yes. If you are really innocent,
God will protect you! And your hands will not get burnt!”
The judge listened to all this in silence. Then he asked for a
red hot iron to be brought to the court. When it was
brought the judge turned to Patrick and said, “Matthew will
certainly hold this hot iron rod. But first I ask that you hold
it. If you are telling the truth - then God will protect you -
and this iron rod will not burn your hands.” And the iron
rod was given to Patrick to hold.”
Everyone laughed.
“Serves him right!” said Andrew.
“Well, Patrick was forced to hold that red hot iron rod.
And of course his hands got burnt. This proved that Patrick
was lying. And Matthew did not have to hold the iron rod.”
“He was a good judge,” remarked Richard. “I wish the
judges of this world were as just and witty!”
Henry announced that the burgers were done. It was time
for them to eat. But there was a question on Marie’s mind
that she had been wanting to ask Dr. Singh. She decided to
ask him now before she forgot again.
“Dr. Singh, I have a question to ask you,” she said. “We
came here to find out answers to many questions - and to
solve the mysteries of life and death. We know who we are
and what happens after death. But what is the answer to the
question - what is the purpose of life?”
“We have already solved that one, haven’t we?” said Jim.
“Our purpose in life is to pray constantly to God and main-
tain cleanliness. Right, Dr. Singh?”
“Yes, certainly,” responded Dr. Singh. “Those things -
praying and maintaining cleanliness are going to help us of


course. But what’s the purpose of life? I think the answer is

pretty obvious!”
“It is?!” said Marie wondering why it wasn’t so obvious
to her.
“Well, you solved the mystery, didn’t you?” said Dr.
Singh. “You know that God created the life of this world to
test us, right?”
“Yes, there’s no doubt about that!” said Marie.
“Well then - if that’s the case, it is pretty clear what our
purpose of life is,” said Dr. Singh with an amused expres-
sion on his face. “The purpose of life is - to pass the test!”


T he next morning everyone arose early. It was their

last day at the retreat. And they did not want to miss
a single moment of their time there. At 8 o’clock sharp the
class began.
“We have come a long way, my friends,” said Dr. Singh.
“We have solved some very important mysteries. And we
have acquired knowledge that really matters in life. But we
still have a little more ground to cover. And today - which is
our last day here - we shall deal with what remains. In fact,
this could be the most important day of your life. Today you
will learn - what it is you need to do to succeed in the
Hereafter. Success in the Hereafter is mainly - being saved
from God’s punishment. Those who are spared of this
punishment - we can say - these are the people who have

achieved real success. But before we proceed, let us first

revise what we learned about responsibility. What is respon-
sibility and why does God hold human beings responsible
for their actions?”
Marie had a dictionary. She quickly opened it and looked
up the word responsibility. “This dictionary here defines the
word responsible,” she said. “Responsible - able to be
trusted; having to say or explain what one has done.”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Thank you! That is correct. But let
me write here another definition.” And he wrote on the

Responsibility - the obligation to answer to authority for


“Can you tell me to which authority we have to answer

for our actions?” he asked.
“God!” said Jim at once. “There is no greater authority
than God!”
“And why does God hold us responsible for our ac-
“Because we have free-will and we make our choices
voluntarily,” said Marie. “Nobody forces us to make our
decisions and choices.”
“Good! Now can you tell me which people are going to
have more to answer for?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Those who have more power and strength,” replied
“Okay, tell me - who has more responsibility? The person
who is married or the person who is unmarried?”
“The person who is married,” said Martha.
“Whose burden of responsibility is bigger? The man who
has two children or the man who has none?”

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“The man who has two children of course,” said Richard.

“What about a man who has two children versus a man
who has five?”
“The man who has five children definitely carries a bigger
burden!” said Marie.
“So it’s pretty clear that some people carry more burden
than others,” said Dr. Singh. “The teachers have more
responsibility than the students. The Principal has more
responsibility than the teachers. The Governor of a State has
more responsibility on his head than the Principals. And
above the Governor and all the heads of States is who?”
“The President!” said Richard.
“That is correct. You can imagine what the President will
have to answer for on the Day of Judgment!” said Dr.
Andrew shuddered. “I wouldn’t want to be the President
for all the money in the world! That’s a lotta responsibility,
Dr. Singh smiled. “I wouldn’t either. The kind of respon-
sibility that the rulers of this world bear - is too great. There
is always the possibility that the ruler makes unjust decisions
and passes unjust laws. He would have to answer for any
injustice done to the people and that can amount to a lot.”
“Which means - a greater punishment,” said Jim.
Dr. Singh nodded. “People don’t realize what a serious
matter it is to be at the head of any organization. Be it
family, company or country. They think little about the
consequences of their actions, not caring if it hurts other
people. They are greedy for power, eminence, fame and
materialistic riches and glory. They want to be leaders of
people little knowing the price they have to pay for such a
position - the price of responsibility and having to answer to
God for their actions! The more your abilities, power and


strength - the more will you be held accountable. Let people

not think that it is good for them. Because in their ignorance
they misuse their powers and abilities. They put them to
wrong use!”
“Are people at fault if they are ignorant?” asked Richard.
“Certainly!” replied Dr. Singh. “A person who chooses to
remain in the darkness of ignorance has only himself to
blame. God will certainly hold people accountable if they
are ignorant! They cannot plead ignorance and escape the
punishment that is in store for them. They cannot be ex-
“Why can’t they be excused?” Jim had to ask!
“Because to be human is to think. And use reason to
distinguish between right and wrong. Truth and untruth. It
is reason that takes us out of our ignorance and puts us in
the light of truth, knowledge and understanding. If people
do not use the reasoning faculties that God gave them - who
can they blame but themselves?”
“But many people are living in the darkness of ignorance
- right now!” said Richard. “Are they all doomed?!”
“It doesn’t matter how many there are,” said Dr. Singh.
“If people are ignorant - it is their choice! They are happy
with their lives and are not curious to know anything more
than what pleases them and gives them satisfaction. They
are wrapped up in the life of this world and don’t care to
know where they are headed. They are ignorant because
they have chosen the path of ignorance. And they choose it
because they don’t really want to know what the Truth is.”
He paused. Then he asked, “Can you tell me what igno-
rance really is?”
“Ignorance is the opposite of knowledge,” said Richard.
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “Ignorance is nothing but lack of
knowledge. Now tell me - why do people lack knowledge?”

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This question made them think a little. After the lapse of a

few minutes Marie gave the answer. “People lack knowl-
edge because they don’t seek it!”
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “So whose fault is it if a
person chooses to be ignorant and does not seek knowl-
edge? It is his fault alone! Ignorance is darkness. A person
can sit in the cockpit of an airplane and with no knowledge
try to fly the plane. You can imagine what will happen if he
does that!”
“Total disaster!” said Andrew chuckling.
“Here’s another scenario. A car breaks down. Can a man
who has no knowledge of the mechanism that is in a car -
with no knowledge whatsoever about how it works - can
such a man fix it? The only person who can fix the car is a
mechanic - who has acquired knowledge about cars and
how they work. The mechanic knows how to fix cars. The
doctor knows which medicine to prescribe for his patients.
The architect knows how to design buildings. All of them
have knowledge. And it is only when people are armed with
knowledge that they can be successful.”
“You are right,” said Richard, “We had learnt earlier that
our mission in life is to seek knowledge.”
“Does anyone remember the pledge?” asked Dr. Singh.
He was surprised as all of them raised their hands. Dr. Singh
asked Amy to recite it. She stood up and recited it:

There is no other Truth but one Truth.

Anything other than Truth is false and vain.
I shall love the Truth with all my heart.
And I shall reject all falsehood.
My mission in life is to seek knowledge,
And walk upon the Straight Path alone,
For I know that only the Truth has the power


to help me, guide me and save me.

Dr. Singh was visibly pleased. “I’m glad that you have
memorized it. Our mission in life is to seek knowledge.
Because it is knowledge that helps us to be successful. So
tell me - who will be successful in the Hereafter?”
“Those who have knowledge,” said Richard without
“Uh....not really,” said Dr. Singh with a twinkle in his
eye. “It will be those people who applied their knowledge
who will be successful. What is the use of knowledge that is
not put to use? Knowledge that just sits on the shelf?”
“You have a point,” said Richard smiling.
“Now can you tell me who will be the losers on the Day
of Judgment?”
“Those who were ignorant - and who in their ignorance
did all kinds of wrong things,” answered Jim.
Marie shook her head sadly. “I feel sorry for them,” she
“Don’t feel sorry for them,” said Dr. Singh. “Think about
yourself! They can’t help you on the Day of Judgment. Nor
can you help them! They cannot carry your burden and you
cannot carry theirs!”


“A way of life based on falsehood versus a way of

life based on truth,” said Dr. Singh. “Which way
leads to success?”
“The way of truth,” said Richard. It was pretty obvious!
“So if people follow false teachings, ideas and beliefs,
where are they headed?”
“Toward their destruction!” answered Jim.
“Who will these people blame when they see the punish-
ment in the Hereafter?”
“I know!” said Marie. “They will blame their parents,
teachers and leaders!”
“Yes, they will blame everybody who misled them,” said
Andrew. “And that could be many people!”
Dr. Singh wrote on the board one word:


“Do you hate untruth?” he asked.

Amy looked at her badge that had the words “Untruth
Busters!” printed on it. “Yes, I do!” she said firmly. “Be-
cause untruth makes us lose our way!”
Martha, Marie and Amy knew this from first-hand experi-
ence. They had lost their way following a false map!
“The other name for untruth is lies,” said Dr. Singh. “Lies
exist only in the world of men. Nowadays lies have become
a part of our life. If a politician or leader lies - it’s no big
deal. People do not hate lies actually. They take them in
their stride and dismiss them as trivial things. Not to be
taken too seriously. The attitude of the people these days is
- well everybody is doing it. What does it matter if I do
“You are absolutely right, Dr. Singh,” said Andrew. “I’ve
seen this tendency far too many times! Lying isn’t consid-
ered a serious thing at all!”
“But it is very serious,” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s say there’s
a man who lived a thousand years ago. He made up some
false stories about imaginary gods and goddesses and
related these stories to his children. The children took these
stories to be true. And they passed these stories to their
children. With the passage of time these stories underwent
some changes. Some things were added to it and some
things were omitted. For one thousand years these stories
were circulated in different societies and countless people
believed in them. So tell me - who will God hold responsible
for leading so many astray?”
“The man who originally made up the false stories!” said
Richard. “Good grief! He will have to pay for each person
who went astray?!”

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“Uh-huh,” said Dr. Singh. “Now isn’t that serious?”

“Yes, it is very serious,” said Marie. “God will punish this
man as well as the people who blindly accepted those false
Richard was thinking about the media and the false
stories that were often circulated about people. “Then many
people are going to face a severe punishment in the Hereaf-
ter,” he concluded. “Because there are many people today -
as well as many people who lived in the past - who told lies
and spread those lies!”
“Yes, we have to be very careful how we conduct our-
selves,” said Dr. Singh. “Especially around children because
they believe everything we say! Other people are also
affected by our actions. And if they are misled, go stray and
turn to wrondoing because of our actions - then God will
surely hold us responsible for it! So parents are certainly
going to be questioned how they brought up their children.
Did they teach them anything that was false or misleading?
Teachers, leaders, kings, rulers, judges and people in au-
thority will be all be questioned. All these people carry a
greater burden because of their position of authority and
power in society. Even film stars would carry a bigger
burden. For example, a person works in a film that glorifies
falsehood. Let’s say he works in a film that is about false
gods and goddesses. The film is about false ideas and beliefs
that people take to be true. But by working in such a film -
he plays a big part in misleading many people! Millions of
people watch the film and many people are led to believe
that this actor is a supporter of those false teachings!
Thereby leading them to have greater faith in those lies!”
“That is terrible!” exclaimed Marie instantly deciding to
give up her career as an actress forever.
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “Film stars accept roles that are


misleading - only caring about the money they will make.

And the name and fame they will earn. They don’t think
even once about the kind of influence they can have over
the masses!”
“Responsibility is serious because of this factor of influ-
ence,” he continued. “There’s bad influence. But there’s
good influence as well. It works the other way round too. If
you teach people what is right and good and call them to
oppose evil and wrongdoing - you can get nothing from
God - but reward which increases with each person who
follows the right path that you show.”
“Meaning there is reward for people who do good?”
asked Jim suddenly feeling happy.
Dr. Singh laughed. “If there is punishment for people
who do wrong, shouldn’t there be reward for people who
do what is right? If God is able to punish, don’t you think
He can also give you a great reward for doing what is right?
He is God, my friends! And certainly He has power over all
things. There have been kings and rulers who have richly
rewarded their people when they were pleased with them.
And they were men. Don’t you think God’s reward is better
and far greater?”
“I wanna know how I can please God!” said Andrew
Dr. Singh smiled enigmatically. “If you can stay away
from evil - and oppose it - God will surely be pleased with
“Hmmm. That isn’t going to be an easy task,” remarked
Richard. “It seems it takes hard work and effort to please
“Those who want God’s reward would be willing to do
whatever it takes,” Dr. Singh told them. “There is much
falsehood in this world - and much evil. If you want God’s

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reward you have to fight against evil and untruth. It is good

to fight for the sake of Truth. If you did not fight then you
would be just like those bystanders who passively watched
Roop Kanwar the 18 year old Indian girl - being burnt alive
on her husband’s funeral pyre.”
“Martin Luther King Jr. is considered some sort of hero
in this country,” said Jim. “That was because he fought
against injustice. He didn’t just sit there and do nothing!”
“And Bhimrao Ambedkar too,” said Marie remembering
his fight against untouchability.
“So there you are! Fighting is not wrong if you are
fighting to establish truth and justice,” said Dr. Singh. “Do
you see how Superman, Spiderman and all the Super heroes
fight against the bad guys? In the movies do you see how
the good guys finally win and kill all the bad guys? Do you
feel sorry when the wrongdoers are punished for their
crimes? Do you feel sorry for them when they are executed?
Or put in the electric chair?”
“No, I don’t feel sorry for them,” said Richard. “They
deserve the punishment that they get!”
“The only time when I would feel sorry would be when
an innocent person is hanged,” said Marie.
“That would be injustice,” said Dr. Singh turning to the
blackboard and writing the word in capital letters:


“Can you tell me where you find injustice? Do you find it

in the animal and plant kingdom? Do you find it out there
among the stars, planets and galaxies? Just where is it that
you find injustice?”
The answer was pretty clear and Jim had no hesitation at
all in replying, “In our world! In the world of human be-


“Do you think you can explain why that is so?” Dr. Singh
It required a little bit of thought. But it wasn’t a difficult
thing to explain.
“Is it because human beings make wrong use of their
free-will?” said Marie.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yes, that’s the main reason behind all
the chaos that exists in the world of men. Most of the
suffering in our world is because people mistreat others and
wrong them. But I want to know - why do people mistreat
others? Why do they treat them unfairly?”
Martha raised her hand. “It’s because - they are suffering
from a superiority complex. They think they are better than
“You are talking about pride,” said Dr. Singh. “Pride has
led to the fall of many men. And yes - it does cause many
people to treat other people unjustly. Pride makes people
look down on others and treat them with contempt.”
“But what are people proud about?” said Jim. “Their
wealth? Their power? God can take that away anytime,
“Some people think they are better than others because
they are white,” said Andrew. “They look down on people
who are darker in color. I oughtta know! I been through a
lotta injustice and discrimination - just because I’m black!”
“Since the beginning of history,” said Dr. Singh, “people
have faced many instances of injustice and oppression.
Today we think unjust laws are a thing of the past. We like
to believe that in the modern age criminals can’t get away
with their wrongdoing. That eventually they will be caught
and put in prison. Many people think that justice is done in
the modern era. But what about people who were victims of

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unjust laws in the past? Those who suffered oppression and

injustice? Like the black slaves who were brought to
America? And the untouchables of India? What about
innocent people who were slaughtered at the hands of
ruthless dictators and tyrants? What about the wrongdoers
who were never punished? Injustice occurs when wrongdo-
ers are not punished and when innocent people are punished
for things they did not do. For all times - even today - who
says we get justice? Injustice is prevalent everywhere in the
world of people. Modern times or ancient - this has always
been so! In fact, it was not so long ago that mankind wit-
nessed the height of injustice and unbelievable cruelty. The
20th century was the bloodiest in the entire history of


D r. Singh was holding two books in his arms. He

placed them on the table and asked, “What do false
teachings lead to?”
“Disaster?” said Jim.
“Of course,” said Dr. Singh. “But the question is - how
does it lead to disaster?”
“I think it leads to disaster because people lose their
way,” said Marie.
“Well, yes. You are right. But the main reason why false
teachings result in disaster is because - it leads people to
wrongdoing. It leads people to commit grave injustice. And
when people wrong others and are unjust - they are in
reality wronging themselves. Let me give you an example.
In this world, what is the punishment if person X kills
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person Y in cold blood?”

“Death,” said Andrew. “Or life imprisonment.”
“What is the punishment if person X kills not one but a
hundred people in cold blood?”
“The punishment is death,” said Andrew. “I don’t think
they punish such people with life imprisonment!”
“So the punishment in this world for killing one man is
death. And the punishment for killing a hundred people is
still death. Do you think justice has been done?” asked Dr.
“No!” said Marie. “Justice is done only when the punish-
ment fits the crime!”
“What kind of punishment would fit the crime of killing a
hundred people?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“I think if person X could be killed a hundred times, for
each life that he took - this kind of punishment would fit the
crime,” said Jim.
“In this world of course we are unable to punish people a
hundred times,” said Dr. Singh. “But what about the Here-
after? Do you think God is capable of punishing person X a
hundred times?”
“Yes, most definitely!” said Marie. “Then justice would
be done!”
“And that is what I mean when I say people wrong
themselves when they wrong others,” said Dr. Singh. “If
person X ruthlessly killed 100 people, he would be punished
in the Hereafter for each life that he took. The 100 people
that he killed will receive compensation from God for the
injustice that they suffered at the hands of person X. But it
is person X who is being tormented and punished for the
wrong that he did. Hence he wronged himself. Person X by
his wrongdoing harmed himself the most!”
“Yeah, I understand!” said Andrew. “We gotta pay for


our wrongdoing. Or else it won’t be fair to people who

were wronged. Boy! This is scary stuff!”
“God counts every tear drop that people shed on account
of any injustice that they suffer,” said Dr. Singh. “Be sure
that every oppressor and unjust person will have to pay for
every drop of tear that is shed! Therefore a terrible punish-
ment awaits the wrongdoers.”
“What is that punishment going to be like?” asked Rich-
“In degrees of course!” replied Dr. Singh. “Those who
committed more crimes will have more punishment. The
punishment for each person will be according to his deeds.
There have to be different levels of punishment. It cannot be
the same for all. Otherwise that would be injustice. Now
back to the topic of injustice. I was asking you what leads
people to do wrong and deal with people unjustly. It is.....”
“False teachings!” said Marie at once.
Dr. Singh nodded. “If false teaching leads to wrongdoing,
then the person who teaches falsehood is as guilty as the all
the people who do wrong as a result of that false teaching.
For example, the practise of sati - the Hindu custom where
the widow is forced to burn on her husband’s funeral pyre.
Why do people practise such an abominable custom? It is
only because of false teachings! Whoever introduced this
concept into the Hindu society must therefore take the
blame for every widow that was burnt alive. Each and every
person who supported this false concept must also take the
blame even though he did not participate in the actual
burning of any widow. The bystanders who just stand there
and watch are also equally guilty. Then what about the
Hindu caste system? Wasn’t it unjust and result in incalcu-
lable misery and suffering - especially for the untouchables?
Whoever formulated this system must therefore take the

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blame for all the grief and sorrow endured by the downtrod-
den. Not just those who formulated the system but those
who supported it and did not oppose it - all of them are
equally guilty!”
“I’m sure these people will get a terrible punishment in
the Hereafter!” said Jim.
“Read the pages of history!” said Dr. Singh. “There are
innumerable instances of false teachings that have misled
people and caused them to do wrong. The Aztecs, the Incas,
the Druids - these are just a few people who offered human
sacrifice to their gods. Even children were sacrificed!
Innocent men, women and children were killed mercilessly.
Why? Because of false teachings and nothing else!”
“You know, it really feels good to know that God will
punish all these people in the Hereafter!” said Richard. “I
won’t feel any pity for them when God punishes them! They
deserve every bit of punishment they get!”
“Yes!” cried Amy with great emotion. “Let these people
burn forever for the things they did!”
“I understand now what Dr. Singh means,” thought
Martha. “People really wrong themselves by their actions.”
“As you can see, falsehood is evil,” said Dr. Singh.
“People simply don’t realize how serious it is to accept false
teachings. They don’t realize that they are simply wronging
themselves by doing so. Falsehood is the opposite of Truth.
People who follow falsehood are ignorant. And ignorant
people are headed toward nothing but disaster. Their doom
- which they bring upon themselves!”
“That means the greatest losers in the Hereafter are those
who followed falsehood!” concluded Richard gravely. He
shook his head sadly.
“Almost 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia,” said Dr.
Singh. “Some pagans made up some myths about the origin


of life in the universe. One of those myths led to the belief in

evolution. There’s a Sumerian epic that states that life first
emerged in water and then evolved from one species to
another. What do you have to say about this?”
“These people fabricated those stories,” said Martha.
“These stories are untrue! False!”
“How do you know these stories are untrue?” asked Dr.
Martha frowned. After a little thought she knew the
reason why. “Because there is absolutely no evidence to
support them!”
Dr. Singh smiled and nodded. “Right you are! So those
stories were false. That was 5,000 years ago. Then many
years later ancient Greece accepted these false ideas. And
then the Romans too accepted them. You can imagine how
many people were influenced by these false tales. Then in
the 19th century a French biologist by the name of Jean
Baptiste Lamarck explained in detail the theory of evolu-
tion. People did not take his view seriously and his theory
was dismissed. Then came Charles Darwin. He published his
book Origin of Species in 1859. He said that all different
species came from a common ancestor. This ancestor
appeared in water by chance.”
“I don’t know how I ever believed in the evolution
theory!” said Richard shaking his head.
“Darwin published another book in 1871,” continued Dr.
Singh. “That book was entitled The Descent of Man. It is
very interesting what he says in that book. He said that man
evolved from some ape-like creatures. He claimed that
some races were more evolved and therefore more ad-
vanced than others. He believed in the concept of - struggle
for survival. He thought that the stronger and more evolved
races would win after a fierce conflict and bloody struggle -

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just as it happened in the natural world where the strong

overpowered the weak.”
He picked up one of the books that he had placed on the
table. It was the same book he was referring to - The Origin
of Species.
“Look at the sub-title of this book,” said Dr. Singh
pointing to the front page. He read it out, “The Origin of
Species by means of natural selection or the preservation of
favoured races in the struggle for survival.”
“Favored races!” exclaimed Andrew. “Who were the
favored races?!”
Dr. Singh knew that Andrew wasn’t going to like it. But
the truth had to be told. “In the view of Darwin,” he said,
“the favored race was the European white man.”
“What nonsense!” said Andrew agitatedly.
“Yes, I know,” said Dr. Singh. “It is nonsense. But
Darwin actually believed in the superiority of the white race.
According to him the Asian and African races were failing in
the struggle for survival! He even said something most
outrageous. Let me see...” He opened the drawer and got
out his notebook. He flicked through the pages and found
what he was looking for. “Aha! Let me read out to you
what he says in his book The Descent of Man. He says, “At
some distant future period, not very distant as measured by
centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly
extreminate and replace the savage races throughout the
world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes will no
doubt be exterminated.””
“What’s exterminated?” asked Amy.
“It means to kill or destroy completely,” Dr. Singh
informed her. “Darwin believed that the white race would
gradually enslave the so-called inferior races -and then
totally destroy them!”


“So he’s behind all the genocide conducted by the Na-

zis!” exclaimed Richard as he suddenly realized what a
criminal Darwin really was.
Dr. Singh smiled. “Not just genocide, my dear friend,” he
said. “Darwin is responsible for many more crimes commit-
ted against humanity. His evil influence can be seen even


“C harles Darwin revealed himself to be a thorough

racist,” said Dr. Singh. “It is primarily because of
him that the world witnessed the bloodiest century in the
entire history of mankind. Adolf Hitler was greatly influ-
enced by Darwin’s teachings and as a result he began to
believe in the superiority of the German or Aryan race. He
considered all other races inferior. And he dreamed that the
German Aryan race would one day conquer the whole
world and establish an empire that would last for one
thousand years.”
“He wrote a book, didn’t he?” said Richard. “Mein
“Yes, he did,” said Dr. Singh. “Mein Kampf means My
Struggle. And what was all this struggle about? It was the

struggle for survival that was outlined in Darwin’s book -

The Origin of Species! Hitler wanted the German Aryan
race to triumph over the other races. And in order to make
his dream come true he set about promoting the theory of
He wrote on the board:


“Eugenics was said to be the self direction of human

evolution,” Dr. Singh explained.
“I don’t understand!” said Amy. “What does that mean?”
“Eugenics meant the improving of the human race,”
replied Dr. Singh. “Want to know how the Nazis sought to
improve the human race? They did it by getting rid of sick
and disabled people and by increasing the number of healthy
people. The Nazis thought that the human race could be
improved in the same way that better kinds of animals could
be bred by mating with healthy specimens.”
“You mean they killed all those sick and handicapped
people?” asked Amy horror-stricken.
“Yes, most certainly! The Nazis killed all people they
considered unfit! And it was all thanks to a certain evolu-
tionary biologist by the name of Ernst Haeckel. He was the
first person to promote the science of Eugenics. He was
later caught producing scientific forgeries to prove the
theory of evolution. But while he was engaged in this fraud,
he also spread his views on Eugenics. Listen to this! He was
of the opinion that disabled new-born babies should be
killed right away! He thought that doing this would speed
up the process of evolution in society!”
Everyone looked horrified. None of them could believe
that a madman like this biologist ever existed!

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“It was Ernst Haeckel who suggested that the disabled,

mentally retarded and those who were genetically ill should
be killed as soon as possible. He thought that such people
would place a burden in society - and slow down the evolu-
tion process! The Nazis accepted his ideas - and what
happened as a result? The mentally retarded, the disabled
and those suffering from hereditary diseases were collected
in special sterilization centers! Hitler considered these
people parasites and he believed that they were a threat to
the purity of the German race. He didn’t want them to
hinder the progress of evolution! It wasn’t too long before
Hitler issued his secret command and all these people were
mercilessly killed.”
“This is madness!” exclaimed Martha.
“The idea of Eugenics led to the establishment of special
reproduction farms,” said Dr. Singh. “The aim was to
produce human beings with blonde hair and blue eyes.
People with blonde hair and blue eyes were considered ideal
specimens of the pure German race.”
“Baloney!” said Andrew looking very angry.
“What were those reproduction farms for?” continued
Dr. Singh. “They were set up mainly to produce babies who
would become the future soldiers of the German race!”
“They’re treating human beings just like animals!” cried
Marie disbelievingly.
“Well, of course!” said Dr. Singh. “According to
Darwin’s theory of evolution - man had evolved from some
ape-like animal, right? That was what the Nazis fiercely
believed. That man was simply an animal - but an animal
who was more evolved! The Nazis believed that the German
Aryan race was the most evolved and advanced race. And
because of this belief they killed millions of people they
considered inferior. They conducted genocide the world had


never before witnessed.”

“I want to know,” said Amy, “what is genocide?”
Marie knew what it was but she quickly opened her
dictionary and looked up the word. She read it out, “Geno-
cide is the deliberate destruction of an entire race or na-
“Oh God!” cried Amy in horror. “How can anyone do
such a thing!”
“Under the leadership of Hitler the Nazis killed more
than 6 million Jews as well as people of other races,” Rich-
ard told her.
“6 million people!” Amy was flabbergasted at the figure.
“How many zeroes are there in a million?!”
“Well actually, Hitler was responsible for killing roughly
9 to 11 million people,” said Dr. Singh. “But to answer your
question there are six zeroes in one million. And 11 million
looks like this....” And he wrote on the board:


“I hope that God will punish Hitler for all the people he
killed!” said Marie.
“God will certainly punish him - there’s no doubt about
that!” said Dr. Singh. “Can you imagine though the punish-
ment he will face?”
Amy shook her head. She couldn’t imagine it. The
number of people Hitler had murdered went beyond her
“It’s true,” said Dr. Singh, “that Hitler will face a terrible
punishment in the Hereafter. For every life that he took and
for every misery and sorrow that he inflicted on every
human being - Hitler will be punished. You can imagine -
well, I know - you cannot imagine what kind of punishment

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he will undergo. You think Hitler was evil. But there was
another man who was just as cruel and merciless as Hitler,
also responsible for killing millions of people.”
“You mean there was another man as cruel as Hitler!”
said Marie.
Dr. Singh smiled. “Hitler killed people of other races. But
this man killed millions of his own people!”
They stared at him in shock as Dr. Singh wrote down one
name on the board:

Vladimir Ilich Lenin

“Lenin too regarded human beings as a herd of animals,”

said Dr. Singh. “And why did he regard them in this way?
Because of the influence of Darwin’s teachings! There were
also other men who influenced Lenin, however. They were
the two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels. They were of the opinion that human beings were a
species of animal and they were developed by means of
conflict. Conflict - which was similar to the struggle for
survival that Darwin wrote about in his book - The Origin
of Species. The interesting thing is both Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels were themselves influenced by Darwin and
all the books that they wrote adhered to the priciple of
evolution which Darwin had described in his book - The
Origin of Species. And it was due to the teachings of all
these men - Darwin, Marx and Engels - that led to the
establishment of the Communist regime in Russia. As a
result of all this influence Lenin became a mass murderer.
He believed that human beings were nothing more than
animals - and treated them as animals! Killing everyone who
opposed him!”
“No! No! No!” cried Amy shaking her head. “Bad, bad


Dr. Singh had not finished. There was more about Lenin
that they needed to know.
“Let me tell you more about this man Lenin and how
cruel he was,” he went on. “How did it all begin? Well, after
the First World War, the Bolsheviks under the leadership of
Lenin seized power. They killed the tsar, Nicholas the
Second, his wife and five children. And cities which refused
to support his rule - were destroyed! The Bolsheviks ar-
rested tens of thousands of people and killed them - and that
too without a trial!”
“They killed innocent people?! For no fault of theirs?”
Martha couldn’t believe it.
“Oh, this is nothing,” said Dr. Singh. “You need to know
about the famine that Lenin deliberately caused. He made a
decision in the year 1918. A decision that spelt disaster for
the millions of Russian peasants who were already living in
poverty. He decided to abolish private property - meaning -
he decided to take over the land owned by the villagers.”
“Then what happened!?” asked Amy with her eyes wide
“Well, the Bolshevik militants, Cheka police agents and
Red Army units - they forced their way into farms all over
Russia. A quota was established which every farmer had to
give to the Bolsheviks. And the poor villagers in order to
meet the quota - had to surrender all the produce they had.
And what do you think happened to those villagers who
resisted the Bolsheviks?”
There was no doubt in Richard’s mind what happened to
them. “The Bolsheviks must have killed them,” he said.
“And that too in a most brutal manner.”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yep. Everyone who resisted the
Communists were finished off. But this was just the begin-

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ning of Lenin’s cruelty. You see, what happened was that

the quota that he had set for the farmers to fill was not
being met. So in a rage he inflicted a fearful punishment on
the poor villagers.”
Amy trembled just to think what Lenin might have done.
She listened wide-eyed unable to speak.
“Lenin of course had seized the crops of the farmers,”
said Dr. Singh. “But now he ordered that the seeds for the
crops be taken away from them too! So the poor villagers
had no crops and no seeds to grow new crops. Meaning
they had nothing to eat!”
“This is terrible! Terrible!” exclaimed Martha extremely
“So what happened when Lenin did this? Well - 29
million people within the boundaries of Russia battled with
starvation. 5 million people starved painfully - to death.
Hundreds of thousands of children - also died in the fam-
There was complete silence in the classroom. What they
were listening to was horrendous!
After a brief pause, Dr. Singh continued, “What could
people do when their crops and seeds were taken away from
them? They ate all the vegetables and fruit that they had
collected for sale and all the animals they could slaughter.
But how long could this last? When this supply quickly ran
out, they boiled leaves, grass and tree bark. Some people
began to eat stray cats and dogs. And even insects! After
several weeks of hunger they became weak and their bodies
were nothing but skin and bone! Soon people began to die a
painful death. Can you imagine what it must have been like
to die by starving? At least when you are shot by a bullet
your misery is ended in a few seconds. But by starvation - it
is a slow, horrible death! So people died one after another


with nobody to bury them. With nothing left to eat, they

began to eat corpses, then attack each other. They snatched
children and killed them. To eat. The famine that Lenin had
caused finally had led to cannibalism.”
Amy was now in tears. Marie pulled her chair closer and
put her arms around her to comfort her. Dr. Singh did not
stop narrating Lenin’s story. He went on, “Lenin saw what
was happening. And he watched it all with enormous plea-
sure. In his view the famine was most useful. In March 19,
1922 he wrote a letter to the members of the Politburo.
Want to know what he said in that letter?”
He picked up the other book that was on the table. It was
a black book and he opened it and flicked its pages until he
came to the spot he was looking for. “This is what Lenin
wrote,” said Dr. Singh. “...The present moment favors
us........With the help of all those starving people who are
starting to eat each other, who are dying by the millions, and
whose bodies litter the roadside all over the country, it is
now and only now that we can - and therefore must -
confiscate all church proprety with all the ruthless energy
we can still muster.””
“I don’t believe this!” said Richard.
“Lenin was against the church?!” asked Martha.
“Oh yes,” replied Dr. Singh. “He was against all religious
institutions. He was against God. And he did everything in
his power to destroy people’s faith in God!”
“I think Lenin was a greater monster than Hitler!” said
Jim. “I think a lot of people lost faith in God because of
their cruelty and wickedness.”
“Yes - a lot of people lost faith in God after the Holo-
caust and the slaughter of so many - millions and millions of
people,” said Dr. Singh. “And why? Because they wondered
how could God allow all this to happen? They don’t under-

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stand however, that it was not God who wronged anyone. It

was rather people - who wronged them! God is certainly
not responsible for the genocide committed by the Nazis.
Did anyone force Hitler or Lenin to do the things they did?
God cannot be held responsible therefore for what hap-
pened. The genocide was carried out by people following
false teachings and therefore they are the ones who will bear
the responsibility for all the murders they committed.”
“And face God’s painful punishment for their crimes!”
said Richard.


A fter a short break they were back in the classroom.

They were about five minutes early. They settled
down in their seats and waited for Dr. Singh to arrive.
“May God punish that man Lenin and also Hitler for all
the horrible things they did!” cried Amy still feeling ex-
tremely emotional. She had stopped crying. But her eyes
were still moist.
“I still can’t believe how cruel these men were!” re-
marked Richard. “Justice does demand that these men be
severely punished for their crimes. And I have absolutely no
doubt that God will punish them. Actually it’s a relief just to
think about the punishment they will get in the Hereafter!
God is Great!”
“Yeah, fancy being punished for killing 11 million
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people!” said Andrew. “That’s a lotta people, man! I think

God’s punishment must be really something to dread! Hitler
and Lenin - those guys are gonna be thrown in Hell for
“To burn for eternity......” said Dr. Singh as he entered
the classroom. “Now wouldn’t that be a punishment to
Henry was right behind Dr. Singh. “I would definitely
fear that kind of punishment!” he said as he went past Dr.
Singh and took his place behind the students.
“Are you serious?!” said Marie incredulously. “Are you
saying that these men are going to face eternal torment?”
“I sure am!” said Dr. Singh. “Why do you sound so
“It’s just’s just...” stammered Marie. “I
mean...forever?! I just can’t imagine such a terrible punish-
“That’s why I say we should fear God,” said Dr. Singh
matter-of-factly. “Because God has the power to do this!”
“But He is Kind and Merciful!” Martha asserted.
Dr. Singh looked at her harshly. “God is kind and merci-
ful to those who show kindness and mercy,” he told her.
“Tell me, what kindness and mercy did Hitler and Lenin
show to the people they killed? Since they didn’t have an
ounce of pity or compassion for other people how do you
expect God to have pity on them? Great heavens! Those
men didn’t even spare women, children and babies!”
“God should not have any pity on those monsters!!” cried
Amy. “They should burn in Hell forever!”
Marie nodded. “Yes, I agree,” she said remembering the
story of Joseph and George. “They have to get the punish-
ment they deserve. Or else God would be unjust to the
millions of people that they killed.”


Dr. Singh was holding a black book in his hand. He held

it up to show it to them. The title of the book read - The
Black Book of Communism.
“We learnt a little bit about Nazism,” he said. “Now we
are going to learn a little about Communism. Lenin was the
first to usher in the era of Communist rule. That happened
in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. As you
know, Lenin was responsible for the deaths of 5 million
people during his regime. The number of people could be
more - only God knows the exact number of people who
died because of Lenin’s policies. Anyway, after Lenin came
another man - the next dictator of Soviet Russia. Who was
even more cruel. He also caused a famine. And in that
famine 6 million people died. His name was Stalin. He ruled
Russia for nearly 30 years - and during this time he shed so
much blood and spread so much terror - that he easily
surpassed even Lenin!”
“You mean there was a man who was worse than
Lenin?!” asked Amy in disbelief. “Did he kill as many people
as Hitler did?”
“Oh, you’d be horrified to know how many people Stalin
murdered,” Dr. Singh told her. “Let’s see if you can guess
how many people he was responsible for killing.”
“Uh....15 million?” said Amy.
Dr. Singh shook his head. “No, it is far more!”
“Far more!” cried Marie. “Then is it 25 million?”
“Nope,” said Dr. Singh. “Let me tell you how many. In
1991 a KGB report revealed that Stalin had killed 42 million
people during his 30 year regime! Do you know what 42
million looks like? It looks like this....” And he wrote:


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“This can’t be true!” cried Marie shaking her head in

“It is interesting that Stalin came from a religious back-
ground,” said Dr. Singh. “He was even preparing to become
a priest. But then something happened which changed his
life forever. He became an atheist!”
“How did he become an atheist?” asked Jim.
“He read Darwin’s book - The Origin of Species!”
replied Dr. Singh. “Just as Lenin was influenced by Darwin’s
teachings, so was Stalin. Stalin even went to great lengths
to introduce Darwin’s teachings in Soviet schools.”
“So Darwin had a great hand in shaping the history of
Soviet Russia,” said Richard.
“Most definitely!” said Dr. Singh. “Darwin’s teachings
influenced not just Russia - but the whole world! Nazism
and Communism were born - only because of the teachings
of such people as Darwin, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.”
He pointed to the book, The Black Book of Communism.
“This book describes in numbing detail the chilling crimes
committed by Communism. Here’s something for you to
think about. Communism has been responsible for the
deaths of more than 100 million people - in the 20th cen-
They listened wide-eyed in utter disbelief.
“How can this be!” cried Marie. “So many people?! The
number is staggering! And all this in the last century?!”
“You think Stalin was cruel? Well, my friends. There was
a man who killed even more people than Stalin did. He was
also a Communist.”
“This is crazy!” cried Richard unable to grasp the dimen-
sions of evil done in the name of Communist philosophy.
“Another man more cruel than Stalin?!” Martha was


“Oh yes,” said Dr. Singh. “That man’s name was Mao
Tse Tung - of China. Communism under the leadership of
Mao was even more brutal than Stalin’s! It was the worst
kind of Communism. Mao also caused a famine in the years
1959 to 1961. That period was known as “The Great Leap
Foward”. Millions of people died of starvation during that
period. It was considered not just the worst famine in the
history of China - but in the history of the whole world!
How many people died in that famine? Between 20 and 40
million people! Lenin and Stalin murdered 50 million
people. Mao was responsible for killing 60 million.”
They continued gaping at Dr. Singh. What they were
hearing was truly incredible!
“By the way, I want you to know about the two people
who Mao took to be his guides. The first was Stalin with
whose support he came to power, and the other was Dar-
win. Actually Darwin’s influence on China was so great that
a historian by the name of James Reeve Pusey wrote a book
and gave it the title China and Charles Darwin!”
He opened the book, The Black Book of Communism.
“I’m going to read out to you something from here which
will give you an idea how cruel Mao was. An 18 year old
boy was running from the authorities and took refuge with
his family in a village in Anhui. He had this to say....” Dr.
Singh read out his words:

“We walked along beside the village. The rays of the

sun shone on the jade-green weeds that had sprung
up between the earth walls, accentuating the con-
trast with the rice fields all around, and adding to the
desolation of the landscape. Before my eyes, among
the weeds, rose up one of the scenes I had been told
about, one of the banquets at which the families had

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swapped children in order to eat them. I could see

the worried faces of the families as they chewed the
flesh of other people’s children. The children who
were chasing butterflies in a nearby field seemed to
be the reincarnation of the chil-dren devoured by
their parents. I felt sorry for the chil-dren, but not as
sorry as I felt for their parents. What had made them
swallow that human flesh, amidst the tears and grief
of other parents-flesh that they would never have
imagined tasting, even in their worst nightmares? In
that moment I understood what a butcher he had
been, the man “whose like humanity has not seen in
several centuries, and China not in several thousand
years”: Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong and his hench-
men, with their criminal political system, had driven
parents mad with hunger and led them to hand their
own children over to others, and to receive the flesh
of others to appease their own hunger. Mao Zedong,
to wash away the crime that he had committed in
assassinating democracy, had launched the Great
Leap Forward, and obliged thousands
and thousands of peasants dazed by hunger to kill
one another with hoes, and to save their own lives
thanks to the flesh and blood of their childhood
companions. They were not the real killers; the real
killers were Mao Zedong and his companions.”

There was a brief silence as they reflected on what had

just been read out to them.
“I totally agree,” said Jim. “Mao and his companions -
they were the real killers!”
“But that was just one of the horrors of Mao’s regime,”


said Dr. Singh. “During the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s Red

Guards arrested, tortured and executed tens of thousands of
people - whom they considered “counterrevolutionaries”.
Of course Mao was guilty for all these murders - but so
were the people who supported him. Let me read out to you
what The Black Book of Communism has to say about
this....” And he read out:

“The whole people were invited to public trials of

“coun-terrevolutionaries,” who almost invariably
were condemned to death. Everyone participated in
the executions, shouting out “”kill, kill”” to the Red
Guards whose task it was to cut victims into pieces.
Sometimes the pieces were cooked and eaten, or
force-fed to members of the victim’s family who
were still alive and looking on. Everyone was then
invited to a banquet, where the liver and heart of the
former landowner were shared out, and to meetings
where a speaker would address rows of severed
heads freshly skewered on stakes.”

“Terrible! This is terrible!” cried Marie.

“Yes - every single person who stood and watched the
executions is as guilty as Mao,” said Richard.
“I don’t think there can be anyone more cruel than Mao,”
said Martha. “60 million people! My goodness!”
“Oh but there was!” said Dr. Singh. “And he was a
follower of Mao. By the name of Pol Pot. He was the leader
of a group of Cambodian Maoists called the Khmer Rouge -
also a Communist party. The regime of the Khmer Rouge
was more cruel than the regime of Stalin and Mao!”
It seemed there was no end to the number of cruel
dictators that came after Lenin! All of them were cruel with

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Pol Pot being the cruelest of all. Dr. Singh decided to tell his
horror-struck friends a little about Pol Pot’s cruelty. It was
“The Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia with the
support of China and they murdered almost three million
innocent people! At first they killed people by shooting them
in the head. But later on they decided this was a waste of
bullets. So to save bullets they resorted to other brutal
methods to kill people. Fifty-three percent of victims had
their skulls smashed with iron bars, axe handles and some-
times hoe handles. Six percent of the people were hanged or
suffocated to death by pulling plastic bags over their heads.
And five percent of them had their throats slit.”
“No!!” cried Marie putting her hands to her ears. She
wasn’t able to hear anymore. “Please don’t tell us any-
“How many people did Pol Pot kill?” asked Richard.
“Well, beween the years 1975 and 1979, Pol Pot killed
two million of Cambodia’s population of seven million. If
you look at his killings, as a percentage of the population -
Pol Pot’s killings were much greater than those by Hitler
and Stalin. Thankfully in 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime
came to an end when Vietnam occupied Cambodia. The
Vietnamese dug up the rice paddies known as the “killing
fields”, exhumed the bodies and put them on display for the
whold world to see. There’s a museum in the capital Phnom
Penh where you can see for yourself the bones and skulls of
all the thousands of people who were so brutally killed by
Pol Pot.”
“This is the height of insanity!” said Richard.
“Communism started with Lenin’s example and then it
spread to other parts of the world. China, Cambodia, North
Korea, Laos, Vietnam and Eastern European and African


countries.” Dr. Singh opened the book and flicked its pages.
“The Black Book of Communism has something to say
about the crimes commited by Communist rulers. It says....”
He read out loud:

“These crimes tend to fit a recognizable pattern even

if the practices vary to some extent by regime. The
pattern includes execution by various means, such as
firing squads, hanging, drowning, battering, and, in
certain cases, gassing, poisoning, or “car accidents”;
destruction of the population by starvation, through
man-made famine, the withholding of food, or both;
deportation, through which death can occur in
transit (either through physical exhaustion or
through confinement in an en closed space), at one’s
place of residence, or through forced labour (ex-
haustion, illness, hunger, cold). Periods described as
times of “civil war” are more complex – it is not
always easy to distinguish between events caused by
fighting between rulers and rebels and events that
can properly be described only as a massacre of the
civilian population. Nonetheless, we have to start
somewhere. The following rough approximation,
based on unofficial estimates, gives some sense of
the scale and gravity of
these crimes:

U.S.S.R.: 20 million deaths

China: 65 million deaths
Vietnam: 1 million deaths
North Korea: 2 million deaths
Cambodia: 2 million deaths

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Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths

Latin America: 150,000 deaths
Africa: 1.7 million deaths
Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths
The international Communist movement and Com-
munist parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths
The total approaches 100 million people killed.”

Marie pinched herself. She wanted to make sure that she

was not dreaming. A horrifying, terrifying nightmare!


D r. Singh looked at his students and smiled. All of

them looked stunned and speechless. He let them
think a while about the horrors he had just described. The
brutal treatment that innocent people had faced at the hands
of people who had not the slightest bit of compassion,
mercy or pity in their hearts.
After a five minute silence, Dr. Singh asked, “Who is
responsible for all this violence? All this suffering? And all
these deaths?”
“Lenin! He was the first to start it, wasn’t he?” said Jim.
“The Communists came to power in Russia and he was the
first Communist leader. Stalin came after him but he was
only following Lenin’s methods.”
“Well, don’t forget Hitler,” said Martha. “He was not a
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Communist but he was still responsible for killing many

people. He had this crazy idea that the Aryan race was
“All these men are responsible,” said Marie. “Lenin,
Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Mao came to power with
the help of Stalin and Pol Pot came to power with the help
of Mao. So for all the murders committed in China, Cambo-
dia and other places - Stalin, Mao and Lenin are all respon-
Andrew was thinking. “That means Stalin isn’t just
responsible for the deaths of 42 million people. He’s also
responsible for the 60 million people killed by Mao! That
brings the total to....uh....102 million! Oh, oh! Wait a
minute! Now shouldn’t Lenin also take the blame for the
deaths of these 102 million people? He killed a minimum of
5 million people. So - that’s 107 million people deaths on
his head! Man! I’m gonna stop counting. It’s just too many
people murdered!”
“Hey, why are we just looking at the leaders?” asked
Marie. “Aren’t all the soldiers and supporters of the Com-
munist and Nazi regimes also responsible?”
“Yeah! You’re right!” said Andrew. “Every single person
who was involved in those massacres - they are all respon-
Richard looked thoughtful. “Wait a minute, you guys!”
he said. “You are forgetting some very important people -
who must bear the responsibility for all those crimes com-
mitted. Namely Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels! There were also some other men - like that German
biologist who promoted that silly science called Eugenics,
and God knows who else!”
Dr. Singh listened to their discussion in amusement.
“Forget 40 million people. Forget 100 million people,” he


said. “Taking the life of just one person is a serious enough

affair - which will cause a guilty man to spend eternity in the
blazing fire of Hell. In the eyes of God the life of an inno-
cent man is very precious. And if an innocent man suffers
injustice -be sure that God will punish every single person
who caused him harm or injury.”
“It feels good to hear this,” said Jim. “I’m so glad to
know that everyone will get justice in the Hereafter! And
that not a single person will be wronged.”
“What do you think Pol Pot will say when he faces the
punishment of God in the Hereafter?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Most definitely he is going to blame Mao,” answered
Jim at once.
“And who will Mao blame?”
“Mao will blame Stalin!” said Andrew.
“And who will Stalin blame?”
“Stalin will blame...Lenin. And Karl Marx, Friedrich
Engels and Darwin,” said Martha.
“What about Hitler? Who will Hitler blame?”
“Of course it’s gonna be Darwin!” said Andrew. “And
that silly biologist - what was his name? The one who
suggested that all handicapped people should be killed?”
“It was Ernst Haeckle,” said Dr. Singh. “So it’s pretty
apparent that there will be much finger-pointing on the Day
of Judgment. And who do you think will be at the top of the
“Charles Darwin!!” cried Marie. “He is responsible for all
those disasters! Everyone will be blaming him!”
“And I think he deserves a greater penalty,” said Jim.
“God will determine the punishment Darwin will get,”
said Dr. Singh. “And that punishment would be a terrible
one indeed. Because Darwin will have to bear on his head
the responsibility for the deaths of all the people who were

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killed by the Nazis, the Communists and all other people

who were led to wrongdoing because of his ideas. His
influence can be seen all over the world! He will have to
bear the responsibility for each person who goes astray and
becomes a wrongdoer. Until Doomsday! And that number
will probably reach billions and billions of people.”
“Doomsday?” said Jim. “There’s gonna be a Doomsday?”
“Oh yes! That’s for certain,” replied Dr. Singh. “The Day
of Judgment can only begin when everybody is dead.”
Marie was thinking about the lesson they had learnt
earlier. She had thought that the earth was going to be
destroyed in one billion years. “That means this world is
coming to an end soon? Not in a billion years?!”
“In a billion years there would be so much violence,
bloodshed and cruelty, it would really be God’s mercy that
He ends the world sooner! And Darwin stops getting pun-
ished for more and more people following his teachings. In
a billion years imagine how many people would have been
influenced by him!”
This news was very disturbing.
“Do you know when this world will end?” asked Jim.
“I don’t know when it will end,” said Dr. Singh. “Nobody
knows that. Only God has knowledge of that hour when this
whole world will be destroyed. What a terrible that day will
be! I shudder to think of it! And I only wish that I die before
that day comes!”
“I don’t wanna be alive to see that day either!” said
“So does that mean all the people who died are now -
like - sleeping?” asked Marie. “They are all waiting for the
Day of Judgment to begin?!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Those who feared God in this life
would have nothing to fear in the Hereafter. But those who


did not fear God in this life - they will have much to fear in
the Next. Darwin may not have killed anyone in his life. Nor
did Marx or Engels. They were just thinkers and philoso-
phers. But they are all guilty of killing millions of people.
There are many people like them who may not have person-
ally killed anyone. But because they are supporters of
Darwin, Marx and Engels - God will hold them equally
guilty! Even those people who believe in the theory of
evolution -and as a result have become atheists - they are all
“But there are millions of people all over the world who
believe in Darwin’s theory!” cried Richard. He was a little
shaken because he himself had been one of them!
“They are all guilty,” said Dr. Singh firmly. “The teachers
who teach the theory in classrooms, the people who deter-
mine the school curriculum and include Darwin’s teachings,
the authors who include Darwin’s teachings in their books -
of biology, chemistry, physics, history, geography, etcetera.
The publishers of those books. People who make documen-
tary films and speak about Darwin’s theory of evolution,
everyone involved in the making of those films. The list
seems to be quite endless! I’m afraid all these people are
guilty. Guilty of participating in and supporting a false
“And they are.....they’re going to be punished?” said Jim.
“Is there any doubt left in your mind about that!?”
exclaimed Dr. Singh. “You saw for yourself what falsehood
leads to - those countless millions of people that are dead!
That’s what it leads to! You don’t think that’s serious?!”
Jim hung his head. He had to admit that Dr. Singh was
“Falsehood, lies, untruth. It leads to terrible disaster. You
have seen it. Those man-made catastrophies! Man-made

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famines and ruthless murders. Cruelty the like the world has
never before seen! The exact magnitude of the crimes - God
alone knows. We can only give rough estimates. Millions of
people have followed the false teachings of Darwin, Marx
and Engels. Not millions but billions. Even today the theory
of evolution is still taught in classrooms. Even in the US.”
“How many zeroes are there in one billion?” asked Amy.
“In the US one billion has 9 zeroes. In the UK one billion
has 12,” Dr. Singh informed her.
Amy sighed. “It’s hopeless to count the numbers now,”
she said.
“Can you tell me,” said Dr. Singh, “who will Darwin
blame on the Day of Judgment?”
“I can’t remember his name,” said Richard. “He was a
French biologist who had explained the theory before
“Yes, his name was Jean Baptiste Lamarck,” said Dr.
Singh. “Perhaps Darwin was influenced by him.”
“If Darwin was influenced by the work of Lamarck, then
man! Is Lamarck in deep trouble!” said Andrew.
“Who do you think Lamarck would blame?” asked Dr.
“Uh.....was it the Greeks?” Marie was trying to remem-
“Yes, you are right,” said Dr. Singh. “The materialist
philosophy originated in ancient Greece. And Lamarck had
been influenced by their philosophy.”
“Then the Greeks are also in deep trouble!” said Andrew.
“Now tell me - who will the Greeks blame?” Dr. Singh
asked, a smile playing upon his lips.
Martha remembered. “The Greeks will blame the
Sumerians. Those people who made the myths about life
emerging from water!”


“Man! Those Sumerians! They are the ones who started

the whole thing!” cried Andrew.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yep. It all started with the Sumerians.
They made up some false stories. And with the passage of
time people were influenced by their ideas and in turn
developed false philosophies. There is the law of cause and
effect. And you can see very well what the consequences are
for believing in false stories. The Sumerians had no idea the
great wrong they were doing to themselves when they made
up those stories! They will have to pay for each and every
single person who went astray as a result of their myths!
Right up till Doomsday!”
“Oh my God! That means the burden that they bear is
much much more than the burden of Darwin!” cried Marie.
“Every action has consequences,” said Dr. Singh. “People
do not regard myth-making as a crime. But in the eyes of
God - it’s a terrible crime. Because it leads people astray. It
leads them to wrongdoing and it spells disaster for many
people. The people who believe in those myths are as guilty
as the myth-makers, however. Each and every supporter of
falsehood will face dire punishment in the Hereafter. The
bystanders -who stand and watch, who do not oppose
wrongdoing. Actors acting in films that teach falsehood. All
the people involved in the production of that movie or film.
The directors, editors, technicians. The masses who watch
them and who go astray. All of them will be punished.”
“But there are thousands and thousands of myths!” cried
Marie. “In every part of the world people have indulged in
making myths!”
“Yes, and all of them will be punished,” said Dr. Singh.
“They as well as the followers of those myths! Myth-making
leads to terrible disasters. Disasters like those caused by
Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. Now the big question is -

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why did God allow all these disasters to happen? Why did
He allow so many millions of people to die?”
“Yes, I really want to know why!” said Marie eagerly.
“I know it sounds strange,” said Dr. Singh. “But He
allowed all this to happen because He cares about us.”
“What!?” cried Jim in disbelief.
“There’s an interesting quote by Marcia Muller,” said Dr.
Singh turning to the blackboard. “I think it will explain
clearly what I mean...” And he wrote the quote on the

She was the archetypal selfless mother: living only

for her children, sheltering them from the conse-
quences of their actions — and in the end doing
them irreparable harm. - Marcia Muller

“If God sheltered people from the consequences of their

actions, He would do them irreparable harm,” explained Dr.
Singh. “All the disasters that we have seen are the conse-
quences of false teachings and ideas. If people believe in
false theories - this is what’s going to happen. Billions of
deaths and billions of people suffering from gross injustice.
Cause and effect! So if God did not let us taste the conse-
quences of our actions - we would continue following the
way of untruth and lies. God does not want us to continue
like this! He wants us to learn from our mistakes! After all
the disasters that happened in the 20th century we ought to
have learned our lesson. And learned it well.”
“Yes!” said Marie, “and the lesson we’ve learnt is -we
should never never never - follow false teachings!”


T hey were sitting in the air-conditioned room, on the

white comfortable sofas. The lessons they had learnt
so far had been highly distressing and Dr. Singh wanted
them to relax a little before he went on to the next lesson.
“I’m so glad I came here!” said Richard. “I had no idea
how greatly I was wronging myself by believing in false-
hood. But this theory of evolution! It’s actually taught in
“The theory of evolution has perhaps caused the most
damage,” said Dr. Singh, “because it was done in the name
of science. Science is objective and is concerned only with
facts - or the pure truth. So of course many people have
been misled due to this. There are thousands of other myths
out there. But they are far too absurd. Thankfully because
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they sound so ridiculous, there are only a few people today

who believe in them.”
“But what about the Hindus?” asked Marie. “I under-
stand that there are millions of people who still believe in
Hindu mythology?”
“Hmmm. You’re right,” said Dr. Singh. “A vast majority
of people in India believe in false gods and goddesses. And
of course these people are only wronging themselves by
believing in such things. There have been many unjust
practices and customs practised by the Hindus. And as a
consequence many people have suffered from injustice and
are still suffering from it.”
“Yes, I remember,” said Martha. “There’s the Hindu
caste system and the practice of sati.”
“Uh-huh. And bride-burning and female infanticide,”
added Dr. Singh.
“Bride-burning?! What on earth is that?” asked Jim.
“Burning brides!” answered Dr. Singh. “In the Hindu
custom it’s the bride who has to give dowry to the groom.
And the parents of the groom are sometimes very greedy
and not satisfied with the dowry that the bride brings. So
they burn her!”
“Hey, that’s crazy!” cried Andrew. “I think it’s the groom
who should give the bride the dowry. Not the other way
Dr. Singh became lost in thought as he suddenly remem-
bered something. He didn’t say anything for a moment.
Marie wasn’t sure but it seemed as though Dr. Singh was
fighting some tears that were welling up in his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I just remembered the carpet slaves of India,” said Dr.
Singh. He looked very sad and a gloomy, dismal air de-
scended in that room all of a sudden.


“I wonder if you have ever heard of debt bondage?” said

Dr. Singh. “In times of crisis the poor people in India are
sometimes forced to take a loan. As security against this
loan these poor people pledge their own labor as well as the
labor of their family members. The result? A terrible trag-
edy! They are hardly ever able to repay the loan that they
borrowed. The money-lenders charge a very high rate of
interest -and because of this - the poor families pass on their
debts to their children for generations.”
Andrew thought about this for a minute and then said, “I
really think charging interest is unjust!”
“Yes, most definitely,” said Dr. Singh. “Charging interest
results in the exploitation of the poor. The rich become
richer and the poor become poorer. It is a highly unjust
“But there are banks all over the US and all over the
world that deal with interest!” cried Richard.
“Does that make charging interest okay?” asked Dr.
Singh. “What is unjust is unjust. It’s clear! You can be sure
God hates transactions where interest is involved. It’s just
not fair to the poor people! There are thousands of children
who have become slaves because of this terrible system. It
has put them in the bondage of heavy debt! Oh the carpet
slaves of India! How my heart goes out to them!”
“Please tell us about these carpet slaves, Dr. Singh,” said
“I’ll tell you the story of 5 year old Santosh,” said Dr.
Singh. “He was one day playing with his friends in his
village when a group of men came in a jeep and offered to
take the children to a movie. Instead, they were kidnapped.
They were taken to Allahabad, 400 miles away! Allahabad -
said to be the heart of India’s “carpet-belt”. Santosh was
made to weave on the looms.”

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“That 5 year old boy?!” cried Marie.

“Yes, a 5 year old boy! He was forced to work from 4
o’clock in the morning to 11 o’clock at night! Every single
day! Without any break! He was never given any payment
for his labor!”
Marie shook her head wildly. “No! No! No! This is so
cruel! So terribly cruel!” There were now tears in her eyes.
“Once when he cut his finger with a sharp tool, the loom
master shaved off match heads into the cut and set it on fire.
He didn’t want the child’s blood to stain the carpet. Santosh
made carpets for nine years, my friends. Under such terrible
The story of Santosh touched the hearts of everyone.
And they were all very grieved and full of sorrow. Martha,
Amy and Marie were crying openly now. Andrew felt rage
grow deep inside him. He got up from the sofa in anger.
“The loom masters! Those people who kidnapped that
boy! I wish I could get my hands on them! I’ll show them!”
he cried.
“It’s alright,” said Dr. Singh. “Andrew, please sit down.
Santosh was eventually rescued. There are people who are
fighting against this terrible injustice that is done to the
children. But there is still a long way to go. This crime of
making slaves out of children isn’t just found in India. There
are child slaves even in Pakistan and Nepal. How many
children are slaves in the carpet industry? It is estimated
around one million.”
“How can anyone be so cruel?” sobbed Marie.
“Yes, even I sometimes wonder,” said Dr. Singh. “I think
it’s the height of cruelty to do this to children! The loom
masters keep the children hungry. So that they will stay
awake and work for longer periods. The children also suffer
injuries on their hands. They even get lung diseases because


of the dust and fluff from the wool they work with. Their
eyesight is also damaged terribly because of poor lighting.”
“May all those loom masters burn in Hell forever!” cried
They sat there thinking about the wickedness and cruelty
of men. For a full five minutes nobody said anything.
“Why do you think people commit such crimes?” asked
Dr. Singh at last. “Why is there so much injustice in this
world? Do you know?”
“It’s all because of false teachings,” observed Marie
wiping her tears. “False teachings do create monsters!”
“There are problems galore in this world because of false
beliefs,” said Dr. Singh. “False beliefs lead to injustice. And
as long as such beliefs prevail in this world, you can be sure
people will continue to suffer from injustice. You may think
that in America today people get justice. Unfortunately that
is not the case. People have different standards for relatives
and friends.”
He looked at Martha. “Can you tell me Martha, if your
daughter was responsible for killing someone and the police
came to your house, what would you do? Would you hand
over your daughter to them? Or would you try to protect
Martha became thoughtful. This was not an easy question
to answer. If someone had asked her this question before
she had come to the retreat she would have chosen the
second option. She would have tried to shield her daughter
and save her from going to prison. But what had Dr. Singh
said earlier? There was that quote about the selfless mother
who did irreparable harm to her children by shielding them
from the consequences of their actions. If her daughter had
killed someone, then it was necessary for her to face the
consequences of that action. It would be wrong if she

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shielded her daughter and did not let her taste the conse-
quences of her actions. So Martha replied, “I would hand
over my daughter to the authorities. If my daughter did
something wrong, she has to learn from the mistake she
made. And be punished for it. It would be wrong for me to
try to save her from that punishment.”
Martha was surprised to see the looks of admiration she
got from everyone.
Dr. Singh nodded and smiled. “I’m pleased to know that
you realize how important it is for us to be just in our
dealings with people,” he said. “Even if it is against our own
selves, relatives and friends -justice must be done. There
cannot be partiality and bias where justice is concerned.
Whoever the wrongdoer is - he or she must be punished. It
doesn’t matter whether that wrongdoer is your son, daugh-
ter, mother, father or friend. The same standard applies for
all people. That is what justice is all about. But many people
are unjust. Even in America. Let me tell you the story of an
innocent man by the name of Floyd Caldwell and the great
injustice he suffered at the hands of an unjust and unfair
“A story!!” cried Amy in delight. “How wonderful! Is this
a true story, Dr. Singh?”
“Oh yes,” replied Dr. Singh. “Floyd Caldwell still has not
received justice. He is right now in prison for a crime that
he never committed!”
All of them leaned forward to listen to Floyd Caldwell’s
“There are several villains in this story,” said Dr. Singh.
“There was Judge Chester Byrns - the main villain. And a
couple, Harry and Frances Laity. Let me tell you how it all
started. On May 30, 1975, two men attacked Harry and
Frances Laity in their garage, in Benton Harbor, in the State


of Michigan. Those two attackers took a $20 bill and

several $1 bills. They also robbed the couple of some
jewelry. One watch, 2 bracelets and 3 rings. Okay, one
month after this incident, poor Floyd Caldwell walked into a
pawn shop with a ring. He had found the ring while he was
mowing the lawn. That ring turned out to be one of the
rings that was stolen from the Laitys.”
“Uh-oh!” said Andrew. “Was Floyd arrested?”
“Yes, he was,” replied Dr. Singh. “He was arrested and
charged with robbing the Laitys. Well, to make a long story
short, Harry and Frances Laity gave false testimony in court
- and were responsible for sending an innocent man to jail.
Under Michigan law, a conviction for armed robbery carries
a life penalty or a term of many years. Anyway - the Judge -
Judge Chester Byrns - he happened to be a friend of the
Laitys for 23 years! He completed his act of villainy by
sentencing poor Floyd to prison for life!”
“This is most unfair!” cried Richard. “Of course it’s
unfair!” said Dr. Singh. “It may be of interest to you though,
to know why Judge Byrns and the Laitys did what they did.
You see, Floyd Caldwell was black! And that was enough
reason for these people to send him to jail. For something
he never did! The real culprits - those two attackers who
had actually robbed the Laitys - well - they obviously
“This is what I mean!” cried Andrew getting up from the
sofa. “Innocent people in jail! That’s just not fair! Oh, if I
can get my hands on that judge! And that Laity couple!!”
“Calm down,” said Dr. Singh.
Andrew sat down but he still looked very angry.
“Those people who wronged Floyd have in reality only
wronged themselves,” said Dr. Singh. “That was the story
of Floyd. But let me continue with the story of Frances

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“The lady who gave false testimony against Floyd?”
asked Marie. “Yes, that lady,” said Dr. Singh.
“This lady got into a jam later in 1976. Mrs. Laity was
driving while under the influence of alcohol. And then she
ran someone down in her car! She was responsible for
killing a 12 year old girl - who was black. A girl by the name
of Wanda Davis.”
“Did Mrs. Laity get punished for what she did?” asked
“Heavens, no!” cried Dr. Singh. “Frances Laity was
released by that racist system on personal recognizance. She
was not even required to pay any money. She did not even
get a restriction on her driver’s license! Of course Mrs.
Laity thanked the judge and the police for their wonderful
“A innocent man is thrown in jail - because he is black.
And a guilty woman is released because she is white?! What
kind of justice is this?!!” said Richard.
“Well, these are just a few examples of injustice,” said Dr.
Singh. “Read the stories in the newspapers. You’ll find
many such instances. Here in the United States especially.
Did you know that the US tops the list in world crime?”
Jim smiled. He recalled the statistics on world crime that
they had looked at on the internet. “Yes, sir!” he said. “We
know that very well!”
“Here’s another example I think you will find most
interesting,” said Dr. Singh. “A man by the name of Michael
Pardue. He was innocent but he was convicted of murder in
the State of Alabama. He was sent to prison for life. Well,
Michael tried to escape from the prison - but two days later
he was recaptured. They put him back in prison. Then later
on, the court found that Michael was innocent of the murder


and his conviction was reversed.”

“So is he out of prison now?” asked Marie. “Nope!” said
Dr. Singh. “He remains in prison for life. That’s the sentence
they have given him for trying to escape!”
“Good grief!” cried Richard. “This is crazy!”
“You are right, Dr. Singh,” said Jim. “We just had a look
at a few examples of injustice. I’m sure there are many other
examples of injustice that people suffer from - which are not
even reported. And that could be billions of cases!”
“Yes,” said Dr. Singh. “All this injustice and all the
crimes that people commit every single day. All the blood
that was spilled by Communist and Nazi leaders - and which
is still being spilt - millions and billions of men, women and
children suffering from unbelieveable cruelty and injustice -
there’s a very good reason why all these things happen. Can
you tell me why?”
“Because people don’t believe in the Day of Judgment!”
said Marie with a thorough conviction.
Dr. Singh nodded. “Right! All the injustice that you see in
the world of man is because of one thing alone. And that is
disbelief! Disbelief is at the root of all evil!”


S ince it was their last day at the retreat, Dr. Singh

arranged for them to have a fine lunch. Henry was
full of enthusiasm as he served his friends wonderful, appe-
tizing food on plastic disposable plates.
But there was a sadness in the air. Nobody was able to
shrug off the thought that they were leaving the next day.
Dr. Singh and Henry however seemed to be unconcerned.
They both knew that the last day at the retreat could prove
to be the most important one - and a significant victory for
them. A day when their efforts could bear fruit. A day when
the Truth would stand before them as clear as daylight. A
day that they had been patiently waiting for!
Marie wasn’t feeling hungry. But she didn’t want to
waste a single particle of food on her plate. She ate her food

in silence, slowly, thinking about the poor little children who

had starved to death in famines. “We just take too many
things for granted!” she said to Martha, who was also lost in
thought. In fact, there were tears in Martha’s eyes.
“What’s the matter?” asked Marie with concern.
Martha wiped away her tears. She shook her head.
“Nothing,” she said. “It’s just...I was just thinking about
those little Indian children who are worked to death -
making carpets. It is so horribly cruel! So heartless and
mean! I wish I could do something about it!”
Marie suddenly thought about the Oriental carpets that
she had in her home. Were those carpets by any chance
made by the sweat and blood of those little children?! A
look of horror came upon her face and her fork slipped from
her fingers and fell down on the carpet.
“Isn’t there something we can do to help those little
children?! Those carpet slaves?!” she asked Dr. Singh
sounding pretty desperate.
Marie had voiced what was on the minds of everyone.
They all wanted to do something! They just couldn’t sit
there and do nothing after learning about the terrible suffer-
ing of little children.
Dr. Singh raised his eyebrow in surprise. He hadn’t
expected them to feel that way. But it was a good thing that
they did! It was good that they felt rage, anger and hatred
for injustice. And that they wanted to do something about it.
“Do you really want to help those children?” he asked.
“It isn’t going to be easy. Because - in order to eradicate
this kind of injustice - you will have to get to the bottom of
the problem. And the bottom of the problem is disbelief. Let
me tell you a little story to explain this. There was a city
ruled by an unjust and cruel king. And the people of that
city suffered from great hardships. There were many victims

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of the king’s cruelty. The people didn’t get enough food to

eat. Many people fell sick. There was wide-spread poverty.
The children of that city also suffered a great deal. Many
children were dying. Okay - now I want to ask you a ques-
tion. You are moved by pity to see the suffering of the
people in that city. Tell me - how would you help them?
Would you send them food, clothes, money....or medicine?”
“Yes, I would!” said Marie. “I would send them what-
ever I can!”
Richard looked thoughtful. “I wouldn’t send those people
any money, nor food, nor clothes nor medicine!” he said
Marie was astonished to hear Richard say this. How
could he be so heartless! She gave him an angry look.
Richard simply smiled. Dr. Singh smiled too.
“So tell us, Richard, how would you help those people?”
“I would get rid of the king!” replied Richard. “He is the
one who is causing all these problems! If we get rid of him
then all that suffering will definitely end.”
Amy clapped her hands. “Oh, what a clever idea!” she
“Good thinking!” remarked Dr. Singh. “Certainly - that is
a better way to deal with problems. So how can you help
the carpet slaves? By getting rid of those loom masters!”
“But how are we to get rid of such people?!” asked
“By catching them and punishing them?” said Jim.
“Yes, but do you think that will really solve the prob-
lem?” said Dr. Singh. “As long as there is no fear of God in
the hearts of men, wicked people like those loom masters
will continue to appear.”
“You’re right!” said Marie. “We need to instil in the
hearts of people the fear of God! But how on earth are we


to do that?!”
“By educating the public of course,” answered Dr. Singh.
“They need to be told that they are wronging themselves by
their actions. If they knew about the punishment that was
awaiting them in the Hereafter, they would never do those
wicked things, would they? And personally I think that as
long as a person is alive - no matter how wicked or cruel he
may be - there’s hope for him. A human being can change.”
“This is not going to be easy!” said Marie looking rather
put off. “I don’t think people so wicked as the loom masters
will ever listen to what I have to say!”
“You never know!” said Dr. Singh. “We have to do our
part. We have to try. And leave the rest to God. Believe me,
I have been trying hard - for the past five years - to convey
the message of Truth to people. Many people won’t listen.
But there are some who do. People such as you! And that
can make a big difference in this world. Tell me, after
knowing that God is strict in punishment and that there is a
Day of Judgment - would you ever go back to your old
“Never!” said Richard. “I can’t imagine going back to my
old life! I was ignorant before! But now I believe in God
and the Day of Judgment. Not only that - I fear God! So of
course I would never go back to my old ways!”
“So you see,” said Dr. Singh. “My efforts have not been
in vain. I know that all of mankind’s problems arise only due
to disbelief. And therefore it is disbelief that I fight. The
cause of all wickedness and injustice in this world is nothing
but disbelief! So it is disbelief that we should get rid off! It’s
a sure-fire way of eliminating all problems in society!” He
looked at his watch. “Well, you had better hurry and finish
eating! Class will begin fifteen minutes from now!”
Soon they were seated in the classroom. Dr. Singh was

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eager to begin his lesson. It was one of his favorites! He

started off by asking them a simple question. “Can you tell
me - if disbelief is at the root of all evil, what is at the root
of all good?”
“Belief!” answered Jim promptly. “Yes, but belief in
what?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“Belief in the Truth!” said Marie. “Not belief in false-
“And what is that Truth that people should believe?”
This question made them think a little bit. Eventually,
Richard spoke up. “I think the main Truth that people
should believe is - the Truth about God! There are so many
erroneous ideas circulating about Him. People don’t really
know who the true God is!”
Dr. Singh was impressed with Richard’s answer.
“So who is the true God?” he asked.
“The true God is the one God,” said Andrew remember-
ing the lesson where they had eliminated all gods. “There is
no other God besides Him.”
“And He is strict in punishment!” added Jim.
“He is the one who created all things! And He created the
life of this world to test us,” said Marie.
“And He will be the Master on the Day of Judgment,”
said Richard. “He will make sure that nobody is wronged on
that Day!”
“How do you know all these things?” Dr. Singh asked.
“Did you arrive at these conclusions through guess-work?”
“No! We didn’t do any guess-work!” said Marie. “We
know all these things because we have seen the evidence.”
Dr. Singh asked Henry to get a poster. Henry left the
classroom and returned with the requested item. He held it
up for all to see. It was a pie-chart. There was a big black
sphere in the center of the poster. They could also see a slim


white line which ran from the center of that sphere to the
“You know that there is only one Truth,” said Dr. Singh.
“This white line represents the Truth...which is just 1 per-
cent of this circle. 99 percent of this circle is totally black.
Can you tell me what this 99 percent represents?”
“Untruth and false teachings!” replied Jim at once.
“This is really very disturbing,” remarked Richard.
“There must be so many people following false ideas and
beliefs! And thereby wronging themselves!”
Henry pinned the poster upon the bulletin board and went
back to his place.
“Right you are,” said Dr. Singh. “Anyone who follows
false teachings or believes in falsehood is headed toward
disaster. Toward his doom. There is no hope for such a
“But why is there no hope for him?” asked Jim.
“Because following the wrong path leads to wrongdo-
ing,” said Dr. Singh. “It leads to such disasters like those
that occurred in the 20th century. It leads to the creation of
monsters like Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot! For
example, an atheist, let’s call him Donald. He may not
personally have killed anyone or harmed anyone during his
life-time. But it is sufficient for him to pass on his atheistic
beliefs to his children who in turn pass it on to their chil-
dren. And if any of those children go astray and engage in
wrong-doing - well then, God is going to hold Donald
responsible for it! If false beliefs don’t cause anybody any
harm, then it would be alright to believe in them. But the
truth is, false beliefs do cause harm to people. It causes
misery and umimaginable suffering.....and injustice.”
“Just like those Sumerians who made up those false
stories, right?” said Amy. “They didn’t think they were

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doing any harm by making up those stories.”

“So people really harm themselves when they follow
untruth,” observed Richard. “What a pity they don’t take it
Dr. Singh nodded. “Many people live their lives without
thinking. They blindly follow the ways of their forefathers.
God gave each human being reason to distinguish between
truth and untruth. If people don’t use their reasoning pow-
ers, then they are totally at fault. They have only themselves
to blame for the disaster they bring upon themselves!”
Henry remembered something. “Don’t we need to go to
the store to get some party supplies?” he asked Dr. Singh.
“Party supplies!” cried Marie. “Are we going to have a
“Yes, we might have a party tonight,” said Dr. Singh.
“Would you like to go to the store and get those party
supplies for me?”
They were all keen to go. It sounded like a lot of fun. Dr.
Singh opened the drawer and took out some sheets of
paper. Henry handed them out.
“These are maps which will take you to your destination
- the store where you can get the party supplies,” said Dr.
Singh. “It isn’t very far. You can go there and come back in
just half an hour.”
They looked at the maps they had been given and they
got up to go. Then Marie thought of something. “Wait a
minute!” she cried. “I’m not going to follow this map! First
of all, I want to make sure this map is correct! I don’t want
to follow a false map!”
Everyone sat down on their seats. Marie was right! They
were not going to go anywhere unless it was clear that the
map was a true map!
Dr. Singh collected the maps and put them back in the


drawer. “Don’t worry about the party supplies,” he said.

“We’ve already got them. Now whether these maps are true
or false - I’m not going to tell you. What matters is that you
have understood how important it is to make sure that you
are not following a false map! We should never assume
anything to be true! We must always check first before we
follow anything! I’m very pleased that you have learned
your lesson well!”
“Yes, we have!” said Marie. “We are never ever going to
follow anything that is false!”
“If you are not going to follow anything that is false,
what is it that you are going to follow?” asked Dr. Singh.
“The Truth!” answered Marie at once. “Only the Truth!
Only the Truth can guide us!”
“Do the animals and the rest of the things that are there
in the universe need guidance?” enquired Dr. Singh.
“Uh....let me think,” said Marie.
“No, not at all!” said Jim. “All things in the universe -
they already have their guides. God gave each thing its code
of conduct, right?”
Richard agreed. “Yes, God gave each thing its code of
coduct - or religion. Except for man! Only man was not
given his religion! Man is born ignorant!”
“So what do you think God must have done?” asked Dr.
Singh. “I mean - if God really cares about us?”
They stared at Dr. Singh wondering what he meant. What
would God have done? They sat there thinking.
Dr. Singh turned off the light and the classroom was
plunged in total darkness. “Man is born ignorant, right?”
they heard Dr. Singh say. “And ignorance is darkness. We
are in darkness. Since this is the case, what is it that we
need the most?” And he flicked the switch and turned the
light back on.

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“Light! That’s what we need the most!” cried Richard.

“And what is the only thing that can light up our world of
darkness? What is the only thing that can show us the way?”
asked Dr. Singh.
“The Truth! Truth is Light! It’s the only thing that can
guide us!” said Marie. “The only thing we can rely on!”
“I know! I know! I know!” cried Jim excitedly as he
suddenly realized what God must have done. “God must
have sent guidance to mankind!”
“That’s right,” said Dr. Singh. “Since God did not give us
our guide or code of conduct at birth, it follows that He
must have sent it down to us! God must have sent down to
us His guidance!”


“I wonder why I never thought of that!” said Richard.

“It is highly unthinkable that God would create us
ignorant and then leave us in total darkness, without any
guidance! So it’s the most logical conclusion! God must
definitely have sent His guidance!”
“Or code of conduct,” said Dr. Singh. “And what is
meant by code of conduct?”
“Religion,” said Jim. “God gave everything its religion.
But to man He didn’t because this is something that man has
to choose himself. Of his own free will.”
“Yeah, that’s right! I remember!” said Andrew. “Religion
is the only thing that man can choose! Everything else is
controlled by God!”
“So what kind of religion should man choose?” asked Dr.
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“The true religion of course,” replied Marie.
“And how are you to know which is the true religion of
man?” enquired Dr. Singh.
This question made Marie think. The others also thought
about it. For a minute nobody said anything. Then Dr. Singh
spoke. “I am definitely not going to tell you what the true
religion of man is,” he said. “That’s something you are
going to have to find out on your own. I shall give you
some clues however. And those clues will make it abun-
dantly clear to you which religion it is. Alright?”
This sounded like fun. And they all smiled welcoming the
challenge. They had become pretty good at detective work
and they felt that finding the true religion of man was going
to be a piece of cake. With Dr. Singh’s help, of course!
Now there was excitement in the air. They were all eager
to find out which was the true religion of mankind. That
was basically the most important mystery that they were
going to solve!
“Okay, I’m going to give you some clues,” said Dr.
Singh. “First, let us analyze the word religion. What does it
“Uh....code of conduct?” said Marie.
“Yes, code of conduct,” said Dr. Singh. “But what comes
to mind when you hear about codes? What are codes for?”
“Guidance!” cried Jim excitedly. “Codes are made to
guide us!”
“That’s right!” said Dr. Singh. “So if we replace the word
code with the word guide, what do we get? Guide to
conduct! So religion is nothing but a guide by which we live
our lives.”
Marie was extremely fascinated by Dr. Singh’s way of
explaining things. He made it sound so simple! What a pity


he was leaving for India so soon!

“Now, can you tell me what kind of guide we must
follow?” asked Dr. Singh.
“A guide that is dependable. Trustworthy,” said Richard.
“Ah! A guide that is based upon Truth!”
“Right! In order to live our lives, we need a guide that is
based upon Truth, not untruth. Do you remember that
treasure hunt? And the false map that you had followed? If
your guide is false, it will take you in the wrong direction.
Do you think human beings are in any position to guide
“I think not!” said Jim. “Human beings are themselves
ignorant! How can they guide anyone!”
“So who is the only one who is in a position to guide
“God!” answered Andrew. “He’s the One who gave
everything its guide. So He’s gotta be the One who gives
man his guide, too.”
“So the true religion of man is the religion that God
sends down to us!” concluded Marie.
“Yes, of course! That’s pretty evident,” said Jim. “But
how are we gonna find out which one it is!?”
“You’ll soon find out,” said Dr. Singh. “But here’s a
question for you. Who do you think was the first person to
receive God’s guidance?”
“Uh....wait a second! Hey! I know who was the first
person to get God’s guidance!” cried Andrew excitedly. “It
must have been the first man that God created!”
Richard began to think about the situation after the first
man was created. God must certainly have given this man
his religion. And this man must have taught his children this
religion as well. Then a question arose in his mind.
“The first man must have taught his children the true

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religion, right?” he said. “So, I wonder how people began to

follow false religions.”
“People are forgetful,” said Dr. Singh. “And besides, they
have a natural aversion or hatred for the Truth. Remember
that untruth and lies are pleasing to them. And that’s how
they began following false religions. They made up myths
and false stories. And they began to worship false gods and
goddesses. Following the path of Truth is not easy anyway.
And besides people were unable to see God. So they began
to disbelieve in the true religion that God had given the first
man. Until it was forgotten!”
“But surely God must have sent down His guidance
again?” said Richard. He couldn’t imagine God leaving
people in ignorance.
“Uh-huh. God cares about us so He must have sent down
His guidance several times,” said Dr. Singh. “Not just once.
God created man to test him and therefore it is highly
unlikely that He didn’t inform man about this truth. He must
have sent many messages to mankind. Especially to warn
man about the Day of Judgment and the punishment await-
ing him if he did not heed!”
“Yeah, that’s a logical conclusion,” said Jim. “God must
have sent down to man many warnings. But the question is -
how did God send these messages?”
“Ah! That’s a very good question,” said Dr. Singh. “How
would God communicate with man? Do you think He
would come down to earth Himself?”
Martha was eager to say yes. But she refrained from
answering. Somehow she felt she would make a fool of
“! I don’t think God would come down Himself,”
said Marie thoughtfully. “If He did - then everybody would
believe in Him. And there could be no test! I remember in


one of our lessons we learnt that God keeps Himself Unseen

for this reason. So that He might test us!”
“Very good Marie!” said Dr. Singh. “So that’s an option
we can rule out. God won’t come down Himself. So do you
think He would send angels to do the job?”
“No, I don’t think He would send down angels to convey
His messages to us,” said Richard. “If we saw the angels, all
of us would believe. And if that were to happen, it would
become impossible to test us.”
“Good! Very good!” said Dr. Singh looking very pleased
with their deductions. “It is pretty clear that God won’t do
something that would defeat His purpose in creating man.
He created man to test him. So He cannot send to people
angels or beings who are of supernatural nature. But the
message of God had to be conveyed. It is certain that it was
conveyed. And not just once but many times. The question
is - how?”
They all sat there thinking about this question. Dr. Singh
sat down on his chair and waited. Then Jim sprang up from
his chair in great excitement.
“I know how God must have done it!” he cried unable to
contain himself. “This is what I think! God selects a man to
receive His message. Then He sends this chosen man an
angel who gives him God’s message!”
“Yeah? What good is that going to be?” interrupted
Andrew. “Giving the message to just one man!”
“We’ll let Jim finish what he was saying,” said Dr. Singh.
“Yes! I was saying that an angel comes to a man with
God’s message,” continued Jim. “And then this man goes to
his people - and tells them what this message is! That way
God remains unseen. The angels remain unseen. And the
message still reaches the people!”
Dr. Singh was very pleased with Jim’s answer. He smiled

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broadly. “My dear Jim,” he said. “You have hit it right on

the button! You are right! God would choose a man for the
task of conveying His message. I wonder if you know what
these special men are called?”
“Prophets?” said Richard.
“Yes, certainly,” said Dr. Singh. “But there is another
word which describes these men more aptly. Which word?”
Marie suddenly knew what that word was. “Messen-
gers!” she cried. “Messengers of God!”
“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “These messengers would
go to people and tell them about God’s messages. And it is
to these messengers that God would have revealed the true
religion of man. It is to these messengers that God would
have revealed man’s code of conduct.”
“Yes, but we still don’t know what that religion is, Dr.
Singh!” said Marie.
“It is not at all difficult,” said Dr. Singh. “All you need to
do is just reflect on what code of conduct means. And you
will know the answer straightaway! What does a code of
conduct consist of, do you know?”
“Rules? Laws?” said Marie.
“Yes, a code of conduct is a set of rules, laws or com-
mandments that God has determined,” said Dr. Singh. “God
gave each thing its code of conduct. Meaning He gave each
thing its laws and rules. And each thing submits completely
to the laws that God has determined for it. So from this, it is
pretty evident what the religion of each thing in the universe
Marie didn’t think it was evident. She had a confused
look on her face.
Dr. Singh sighed. “If each thing submits to the laws given
to it by God - what would that religion - or code of conduct
be known as?”


Suddenly Marie knew what the answer was. “I know!”

she cried in excitement. “That religion would be submission
to God!”
“So now you know what is the true religion of man!”
said Dr. Singh. “It is the religion that God would send down
to us. The same religion that every single thing in this
universe follows. The religion that can be no other than -
submission to God!”


“W ithout guidance people are lost,” said Dr. Singh.

“Only a guide that is based on Truth can guide
man and take him from the darkness of ignorance into the
light of truth and knowledge. Here at this retreat you have
succeeded in solving many mysteries. You now know the
answers to the following questions...” And he wrote on the

1. Who are we?

2. What is the purpose of life?
3. What happens after death?

“We also solved another mystery today,” said Jim. “We

now know which is the true religion of man!”

“Yes, and that certainly calls for a celebration tonight!”

said Dr. Singh. “But there are a few more things left. Things
that you need to be aware of. Important things.” He pointed
to the second question on the board. “Can you tell me the
answer to this question? What is the purpose of life?”
“To pass the test!” answered Marie at once.
“And how can we pass the test?” enquired Dr. Singh.
Richard knew how. “By following the guidance sent by
God!” he said confidently. “The guide that God sends us is
the only reliable guide. I’m sure that if we follow it, we shall
pass God’s test!”
“Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “You are right about that!
Only the people who follow God’s guidance will succeed in
the Hereafter. And the people who follow other religions -
they will be miserable failures.”
“People who follow other religions will fail?!” said Marie
thinking about the countless people of the world of different
faiths. What was going to happen to them?!
“Well, if there is only one true religion,” responded Dr.
Singh, “then it is pretty clear that all other religions are
false. Those religions would lead to nothing but disaster!
Why? Because they are not from God!”
He pointed to the diagram of the black sphere that Henry
had pinned on the bulletin board. “See there? That white
line. That’s the only line that people should follow - if they
want to succeed in the Hereafter! But how are people to
follow the guidance sent by God if they don’t first believe?
So that’s the first thing that people need to accept. The
Truth! Knowing the Truth is one thing. Accepting it is quite
Then he said something which made everyone gasp in
“Please repeat that, Dr. Singh,” said Jim. “I wanna frame

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those words and put them on the wall of my room.”

Everyone wanted to write Dr. Singh’s words down and
do exactly what Jim intended to do.
“Yes,” said Marie. “The words that you just uttered are
simply wonderful! I’m going to frame them too.”
“Alright, I’ll repeat it,” said Dr. Singh. “But really, what
is the need to frame these words?”
“Because it’s important to know what is important,”
replied Marie. “And it’s important to have words of impor-
tance remind us about what is most important.”
Dr. Singh laughed. And he repeated the words he had
After writing down Dr. Singh’s words, Marie said, “I’ve
written this down,” she said. “But I still can’t get over one
thing. And that is, the number of people who are following
false religions. The number is too great! I mean, if we think
about all the people who have lived before us and all the
people who are living today, there must be billions and
billions of people who have followed false teachings and
who have believed in false things! Is there no hope for them
at all?”
“God is Just,” said Dr. Singh. “He does not wrong
anyone. Rather it is people who wrong themselves! And if
anyone chooses the wrong path or chooses to follow false
teachings, he has to bear the responsibility for the choice he
makes. It’s as simple as that! If anyone does wrong and
harms others by his actions, he has to face the appropriate
punishment for the things he did. If he is not punished, then
God wouldn’t be just.”
He wrote something on the board:

“He who does not punish evil, commands it to be

done.” - Leonardo da Vinci


“Remember that disbelief is at the root of all evil,” said

Dr. Singh. “If God does not punish evil, it would be as if He
is commanding evil to be done! And that can never be the
case. It is certain that God will punish all followers of
untruth! It is the people who follow untruth and false guides
who commit the most grievous crimes against
we have very well seen in the examples I gave you this
“Yes, you are right, Dr. Singh,” said Richard. “We must
follow only the path of Truth, shown by God...if we want to
succeed in the Next Life. But I can’t help thinking. If we
had not come here, we would probably have continued with
our erroneous ways. And that would have been most disas-
trous for us! We can’t thank you enough, Dr. Singh! You’ve
saved us from a terrible punishment!”
“I don’t know if I have saved anyone,” said Dr. Singh. “I
can’t make the right choices for other people. They have to
make those choices themselves, of their own free will. I can
show you what the Truth is, but I can’t make you accept it.
I can show you which is the Straight Way and the way that
leads to success but I can’t make you walk upon it. I can
give you a true map but I can’t make you follow the direc-
tions given in it! In other words, I cannot save anyone.
People have to save themselves!”
“You are right, as always” said Richard smiling. “You
cannot save me from God’s punishment. I have to save
myself! How true!”
“And it isn’t that all people are headed toward everlasting
punishment,” said Dr. Singh. “The people who follow the
guidance sent down by God - these people are the ones who
would be saved. The Day of Judgment will actually be a
Day of Sorting Out. A day when the believers will be sepa-
rated from the disbelievers. Now can you tell me - who the

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believers will be?”

“The believers will be those people who accepted the
messages brought by God’s messengers,” replied Marie
after a bit of thought. “They would be people who believed
the messengers and followed God’s guidance.”
“Good! Very good!” said Dr. Singh. “That is correct!
Now can you tell me - what could have been the message
that each messenger of God brought to his people?”
This question required some thought. And Dr. Singh let
them think. After the lapse of a few minutes, Richard spoke
up. “I know what the message must have been!” he said.
“The messengers must have called people to submit to God!
I mean that’s the true religion of man, right? And if the true
religion of man is submission to God, then that is what the
message must have been! The messengers of God must have
called people to believe in the one true God and obey His
commandments and laws!”
“Wonderful!” said Dr. Singh. “You are right! That has
been the message that God sent down to mankind ever since
the creation of the first man. The religion of man is the
religion of truth, the religion that is followed by each thing
in the universe. Submission to God. And what happens
when you submit to God? What happens when you obey the
commandments that God sends down? Tell me, what hap-
They stared at Dr. Singh wondering what he was trying
to say. They hadn’t the faintest idea what happened when
people submitted to God! So they waited for Dr. Singh to
tell them. But Dr. Singh didn’t tell them. Instead he asked
them another question. “Can you tell me the reason why
God created all things in this universe?”
Andrew had no problem in answering that question. He
remembered his previous lessons very clearly. “God created


all things to serve Him!” he promptly replied.

“Yes, God created all things to serve Him,” said Dr.
Singh. “Meaning all the things that God has created, they
are all his....?”
“Servants!” said Marie. “And what do servants do?” Dr.
Singh asked.
“Servants? Well, servants obey their master of course,”
said Marie.
“Good! Servants obey their master,” said Dr. Singh. “To
be more specific they obey the commands given to them by
their master. So now you should be able to tell me what
happens when a person obeys the commands given to him
by God!”
Martha suddenly knew what the answer was. “When a
person obeys God’s commandments, he becomes a true
servant of God!” she said.
“Exactly!” said Dr. Singh. “All things in the universe are
servants of God. God created all things to serve Him. Just
as we created things for no other reason but to serve us!
For example, the washing machine that we make. Man is the
master. The washing machine is the servant. If you press the
on button, it starts. If you press the off button, it stops. The
washing machine is a created thing - created exclusively to
serve man. But besides machines, we can also hire people to
be our servants. There are many rich people in this world
who have servants. They command and the servants obey!”
“But people obey their employers because they get paid
for their services, right?” said Jim. “I’m just wondering if
we get anything from God for obeying Him.”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Let me ask you a question, Jim,” he
said. “Supposing you were a servant of a man who was
unjust and unappreciative, how long would you work for

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“Not for very long!” Jim replied.

“And supposing you were a servant of a man who was
just, merciful and appreciative, how long would you work
for such a man?”
Jim had no hesitation in saying, “Forever!”
“Would a just, merciful and appreciative master pay you
well for your services?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Of course! If he didn’t then he wouldn’t be just, merciful
and appreciative!” replied Jim.
“Well then,” said Dr. Singh. “There is no master more
just, more merciful or more appreciative - than God! And if
a just man would pay you well for your services, don’t you
think that God can pay you better? Don’t you think that the
payment you receive from God for obeying Him would be
much better and more splendid?”
“Yeah! That makes sense!” cried Jim. “I think God’s
reward would be much much better!”
Andrew became excited. “Dr. Singh! What’s God’s
reward gonna be like? I wanna know!”
“In degrees of course!” replied Dr. Singh. “The more
obedient you are to God, the greater your reward. Just as
there are different levels of punishment in Hell, there will be
different levels of reward in Paradise.”
“Paradise? What’s Paradise gonna be like?” asked Jim.
They were all eager to know. Dr. Singh smiled at their
enthusiasm. “Hmmmm. Paradise! A place where you never
grow old, or tired. You never fall sick. It’s a place where
you can dwell in peace and security. The weather there is
always pleasant. You get everything that you desire in
Paradise. And above all, you will never be asked to leave.”
“Man! If I could see Paradise, I would do anything to go
there!” said Andrew. “I would definitely obey God and do
everything He tells me to do!”


“And if I could see Hell, I would do everything not to go

there!” said Richard.
Dr. Singh nodded. “If we could see Paradise, Hell, God
and His angels - all of us would be obedient to God, right?
None of us would dare to disobey God if the Unseen was
made visible to us. But if everybody obeyed, then everybody
would be the same. What would there be to judge? There
could be no Day of Judgment. And no Hell. And also no
Paradise. Animals cannot be punished for the things they do
because they don’t do anything of their own free will.
Similarly animals also cannot be rewarded for the things
they do because whatever they do is not their will but the
will of God. But man is different. Man can be punished for
the things he does. And he can also be rewarded. It is all
due to God’s plan to test him!”
“So it looks like people will be more obedient to God if
they really believed in Him, the Day of Judgment, Paradise
and Hell!” observed Marie.
“Yes, the more faith that people have in God and the
Hereafter, the more are they going to be obedient to Him,”
said Dr. Singh. “People only get what they strive for. Those
who are more obedient cannot receive the same reward as
those who were less obedient, right? Naturally! To make
this clear, let me give you an example. There’s a man by the
name of Peter. He hires two servants, Jerry and Bobby.
Peter has a rule. That his servants should report for work at
7 o’clock sharp in the morning. Jerry is punctual and comes
on time. Whereas Bob doesn’t come on time. He is always
late. Whenever Peter tells Jerry to do something, Jerry is
prompt in obeying his master. But Bob, well, sometimes he
obeys Peter and sometimes he doesn’t. One day Peter gives
Bob some money and asks him to get some vegetables from
the market. Bob goes to the market but on the way he gets

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distracted. Instead of buying vegetables, he goes to watch a

movie! Because of Bob’s disobedience, Peter’s children had
to go hungry. His disobedience caused suffering to other
people. So what did Peter do?”
“Peter must have thrown him out!” said Jim. “He must
have fired him!”
“And what about Jerry?” Dr. Singh asked.
“Peter must have been very pleased with Jerry. I think he
would probably give Jerry a raise!” said Marie. “Now I
clearly see what you mean, Dr. Singh! People cannot get the
same reward! They get it in degrees, according to their
obedience to God!”
“And I also see that servants are punished for their
disobedience,” said Richard thinking about his own employ-
ees. If they didn’t do their work and follow the orders he
gave them, he was most definitely going to fire them! He
didn’t like disobedient employees! And he saw clearly that
God didn’t either.
“God is the Master of all things in this universe,” said Dr.
Singh. “Because He cares for us, He sent down to us
guidance. In every age and every region, God has sent
messengers to call people to the Straight Way. Submission
to God. And He has promised those who embrace this
religion of Truth forgiveness and a great reward. But He
must have also sent warning to mankind. The warning that if
they do not heed His message, they would face a terrible
punishment in the Hereafter. The blazing fire of Hell. But
human nature is the same everywhere. People don’t like to
be wrong. Neither do they like to be admonished. So when
a warner comes to them, what is their reaction? They run in
the opposite direction! They reject the message that God
sends them!”
“Yes, that is so true!” remarked Richard.


“But there is a bigger reason why people reject the Truth

when it comes to them,” said Dr. Singh. “They reject the
Truth because they don’t want to submit to God! They
don’t like the idea that God is their Master. They don’t like
the idea of serving Him. They don’t like to hear His com-
mandments and obey them. They don’t want to serve God.
And all this is because there’s a great enemy that resides
within the heart of man. It’s an enemy because it dislikes
anyone taking its place. That enemy has assumed the posi-
tion of mastery -the position of God and it loves the posi-
tion it enjoys. And it will oppose and resist any idea or
message that will dislodge it from its position. So when
people are called to submit to God, this enemy will fight
with all its might and power - to maintain its mastery over
man. I would say it is the greatest enemy of man...”
“Is it Satan?” asked Martha.
Dr. Singh smiled. “Yes, certainly Satan is an enemy. But
this one is a greater enemy that Satan. This enemy is - the


D r. Singh informed his students that he was going to

deliver his last lecture at 4.30 p.m. After that he
was going to conduct an experiment. An experiment that
would show them clearly the perils of following untruth.
There were going to be no more lessons for them after that
and they could then prepare to celebrate.
The party was scheduled to begin at 8 o’clock. They had
half an hour to themselves before they went back to class.
Marie, Martha and Amy went to their room to get re-
freshed. So did the men. All of them were lost in thought,
thinking about all the things they had learned that day. Each
of them felt that it was perhaps the most important day of
their life. The last day at the retreat had indeed been an eye-
opener. They had been ignorant before. Not any more.

Mrs. Patil was jubilant. She was extremely happy that her
stay at the retreat was soon coming to an end. At last! She
was going to be free!
“We’re having a party tonight,” Amy told Mrs. Patil. “I
hope you will come and join us.”
“A party! What on earth are you having a party for?”
Mrs. Patil wanted to know.
“Well, it’s just to celebrate,” said Marie, “for having
found the true religion of mankind.”
“The true religion of man?” said Mrs. Patil. “And what is
the true religion of man?”
“Submission to God,” replied Marie.
“Submission to God, huh? Hmm. That is precisely the
religion that I follow,” Mrs. Patil declared.
Martha frowned. Mrs. Patil was certainly sounding very
arrogant. “How do you know that your religion is the right
one?” she asked.
“Of course it is the right one!” said Mrs. Patil. “My
religion is a very old religion. Very ancient, sacred and holy.
We are a very religious people, you know.”
Martha sighed. It was pointless to talk to Mrs. Patil.
“So Mrs. Patil, will you be coming to the party?” asked
“No, definitely not!” Mrs. Patil replied. “That horrid man,
what’s his name? Ah! Henry! He’ll probably be there, won’t
“Of course he’ll be there, Mrs. Patil,” said Amy.
“But.....but....oh well! Suit yourself!”
Marie, Martha and Amy couldn’t wait for their class to
begin. And get away from that exasperating Mrs. Patil!
Class began right on time. Dr. Singh noticed the indigna-
tion on Amy’s face and enquired what the matter was. “It’s
just Mrs. Patil!” she said. “She won’t listen to anything we

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say! She is on the wrong path. I can see it so clearly, Dr.

Singh. But she thinks she is on the right path!”
“She is also very arrogant,” Martha couldn’t help adding.
“She thinks she knows everything!”
“Hmmm,” said Dr. Singh. “That brings to my mind a very
nice quotation. Let me write it down on the board...” And
he wrote that quote down:

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he

already knows.” - Epictetus

They liked the quote so much that all of them jotted it

down in their notebooks.
“Alright, this is going to be the last lesson for the day,”
said Dr. Singh. “Let’s continue our discussion regarding the
true religion of man. Where did we last stop?”
“You were telling us about the self,” said Marie. “About
how the self will resist and oppose all messages that
threaten to remove it from the position it enjoys.”
“Good!” said Dr. Singh. “That’s where we had stopped!
Now let’s learn a little bit more about the self. Look at this
word....” And he wrote down:


“If we break up the word selfish, it will look like this....”

And he wrote on the board:

Self - ish

“When people are selfish, they are thinking only about

themselves. When people obey their selves, that’s what they
become. Selfish. Can you tell me what selfish people are


“Like you said - they think only about themselves,” said
Jim. “They don’t think about others.”
“Yes, that’s correct,” said Dr. Singh. “People who are
selfish don’t think about others. The opposite of selfishness
is selflessness. A person who is selfless cares about others.
Now can you tell me which people are better for the soci-
ety? Those who are selfish or those who are selfless?”
“Selfless!” said Marie at once.
“What do you think God commands people to be like?”
questioned Dr. Singh. “To be selfish or selfless?”
“I can’t imagine God commanding man to be selfish!”
said Richard. “I’m sure God’s laws and commandments are
designed for the benefit of the entire society.”
“Laws, commandments, rules......” said Dr. Singh. “The
self hates these things. The commandments of God espe-
cially are very displeasing to it. You see, the self loves its
freedom. And it doesn’t like to be bound by anything. It
doesn’t like rules, laws, obligations. It doesn’t like responsi-
bilities. It is always striving to break free from rules. It likes
its independence and the ability to do whatever it pleases.”
“That means the self does not like marriage,” said Marie.
“Because marriage is a commitment. A bondage, right?”
“You are right!” said Dr. Singh. “The self hates any ties.
Any commitments. And it is because of the self that we find
so many divorces, broken marriages, fornication and adul-
tery. The self is pleasure-seeking. It is lazy and hates work.
It will always look for the easy way out. It is impatient. It
wants instant gratification. It will do everything in its power
to get man to turn away from God. Because in reality, the
self likes to be the master of man. And because the self is
like this, it is easily swayed by evil whisperings and satanic
suggestions. Man goes astray trying to satisfy his desires,

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the desires of his self! The self will do everything it can to

prevent man from submitting to God. Because it knows that
when man submits to God, it will have no authority to get
man to do as it likes. When a person submits to God, he
does things that God wants him to do. Not what he wants
to do or likes to do. A servant doesn’t do things of his own
will, does he? A servant does whatever his master tells him.
He may have to do things he doesn’t like. Or he may have
to stay away from things that he likes. God tests man in this
way. For example, what man likes to get up early in the
morning at dawn, every single day for prayer? The self
would greatly oppose such a rule if there was one! But a
true servant of God would lay aside his feelings, his likes
and dislikes and do exactly what God tells him he should
do. Even if he doesn’t like to get up early in the morning for
prayer, he would get up and do it. But a true, obedient
servant would also stay away from the things that he likes to
do. He would give up the things please him, only because
God has forbidden him to go after them. The self doesn’t
like to practise restraint. And it doesn’t like anyone to forbid
it from doing the things it likes to do. All it wants to do is
enjoy life. It doesn’t care about what is right or wrong. All it
cares about is pleasure, pleasure and more pleasure! It is
puffed up with pride and arrogance. God enjoins man to do
what is right and stay away from that which is wrong.
Doing what is right isn’t easy. Staying away from things that
are pleasing is even more difficult. So most definitely - the
self would do whatever it can to stop man from submitting
to God.”
“I see what you mean!” cried Andrew. “The self is really
the greatest enemy of man!”
“So when the messengers of God went to their people
with God’s messages, and told them to give up their false


gods and goddesses, how do you think people reacted?”

asked Dr. Singh. “Do you think they accepted God’s guid-
ance, and the message of Truth?”
“No, I think many people must have opposed those
messengers,” said Richard. “They must have rejected the
Truth and the guidance that God sent down to them.”
“People not only opposed the messengers,” said Martha
remembering what was written in the Old Testament. “They
also persecuted and killed them! Like the prophet Isaiah, for
“Oh, that is terrible!” cried Marie. “Rejecting God’s
messages and killing the messengers of God?!”
“Yes, it is terrible,” said Dr. Singh. “But God has re-
served a severe punishment for those who reject His guid-
ance. Can you think of anyone who does a greater wrong
than this? All men are ignorant and thereby fall into error
without the help of a truthful guide. But doing things in
ignorance is one thing. Persisting in wrong-doing and
disbelief after the message and guidance has come to them -
that is entirely another. The rejecters of Truth will definitely
receive a greater punishment and torment.”
“But what about people who never got the message?”
asked Jim. “What will happen to them?”
“People who never got the message? Well they still have
something to guide them,” said Dr. Singh. “God has given
each human being something called conscience. If a man
heeds the voice of his conscience, then God will certainly
have mercy on him. But the question does arise. How many
people listen to their conscience? The self is terribly good at
leading people astray, right? And even in cases where people
do accept God’s message, the self never stops asserting
itself. It is always trying to get man to turn from obedience
to God, and get man to obey it! If you were to go to the

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polytheists and ask them to give up worshipping their false

gods and goddesses, they are going to get very angry with
you. They will become your enemies! They are certainly not
going to give up their false deities. And why should they?
Their gods and goddesses do not forbid them anything.
They let them do whatever they like. Now, can you tell me
who is it that man is really worshipping here? Who does he
really serve?”
“Mon Dieu!” cried Marie. “It looks like man is in reality
worshipping himself! I mean, his self! Or ego!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “Here is a very interesting quote by Sir
Burton,” he said turning to the blackboard. “He was a
British explorer and orientalist and what he said confirms
the truth that you just said.” He wrote the quote on the

“The more I study religions the more I am con-

vinced that man never worshipped anything but
himself.” - Sir Richard Francis Burton

“So there you are!” said Dr. Singh. “Man worships the
self! Since the beginning of history, man has worshipped
himself. By worship I mean, serving. He serves his self. The
self commands and man obeys. The self considers itself
highly important. It is proud and inclined toward pleasures.
It is lazy and always seeks the easy way out. It dislikes
work. It doesn’t like to think about the signs of God that
are all around us. The self does not like man to use his
intelligence or reason. Because it knows that if he were to
do so, he would see the Truth. And perhaps submit to God!
The enemy in the battlefield therefore is easier to fight.
Because you can see the enemy and finish him off. But the
self is harder to fight because it is within you! The greatest


victory for man therefore is to overcome the self and the

grip it has on him. So the victory of man lies not in being
the servant or slave of the self but rather in being the ser-
vant of God!”


T here was a glass of milk on the table. Dr. Singh

squeezed one drop of black ink into the milk. The
milk turned grey.
“If ninety-nine percent of a story is true, and just one
percent is false, would you believe that story?” he asked.
“No, I would not,” said Richard. “How are we to know
which part is true and which is false?!”
“That story would become corrupted if anything false
was added to it,” said Marie. “Even if it is just one percent!”
“Right! Truth is incorruptible. It is hundred percent pure.
You cannot add anything to it and you cannot take away
anything from it. If you did, then it would no longer remain
the Truth. Truth is spotless. I added just one drop of ink in
this glass but it has contaminated all the milk in it. So tell

me, what would you think of people who added something

to a true story, or deleted anything from it? What do you
think of people who twist the story to suit their own de-
sires? Who spice up the story to make it more entertaining
and pleasing? Or who take away things from the story that
they don’t like?”
“That is a grave, terrible sin! That’s misleading other
people!” cried Marie. “But I see what you mean, Dr. Singh.
There are so many people out there who do this. Even
today. They don’t convey the exact news. But rather, they
add things that are untrue to it. Or take away from the story
what they think is dull or boring!”
“Certainly there are many people who will be in the Fire
for tampering with the Truth,” said Dr. Singh. “None but
the disbelievers would do this however. Those who believe
in God and in the Hereafter would never dare do something
like this.”
“It’s a universal phenomenon,” said Richard. “Many
people like to engage in gossip and spread untrue and false
tales about others. Pity that these people don’t realize what
a great wrong they are doing to themselves!”
“Supposing there is a lady by the name of Mrs. X,” said
Dr. Singh. “She is a gossip-monger. One day she has a story
to relate to her neighbor, Mrs. Z. Mrs. X says to Mrs. Z,
“Do you know what Mrs. Q did the other day? She ran
away with the milkman! She had been having an affair with
that milkman for two weeks.” Well, Mrs. X has a habit of
doing this. And she adds a lot of spice to her stories to make
them more entertaining. Mrs. Z is all ears and always eager
to listen to the stories that Mrs. X relates. Who isn’t inter-
ested in scandalous stories? Anyway, Mrs. Z goes ahead and
tells all her friends the story that Mrs. X had told her. And
she adds in some more of her own details. Saying that Mrs.

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Q ran away with the milkman because she was pregnant

with his baby!”
Marie shook her head. This was nothing new to her.
There had been many false stories circulating about her and
she had always had to deny them. How she hated the gossip
“So you see,” went on Dr. Singh. “Mrs. X is guilty of
spreading a false story. But so is Mrs. Z. And all the friends
who believe Mrs. X and Mrs. Z, well - they are all guilty as
well! Because before we believe anything, we need to have
proof! We need to have evidence to show that this is what
really happened.”
Dr. Singh turned and walked to the blackboard to write a

“When we hear news we should always wait for the

sacrament of confirmation.” - Voltaire

“So whenever you hear any news about anyone, you

should wait for the confirmation of that truth from the very
person about whom the news is about. Agree?”
“I absolutely and thoroughly agree!” said Marie.
“So there are all these stories circulating about God,”
continued Dr. Singh. “People say God is like this. He is like
that. They say all kinds of things about Him. They make up
many stories about Him as well. All the people who make
up such false stories are of course doomed. But so are those
people who believe in them! You shouldn’t believe anything
unless it is confirmed. And it becomes necessary for God to
make clear whether the stories that people relate about Him
are true or not. In other words, people have to wait for the
“sacrament of confirmation” from God. And people should
believe those stories only when God confirms them.”


“That means a confirmation or explication must have

come from God,” said Richard thoughtfully. “God must
have sent down messages that cleared up erroneous notions
about Him! And He must have also made clear to people
about His true nature and the reason why He created man!”
“Right!” said Dr. Singh. “But the messages or revelations
that God sent down, do you think people left them alone? In
the exact form in which they were revealed? Let’s say there
was a true story. And this story was handed down from
generation to generation until a period of one thousand
years had elapsed. Do you think that story would remain the
way it originally was?”
“Nah! I don’t think so!” said Andrew. “Stories become
unreliable in just a few weeks or months because people
don’t leave ‘em alone! You’re talking about one thousand
years? No way, man! The more the time has gone the more
unreliable is the story gonna be!”
“Okay, here’s a story,” said Dr. Singh. “Once there was a
man who was hunting for a baby-sitter. He sees an ad stuck
at a grocery store about a baby sitter who is available for
cheap. This man takes his children to this baby-sitter in the
morning and tells her that he would return to fetch them in
the evening. When evening comes, the man goes to get his
children. But the baby-sitter is nowhere to be found. Neither
are his children. This baby-sitter has kidnapped his children
and he has lost them forever. What do you think of this
man? Who entrusted his children to the care of someone he
knew nothing about?”
“Foolish! Very very foolish!” said Martha.
Amy raised her hand. “My mom and dad always tell me
not to trust strangers. Coz I know that there are some bad
people out there. They come to kids like us and give us
candy and stuff. But all they want to do is kidnap us!”

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“Yeah, we should never trust strangers,” said Jim. “We’re

gonna get into serious trouble if we do!”
“When we want to send our children to a baby-sitter,”
said Martha slowly, “the State will do a background check
on the person who is going to baby sit. The State is very
careful about these things.”
“Background checks are done by many people,” said Dr.
Singh. “For example, if you want to rent an apartment, the
landlord will do a background check on you. Ever heard of
ebay? Well, it’s a site on the internet where buyers and
sellers do business. On ebay, after completing transactions,
buyers leave positive or negative feedback about the sellers.
And the sellers also leave feedback about the buyers. This
feedback is extremely valuable. Because people can first
check on you and see what kind of feedback you have
before they decide to do business with you. People have no
hesitation in doing business with a person who has 100%
positive feedback. So I have a question. Tell me, would it be
alright if we did not do background checks on people?
Would we send our children to a baby-sitter about whom
we knew very little or absolutely nothing? Would we really
like to do business with total strangers? Would we trust a
stranger? More importantly, would we place our complete
trust and faith in a person about whom we know very little
or nothing?”
“Definitely not!” said Martha. “I would never believe a
person about whom I knew nothing!”
Dr. Singh directed a question to Martha. “Tell me,
Martha, would you believe an author about whom you
knew nothing?”
“No, I won’t,” replied Martha wondering why Dr. Singh
was asking specifically her that question.
“And why won’t you believe an unknown author?”


enquired Dr. Singh.

“Because I don’t know if he is trustworthy!” said Martha.
“I don’t know his background. And I don’t know what
people say about him. He could be lying!”
“But supposing you knew who the author was. And you
were able to do a background check on him. Supposing you
learnt that this author had 100% feedback and that he had a
good reputation. And that he was trustworthy. Would you
believe what this author says?”
“Of course!” replied Martha. “If I can do a background
check on him and find out that he is honest, I shall certainly
believe him.”
“But you wouldn’t believe a man about whom you know
nothing, right?” said Dr. Singh.
Martha frowned. Dr. Singh was acting really strange!
Why on earth was he asking her all these questions?! The
rest of the students listened to the dialogue in amusement.
And they waited for Martha to speak.
“Yes! I would never ever believe a man about whom I
knew nothing!!” she cried.
“What if there was a certain book out there,” said Dr.
Singh. “A book that is a compilation of many books written
by different authors. Some of the authors are known. But
some authors are unknown. Tell me Martha, would you
place your faith and belief in such a book?”
Martha stared at Dr. Singh. It seemed as if she was
looking right through him! It was as if a bolt of lightning
had struck her and robbed her of her speech.
Dr. Singh smiled. “If 99% of a book is true, but just one
percent is false, then you can no longer believe that book,
can you? It’s as simple as that, my friends! It is necessary
that we should first enquire about the source of the story or
book before we place our belief in it. And if we do not

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know what the source is, we cannot trust it. Just as we

cannot trust strangers.”
“You are so right!” said Marie in admiration. “We should
always look at the source and its reliability before we accept
“Supposing in the middle of the night, a man came
knocking at the door. A total stranger. He tells you to vacate
your house right away. He says that there’s a fire nearby
that is threatening to burn down all the houses. What would
you do? Would you vacate your house?”
“I don’t think so,” said Marie thinking about strangers
who lured people out of their homes on such pretexts and
then robbed them.
“My mom never opens the door to strangers,” said Amy.
“What if your uncle came to your door and told you to
vacate your house at once?” asked Dr. Singh.
“Ah! That is different,” said Marie. “I would definitely
vacate my house.”
“Meaning you would believe your uncle,” said Dr. Singh.
“Of course!” said Marie. “I know my uncle. He is not a
Dr. Singh sat down on his chair. He asked, “What kind of
men do you think God would choose to deliver His mes-
“Uh....honest and trustworthy men?” said Marie.
“Right, honest and trustworthy,” said Dr. Singh. “God
would choose men who were responsible. Not irresponsible.
Delivering God’s message to people is no joke. The messen-
gers who deliver it must deliver that message exactly as
God reveals it to them. They cannot add anything of their
own to it. Neither can they delete anything from it. The
messengers of God therefore bore a heavy responsibility on
their shoulders. But they did deliver those messages to their


people. God is witness to their truthfulness. So God sent

many messages to man. The messengers and prophets of
God were sent to every country, place and region. But those
messages soon became corrupted. The more ancient a story
is, the more possibility there is that it has been corrupted.”
He threw a glance at Martha who looked as though she
had turned to stone.
Dr. Singh got up from his chair and stood in front of the
table. “There’s a certain book that is widely read by millions
of people all over the world today,” he said. “The people
who believe in that book say that it is the word of God. And
they believe in the whole book. However, certain parts in
that book are written by authors who are unknown. My
question is, can you really trust the writings of people about
whom you know nothing? If some parts of the book are of
questionable origin, then would you really put your faith
and trust in that book? Would not the book become highly
unreliable? And what about the authors who did write the
book? How are we to know they are speaking the truth?
Whatever that is known about those authors is very little
indeed! And it’s not possible to do a background check on
them either.”
“I wouldn’t believe such a book,” said Richard firmly. “If
people want to believe in it, that is their problem! I have
learnt enough at this retreat to know that I should steer
clear from all untruth. Including truth that has been tam-
pered with!”
“So it is pretty evident that the messages of God became
corrupted with the passage of time,” said Dr. Singh. “People
fell into great wrongdoing and ignorance as a result of such
corruption. They went further and further from the path of
God. Ever heard of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?
Well, God in His mercy sent a messenger to them and asked

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the people of those cities to heed the message of God and

give up their evil ways. The people refused to listen. And
because of their heedlessness, God destroyed those cities
and wiped them off the face of the earth! Man is in need of
guidance and every time God sent it down, man corrupted it
and changed God’s messages to suit his own desires. You
may think that falsehood and ignorance has always prevailed
throughout the history of man. But that is not the case.
Because Truth has always overpowered Falsehood. And if
you open your history books, you will see the clear proof of
its triumph. After many messages, God sent his final revela-
tion. A revelation that exists today in its exact form, word
for word, exactly as it was revealed 1,400 years ago. And
for this revelation, God chose a man who was well-known
for his upright character. A man whom people called - “The
Trustworthy One.”


“O pen your history books!” said Dr. Singh. “You

will see the undeniable triumph and victory of
Truth. God sent many messengers since the creation of man.
All of those messengers called people to submit to God. For
that is the only religion that God will accept.”
“Yes, it is written in the Old Testament,” said Martha
recovering from her discomposure. “There was Adam, the
first man. Then Noah, Moses, Abraham.....”
“True,” said Dr. Singh. “All these men were given the
same message to give to their people. But God’s final
revelation was for all of mankind. And if this was the final
revelation, what does it mean?”
They looked at Dr. Singh blankly.
Dr. Singh smiled and said, “It simply means that the
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messenger that God chose for His work was - the Last
“That makes sense!” said Jim. “But does the final revela-
tion of God confirm this truth?”
“Certainly!” said Dr. Singh. “The Last Messenger of God
is called The Seal of the Prophets in the Divine Book.”
“So that means there would be no more messengers after
him?” said Marie. “But I’m sure there have been messengers
who came after him who claimed to be inspired by God...”
“You can know which are the true messengers and the
false pretty easily,” said Dr. Singh. “The Last Messenger of
God is a well-known figure in history. Many prophets and
messengers sent before him were persecuted and oppressed.
But God gave His Last Messenger a tremendous victory
over the disbelievers. Actually he was the most successful of
all messengers sent by God. He was very much opposed by
the idol-worshippers. They even plotted to kill him. But our
beloved messenger fought against the idol-worshippers and
defeated them with God’s help. He was just one man, my
friends. One man against an entire nation. But God had sent
him as a mercy to mankind. God was on his side. The
battles that he fought and his victories....all this truth is
recorded in history books - undeniable and clear; it stands
like a beacon of light, showing mankind the way to salva-
tion! You can do a background check on this Messenger of
God as much as you like. You will be amazed to learn that
everything he did and said has been recorded in minute
detail in volumes and volumes of books! His character was
exemplary and God has commanded in his Final Revelation
that all believers should follow his example.”
“He is a famous historical figure?” asked Richard won-
dering who he was.
“Please tell us more about him!” begged Amy.


“Well, it’s all there in history books, my friends,” said Dr.

Singh. “And it’s also very easy to find him. Just read
Michael Hart’s book - The 100: A Ranking of the Most
Influential Persons in History. Michael Hart puts the Last
Messenger of God on the top of his list! And I totally agree
with his choice. Indeed, the Last Messenger of God was the
most influential man in history!”
“What about Jesus Christ?” asked Martha feeling rather
disappointed. “What number is he at?”
“Uh....I think Michael Hart puts him at number 3,”
replied Dr. Singh.
“I can’t wait to do my research on God’s last messen-
ger!” said Marie. “Dr. Singh has given us many clues and
I’m sure we’re going to find him easily.”
“Yes, do your research on him,” said Dr. Singh. “After
all, he was the one God chose to receive His Final Revela-
tion. All the messages and revelations he received were
compiled into a book - which is read by 1.3 billion believers
“The Final Revelation of God!” cried Marie in great
excitement. “God’s Word!”
Richard couldn’t believe it. “You mean there is a book
out there today - which contains the exact words of God?!
The uncorrupted word of God?!”
Dr. Singh nodded. “Yep, the pure, 100% Truth -from
God Almighty!”
They all looked at each other in amazement. If such a
book existed, how was it that they knew nothing about it?!
“Where is it? Where can I get it? I wanna read it!” cried
Dr. Singh smiled. “Hmm. I’m sure all of you want to read
it,” he said. “But I’m not going to tell you which book it is.
That is something you are going to have to find out - all on

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your own. You have come this far. I’m sure you can find out
which book it is by doing just a little bit of research. We’re
going to do our experiment in about 20 minutes. After this
experiment, you are free to do whatever you like. You can
go to the library and do your research, if you wish. I’m sure
you will have no problem finding answers to all questions
that may come to your mind right now. The true religion of
man - submission to God, in fact happens to be the fastest
growing religion in the United States!”
“Whoa!” cried Richard in greatest wonder and amaze-
“Yep, submission to God,” said Dr. Singh. “This religion
is the second largest in the world with more than 1.3 billion
“It’s wonderful to know that!” said Marie. “It really
shows how powerful God is! Truth cannot ever be defeated
by Falsehood!”
Richard was thoughtful. “Then the crimes of Hitler,
Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot....and Charles Darwin, their crimes are
even more terrible and unforgiveable. Because they lived at
a time when God’s revelation had already come to them.”
“Yes, definitely,” agreed Dr. Singh. “Their crimes are
even more terrible because they deliberately rejected God’s
messages and guidance. Not only that they also strangled
their voice of conscience. They ceased to be human.”
“I wonder what kind of punishment these people are
going to get,” said Jim. “Does the Final Revelation of God
say something about this? I mean, the punishment of God?”
Dr. Singh grinned. “God’s Final Revelation provides
mankind with answers to all questions, my friend,” he said.
“God informs mankind about the terrible penalty that awaits
him if he rejects God’s guidance. The blazing fire of Hell,
specially prepared for the rejecters of Truth!”


“Then please tell us what God says about Hell!” begged

Jim. “I wanna know how that punishment is gonna be!”
“I also wanna know what God’s reward gonna be like,”
said Andrew.
“And I want to know what God says about Himself,”
said Marie.
“I want to know what God says about repentance. And
His mercy,” said Richard.
Martha also wanted to know something. Choosing her
words carefully she said, “And I want to know about Jesus.
Does God say anything about him?”
Dr. Singh put out his hands. “Whow! Hold it! You sure
have got a lot of questions! But it’s good. Very good. If you
don’t ask questions, how are you going to find the answers?
And certainly there is no one who can answer these ques-
tions better than God Himself. So!” He asked Henry to get
the English translation of God’s Divine Word. Henry
promptly left the classroom and returned with a book in his
“Henry, tell them what God says about the punishment
people will get for rejecting His guidance,” said Dr. Singh.
Henry turned the pages and found something which he
thought would answer that question. He read out loud:

“Surely! Those who disbelieved Our revelations, We

shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are
roasted through We shall change them for other
skins, that they may taste the punishment; Truly God
is Ever Most Powerful, All Wise.”

They listened to the verses in awe and terrified silence. It

was the first time they were hearing God speak!
“Truly God’s punishment is something to fear!” said

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Richard. “If people knew what the punishment was, they

would never ever disobey God! Of that I’m 100% sure!”
“But why does God refer to Himself as “We”?” asked
Jim. “He is just one God, right?”
“The pronoun “We” is used in many languages by people
who hold a high office,” explained Dr. Singh. “Kings and
queens refer to themselves as “We”, not “I”. And certainly
this pronoun is more suitable for God, the Lord of all
“Does God tell us what He is like?” asked Marie. “I
mean, does God tell us about His true nature?”
“There are many verses which tell us what God is like,”
said Henry. “But here’s a short chapter I can read out to
you. It tells us what God is like in wonderful clarity!” He
swiftly turned the pages of his book to find the relevant
chapter. After having found it, he read aloud the divine
verses to them:

“Say! He is God, the One. God, The Eternal. He

begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is no
co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

“Hey! That’s exactly what we found out about God,

right?!” said Jim. “God is One! There’s only one God! And
there’s nothing like Him!”
“It really is God’s Word!” cried Marie.
Richard was a little skeptical. “Uh.... does God say
anything about why He created us?”
“Of course He does!” said Henry. Henry seemed to know
a lot about God’s Word. He quickly found the verse and
read it out. “God says......”

“I only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.”


“What’s Jinns?” asked Andrew.

“Nevermind what that is!” said Jim. “It’s pretty clear that
God made everything to serve Him! That’s something we
found out by using our powers of reason.”
Marie cleared her throat. “With Dr. Singh’s help, don’t
“Does God say anything about the life of this world?”
asked Richard. “That He created it to test us?”
“Ah! There is no doubt about that!” said Dr. Singh.
“Henry, read out the first verses from chapter 67!”
Henry found the verses and read out loud:

“Blessed be He in Whose hands is the dominion, and

He is able to do all things. Who has created death
and life, that He may test you which of you is best in
deed, and He is the Almighty, The Oft-Forgiving.”

“Great heavens!” cried Richard. “This book confirms

everything we’ve learnt at this retreat!”
“If you were to look at that verse again,” said Dr. Singh.
“God says that He created death and life. He doesn’t say life
and death. If you think about it, you will realize that it is the
most appropriate order. Because after death comes life. The
life that is everlasting. Meaning death is not the end of our
existence. It is further proof that there will be a Day of
“I wonder if there is anything written in there about what
people will say on that Day?” said Marie. “I mean, when the
verdict is given and they have to face the Fire?”
“Yes, certainly!” said Henry. “God tells us....” He turned
the pages and looked. Finally he found something. He read
it out:

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“If you could but see when they will be held over the
Fire! They will say, “Would that we were but sent
back! Then we would not deny the revelations of
our Lord, and we would be of the believers!”

“Would God have pity on them and send them back?”

asked Martha.
“I don’t think so,” said Dr. Singh. “If He were to have
pity on them, then the believers might as well not have
believed and been like the disbelievers.”
“I don’t understand,” said Amy looking a little bewil-
“Well, supposing God forgave the disbelievers and had
pity on them,” said Dr. Singh, “then what about those who
believed in God’s messages? What about those people who
obeyed God and followed the guid ance He sent down? If
God forgave the disbelievers, then it would become alright
for people not to believe. It would be okay if people didn’t
follow God’s guidance. Tell me, if you knew that God was
going to forgive you in the Hereafter, would you take His
messages seriously? Would you follow the guidance He
sends down?”
“You are right, Dr. Singh,” said Andrew. “If I thought in
that way, I would not take God’s guidance seriously. I
would not submit to Him. I would do as I liked and follow
the desires of my heart. And that would result in total chaos
and lawlessness. There will be more and more people like
Hitler and Mao! I can’t imagine God forgiving those
“So it won’t be okay to disbelieve!” cried Marie. “God
will never forgive the disbelievers because the believers
have to be rewarded for following His guidance!”
“That’s correct,” said Dr. Singh. “Believers and disbeliev-


ers are not the same and cannot be treated equally. The
disbelievers will be in Hell forever. Whereas the believers
who follow God’s guidance and obey Him - they will be
saved from the Fire of Hell and rewarded with Paradise.”
He walked over to Henry and took the book from his
hand. He flipped the pages and came to a verse he wanted
to read out to them. He read it out:

“And those whose scales (of good deeds) are light, -

they are those who lose their own selves. In Hell will
they abide. The Fire will burn their faces and therein
they will grin with displaced lips. “Were not My
Verses recited to you, and then you used to deny
them? They will say: “Our Lord! Our wretchedness
overcame us, and we were an erring people. Our
Lord! Bring us out of this! If we ever return to evil,
we shall be wrongdoers.” He (God) will say, “Re-
main you in it with ignominy! And speak you
not to Me! Verily there was a party of My slaves,
who used to say, “Our Lord! We believe, so forgive
us, and have mercy on us, for You are the best of all
who show mercy!” But you took them for a laugh-
ingstock, so much so that they made you forget My
Remembrance while you used to laugh at them!
Verily! I have rewarded them this Day for their
patience. They are indeed the ones who
are successful!”

“Oh my God!” cried Martha. “This is terrible! No hope

for the disbelievers!? How can God do this?! I don’t believe
“Martha, nobody is forcing you to believe it,” said Dr.

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Singh. “God doesn’t force anyone to believe. Neither does

He force anyone to disbelieve. It’s all up to you!”
“Does God say anything at all about Jesus?” Martha
“He sure does,” said Dr. Singh. “God tells us that Jesus
was His Messenger. Not His son!”
“What reward is God gonna give the believers?” asked
Dr. Singh handed the book over to Henry.
“The reward of Paradise?” said Henry. “There are many
verses that describe Paradise. Here’s just one of them....”
He read it out:

“(It will be said to the true believers) My worshippers!

No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve.
You who believed in the revelations and submitted totally
to God’s Will - enter Paradise, you and your wives, in
happiness. Trays of gold and cups will be passed around
them, (there will be) therein all that the one’s inner selves
could desire, and all the eyes could delight in, and you
will abide therein forever. This is the Paradise which you
have been made to inherit because of your deeds which
you used to do. Therein for you will be fruits in plenty, of
which you will eat.”

“Hmmmm. To live in paradise forever! How wonderful it

will be!” said Marie dreamily.
“Will God forgive me for what I did?” asked Richard
suddenly. “Everything that I did in life, was all in ignorance!
Will God forgive me? Please! I want to know!”
Dr. Singh smiled. “I know that verse by heart, my friend,”
he said. “God says, “Oh my slaves who have transgressed
against themselves, despair not of the mercy of God. Verily


God forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merci-

Marie looked at Richard and blinked. She was not imagin-
ing it. There were tears of joy in Richard’s eyes!
“God is Great!” he cried and he fell on his face in utter


T he experiment that Dr. Singh was going to conduct

was in a room specially prepared. Before they en-
tered it, Dr. Singh blindfolded Richard. Everyone but
Richard could see what was in the room. There was a hole
in the left side of the floor. Amy took a look inside it. There
were some stairs going down somewhere. On the right there
was an ironing board upon which was placed an iron. Henry
promptly put the plug in and heated the iron. He turned it
on high. He then put that hot iron on the floor.
There was a swivel chair in the middle of the room. Dr.
Singh and Henry led Richard to it and bade him to sit down.
“Richard,” said Dr. Singh. “All you need to do is find the
door of this room. The exit. Think you can do that?”
Richard nodded. “I’ll try!” he said.

“Wait a minute,” said Henry. He had something in his

pocket. A banana peel! He placed it carefully on the floor
right before Richard’s chair.
“Okay, you ready?” asked Dr. Singh. Richard said he
was. So they turned the swivel chair round and round.
When it stopped Richard got up from his chair and began to
walk. But he was headed straight toward the direction of
the hot iron! Marie screamed. She couldn’t help it! Richard
immediately stopped. “Uh....what happened?” he asked.
Nobody said anything. They were not supposed to help
Richard. That’s what Dr. Singh had told them. Richard then
began to walk in another direction. This time he was headed
straight toward the hole in the floor! He was getting really
close to it!
“Oh no, don’t......!!” cried out Amy.
Richard halted in his tracks. And Amy breathed a sigh of
relief. Richard began walking again. He put his hands in
front of him and began walking. Nobody said anything this
time. Richard soon discovered he was going the wrong way
when he bumped into the wall. “Ufff!” he cried as the wall
hit him. Then he turned and began walking once more. Now
he was headed straight toward the banana peel. He was just
two steps away from it! And that was a wooden floor! He
was definitely going to slip and hurt himself! Martha,
Andrew and Jim all cried out, “STOP!!”
Richard stopped at once.
Dr. Singh and Henry removed the handkerchief they had
tied around his eyes and Richard saw the banana peel in
front of him. He looked around and saw the hole in the floor
and the hot iron.
Henry got a huge rug and spread it on the floor. Every-
one sat down in a circle.
“Ignorance is darkness,” said Dr. Singh. “When a person

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is ignorant, he is as good as blind. Agree?”

“I definitely agree!” said Richard.
“Every single thing in this universe has its code of con-
duct given to it. Meaning all creatures know how to live
their lives. They know what rules and laws they must
follow. But man was not given this code of conduct at birth.
And the reason for that was....?”
“Because God intended to give man free-will?” said
“Yes, God has power over all things. And He can create
anything He pleases. Including a creature who obeys God of
his own free will. That creature is undoubtedly man. God’s
greatest creation. So God gave man free-will. It is certainly
within God’s power to make any man submit to Him. But
that wouldn’t be voluntary submission, would it?”
“Why didn’t God give man his code of conduct at birth?”
asked Jim. “That would have been better!”
“Then what difference would there be between man and
the rest of creation?” asked Dr. Singh. “God did not give
man his code of conduct at birth simply because God
wanted man to choose his religion or way of life. How he
lives his life - that is the only thing that is within the control
of man. So man is born ignorant. And since ignorance is
darkness, man is unable to see. God did not give man his
guide or religion at birth. So without guidance, of course
man is going to be lost. We conducted an experiment just
now to prove this reality.”
“Yes, I agree,” said Richard. “It isn’t a good thing to be
ignorant. Because in our ignorance we can do ourselves a
lot of harm! All my life, I’ve been living in ignorance! I
didn’t know what the truth was, nor did I care. I’ve done
terrible things in my life, because I didn’t have knowledge!”
“Well, you’re not alone,” said Marie. “I’ve been ignorant


as well. And done many wrong things in my ignorance. I

can’t thank God enough that He guided me to attend this
“This experiment shows how perilous it is to be igno-
rant,” said Dr. Singh. “Many people are walking in igno-
rance and doing things in ignorance, following the ways of
their forefathers, who were themselves ignorant. It is impos-
sible therefore that God would not send down His guidance
to mankind. God doesn’t want people to live in ignorance
and harm themselves. He sees everything, my friends. When
we blindfolded Richard, he was in darkness. He was blind
and could not see where he was going. But you could see
him, couldn’t you? You could see him walking toward
danger. Danger that was all around him. God is the All-
Seeing. He can see where people are going. He knows that
they need help. They need His guidance. They need the light
of Truth to guide them. So He sent to mankind many mes-
sengers. And the last one He sent was sent to all people. Of
all races, cultures and nationalities. God in fact showed His
Last Prophet some things of the unseen - Paradise and
“Wow! The Last Messenger of God saw Hell?” cried
“Yes, and he could see clearly where people were going
in their ways of ignorance,” said Dr. Singh. “Just as you
could see Richard walking toward danger, he too could see
clearly where his people were going. He warned them of
what lay ahead and called them to believe in the message he
brought. He told them that if they believed him, they would
be saved.”
“So does that mean we too would be saved if we be-
lieved him?” asked Marie.
“Oh yes!” said Dr. Singh. “Whoever believes in the

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revelation brought by the Last Prophet of God will be

“Ooooh! This is beautiful news! So absolutely wonder-
ful!” said Marie in delight.
“Here’s what he once said,” said Dr. Singh taking out his
notebook. He turned the pages to find what he was looking
for and then read it out.

“My example and the example of the Message with

which God has sent me, is like that of a man who
came to some people and said, “I have seen with my
own eyes the enemy forces, and I am a naked
warner to you. So save yourself! Save yourself!” A
group of them obeyed him and went out at night,
slowly and stealthily and were safe, while another
group did not believe him and thus the army took
them in the morning and destroyed them.”

“I believe in the message brought by the Last Messenger

of God!” declared Richard.
“So do I!” said Marie.
“Can you tell me,” said Dr. Singh. “Who do people hurt
the most by walking on the wrong path? Who do they hurt
the most by walking blindly? Without guidance?”
“Themselves!” said Richard.
“If person X jumped from a tall building,” said Dr. Singh.
“Who would get hurt? Person A, B, C, D? Or X?”
“Person X!” said Amy.
“If you drink poison, you are the one who is going to end
up getting hurt, not someone else,” said Dr. Singh. “Not
your father, or mother, or uncle or friend. So if you take the
wrong road, you are the one who will end up being lost.
You will be hurting only yourself. It is only when you take


the right road that you will succeed. The question is - do

you want to succeed or not?”
“Of course we wanna succeed!” said Andrew.
“Then you have to make the right choice,” said Dr.
Singh. “You have to save yourself by making the right
decision and choice. I cannot make that choice for you.
Neither can Henry, or Tom, Dick or Harry. If you want to
succeed, you are the one who has to put in the effort and
make the right choices. Just as no student can pass an exam
if he makes the wrong choices, no man or woman can pass
God’s test by choosing the wrong path.”
“I had a question,” said Jim. “I was thinking about God’s
test. When we sit for an exam, each student is given the
same time limit. How come God doesn’t give each of us the
same time limit? Why doesn’t God let people live for a fixed
period of time?”
Dr. Singh smiled. “If God let people live for a fixed
period of time...let’s say for 50 years. Then what would be
the point in providing man with food, water, clothing,
shelter and other necessities? If that were to be the rule that
man has to live for 50 years, then man would become just
like God, wouldn’t he? Nothing could destroy him until he
reached the age of 50! He wouldn’t even need a mother to
look after him. There would be no need for safety measures.
There would be no murders, no killings. No man could die
before he reaches 50. Meaning nothing could destroy him
until he reached that age. Even natural disasters like earth-
quakes, fires, and floods. People wouldn’t get sick either.
Even if they did, there would be no threat of dying! It is
only when man is needy that God can test him. Not when he
is free from need!”
“Wow!” said Jim. “That sure does make sense!”
“Now, let’s go downstairs,” said Dr. Singh standing up.

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“There’s a room beneath this room where we are going to

conduct another experiment...”
He went straight toward the hole in the floor and climbed
down the stairs. Everyone followed him. Henry turned the
lights on. They were standing in a room on the floor of
which was a big circle. It was colored a bright red. A
straight white line ran through the diameter of that circle. In
its center was a cage.
“Andrew, please walk upon that white line and enter that
cage,” commanded Dr. Singh.
Andrew did as he was told.
“And Marie, could you stand upon that white line
please?” said Dr. Singh.
Marie stood upon the line.
“Let me now explain what is the meaning of all this,” said
Dr. Singh. “That straight line represents the Truth. Or the
guidance of God. Remember that Truth is One. Everything
else is false. So that itty bitty line. That is the only thing that
can help you. Whoever believes in God and His Messenger
is like Marie, standing on that white line. She is on the path
of Truth. The moment she accepts the Truth and declares it,
she has moved from a world of darkness into a world of
light. So she has hope of God’s mercy.”
“What’s all this red area?” asked Richard.
“Danger. Fire. Or the fire of Hell,” said Dr. Singh. “To be
safe from this fire, you have to follow the guidance that
God has sent you. That guidance is God’s religion. A set of
rules, laws and commandments which you must obey. The
cage that you are in represents those rules and laws to
which you are bound. You are in a cage, yes. But you are
safe. Safe from the fire! And every time you disobey God’s
laws, you step out of this cage and plunge into the fire! And
if God wills He will save you. Otherwise.....”


“I’m never gonna leave this cage!” said Andrew. “Man!

I’d be foolish to disobey God!”


T hey were back in their classroom. “We’re done with

our lessons now,” said Dr. Singh. “But before you go
and get ready for the party, do you have any questions?”
“Yeah, I got a question,” said Andrew. “I wanna know
how I can go to Paradise without going through any punish-
“I’ve told you,” said Dr. Singh. “It is only when you
disobey God that you will be punished. If you obey God and
follow the example of His Messenger, there should be no
problem. But you see, in order to obey God, you need to
know what His rules and commandments are. In other
words, you need to have knowledge. If you don’t know
what God commands you or forbids you to do, chances are
you may do things that displease Him and avoid things that

please Him. Ignorance is a bad thing. That’s why the Mes-

senger of God said that it was compulsory for all believers
to seek knowledge.”
“That makes a lotta sense,” said Andrew.
Martha was still unable to get over the idea that disbe-
lievers were going to be in Hell forever. “Dr. Singh, I still
can’t believe that disbelievers will have no hope in the
Hereafter. I mean there are so many people out there! They
just don’t know anything! I mean they are ignorant - with-
out knowledge! But I’m sure there are many of them who
do believe in God. There could be many good people out
there who know nothing about the Day of Judgment or the
Last Messenger of God. There are millions and millions of
people in this world who don’t have a clue regarding what
happens after death! Are they all going to Hell? To dwell
therein forever?!! It’s not fair! God can’t do this! I just find
it so.......”
“Wait a minute,” said Dr. Singh. “What’s not fair? God is
never unfair. It is not God but people who are unfair to
themselves. Instead of worshipping the true God, they
worship false gods. Do false gods ever send down guid-
ance? Do they care about their worshippers? Do they ever
warn them and inform them that there will be a severe
punishment for the wrongdoers? Worshipping any other god
but the true God is the biggest sin a man can commit. And
the only sin that God will not forgive.”
“But why? Why won’t God forgive people of this sin?”
asked Richard. “Didn’t God say that He forgives all sins?”
“Yes, but the verse that I recited to you was addressed
to His servants - people who believed in Him as the true
God. Not people who took other gods for worship. God
tells us clearly that if people worship other gods besides
Him, He will not forgive them. And there’s a very good

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reason for that. Think about it! What do you think would
happen if God were to forgive people for worshipping false
“Then there would be no point in sending any guidance!”
said Marie. “People could worship anything they liked and it
would be even alright if they rejected God’s messages! I
mean, it would become alright for people to follow other
religions besides the true religion that God sends down!”
“And you know very well that there is only one Truth,”
said Dr. Singh. “There is only one true religion. And only
one true God. If people want to believe anything, they
should believe in the one Truth, the one God and follow
only the true religion sent by God! The true God is the One
who would send down guidance to man because He cares
about us. He is the only One who can hear the prayers of
man and help him. Not only in this life but also in the Next.
The false gods are deaf, dumb, blind and can’t even help
themselves! Foolish indeed are the people who take other
gods besides Him for worship!”
Martha shook her head. “But there are so many people
who are unaware of this Truth!” she cried. “So many
“Tell me,” said Dr. Singh in a gentle tone. “If one hun-
dred people were found guilty of murder, how many people
would God punish?”
“One hundred,” answered Martha.
“And what if 10 billion people were found guilty of the
same crime? How many people would God punish?”
“Uh.....10 billion,” Martha replied a little hesitantly.
“So that means the number of people is irrelevant,”
concluded Dr. Singh. “God punishes whoever is guilty of
wrongdoing. And the greatest wrongdoers are those who do
not believe in God. The true God. The disbelievers are


actually the worst of all creatures. You cannot trust them.”

“Why can’t we trust them?” asked Jim.
“Because they don’t fear God! They don’t believe in Him
in the first place! And because of their disbelief they commit
the most heinous crimes against humanity. Do you think
Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot would have ever killed
all those people if they believed in God? What about those
loom masters who enslave little children? What about all
those people who indulge in lying, gossip and backbiting?
People who spread false tales and malign the reputation of
other people? People who do not believe in the true God are
capable of the most terrible crimes. Right now at this very
moment, in every part of this world, people are committing
all kinds of crimes. Women are being raped. Children are
being abused and forced into prostitution. Countless people
are being murdered. Many more are committing suicide.
Robbery, theft, assault, kidnapping, violence....We cannot
imagine how many gruesome crimes are being committed -
and have been committed. And all this is occurring because
of one thing alone. Disbelief!”
“I agree!” said Richard. “If people really believed in God
they would never do any wrong. They would fear God’s
“So that means the solution to all problems is - fear of
God!” concluded Marie. “If people feared God nobody
would do evil and this world would become like Paradise!”
“True,” said Dr. Singh. “But who are the people who
really fear God? Do you know?”
“I know!” cried Andrew excitedly. “They are the ones
who know who the true God is! I mean, they’re the ones
who have knowledge!”
“Right,” said Dr. Singh. “And the more knowledge they
have, the more do they fear God and obey Him.”

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“So that means the most obedient people are those who
fear God the most, right?” said Marie.
“Certainly,” responded Dr. Singh. “God tells people that
they should fear none but Him. Fear of God is a good thing
for people because it keeps them from doing wrong. But
there is something else besides fear of God which motivates
people to obey Him. Do you know what it is?”
“I know what it is,” said Richard quietly. “Isn’t it love? I
mean, how can anyone not love God when He is so forgiv-
ing and merciful!?”
“Yes, you are right,” said Dr. Singh. “Tell me which man
would love God more? The person whose sins are few or
the person whose sins are a mountainful and reach the sky?
If God were to pardon both these men, which of them
would love God more?”
“The person whose sins are a mountainful would defi-
nitely love God more,” said Richard. Dr. Singh smiled. “So
it isn’t such a bad thing, is it? If your sins are many and God
forgave you, your love for God would increase. And as a
result you would want to obey God. You would voluntarily
and most willingly obey God and do whatever He tells you
to do!”
“You are right!” said Richard. “So so right! A person
who loves God would never disobey Him. He would be a
faithful, obedient servant for the rest of his life!”
“Supposing you were hungry and had gone without food
for two days,” said Dr. Singh. “And someone had pity on
you. He gave you some food to eat. How would you feel if
someone did that?”
“Very grateful,” said Marie.
“What if you were homeless and sick and someone gave
you shelter in his home and called a doctor to treat your


“I would most definitely feel the utmost gratitude,” said

“And what if you were drowning in some river or sea,”
said Dr. Singh. “And someone jumps in, risking his own life
and saves you from certain death?”
“Oh, Dr. Singh!” said Jim. “I would be very grateful to
that person who saved my life!”
“Supposing you lost your eyesight in an accident. For
many years you were blind. Then a brilliant medical discov-
ery offered you some hope of regaining your eyesight. Some
doctors performed an operation on your eyes. The opera-
tion was successful and you began to see. Would you be
grateful to the doctors who operated on your eyes?”
“Of course I’d be grateful,” said Marie.
“How much do you think the blind people of this world
would be willing to pay in order to see like you can?” asked
Dr. Singh.
“I know Stevie Wonder!” said Jim. “He’s blind! But I’m
sure he’d be willing to pay millions of dollars to be able to
see like I can!”
“What about the deaf people of this world? How much
would they be willing to pay to hear things like you can?
What about the dumb? How much would they pay to be
able to speak like you can? And the lame. How much do
you think they would be willing to pay to be able to walk,
run and dance like you can?”
“I think they would be willing to pay millions of dollars,”
said Martha.
“But you didn’t pay God anything for all these marvelous
gifts, did you?” said Dr. Singh. “How much did you pay for
your eyesight, or your hearing? How much did you pay to
have the ability to talk and walk? You would show gratitude
to the doctor who performed an eye operation. And you

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would be willing to pay anything just to get your sight back.

But what about showing gratitude to God for giving you
these gifts? You say that you would be utterly grateful to
the person who jumps into the water and saves you from
drowning. But what about the fact that each morning you
awaken and God grants you a new life?! While you were
sleeping any number of calamities could have befallen you.
The roof could have collapsed over you and killed you.
There could have been an earthquake. Or a fire. You could
have even died in your sleep! But every single day, you
awaken. And you are safe and secure. God gives you a new
life every day! If you are grateful to someone for saving you
just once, shouldn’t you be more grateful to God for saving
you countless times - for every single day of your life that
He has allowed you to live!? If someone saves your life, you
feel greatly obligated. People frequently say to the person
who has saved them, “How can I repay you for what you’ve
done for me?” Why don’t they say the same thing to God?
Why don’t they say to God, “How can I repay you for all
the things you have done for me? For giving me new life
every single day! For this eye-sight and hearing! And the
ability to talk and walk! For keeping me safe and providing
me with everything that I need!””
They listened to Dr. Singh wide-eyed.
“If there was a man, we’ll call him Paul,” went on Dr.
Singh. “Let’s say Paul was drowning and someone saved
him from drowning. What would you think of Paul if he was
not grateful to the person who saved his life?”
“He would be the worst creature on earth!” said Marie.
“So there you are!” said Dr. Singh. “Those who are
ungrateful to God are the worst of all God’s creatures. And
none are ungrateful but the disbelievers. Do you know who
are the best of God’s creation?”


“Those who are grateful to God!” said Andrew.

“So that means there are two things that inspire people to
obey God,” said Richard. “One is fear of God. And the
other is gratitude!”


T here was less than an hour left before the party

began. And there was tremendous excitement in the
air. All the students flocked to the library, eager to do their
final research.
Marie immediately sat down before a computer and in
the search box she typed in the words - The Last Messenger
of God. Richard too was doing his research. But the words
he typed in were - The most influential man in history.
Andrew wanted to know more about the true religion of
man. So he typed in - submission to God. As for Jim he
began to do some research on God’s final revelation.
Martha sat at a table, reading a huge book on world
history. Amy joined Martha at her table, also with a history
book. But this one was illustrated and had lots of pictures.

Marie stared at the search results. The name of God’s last

messenger stood out clearly and undeniably. Soon she was
deeply absorbed reading everything she could about the
greatest man who ever lived.
Richard looked at the list that came up before his eyes.
Michael Hart’s ranking of the most influential men in his-
tory. There was no mistaking the name that was on top of
the list. “Great heavens!” he cried in the greatest wonder
and amazement.
Andrew found what he was looking for. The name that
was given to the true religion of man and he too was gasp-
ing in astonishment and wonder. “Oh my God!” he cried.
“Jim, would you take a look at this!”
But Jim was busy reading what he had found about
God’s final revelation. He was amazed to discover what it
was. And even more amazed to read about God’s Last
Messenger to whom it was revealed.
Marie had tears in her eyes. “I can’t believe that a man
like this ever existed!” she said.
Richard was sitting right beside Marie and heard what
she said. “I can’t either,” he said to her. “Here at this retreat,
we’ve learnt that there is nothing more powerful than the
Truth. And there is none more powerful than God. That
being the case, doesn’t it make perfect sense that the most
influential man in history happens to be a man sent by God?
The history of mankind contains enough proof of God’s
power and invincibility!”
“People adored this man!” said Marie. “They must have
even worshipped him. But I read that God’s messenger
forbade people to do this. He claimed to be only God’s
messenger and servant.”
Jim had something to share. “Hey everybody! Come and
take a look at what I found!”

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Richard, Andrew and Marie gathered around Jim.

“See here?” said Jim. “I found the Final Revelation of
God. And in this book, it’s just amazing! I mean, look at the
word repetitions!” He clicked on a link. On the page that
was displayed, Jim read out some of the word repetitions
that were in the final revelation of God. “The statement of
seven heavens is repeated seven times. The creation of the
heavens is also repeated seven times. Day is repeated 365
times in singular form, while its plural and dual forms days
together are repeated 30 times. The number of repetitions of
the word month is 12.”
“Goodness!” cried Marie. “There are 365 days in a year,
30 days in a month and 12 months in a year! How exact and
precise it is!”
“The number of times the words, world and hereafter are
repeated is also the same - 115,” Jim continued reading.
“The word faith is repeated 25 times as is also the word
infidelity. The words paradise and hell are each repeated 77
times. And here’s the most interesting part of all! Human
being is used 65 times and the sum of the number of refer-
ences to the stages of man’s creation is the also the same!
Look!” And they read what he pointed out to them:

Human being 65
Soil 17
Drop of Sperm 12
Embryo 6
A half formed lump of flesh 3
Bone 15
Flesh 12

“There’s absolutely no doubt that this is the 100% Word


of God!” said Richard.

“Wait! Here is something you must read!” said Jim in
excitement. “The word land appears 13 times and the word
sea appears 32 times. That gives us a total of 45 references.
If we divide that number by that of the number of references
to the land we arrive at the figure 28.888888888889%. The
number of total references to land and sea, 45, divided by
the number of references to the sea, 32, is
71.111111111111%. Look at that! These figures represent
the exact proportions of land and sea on the earth today!”
“We have found the truth that we were looking for,” said
Richard. “There is no doubt about it. Only the 100% Truth
can guide man and show him the way to salvation. And this
is certainly the 100% pure Truth - sent by God!”
Martha looked at the wall clock and got up from her
chair. “What are you all doing over there?” she asked.
“Come on, it’s time for us to go! The party is going to begin
in about five minutes!”
“You go ahead!” said Marie. “We have some important
business to take care of!”
Amy was curious and wanted to know what this business
was about. She followed Marie, Richard, Andrew and Jim
to Dr. Singh’s study.
They knocked on the door. Dr. Singh was very surprised
to see them. “What are you doing here?” he asked. “The
party is going to start in a few minutes you know.”
“Yes, we know,” said Richard. “But we had something
important to ask you.”
“And what is that?” “Can you please tell us how to
embrace God’s religion of Truth?” asked Richard. “All of us
want to submit to God’s will!”
“Yeah! We’re believers! Not rejecters of Truth!” said

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Dr. Singh couldn’t believe his ears! He looked ecstatic!

“Oh, my friends!” he cried. “This is wonderful! Abso-
lutely wonderful! God is Great! God is Great! Where’s
Henry? Get Henry, will you please?!”
Henry was busy arranging dishes in the party room when
Amy ran to him and began tugging at his shirt. “Please
Henry!” she said urgently. “Dr. Singh is calling you. He
needs you right now!”
When Henry reached Dr. Singh’s study, he saw Richard,
Marie, Andrew and Jim seated on the floor. Dr. Singh was
also sitting on the floor. Dr. Singh welcomed Henry warmly.
“Would you believe it, Henry,” he said. “They want to
embrace God’s religion and submit to His Will!”
Henry grinned broadly. “That’s terrific!” he cried.
“It is very easy to embrace this religion of Truth,” said
Dr. Singh. “All you need to do is declare that you believe in
God and His Messenger. This is called the testimony of
faith. And you have to do this before two witnesses. I shall
be the first witness and Henry will be the second. What a
beautiful and blessed day this is! You have no idea what this
simple declaration will do for you my friends. Once you
declare the testimony of faith, you will be like a brand new
baby! All your sins will be wiped out! God will forgive you
for everything that you did in the past and a brand new
account will be opened for you. God will even save you
from the Fire of Hell! How I envy you! How I envy you! If
you were to die soon after you declare your testimony - you
would go straight to Paradise! Ah! Paradise!”
“But what if a man has committed murder?” asked
Richard. “Will that sin also be wiped out?”
“Of course!” said Dr. Singh. “A man could have killed a
thousand people. He could be the greatest sinner on earth.
But once he embraces God’s religion - wholeheartedly that


is, God is able to pardon him for all that he did!”

“He would pardon even prostitutes?” asked Marie.
“That’s where the greatness of God lies,” said Dr. Singh.
“There is none more forgiving than Him! But to earn His
forgiveness, you have to first believe in Him and the guid-
ance that He sends down. God will forgive even a
prostitute...provided she repents sincerely and embraces the
true religion wholeheartedly.”
“Then there should be no more delay!” said Richard.
“We’re ready to declare the testimony of faith!”
Dr. Singh and Henry witnessed the testimony of Richard,
Marie, Jim and Andrew. Amy asked if she could say it too.
And she did!
“Welcome to the brotherhood of believers!” cried Henry
joyously. They congratulated each other and there was great
rejoicing. Many tears were shed. But they were all tears of
joy and great happiness.


eace had descended into the hearts of the new believ
ers. And with great enthusiasm they entered the party

Martha had already made herself comfortable on an

armchair. She looked at her friends in amazement. For there
was no mistaking the glow that was on their faces. Amy ran
and dragged a chair beside Martha. In great excitement she
told Martha about their discoveries and what had transpired
in Dr. Singh’s study. Martha frowned. The religion that Amy
mentioned to her was one she had always known about. But
it was also one she had always dismissed as false. She didn’t
think she was ready to embrace it. She needed time to think
about it.
The food was delicious and everyone ate to their hearts’

content. But Marie was deep in thought. “I’m thinking

about the people of this world,” she said. “Isn’t it a pity that
most people live just to enjoy life? They don’t even think
about where they are going!”
“Want to hear a story?” Dr. Singh asked. The word story
attracted everyone’s attention. They all dragged their chairs
around Dr. Singh. “Have you ever heard the story of the ant
and the grasshopper?” enquired Dr. Singh. “This story came
to my mind when you talked about how people just want to
enjoy their lives.”
“I’ve heard the story before. But please, go ahead and
tell us!” said Marie.
“Okay, listen!” said Dr. Singh. “One summer day a
grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to his
heart’s content. Then he saw an ant. The ant was carrying a
fat kernel of corn and grunting under its weight. “Where are
you going with that heavy thing?” asked the grasshopper.
“I’m going to our ant hill,” the ant replied. “I have a lot of
work to do and a lot more kernels to deliver.” “Why don’t
you come and sing with me?” said the grasshopper. “You
don’t need to work so hard, you know.” The ant said, “I
have no time to waste. I must collect as much food as I can
now. I’m preparing for the winter. You should also do the
same thing I’m doing!””
“Then what did the grasshopper say?” asked Amy.
“The grasshopper said,” replied Dr. Singh. “He said,
“Why worry about winter? We have plenty of food right
“Silly grasshopper!” said Amy.
“Anyway, the ant continued with his work. Soon the
summer days were over. And the weather became really
cold. All the food that was in the field was covered with a
thick blanket of snow. The grasshopper could not dig

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through all that snow. And he had no food to eat. He

quickly died of starvation and the bitter winter cold.”
“I was a grasshopper before I came to this retreat,” said
Richard. “I lived only to enjoy myself. I never prepared for
the Hereafter! I didn’t even know there was a Hereafter!”
“Well, I think we were all grasshoppers,” said Marie.
“Now, I’m proud to say that I’m an ant. And I shall defi-
nitely prepare for the winter - which in our case is the Day
of Judgment!”
“Hmmm. I got a question,” said Andrew. “I wanna be
successful in the Hereafter. And to be successful we gotta
have knowledge. I’m just thinking I know so little. I got no
knowledge, you know what I mean? Do you think you
could teach us how to succeed, Dr. Singh? I really won’t
mind coming back here to attend another 10 day class!”
Andrew’s idea appealed to everyone and all of them
eagerly looked at Dr. Singh. “I’m going to India next
month,” Dr. Singh informed them.
“But it’s going to be the end of next month,” said Henry.
“Suryaveer, why don’t you organize a boot camp for them?
Just before you leave for India?”
“Uh...I’ll think about it,” said Dr. Singh. “God willing,
I’ll let you know about my decision tomorrow morning
before you go.”
“Please, Dr. Singh!” said Amy. “Let’s play a game!”
Everyone was eager to participate.
“Yes, lets!” said Marie. “A party is no party without
Dr. Singh was in an extremely good mood. “Alright!” he
said. “Come on, let’s sit in a circle. In this game I shall
whisper something in the ear of the person on my left. Then
that person has to whisper that same message in the ear of
the person on the left. Until we come to the last person -


who will be on my right. The last person will have to de-

clare the message that he heard. Okay?”
This sounded like great fun. They immediately sat in a
circle. Dr. Singh whispered something in Jim’s ear. He
whispered, “Anthony J. D’Angelo said - When solving
problem, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the
leaves.” Jim whispered in Richard’s ear. Richard whispered
in Andrew’s ear. When everyone had their turn, Henry was
the last person to hear the message.
“So Henry, what’s the message?” asked Dr. Singh. Henry
declared exactly what Martha had said in his ear: “Tony
Danglo said problems can be solved by digging at the roots
of a tree.”
“See?” said Dr. Singh laughing heartily. “This is certainly
not the message that I had whispered in Jim’s ear!” He
informed them what the original message was and they all
“Another game!” said Amy. “Please, Dr. Singh! Another
“How about riddles?” said Dr. Singh. “Let’s see if you
can answer my questions correctly.”
“Yes!!” said Marie in excitement. She simply loved
“Let’s see if you can guess what this is,” said Dr. Singh.
“The maker doesn’t want it. The buyer doesn’t use it. And
the user doesn’t see it. What is it?”
They thought and thought. But none of them could guess
what this strange thing was. All of them gave up.
“A coffin!” said Dr. Singh.
“Oh!!” said Marie. “I should have known!”
“I have a riddle too,” said Henry. “Before Mt. Everest
was discovered, what was the highest mountain on earth?”
“Mt. Kilimanjaro?” said Richard.

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“Mt. Fiji?” said Martha.

Henry shook his head, barely able to suppress his laugh-
ter. “It’s Mt. Everest! It just hadn’t been discovered!”
“Here’s an easy one,” said Dr. Singh. “If you have only
one match and you entered a room and found an oil burner,
a kerosene lamp and a wood burning stove, which would
you light first?”
“An oil burner, a kerosene lamp and a wood burning
stove?” said Jim thoughtfully. “I think I would light the oil
burner first.”
“I would light the kerosene lamp,” said Martha.
Dr. Singh shook his head and grinned. “My friends, it’s
pretty obvious! The thing you would light first would be -
the match!”
There was much laughter in that room that night. They
had never enjoyed themselves so much during their entire
stay at the retreat. They felt wonderful and on top of the
“Some more!” begged Amy.
Dr. Singh thought for a while. And then he remembered
some riddles that made him smile. “Can you tell me why a
man living in Australia cannot be buried in America?”
They looked at Dr. Singh blankly. Dr. Singh didn’t wait
for them to respond. He blurted out the answer, “Because
he’s still living!”
“Oh, Dr. Singh!” cried Amy. “This is just too funny!”
“Well, I have thought of a funnier one,” said Henry with
a mischievous grin. “What’s worse than finding a worm in
your apple?”
“I can’t think what could be worse!” said Marie. “Henry,
please do tell us!”
Henry was rolling on the floor laughing, unable even to
say the answer. His laughter made all of them laugh even


more. Finally Henry managed to say, “What’s worse

than....finding a worm in your apple? It’’s.....” Henry
just couldn’t stop laughing. “It’s finding.....half a worm in
your apple! You ate the other half!!”
Their stomachs were aching from laughter now.
“I’ve never had so much fun in my life!” said Amy.
Dr. Singh saw that the party was a great success. He was
satisfied and happy that his hard work had paid off. He was
himself sad that the students were leaving the next day. But
he took care not to show it. He excused himself and re-
turned to his study.
Not long afterward Henry knocked on the door.
“Suryaveer, there’s someone who wants to come with us
to India next month. Can she go with us?”
“Who?” asked Dr. Singh in surprise.
“Well, it’s Marie.”
Dr. Singh looked thoughtful. “I guess she can come. We
need as many helping hands as we can get! And come to
think of it, I do need a secretary. Yes! Go on and tell her she
can come as my secretary.”
Henry cleared his throat. “Uh....not as your secretary,
Suryaveer. She wants to come with you - as your wife!”


“I ’m just too excited to go to sleep,” said Richard.

“Today was the most important day of my life!
And the party was simply wonderful!”
“I hope Dr. Singh will organize that boot camp,” said
Andrew putting his head down on his pillow. “I wanna learn
how to pray. How to do things. The right way to do things -
you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, ignorance is a bad thing,” said Jim. “We may do
something that God doesn’t like. And because of our igno-
rance we may lose out on a lot of reward too. Coz we don’t
know what are the things that God is pleased with.”
There was a knock on the door. Andrew got up to
answer it. It was Henry. “Just wanted to let you know that
breakfast will be at 9 tomorrow morning. We’ll be leaving

this island at 11 o’clock, God willing.”

“Thanks, Henry,” said Richard. “We’re really sorry to go.
Hope to come back here again for that boot camp.”
“Come on in!” said Andrew, “and chat with us!” Henry
accepted the invitation and made himself comfortable in the
men’s room. It had been a long day and he was quite tired.
“I’ll stay only for fifteen minutes,” he told them.
“Henry, do you know what things please God the most?”
Jim asked.
“And I want to know,” said Richard. “Which man is best
in the eyes of God.”
“Uh actually,” said Andrew. “We got a million questions
to ask. We’re just so eager to know more about this reli-
gion, you know what I mean?”
Henry laughed. “It’s good to hear that you are thirsty for
knowledge. God’s Messenger had something beautiful to
say about acquiring knowledge. I have memorized it and
will be glad to relate it to you if you want me to.”
“Oh most definitely!” said Richard. “We’re all ears!”
So Henry said, “God’s Messenger, peace be upon him,
said - Acquire knowledge. It enables the possessor to
distinguish right from wrong. It lightens up the path to the
heavens. It is our friend in desert, our company in solitude,
companion when friendless. It guides us to happiness. It
sustains us in misery. It is an ornament among friends, and
an armor against enemies.”
“Whoo - hoo!” cried Andrew. “I love it! I simply love it!
Lemme get my notebook and write that down!”
Richard and Jim too reached for their notebooks. Henry
was glad to repeat the saying again so that they could write
it down.
“You asked me which deeds please God the most,” said
Henry. “To tell you the truth there are many things you can

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do to please God. But our beloved prophet said if you could

guarantee him six things on your part, he would guarantee
you Paradise!”
“Just six things! And Paradise is guaranteed?! Wow!
Please tell us what those six things are!” said Jim.
“Okay, here are the six things,” replied Henry. “First,
speak the truth when you talk. Second, keep a promise
when you make it. Third, when you are trusted with some-
thing fulfil your trust. Fourth, avoid sexual immorality. Fifth,
lower your gaze. And sixth, restrain your hands from injus-
“That’s wonderful!” said Richard. “If people did these six
things, I’m sure this world would become a paradise! But
tell us Henry, who is best in deed among us men?”
“I really have to go now,” said Henry getting up. “But I’ll
answer this one question before I go. The best among us is
the one who is most obedient to God.”
“Yeah, that makes sense!” said Jim.
“The one who is best in conduct,” continued Henry, “is
the one who is first of all grateful to God and also fears
Him. And since gratitude and fear of God are things that
only God can see, we are in no position to make a judgment
as to who is better among us. We’ll know who is best only
on the Day of Judgment!”
Andrew nodded. “Yeah, you’re right there! We can’t
know who is better.”
“Yes, because people can do things simply to be seen of
men,” said Henry. “They give in charity not because God
commands them to but because they want people to call
them kind and generous. They want worldly recognition and
reward. And their charity is merely for such worldly gain.
But the true servant of God - he is the one who gives in
charity. But in secret. He doesn’t do it to show off. He


seeks only God’s reward. Not the reward of men. So you

see, it is pretty clear that actions are judged by their inten-
tions. If you do things for this world, you will get your
reward in this world. But if you do things for the Hereafter,
then you will get your reward in the Hereafter. And surely
the reward that awaits the patient believer in the next world
is much better and lasting. Okay, I had better be going now!
I have to rise early tomorrow morning! It was nice talking
to you. Good night!”
The men soon went to sleep after Henry left.

In Dr. Singh’s study the clock could be heard ticking

away. Dr. Singh had summoned Marie to his study and she
was sitting there in the room waiting expectantly and ner-
vously for Dr. Singh to speak. He looked troubled and
deeply worried.
“Henry is always pestering me,” he began slowly, “to get
married. And I always tell him that I would get married if I
found the right girl. But he doesn’t know something. He
doesn’t know that I have done something terrible in my life.
I don’t think that any girl would agree to marry me if she
found out what I did.....” His voice trailed off.
Marie didn’t say anything. She waited for him to con-
tinue. It was too early to make any judgment.
“It’s a secret which I have locked within my heart,” went
on Dr. Singh. “I shall tell you my story. And even after
hearing it, you wish to marry me - then we’ll go ahead and
get married.”
“Well, I’m listening,” said Marie in a gentle voice. She
couldn’t imagine Dr. Singh to have done anything bad in his
life! She had fallen in love with his charming personality, his
wit and sense of humor. He was her knight in shining armor!
The man she had been waiting for all her life!

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“I’m a killer! A murderer!” cried Dr. Singh suddenly.

Marie looked at him in utter shock and disbelief. She
wasn’t sure she heard him right.
Dr. Singh sank down in his chair. “I’ve been married
before,” he said. “It was an arranged marriage. I had been
working for NASA for about 3 years when my parents fixed
my marriage. The girl that they had found for me came from
a rich, affluent family. She was beautiful, educated and
highly qualified as well. My parents thought there couldn’t
be a better match for me. When I first saw her, I was en-
chanted by her beauty. She looked like a model actually. She
worked hard to maintain her figure. And she was very
particular about what she ate. Anyway, she was a good
businesswoman. Also very ambitious. I was really impressed
with her qualifications. So I married her.”
He paused as he recollected the memories of that disas-
trous marriage. Then he continued, “My life became a
nightmare after marrying Shefali. She did not know how to
cook. Or do anything around the house! She was the only
child of her parents and they had thoroughly spoilt her. All
she did was admire herself in the mirror, wear expensive
clothes and jewelry and go to the gym. She was proud and
arrogant and I hated her for it. For she even considered
herself better than me! She loved going to parties. And there
were many days when she came home late. I forbade her to
go to those parties but she never listened to me. She did her
own thing. Never caring about how I felt. She never asked
for my permission. If she wanted to do anything she just did
it. Five years passed in this way. I dearly wanted children.
But there were none coming. And then one day I found out
that Shefali had undergone an operation so as not to have
children. I was enraged by this discovery. And we had a
massive argument. How could she have done something like


this - and not even informed me!”

“I’m sorry,” said Marie. “Shefali loved her indepen-
dence,” Dr. Singh went on. “She didn’t care about what I
wanted or needed. She always thought about herself first.
She made her own decisions. She never thought that my
opinions were important. Because of Shefali I began to hate
women, especially those who acted and dressed like men.
You see, Shefali was thoroughly westernized. By that I
mean she was totally influenced by the ways of the west.
Here in America, women and men are considered equal.
And therefore Shefali never considered herself weaker than
men. She dressed like men and tried to show that she was as
good as men. If not, better! With such a mindset do you
think she was ever going to listen to me? Of course not! She
thought of herself as my equal! And its amazing how proud
she was! She never once admitted she was wrong! After our
fight regarding the operation, she went to an orphanage and
brought home a child. “Here you are!” she said to me. “You
wanted a child. I got you one!” Shefali thought that money
could buy everything! The child was a little boy. Just about
six years old. I became very attached to him. I called him
Mickey. My life then began to have new meaning. I bought
toys for him, took him to the fairs and parks and showered
him with much love and affection.”
He stopped as he thought about the little boy and a
sadness came upon his face. Marie waited patiently for Dr.
Singh to resume his story. She knew that it was hard for him
to say what happened next.
“Shefali became jealous,” he went on. “And she began to
hate Mickey. I got home one day and Shefali came running
to me saying that Mickey was very ill. I rushed upstairs to
his bedroom and there he was looking rather blue in the
face. I suspected that Shefali had something to do with it.

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And I was right. She had poisoned that poor boy! I carried
Mickey in my arms and raced downstairs. I ran to my car.
Shefali said she wanted to go with me and got in. As if she
cared! And I was driving to the hospital like a maniac...”
Marie listened to Dr. Singh wide-eyed.
“I had an accident,” Dr. Singh said slowly. “My car
swerved off the main road and went into a ditch. I had a
minor head injury. But the passenger door had been
smashed and Shefali was bleeding profusely. I looked in the
back seat. Mickey was not breathing. He had died. Later
when the autopsy was done I found that he had indeed been
“Oh, that poor boy!” cried Marie. “But.....but what
happened to Shefali?”
“Shefali? She begged me to call 911 and get help. But
after Mickey’s death, I had lost my mind I guess. I didn’t
call 911. I didn’t get help. I just let her die!!”
He buried his head in his hands trying to conceal his
anguish. “I’m a killer, Marie! I killed my wife!”
Marie got up from her chair and placed her hand gently
on his shoulder. “No, you are not a killer,” she said. “Please
don’t hold yourself responsible for your wife’s death.”
“But if I had called 911 she’d still be alive!” asserted Dr.
“She was an evil woman. And I don’t in the least bit feel
sorry for her and the way in which she died,” said Marie
firmly. “My decision has not changed, Dr. Singh. It would
be a great honor if you would accept me as your wife.
Believe me, I’ll be as obedient to you as Kate and treat you
as my lord. I shall do my best to please you.”
Dr. Singh’s face lit up with joy. “You’ve read The Taming
of the Shrew?!” he cried in wonder and amazement. “Then
you’re the woman I’ve been waiting for all my life!”


“Then won’t you propose to me?” Marie asked with a

“Of course!” responded Dr. Singh taking her hand in his
and going down on his knees. “Will you marry me, Marie?”
Marie suddenly felt shy. She blushed and nodded.
“Yes!” she cried and ran out of Dr. Singh’s study as fast
as she could.


E arly the next morning, there was a loud knock on the

door. Mrs. Patil got up to answer it. It was Henry.
She looked at him with a frown on her face. He had some-
thing in his hand which he lifted up before her eyes. It was
her amulet!
“I had told you that you would get it back,” said Henry
handing the amulet and necklace to her. Mrs. Patil found her
anger vanishing. And she remembered her manners. “Thank
you,” she said with a smile.
“Not at all,” said Henry. He handed her the other jewelry
he had taken from the women. “They are still asleep right
now,” said Mrs. Patil. “I’ll give this to them when they
awaken. Thank you!”
Henry then went to the men’s room to return Richard’s

rings. He had a lot of work to do that day. On his way to the

cafeteria he bumped into Dr. Singh.
“Henry!” cried Dr. Singh. “I’ve been looking all over the
place for you!”
“Why? What’s the matter?” asked Henry.
Dr. Singh smiled broadly and told him about his decision
to marry Marie. Henry was ecstatic! He embraced his friend
fiercely and congratulated him.
“This is wonderful news!” he cried. “I’m so happy for
you, my friend!”
So that morning Henry was all smiles. At breakfast he
told everyone about the news.
“But Marie didn’t tell us anything!” said Martha. “Is this
really true?!”
“Well, why don’t you ask Marie herself?” said Henry.
“Yes, I would like to,” said Martha. “But where is she?!”
Marie was in Dr. Singh’s study, drinking a cup of tea. She
had never felt so happy before. When Dr. Singh’s back was
turned she pinched herself to make sure that she was not
dreaming. What a wonderful dream this was! She wanted it
to last forever and ever. Then she thought of her friends and
the fact that they were leaving the island that day.
“Have you made a decision yet?” she asked. “About that
boot camp?”
“As a matter of fact I have,” said Dr. Singh with a smile.
“Now that I have you to help me, we can definitely organize
a boot camp for our friends, just before we leave for India.”
Marie was delighted. “You are a wonderful man, did you
know that?”
“I am?” Dr. Singh gave her a charming smile.
Marie smiled back. She was really enjoying her tea. She
put the cup to her lips for another sip when suddenly there
was a violent jerk and the tea splashed on her face. The tea

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was hot so it scalded her skin. Marie and Dr. Singh were
both bewildered for two seconds. But it soon became clear
what was going on. There was a rumbling sound. The floor
was shaking violently. The windows rattled. Books, china
and other objects fell off the shelves. The walls were threat-
ening to collapse upon them!
“It’s an earthquake!” shouted Dr. Singh. “Quick! We
have to get out of here!” He grabbed her by the hand and
both of them raced out of the study. There was not a mo-
ment to lose! Dr. Singh took Marie out in the open to
In the library, the ground cracked open. Fire broke out
and it wasn’t too long before the books were in flames.
Masses of stone, brick and mortar began to fall from the
ceiling. Richard, Jim and Andrew managed to get out of the
library. But Amy was trapped inside. A book shelf had fallen
on top of her and the poor girl began to screaming for help.
Andrew heard her cries and dashed back inside. Battling
through the smoke and burning wood, Andrew reached
Amy. He lifted the shelf off her and carried Amy in his arms.
As he ran towards the entrance of the library however, a
piece of the ceiling fell and hit him on the head. Richard and
Jim took Amy from Andrew’s arms. But Andrew collapsed.
The earthquake lasted for only forty seconds. In that
short period of time the Round House was extensively
damaged. Marie saw a huge crack in the dome. And smoke
was coming out of it. She was safe but what had happened
to the others?!
“Amy! Martha!! Jim!.....Andrew!...” she cried running
back to the Round House. Dr. Singh stopped her from
going inside.
“It’s too dangerous!” he told her. “You stay here, I’ll go
in and see what happened.”


Dr. Singh found Jim. He was carrying Amy in his arms.

“Are you alright?” Dr. Singh asked with great concern.
Amy nodded. “I’m okay. But Andrew! What’s happened
to Andrew!?”
Dr. Singh then saw Richard trying to carry Andrew upon
his shoulders. “My God! Let me help you!” he cried. And
they both took Andrew out in the open air.
“I’ll go and look for Henry,” said Jim. But he had barely
said the words when Henry himself emerged, injured and
bleeding, from the Round House. He was carrying Mrs.
Patil in his arms. She was dead. He placed her upon the
ground without saying a word.
Marie thought she was going to faint. “Where’s Martha?!
Somebody! Please! Please find Martha!”
Dr. Singh and Jim went back inside the Round House.
They called out Martha’s name, hoping that she had not met
the same fate as Mrs. Patil. There was no response. But they
didn’t lose heart. They kept calling her name. Suddenly Jim
heard something. It was coming from the direction of the
cafeteria. Treading carefully over the fallen stones, bricks
and mortar, they walked towards the cafeteria until they
could hear Martha’s voice quite clearly. “I’m here!” she
They found her huddled under a table, trembling with
fear but safe. They brought her outside the Round House
where everyone had gathered.
Martha saw Marie, Richard, Jim, Amy, Henry and Dr.
Singh sitting around Andrew. Amy was crying loudly and
“Andrew! Please open your eyes!” she kept saying.
Dr. Singh got some water and sprinkled it upon Andrew’s
face. Andrew opened his eyes and saw the anxious faces of
his friends. He smiled. “I can smell.....” he began to say,

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breathing with difficulty. “I can smell the scent.....of Para-

dise!” They were his last words.
Henry said, “Truly to God do we belong, and truly to
Him do we return!”
“You saved Andrew, Dr. Singh!” cried Jim. “You saved
him! You saved him from dying in ignorance!”
“No, I did not save him,” said Dr. Singh. “He saved
“He’s lucky,” said Richard. “I’m sure he’ll go straight to
Paradise. Right?”
“Of course!” said Dr. Singh. “And I do envy him!”
Amy was looking at Mrs. Patil, deep in thought. “But
what about Mrs. Patil?” she asked, her voice tremulous and
fearful. “What is going to happen to her?!”
Dr. Singh shook his head sadly. “People need to save
themselves, Amy. People need to save themselves. You
cannot save anyone......but yourself.”
In the stillness of the morning air, the chirping of the
birds could be heard distinctly. Martha looked up at the
clear blue sky. And then gazed at the evergreen pine trees,
lost in thought. Everything was so peaceful and serene. But
then why was her heart pounding so loudly in her chest?
Why wasn’t her heart at peace? She was thinking something
was terribly wrong. Why was she alive, and Andrew and
Mrs. Patil were dead? They were young, much younger than
she was! She didn’t know what to make of it. But it was
evident. That God had spared her. She thought about Mrs.
Patil. She looked at her lifeless body and remembered the
last conversation she had had with her. It had been only half
an hour ago. Mrs. Patil had shown her the amulet she had
worn around her neck. “I feel safe now,” she had said. Safe?
Martha thought that was a joke. Who was safe?! Nobody on
earth was safe! And no amulets could protect people from


death. If it was really true that amulets protected people,

then everybody would have worn them and as a conse-
quence nobody would have got hurt. She threw a glance at
Richard and wondered what he was thinking. The doctor
had told him he had only a few more months left to live. But
what guarantee was there that Richard could live even for
another day?! Was he thinking about that? There were many
things they had learnt at the retreat. One of those things was
the certainty of death. And the fact that death came upon
people unexpectedly. This was the reality that everyone fled
from. She herself had disliked dwelling upon that subject.
But wasn’t that foolishness? Death was certainly going to
come and claim her soul one day. And then she thought
about what they had learned. That after death came the Day
of Judgment. A Day that terrified her because of all the sins
she had committed in life! She suddenly began to tremble
with fear, knowing very well that God was strict in punish-
ment. But then she thought about what Amy had told her
the evening before. Amy had told her they had embraced the
religion of Truth in Dr. Singh’s study. And that all their sins
were wiped out when they uttered their testimony of faith.
She had not taken her seriously at all. But now.....
“Dr. Singh!” she cried. “I would like to declare my
testimony of faith! Can I? Please!?”
And so that day Martha declared her testimony of faith
and embraced the true religion of God. And there weren’t
just two believers who witnessed her testimony. There were


“W e’ll have to postpone going to India,” said Dr.

Singh to his wife. “I don’t even know whether
we’ll be going. Most of my money will be used up in re-
building the Round House!”
Marie was looking radiant in her bridal gown. It was the
happiest day of her life! Her marriage to Dr. Singh was a
secret, hushed-up affair. And Marie had no intention of
letting the world know anything about the dramatic changes
that had taken place in her life in a matter of just two weeks.
“Why postpone?” she said. “Whatever money is needed
to reconstruct the Round House, I will provide. I have
plenty of money you know.”
“Hmmm,” said Dr. Singh with a smile. “I forgot that I
married a star.”

“I’m not a star anymore,” said Marie. “I’m just one thing
“And that is?”
“Your wife!” said Marie emphatically. “And that is all I
want to be.”
Dr. Singh laughed and swept Marie in his arms. “We need
to select a new location, Marie,” he said as he took her
towards the bedroom.
“New location for what?”
“For the boot camp.”
“Ooooh! Let me think!” cried Marie excitedly. “I know
which place would be perfect!”
“Sunny California!!” said Marie. “Sacramento!”
“Then we need to notify everyone,” said Dr. Singh
closing the door behind him. “We’ll send out the post cards
first thing in the morning.”
The next morning Dr. Singh went to the post office and
dropped off several postcards. After that he went to fetch
Marie. They were going to visit Henry who was at the
hospital, recovering from his injuries. Henry was mighty
pleased to see the newly-wed couple.
“Henry, you had better get well quick,” said Dr. Singh. “I
don’t want to go to Sacramento without you.”
“Sacramento!” exclaimed Henry. “Why are we going to
“Because Marie thinks that would be a perfect location
for the boot camp,” replied Dr. Singh. “And I think so too.
I’ve just dropped off postcards to our friends informing
them about this decision.”
Henry grinned. “I’m delighted!” he said. “I can’t wait to
see them all again!”
It was four days later. Amy was sitting in her classroom.

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She was telling her friends about her adventures on Camano

Island. They listened to her wide-eyed as she told them
about Dr. Singh and Henry.
“Wow!” said Elizabeth, one of her classmates. “You
make Dr. Singh sound like a hero.”
“Well he is!” said Amy firmly. “Without Dr. Singh we
couldn’t have solved all those mysteries.”
“So you say you solved the mystery of what happens
after death?” said Mark. “Tell us then! What happens?”
“That’s something I can’t tell you,” replied Amy. “But I
can give you a clue! Just look at every person around you.
You’ll see that everyone has a different face. And we all got
different fingerprints.”
“Different faces?” said Elizabeth. “Different fingerprints?
What kinda clue is that!”
“Oh, nevermind!” said Amy. “You won’t understand! But
let’s see if you can solve one puzzle.”
“Sure!” said Mark. “What do you think? That only you
can solve puzzles? Hah!!”
“Okay, we’ll see if you can solve this one,” said Amy
getting up from her chair.
She went to the blackboard and picked up a piece of
chalk. On the board she drew a straight horizontal line.
“This is what you have to do,” she said. “You have to
make this line shorter without touching it. Can you do it?”
Every one of her friends went up to the board and tried
to shorten the line. But none of them were able to do it.
Amy grinned. “Give up? Well, it’s really very simple, you
know. Let me show you how...” And she drew another line
right beside the line she had drawn on the board. The line
she drew this time was longer. That made the other line
distinctly shorter.
“You’ve become smart,” remarked Mark. “And it also


seems you know more than we do.”

After school when Amy went home, she found her
mother waiting for her. “There’s a postcard for you,” she
said. “It’s on the kitchen table. I read it but I don’t think we
can let you go that far.”
Amy wondered what her mom was talking about. She
went to the kitchen table and read the postcard. She was
thrilled to read about the boot camp. “Oh Mom!” she cried.
“Please let me go to Sacramento! Please? I can’t miss this
one because after this boot camp Dr. Singh is leaving for
“We’ll see what your daddy says,” said her mother. “You
know very well that neither he nor I can come with you to
Sacramento. So if he agrees to let you go, we’ll have to hire
someone to go with you and look after you.”
Amy ran to Samantha and gave her a big hug. That
evening, Amy begged her dad to let her go to Sacramento.
“But what about your school?” said Lawrence. “You can’t
be missing school for that boot camp. Good grief! That boot
camp is for two weeks! You can’t miss school for two
“Dad,” said Amy, “in those two weeks, I promise you I’ll
be learning more things. More important things! Please let
me go, dad? Please?”
Samantha looked at Lawrence beseechingly. Amy was
their only child. And they didn’t want to break her heart.
They couldn’t bear to see her unhappy.
“Alright,” said Lawrence at last. “You may go.”
“Oh, Daddy!” squealed Amy in delight and she rushed to
give her dad a big hug.
That very day, Jim’s mother, Grace was talking to her
friend on the phone. “You’re not going to believe it,
Nancy,” she said. “Jim has completely changed ever since he

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returned from that retreat. I don’t know what’s wrong with

him! He’s always praying. Shuts himself in his room and
“Well, I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” said Nancy.
“But what about the looks he gives us?” said Grace. “He
doesn’t like us to drink beer or wine. And he has become so
very fussy about his food! He’s stopped eating bacon,
“ know that pork isn’t good for health,” Nancy
replied. “Neither is alcohol.”
Grace wasn’t listening. “And he’s stopped meeting his
girlfriends!” she continued. “He has stopped talking to girls!
Goodness! He avoids them like the plague! And he tells me
now that he doesn’t believe in dating! Can you believe it?!”
Nancy was silent. Her friend needed someone to talk to.
So she listened and Grace went on talking. “But there’s one
good thing, Nancy. I must tell you about that. Jim never
used to listen to me. When I told him anything he used to do
the opposite. But now....Nancy, he is so obedient. He listens
to me! The other day he even brought me some flowers.
They were beautiful red roses. And he got them for me just
to tell me that he loves me!”
“Oh! That’s so sweet!” said Nancy. “I’m so glad to hear
that. Wish my son David would do the same for me. But I
have to go now, Grace. Philip is back.”
“I have to go too,” said Grace. “Jim’s come home.” And
she hung up.
“I wonder what Sacramento is like,” she said to her son.
“It’s too far, you know. And besides I don’t think we have
the money to send you there.”
“Mom! What are you talking about?” said Jim.
“Dr. Singh has sent you a postcard,” said Grace. And she
handed the postcard to him.


Jim read Dr. Singh’s message and his eyes shone with
delight. “Please Mom! I need to attend this boot camp! I
must! I can’t miss it!”
“But how are you going to go there?” asked his mother.
“We just don’t have the money!”
“I’ll borrow it, Mom!” said Jim. “But I have to go!”
That evening he called Richard. “Did you get the post-
card?” Jim asked Richard excitedly.
“No, I didn’t,” said Richard. “What postcard?” Jim told
him the news about the boot camp and the predicament he
was in.
“Oh, not to worry,” said Richard. “I’ll be happy to pay
for your expenses. Tell your mom that I’ll take care of it.”
Richard had been thinking of surrendering himself to the
police. He wanted to get an innocent man out of jail - Fred,
the man who had been with Anne, and on whose head lay
the blame of Anne’s murder. Richard wanted to make
amends for the wrong he had done to him. “But I’ll surren-
der myself after I attend the boot camp,” he told himself
firmly. He wasn’t just satisfied with the idea that all his sins