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Serial No 2656 From Book 98. Date 05/05/2002 to 06/05/2002
The following story happened in a certain country at a certain point of time. The country is unimportant. Material time of happening is also unimportant. What is important is the universal truth which the story carries with it. There was an artist who was living in a certain place. It was a country side and he was an amazing painter. He was already popular with his brush and canvas. He was not a product of modern times and so was not a Modern Artist. He belonged to the classical age of painting and sculpturing and so had an untainted brush. He lived close to Nature and reproduced natural scenes in his canvas. If Wordsworth had a brush, he would have become this painter. If this painter had a gifted pen, he would have become another Wordsworth. This is my observation. He used to dream a lot. He had fantastic dreams and one such dream was the following one:-
A bright, radiant figure appeared before him in the dream. A face appeared prominent. He hadn’t seen that face before. Eyes were very innocent. Lips were innocent. The figure seemed to be the personification of life and truth, beauty and selfless love. He tried to figure out the person behind the face but it was a vain search. He could not make out whether the face belonged to a baby, boy or an elderly person. Nevertheless, it was a captivating face. When he woke up, he followed his dream. The very radiance on the face was very much alive before him. He could not resist from actually searching for the form, figure. Was it an angel or a real person? Was it god himself rather? He was determined for a real search. He began his endless journey. He crossed many country-sides, vales and dales. He crossed rills and rivers in vain. It was an endless pilgrimage. It was an untiring search. He slept at many inns. He slept under the canopy of stars. He crossed many hamlets. He met countless faces but to no avail. Still, he did not lose his heart. He was optimistic. He thought that his day would come. And it came true. He was at last blest for his efforts. One day, he was crossing a hillside. It was a beautiful landscape. There was a herd of sheep grazing over the mountainside. It was lush green all over. A river was flowing nearby. A breeze was giving life to the entire scene. Nature was breathing freshness at every angle. Under the shades of a tree was sitting a boy. He was piping a flute in that singular air. Evidently he was a shepherd. He was relaxing under the tree. He was breathing in the spirit of the moment. He was lost within the womb of Nature.
Our painter saw him. It was a momentous hour in his life. He could feel a deep stir within. He knew what it really meant for him. The dream had at least come to be true. He could feel about the reality before his very eyes. He was confident. He had no second thoughts. He required no second opinion. The boy was sitting peacefully. The whole Nature was dancing around him. Heavens were descending upon him to enjoy the warmth of the hour. The artist approached him. He sat before him in silence. He looked at the face of the boy very intently. He once again saw the very same dream before his eyes. He asked the boy to sit for a picture session. The boy was immersed in his ethereal music. He did not even feel the presence of the artist. The artist could feel for the presence of God in those serene surroundings. He took out his canvas, brush and colors and began to immortalize the spirit of the hours; the heart of Nature, the very presence of god. He could feel an enchanted kiss deep within. He could feel bliss and solitude deep in his heart. He was happy and contented after he had finished his painting. He felt that his life had served its purpose. It was time for departure. He kissed the boy and felt the warmth of God. He knew what was innocence and transparency of heart. He knelt before the boy and prayed. He gave the boy a silver coin and took leave of the divine surroundings. The artist returned home. His painting became an instant success and ran to thousands of copies. People bought it and hung it in their prayer hall. There was an indescribable beauty, an unspeakable feeling about the picture. Man is always unconsciously driven towards the selfless love of God. Years passed on. Seasons appeared and disappeared in fleeting processions. Rains brought in life on earth. Springs gifted their colors and odors to vales and dales. Our painter was leading a peaceful life in his old village. His
name was known far and wide. Yet he led a quiet life in those singular surroundings. He had become an old man by now. Thirty years had eclipsed before he saw another strange dream one day. This was a different dream – an entirely different dream from the first one he saw decades ago. In fact, he was so frightened by the dream. What was the theme of the dream? He saw a face so Satanic in appearance- a blood sucking figure in all its cruelty and ugliness. There was no presence of God in that figure. There was no touch of any human feelings in that face. It was roaring like a lion. The figure was gasping as if thirsty of blood. He was terrified by the dream. He was totally shaken by the dream. What was the hidden theme and message of the dream? What was the violence all about? This time also he wanted a confirmation from real life. Once again he was travelling along various lands in search of reality. Where was this Satan hiding? Where was this Satan riding? Up in the high lands or in the War fronts? Down in a gambling house or in red streets? He searched every place. He could not meet such a terrifying figure anywhere he went. He met so many terrifying faces but none matched the one he saw in his dream. Thus he reached a particular town one day. At the townsquare he saw a beautiful Church and entered the church for his daily prayers. The place was really quiet. He felt the same amount of quietness when he had seen the shepherd boy thirty years ago on that hill side. A flood of memories rushed through his nerves. He entered the hall. There was only a man in the hall. He was kneeling before the Altar. He seemed to be a middle aged man but looked much older. In a moment the painter experienced terror as if he had actually met the real Satan. The whole dream actually presented before him in a flash. In the place
of the man kneeling before the cross, he saw a face with all the hotness of terrorism and satanic nature. The painter was taken aback. He stood dumb-founded before the terrifying figure. He did not lose his courage and asked it- ‘Can you allow me draw your picture’? And at length he finished his painting. After his brush had finished its job, he went to a corner with a volume of thoughts in his mind. He had the old painting in his side bag. He wanted a comparison of the two paintings from an aesthetic point of view and from the standpoint of human nature. He took out the old painting and unrolled it to see. He leaned over the two paintings and began to reflect. He was wondering how man can have two faces. Suddenly he heard a cry behind him. The painter turned behind him to see what the matter was. He saw the man standing in tears. ‘Brother, what is the matter? What’s your trouble?’ ‘You may be wondering about this Satan. You may be wondering about the two faces of man. Don’t you see me? Don’t you recognize me? I am the same old shepherd boy whom you had met on the hill side three decades ago. I recognized you when you unrolled my old painting before me. I am the same old boy in whom you had seen the presence of god. Now, I am standing before you as a criminal, as a devil, as the incarnation of Satan. Yes, I have killed a few people during the passage of time. I was in the jail for a long time. I was released only today. I came to this church for my prayers. Don’t ask me how I turned into a criminal. It is all past’. The man stood weeping before the painter. The painter understood one thing. One need not enquire God and Satan outside the physical parameters of man but very much inside his mental zones. Where there is purity, there can be
impurity as well. Where there is innocence, there can be cruelty as well. So long as human mind is a bundle of emotions, this duality can exist. Everything is decided by the circumstances, by the passage of time. Everything is decided by human nature and its response/reaction to a given situation. One need not search for god in the heavens. One need not visualize Satan outside the mental parameters of man. Thou art god. Thou art Satan as well. Human nature at the level of selflessness, at the level of Spirit is total godliness and at the level of gross mind, at the level of duality, emotions, at the level of interpretation, at the inconsistent level of human thoughts is satanic in various degrees. This is the level of disturbance and the volume of it accounts for the insanity of man. This is the wilder aspect of man whereas godliness is the degree of quietness and peacefulness. Godliness is the brighter side of man but satanic is the darker side of him. If one is able to know the darker side of him, there is always the possibility for a second life, for a mental rebirth. Thro’ repentance the lower self will surely melt away. True nature will emerge. The painter took leave of the man. He blest him for a peaceful life. As they parted they heard the Church bell ringing. It was as if the Lord was consoling a wounded heart. It was as if the fountains of heart were playing melodious tunes. *************************************