Roj Mohor Mah Meher, 1381 Yz.
After some time, we moved on from the cattle rearing area and began to walk further into the orchard. As we passed through the shade of very large trees, we saw a large building further on. As we entered, we realized that it was a kind of gymnasium where students and their teachers were seen moving around. The head of the gymnasium came up to receive us warmly and began explaining the different types of Yogic exercises which were being taught to the students here. The appearance of this building was much the same as a great temple Math. The students were all dressed in saffron and were involved in their daily routines. Their politeness and respect towards their teachers was very apparent.
As we moved further into the building we came upon a very large, open room which was a sort of laboratory. Our guide explained that this room was the chemical laboratory where detailed experiments were carried out on the basis of ancient Sanskrit texts. Various students were involved in the examination of metal ores, alloys and other substances using naturally available chemicals. The teachers of this laboratory were advanced alchemists who had the ability of producing rare metals from baser metals. We saw experiments where tin was being alchemized into silver and copper turn into gold, which was most unbelievable. As if to further confirm our thoughts, we saw large slabs of the precious metals stacked in one side of the room. Our guide explained that the very secret science of alchemy was the pinnacle of the laboratory’s working and its intricacies were taught to students only after many years of service and education. Students were carefully vetted and only those whose character was deemed without blemish, only those who would not fall for the temptation of misusing this knowledge were initiated into the mysteries of alchemy.
Thereafter, we made our way back to the cottage where our resting had been arranged, by which time it was nearly 2 pm. As we entered the cottage we saw a table loaded with various types of cut fruits, dry fruits, sweets and vegetarian dishes. The spread was so lavish and well placed that we were left wondering as to who must have cooked all these dishes in the this remote area. What to eat and what to leave? We soon decided the best course was to taste a morsel from each of the dishes, and thereafter moved on to do justice to the sweets. Later on we ate the fruits and drank some of the sherbets which had been placed in tall glasses. Soon we were too full to move and decided to take a nap. As we awoke an hour later, the attendant came to tell us that the Mahatma wished to see us once again.
As we walked behind the attendant to the Mahatma’s cottage, the wise sage got up and asked us if we had enjoyed the afternoon meal. We offered the most gracious thanks for the lavish repast, noting that never before in our lives had we enjoyed such a vast variety of food in one sitting. The holy man seemed pleased to hear our remarks. Now Rustomji began asking various religious queries to the Mahatma. One question Rustomji asked was: ‘O wise one! What is the true religion of a man?’ The Mahatma replied: ‘A man should recognize the supreme nature of God, and realizing this nature of God, should do no acts which would hurt a fellow man. He should follow the path of truth – that is the true religion. Truth is a very small word, but all the religious teachings and religious philosophies can be fit into this one small word. And should we sit to expound on the nature of truth, all the religious scriptures of the world would not be enough to explain its intricacy. This is the wide expanse of truth and religion.’
Our discussion ended and the Mahatma got up to take us around the garden once more. As we passed under the shade of giant trees and many flowery bushes, we heard the sweet call of so many birds, as they flew happily from one tree to another. Ever the bird lover, Rustomji stopped walking and began to concentrate on the songs of the birds. As we all stopped to hear the true tunes of nature, the Mahatma asked Rustomji very gently: ‘Rustomji, do the birds imprisoned in your cages ever sing in this manner?’ Rustomji answered: ‘These songs are truly from birds who are in paradise.’ The Mahatma replied: ‘Rustomji, do you realize that each and every bird which you have imprisoned has the capability to sing in this manner. But those birds of paradise have been trapped in an artificial hell created by you and your cages. Do you realize what you are doing by keeping them imprisoned for you own selfish pleasure? Of all those birds you have kept, Rustomji, the only fortunate bird is the myna for whom Pirojshah implored you to make a larger cage!’
As we heard the Mahatma’s words, we were stunned into silence. We both exclaimed together: ‘but how do you know about all this, wise one?’ The Mahatma smiled enigmatically and replied: ‘Those who have achieved God realization, can come to know of any matter upon this earth through the mercy and assistance of God.’
[to be continued…]
Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram