We slowly walked back to sister V’s place and after taking leave from her, started on our return journey by car.
Everyone in the car remained silent for a long time while it cruised through Pedanandipadu road, crossing the 7th mile.
“Did you feel anything when we left Jillellamudi?” asked Charan.
I replied, “Why wouldn’t I? I did.”
“What did you feel?” he inquired.
“I felt that we were leaving that place,” I replied.
All the people who were listening burst out laughing.
“What did you feel, M?” asked Charan.
“As you already said, I am still in the infancy stage. I can only experience but cannot express yet,” answered M.
“But as for me, I wondered what is stopping me from staying there permanently?” expressed Charan.
None of us spoke.
“What did you feel, N?” asked Charan.
“Our Guruji frequently says one thing,” replied she.
“What is it?” asked Charan.
“He says that if one has the ability to feel, distance doesn’t matter. It is the same everywhere,” she replied.
“Those words come from his state of being. It is not applicable to us. Tell me what you felt?” he asked again.
“Whatever Guruji’s says, the same is my response too,” she said.
As I was listening, I intervened and said, “I too did not like what your Guruji said. How can he always speak from his level? When he speaks, he should also consider common people like us!”
All of us laughed.
My wife, who had been listening to all this, asked, “Charan, What is your opinion about N’s Guruji?”
Even before Charan could reply, I chimed in, “Ah! What to say of him? He is a worthless fellow.”
Again, we all laughed merrily and immediately, a wave of silence spread around us, leaving everyone speechless.
Thoughts began to arise in me.
“When we move away from a place we like or from the people we love, we do feel the pain of separation. But that pain is an illusion, because even that is momentary and will gradually subside. Even if we stayed back in Jillellamudi, that satisfaction would not be permanent. There will eventually come a time when we will have to leave Jillellamudi, as well as this body. Did Mother not leave? And how many more have left ever since? Even if it is our loved ones, how long will we live with them and how long will they continue to live with us? Consider anything you may, it is only short-lived. So what lies next? What is our final destination? Where is it? Does it even exist? Will our likes remain unchanged? Will our dear ones love us the same way tomorrow? Will they remain like that forever and can we continue to be the same? Are all these even possible? Do eternal love and everlasting peace exist in this world? Can we really find them?
I remembered the words spoken by sister V.
“This moment is the truth but becomes past, the very next moment.”
There is nothing permanent in this creation or in our lives. Nothing will remain with us forever. Nobody is our own, neither are we anybody’s. We are here at this moment, but nobody knows where we will be tomorrow. Every journey is a lifetime in itself and has a destination that we set for ourselves. But in this journey of life, where will we reach ultimately and what will remain at the end?
Mind began to turn inward and the thoughts ceased.
All at once, a strange emotion swelled in me, completely overwhelming the mind. It was neither despair nor weakness, neither distress nor pain, neither hope nor loss. There was neither remembrance of the past nor anxiety for future. If one were to ask, “Was it completely void?” It wasn’t. If so, “Was there anything in it?” There wasn’t.
In that state, I remained looking at the darkness outside, through the window.
The car was moving forward and our journey continued as though we were travelling into an endless dark space.
This was the only truth at that moment.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Snehalatha M, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 21, 2018. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.