A Dream to Ponder
Written by Mohanji
David woke up from a beautiful, profound dream. It was, in a way, both elevating and disturbing. He saw himself as a boy, along with his grandfather who is no more, strolling down on the banks of a river. It was evening. Sun was turning red. Birds were flying home after a full day of being There was a gentle, cool breeze. The village was very familiar. He has been there before. out.
Grandfather was holding David’s hand and he seemed a bit extra cautious about David’s security. As they walked through the walkway running parallel to the river, they witnessed and experienced many beautiful sights and sounds. What caught David’s attention and his waking memory was a prayer that came floating from one of the small huts, apparently from the throat of some children. It went somewhat like this…
“Different spaces, different times
Oh Lord, thou carried me like a faithful boatman.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure…
Through the time and seasons alike
“Different faces, different tunes
Oh Lord, thou protected me like a mother bird, her children.
Safe and Secure, Safe and Secure
Through summer, winter, spring and rain.”
A feeling of powerful protection enveloped David. It gave a strong feeling of reassurance. Grandfather’s hands and the lovely prayer accompanied and re-inforced his feeling of well-being. David called his grandfather ‘BABA’. He was deeply connected with his grandfather, to the extent that they knew one another’s every subtle vibration, let alone profound emotions. As they walked on, he asked his beloved grandfather:
“Baba, where are we going?”
Baba smiled and said: “I want to introduce you to my friends. We went to school together, we played in the same team, and grew up together, just like you, Mark and Alf.”
David smiled, “Baba, I cannot imagine you as a young man, let alone a boy”.
Baba laughed aloud. “I was not born old. I was not this old always”.
Baba was a tall man with slightly drooping shoulders, one side of his shoulder bent slightly to the front and to one side. He was of extraordinary character. He was always in command of every situation. He was never seen emotional. Always jovial, calm and collected. He always used his intellect and quite knew what he was doing. David has never seen him idle, even at his old age.
Their journey ended at a graveyard in front of a church near the river. David was surprised.
“Where are your friends? Will they come here? Are we meeting them here?” This was indeed an uncommon place for any friendly get-together.
Baba said, “No. They are already here”.
Baba took David to a stone which read “William Smith”. Baba said “Will has been my classmate and my best friend. He was the best man at my wedding too. An unshakable strong man, a brave heart. He had worked hard in foreign lands, made his money and returned home after his retirement. We met after a long time. He was a firebrand in his youth, daring and charming. When he came back after all those years, he looked tired and withdrawn, a bit too distracted. He seemed more interested in isolation and hid himself from society, as much as he could. I tried to bring him back to some old personal memories to revive his old vigour. But he showed no interest at all. He had three children. They all fought with him at his old age over property and money. They even abused him and never agreed with whatever he told or asked them, or wanted them to do. Finally, he died broken-hearted, alone. Will was once a strong man, everybody’s hero. I could not see him so heartbroken and deserted. This is what old age does for some. David, if we are not careful enough to nurture relationships while we can, later on, life could bring isolation and alienation. That can even be called “living in hell”, with no love, warmth and togetherness, exactly the things that one craves, when one is weak and unprotected.
David said: “Baba, are all your friends dead?”
(The graveyards of farm animals are human stomachs!) Human Graveyard. All of them have had their lives and all of them have had their deaths. Caring for the Living is more important than caring for the dead. Often, we ignore the living and care for our dead. We do things upside down. We should certainly respect the dead, but not at the cost of the living..
Baba smiled and said “Not all. Some are still alive. But, they are old, you see. Most cannot move on their own. They need help. They are heavily dependent on others. Old age often makes people invalid and handicapped.”
David felt quite relieved that his grandfather can move on his own and is relatively healthy to that standard. Yet, David experienced a strange kind of uneasiness creeping up his throat. He felt that he would get depressed by meeting all these old friends of his grandfather in the graveyard. Yet, he knew that Baba had a purpose, even though it was not quite entertaining for David. He said: “Baba, let us go home. I am not feeling good.”
Baba said: “David, two more introductions and we shall go home.” Baba tried to cheer David up who was slowly settling into his gloom.
The next tombstone read “Stephen Summer”. “He has been our pilot man.” Baba spoke as if it was a joke. David was too withdrawn by then, to enjoy any jokes. The whole situation made him extremely uneasy.
“Even when we were young, he wanted to become a pilot and fly aircraft. He got into the army and moved into the air command segment and became a pilot. He has participated in many wars and bombed many people and places. And that was his deepest regret in his later years. Fighting nagging cancer in his abdomen, though looked after well by his devoted wife Lisa, whenever we met for a coffee, he would say “How many people have I killed in my young days!!!. Women, Children, Men, Old and Young. I do not know their faces, thank God. But, they haunt me every night. Faceless bodies come forth and ask me “What did we do to you, to destroy our lives? We were just beginning to live, taste the sweet and sour buds of life, you wrenched us out of our beds. How will you pay us back, how will you give us back our lives?” Regrets were eating into his flesh. Steve repented day and night. He even welcomed death as a solace to his aching conscience. He refused to be treated and used the pain that his illness profusely gave as a kind of purgatorial from his sins.
He thought death would finally redeem him. Helplessness tormented him. Finally, he gave up and here he stays”, Baba pointed out at the gravestone.
The last one was that of Eric. He was an actor. He was after fame and recognition. He became addicted to intoxicants and died quite young. He could not ever find a stable relationship and even though he had many children from different women, there were none to take care of him, nor look after him at his death bed. He died alone, in a hospital, with a longing to see his children and experience their love, which he never nurtured when they were young. I tried my best to convince some of them to go and meet their father who was on his death bed. None showed any interest and gave me lame excuses. He never cared for his children when he was young. The children never cared for him when he was old, sick and helpless. Life is like a mirror. You reap what you sow.”
“As for me, I have been quite mediocre, compared to them all, and I did not go anywhere from this place. They all saw the world outside this village. I did not see much beyond this village. I saw only my inner world. My world has been within me. The whole world was within me. In the end, they could not hold on to their large world, but I could. I am not boasting, but just proving a point. I learned to make buildings and do some farming which made my living. More than grains, I sowed love and I nurtured it. I distributed it in this village itself, as best as I could. Your grandmother was a great soul. She never allowed any visitor to leave our house with an empty stomach. More than the food, our genuine care satisfied our visitors. We have always been quite self-sufficient, yet our neighbours always shared their happiness with us, just like we did. They cared for us, and considered us worthy of their time and space. There is no substitute for HARD WORK. There is no substitute for LOVE.”
“I have been busy and my life has been quite rich and meaningful. As a hobby, I learned astrology. I never practised astrology for money. I just guided a few who came to me to shed some light on some of their personal confusions. Astrology is the ability to read into one’s destiny using the movement pattern of planets and stars. If destiny was a variable, astrology would fail. Fortunately, it is not. Destiny is constant, pre-determined. The science of astrology is based on a definite road map called destiny, a pre-planned journey that one takes in one lifetime. It is a science. It is sheer mathematics. The element of free will and the element of grace can always alter that to some extent.
Thus, I lived a simple life, away from the rush of the towns and lived long enough to see my wandering friends dead and buried! How many dreams and aspirations we chewed on during our youth! How many dreams we weaved. Some were realized, and some were left unfulfilled. I have no regrets. It is time for me to go too. I may not survive this summer. My time is near. Death does not frighten me, nor am I worried about my life after death.”
“I do not know any God. I have not seen God. No God has come to me and guided me, let alone come to criticize me, beat me, or judge me. I believe that for the hungry, God is food and for the cold, God is warmth. In the summer, God comes as a cool breeze and in the spring, God appears as blossoms. I believe there is no God apart from its various forms. I believe God expresses itself through us too, as kindness, compassion and Love, while Devil, if there is one, expresses itself as jealousy, hatred, anger, and revenge. I do not know any grand philosophy nor do I want to know. What is the use of knowing it, if I cannot use it? I do not want anything that I cannot use or practice.”
David then saw his grandfather, grandmother, his parents and all his cousins at an outdoor party near a beautiful river. All were singing and dancing and there was immense love and sense of belongingness in the air. David sang many songs and had lots of fun.
There was a lot of food and drinks on the table, and when he touched a piece of bar-be-cued meat of a suckling pig-ling, (a speciality at important gatherings) he heard the voice of his grandfather again, even though he could not see him. “Remember David, that baby pig did not die happy, for you. It was forcefully killed. It was murdered for your enjoyment. Snatched from its mother’s breast while it was drinking its mother’s milk. Its mother is still alive and missing her child. Some of its brothers and sisters are still alive. Eat with clear understanding. Eat with awareness.” David dropped the meat. He could not consume any meat anymore.
He woke up with clear memory of the entire dream and he knew that his dear departed grandfather has just conveyed a very important and life-changing message to him. He had just used the medium of a dream to convey it, because he had already left this world and there was no way he could talk to David.
This was a crucial point in David’s life as he was getting more and more involved in a particular path of education that he chose and he was getting too introverted, indifferent and insensitive towards the outside world because of it. Even though his parents never interfered, he had taken a lot of responsibilities onto himself and was already suffering the pressures, pains and weight of it. Anxiety over the possibility of failures or defeats were also affecting his self-esteem. David got a clear remedy to his dilemma from his Grand Father’s message. He decided “LIFE HAS GOT TO BE SIMPLE! Why do we make it complicated? We must definitely work hard. But, we must love our work. Love for work will remove all pressures and pains. If we love what we do, old age cannot make dents in our life.” The life of Baba’s three close friends clearly made David understand the futility of mad pursuits. Everything eventually ends up in the grave.
All emotions, ego, ambitions end up in the same place. A life filled with love and laughter is worth more than the millions in the bank. He decided that he should appreciate what has been given to him, rather than be always dissatisfied, focusing on what he could not achieve as yet. He stopped comparing himself with others and judging or criticizing himself. He understood that he has always been in pursuit of something or the other that he did not have, ignoring everything that he already had. He realized that failing to enjoy the available materials or relationships always lead one to permanent disillusionment and eventual depression. He also realized that constant resistance to everything also consumes a lot of energy and it makes one tired. David decided to shift his life in 180 degrees. Love is the remedy. That is all he needed to learn and remember. Love is all one needs. He woke up to a completely new life.
P.S. Sometimes, protecting angels will take you to the astral plane and deliver such experiences. Its memory stays, if it is relevant to your terrestrial life. In order to keep the memories, directions and guidelines would be well engraved in the conscious memory, if that information was expected to be used in one’s life. It would be presented as a dream, even though it is an astral experience, a total communion. This is just for your understanding. Please understand that there are millions of permutations and combinations possible in our existence. So, do not think in terms of any specific patterns. Everything is individualistic and unique. Each moment is unique and each method is unique. One’s food could be another’s poison. So, do not judge experiences, but value them. Everything has relevance in some way, to someone.
Originally Published on January 01, 2012