On my way to the Self
I looked for guidance
I asked the Earth if she could help me
She told me “For reaching the Self one must go through some pain
Be humble yet firm and serve others without complain”

Water watched from a distance and said
This Earth talks big things
But everyone knows of her quaking and erupting
Come I will show you the way
I found no choice but to obey
Water told me “To reach the Self be gentle and adaptable
As success belongs to the one
Who changes with the world and is flexible
The Earth fails because she is too attached to her form
Change I tell you is the key to reform”

While Water taught me
Fire intervened in between
“Water you are adaptable but you are always falling down
The Earth that you condemn can easily turn you muddy and brown
This fact to the world is not a surprise
Without me it is impossible for you to rise”
Fire beckoned me and I felt I had more to learn
She taught me that the only way was up
“From top you can see the whole world
Moving up will never fail you, you can take my word”

Air who had been watching us
Laughed as she heard this
“You sit in one place and you say you see the world!
Come on! Who will take your word?
You survive only as long as your fuel
Your life is nothing but an unending duel”
With this the Air blew out the fire
Leaving me her invisibly visible form to admire
“What then is the way to the Self?” I asked of Air
“Be free and move around unbound
And you will realise that freedom is the way”

The Sky looked from above as Air spoke this
And warned me “Don’t believe this fickle traveller of space
She feels she can blow up everything with her pace
Nothing can hold her or keep her still
How will she serve you? As all she does is her own will
But whichever way she might glide
Within me she must abide”
The Sky taught me “Be at peace with whatever is and you shall find the way”
I tried that too, hard it was, try as I may

Each teacher I met on my way
Had something to feed my learning instinct
But the way to the Self was still indistinct
Perhaps there was more to know
As this unchartered path I go
Where there is no road map or sign board
Nor anyone in this vehicle aboard
Those that I met were no more in sight
Ah! How I prayed someone show me the light
Hopelessly I closed my eyes
Feeling like someone who dies
And in silence sat all by myself
There within me
I found the Self

Author: Jyoti Prateek

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