No Other Way

No Other Way

Oh, Gurudev I won’t be able to do this, I can’t climb this high”, I cried in exhaustion.

“Of course, you can do this, I know this already, and you are going to acknowledge the same. You always wanted to go to Narayana Shila (a divine rock). Look at that top of this mountain, that is the destination. All you have to do is start climbing & keep moving, just don’t give up! It is right in front of you, and you can achieve it. Keep plodding son!” he encouraged.

The Narayana Shila had a flag of Dharma that sat on the rocky platform of the mountain before me. I could make out that it was far, far away with its height protruding beyond the clouds.

The skies were dark and cloudy. Yet, the flag shone brightly through the dense air under the Sun’s spotlight.

It was imperative for me to get to the peak, no matter what. I simply could not give up. Gurudev had directed me to meditate on that platform. Only then would I be able to turn my aim-less life around and recognize the original purpose and goal of my life. I was tired of wandering pointlessly, and this was the solution. I desperately wanted to reach there; however, the weather, my past experiences and health issues had me petrified.

“Don’t delay it further, see, there is the key to your destiny. I am with you, now keep moving!”, he held my hand and started climbing. He walked ahead, smoothly and swiftly, with a big black umbrella in one hand and my hand tightly gripped in the other. I ran to keep up with him.

The higher we ascended, the lower the temperature fell. Clouds began to darken, and thunderstorms swarmed the setting. The weather was getting worse, but nature was becoming even more impeccable. I didn’t have much experience in climbing such high peaks. Hence, within a few minutes, I started breathing heavily. Gurudev allowed me a few moments of rest every now and then.

Soon, dusty winds blanketed the entire region. Here was an impossible task right in front of me. The mountain looked even more dreadful than it did earlier. The rain made it worse. Gurudev tried to open his big black umbrella but to no avail. The strong winds and heavy downpour made it difficult for us to take even a single step on that narrow path.

The already terrifying scene culminated into short, abrupt landslides. It seemed as if the world was ending. My feet were digging deeper into the sludge with every step making it harder for me to budge.

“Gurudev, please let’s go back”, I wailed.

He paid no heed rather clenched my hand even tighter in his fist and continued the journey. He was using his big black umbrella as a hiking pole to get some pace in that sludge. My hands and feet started getting numb; I couldn’t feel anything anymore. He was pulling and tugging me, forcing me to climb. My sensitive eyes began to swell due to the rain, making my vision hazy.

I couldn’t take it any longer. I pulled my hand out of his grasp and screamed,” I can’t go forward! I can’t see a thing! It’s hard even to take a step. We haven’t come too far. We can still go down safely. I don’t want to go. ‘I give up’!”

Suddenly we heard explosions at a distance, I shivered.

”What was that?” I grabbed his arm like a child.

“It was nothing son, just a big chunk of the mountain fell down and blocked the path below, we can’t move down now and sitting here is even more dangerous” he replied.

“Isn’t there any other way, Gurudev?” I probed anxiously.

“Of course, but the alternate way lies on the other side of the mountain’s peak. We can’t find our way out without reaching there. Now you have two options: Climb or die.”

I sat there in silence for a few moments. I held Gurudev’s hand and said, “Let’s climb.”

I shut my eyes and simply followed Gurudev’s lead until we reached our destination.

“Come sit here, this is the platform!” he exclaimed.

            I fell over the platform, unconscious…

… or maybe super-conscious!