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Home - arrow Who is Anand Krishna ? arrow The Dry Riverbed of Chitravati
The Dry Riverbed of Chitravati Print E-mail
chitravati.gifLooking at the dry riverbed of  Chitravati, I thought life ended there. The river that had been the source of life for villagers around master's ashram at Prasanthi Nilayam had completely dried up. So had my life force, I thought. It was drying up.

          September 1991. I had been in Baba's ashram for one full month. And he never ever came close to me. Not even once did he look at me. In fact, I could feel that he was avoiding me. At times he made me feel like an outcast in my own eyes.

          My Angel, my Maya, my Inner Voice, whatever "It" was, had deserted me too. I was left alone, completely alone to walk my way to death. I asked myself if such was not the case with everyone. And it was certainly not the first time that I would be experiencing death. The walk to death has always been a solitary one.

          In spite of all that knowledge and awareness, suddenly I was afraid - afraid of death, of dying. And the fear shattered my faith in myself. I never thought I had such fear. I used to lecture on the flimsy nature of the human body and the immortality of All-Abiding Spirit. I was often invited to talk and write about reincarnation. Whatever happened to my knowledge and awareness ?

          Then I realized that when death stares at you, your body may or may not be in pain, but your mind surely trembles. The poor thing is afraid of losing its means of expression, the physical body with its sense organs. And the more "stuff" of memories, obsessions and desires it has, the more afraid it gets. I could see myself apart from my mind. My body was in great pain, my mind was afraid, but I was neither of them. First I felt their pain and fear, later I could watch them.

          It was during those moments of freedom from mind that I finally decided to leave the threshold of the Master. It was not just leaving his ashram physically, but giving up leaning on his physical form.

          Again it was during those moments of freedom from mind that I could see my river flowing underneath the dry riverbed of Chitravati. It was changing its course. And I followed it.

          First it took me back to the city of Bangalore. Later to a Yoga Center on the outskirts where I spent four weeks. I made many friends there. I had to have a blood transfusion and I recall fondly how one of the Yoga Instructors came forward to donate his blood, for he said he was not sure of the "quality", to use his term, and sterility of blood available from the hospital. My doctor back in Indonesia had also warned me that any virus or deficiency in the blood of the donor could be fatal for me. In India the risk was much higher, for many hospitals still used glass bottles to store blood in. Disposable bags were expensive. And  those bottles were used and reused until they broke. God knows how they cleaned those bottles and ensured their sterility.

          The people at the Yoga Centre were very helpful and sweet. My heart was touched, but my body would not respond. I was spending most of my time in bed.

          I got back to Bangalore, unsure of my river's lead. Just then  a friend arranged for me a meeting with a certain Shastri, an authority on Shuka Nadi.

          Shastri in the olden days had been a title of honor given scholars who had mastery over the Shastras, or  scriptures. The descendants of those Shastris later used the title as their surname.

          Now this particular Shastri in Bangalore had inherited from his deceased father a set of hand-written scriptures that was at least 500 years old - the authorship of which was attributed to Shukadeva. The scriptures were therefore known as The Shuka Nadi - literally meaning Shuka's Life Line, but it actually meant "The Gospel of Life According to Shuka".

          Shukadeva is believed to have lived 3000 years  before our present era. His father, Veda Vyasa, was the well-known author of the great epic Mahabharata and editor of the Vedas.

          It is said that before leaving his mortal body, Shuka promised his disciples that he would continue to look after their well being and guide them until each of them transcended the cycle of birth and death. Then he began to dictate the Nadis to one of his disciples. They were instructions given to each of the disciples at a point their lives, rather lifetimes, when they really needed them.

          The collection of Shuka Nadi was therefore a huge one. The great Shuka had left instructions for over one hundred thousand disciples. Each Nadi was thereafter given a code number by the sage himself. And the science of decoding it was taught to the disciples entrusted with the first palm of leaf copies of the Gospel. So five thousand years back he became the first Shastri of Shuka nadi.

          In 1970s I had been introduced to the elder Shastri, father of the present one, by one of my friends. At that time I requested him to see if my Book of Life was present in his collection. Without bothering to ask my place, date and exact time of birth that was necessary for decoding purposes, he told me that the time was not right to consult the Nadi. I did not then understand what he exactly meant. But did not press him either, for I had no appointment. I was just accompanying a friend.

          On several occasions afterward I tried to see him, but either he was too busy or the date given by him did not suit my schedule. Then I heard that he had passed away and that his firstborn, his oldest son, had inherited the scriptures. By that time my interest in consulting the scriptures had faded away.

          In 1991, the Shastri I went to see was a younger son of the old man I had met earlier. The elder brother had died too, so this one inherited those scriptures.

          After working with my date and time of birth, as well as longitude and latitude of the place, he came  up with the code number of my Book of Life. Thereafter he was just reading from the book :

          Today, as you hear these lines being read for you, your body is in great pain. You suffer disease connected with planet Rohini...

          The young shastri paused, "Is it right, Sir? Have I got you the right book ?"

          "My body is in pain, yes. That is right. But how do you explain the connection with Rohini planet?" I was familiar with the Sanskrit name of the planet but not quite sure of what the connection meant.

          "Rohini is the Governing Planet of Sun Sign Cancer according to Western astrology. Does it make sense to you, Sir? I am sorry to ask you, but are you suffering from cancer?" The man was really very polite.

          "Of course it does make sense to me. Yes, I am suffering from cancer - Blood cancer."

          "Shall we continue then ? I think this is your book."

          "Yes, please..."

          Let us make it clear from the very beginning  that nobody can cure you from the disease. Yet it is curable. You and only you can cure yourself. Don't hope for external help. The help must come from within you.

          Go back to the country you come from. That is your Janma as well as Karma Bhoomi - the place of your birth is also the field where you must work.

          If you must seek medical assistance, seek it from the doctor who treated you last. But even he cannot heal you. Heal yourself - you can !

          You have a task to accomplish , a mission to fulfill, a long cherished dream to realize - go back, your mission awaits you.

          Many centers dedicated to the study, promotion and propagation of ancient sciences will develop around you. This is the very reason for your birth in Indonesia. And you shall serve that reason, that cause, successfully. You shall succeed.

          This sickness is a necessary process of purification that you must undergo before embarking on your mission. You will  also undergo another process of purification at the age of 45.

          Go and fulfill your destiny.

          To help me in the "healing process", the Book even recommended a formula based on the age-old tradition of Sound Resonance. It said further :

          You will develop different ways of using this. Follow your intuition.

          Years later I discovered that the Japanese Healing Tradition of Reiki was one hundred percent based on that ancient formula given in that Book of Life. Sensei Usui, The Japanese Master who propagated this form of self-healing almost one hundred years earlier, apparently came across the formula in one of the monasteries in Japan.

          The book repeatedly told me to

          Go back... Do your work and do not expect understanding or help from people around you. Do not expect encouragement or assistance even from your own family members. They are evolving at their natural speed. Do not blame them. Do not angry with them. Your spiritual growth is faster than theirs; it is not their mistake.

          Do not expect people to change for you. Do not expect any transformation from them, in them.

          You, who are changed and transformed already, must have compassion towards them. They do not have to understand you. You have to understand them. They are not changed yet, they have not been transformed yet. You have changed. You are transformed.

          Certain lines were repeated over and over. And there were also glimpses of the immediate future :

          Your first disciples will be Westerners.

          I laughed in my heart. I was not looking for disciples.

          The book seemed to know that I would  laugh at the point, laugh in my heart. And it continued :

          Although you will not be looking for disciples, people will flock around you. In the age-old tradition of master-disciple relationship, you will consider them as your friends and co-workers. But they will respect you as master, even as the manifestation of their highest ideal.

          The book ended with the blessings of Sage Shuka :

          Go in peace. Fulfill your duties lovingly. Accomplish the Divine Task, which you are entrusted with and which is the very cause of this Last Sojourn of yours. Live consciously and nothing can ever distract you from the path. Shadows will not affect you.

          Know that you are a Jivan Mukta - one who has attained freedom from all illusions while still maintaining the illusionary physical frame. Know this and be free.

          I was in a blissful state for days after that. The body was deteriorating but my awareness was not affected at all. For the first time in this life, I remained in "physical consciousness and a mind free state" for days in a row.

          Days after when I came back from that state of what I then termed as "Higher Level of Consciousness", I made a point of visiting Shastri once again. Just to pay my respect and thank him for being "The Reader" of my Book of Life.

          It is sad and really unfortunate that in order not to refuse anybody, the young Shastri is now using his own astrological knowledge. His reading are no longer pure Shuka Nadi readings. People with little or no knowledge of Sanskrit still think that their books of life are being read, which is not the case now.

          I still remember that the number of people his father saw every month could be counted on one's finger. It was very difficult to get an appointment, which is not the case now. But well, things change...

          Going back to those days in the month of October 1991, I suddenly felt my river was flowing again. Actually I could feel its flow again; it had never stopped flowing anyway. Those words by Shuka injected fresh energy into my veins. The Sound Resonance Formula given in my Book of Life worked well. "I" felt great and yet I knew that the "I" feeling great was not the Physical I. The physical I still in pain.

          Shuka Nadi helped me regain my faith in myself.

          I rejoiced at the brighter side of life, in full awareness, though, that darkness was also part of reality.

          Then one day I visited a Buddhist Monastery to attend their Sunday evening services. Listening to the head monk's discourse and looking at his flowing robe, I was transported to another time, to the times of the Awakened One. In an instance, forgotten were Sage Shuka and his Nadi. And thoughts of death came back to me. My rendezvous with the high state of consciousness, bliss or whatever, was over. Bright and dark sides of reality mingled. My vision was once again blurred and life looked gloomy. The change both surprised and disappointed me.

          I began to ask myself if they were just thought of death. Or was I still afraid of death ? Was there anything unknown about death that made me afraid of it? Questions like these would appear and disappear without getting any satisfactory answers. My eyes were fixed on the monk's robes and my ears were listening to his discourse, but my mind busy with its business.

          The monk began to lead us into meditation :

          Watch your thought...

          Do not react, do not judge...

          Just watch them as they appear and disappear...

          And I began to watch my thoughts. In the beginning there were many of them, but slowly they were reduced to only one thought.... And that was the thought of death, imminent death.

          Suddenly the thought was replaced by another one : Unfulfilled Life. Death, Unfulfilled Life, Death, Unfulfilled Life.... I was not to react. I was not to judge. I was in fact not to make anything of those thoughts. They were just thoughts.

          The monk kept reminding us :

          Do not judge your thought... Do not choose between you consider good and what you consider bad... Thoughts are just thoughts, they have no substance... Neither good nor bad... Just watch them.

          I tried to be non-judgemental. I tried not to choose. I tried to watch. Then I realized that "being non  judgemental" was also a thought. "Not Choosing" was also a choice. And by thinking of thoughts as having no substance, neither good or bad, was in fact affirming their substance. Thoughts were just thoughts, all right - but they did have substance as "thoughts". One could deny their substance. Such denial, though, made no difference to thoughts, to the process of thinking. Denial of thought was just another thought.

          Death, Unfulfilled Life, Death, Unfulfilled Life, Death, Death, Death, Unfulfilled Life, Unfulfilled Life, Unfulfilled Life, Unfulfilled Life.... Death Unfulfilled Life, Unfulfilled Life Death.... Those two were different yet the same thought.

          Relax now...

          And slowly, very slowly open your eyes...

          I opened my eyes and found the monk looking straight at me. Our eyes met and he nodded his head in what I felt was "silent recognition". I recognized him too. A friend, a co-traveler from another period of time - then, too, he had been a monk.

          Chai, traditional Indian tea with milk and cardamom was served after meditation. The monk came towards me, "Hello, I am seeing you for the first time."

          "Namaste",  my salutation was very much Indian in contrast to his western 'hello', "yes sir... I am here for the first time. I come from Indonesia."

          "Indonesia.... O, that's a beautiful country. I was there once. Are you here on a holiday?"

          So I told him about myself, about my sickness. He listened to my story attentively, and then remarked : "Such in this body. My master, the head of this monastery is in Leh. His body is withering  away too. He asked me to take care of this place, so I am here. Actually I have no interest in organization. I would rather be in Leh with the mountains and trees there."

          Leh, the capital of Laddakh is a small place tucked away in the Himalayas. Often referred to as the "Indian side of Tibet", the mountainous region was not unknown to me. I was also reminded of the Savior's wandering in that region.

          My mind traveled back  and forth in an instance and settled on "wandering' - something I had always been doing in the past and had not done in this life. "Life of a wandering monk," without that phase I thought my life remained unfulfilled.

          Slowly my version of the Book of Genesis was unfolding :

          In the Beginning there was the thought of "Death". All was gloomy, dark - not a single ray of light.

          Then appeared another thought - the thought of "Unfulfilled Life". And a ray of light appeared from the very heart of darkness, a ray of hope. For the unfulfilled could be fulfilled.

          Finally, a voice was heard - loud  and clear. born from the womb of darkness, light took the form of spoken words : "Wake up monk, go and wander the breadth and length of the universe - there lies fulfillment of your life."

          Wake up monk, wake up monk.... I was addressing myself as a monk. And the monk within me woke up. I felt like tearing off my garment and changing into a monk's robe at that very instance.

          "Sir, can you give me Diksha?" Diksha meant initiation, and in Buddhist term it would specifically mean "Initiation into monk-hood".

          The monk was startled. He looked at me, his eyes puzzled. I repeated my question, "Sir, can you give me Diksha?"

          Still no reply, and I questioned him again, "Diksha, Sir ?"

          "Knowingly or unknowingly, you have fulfilled your obligation. You asked me three times for Diksha. In the olden days, Lord Buddha would always wait for a person to ask him three times before granting initiation. I am not a Buddha. I am still struggling to awaken the Buddha within me. And therefore I am in a fix. I cannot decide."

          "But why is that, Sir?"

          "Because I have heard your story - that's why. My mind tell me that you may not be ready for monk-hood. Forgive me please, but aren't you running away from your responsibilities as householder?"

          Was I? Was I running away from my responsibilities as householder, as son and father and husband? What were responsibilities anyway? Who would be held responsible , if I died the next day ? But I did not ask those questions. I kept the questions to myself, for myself. I wanted to ask him why he was being judgemental. But then I thought it was not necessary.

          I looked into the monk's eyes. And I found tenderness and compassion in abundance in those eyes. I saluted the Divinity within him, "Namaste, Sir - if I am still around, I would like to visit this place one more time."

          "O sure, please do so. I will wait for you."

          One week later I was there again. I was a bit late and the service had already started. The monk saw me and gave me one of those smiles that I would never ever forget in my life. It was unearthly, a heavenly smile. When the service was over, he hastened towards me, "I was so happy to see you. Thank you Lord Buddha. Listen; do you still want the Diksha?"

          "Yes, of course."

          "That night after you left, I saw Lord Buddha. He came in my dream, and told me to give you Diksha. Normally I do not give any importance to such experiences. They are the mind's play. But I don't know why, this time I want to believe in the experience. Are you ready for Diksha tomorrow ?"

          Oh yes, of course I was. I was so happy that it surprised me. I wanted to laugh and cry and dance and sing like a small child. There were tears in my eyes, tears of joy, "Thank you, Sir. Thank you, I do not know what else to say"

          "No, no, you don't have to say anything. You don't have to thank me...." Then he said very softly, almost whispering : "I am working under instruction, under guidance."

          I went back to my hotel and planned to stay the night in prayer, in meditation. Then I thought that was stupid. Prayer and meditation had nothing to do with planning. Anything "planned" would be premeditation - a thing of the past. Whereas prayer and meditation, both must "happen" in the present moment.

          One's very nature should become prayerful and meditative. Then even a planning can be done prayerfully, meditatively. Otherwise prayers are reduced to mere appeals made to some god. And meditation loses its very meaning.

          That realization  created a wave of joy within me. I was joyful, and I realized that joyfulness was meditation - cheerfulness was prayer. God, to me suddenly became the Most Joyful One. Or perhaps Joy itself was God. I was cheerful, and my heart, my soul bowed in deep gratitude. I did not have to pray. Prayer "happened" and "I" was lost in the happening. It was like making love with existence and having multiple spiritual orgasms. The experience lasted all night. I did not sleep, but I was not awake either. I was not dreaming, yet I dreamt. I was conscious of all the sounds, sights and smells, more conscious than ever - yet I was not conscious of anything. I had not lost consciousness, but "I" was lost. What an experience... It was like living one lifetime in one single night.

monk.gif           Next day in the monastery... My head was shaved. I took a bath and discarded my shirt, my pants, underwear and even handkerchief - all that was on my body. A monk helped me wrap my body in a single piece of cloth. I was then taken to the Sanctum Sanctorum where a statue of a smiling Buddha in deep meditation was to bear witness to my ordination. Three other monks present for the occasion were busy chanting the Buddhist Sutras, while the head monk made me repeat the vows :

          Buddham Sharanam Gatchaami....

          I seek refuge in Buddha, the Awareness within

          Dharmam Sharanam Gatchaami...

          I seek refuge in all that is Good, the Righteousness.

          Sangam Sharanam Gatchaami...

          I seek refuge in the Essential Unity of All Beings, the Togetherness.

The Statue of Buddha outside was symbolic. It was a symbol of Awareness within. The religion of Buddha has nothing to do with exterior dogmas and doctrines. It was a way to one's interior.

          Thus, that day, I, Krishna Kumar Tolaram Gangtani popularly known as Kishin T.G. was ordained as a novice on the path of awakening and renamed Anomadassi, The Sage.

          "I have very carefully chosen this name for you. Traditionally speaking, you are a Samanera or Shraman - a novice on this path. Spiritually, I feel all this ritual was not necessary. You are a sage already, thus this name given to you - Anomadassi."

          Was I flattered with those words of the Head Monk? No, I was not. So what if I was being initiated into sagehood ? That did not guarantee my awareness. That did not prove that I was awakened already and would never slumber again. I still have to work hard to maintain my awareness.

          Outside the Shrine Room, I bowed my head in respect to everyone who congratulated me and welcomed me to the "fold". Among them was a monk whom I had not seen before. And yet his face looked so familiar. He was tall, of Tibetan Stock and wore a different color robe. He was not from the same Buddhist School that monastery belonged to.

          "A monk told me about your sickness. Interesting."

          "I did not know what to make of this comment. What was interesting about my sickness? But the remark did not annoy me.

          "I follow Tibetan Lamaism. It is a mixture of Buddhist Tradition both Mahayana and Theravada coming from India as well Tibetan primitive religion, like Bon, Tantraism et cetera."

          I knew that much history of Tibet. I bowed to him once again and said : "Sir, this is the third time I am here. But I never saw you before."

          "That is because I am here for the first time." He laughed, as if he was being very funny.

          "So tell me about yourself," he continued, "yours should be a very interesting story. Sick, dying of cancer and now ordained as a Shraman."

          He made me aware of my sickness. My bliss, joyfulness, cheerfulness, happiness all were gone in that very instant. Thought of death and sickness came back to me.

          "Why are you in conflict with death? Accept it. Accept death as you have been accepting other things in life. But why am I telling you all this? You are knowledgeable."

          "Knowledge is a far cry from awareness. All my knowledge has not made me a bit aware," I confessed.

          "That is already awareness," he sounded like my Angel.

          "Yes, yes, but I am not at peace."

          "And you think awareness can make you peaceful?"

          I did not know what to say and chose to remain silent. I did not answer his question. Actually I was not in the mood for philosophy.

          The Lama look hold of my hand and led me to a corner where a huge Boddhi Tree stood in all its majesty, reminding one and all of Siddharta's enlightenment under one such a tree: "Look at this tree, a Boddhi Tree. People think he got his enlightenment sitting under one such a tree," he was referring to Lord Buddha. "Of course not. Neither this nor any other tree has got anything to do with enlightenment. Enlightenment is not grown under a tree. Actually that day he got fed up with all that he had been doing. All the exercises, disciplines and meditations had led him no-where. And he decided to leave everything. But why am I telling you this? You certainly know what actually happened."

          Did I know it? Yes, I knew it.

          But how did he know that I knew this unpopular version of the story ? On second thought, that was not important. I knew, so what? He knew that I knew, so what too? No big deal.

          On that day, which is celebrated as Enlightenment Day now, Siddharta realized that all his exercises, disciplines and meditations had led him nowhere. So he decided to leave everything. He sat under a tree and, learning against its huge trunk, he closed his eyes. For the first time in years, he felt so relaxed. No more longing, no more search for truth - and then at that very moment, all of sudden... He was enlightened!

          "What was his formula" I asked the Lama.

          "What formula? No formula. try to read between the lines."

          And I could, I could read between the lines : "His search had led him nowhere. My search must lead me nowhere too."

          "Or end in 'now'... 'here'... Nowhere, Now Here...."

          My Angel had taken a human form, I thought. It was standing before me in flesh and blood. I bowed down and touched his feet.

          "Arey, arey, arey, arey, arey, arey.... What are you doing?" His "arey" was funny and he made it funnier still by repeating it several times in one single breath. Typically Indian, the word meant nothing. Just like "Oo" in English.

          Then we talked about religion and religious fanaticism, about politics and political prostitution, about uncontrollable population growth in developing nations and pollution problems in developed ones.

          I wondered if such "worldly" issues were still important to those who had gone beyond "worldliness".

          "One who has gone 'beyond worldliness' can become a 'good care-taker of the world'. Such a person shall willingly take upon him the task of tackling the world's burning issues."

          "But there is a risk of getting entangled again."

          "Who cares?"

          Did I care? My mind did. My heart did not.

          "So follow your heart - so simple. tell you what, Anomadassi, I am going back to Leh tomorrow morning. Why don't you come there?" Then without waiting for my response, he continued : "I will be waiting for you at the Himis Monastery."

          Leh was not next door. It was thousands of kilometers away from where I was. Years back I had wanted to go there and visit the very monastery he mentioned - the Himis. But my agent had discouraged me. Being part of the Kashmir region, it was considered not safe for traveling because of political tension between India and Pakistan over the border issue. The flight to Leh could also get cancelled anytime without prior notice, and it often did, because of ever-changing unpredictable weather.

          Himis remained in my thoughts, though. I had many beautiful memories about he place. Memories from the distant past, memories of days and nights spent there with the Savior. I wondered if there was anything left of that period, of those times.

          Himis, Himis, Himis... I tried to be rational. I had just had a blood transfusion, and my Hb level had gone up to 4.7, but I was certainly not in a position to make the trip to Leh. It was unimaginable.

          No, I was not meeting the Lama again, I thought. I did not even bother to ask his name.

          After lunch, I decided to go back to the hotel to do some packing and distributing. Clothes, shoes and other things that I would no longer need were to be given away. I planned to live in the monastery with the monks there. Earlier, the Head monk had already allocated me a room of my own, with a fan, that was a luxury. I had no immediate need for the fan for summer was months away. I wondered if I would live that long. But if I lived, I would definitely be making use of it. The thought amused me.

          I was once again amused when the motor rickshaw driver who drove me back to the hotel refused to be paid, "I need your blessing, Sir, not the money." It was funny to see how monk's robe, an outfit could make so much difference.

          But the hotel manager, who knew me well, thought I had gone crazy. He advised me not to take any hasty step.

          "No, I am not taking any hasty step. Don't you see the step has already been taken?"

          He did not reply, but I could see signs of displeasure on his face. He did not approve of what I was doing or had done.

          I was to spend that evening in the hotel and check out the next day. A couple of things remained to be settled before I checked in at the monastery. And I had the Head Monk's permission for that.

          At night I began to think what the point was in checking out of one place and checking in at another in the same city of Bangalore. It was just like changing your bed and room. I was to wander. I wanted to be a wandering monk. And for that purpose could there be a better place than the Himalayas?

          Early the next morning I went to the monastery to tell the Head Monk of my decision and meet with the Lama from Leh. I thought of taking the trip with him, but he had already left. He was gone; that, however did not discourage me from making the trip to Leh.

          I made arrangement to fly to New Delhi and spend a day there before taking another flight to Leh. My courage surprised me. I found it hard to believe in my "belief" that I could make the trip.

          Finally - The Last leg of the journey....

          The ride from Leh's airport to the Himis Monastery left me exhausted. I began to doubt my sanity in taking the trip. Because of early snow that year, the road was very bad, very bad.

          When I finally got there....

          True to his saying, I found the Lama waiting for me at the main entrance : "So finally you are here. Welcome."

          It was only then that I realized that I did not know his name. What if he had not been waiting for me at the main entrance? How would have I found him? Still I did not ask his name, as if that was not important.

          He showed me my room; a very small room, perhaps 2 x 2 meters in size.

          There was a mattress on the floor, a pillow, quilt and a low table.

          "Small room, but the toilets are just behind you. That's why I got you this room. So you don't have to walk far for the toilet." That was kind of him, I thought. I had to go to the toilet  a few times at night, for I used to drink a lot to keep my temperature from rising. I thanked him and sat on the mattress. I was exhausted, dizzy, and found it difficult to stand anymore.

          Later I was awakened by some sounds, I checked the time, just two hours had passed. But I felt as if I had been sleeping for a long time. My body felt better.

          I saw some cookies and traditional Indian Chai, tea, on my table. The Lama was standing right before me: "You have chosen a right place to die. Look at the eternal Himalayas with their eternal snow. And there is the Majestic Sindhu with its graceful flow. This is a beautiful place. Where on earth can you find another place like this? You have done well by coming here. Right place to die...."

          My heart was already accepting death. But my head revolted at his remark. Why was he reminding me of death all the time? In fact I felt bad about it. On second thought, second later, I thought back: "He is right. This indeed is a right place to die. Immortal Himalayas, Eternal Sindhu - The setting was perfect."

          Death here I am....
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