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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Friend for life

Ajeya was the sole heir of a huge princely estate, one day bored of his privileged life he decided to prove himself. On a whim he got on his horse and took off. By afternoon he ended up in a lush green forest, he felt extremely thirsty and realized how unprepared he is for the journey. He search for water in the forest for hours but he could not find any pond or stream. He came across a strange looking woodcutter, who understood that the person he is talking to is from a royal family looking at his attire jewelry and horses. The woodcutter asked him to wait under the shade of the Gular tree ( Indian cluster fig tree) as the sun is strong and he will fetch water for him.

Exhausted from his search Ajeya readily agreed. he waited for nearly an hour but there was no sign of the woodcutter. Tired and thirsty he decided to take a nap under the shade of the tree. As soon as he shut his eyes mischievous monkeys on the tree started throwing Gular fruits on him to annoy him because he had invaded their territory. 

 He ignored their antics for a while but they persisted relentlessly, finally just to deter them from their mischief he threw a fruit back at them, which unfortunately hit a baby monkey suckling on its mothers breast, he fell on the ground with the impact and injured himself. Monkeys fell eerily silent at this sudden event and retreated. 

He picked up the baby monkey who was unconscious from the fall and decided to look for water for him. He got on his horse and carried the baby monkey with him. A few miles from the tree there was a small pond. Ajeya tenderly washed the baby monkey's face and put a few drops of water in his mouth. As he rocked him gently, the baby monkey opened his eyes slowly and gave him a pitiable look. That moment he resolved to keep the monkey with him and take care of him. 

Days passed by, the two developed a special bond. They later came upon a town, where the cloth merchant gave him a job, he asked him to take a huge lot of cloth and get it dyed in different colours. he asked him to tie the monkey in the backyard because he would be struggling with that heavy bundle  of clothes. Ajeya did as told, upon his return he was aghast to find that the rope was lying loose on the ground and baby monkey was nowhere to be seen.

 He inquired around but nobody had seen him. Defeated he retired for the day in a shelter above the shop that the kind cloth merchant offered him to sleep. Ajeya worried for the safety of the monkey, as per habit he saved a fruit for the baby monkey. He left it by his bedside and drifted into a peaceful sleep. Morning he woke up to find that the fruit was missing, the seeds and skin were scattered around in the same familiar fashion as the baby monkey did while he ate. He spat and dispersed the seeds and skin of the fruits all around him in a circle while eating, which Ajeya always found amusing. It gave him relief to know that his baby monkey was still alive and well and he is aware of his whereabouts.

As time passed he attained considerable success and bought a small piece of land upon which he built a small cottage and grew vegetables and fruits around it. There was never a day that he did not think of his monkey friend, he maintained his habit of leaving some food for the monkey every night, which monkey dutifully consumed as Ajeya slept.

Later he married and had two beautiful children, he grew richer and retired to a peaceful life as an old man, his children got married and left the house, one day his wife left the world too. Alone he sat and remembered his monkey friend all the time. he would beg of him to appear before him once before he dies. One day as he struggled to sleep he saw a big monkey sitting by his bedside. Looking at him with the tenderness of a mother. Tears welled up in his eyes, he was finally there. Before he could say anything monkey spoke in a deep resonant voice. "Come with me my friend, your duties here are done, I have fulfilled my promise of protecting you in this lifetime, let me take you to my Lord Ram in his heart the heavens dwell."

Atreya discarded his old body and followed the monkey through a tunnel of light, Monkey now took the form of Lord Hanuman whom he ardently worshipped in his previous lives, Hanuman pointed at the gigantic divine form of lord Vishnu, he entered into the lotus of his heart and floated in supreme bliss as he gratefully bade farewell to his protector, savior and friend Lord Hanuman.

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