Our minds are like the Yam Suph,” Yeshûa said looking into the distance. “Not here, but further north, the sea is like the Sea Of Weeds. That is what Yam Suph means. The Sea of Weeds. They also call it the Red Sea.” “It doesn’t look red to me,” I put in looking over the side.
“The colour red always symbolizes emotions. When my people crossed the Red Sea they turned over a new leaf. They were supposed to have freed themselves from false beliefs and start believing in themselves. Instead they got entangled in a Sea of Weeds.” His voice took on a tone of distress. “They never changed, really....” What could I have said? I didn’t even know much about his people. Not that I know so much about my own. Yet I felt sorry for my friend. In such rare moments, he looked and sounded as though he was taking upon himself the errors of all his countrymen, of all his people, seemingly at a loss as to how to help them. At the same time, particularly recently, I sensed that he was racking his brains trying to solve the problem. “I have a head start...” he seemed to be thinking aloud in response to my own thoughts.
“Do you know that the Essenes raised me to be the messiah?” I looked at him with, what must have been, horror in my eyes. He started laughing. Out loud. “I know. Little me—the messiah. That is funny, isn’t it.” “You mean like Mithras? In Persia?” “That sort of thing. They must have thought that if the Persians can have one, then why not us?” There was an awkward silence. I wasn’t quite sure if I should take him seriously. It was one thing to spin myths, quite another to give them body and soul. “And I have body and soul….” He reiterated my thoughts word for word. My mind was in turmoil. Surely, my friend, my dear friend Yeshûa, was not going to take on the job of a messiah? It sounded preposterous.
Suddenly snippets of our conversation, years ago—on the outskirts of Babylon, flashed across my mind. It had been even before we’d reached India. Yeshûa, a boy with energy to spare, had been uncharacteristically depressed. He’d told me about Judith, about the Essenes and his near-prison on Mount Carmel. I recalled the plans others had for him. Surely, he didn’t intend to sate their selfish needs? And then I found a ray of hope. “Your people do not worship two gods, of good and of evil—like the followers of Zarathustra. So there is no need to save them from the evils of Ahriman.” I still remembered the lecture Sri Singh had given us about the struggle between Ahura-Mazda and his evil counterpart.
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” Yeshûa assured me. It sounded like a quotation. “Remember, we only personify and then raise to godhood our own traits. It cannot be otherwise.” He was staring at me again, questioningly. Was he expecting confirmation from me? It was I who looked toward him to hear an explanation of his words. He said nothing more. I was probably expected to have understood. Or, he may have been just thinking aloud. “So what would a Hebrew messiah say, so to speak?” I didn’t know how else to put it. For a while he didn’t answer. This time not just his eyes drifted away, but his whole being seemed carried to some distant land. I pictured him in Jerusalem as a little boy. Then I tried to visualize him, also in Jerusalem, preaching in the Temple. I couldn’t. Yeshûa didn’t preach. As forward as he was with a helping hand, with sharing his ideas when the two of us got together, I never saw him preach to people. He didn’t even preach to me. He suggested, implied, planted the seed. But it was always up to me to allow the seed to take root and eventually see the light of day. He never pushed, never threatened. No. For the life of me I could not picture Yeshûa as a saviour. “Nor can I, my friend. Nor can I,” he repeated. But there was nervousness in his voice. As though he was trying his best to escape a storm that was gathering with indomitable certainty. And he had no idea where or how to hide from it. “You are a good friend,” he said at last. “I know you wish me well.” And then he lowered himself into Padmasana and closed his eyes. He meditated like this for hours on end. I never invaded his privacy when he did that. Not that he’d ever asked me to refrain from interrupting. There are certain things one just knows. Especially when concerning a friend. “They must become whole,” I say. Yôna is still sitting next to me. “He also said that. But what does it mean?” “It is not for me to interpret your Master’s words,” I say a little defensively. “I believe he thought that the mind and the heart must become one. That you can only enter the Kingdom, as he called it, in full consciousness.” “After we die?” At this I couldn’t help smiling. I imagined Yeshûa’s reaction to such a question. “I met Yeshûa more than twenty years ago. In all that time he never once spoke of death. Nor of any ‘hereafter.’ To my knowledge, he only concerned himself with life. He was quite clear about that.” “So we must enter the Kingdom right here...?” Yôna’s voice was hesitant but there was light in his eyes. “That Kingdom of his is, I think he said, a state of consciousness. He said the dead were not conscious.” And then a thought struck me. “I think he would allow that should we achieve this Kingdom here and now, it could well be that we would remain in it in the, ah.. the hereafter.” I hated talking like a second-rate guru. “Whosoever believeth in me, shall never die...” Yôna’s eyes were getting wider. “By ‘me’, I think he meant in ‘life’.” I try again feeling that I am losing the ground I sit on. “I am Life,” this time my young friend stands up and grabs his head in his hands. “You do understand!” His voice is considerably louder than before. And then he starts walking up and down the yard as though trying to rid himself of excessive energy. Finally he joins me again at the west wall, drops down on his knees and kisses my hand. “Thank you Satya,” there is joy in his eyes. “You brought Him back to me. Thank you.” I need all my resolve to pull my hand back before he chews off my fingertips. I’ve made one man happy. Considering the atmosphere surrounding the yard and the house, it is no mean achievement. And then I wonder who will make me happy. Yôna seems to be very close to bringing his mind and heart together. I still suffer from the excess of mind. “Help me, my friend,” I whisper for no one to hear. I wasn’t thinking of Yôna. I could only think of Yeshûa’s blue eyes. And the next instant, once again, his voice rings clear in my ears. “I am always with you.”
Satyajit Sahib Bihari was just 14 when he took his first trading trip with his father, a successful leader who traveled the world to find treasures and daily products which were needed in one location, and found in another. His entire life was made up of moving, picking up, delivering, from one location to another. Saty was not quite sure he was going to like becoming involved with the trading business, but, surely, he would ultimately have to take over for his father...
They let me sit here. Someone came out, told me what happened and went inside again. I’ve been alone since. As usual. As he was. Had been. This is where it had all started. At least for me. On the outskirts of Jerusalem. This is where I’d met the man who now is no more. I know it. The man who came out told me. I’ve also heard it in town. But in my heart, in my heart of hearts, it’s too much to accept. Although, on the way here, I did sense something peculiar. In the whole city. The City of Peace. Peace indeed! A city where they murder innocent people. Not the mob, not some crooks in a dark alley, but the people in power. The Romans. The illustrious noblemen. This is a farce! And the men inside the house aren’t much help either. Or weren’t to him. At least I assume there are men inside. I only met one of them. They told me, outside, before I got here, in a whisper, that his disciples are hiding here. Hiding from whom? And why? Maybe they know something I don’t? They certainly didn’t know him as I do, even if they had followed him during these last three years. Much good it did them. Or him. I feel a pang of anger. So much had happened during these last few years. I’d had my share of excitement, though I shared neither my father’s nor Yeshûa’s ambitions. Live and let live was my motto. So far it served me well. Apparently my friend hadn’t fared so well. And then I’d heard, all the way home, that he was a full-fledged teacher. A Master, they called him. Like a Swami or Guru. God how time flies! I’d just returned home from China. I had dropped everything and rode all the way. I had to see him. To see if his dream had come true. He never lost hope that it would. That he would fulfil his mission. It had taken weeks to get here. It would have been many months, had I travelled with a caravan. Had I had a premonition? Had he called me to his side? Somehow? I’d missed him by a day. “But how exactly did it happen? I mean, he was always an easygoing fellow. At least, I found him to be so. And…” I catch myself speaking aloud. I glance around but nobody is listening. Not to me. Anyway, they are all inside. They are all lost in their own thoughts. Apparently dark thoughts. They all seem to have crawled into their shells like a bunch of snails on a hot summer day on the shores of Tiberias. I can’t take it any more. I’m going inside...
At night, especially during those first few months, perhaps longer, he spoke to me in words of rebellion. He thought that the Essenes, who controlled every minute of his young life, wanted to lumber him with all of the frustrations which they’d accumulated over the years, and to deny the beauty of life by the exigencies of their own aesthetic existence. He didn’t say all that in those precise terms. He was a mere boy then. But that was the import of what he’d said. Yeshûa, although subjected to it himself, or perhaps because of it, dismissed monastic life as unnatural. He thought that turning one’s back on the world was turning one’s back on the creation of the Almighty. “If Yahweh didn’t want us to see the world,” he’d once said, “he wouldn’t have equipped us with eyes.” Yeshûa thought that everything had a purpose, and our job was to uncover what it was. No matter what it took. We had to learn who we really were. “Two boys enjoying a ride...?” I quipped. He ignored me. “And man’s purpose is to learn about Atma by studying His creation.” When he’d said it, Atma sounded as though spoken with a capital A. He liked using Indian terminology. It was his way of showing his respect for other people’s faiths. He never said nor implied that there is anything superior in the faith in which he’d been brought up. If anything, he thought his own religion was stifling. He thought that the essence of his own faith had been buried under a complex system of laws and regulations that made it impossible for men and women to really enjoy life. I recall being amazed and a little abashed by the scope of his knowledge. I’d been brought up to grab all the living that life had to offer. My family was rich, but we also enjoyed the simplest of things. Like diving in a river, or climbing a tree or just playing games on the lawn in front of our house. “The Torah was written to show us how to best enjoy life,” he said during one of our nightly discussions. “Instead, people use it to strangle themselves into submission to our priesthood. To place us all in irons of our own making. If only someone would show them the way.…”~~~
In reading this book, we learn along with Yeshua of all those past gods that had been created... yes, created by man until finally, Yeshua pronounced a fact: Man Created Religion... Although He had read many scrolls and other documents from the various cultures, not once had he talked to Saty about His Own beliefs. Indeed Saty actually knew little about his cultural religion, learning all that he needed to know as a resident and constant traveler...