Saturday, November 21, 2015


     One weekend Sankar came, with a briefcase loaded with pamphlets and booklets. “Something has shaken me up since I met you, and I can't seem to settle down anymore. There is more to me than I ever imagined, it seems, and I must find out. I told you I will get a list of fellows and places who say they know about these matters. Let us have a look at them.” He dumped the lot onto the floor.
     I looked at the pamphlets strewn on the floor: Things coming to become known! 
     “But before we start on these, let me ask you this - what do you think of this, your father's project - is he serious, will it work, is there an answer there?” asked Sankar.
     “Sankar, I really do not know; I see a child riding a chimp. But I am glad you asked me,” I said, I needed to express myself, “for I am getting disturbed. No, not about father and his work. It is about me. I am disturbed, therefore I do not know; there are things at the doorstep clamouring to be known, to be taken in and to become. Thimmy had taken away my thinking, so I can tell you what comes to me to be said: 
     “Father says that he wishes to produce a machine which is better than man. He says that man is a very unpredictable and inefficient instrument, many other things too; man is greedy, quarrelsome, does not know how to organise himself and or his affairs. He thinks the answer lies in getting a machine to represent the best in present humanity, efficiency, integration and so on. He is a scientist and he says he has a method, and indeed he has.
     “I agree that man is still defective; at least I am. Perhaps you agree, too. If we were not dissatisfied, why all this bother? Man's problem can only be solved by something better than a man - at least better than the average man. Father thinks so; I believe so: Simply, helplessly committed to being an average man, but cannot expect anything better than the average deserts.
     “Here I see differently from father. He expects to solve it by a machine which is a product of his own brain; and he has not told us how expects his brain to be devoid of all the errors which all human brains are subject to. I, on the other hand, I see that man is himself the product of a high and complex intelligence inherent in nature, all developed out of One Supreme Self- Consciousness. This, many have said - but I know that from what I myself have come to know. Only by knowing can man integrate and improve. My restlessness and disturbance become the source of their own correction. Disturbance leads to looking and knowing - Knowing kindly,, feeling kinship, oneness with the thing that comes to become known helps integration, gives strength and creative peace. Since the many have come from the one, the rediscovery of the one in the many leads to something better. Wanting blocks knowing - it leads to more and more disturbance! wanting always cramps growth; and things come to grow into you, the oneness in you, to become and not just be. Each act of knowing and becoming leads to a better keenness of looking, all perceptions become keener, and this in turn promotes better knowing. So, I see that the means of becoming better or higher than man are within him. Some prototypes of the future man already happened - the Krishnas Buddhas, Christs and so on. Father quotes illustrious scientists to back his faith in his invention. I too have illustrious examples on this path. But we are agreed that one has to do away with idolising the average and then grumbling at the consequences. My experiment involves myself as the laboratory, and I feel that it is not a bad one at all. I think that the best birthday gift a person has is his own body! and the joy and wonders that lie in store for the one who comes to know more and more of it! And I don't need a garage for it!” I said.
     “Well, I do not follow much of what you say,” said Sankar, “But there is a need for science, I think. What will we be doing without telephones and cars and so on. Just imagine!”
     I just imagined and said, “For me, I know that the thing that needs me and the thing that I need will happen together. I have the same confidence as you have in my communication a s you have in your telephone, perhaps more confidence. We didn’t meet by telephones and five year plans, did we? And you know the state of the world with these wonderful things about! If I rang you up, you might or might not be at home, you might not reply even if you were at home, even so you may not agree to what I have to say; and so on. But if I needed to meet you, or better the Master in me needed to see you, any of the things mentioned might happen and I accept it with the utmost confidence. My needs are met, needs that cannot be met d o not exist for me. But, I suppose, telephones are needed so that large groups may involve themselves with each other, and people who need to get involved like it. There seems to be this urge in man to involve many others, to influence, to have power over and so on. But when he himself is not free, he can only cramp himself and others. Sankar, I see that the first thing for man to do is to grow into the Oneness of the Master within; and before that is done all talk of improving others, freeing others are so many gimmicks the average man employs to delude himself. May be, I do not know. 
    “But one thing I see: Father and I, and you, I feel, are agreed that man has to work for and aspire for something radically different from the average model of human behaviour. That is a good starting point anyway. And now let us look at these things,” I said.
    “I don't know about average and all that, but I am certainly fed up of the dump, there, and I mean to go places,” Sankar said.
     We poured over the pamphlets and booklets: Ashrams, Swamis, Sadhus, Magicians, addresses, facilities, and so on. Many were liberally illustrated - achievements and accomplishments summarised - incurable diseases cured - dead brought back to life - past lives recalled - walking on water without tears - see your own intestines - know your mind - triple yogas - middle paths - tantriks right and left - know thyself in ten easy lessons - houses of gospels and gods - shrines and saints and saviours - transcendence in ten minutes - moderate fees - modern cooking - concessions for collective salvations - quite an assortment!
    “Enough material for a directory,” said Sankar, “Maybe, if nothing else, I can publish one out of this. What do you make of it?”
“Well, it seems quite a lot of people want to meet quite a lot of other people,” I said.
     “I want to meet some of these chaps. But how do I choose?” he sat with his head in his hands. “What a game,” he said throwing up his hands.
    I closed my eyes, weary with so much peering into so much printed matters, were it only the headlines.
    Suddenly I saw: Balu, Swamiji and a few others playing football or something like that. There was a lot of kicking, laughing, even quarrelling and biting and bickering. Thimmy was there too, as referee, whistling away, waving his arms and tail, shouting ‘fair’’foul’, ‘penalty kick’ and what not. A vague mass of crowds were yelling in the background, cursing, prompting, cheering, pushing and fisticuffing. A woman was there, bedecked as a queen, seated on a high golden chair, with a beatific smile on her face, beaming at them all. She was giving away prizes Shouts of bravo, ‘unfair’ and ‘partiality’ and ‘well done’ mingled and merged in a muffled melody in her smiles.
     First prize: Thimmy: For whistling whenever he liked; doing somersaults when in doubt.
    First prize: Balu: For kicking and jumping for all he was worth, and yelling ‘hurrah’ whichever side scored a goal.
    First prize: Swamiji: For doing nothing to anything or anybody and keeping out of everybody’s way. 
    Humour, Joy, silence were the words inscribed in gems on the golden discs, the three first prizes given them.
   Second Prizes: This was a vast list of hundreds who paraded in front of the queen, people, cows, dogs, horses and so on. They got bagfuls of sweets and nuts in silver bags embossed in gold: ‘For Blissful Ignorance’; these were the hundreds who did not know what it was all about. If there was any game, if there were to be any prizes, where they were  and why they were there, and they went carrying away their prizes, shaking their heads, wagging their tails and flaunting their plumes.
    Third Prizes: a shorter list: Just a few hundred or so received silver discs. Many were spectators and a few were players. Some of them had small bandages on their limbs and some sticking-plaster strips on their faces. ‘For Being reasonably serious about the game’ said the inscription. 
    Fourth Prize: A very small list of a dozen or so; a few spectators and a few players. This is was a medal with silver on one side, inscribed ‘IV Prize’ - for being deadly serious about the game, and on the other side was gold with inscription ‘Super-First Prize - You are a really first class fellow! Whichever way the winner held the medal the gold side would face him and the onlookers would see the silver side. Most of this group had to be brought to the Queen on stretchers, and some in an unconscious state, but they all thumped their chests as they left the dais : the unconscious ones had their chests thumped for them.
    What the devil were Swamiji and these rascals, Thimmy and Balu doing here, playing silly games! And their first prize for such stupidities!
   And then the lady waved a wand and a large lake shimmered in the midnoon sun. I opened my eyes, dazzled by the brilliance.
    “Ah, you slept, I see,” Said Sankar, “though I don't blame you. But, look, what I found - this thing was still stuck in the briefcase. This is our answer!"
    He showed me a compact and glossy brochure. It said:
    The Compass: This unique institution, set in a delightful parkland, with all modern facilities, enables you, at a throwaway price to choose your path to realisation, self or divine. Set at different points of the Compass in independent areas of their own, you will find all the isms ever heard of thought of. Space available for increasing the points of the Compass, to include more and more isms as they arise, and as time and money allow. 
    Scholars can be residential or visiting.
    Rs. 300 / month per ism.
    Rs. 800 / … per 3 isms.
    Rs. 2000/ only for all the isms. 
    Rs. 3000 / for life membership of the Compass
    Rs. 5, 000 for patrons who want their name inscribed.
    Rs. 10, 000 / for those who want a statue erected at their own cost 
   Donate freely for ultimate human unity; for ending war and strife and cosmic dissolution.
   The Compass is an unerring guide. Let the Compass guide you.
   Note: There is a rush for admission. Make haste and use this business reply card. Enclose a meager Rs. 5 for the detailed guide book.
    The Compass is ready to offer postal tuition.
    Certificates of proficiency will be given to successful candidates.
    Certified savants! Excellent cuisine! 
    NB: We also gave compressed and concession courses.
    Drop in and see for yourself! 
     “What about it,” asked Sankar . 
     “What about what,” I repeated. 
     “You are still dreaming - or seeing, I don't know which. This place sounds fantastic. All under one roof, so to say,” he said.
     “When are you going,” I asked.
     “When are we going, you mean,” he said and looked at me. “Ah, I see your trouble. Not wanting things, not asking for things, and of things offered taking only the minimum needful, or things like that. Well, then, you might come along and keep an eye on me, and that would be doing me kindness,” he said. 
     Where do they get all this enthusiasm - Father, Sankar, and somewhat differently, Swamiji, Balu and so on. Sometimes I feel a little dead. Perhaps energy also comes from somewhere; sometimes it flows into one chap and sometimes into another. Father speaks of energizing circuits, circuits formed by flow of energy; organised circuits facilitating flow of energy; things like that. Energy, like Life, perhaps, comes from somewhere, or is all around us, waiting to be known.
     “Alright, Sankar,” I said, “if it pleases you to have me with you.”
     We took leave of mother - research, tour, we said. She was happy to hear that Sankar was coming with me. No worry for her - he would keep an eye on me. There would be a lunch basket and flasks of coffee.
     Father was watching some oscillograph recordings he was making in the garage. As we entered our eye caught sight of a man, standing in one corner of the the garage, leaning lazily against the wall, with eyes fixed on father and his hands in his pockets. He was nattily dressed, tie, shoes. We saw that he had numerous pockets all over him. An assistant, we thought.
     Father saw us looking at him, the man in the corner.
     “Oh, that,” father laughed, he is a fine fellow, the complete doctor minus his brain. He has all the necessary gadgets - all multipurpose, recorders for temperature, heart and breathing rates, infection detectors; spectroscopic and electronic biochemical analysers and automatic stabilizers, X-ray vision, means for spot surgery with laser, cautery and cutlery, irradiation, pharmacy, delivery, death and disposal, all sterile, and much other, besides means for altering other chaps like him when they are about. This is all simple. It is the brain that counts and here I am educating it - this small box, here. It has taken almost all the available, top class, contemporary medical knowledge of the world. If this works, then, an engineer! I am nearly through. A couple of weeks and I will brain this chap here. Isn’t he fine; you almost introduced yourselves; I got him specially made. And to think that in a few weeks I have given the world a top class doctor, and to think of seven years to produce clowns like you chaps. Meet Doctor Toto!”
     We marvelled and said so. 
     I looked at him: father was becoming a child and Doctor Toto a caged ape tugging at the bars.
     When we told him what we came to tell him, he said, “Good idea. Remember that this fellow need not go on leave; need not waste time shaving, bathing, or asking for the ‘gentleman’s’; and need not get himself tagged to another imbecile to bring forth little imbeciles, and worry about them and make mistakes when he ought to be at peak efficiency all the time!” 
     “What fun and play,” said Sankar.
     “Good God! What did you say? Fun and play! What has a blooming doctor to do with fun and play? Enough clowns as it is! Thanks for reminding me. I shall at once put in negative signals against fun and play.” He pulled out the designs and made some notes. 
     We took leave of him by walking out.

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