by Brother Martin


     Once there was  a mountain. It was called the Mountain of Truth. Anyone who had a question and seeking an answer, should climb the mountain, forgo supper, and spend the night there.The answer would be revealed in a dream. The answer that one received depended on the question a person asked.

     There were many villages surrounding the mountain.  One village was called Ajnanapuri, which means the city of ignorance.  There was economic prosperity and all the needs of the villagers were satisfied. People in the village were very rich and there was no poverty in the village. But the whole village was covered by a cloud of discontentment. People were unhappy and had the feeling that something was  missing in their lives. This made them to raise their minds above the mundane life and ask fundamental questions of life: Who are we? Where do we come from and  where do we go to after our death? What is that by knowing which we know everything, by finding which we find everything? They asked. So all the villagers gathered together and selected Sathyakama, which means, one who desires truth, to climb the Mountain of Truth and ask these questions.

     Sathyakama started his journey late in the afternoon and reached the top of the mountain by evening. Before he went to sleep, he told the Mountain the questions he had: O Mountain of Truth, we have everything but we are not happy. We feel something missing in our lives. Who are we? Where do we come from and where do we go to after our death? What is that by knowing which we know everything and by finding which we find everything? Then he went to sleep.

     In the night he had three dreams. In  the first dream he saw  an ocean. Waves after waves appeared on the ocean and they all disappeared into it.

     In the second dream he was standing at the beach. There were many children playing in the beach. They were making various forms with the sand. At the end of their play they destroyed all the images they had made and went home. There was only sand.

     In the third dream Satyakama was in  a forest and he came across a donkey. The donkey did not know that it was a donkey. It was carrying a heavy load on its back and it was struggling. Satyakama asked the donkey what the load on its back was. The donkey replied, 'these are the books that describe how to become a donkey'. Satyakama was surprised to know that it was already a donkey but was striving to become a donkey. Satyakama said to it, 'you are already a donkey and why do you want to become a donkey? Suddenly the donkey disappeared. Then Satyakama saw a hermit sitting in a deep meditation under a tree. He went near the hermit. The hermit had closed his eyes and was repeating:aham brahma asmi (I am Brahman);tatvam asi (you are Brahman); ayatman brahma( Atman is Brahman);prajnanam brahman(Brahman is non-dual consciousness).

 Sathyakama woke up in the morning and realized that he had three dreams.He came to the village and told the villagers the three dreams he had. The whole village realized that there was only one Reality and all forms come from that one Reality and  go back into that one Reality. They realized they were searching what they really were:  their Atman was one with Brahman but they  were in a state of ignorance(Ajnana) and bondage. 'Our Atman is one with Brahman. We need to realize it', they said. So they prayed each day:

O Eternal Truth,

Lead us from the finite to the infinite, from ignorance to wisdom

from death to deathlessness,

from forms to formlessness

from bondage to liberation.


Their profound aspiration was:

May all beings in the world be happy. May all beings in the world realize their true self.

May all beings in the world be free.


     They changed the name of their village from Ajnanapuri into Jnanapuri, which means the city of wisdom.

     The name of the second village was Trsnapuri, which means the city of craving. People in this village were very attached to their physical body and other material and psychological pleasures. There was fear of old age, sickness and death. They were engaged in the desires of acquisition and becoming in such a way that these desires had become almost an addiction, trsna. There was deep dissatisfaction and suffering. So the question arose in them: what is the cause of suffering and how to be free from suffering? All the villagers gathered together and selected an young man   named Siddhartha to go to the Mountain of Truth and ask the question.

     Siddhartha started his journey late in the afternoon to the Mountain of Truth and by evening he reached the top of the Mountain. Before he went to sleep, he told the Mountain of Truth: O Mountain of Truth, what is the cause of dissatisfaction or suffering?How to be free from suffering? Then he went to sleep. In the night he had three dreams. In the first dream he saw a monkey which had put its hand into a bottle where there was a big piece of sweet. It held the sweet but could not bring its hand out because the mouth of the bottle was too narrow. It's hand was  in the bottle. It was struggling to remove its hand but at the same time it did not want to leave the sweet in the hand. It was crying. Then he saw a pig in a dirty water, a bird in pursuit of its prey and a snake rising its hood to defend itself from an enemy.

    Then he had a second dream. In the dream he  wanted to be free from his shadow. He thought if he walked fast he could be free from his shadow. So he began to walk fast and when he looked at his shadow he realized that it was also walking fast. Then he thought that if he ran fast he might be able to get rid of his shadow so he began to run faster and looked at his shadow only to realize that the shadow was running faster as well. He was very tired and was unable even to walk. Meanwhile he saw a big tree and went to rest under the shade of that tree. As he sat under the tree he realized that his shadow was not there. Then he saw two words pasted on the tree of wisdom: anatta and anicca.

     Then he had a third dream. In this dream he saw a bird which had found a big fruit. It called all the other birds and was sharing that fruit with them. Siddhartha woke up in the morning and realized that he had three dreams. He returned to his village and told villagers the three dreams he had. The villagers understood that the human soul does not have any substance(anatta) and clinging to the impermanent(anicca) was the cause of suffering. They need to learn detachment. They understood that the pig represented ignorance, the bird represented attachment and the snake represented fear. They realized that ignorance produces desire; desire produces attachment; and attachment produces insecurity and insecurity produces fear and fear produces suffering. They need to be free from ignorance and stop the movement of desire, attachment and fear and suffering by sitting under the tree of wisdom. They also realized that this wisdom should not be kept for themselves but should be shared with others as well. They called the state of  suffering as Samsara and freedom from  suffering as Nirvana. They longed to move:

from ignorance to wisdom,

from attachment to detachment,

from desire to freedom from desire,

from self to no self,

from suffering to joy,

from Samsara to Nirvana.

     They were filled with compassion for all beings and worked for the liberation of all sentient and non sentient beings by imparting them wisdom. They changed the name of their village from Trsnapuri into Nirvanapuri, which means the city of wisdom and compassion.

     The name of the third village was  Dasatvapuri, which means the city of oppression. The village was occupied by a foreign ruler. People were like prisoners in their own village. Some villagers were planning to liberate themselves from the foreign occupation. Some villagers were cooperating with the foreign rulers. Some expected a divine intervention and the coming of the Messiah and the rule of God. Some villagers were following the traditions of their fathers and felt righteous and  were not happy with those who did not follow the tradition. There were many groups holding conflicting views on religious matters. Some believed in life after death and some did not believe in it. There were many people who could not follow the religious precepts and were considered sinners. For many people religious precepts have become a heavy burden to carry. There was a lot of suffering. There were some women who did not live a good moral life and considered sinners. There was a big division between the rich and the poor, rich people exploiting the poor. There was also questions like: what one should do to attain eternal life? and who is a neighbour? The whole village was under the cloud of oppression and confusion.The villagers did not have any one specific question. They wanted to the solution to all the problems existing in the village.

     The villagers gathered together and chose a young man, named Joshua and asked him to make journey to the Mountain of Truth. They gave him the freedom to formulate the questions.

    Joshua began his journey late in the afternoon and by evening he reached the top of the mountain.  Before he went to sleep, he put there questions to the Mountain of Truth. O Mountain of Truth, I have three questions to ask you. Who, we human beings, are? Why is there so much suffering personally, economically, socially, politically and spiritually? How to establish a society in which there will be freedom, equality, justice, cooperation and sharing? Then he went to sleep. In the night he had three dreams.

     In the first dream he was in heaven. God was sitting on the throne. When he saw God he fell on his face. God got up from his seat and came down. He lifted Joshua and said, my son, why did you  fall on your face? Joshua replied, O Holy One, I have been told that I am  your creature and you have created me out of nothing. Falling on my face in your presence is my natural response and duty. God replied, Joshua, creation and human beings are not my creatures but they are my manifestation. They are not created out of nothing but manifested from my being. Human beings have the potential to realize their oneness with me. In fact I and you are one. But you are in a state of ignorance. Saying this God embraced Joshua. Suddenly Joshua disappeared and only God was there.

     In the second dream he saw a man riding on a horse. He was carrying a load on his head and was struggling.   A man was passing that way and was surprised to see some one carrying a load on his head  and riding on the horse. The rider complained to the man that how difficult it was to carry the load. The man replied, 'my friend, the horse is carrying you and your load. Why do you want to carry it on your head? Why don't you place it on the horse? Suddenly the man realized what he was doing. He removed the load from his head and placed it on the horse.

     In the third dream Joshua found himself in a village. In that village all things were held in  common. There was spontaneous sharing among the inhabitants. There was no absolute private properly. Nobody was striving to acquire property and become rich. There was no individual spiritual striving and collective striving. What people possessed was considered provisional. There was no scripture. There was no religion.There were no temples or Churches. There was no authority or hierarchy. There was  no any particular spiritual path as well. People lived  a natural life. They lived from their inner light. There was universal brotherhood.

     In the centre of the village there was a tree around which the inhabitants danced. Joshua was surprised to notice that when the inhabitants walked they did not leave any foot prints on the ground. They walked as if they were like fish in the water and birds in the sky. Joshua asked one of the inhabitants,' forgive me, sir, what is the significance of this Tree? Why do you dance around this Tree? It is astonishing that when you walk you do not leave any footprints on the ground. The inhabitant replied, 'sir, this is Tree of Life. It symbolizes the fullness of Truth. Leaves represent individuals. Branches represent collective groups. Trunk represents universal consciousness and the roots represent divine consciousness. There is harmony among them. There is only one tree, one truth, one way and one life. This one Life is manifesting in each one of us. Divisions, inequality, hierarchy, oppression and violence come from the fragmentation of this one Truth. We dance around this Tree to remind ourselves always our unity in the oneness of Truth. It is Truth or God that is living in and through us. This is the kingdom of God. It is for this reason that when we walk we do not leave any foot prints. When God walks God walks so gently that God does not leave any foot prints. No one feels his power. This land always remains a virgin land. Every new child enters into this virgin land. There are no burdens of past or future waiting for the children. The children are prepared for the life of the kingdom of God. Our way of living is called 'unfolding'.

     Joshua woke up early in morning and realized that he had three dreams. He returned to his village and told the dreams to his villagers. The villagers realized that there was only one God or one Reality and everyone came from that one Reality and returned to that one Reality. In fact they and that one Reality were one. They realized that life does not end with physical death but Life continues after physical death. They also realized that they were carrying heavy burdens on their head due to ignorance and they should surrender everything to God and allow  God to live in and through them. Finally they realized that there was division and oppression in the village because of ignorance and fragmentation of Truth, into individuals and collective groups.They realized that there was only one truth, one way and one life. It is the way of the Tree of Life. Sin is the fragmentation of this one truth from which comes division, oppression and violence. They planted a tree in the middle of their village and called it ' The Tree of Life'. It was an ideal and an inspiration for their daily living.They danced around the  Tree of Life every day. They changed the name of their village from Dasatvapuri to Daivapuri, which means the city of God.

Their prayer was:

O Lord,the Source and the Foundation of our existence,

Lead us,

from divisions to unity,

from emptiness and fullness,

from fragmentation to wholeness,

from becoming to unfolding,

from slavery to freedom,

from sin to grace,

from violence to peace.


May our life be your life,

May our actions be your actions

May our children be your children.

May your peace be within us and everywhere. Amen




























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