Page 104. " so childishly and illogically did he now reason "
A man with children
Public Domain Man with children - Credit: Indian Museum, Kolkata

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

- 1 Corinthians 13:11, the Holy Bible

Juvenile thought and perception is distinct from adult reasoning because it is laced with innocence, inexperience and inherent simplicity. Childishness as a trait is often characterized by foolishness, stubborness, too much eagerness, simplistic mannerism and expression, and an inability to discern the good from the bad, the fleeting from the permanent, and immaturity.

A child's viewpoint has been the central theme of many classics, like To Kill a Mockingbird and Life of Pi, and the narrative of such works is simple and straightforward. The autobiography of Frederick Douglass has a chapter titled, A Child's Reasoning, in which he details his impressions of his life as a slave.

Page 105. " Strivings of a young vain woman for ornament "

The Indian subcontinent has jewellery-making anywhere has a history of over 5,000 years. Gold jewellery, bead necklaces and metallic bangles, clay bangles that were painted black, and shell bracelets. Men were also known to wear jewellery.

Jewellery making in China started became widespread around 2,000 years ago. India was the first country to mine and trade in diamonds, with some mines dating back to 296 BC. Even today, gold, silver and diamond jewellery remains a major asset and status symbol in the Indian society. India is one the largest consumers of gold, around the world.

Page 105. " the indestructible and Brahman in all their desires and needs "
Public DomainBrahman - Credit: E. A. Rodrigues

They, who have taken refuge in Me, strive for final liberation to know Me as the Brahman, the infinite. They alone understand my manifold manifest and non-manifest nature and forms: Adhibhuta (related to matter-material form), Adhidaiva (related to incarnations and divine forms), Adhiyajna (non-manifest ultimate Reality -the Brahman).”


 - The Bhagvad Gita, Chapter VII.

Chapter VII of the Bhagavad Gita explains the concepts of manifest (sagun) and non-manifest (nirguna) Brahman. Manifest Brahman is apparent in the five elements of earth, fire, water, air and ether, and also in the mind, intellect and ego. Non-manifest Brahman is the Absolute Consciousness, that is the basis of the manifested world.

'Like the continuous thread of consciousness I run through the garland of these eightfold attributes.'

Brahman is the indestructible cosmic force, the creator and the propagator of life, the macrocosm or the Universal Soul that exists in the microcosm of all individual souls.

My real nature is Infinite Bliss-Knowledge-Consciousness. I embody Myself as Final Truth for you all. Veiled by Maya Shakti, I am not known to all and do not manifest my true nature to all. Hence ignorant do not recognize Me as 'the unborn and imperishable Supreme Spirit.”

Page 105. " the consciousness of the unity of all life "

Dr. Gustaf Stromberg considers the phenomenon of the earth's rotation “a mysterious agency which affects everything about us," and one which, with a nature beyond comprehension, permeates, unifies, and transcends the whole universe."

In the study of the science of Genetics, the common descent of all organisms is based on the similar structure of the DNA and points towards the unity of all life. All organisms, even those that are distantly related, share similar genes, and hence share many physiological, chemical, and behavioral traits, and

From the spiritual perspective, all religions assert that human intentions, thoughts and deeds have to be aligned with the ultimate cosmic plan of a unified consciousness. The Hindu scriptures advocate the pancha yajnas or five daily sacrifices for the householder. Bhuta yajna is the last sacrifice that includes feeding and serving birds and animals, emphasizes on the fact that all living beings are manifestations of the Universal Being.

Page 105. " harmony, knowledge of the eternal perfection of the world, and unity "
A heliocentric universe showing the planets' correct distances and the zodiacal signs
Public DomainA heliocentric universe showing the planets' correct distances and the zodiacal signs - Credit: Ebenezer Sibly's Astrology", in A New and Complete Illustration of the Occult Sciences by Ebenezer Sibly [1751-1800

The Greek word harmonia derives from the Indo-European root ri, and means “congruent,” or “fitting together.” In Sanskrit, the root, rta means unity or cosmic order.

As a term harmony, derived from harmonia, is often used in the field of music and the arts in general. In Ancient Greece, the term was used to describe the combination of contrasted elements of higher and lower notes.  In the Middle Ages, harmonia as a term came to be used for two pitches or tones, sounding in combination, and in the Renaissance the concept was expanded to denote three pitches sounding together.

In the year 1619, German scientist and mathematician, Johannes Kepler, wrote “The Harmony of the World (Harmonices Mundi)”, in which he discussed harmony and congruence in geometrical forms and physical phenomena.

Page 105. " The flame did not extinguish itself "

"Yes, love indeed is light from heaven;A spark of that immortal fire.With angels shared, by Alla given,To lift from earth our low desire."- Lord Byron, The Giaour, 1813

The flame as a metaphor for love has been used in many artistic connotations. A candle flame can be used to light another candle, and so on and so forth and each flame burns with the same light and intensity as the other. Love is also also compared to burning coals, deep and intense.

"Love is a fire.It burns everyone.It disfigures everyone.It is the world's excusefor being ugly." - Leonard Cohen, The Energy of Slaves, 1972

One of the most sustained metaphors in literature pertaining to love, is the self-destruction of the moth in the flames of the undying love.

"A moth flying in black darkness 

Found a yellow flame flickering   

over a red candlestick     

On a brass plate       

Bright in the darkness   

And the moth was pleased           

At the beauty of it             

And flew around it               


And the moth fell in love     

With the flame."

- The Moth and the Flame, by Bert Byfield

Page 106. " this course of events in a fateful circle "

Just as the lunar cycle affects ebb and tide, the course of many diseases and so on, so also our changing thoughts and passing feelings rise and fall, making their influence felt in many ways.”

–      W. Q. Judge's in the article "Cyclic Impression and Return and Our Evolution”

The Greek kuklos and the Hindu chakra represent the continuous cycle, or period in time. Cycles in Nature are said to be connected to the fate of the souls; according to the law of cycles, the thoughts, actions, speech, of a person affect the fate of the soul, and hence it is very important to be aware of this karmic influence on the soul.

We can change the course of our actions, by controlling our thought and defining our character during life, when the soul sojourns in the human body, and not after death. A person can use his free will only during his lifetime, but the karmic fate determines the rebirth or salvation of the soul. As poet Shelley says,

“Nothing in the world is single;All things by a law divineIn one spirit meet and mingle.”

Page 107. " weaving a basket "

Basket weaving is the process of weaving un-spun vegetable fibres into a basket or in the form of a container. A basket usually has a base, with side walls, a rim and may have a handle and a lid. Basket weavers may embellish the weave pattern with designs. Colors can also be used to weave patterns.

Page 107. " disclosing his wounds to his listener "

Tell your troubles to a Guatemalan worry doll, place it beneath your pillow and, according to legend, those worries will be gone by morning.” – an ancient legend

Talk therapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the significance of an ailing person or patient speaking to the therapist to express and resolve issues.

Researches related to the mind, and the brain, indicate that putting problems into words eases emotional distress. Psychologists from Spinoza to William James have advocated and recognized the power of language and hence of talk therapy.

Psychoanalysis, the first modern form of psychotherapy, was initially referred to as the "talking cure," and many therapies practiced today still depend on deriving information and instilling confidence in the patient, or client, through the exchange of dialogue between the counselor or therapist and the person seeking help.

Page 108. " The many-voiced song of the river echoed softly. "

The Holy Ganges
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumThe Holy Ganges - Credit: Yogesh Dobriyal
The river’s many sounds suggest the sounds of all living things, and the flow of the river, as well as the fact that its water perpetually returns, suggests the nature of time.  The river reveals the complexity of existence through sound and image, and Siddhartha meditates on these revelations in order to gain an understanding of them. He ultimately finds an internal connection with the river, which enables him to connect with the entire Universe.

Page 109. " All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life. "

Music as an art is characterized by order, rhythm, harmony and melody through the medium of sound. It is distinct from noise that can be distracting and disturbing. Music is known to have therapeutic value, and the entire Universe reverberates with cosmic vibrations that result from the movement of the planetary bodies.

The heartbeat is also rhythmic and pleasant-sounding. In an interesting experiment conducted by the Boston Museum of Science, actual digital recordings of the electrocardiogram (electrical signals of the human heart) were used to create “heart music."

Hazrat Inayat Kahn, founder of the Sufi order in the West in his book "The Music of Life" talks about the harmony that underlies and infuses every aspect of life. He observes the significance of sound and harmony, and investigates the concepts and science of breath, law of rhythm, the creative process, healing power and psychological influence of music.

Page 109. " consisted of one word: Om – perfection "

Medieval philosophers spoke metaphorically of the "music of the spheres." Johannes Kepler discovered physical harmonies in planetary motion when he calculated that the difference between the maximum and minimum angular speeds of a planet in its orbit approximated a harmonic proportion. Kepler explained the Earth's small harmonic range as:

"The Earth sings Mi, Fa, Mi: you may infer even from the syllables that in this our home misery and famine hold sway."

At very rare intervals all of the planets can produce sound in "perfect concord" and Kepler proposed that this may have happened perhaps only once, at the time of creation. This sound may not be audible but has harmonic, mathematical and religious significance.

In Hindu religious texts, particularly the Upanishads, Om is designated as the Ultimate Reality in aspects of sound and word. The Hindus believe that before Brahman created the Universe, the entire Cosmos was pervaded by an emptiness or void, also known as "Shunyākāsha" (literally, “no sky). In this state of nothingness, the seed of life existed in latent potency. At the time of creation, this seed of Universal Consciousness was first manifested as the cosmic vibration, Om. 

Page 110. " his steps full of peace, his face glowing, his form full of light "

In many religious and spiritual representations, the aura is a luminous radiation that

Aura - an artist's rendition
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAura - an artist's rendition - Credit: Aura2
surrounds the person or an object and is often displayed symbolically as a halo. A halo or a strong light extending around the body connotes a person of esteemed spiritual prowess, or holiness.

Aura or the concept of the human energy field has existed since thousands of years, in many cultures (at least 97 in number as mentioned by John White in his book, “Future Science”). The ability to see the aura of other people can be innate, or imbibed.

Professor Frank Baranowski at the University of Arizona and a specialist in Kirlian photography that captures the radiation from various hues, used scientific experiments to see auras, and investigated the aura around holy men of India. To quote Baranowski, “When a person is full of love the aura around him is blue and when the love is pronounced, it becomes pink.”

Page 111. " he had lived his life according to the rule "

Ten principal precepts and seventy-five minor rules for novices rules define how the members of the Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks, should conduct themselves in matters such as proper social etiquette, accepting and consuming food, handling their robes, the delivering of sermons and other miscellaneous day-to-day activities and social interactions.

A fully-fledged monk has to comply with 227 rules contained in a book called Patimokkha.

Read The Bhikkhus' Rules - A Guide for Laypeople - compiled and explained by Bhikkhu Ariyesako.

Page 112. " Seeking means to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal "

"A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all search. And the day the search stopped, the day i was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose - out of nowhere." - Sister Nivedita

Seeking is a goal-oriented activity like a treasure-hunt where one follows the map to discover a hidden treasure. Finding on the other hand is related to a sudden or by chance discovery. Even Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment when overwhelmed by the suffering of the world, he gave up all hope and sat down to meditate. When he gave up seeking a way out of the suffering that surrounded him, he found the answers through enlightenment.

Page 114. " Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom "

Prajñā (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञा) or wisdom is cognitive universal consciousness and the ability to discern between illusion and reality, between truth and falsehood, and is attainable through meditation.

Teaching without words, performing without actions: that is the Master's way.”

- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 43

Wisdom is a state of mind, an attunement with the self and others, an attribute that allows the individual to transcend the barriers of ego, pride, and false strivings. Motive, experience and direction determine wisdom. It is a sum-total of learning derived from experience and utilized for the well-being of others with love and compassion. Without experience and compassion, understanding and acceptance, wisdom is just knowledge acquired and shared.

Only when compassion and wisdom

flow in abundance

from emptiness and silence

will cruelty fail

and mercy prevail.

- The Tao is Tao, 42

Zen, the school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, emphasizes the significance of pragmatic wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment, and rejects theoretical knowledge in favor of direct realization through meditation and dharma practice. Words limit the potential of wisdom, because they lead to personalized interpretations and misinterpretations.

Page 114. " The potential Buddha already exists in the sinner; his future is already there "

"If you use your mind to look for a buddha, you won't see the Buddha. As long as you look for a buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that your own mind is the Buddha. To find a buddha, you have to see your nature."

- Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk traditionally credited as the leading patriarch and transmitter of Zen.

Yogic practitioner and leader, Osho taught that every human being is a potential Buddha, with the capacity for enlightenment. He believed that everyone is capable of experiencing unconditional love: "You are truth. You are love. You are bliss. You are freedom." He suggested that it is possible to experience innate divinity and to be conscious of one's true identity, when one is able to conquer the false dichotomy of the Self, and the Universe.

"Briefly, a buddha is one who has developed his or her compassion (Tib. tsé) and wisdom (Tib. khyen) to the ultimate level, beyond all limits. Wisdom, in this context, refers not to an accumulation of knowledge but to the ability to see the true nature of things. What characterizes a buddha therefore is wisdom and compassion… According to Buddhism, there is no being, human or otherwise, who doesn't possess some wisdom and some compassion. However bad, however evil, every being has a minimal amount of love, kindness, or compassion, at least for themselves or for one other being."

- Ringu Tulku Rinpoche 

Page 115. " but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it "

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. - The Buddha.

The English noun compassion, meaning to suffer together with, comes from the Latin. As a virtue it is ranked as the greatest in all m

The Spirit of Compassion by Raynor Hoff (1894–1937), carved from marble on the South Australian National War Memorial, unveiled in 1931
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Spirit of Compassion by Raynor Hoff (1894–1937), carved from marble on the South Australian National War Memorial, unveiled in 1931 - Credit: Bilby
ajor religious traditions. It is the virtue of compassion that enables a person to accept the follies of others, and empathize with the sufferings of the world, and nurture a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress with a desire to alleviate it. Compassion enables a person to love the world, and other beings, and hence develop a consciousness of the unity of purpose of all life.
Tibetan Bodhisattva of Compassion (Avalokiteshvara), statue made of brass alloy with copper and tin inlay
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTibetan Bodhisattva of Compassion (Avalokiteshvara), statue made of brass alloy with copper and tin inlay - Credit: PericlesofAthens

"Ultimately, the reason why love and compassion bring us the greatest happiness is simply that our nature cherishes them above all else." ... "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

- H.H. the Dalai Lama

Page 115. " During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time "

Open-eye meditation is a technique that revolves around the sixth chakra, or “Agya Chakra”, is located between the eyebrows and is said to be the area of the “third eye”.

The third eye is said to be the center of higher intuition and psychic powers and is connected to the pineal gland that controls our sleep patterns and is stimulated by light to inhibit the melatonin flow we need for sleeping. 

Open-eye meditation enables one to experience telepathy, astral travel and past lives, and is considered the most powerful form of meditation.

Page 116. " Words do not express thoughts very well "

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris - Credit: Satyakamk
Thoughts are mental activity, including ideas and imagination, of an individual's subjective consciousness. The act of thinking enables a person to look at things with different perspectives, and interpret needs, attachments, objectives, plans and desires. Language as we know it today emerged primarily to fulfill the need to express thoughts, and ideas. However, the scope of mental activity is vaster than the lexicon. The addition of new words in the dictionary each year, is an example of this gap between thoughts and words. The evolution of words is preceded by the development of thought. Hence, words may not be sufficient to express the totality of all human thought.

Page 117. " love is the most important thing in the world "

Prem refers to elevated love. Love in Hinduism is a sacred emotion encompassing the concepts of selfless service, compassion and, not expecting anything in return.

 "The central value in human life, which we may term "true love," means that which seeks the best for others and the betterment of human life in all its dimensions. True love means living for others, giving without thought of a return. Its source is transcendental, beyond the self; the person who practices true love taps into an inexhaustible reservoir of life. The various philosophies and religions of the world speak of this value with a variety of emphases, aspects, and concepts, such as: compassion, grace, justice, charity, liberation, righteousness, and agape love.... This value, true love, is the aspiration and hope of all human beings and the manifestation of the best in human nature."

Page 117. " If they are illusion, then I also am illusion "

The human being is said to live in a world of illusion, in the belief that he is an individual existence separate from the other aspects of the Universe. The perception of past based on memory, and of the future based on desires arising out of unmindful thoughts, are also believed to be illusionary; for the only truth is in the present moment.

The Ego, or False Self, the delusionary sense of individualism, as opposed to the Unity of Consciousness, of the True Self being a part of the Supreme Soul, or Brahman, is the main cause of all suffering and of the illusion that the aim of the life is to acquire material possessions and wealth. True happiness and the real aim of life is the attainment of salvation that requires one to break the illusion of materialism.

Page 120. " face of a fish, of a carp "
Common Carp
Public DomainCommon Carp - Credit: National Image Library

The common carp is a fish native to Asia that was domesticated in Europe as food fish by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. Common carps are schooling fish that thrive in groups of five or more, in large bodies of slow or standing water and soft, vegetative sediments. Common carp feed on water and also scavenge for insects, crustaceans and worms. A typical adult fish can lay 300,000 eggs in a single spawning.

Page 120. " He saw Krishna and Agni "
Painting in nine parts depicting life stories of Krishna
Public DomainPainting in nine parts depicting life stories of Krishna - Credit: National Museum, New Delhi

Krishna (कृष्ण) literally "dark, black, dark-blue" is a Hindu god, whose conversation with the warrior Arjuna, has been documented in the Bhagavad Gita. In some monotheistic traditions, Krishna is considered an avatar of Vishnu, one of the three gods of the Holy Trinity, and the preserver of Creation.

Agni (Sanskrit: अग्नि) is a Hindu deity, the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. Agni is considered to be the messenger to the gods, and hence the sacrifices made to Agni during a “havan” or “yagya” are directly sent to the gods. Agni is immortal because a fire is lights up bright and strong, each time of being lit.

Page 120. " Yet none of them died, they only changed, were always reborn, continually had a new face "

A significant difference between Hindu and Buddhist view is related to the concept of the soul. According to Hindu philosophy the soul or atman is eternal and indestructible. Buddhism says there is no soul and calls this concept No-Self or Annata. The Hindu texts refer to the soul as a particle of the Universal Consciousness that sojourns in the human body, departs from the body at the time of death and carries from one body to another the mental impressions, desires, attributes and karmic debt of its previous life.

To understand and perceive this truth of the True Self, or soul as a part of the Universal Consciousness, and affected by the thoughts and actions in our present life, is the real goal of life, and leads to freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. The Bhagavad Gita asserts this concept of reincarnation of the soul, "The soul, or atman, is indestructible and eternal. It neither slays not can it be slain. It is never born, never dies and after coming into existence never ceases to be. It is nitya (always), sasvatah (permanent) and purana (very ancient).  It does not suffer and cannot be tainted. At the time of death it does not die, but leaves the body and enters into a new one. Weapons cannot pierce it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot moisten it and wind cannot dry it. It is impenetrable, incombustible, all pervading, stable and immobile. It is invisible, imperceptible and immutable."