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Adi & Praja 133

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 133: Shano’s Death

At the same time he was the best example of kindness and helpfulness one can imagine, and he was a great psychologist.


(shano’s death)

When Shano was 54 a young man came from a far country, apparently by chance, alone in his canoe up the river. He met Shano and became one of his best pupils. And he understood philosophy – the first man who Shano had ever met who was really interested and eager for his hidden wisdom, and had the full capacity to absorb it to be developed in later years. Physically Shano suffered a lot, but on the other hand it was his happiest time – as if he had waited for it always, to fulfill the purpose of his life. He made it till the age of 57. Two days before he died he gave his most secret book to the young man. The prophesy of the old men had been fulfilled. Shano had started a new age of culture, but he himself did not know it.

Moimoi survived him for decades, but never touched or looked at another man, even though in that culture there were no norms forbidding it. She was the wisest woman of the region – but kept her haughtiness; it was practically her only bad habit of character – and for that she would pay, not now, but in future, again and again. Dudu would be her nuisance.

A month after Shano’s death, one of Shano’s old pupils came to Moimoi. He had became a very good wood artist. He had made a really good wooden statue, true size, of Shano – the upper part of his body. He came to give it to Moimoi. Moimoi’s reaction was entirely opposite from what he or anyone would expect. She could have burst in tears of happiness and emotion, she could have thanked the sculptor in a thousand ways. She could have embraced and kissed him. But, completely contrary to her normal character, she burst out in anger, scolded the poor sculptor, drew the statue out of his hands before he had given it and threw it into the fire. She was furious – and this fury, too big for her character to contain, was fed by a divine intuition beyond herself – and she shouted: “Shano didn’t want to be worshiped or honored. He gave his message and lived his life … for you and for all beings and for the future. Don’t you understand that people will be led astray when they worship his form?” It was dead silent. A hundred people had gathered. Her words had cut into their souls and left an impression forever – and for this the poor sculptor had involuntarily brought a great sacrifice. He was dumbfounded. And whenever stories about Shano and the holy teachings were told, even generations later, this event and these words of Moimoi were always added to the story.

And that is why the people regard the caiman of the river and the bamboo of the forest with great reverence, and why they keep friendship with the spirits of the earth, the water, the air and the forest – the living souls of ecology, to use a modern term – but never pay special reverence larger than natural respect to any human being, whether alive or dead, and least of all an artificial image.

When her mood had returned to normal, she herself didn’t understand what she had done. In fact her own character had become such that it would have added to her status to have the statue. But what had happened had happened.

Moimoi was 60, but still full of energy. She figured that she could help many more people and raise her own fame by setting up a permanent medical post near the great market place. Even outside the high season many people would pass. She assembled pupils around her – all women – and she formed a true hospital – with herself as director, and she behaved like that. She demanded that the women were all dressed in the same way, and revoke sex. Of the patients she demanded decency – if not, to her judgment, she refused to treat them. When she was over 80 she ordered a sculptor to make a statue of herself which would stand in front of the entrance forever. So it happened. If Dudu had still been alive she would have taken the opportunity to destroy the sculpture. Moimoi died at 82 and according to her wish she was buried fully clad in beautiful colors, with Shano’s golden necklace around her neck. (her grave was looted three years later because of this jewel). Moimoi had died, and was forgotten because the desecration of her grave was a bad omen. But her love never died and made her into a beautiful soul. However no god could prevent that her haughtiness was laying in wait till her next birth – and one day she would have to conquer it.

This brings us back to the land close to the scary or sacred mountains – near where two people in love had had to separate from each other by a veil – because they had inwardly vowed to a greater destination. Each of them had to undergo their own training – but nothing what seems lost is ever lost forever – except illusions.

Later I will try to tell you something about the training and struggles in the present life of Beauty or Moimoi or whatever had been her names. But first we follow Shano on his ever greater adventures. 

At one time, after heaving spend more than two weeks walking east in the Scary Mountains region, he saw, or thought he saw, at the distance in the North, on a large bare rock side, the head of an elephant.

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