Home » Adi & Praja 169

Adi & Praja 169

| Contents |
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Adi and Praja

Chapter 10

Issue 169: To the other shore

Walking straight in the direction of the arrow for a few hours, he saw that he was going to meet what must be a meander of the same river. When he climbed over the last hill he couldn’t believe his eyes. Half buried in the sand of the river shore he saw the boat he had dreamed of.


(to the other shore)

It took a few days to get the boat out and bring it to the spot where they had arrived originally and should cross the river. Only at that place the other shore was fit to land and unload a camel. So, problem solved.

They went on. But something in the camel had changed. Was it homesick? Did it feel that it had reached a point of no return? That it could never return without human help? It walked slower, and stopped on its own account because of tiredness. That had never happened before. Mustafa felt sadness in the mood of his friend. And Mustafa himself also became sad. What was wrong, what was the reason? There was no outer sign of disease, and there was enough food and drink now, having filled all water bags at the river and grass growing abundantly enough for a camel. Mustafa decided to rest a few days for the sake of his camel. He caressed it and talked to it – a rare event – but the camel only seemed to become sadder. They had to continue. And that is what they did for many days – though with less miles per day. Then they saw another river in the distance in front of them. It seemed much wider than the first one. Beyond the river rose huge mountains with steep slopes and they were overgrown with vegetation. Large forests were growing over the tops of the mountains. There were plenty of streams running down from the mountain. Along the river and up into the mountains were villages, and much of the landscape was inhabited by humans. There were twenty to thirty story flats, shopping mails, airplanes were continuously flying of and on with whispering sounds. Apart from the forest little space was left for natural vegetation. It was all gardens and buildings. By the time they reached the river, they saw that the center of human habitation was still a few miles to the North. So, we can avoid it, thought Mustafa. But the camel seemed to have other thoughts. It hardly moved anymore. Sometimes it stopped entirely and looked backwards. Then, it suddenly sat down on his knees and moved no more. They spend the night there, just a mile before they reached the river. Mustafa was extremely worried – an almost unknown feeling to him. Still he felt, as always, that things had to be as they had to be. Only God decides about life and death, he had learned.

They went to sleep. The first hour Mustafa did not sleep, and only heard the ruminating of the his camel – who had been markedly kind to him, resting its head on his shoulder and licking his nose. On the background he heard the sounds from the city on the other side of the river. ‘How are we going to cross this river?’ he thought. Perhaps he should go himself first and seek help for the camel. For the rest, everything was quiet. Finally Mustafa fell asleep at the sound of the calmly chewing camel.

What he did not notice, is that half an hour after he fell asleep the ruminating stopped. And another half hour later the camel was dead.

When Mustafa woke up he cried like a child. Why did God want this? Why did God do this? The camel had surely been the most faithful camel in the whole world, he thought. No doubt God would take care for him in heaven. He sat next to his friend’s corpse for three hours. With his hands he dug a large hole. In the evening he performed a silent and simple funeral, and he felt that the dead camel was still present and felt love for him. And so felt Mustafa for the camel. He silently blessed him for a smooth path to heaven.

Life goes on, and Mustafa walked towards the river. Rationally he knew that camels can have no heaven – but for this camel … there must at least be something?


There were speedboats and boatmen at the river side. And he crossed. His life made a new beginning. He had left a world behind.

In his new life there was no silence. At the least, even if there were no noisy humans and barking dogs, there were singing birds and chirping insects. He had to wade through many streams, through forests and between fields of wet rice. He climbed steep tree-covered hill-sides. There was no more need to carry food and water – there was plenty of everything. Luckily many people spoke the language that was now common for communication over the whole world. He went through regions of which he had heard the names as a school child – then unimaginable for a desert child of his age. It was all real. It took him considerable time to value rain: it made him wet and cold – he even caught a fever – and he had been doing without rain for more than twenty years. ‘He couldn’t understand why God had found it necessary to create rain’ he grumbled in himself. He missed the endless panoramas, the sun and the silence. But more and more he learned to see details, and he discovered that not every tree was the same as every other tree. In fact the vegetation showed an amazing variety, ingenuity and harmony. ‘God must have been knowing what he was doing when he created this part of the world,’ he thought.

The cities here were gigantic, with millions of people living in each of them, and all were connected with the ‘silk road’ rapid transport system. Still the cities here were of a very different character than those where he was born and had his university education. At first site they looked very disordered, and no two units of the gigantic buildings seemed the same. Many places looked shabby compared to the desert cities. Half wild garden were growing on many platforms, and shops were chaotic individual enterprises, all different, shabby, with merchandise outside everywhere on the streets. It was noisy, and pressed in between all these shops one could suddenly find a small temple of shrine, or a large building used for religious gatherings. There seemed no structure – yet the structure was as well-planned as in the desert cities; but because of the nature of the people, few things had been organized on the smaller levels, thus guarantying much more individual freedom.

It was remarkable that despite a world population of 25 billion, there was still a lot of nature left: empty deserts, forested mountains, lakes and clean rivers. This relatively good situation had been brought about mainly by the two former generations, and was still much improved by the present generation. In the twentieth and the first part of the twenty-first centuries everyone fought for his own individual place on the earth, and individual bungalows and one or two storied houses surrounded by gardens had taken an enormous surface. One had realized that such wild growth of houses and other buildings left no space for nature, and that traveling time between people became ever longer and the transport system more extended, chaotic and congested, so that finally there would be more jammed traffic than moving traffic. The pollution grew and grew, as was the use of energy – in those days still partly provided by fossil fuels, and it had become clear that soon the planet would succumb under her human burden. Many international conferences and meetings between architects, planners, politicians and others had finally led to the consensus that the world could only survive if the building structure and infrastructure would become fully rationalized and automatized. This had not only changed the social relations – poverty and the necessity to fight like dogs for one’s existence was now completely banned in great parts of the world – though enough left to be done, as we have seen from the story of Shano’s city! Almost world wide there was a social system which guaranteed every world citizen a basic existence and income, so that nobody had to resort to cheating, begging or extreme poverty. Locally, as we have seen, these things still existed, but that then was due to the habits, selfishness and indifference of the local people rather than to the widely accepted political, social and economic ideas of these days. The new ways were based on rationality, on sane mind, confronted with the problem of how to survive on the planet. Though in the beginning the very rich had to bring great sacrifices (and of course had firmly protested), even they had understood that shared life is better than no life at all. Politicians had chosen for the same option. Religious leaders of all directions had played an important role in the moral support of the new systems. Because Buddhists had brought in that compassion was the core of their doctrine, and that ‘all beings strive to be happy’, Christians had brought in their ideas that ‘one should love one’s neighbor like oneself’ – and worldwide everyone was everyone’s neighbor now. Muslims had an inbuilt awareness that a certain amount or one’s earnings should be made available for the less fortunate – and that might involve all world citizens, not only Muslims. Jains, often very rich people, had emphasized non-violence and tolerance, and especially their doctrine of non-grasping: one should, for the sake of others and the Earth, not take more than one needs. Possession and attachment to material things would bind the soul to ignorance for lifetimes to come. The Hindus, supported by Buddhists, Jains, Theosophists and others, had brought in their philosophy of karma: Whatever one sows one will reap, sooner or later – often in future lifetimes. Theosophists had emphasized altruism and non-selfishness on their deep philosophy of non-separateness of all life and universal Justice: it is an illusion that one can do something for oneself without affecting all others, and therefore oneself because each of us is part of one indivisible universe – so any selfish motive, however hidden under noble words and intentions, will directly or indirectly, immediately or later, influence others, oneself and the community in the negative. In this way, religion, philosophy, science, economy, ecology and politics had met and joined forces.

The practical result was, apart from a more functional and happier social system, a rational use of the planet’s resources. As much as possible natural resources like solar energy were applied,

D a i l y T h e o s o p h y ©

O n l i n e