I was sitting on the fork of a road; lost, alone and depressed. I did not know what I was supposed to do or what I wanted to do. All I thought I could do was to sit there and stare at the two paths ahead on the road in the form of a fork. I was too afraid to choose.
Suddenly I felt a presence – someone was standing next to me. She was a middle aged lady with a definite glow of intelligence on her face. I looked at her and was struck by her beauty. Although she was a bit old, she was very beautiful.
She asked me with a stern look on her face, “What are you doing sitting here like this? You are wasting time and it is getting dark.” I told her I was lost. She said “What do you mean you are lost? All you have to do is to select a path and walk on it. What is so difficult in that?” I told her, “Ma’am, I am scared to choose. What if I make the wrong choice? What if I land up in a place which is unknown to me? How do I know where my destination lies?” I felt so scared that I started crying. I felt vulnerable.
She said with a small smile on her face, “Child, make the choice really simple. Which path do you like?” That was a simple question. One path was a well worn path with lots of restaurants and hotels and human establishments. The other path was beautiful with a lot of greenery, plants, flowers and everything natural. I wanted to go that way. But everyone else was on the other path. That was the reason I was worried. I felt I am weird. And I told everything exactly the way I thought. She smiled again “Child, you are unique. Let no one change that about you. You like that path. Then you should take it. Do not let what others think affect your happiness. Now trot along. It is getting late and you should have been half way by now.”
So saying, she went along on her own way. She did not even say good bye or look back once. But I felt happy and encouraged. I gathered myself up and set along on the path of nature. It was really beautiful. I enjoyed walking on the grass and eating fruits and playing with the animals. It was pretty everywhere. I walked for a long long time and then it suddenly started getting dark. The trees around me started to look scary. The night animals started coming out and started making noises. Those noises scared me. I started having second thoughts about my decisions. I started regretting not going on the city path. At least there would have been street lights and known faces. I would not have been alone. Did I make the right decision? I started feeling scared. Will this be the end of my life? What can I do? Should I go back and start again? I got depressed again and started doubting myself.
Suddenly I felt the same presence again. I thought that lady had come back. I looked all around for her. But I could not see her. I started missing her and thought of calling out to her. But I did not know her name. And even if I knew, how could she hear me? She was somewhere else very far away. But the presence was unmistakeably there. There was someone near me. I started searching. That’s when a man came from the woods. He looked old and almost one with the trees. He looked like he has lived here for a long time. I was not sure if I was actually safe here with him but there was some magnetic pull about him which made me feel the need to talk to him. But I was too scared to talk and only stared at him.
Then he spoke in a deep voice “I know what troubles you.” I was taken aback. How did he know? Who is he? He spoke again, “How many questions on your face? You are a fool. You think you can do anything but you cannot. You are an insufferable fool. You knowingly came to a forest and now you are hoping to have electricity and lights here. You knew what a forest means but you still chose this path and now you are crying. Have you got no self dignity? Are you usually so pathetic?” I felt hurt and insulted. I got angry and was about to answer back when he spoke again.
“Quiet! Don’t you dare answer back to me. Look around you. You have all the resources to make yourself comfortable on your journey. All you have to do is use that silly brain of yours in a way it should be used and you will be comfortable. But no, you have to sit and cry. You need someone else to validate your choice. You need hand holding all the time. You will never grow up like this and end up getting eaten by some animal here. Frankly, I hope that happens. At least the crying will stop and I can sleep peacefully.”
So saying, he went away. I was too shocked to react. But after a couple of moments, I composed myself and thought about what he said. Although what he said was very rude, there was some sense to it. I could make a tree house. I could use the things around me to make my journey easier. And that is what I did. The more I used my creativity, the less I missed the un-chosen path. I realized I could do it and do it properly. I could carry on with my unconventional choice and I could be happy. I decided to be happy and felt grateful for that person. But I wonder who he was…
And so my journey continued though the forest and I started thinking of solutions to the problems in front of me rather than to cry about it. Many forks came through and I remembered what the old lady had said and went by what path I liked. Many problems came on the journey but I remembered what the forest man had said and tried to think of solutions rather than get depressed about it
During the journey, I started feeling lost again. Many times I felt I need someone with me. I did not want to be alone all the time. That’s when I felt that presence once again when someone joined me on my journey. All that person said was “Why fear when I am here?” And I never felt lonely again in anything I ever did. It was, is and I know for sure that it shall always be a pleasant journey since that day onwards. Someone to correct me whenever I was doing something wrong, to encourage me when I felt I could not go forward, to pull me down when I was feel over confident of myself and to help me be a better person in anything I do in my life. That someone was just with me in all the step I took and carried on to be with me until the very end. That gave me a sense of companionship and encouragement in everything I did. That presence just held my hand as I went on through the journey of my life and thereby making me feel completed.
Today, when I look back, I see all the three faces smiling at me. Now, suddenly, I realized… the presence that I felt when those three people had came near me was the Divine presence itself. Those three presence had been felt whenever I required guidance in any form. And those guidance had been delivered to me by none other than God Himself.
Very often, we do not realize who a teacher is. We think a teacher is someone who teaches in a school or a college or any academic institution. But that is not true. Sometimes someone comes along and in just a moment, impacts our life in a never-before manner. Just a word, a look, a touch, a gesture would be enough to show us the right path and encourage us to follow the path of our dreams. It may be from our parents, professors, friends, neighbors, pets, siblings, partner, some articles we read, some messages we see, or even random strangers on the road. Those messengers from God, be it anyone, are also called Guru
Here is me wishing everyone who has touched my life in such a way, a very Happy Guru Pournima