should be ashamed,' the sannyasin replied sternly.
your ancestors may have done before you does not justify your own
actions. Must you do as they have done? Are you not your own master?'
am master of this field,' Sri Nag said and drew himself up a
bit taller, again stiffening his, hood.
see,' the sadhu said.
to those trees on the west,' Sri Nag continued, 'to
and including that pond on the east, to that rice paddy on the ... '
He became aware that the young monk was smiling at him as one might
smile at a boastful but loveable child, as he himself had sometimes
smiled at his youngsters. His words dwindled off.
see,' the sadhu said again.
Suddenly Sri Nag
felt unutterably small and absurd. He was aware that the young sadhu
possessed a strength far greater than his own. He collapsed his
ridiculous hood. Overhead in the vast expanse of sky came the liquid
notes of a lark. There was no other sound.
Then out of the
blue Sri Nag said, 'Sir, how can I see God?'
In the land where
Sri Nag had been born it was customary to put this sort of question,
to holy men. But it was not because of custom that Sri Nag asked.
There was a power, a luminosity about this particular holy man which
made it seem likely that he would give a true reply, and Sri Nag
felt the need for a true reply. A yearning, deeply buried, but
present in his race ever since the remote days when his ancestors
had lost their close and loving contact with Lord Shiva had welled
up in him.