He grew up in the slums playing foolish games with the other kids in the filthy swamps, until he woke up one day to find himself lying in a muddy hole by the side of a dirty pool, holding a strange looking small container. He stumbled in his stupor, to fill his container of the dirty water and drank his fill. He was not sure where he was, so, he walked slowly aimlessly trying to get a fix on his direction. Gradually, he noticed there were others like him, walking around with the same strange containers in their hands. For some unspeakable reason no one tried to approach the other or to ask questions. He was hungry and scared. The whole world seemed desolate and cold… He saw a group of people snatching food from each other and running away so he cautiously approached the scene but there was nothing left. So he wearily went on scavenging for some scraps. The sun was setting now, so he hid himself in a small cavern in the hillside, as the howling wind was getting more ferocious by the minute. He felt like crying, though he did not know why. However, there were no tears in his eyes. It was like an invisible hand was squeezing and choking him. He clutched his little container and fell into a nightmarish sleep. Days went by. He felt a yearning to the dirty pool he left before. Nevertheless, he would not even know his way back.
At the distance, a huge mountain seemed to beckon to him. ‘Come hither.’ He was drawn to the place by an overpowering force. He found himself climbing up the steep rocky slopes, which was getting rather steep. He kept sliding down from time to time until he was so frustrated that he wanted to give up. Nevertheless, the power, which was pulling him to the place, was overriding his despair. Finally, he reached the top of a great plateau. There were very high walls as far as the eyes could see. There must be something wonderful behind these walls. He started to climb. Oh, no. as he climbed up, the walls would get higher and higher. How could that be? How could anyone get in? Ah. There must be a door. He dropped to the ground. Walked and walked until suddenly to his amazement he found a huge gate …wide open!! Anyone can walk in? No guards. No barriers except for a few ugly clowns warning and harassing anybody trying to enter. He tried to get through. They ganged on him and tried to push him away. He was too weak. He fell down, yet; somehow he desperately crawled and got himself through the threshold. What is THAT?
There was a spectacular fire in the center of an endless garden and a multitude of people inside the fire. They were making strange sounds and running around. No one was trying to get out of the fire. Somehow, they looked different from him. He did not know how to describe them. Then, an overwhelming desire took hold of him to walk into this fire, to understand what these people are doing there. Gingerly, he approached and very cautiously reached out his hand to touch the fire but before he knew it, he was sucked into the flames. It was beyond fascinating. He was not burning. He felt nothing at all. But his body was changing. Something inside him was changing. The little container he was clutching was beginning to change too. Gradually the layers of dirt and mud were evaporating and the underlying color of gold started to shine ever so brilliantly. He felt something strange come over him. Something he never experienced before. He felt like jumping up and down, running around and holding hands with every one he sees. He could hear a beautiful sound filling his ears, quiet and sweet …the kind of sound you want to keep hearing perpetually. Then he noticed that the others are filling their golden containers with fire and pouring it out. He filled his container and poured it over himself. He screamed. It caused him to feel a sharp agonizing pain. His scream made some people around take notice. They stopped. One of them, a little child, came gently and told him, “You fill your container and pour it on someone else”
So he asked, “how about me?”
The answer was strange, “others will fill their containers and pour it over you.”
He tried it. It was marvelous. He kept pouring the fire on everyone around. And they showered him with the precious flames. He did not know the word for this feeling. He asked and was told it was sometimes called peace, and some other times it was called happiness. The little fellow who was pouring fire over him started giggling and said,
“You don’t know?”
“I am afraid not. So what do you call this fire?”