March 2013


"But I did not leave. I was curious and said to myself let us see what is to be found. I began to study the signs and symbols but could not make any progress. I began regretting that I had burnt the paper. 'What ill would it have brought had I kept it with me?' I often thought."

"Then I visited the place of my birth. I saw that the people were living in poverty and thought to myself that I am a sanyasi and may not have need for wealth, but these people have their families to support and there would be no harm in trying to recover the hidden treasure for their benefit."

"I knew where the original paper was to be found and it was an easy task for me to obtain it."

"Since then, for the past one year, I have lived in this forest and searched for the treasure. I had no more thoughts in my mind - the more obstacles I faced, the more determined I became to find the treasure and have spent days and nights in its pursuit."

"Meanwhile, I never realized when you had started following me. I was so engrossed in finding the treasure that worldly events failed to attract my attention - I was as if in a trance. Had I been my normal self, you would never have been able to keep yourself hidden from me."

"It is only now that I have discovered what I had been searching all these years. There is so much treasure here which no king on earth has ever seen. I have only to solve one more riddle and that would take me to the treasure. This is the most difficult riddle of all in the quest of the treasure but I have solved it in my mind and that is why I cried out in joy. If I wish I could go and stand in the midst of treasure in an instant."

Mrityunjoy caught hold of Shankar's feet and pleaded, "You are a sanyasi and have no need for wealth - take me to the treasure. Don't deprive me."

Shankar said, "Today, the last chains that bound me have been freed. The stone which you hurled to kill me did not touch me but it pierced my temptations. I saw the dangerous image of thirst today. My guru's smile has after such a long interval, lit a flame of knowledge within me."

Mrityunjoy once again pleaded with Shankar, "You are a free man but I am fettered; I do not wish to be free. You cannot deprive me of this treasure."

The sanyasi said, "Son, you take this paper then. If you can find the treasure, take it." So saying he gave the paper to Mrityunjoy and walked away.

Mrityunjoy wailed after him, "Forgive me, do not abandon me - show me the way to the treasure." But he did not get any reply. Mrityunjoy, then, tried to exit from the tunnel. But the maze was so complex that he could not find his way. In the end, he dropped down in exhaustion and fell asleep immediately.

When he woke there was no way of knowing whether it was day or night. Mrityunjoy was very hungry and he ate the meal that he had brought along with him. Then he groped in the dark trying to find a way out of the maze, but he met only obstacles. He gave up his efforts and called out, "Oh there, sanyasi. Where are you?"

His call echoed through the maze of tunnels. A reply came to him from far, far away, "I am near you - tell me what do you want?"

Mrityunjoy said, "Please come and show me where the treasure is hidden." His voice sounded piteous. But there were no more replies. Mrityunjoy called repeatedly but there were no answers.

In this underground maze of tunnels which were eternally shrouded in darkness, Mrityunjoy once again fell asleep. Waking up in the darkness he called out yet again, "Are you there?" This time there was an answer from quite near, "I am here. What do you want?"

Mrityunjoy said, "I do not want anything - only take me out of here."

"Don't you want the treasure?" the sanyasi asked.

Mrityunjoy replied, "No, I don't want the treasure."

There was the sound of flint stones being struck and a torch was lighted.

"Then let us go, Mrityunjoy," the sanyasi told him.

Mrityunjoy said in a reproachful voice, "Baba, should all my efforts go waste? After facing so many hardships, should the treasure still elude me?"

The torch was instantly extinguished. "Oh! This is so cruel!" Mrityunjoy exclaimed. He sat down and began thinking. There was no measure of time and the darkness stretched to infinity. Mrityunjoy wanted to employ all his physical and mental strength and shatter the darkness. His soul craved for light, the sky and the colourful world outside. He called out, "Oh sanyasi, Oh you cruel sanyasi, I don't want the treasure. Rescue me from here."

The sanyasi said, "You don't want the treasure? Then hold my hand and come with me."

This time no torch was lit. Mrityunjoy held on to the sanyasi's robe and followed him. For a long time the two walked through the maze and upon reaching a particular spot, the sanyasi said, "Wait."

Mritunjoy did as directed and shortly he heard the sound of a rusted iron gate being opened. The sanyasi took Mrityunjoy's hand and said, "Come."

Mrityunjoy sensed that they had entered a room. There was the sound of flint stones being struck and when the torch was lit, Mrityunjoy saw the most amazing sight! Layers and layers of gold were embedded on the walls! The room was filled entirely with gold! Mrityunjoy's eyes sparkled and he cried out like an insane man, "This gold is mine - I cannot go away leaving them behind."

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