“If you know the Truth, is it necessary to tell everyone what you know?
“Don’t you know …? Oh! Then I must tell you a story…”
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a young man, set out travelling, in search of Truth, in search of Knowledge. Far and wide he travelled, spending time learning from different teachers. Yet his thirst wouldn’t quench. He moved from village to village, region to region, teacher to teacher … always left wanting more.
One day, tired after a long journey through dense forests, he arrived at a lone village, nestled among the trees. He sat at the village centre, under the huge Pipal that spread out its branches, far and wide, as if it would take the whole village under its wing. And he got to chatting with the villagers … and as they were wont to do, they asked him where he was going, what for and so on. He shared with them his search for that perfect teacher, the one who would teach him Everything. And his disappointment at not being able to find that only One. The villagers were a strange lot. They were prone to pranks … and in their mischevious mood, they told him that there was such a man, the One-who-knew-everything, that he lived beyond that hill. “You can’t miss finding him, he lives in the biggest mansion ever”, they said.
Curious and eager, the young man trudged over the fields and over the hill and to his amazement saw the most beautiful mansion ever built. Seven stories high it was, sparkling white and bright in the afternoon sunlight. He couldn’t contain his joy and eagerness, and ran down the hill, ecstatically knocking on the door.
The door opened, by itself. And he found himself in a huge, cavernous room. Filled with furniture and comforts of every kind. He ran around eagerly looking … and in time controlled himself. He called out in his loudest voice “Anybody home?”, which was met with silence.
Unable to contain himself, he made his up the inviting stairs and found himself treasures – books in every language. The Hall doorway announced itself “Languages”, it said pompously. He explored the many cupboards and shelves with thousands and thousands of books, parchments, leaves … books of every kind.
Curious now, he made his way up to the next room. “Music”, it said on the Hall doorway. And in it he found instruments of every kind, seemingly from every corner of the world. The next level was devoted to Sciences, the next Mathematics, the next Philosophy … Alchemy! Arts! and so on.
In the last level, he came upon an empty room, filled with windows that let in the light from every direction. And the upright back of a man, with long hair, who seemed engrossed in what he was doing.
“So, what have you come here for?”, he asked without turning.
“Errrr… I have coming looking for the Teacher. The villagers said he lived here.”
Upon this, the man turned, and the young man stood stunned, mesmerized by his powerful eyes.
“I am he”, he said, “come, let’s go down and talk”.
They made their way down the seven levels. The man invited him to sit on one of the most comfortable seats he had ever sat on.
“There are conditions, if you want to learn with me”, he said.
The young man nodded eagerly in acceptance.
“Wait, you haven’t heard them all”, the Teacher said imperiously. “Once you come here, you cannot leave, until you have completed ALL your studies. You will have to devote Seven years of your life, one year for every level, for it will take that long to master every subject. You will meet no one, not go out of the house. Whatever you need will be available here. And you will never ask me any personal questions, about me or the house”.
The young man accepted eagerly. Not worried about the harshness of the conditions.
“You can start tomorrow. Come to me at day break, freshly bathed and all your rituals completed. You can stay in the room across for the night, if you choose”.
The young man could not sleep the whole night in his excitement, and before the day could even break he was ready, his daily ablutions completed.
The Teacher looked please at the eagerness of his young student. And announced “Let the Education begin …”.
The education was everything the young man could ever hope for. His every previously idea challenged, reworked upon. He learnt topic upon topic, subject upon subject … his eager mind soaking up everything like a sponge.
Many times the student did wonder about his Teacher and his life. Many questions played in his mind… how come no one, but no one came to the house? How was the house so clean always? From where did the food come? Who cooked the food and did the housework? … and so on. But true to his promise, he never ever asked any questions of his Teacher.
Every year, they entered into the next level. And the young student mastered competently everything that could be, to the utter delight of his Teacher. Many years passed. And at the end of the seventh year the Teacher announced “Your education is now complete, my child. Today is the last time we shall eat together”.
The student and the Teacher sat down to eat their daily meal. Saddened, in silence, they ate. At one point the student got up to get salt. The Teacher waved him down.
“I will get it”, he said, and stretched his arm… it stretched and stretched and stretched … down the room, round the walls, it stretched many rooms away to the kitchen, and contracted back, ultimately, with the salt in its hand.
The student was shocked. Frightened out of his wits at this aspect of his Teacher. He trembled in utter fear and croaked “Who are you?”.
“Haven’t you wondered at how we always have everything we need? And we never went out?”. The student nodded, now trying to figure out how it could be done.
“I am no ordinary man”, said the Teacher. “I am a Brahmarakshas. Once upon a time, I was a very learned man, arrogant in my knowledge of Truth and Everything. My arrogance knew no bounds, as I refused to share my learnings with anyone”, he recollected sadly. “The Gods, they got angry and cursed me that I would become a Brahmarakshas, forever living in limbo, with only my Knowledge for company. I cried and appealed and entreated until finally they agreed that I would get my moksha only upon preparing another person equal to me. And that the student too would become a Brahamarakshas upon attaining Knowledge, until he passed it on …with the condition being that the secret of being such a Being could never be revealed to an ordinary mortal”.
The Teacher looked deeply at the Student. “I have waited 400 years for someone to arrive, competent enough to take my place. You are now that Being with complete Knowledge of Everything. And until you pass on your Knowledge to another, you shall live in limbo, too. You are now the Brahmarashas … and remember, you can never, ever reveal the fact until after the fact …”, so saying, the Teacher vanishes.
“So, baby, if you are in the Know, it is better to let it go …”