One day, the river suddenly met a torrential flow of water on its path! “Who are you?!” it asked in absolute bewilderment. “I am you”, came the reply – swift and clear. “Me?! How can that be?! Look at you! you are so different! So clear, fresh and lively! How can you be me?” the river refused to believe. “Indeed, so it is, for an eye untrained! Look from your inner eye, and you shall see who you are”, came the reply. The river closed its eyes, and looked deep within. Indeed there it was, the same torrential flow, with dazzling, lucid water, fresh and sparkling its radiance all along. “I don’t understand this, how is it that if you are me, I see you as different?” the river asked. In a flash, the water merged into the river. In utter disbelief, the river watched as it started filling with cool, clear water, the filth moving off to the banks, washing away everything that hurt the river, the debris of the past, the scum of the men, everything washed away, as the water level rose within it. There was a new flow of life streaming into the river, ebbing away the distress that had bottled up inside its heart.
“Now, look! Are we different? Can you separate you from me?! Which water is you, and which part of water is me?” the voice questioned. The river looked at itself, there was no way it could tell the difference. “Where were you all these days? Why did you take so long to come to me? I have been in much pain” lamented the river. “That is not so. I was with you all the while. You had just lost sight of me. It was because you forgot that I was within you, that I had to come out of you, and appear like this”, the voice assured. “Now I am back in you, and there shall I remain, with you forever and ever, with no separation.” The river smiled. As the river smiled, the forest reappeared on its banks, life sprang from the earth, and the river felt its creatures returning to the womb.
“I now understand”, said the river, “the growing filth thrown into me, had made me forget myself, who I am, and what I am of. You are my manifestation, and you have returned to me. You were the part of me, who I had lost long ago, and now you have come back to me. It is my nature to wash away, and in the cycle of life, there are moments when the water recedes, but only to fill up later. I saw myself in the eyes of the creatures who defiled me, and now that I see myself through your eyes, I see myself as I truly am! I am a river, and flowing is my nature.”
Before long, man rushed to see the river growing in magnitude, clear and fresh as it was before! “Look! A miracle! The river has rejuvenated! It is divine indeed!” man cried! And lo! behold, he and his companions rejoiced for they felt that the river was restored to cleanse them again! The river looked at them in silent sympathy. It no longer feared man. Weary of man’s hypocrism, it asked “Where is the chasm that is drawing me to itself? Do you have any idea how much longer we need to go?” “I don’t! Just like the way you don’t know. But does it matter? It’s a long journey, and now I am here. Your companion forever, I am you. So why fear the journey, let’s take our own sweet time. What say you?” the voice replied joyfully. The river smil
ed. It looked towards the horizon, it seemed rather near, and yet far off. “What say, we turn around that corner, and have a lil’ chat with that good ol’ mountain we see there far off?” the river asked. “Off we go!” came the reply.
As the creatures, the sky, the clouds, all stood in rapt attention, the waters cut across, turning at the corner, in a wild glory. The laughter and glee filled the void in the atmosphere, and yet deep within it all, there was a silent song of peace, solitude and love.
The story like this has much been told,
For it sings of the mighty, strong and bold.
Yet there is a secret, hidden in it deep!
Of a love of the self, like a dream in the sleep.
A moral it shows for the eyes untrained,
What went behind it, is a knowledge ungained.
There is a love between two that this shows,
None but the river, is all that knows.