The inquest of truth, a dilemma faced by every single soul. Life, often spent wandering in search. In search of the truth. In search of a lot more than what meets the eye. In search of the meanings of what is revealed between the lines. In search of the words hidden behind the writing on the wall. In search of the path which leads to salvation. All are nomads on a never-ending journey in search of truth.
I am no one but you. I too, spent a significant part of my life searching. I went to Makkah, the Holy City. I stared at Ka’aba for long, in search. I felt peace. I saw pigeons flying around. I heard the silence tell me of the greatest humans who treaded on those grounds. Each leaving an everlasting impression, as if etching something on my soul. I left the city and I asked myself, have I found what I searched for? Perhaps a little. I went to a Borobudur, one of the most magnificent edifices on the island of Java. The largest Buddhist temple in the world. I felt the wind blow ever so peacefully. The green around that place was life. I could smell the ashes that covered this temple for ages. The wind carried with it stories of centuries from the time of Kingdom of Sailendra. As I left, I once again wondered if I have found what I was looking for. I heard the gong, echoing in the emptiness of the surroundings. With a certain degree of peace, not so complete, I proceeded further. Further, in search. As I moved on, I found myself at the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. Yet another peaceful experience as the chimes sang to me the sagas from 319 AD as the foundations were laid by Emperor Constantine. The Psalms of David took a part of me on a small journey. A journey through eras. Indeed a travel extraordinaire. I rested a while before stepping out. On the stairs, I stopped momentarily and looked back. Once again, I found myself bewildered as I thought to myself, is this it? I was a little tired and did not realize when I fell asleep on the stairs. I woke up after what seemed like passing of an age. My eyes were shunned as I faced the bright of the sun. It took me a while to figure out that I was at The Belz Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. I sat at a distance watching all persons of different ages wearing Kippas of various designs. I followed one of them inside and once again got lost in search. The silence was deafening. I felt peace, yet again, not to the fullest. I lingered on, aged a bit since I started. With my vision, not so clear anymore and my hearing impaired, I walked along the western coast of Gujrat, India. I finally arrived at the great Somnath Mandir. This great monolith spoke loudly of its resilience as I met with its seventh version after being destroyed six times. I rang the bell and continued my way inward. I sat in the patio for a while and watched a number of people come and go, all sorts of worried, joyous, concerned, calm faces. Each in own world, lost. Spent a day there, listening to bhajans and soothing music. That day also passed as I decided to come back home. Not so satisfied in my search.
On the way back, for some odd reason, after having been to the most pious of places, I felt empty-handed. With my head drooping and my back arched, I kept on walking. Walking home, thinking to myself I gathered momentary peace but nothing to the satisfaction of my soul.
I continued to walk by a river, I was astonished. I heard the water rushing by, in its own world. And I heard the verses of Quran in the rush of water. I stopped, and thought of Ka’aba and asked, why did I not hear the same there. I smiled and I sat on the river bank as Rahman was flowing by right in front of me. As the water wrapped around the rocks, I saw Amida’s Golden Chain being knotted flawlessly, something I could not witness when I was in Borobudur. As the water hit the banks, with each passing gush, I listened carefully. My senses sharpened as I was touched by the sound of the water at the bank. I sat quietly amidst a patch of golden flowers with perfectly arranged five petals each. I, yet again, was amazed to hear the Psalms of David, nothing like I heard at the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican. I sat there in awe, feeling my soul being filled, as I was being absorbed. I moved back a little and looked at the flowers. Intensely, closely. By God, I did not see such Shamus and Chanukkah candles even at the Belz Great Synagogue. Each, ablaze with a blessing of its own. The light of which pierced through every pore of my skin into my being. I pushed myself backwards till my back was resting against a tree. From a distance now, I saw drops of water hit the golden flowers. Each, when hit by a drop of water gushing downstream, would sway back and forth in perfect motion making the most melodious of sounds. I could not help but think of the bells of Somnath Mandir. Why did those bells not ring and sway with such perfection as this?
I smiled. My soul became full. My quest ended. I smiled, from within. Every moment was sinking in and becoming a part of me as I heard the perfection of Aayaas while I became a part of Amida’s Golden Chain as David sang to me while the evening was perfectly lit by the Shamus and the Chanukkah Candles, a melody with the perfect touch of the bells ringing in the air.
I went all over the world to find God and I found the answer to my quest in a place which was not Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Hindu. I found myself. I found God.