This is part IX of “Guruji in the Horizon”, a spiritual novel consisting of many parts. To read the previous parts, please go to the labels on the right bar and click on this title or click on this link: Will You Come Back Guruji

I went home.  Jimmy also followed me.  My mother was washing some vessels.  She is now a completely transformed woman and is very active.  Her cooking has a special aroma.  This morning I could taste the aroma in her preparations.  I kept the three plates meant for her, Jimmy and me.  Suddenly, I remembered what guruji told this morning.  My conscience did not permit me to ask Jimmy to take his food outside.  Further, he never had his food alone.  I was struggling with my conscience to get an answer.  I recollected guruji’s stern words that I should follow his instructions without any deviation.  I could win over my conscience and decided to serve dinner for Jimmy first outside our house. He takes only rice mixed with butter milk.  We do not mix salt with his food as an old man once told us that salt should not be given to dogs. But the old man, who is no more, has versatile experience. He used to say all that is white in colour should be avoided as food. He used to refer to salt, curd and plain rice.  He also used to say that one should take water after boiling, melt ghee and dilute butter milk before eating.  Ghee is mixed with rice and dhal before consumption by many families. He has advised that I should take one glass of cool water half an hour before food.  The consumption of water used to reduce the intake of food.  One should take food only up to fifty percent of his requirement, leaving twenty five percent for water and another twenty five percent should be empty. I have been following his instructions meticulously and I never had health issues till this date. 

For the first time, I took Jimmy’s plate with his food outside our home.  He refused to come out and was sitting cross legged. Whenever I called him, he used to come running towards me.  I called him several times, but he refused to come.  He knows that I am going to serve him food outside our home.  He is a very sensitive dog. I carried him on my shoulders to serve him food.  But he refused to take his food.  I thought there will be nothing wrong if he fasts for a day.  I covered the plate with the food with a leaf, washed my hands and had my dinner with my mom.  Daily, I used to help her in completing her house hold chores. Today she said that she does not need any help from me and asked me to go and persuade Jimmy to take his dinner.  I struggled with him, but I failed again.  I was very upset that Jimmy has not taken his food.  I decided to sleep on my rocky bench.  As usual, Jimmy lied down on the floor.  I was feeling sorry for jimmy, but at the same time, I never wanted to disobey my guruji’s words.  Jimmy was so upset which was evident in his face.  I could see tears in the corner of his eyes.  With Jimmy’s thought in mind, I went to sleep. 

The chirp of the birds is becoming louder. Birds begin to chirp very early in the morning, about two hours before sun rise. The sound of chirp becomes louder as time passes and at the time of sun rise, all the birds begin to chirp at the same time.  Generally, I wake up midway from the commencement of the birds’ chirp and the sun rise.  It was my habit all these days.  I woke up.  Jimmy was still sleeping in the same posture.  I walked to the river to wash my face.  When I move towards the river, invariably, Jimmy used to follow me.  Probably, upset with me, he did not turn up today.  I was wondering how to tackle him, if he refused to take his lunch today.  But, I was confident that my guruji would give me some solution for this.  I heard some noise close by and I turned towards the side from where the noise came.  My guruji was taking bath.  I paid my obeisance to guruji.

“Shankaraaaa, where is Jimmy?” he asked me.

I told him what happened yesterday night and also sought a solution from him, if Jimmy still refuses to take his lunch also outside our home.

He did not reply.  Then, I decided to take my bath.

“What are you going to do now?”

“I am going to bathe”

“Wait, you have some work.  Later in the day, you can take bath.”

He came out from the river, but this time, he had not dried himself. 

“Shankaraaaa, your Jimmy is dead”

I did not wait for his further words. I ran towards him and he is dead.  I cried aloud.  My conscience told me that I killed him. Hearing my cry, my mother was running towards me.  On seeing Jimmy, she also broke down.  She nurtured him like me.  She is also very fond of him.  I was upset with my guruji.  It is only he who told me that Jimmy should eat outside our house.  For a moment, I thought that I should not listen to my guruji in these matters. 

“Shankaraaaa, Jimmy is dead not because of hunger.  His time in this world is over.  He would have died, even if he had taken his dinner with you.  When a being is born in this earth, or even elsewhere, his time of death is fixed.  This is not fixed unilaterally, but according to various permutations and combinations worked by Yama, the god of death and purely based on a soul’s past karmas. It is ultimately what you sow, so you reap theory.  I have a feeling that this theory is undergoing some drastic change.  Now-a-days I find that results of your actions are reaped in this life itself.   Therefore, Shankaraaaa, the time has come for Jimmy to leave this earth and his death is fixed by his own actions during his past births.  Embodying as domestic animals, certain souls undo its bad karmas.  Having born in this world, they undergo sufferings and pains till their bad karmas are exhausted.  You can observe that domestic animals’ life span is not as long as humans.  Their existence here is like a sojourn, in literal sense. 

“All of us have to die one day.  Without wasting further time, you dispose his body. You dig a deep pit in your land near any of the big trees.  Put some salt and turmeric and place the body in the pit and close the pit tightly.   Do not feel sorry for him.  His soul is already on its way to the world of Yama, who will take a final decision on the soul. Jimmy’s soul will be reborn in this earth and attain a human form.  During that birth, his soul will become extremely pious and pursue a spiritual path.  At the end of his life, he will be liberated and will not be reborn again.  As I said that you will be the cause for his liberation. Do not delay any further.  We should never allow a body to decompose and that is the respect we have to give to the body. After removing Jimmy’s body, please mix cow dung and water and sprinkle on the place where his body is lying. When the soul leaves the body, the body begins to decompose and becomes the source of infection.  Cow dung mixed with water is the best antiseptic.”

I did what he said and when I lifted Jimmy for the last time, I cried uncontrollably.  My guruji and mom were standing by my side, till I closed the pit.  My mother was also sobbing.  Guruji asked both of us to take to bath and asked me not to light the lamp at Ganapati temple as a matter of respect for Jimmy.  Gururji and I moved towards the river to take bath, while my mother moved towards our home to take bath.  After finishing our bath, guruji and I walked towards the rocky bench.  He dried his clothes and I went home to change my dress.  I was very badly upset.  I was thinking only of Jimmy all the time  and the time I had spent with him.  He was my only friend all these days.  He loved me so much as I loved him.  Life without Jimmy appeared as a big vacuum to me. I was terribly distressed.  This is the second death  I have come across in my life, the first being my father. Even for my father’s death, I was not upset like this probably because I was younger at that time or I did not love my father as I loved Jimmy. 

When I came out, I saw guruji sitting on the rocky bench and meditating.  I felt that it is not his usual meditation, when he sits on a towel and meditate.  Probably, he should be thinking about something else.  I continued to stand at the entrance of my home, as I did not want to disturb him.  After a few minutes, he opened his eyes and signaled me to come near him. When I went there, he asked me to sit. 

“Shankaraaa, I am going to tell you about death.  Generally people are scared to read about death, an inevitable event in anybody’s life. Nobody can predict the time of death, including astrologers.  There are some saints who can surely say the time of death, but they will not disclose the time of death as it is considered as the divine secret. Divine secrets should never be revealed.  If you recollect, I have told you that Jimmy is going to die shortly.  I know that it is going to die this morning.   You could have observed some yellow flowers near his body.  When he was dying, I placed these flowers on his body praying that his soul should take a human birth and attain final liberation.  Though I know that he is going to die today, I did not tell you that.

“Death is not an incident to regret about.  On the contrary one should be happy about his impending death.  His soul gets released and is ready to take another birth or merge with God, as the case may be.  Now listen carefully while I explain to you about birth and death” he said.

“Both birth and death happens only due to one’s karma.  Karma is a record of one’s thoughts and actions over several births.  Thoughts are more powerful than actions and cause the accumulation of bad karmas.  Good karmas give happy life and bad karmas give painful life.  One generally does not do only good karmas.  He may accumulate bad karmas even by thinking ill of others.  If you think that somebody should suffer, he may suffer, provided your thought process is powerful.  Irrespective of his suffering or not suffering, you accumulate huge bad karmas, which affect you very badly at some point of time in your life, either in this birth or in subsequent births.  But, it is my personal experience that one begins to suffer for his bad karmas in the same birth. What you sow, you reap immediately.  I think that karmic theory is undergoing significant changes.  If you do any action with selfish motive, you accumulate karmas.  Whether it is good or bad does not matter. The motive for action is an important factor in deciding your karma.  Karma is a complex theory and I will explain to you in a simple language. 

“Let us take two instances.  In the first instance, you know that your enemy is becoming bankrupt.  The one, who was sitting on huge wealth, is gradually losing everything due to unexpected happenings. Since he had disrespected or humiliated you when he was rich, you want him to become a complete pauper.  In the second instance, you had thrown a stone on a street dog, while playing with your friends, which had hurt the dog badly in his leg. The dog was suffering in pain and began to limp all through his life time.  In the first instance, you only thought ill about him and did not cause any body injury.  In the second instance, you did not really mean to hurt the dog, but in the spur of the moment, you had caused a bodily injury, making him limp permanently.  Now tell me, which is the worst karma between the two?”

I could not answer because I do not know.  I thought this question is premature to me.  In the first place, I do not have any knowledge about karma.  How can I decide which is good karma and which is bad karma, I thought. I was keeping quiet and blinking.  Probably, my guruji thought that he has to explain the concept of karma again for me.  He knew what I have understood and what I have not.

“Shankara, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  This is the theory of karma. If you hit a ball on a wall, what will happen to the ball?  Will it not come back to you? Suppose you had thrown the ball from east to west, the ball will come to you from west to east. Is it not?” he stopped to ensure that I am able to grasp. 

“Now you replace the ball with either a thought or an action.  Thought is that your enemy should become pauper.  Action is that you injured the dog. The same ball that you had thrown on the wall comes to you, not a different ball. In the same way, the same thought that you had developed about your enemy comes back to you, to manifest.  When you wanted him to become a pauper, whether he becomes a pauper or not, you become a pauper.  You sent your thought process to him and the same thought process now returns to you, like the ball returning from the wall.  Your thought of hurting your enemy is like throwing the ball towards the wall.  Wall is your enemy. Your thought that had hit your enemy, returns back to you.   After all, the ball always comes to you, when you throw it on the wall.  Have you ever noticed that the ball comes with the same force as you throw?  May be because of the friction with the wall, its force might have come down a little. But for the friction, the force is almost maintained.  In the same way, the force with which you generate your thoughts, after hitting your enemy comes back to you and hits you.  Hitting you back could happen in this birth or at some later birth, but it is bound to hit you.  This is karma. That is why I said what you sow, so you reap. 

“Instead of bad thoughts, if you are able to generate good thoughts about others, such thoughts will do a lot of good for you.  This is the basic of karmic theory.  Once you understand this properly, your mind will never think badly, as you now know the implications of bad thoughts.  Since thought is the cause for an action, thought is more powerful than action.  Without a thought, an action cannot happen.  God has no role to play in this, as everyone creates his own destiny.  Hence God is always said to be a witness.”

He completed and looked at me to find out whether I have understood what he had said.  I could clearly follow him.  I was surprised with my capacity to grasp.

(to be continued)