Of Entering the Way
Disciple:—Teacher of teachers, instruct thou me.
Master:—Ask, and I will answer.
Disciple:—I have read much, but am ignorant still;
I have studied the doctrines of the schools, but have not become wise thereby;
I know the Scriptures by heart, but peace is hidden from me.
Point out to me, O Master! the way of knowledge,
Reveal to me the highway of divine wisdom,
Lead thou thy child into the path of peace.
Master:—The way of knowledge, O disciple! is by searching the heart;
The highway of wisdom is by the practice of righteousness;
And by a sinless life is found the way of peace.
Disciple:—Bear with me, O Master! in my uncertainty.
I am bewildered by the multitude of opinions,
And by the number of books am I confounded;
Delusion blinds me, doubt encompasses me,
And I cannot find the way wherein I should walk.
Teach me how to search,
How to practice,
How to wear the garment of a sinless life.
Master:—Delusion and doubt, O disciple! are within thyself;
Within thyself also are reality and certainty.
By thine own errors only art thou blinded,
Remove those errors, and thou shalt behold Truth.
Engage, therefore, in holy meditation;
Search thy heart with the searching of Truth,
And cast out therefrom all that is of self.
Disciple:—What is of self?
Master:—Desire and passion and egotism.
From desire and passion and egotism springs self-delusion;
And self-delusion is the obscuration of Truth.
Put away egotism,
Then will delusion be dispelled, and all thy doubts will vanish.
Disciple:—O Master! great is the task which thou hast set before me,
Laborious the work which thou commandest me to do,
Steep and strange the way of renunciation which thou hast pointed out to me.
Desire is deeply rooted in my nature,
And passion binds me fast to earthly things,
Yea, desire and passion are my very self;
Must I renounce myself?
Must I yield up that self which seems so sweet?
All men long to preserve the sell;
They pray for its eternal preservation and possession,
And must I let it perish?
Master:—Thou must, for thou hast vowed to follow me.
Disciple:—Yea, I have vowed, and I will follow thee.
Master:—Seest thou how all men suffer?
This is because they long to preserve the self;
This is because they labor for its eternal preservation and possession.
In desire and passion and egotism are turmoil and unrest,
In me alone is peace:
Weary and pain-stricken is the world because it knows not me;
But in me there is no weariness,
And pain and sorrow cannot come to my abode.
My abode is the purified heart;
The upright mind is my temple;
And the blameless life is my holy habitation.
Disciple:—I will take refuge in thee.
In thy abode;
In thy temple;
Yea, even in thy holy habitation.
Master:—The purified heart is not stained by desire;
The upright mind is not impelled by passion;
And in the blameless life there is no thought of self.
Search thy heart, and follow Truth;
Put away the self of desire and passion and egotism,
Deny, overcome, and abandon it;
Let no vestige of it remain with thee,
For it is the author of all confusion,
The source of all affliction,
The spring of pain and sorrow and unrest.
Rest thou in me.
Disciple:—Thou has pointed out to me the way of Truth,
Even the holy way of selflessness.
That way will I walk;
My resolution, O Master of Truth! is fixed in thee.
I will put away desire, and will cling to thee;
I will be deaf to the voices of passion, and will listen only to thy voice;
I will not seek my own, but will obey thy holy Law.
Lo! I have put my feet upon thy way,
Lead thou thy servant unto light and peace.
Master:—Thou hast entered, O disciple! the path of righteousness;
Thy feet are set upon the way of wisdom;
Thou shalt comprehend my Law,
The light of knowledge shall illumine thee,
And I will guide thy footfalls unto peace.
(To be continued)