Скачать 0.55 Mb.
Triple Vision is the perfect title for this collection. The author sees life through the eyes of a philosopher, a painter, a poet. As a widely read student of philosophy she knows that, before finding answers to life’s mysteries, the seeker must figure out the right questions. As a painter she finds beauty all around her and as a poet she wields language as artfully as she does her paintbrushes. Her stories are rich in exquisite imagery and deep with multi layers of meaning. The lens of her mind's eye is microscopic, telescopic and kalaidescopic and these stories will challenge you intellectually, stimulate you emotionally and delight all your senses.
—Sandra Shwayder Sanchez
The Wessex Collective on Smashwords
copyright 2012 by Ita Willen
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Table of Contents
The Master’s Chair
A Thousand Lights
The Night Garden
One by One
Rain of Gold Leaves
The Window Washer
The Wizard of Ice
Woman in White
a note about the writer
The Master’s Chair
He saw the chair covered with fabrics, carpets and masses of flowers around it. To an elegant house in Maryland he had come. He was a guru, around 60, with close-cropped white hair, sunglasses, a white shirt, in a grey business suit, smoking a cigarette—a small thin man with the face of a hawk, he resembled a CIA agent.
He glanced at the chair and followed his hostess up the stairs. He would be a guest here for a week. From the bedroom window he saw rolling pastures and orchards so perfect you knew they had been arranged. The picket fences were just so, and the horses beyond them like horses in a dream, gliding silently through the green landscape. The orchards were in bloom, clouds of pink and white trees. They looked unreal.
But of course, it was all unreal to him. It was not just that he came from India and might be comparing it to Bombay, for he had already been to Paris and Cairo. It was ALL unreal to him from his view of reality as an illusion. His father had been a guru too, perhaps even a famous one, in Trivandrum, in Kerala.
His was, like most Hindu families, quite extended, expanded even more by the constant flow of disciples, some coming from very far away. It was the first time in centuries India had seen so many seekers from the West. After his father died, he took over. Gurupatan found people coming to him all the way from France and England. Something must have happened in the West, he thought, to have sent so many people in search of the Truth.
One had to be cautious, of course, not to get involved with Americans. They looked penniless and might take the liberty of not leaving at all. He accepted a few disciples from Europe and the Middle East, and taught them everything he knew. Vedanta, as postulated by Nagarjuna, had been transmitted to him, in both written and oral form, and he was qualified to pass on the teaching to anyone who could understand it.
He quickly discovered, though, on the veranda in Trivandrum where he received his students, that they understood very little, particularly those from the West. Their basic premises were completely different. They saw the world as concrete and not in a state of flux. They saw reality as something to manipulate. Their egos were huge. They pursued the Truth as a form of aggrandizing themselves. A kind of personal salvation which, with enough money, could be bought and flaunted, and best of all, could be attained while still alive.
Needless to say, all his Western disciples were of the wealthy variety and somewhat older than the hippies drifting through. He selected his clients very carefully for aptitude as well as funds. When there were enough disciples in one place, he went to them, all expenses paid of course, there was no other way. That was how he came to give Talks in Cairo and Paris.
This was, however, his first time to the States. How this came about is a long story but its fate is in the details.
His father had a certain Ram Raji as a disciple, the two families having been gurus and disciples for many generations. This Ram Raji, however, had gone to the West as a young man, married a French woman briefly, lived many years in France (hence the Paris connection) and had in his old age gone to the States to teach Buddhism at a college in Texas, of all places. After forming a small coterie of students around himself, this Ram Raji invited Gurupatan to give Talks in America. Since Gurupatan already had several wealthy American clients, the time seemed right for a visit. He was very curious about America. His disciples were thrilled to finance the visit and vied with each other for the opportunity to host him.
A wealthy Maryland matron (who had gone to India to see him and had been devoted to him for ten years) won him as her houseguest. All the European disciples who could afford it came, along with a few Californians, and all of Ram Raji’s handpicked students from Texas, who could presumably understand the Truth. An encounter with a guru is a most serious event, the gravity of which must be clearly understood, in order that the participants approach him with the utmost reverence and decorum. It is considered that the guru appears when the disciple is ready. But many people, in 1970, who thought they were ready, were denied access to Gurupatan and the Talks were surrounded by utmost secrecy. Disciples never uttered a word about him or their involvement with him. The truth was closely guarded and shared with only a select few.
Some of these individuals would be arriving over the weekend, under the auspices of Ram Raji. These people might be anyone, not particularly destined to meet a guru. Raji was known to consort with a wide variety of people and most of it had nothing to do with the Truth.
“I don’t like it,” said the Guru’s wife, before he left.
“What do you mean?”
“The trouble with America,” she said, “is that they have no caste, no lineage as even the Europeans have. You have no way of knowing who someone is. No Brahmins, no Untouchables, nothing in between. Since the purity of ancient lines has not been preserved, it is a Brahmin’s duty to regard them all as Untouchables.”
“Come, come, my dear. You have no need to be concerned. They will all be Raji’s friends.”
“That’s just it! He is indiscriminate in his friendships! He has known actresses and Communists! One cannot tell whom he will bring. The thing I dread most is the hippie element. These people, from the way they dress, seem to be penniless or, I suspect, have been disowned by their families. And worse, they indulge in drugs. How could Raji, a Brahmin’s eldest son, your father’s disciple and friend, fall prey to all this? If any of the visitors are not qualified, it could ruin your credibility and good family name. It is crucial that you keep your affairs spotless. Keep a wary eye on the Americans!”
The owners had vacated the house to give him privacy. The seekers were arranged to stay in the main house itself or in guesthouses on the grounds, geographical proximity ordained by intimacy with the Guru. Disciples from abroad booked themselves into nearby hotels, at which they were adept, having followed him like fans of the Grateful Dead. These included some ladies from England and people from France. Then the American disciples who were known to him because Raji had told them they were “ready for India,” and they had shown up in Trivandrum, and those he hadn’t yet met, were slated to use nearby land as a campground. Tents were erected and cooking stoves were on hand. But this activity was not visible from any of the windows.
He lit a cigarette and decided to go for a walk. Better to do it now while he was still in trousers, his western attire. Once he made himself comfortable in the house, barefooted, wearing a dhoti, he was not likely to venture out.
He went downstairs. The house was empty. Twilight bloomed. In the kitchen he found a bowl of fruit. The refrigerator held melons, cooked rice and yogurt. He made himself a dish of yogurt and fruit, then opened the kitchen door and stepped out.
He was surrounded by a blue so intense as he’d never seen before. The houses in the distance glimmered white. The rolling hills turned black against the peacock sky. The moon rose. He walked in a straight line for a mile or two. Out here it was really dark. So few houses, so much space, what they could do with such space in India!
At last he went back, climbed the silent stairs, did his puja and went to bed. The Talks were slated to start Monday morning. All the disciples would be assembled by then.
Ram Raji, former dilettante, now (to his own surprise) a professor of Eastern Philosophy, had been very busy organizing the American contingent. Around 60, the same age as Gurupatan, he had a dark equine face on a small wiry frame. His grey hair was shoulder-length, he wore only black Nehru suits. His large nostrils seemed to scent out the world. He was a Brahmin, but had lost his sacred thread and, as the black sheep of his family, had indulged in the glitter of Paris for 30 years. He neither drank nor smoked and was a vegetarian, but loved seducing women. His large and powerful family owned entire villages. But the extent of their wealth was not visible on him. He now lived in a two room garage apartment stuffed with old furniture and books. He always wore the same black suit or had several identical ones, usually rumpled, buttoned all the way up to the neck. He did not seem to be personally in possession of any wealth. It was said he had been disowned when he absconded with the French woman and had signed over his share of inheritance to his sister. At any rate, he was not inclined to live in India, having tasted the freedom of the West. He had never expected to go as far west as Texas, but Austin resembled Trivandrum in all its tropical glory, and he probably needed the money.
Raji had assembled from among his hundreds of students (his large lecture hall was always jammed), a few individuals he had gotten to know well. The fellows chauffeured him around and ran errands. The girls were all of a certain kind, with a raw shining edge. A few dozen people in all. They had private sessions lasting hours in his office. They gathered at his place for tea and more talk. They attended all the lectures he gave and accompanied him to dinner every evening, which invariably consisted of salad and baked potato.
From Texas they were coming by air, those who could afford it, others by car. He himself was coming from New York where he had stopped for several weeks on his way back from Paris. He could not think of anyone in New York to travel with him to Maryland. All his chauffeurs were coming from Texas. He inventoried everyone countless times. Over and over he ran through his mind the students who would be attending. Some of them had gone to India, on his recommendation. Others had studied with him long enough to earn degrees and had shown by their devotion to him personally that they were worthy.
For Americans, and for Texans, he thought they had grasped his teachings readily. They had no difficulty understanding the concepts of Vedanta. It stunned him that simple-minded students with no sense of history and not a brain in their heads, like all the emptiness of America, could actually comprehend what he was saying. And this was with no folk wisdom, sacred texts or any other knowledge. The Americans just stepped into space and saw it. The wisdom of the ages, nurtured from one generation to the next like some frail flower on the brink of extinction, these Americans were somehow able to grasp it.
Raji was impressed by how open they were, like a fallow virgin field ready for planting. The ancient Vedic wisdom sank in, took root and grew. He could tell by the questions they asked. They understood.
For starters, reality as illusion, an ancient Vedic concept, was readily accepted. Nobody seemed to have any trouble with this. Maybe television had something to do with it. Also, the Absolute as the VOID was easy for them. They had seen enough outer space in movies to know what he meant. They were the people, after all, who had gone to the moon.
All in all he was quite confident the students he had selected to meet Gurupatan would present themselves with the dignity of their comprehension and was even imagining, as he drank tea in his Manhattan hotel room, how good these Americans would make him look. He felt like a missionary. He could take credit for the young people on their way to Nirvana. They were tall and fair as Renaissance angels, open-faced and red-cheeked, straight off the land. And the questions they asked were amazing. Gurupatan would be impressed.
He was practically ready. He would fly tomorrow to Baltimore where someone would pick him up and drive him 80 miles. Everything would have been perfect if only one of his lackeys had come to New York to escort him. He phoned everyone he knew who might be going to the Talks, and berated himself for not having groomed a few disciples in Manhattan. It was most inconvenient for him now to travel alone.
A seemingly frail man in a Charlie Chaplin suit, he had always managed to find a lot of assistance. His main problem was his breathing machine, a heavy metal unit the size of a VCR. He could certainly not carry that himself. And it had to be physically held during the flight in case he needed any oxygen. He would go by taxi to the airport, how exasperating that there was no one to take him! He could expect the driver to lend a hand. But he could not expect the man to carry the machine all the way to the terminal and onto the plane for him, or could he? He would offer to pay.
While he was dwelling on these logistics the phone rang.
“Oh, please, Lord,” he prayed, “send someone to help me.”
He picked up the phone.
“Ruby?” It was Ellen Rubinsky, known as Ruby. “Ah yes. Are you in Manhattan?”
“I’ve been here two years.”
“Very nice. And so? What is it?”
“I heard you were in town.”
“I’m leaving tomorrow,” he said.
“I’m leaving too!” she exclaimed. “I can’t stand it here. I can’t stand the gloomy weather or the gloomy people. I’ve got to get out of New York!”
Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. She had been part of his inner circle. Perhaps she was ready to meet Gurupatan? And just coincidentally, carry his oxygen machine.
“Where is it you intend to go now?” he asked.
“Austin,” she said. “I still know a lot of people there.”
His wheels were already spinning.
“I am going somewhere,” he hesitated. “There will be people from Austin present. You could get a ride back with some of them.”
“But I must first make some inquiries,” he backed away. “Ring me again in an hour.”
What he really needed was time to think. He did not want any problems.
It was not that she was Jewish, that was no problem, most of the disciples from North Africa were Jews.
His mind swept like a searchlight through everything he knew about her and it was precious little for some reason.
He had the feeling that she was not entirely a good candidate. She was more than likely to do or say something outrageous.
He recalled the first time he’d laid eyes on Ruby. He’d been talking about the immortality of consciousness, that we all really know we are immortal, the soul tells us so, and that deep down no one believes he will die, because there is no Death, only Illusion. “You were never born and you will never die. There is not one person in this room who believes he will die.”
The redhead at the back, standing at the wall, stepped forward, looked him in the eye and said: “I believe I will die.”
He’d blanched and clutched his chest. When he regained his breath he said, “See me after class.”
Ruby proved to be a puzzle. She came to see him after class, had a long debate with him about something and returned to his office many times after that.
She was attractive but outspoken. Her opinions were frightening. She had once told him blank to his face that “something must be done about India.” (“Why?” he’d asked, horrified. “It’s been that way for 5000 years.”) She’d even introduced him to a Maoist! The fellow had actually defended Mao as setting China on her feet! He gasped to think what she might say to Gurupatan.
He looked at his breathing machine again. It looked bigger than ever.
When Ruby called back he said, “You may come with me to this place but you will be there only to observe. From among the participants you can find transportation to Austin. But do not say one word while you are there, or anything about it to anyone ever.”
This was fine with Ruby. She knew about Raji’s little group, they fluttered around like saints with pulled faces, living on watermelon, always doing puja to a photo of a small man, which she found revolting. But she was interested in Buddhism enough to be drawn through its shining waters like a fish on a hook. The idea of liberation pulled her along. What was it she wanted to be free of? Ah yes, she always said: hunger, poverty, violence, suffering, grief.
Ruby arrived at his hotel as expected, did not hesitate to pick up and carry his breathing machine. For leaving Manhattan she carried very little. They went by taxi to the airport, got on the plane, chatting amiably about nothing in particular, and flew to Baltimore. There they were picked up by someone who drove for an hour and a half into the spring countryside of an Impressionist painting. Raji relaxed. He was aware of Ruby beside him, looking out the window, the machine on her lap. With her smoky eyelids and red hair she reminded him of his French wife, so long ago, a century it seemed. He wondered if she would be open to advances from him. But best not to start anything. It was nerve-wracking enough just to get through the Talks. One never knew what anyone would say. He was not responsible for any of them. Everyone was responsible only for himself.
This put him at ease.
He was too tired to think much about anything. When they arrived he went straight to his room. Ruby had been dropped at the encampment. From here on out he would pretend to not know her. A hundred people would be present. He wasn’t expected to know everyone. Besides, he would be busy with many duties, most important among them, arranging appointments for private conferences with the Guru, so that he could ascertain the level of their spiritual development. Meeting with the Guru in private was sought after by the disciples, who competed for time slots, as there were always many personal things they wanted to discuss with him. Raji had already decided that there was no need for Ruby to have an audition, as she was only there as a spectator.
With that, he took off his jacket and shoes and lay down on the bed.
He had a brief nightmare of Ruby telling Gurupatan that Mao could set India straight. He clutched his heart and reached for oxygen.
“Oh Lord,” he thought, “why did I ever bring her? It was a demon’s trick, I will be ruined.” As he got his asthma attack under control he reviewed the situation. Ruby was a flamboyant student of the kind he had known in postwar France, idealists who were mainly intellectuals. They were smart, usually from good families and knew their manners. “I hope her good manners prevail,” he prayed. “I’ll say I scarcely know her.”
But he felt uneasy, he couldn’t deny it. There was something about her, she was not like the others, she was not open-faced and receptive as a cornfield in the sun. She was under some shadow, she was on the run, not just now but always. She wanted to take the world and shake it up and set things right. She was political. There was nothing worse than that.
“Please God let her keep her mouth shut!”
He had brought nothing but agitation on himself and that was even before thinking about anyone else! He began to think through the faces of the participants. No loose links, he decided.
Monday morning the disciples began gathering in the living room. Everyone entered with great ceremony and found seats facing the Master’s chair. He would not come down until everyone was settled. Those who’d slept comfortably looked well rested and calm. Those who’d been in sleeping bags and spent the whole night talking, looked frazzled and wild-eyed. Rain the night before had soaked the campers to the bone. Many had driven three days to get there and were spent. There was a wistful, near-starvation look about them, caused by exhaustion and the vegetarian regime they were not accustomed to. Drained and damp they sat down on the floor. The folding chairs were reserved for those in stockings and heels. They wore sandals on bare feet and clothes that hung like seaweed. Their hair was long and flowing, uncut and uneven. Their faces were blank. They looked like they had just now come from India. They started up a chant and kept with it until Gurupatan came down.
He entered with a nod and namaste and sat down.
He spotted Ruby right away. She was standing by the white wall, hair aflame, she looked like a woman on fire amid these drowned souls. Her face jumped out at him even though she was the furthest away.
The Guru composed himself and cleared his throat, then crossed his legs and got comfortable among the flowers. These were several dozen of the largest bouquets money could buy. He was grateful they had no fragrance. He sat there in silence.
Ruby stood patiently, not knowing what to expect. The room was beautiful, open and bright, two stories high with an immense round window in one wall, six feet in diameter, looking out on green rolling hills and the pastel foliage of a few clumps of trees. A frail white fence ran across it, beyond that, a few horses. For a while she preoccupied herself looking out the window and marveling that some people actually lived like this.
She looked at the Guru. He was a small man, like a bird. He had an intelligent face, eyes sharp as an eagle’s. “How long do they just sit here together?” she wondered. Maybe it was some meditation to clear their minds. Maybe they were trying to get on his wavelength.
She waited. Half an hour passed.
The fact was, the Guru was waiting for questions. This was how he conducted all his Talks. He would sit in silence until someone asked a question. Then he would answer it and fall silent again.
A great silence lapped the edges of the room like a lake. He enjoyed the silence. Everyone else did too. It was a deep, pure resting place. It gave people space in which to clarify their questions. No one wanted to seem ignorant by asking something stupid, and even good questions almost evaporated. In his presence most questions dissolved by themselves as their answers became self-evident. Also, each person hoped someone else would ask the same question and they could benefit from the answer without exposing themselves. So the silence went on and on.
Ruby was bursting at the seams. When was someone going to say something? She had a few questions, if no one else did, and she was not going to let this opportunity slip by. Unable to contain herself, she blurted out, “Why is there so much suffering in the world… war, hunger, oppression, poverty, misery?”
Everyone was staring at her. The Guru looked at her intently.
“You are asking,” he finally said, “why is the world the world?”
The entire room fell into a long silence. She looked out the round window. The scene was so idyllic, the graceful horses in the distance beyond the strip of white fence. How could people live like this when homeless alcoholics and addicts lie in garbage strewn alleys or wander through Hades in search of the next fix? The eyes of Africa looked at her, the enormous eyes and deep gaze of children near death. She could see young men dying on god-forsaken battlefields, overlaid on the scene in the window like a kind of triple vision.
What do you do with things like this? she wondered. How can people live in a house, in a place like this, all tranquility, even hosting a guru, with a clear conscience? If the Truth they had here in this room was so valuable why were they keeping it a secret? Why wasn’t it being given to the world? Why allow so much suffering to continue? She felt the Guru could read her mind. She looked at him. Then she burst out crying and fled from the room.
Someone immediately stood up and took her to a restroom. She cried very hard. Then she washed her face and looked in the mirror. As she toweled it, she saw what must have been a tan, or city grime, peel off. It came off first on her forehead, a white spot the size of a silver dollar. As she rubbed, the rest came off so that her face was several shades brighter. She washed it again.
Her attendant looked at her in wonder. When she reentered the room she thought she heard a gasp go up. She took her place at the wall. Evidently no one had said anything while she was gone. She decided not to say anything either. Ram Raji caught her eyes. He put his finger to his lips and glared at her. She could see from his face that he felt like killing her. If he had been nearby he would have dragged her out of the room by her hair and strangled her.
During lunch break she went with a group back to the encampment. Out of view of the house, under a stand of towering trees, several tents were sitting in a field of mud. The rain the night before had washed the world, but here it had made a mess of things. A few women fired up a camp stove and put on rice and lentils. Everyone ate, then returned for the afternoon Talks.
She managed to get through the day without saying another word. The questions were always the same. “Is reality real?” “Is reality unreal?” “What is the middle way?” “How can one escape the brutality of existence?” “How to keep disturbances at bay while meditating?” “How to shut the world out?” What was the use of all these useless questions? Even if it was a dream, why did it have to be a nightmare? Why was no one asking, “How should one live?” It did not sit well with her, this “You are asking why is the world the world.” That meant the world was, by definition, a place of grief and sorrow. Like asking why hell is hell. That meant nothing would ever improve, nothing could be changed. Nothing could be done. She remembered the words of a friend who’d said, when she tried to explain Buddhism to him, “That kind of attitude can tolerate ANY form of government.”
That evening after dinner the campers were sitting around a small fire, even though they had been explicitly told they could not make fires, but a group of Californians was cold. A dozen of them were sitting in the lotus position passing a hash pipe. Some declined, others indulged. The pipe had just come to Ruby when one of the Guru’s henchwomen appeared and told her Ram Raji wanted to see her. She took both Ruby and the pipe with her.
“Smoking hashish!” he roared. “Did you bring it?”
“No. It’s not mine.”
“You were holding the pipe, is that correct?”
“I was passing it on.”
“Whose is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you understand how serious this is? If word of this ever gets out, can you think what it would do to Gurupatan? At the Talks drugs are forbidden! He must not get wind of this! Whoever was involved will have to leave immediately!”
After Ruby left he felt elated. What a perfect excuse to get rid of her. She could go with the Californians. They would take her wherever she wanted, even if they were on motorcycles; who invited them anyway? They obviously had no business being here. The Texans among them, he would reprimand, but permit to finish the retreat. And he would not have to be tormented every day for a week by the fear of what Ruby might do or say.
He was free! Free of the fear hanging over him for having brought her in the first place. God bless the fellow who’d brought the hashish. It had saved him from having to give Ruby his well-rehearsed speech on how she had disgraced him. The pipe had dropped into his hand like a talisman. With it, he would banish her.
But when she got back to the campground, the Californians were gone. With her white gleaming face she lay awake all night. She felt drained. That morning she’d had the best cry of her life. It covered everything. She felt completely empty and calm.
First crack of light a henchwoman came. There were several. They were Americans who’d gone to Trivandrum and had stayed as his disciples and servants. They all looked alike, taller than Ruby, straight-spined as from the military. They acted as body guards and guardians and kept the gates. Anyone who wanted to meet him applied to them. Theirs was the final decision and they turned many people away. Spiritual bouncers. They took care to protect him from misguided strangers who thought he could change their lives. They were brawny as Roman centurions and always wore white, like nurses in an insane asylum.
The same one as the night before came up to Ruby, who was up and dressed at first light as she’d never undressed the night before.
“Gurupatan wants to see you.”
“About last night?”
“You must not breathe one word of it to him. Please keep it brief.”
At the house the master’s chair was empty. She was led to a small study upstairs. The Guru was behind a desk in a swivel chair, playing with a pencil. He motioned her to sit. He looked at her shining face, her flaming hair, her crushed garment. She said nothing and waited.
With his cropped hair he looked like a western businessman or professor of physics. He did not carry or wear any sign of his position. He was wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, grey slacks, black leather shoes made in Italy. There were no rings on his hands, but he wore a Rolex.
“Tell me about yourself,” he began, pretending to ask very casually.
“Why? What difference does it make?”
“It can make a difference.”
“I thought the Truth is always true, regardless of personal details.”
“I just wondered who you are, what is your background, who is your family?”
“Why should it matter?”
“I’m just curious,” he smiled.
Why should she tell him anything? If he could read minds, well, let him read hers. She didn’t have to tell him anything. If he could utter the Truth and she could comprehend it, nothing else mattered. Why should she tell him anything when she hadn’t bought into the game?
It was a beautiful game, but she couldn’t see herself spending her life playing it. It was a cop-out, from doing anything constructive. It was the perfect activity for people near death, who have nothing else to attend to.
She looked him in the eye, not in the least afraid, challenging him, in fact.
He sat up straighter.
“I’ve been told you are Jewish,” he said. “Some of the other disciples are also Jewish, some ladies from Alexandria and Morocco.”
“Yes,” Ruby said. She knew it didn’t make any difference. These gurus would sell snake oil to anyone.
“Your parents, are they still living?”
“What is their background, where are they from?”
Ruby was beginning to squirm, he could see it. He could also see that, feeling threatened, she was assembling her weapons, and pulling from the black sheath of her inner being a blinding sword, she brandished it to stop him once and for all, then swept it through the air decapitating him.
“They’re holocaust survivors,” she spat out.
It fell like a lump of kryptonite between them.
“Ah,” he said, “now I understand.”
The interview was over.
That same day, before lunch, she was asked to join the women in the kitchen, all disciples, who prepared the Guru’s meals. He was very particular about who prepared the food he was consuming. In India a Brahmin’s food could be prepared only by Brahmins. When he traveled, disciples prepared it for him and afterwards fought over the remnants.
Ruby was given a small knife and a bowl of cherry tomatoes. She held the first one up and asked, “How does the Guru like them cut, quartered, halved or sliced?”
“Any way you want is fine.”
“She quartered all the cherry tomatoes and with each one she thought: “So this is the secret of squaring the circle.”
От издателя: Book Description In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes...