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Chapter 4: Straight to Freedom

A man came to the great teacher Bahauddin and asked for help in his problems, and guidance on the path of the teaching.

Bahauddin told him to abandon spiritual studies and leave his court at once.

A kind-hearted visitor began to remonstrate with Bahauddin.

“You shall have a demonstration,” said the sage.

At that moment a bird flew into the room, darting hither and thither, not knowing where to go in order to escape.

The Sufi waited until the bird settled near the only open window of the chamber, and then suddenly clapped his hands.

Alarmed, the bird flew straight through the opening of the window, to freedom.

Then Bahauddin said: “To him that sound must have been something of a shock, even an affront, do you not agree?”

There is an old story: In Thailand there exists a very ancient temple. And the myth goes that in the beginning of Creation, God became angry with some angel. The angel had committed some disobedience, and it was so grave that God threw him onto the earth and told him that he would have to live as an invisible snake in this ancient temple.

The temple has a tower with one hundred steps, and every pilgrim that comes to the temple has to go to the tower - that is part of the pilgrimage.

God said to this angel, “You will have to live on the first step of the tower, and every pilgrim who comes, you will have to move with him.” In Thailand they divide human consciousness into one hundred steps, and the snake would be able to go with the pilgrim only up to the point where his consciousness existed. If he had attained to the twentieth step of consciousness, then the snake would be able to follow up to the twentieth; if to the fiftieth, then the fiftieth. And God said, “If you can reach thrice to the last step, then you will be freed of your sin.”

The myth goes that, up to now, only once has the snake been able to reach to the hundredth. At least ten thousand pilgrims come every day to the ancient temple. Millennia have passed - pilgrims and pilgrims, and the snake has to follow every pilgrim. Some-times, rarely, it can reach up to the twenty-fifth; very, very rarely up to the fiftieth, and only once to the hundredth. Then it falls back again to the first step. And now even the snake has become very, very depressed - there seems to be no hope. Only once up to now.and thrice he has to reach to the hundredth, only then will he be freed of the sin.

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