Varanasi, the oldest living city on earth, was his home. His mother told him that when he was born, she could hear the bells of aarti 1 at Kashi Vishwanath Temple 2. She never told him who his father was. When he pressed a lot, she told that she will once and only once tell the name and that he should not dispute or question the same. When he agreed, she told him that Kashi Vishwanath himself was his father. For that moment, he neither doubted his father’s identity nor felt his absence. He used to sit on the temple’s staircase everyday for a long time. He felt that the only way to communicate with his father was to immerse himself in the music created by ringing of bells and chanting of mantras. His devotion was more than meditation since he was not worshipping a God, he was just seeking refuge in his father. Years passed. Everybody knew him as son of the God.
Let’s skip to the day when his life was about to be changed. He followed his usual routine, took bath in Holy Ganges and started walking towards the temple. Generally he used to walk with his eyes fixed on the dome of the temple, but today he felt some uneasiness, as if he was being given some indication. He stopped for a moment. Just when he was about to start walking again, his eyes fell on an infant sleeping on a staircase. He looked around to ascertain if the parents are nearby, but could not find anyone. He kept standing beside the kid, not picking him up with the fear of being charged as a kidnapper. He sat near the kid for the whole night but nobody came to claim the kid. In the morning he decided to take the kid home.
It had been twenty five years from that incident now. His life in these twenty five years entirely changed. He had raised the kid as his own. He never married for the fear of division of his love. As it is he had to divide his devotion between his father and his son. He never let his son know that he was son of the God. He lived as a commoner, a daily wager and worked hard to meet their ends. He worked even harder for getting his son an education. The harder he worked, the more his health deteriorated. Not a single day went, when he did not long for meeting or speaking with his father like he used to do earlier. At the same time, not a moment passed which did not revolve around his son.
He was back to the stairs one day - The stairs where he found his son; the stairs from where he could directly look at the temple and speak with his father. He was wrapped in a blanket. He did not move. He could not move. After 2-3 days, people at the temple recognised him. They got very upset at his condition. They were angry at his son for whom he had done so much but was still left for dying on the stairs. Some of them reached his home to meet his son. After continued knocking and getting no response, they had to come back to the temple. While they were discussing the matter, one of them noticed that there was another figure wrapped in a blanket sitting in a dark corner. They went near him and recognised him as the son. They could not understand what was happening and asked the son why he left his father for dying the on stairs and while his father was at it, why was he sitting and watching him.
“He wanted to die in lap of his father, at a place where he himself was born as a father. As a son, I seek to ensure that my father’s death is peaceful. As a father, I seek to free him from the cycle of life and death” He said.
That very moment, a bell rang in the temple. They looked at the temple. It took them a moment to understand what the son had said.
A moment was all what was needed for the father and the son to be together for eternity.
1 Hindu religious ritual of worship2 Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Varanasi