The merchant of the East,
The trader whose gold,
Adorned the heads of kings,
And the long reigning queens.
His fortune added to nothing,
The emptiness was never fulfilled,
The prestige his money bought.
For a long while now it seems.
So he wasted no time,
And sold all his wealth,
Gave it to a worthy cause,
And distributed the rest.
Then he took a long trip,
To the mountains less traversed,
In the dark, great solitary highlands,
The long nights he prayed and fasted.
He yearned to know the meaning,
And spoke to the skies every day,
“What are you searching for’’, asked the skies one day
“The Truth”, he replied,
Thinking his prayer was answered.
“The truth was first engraved in your heart,
All locked and fastened”.
“Really?” he inquired,
“So all this is in vain?”,
“The truth was first in you,
Before it was cast on to the starry plains”.
“But I don’t understand”, he said,
“This deep and muffled void,
And too still inside, yet too noisy,
And I just don’t know why”.
The sky said nothing but shot a few sparkles,
A boundless tapestry, a picturesque scenery,
The falling fireworks in the horizon, as it whispered,
“And you think you could understand the stars?”
“Please don’t be so rude,
I sacrificed much to know,
The essence of my purpose,
The unfulfilled emptiness you know”.
“Go home to nothing” said the skies,
“And find the purpose there,
In the ordinary and the mundane,
Amidst the simple smiles and care”.
“But I gave up everything,
To know you as you are,
What do you suggest I do,
Now that I have nothing to spare?”
“Go back home to the void,
To the vacuum the nothingness created,
Though not with oblivion but in the knowing,
The mindful hollowness”.
“Be watchful, be alert and know that
There is no flame that fights the darkness,
Like the light of awareness itself,
The quietness you harness”.
“Find meaning in the labour of your hands,
The vows that you made in love,
The burden you have for your children,
And the duty towards your ageing mom”.
“Change the lens to see outside,
And commit to make others happy,
Think not of you at all,
Abandon the passion for ‘I, myself and me”.
“My life, my significance, my happiness,
They all elude you the joy,
Of truest harmony, purpose and pleasure,
The meaning you so yearn for”.
So the merchant came down from the mountains,
And went back to his hometown,
Now he lives in sweet surrender,
Never a slave to any other crown.
People think he has lost his mind,
“What a pity, he is not ‘someone’ anymore”.
But deep down he knows and he hears,
The stillness not muffled anymore.