The Afterlife Journey..

The day they were to take the journey, the sky was lit up by early morning stars reflected like jewels in the still waters of the deepest river of the afterlife world, the Mahua river. They arranged provisions for their journey and set off to sail in a beautiful Kayak boat. They were three souls and the Yam. Yam, who is the God of death, had arrived in the huts of these three people the previous evening, and taken their souls for the most fascinating journey a soul can ever witness. A journey that would determine the fate of these souls. If the souls would be able to endure the marvellous beauties and come out themselves as extremely beautiful, the heaven would be waiting for them. And if the marvellous beauties were too much for them, they were to take yet another life…

The journey began with the Yam taking the form of Lord Krishna and playing a flute so beautiful, it made the peacock fish with its fluorescent fins come out of the river and spread its multi-hued fins in a magnificent display in front of the Kayak boat to mark the beginning of their journey…

The journey was musical, decorated with all kinds of music, melodious to rock. The journey was colorful, filled with wonderful colors throughout.

It was a test of surrender and acceptance for the three souls that they should have gained all their lives. Throughout their journey, they were accompanied by marvellous fish on either sides of the kayak boat, that changed colors magically to contrast their surroundings. When the river turned deep blue (the color of lord krishna), the fish would turn deep orange…And at other times, when the river took the color of pink dawn, fish would turn a fascinating shining black.

The journey was happy, so bubbling happy that nothing could be happier. The journey was sad, so marvellously, beautifully, forgetfully sad that the moment remained and all other diminished.

The journey made them forget time. For time was not a dimension in the afterlife. What were a thousand years? What was a millisecond??

When Yam turned bansiwallah (the flute player), the three souls dissolved in a miraculous rhythm. When Yam turned a rocking DJ player, they could not stop head banging, even their sublime necks that could not experience pain, hurt in an excessive sweet pain.

On definite and fixed milestones on their journey, the three souls and Yam were greeted by exotic mermaids. On these occasions, such beautiful poetry blossomed in all the three souls that their hearts would become sensitive like the Indian poet Tagore. And Yam on these occasions would recite verses from Narad’s poetry book. Mermaids served them with heavenly elixir’s having a taste so unique and refreshing that they were filled with electric ecstasies of pleasure. None of them wanted to leave the mermaids, but according to the laws of afterlife, their stay should be brief. And it was all arranged so that the souls could experience heart ache — a great teacher in life and afterlife…

But the journey was not only about colorful and easy pleasures. Sometimes the souls had to dance on rajasthani folk music to prove that they had learnt some dance in their life. For the occasion, sky would part and musicians would sit on golden clouds and it would become extremely hot to give them the feel of the desert. When they would be sweating excessively (they had taken bodies to dance) and the great dance were over, sweetly the rains would arrive on Mahua to cool their dancing bodies….These rains on Mahua were a spectacle in themselves…All the fish on either side of kayak boat would open their mouths (which were silver from inside), to the heavens. Some drops would fall in the silver mouths and some in the Mahua river. Each drop falling in the silvery mouths generated a gentle tinkle sound, so that whole of the river was full of tinkling and pitter-patter sounds.

Nobody spoke in the middle of the journey, for speech was not the language of the journey, its languages were music and colors — the languages of the heart.

The three souls were treated as Yam’s guests…

Then a curious thing happened — one of the souls vomited shining elixirs with little fish swimming in it. Other two souls were surprised. Yam understood the signs — the pleasures were too much for that soul. He could not bear them. But he had come far. He was neither to be sent to hell, nor to heaven….Yam put a spell on the soul and he dived into the Mahua, where he drowned, went deeper and deeper and deeper into the river and found himself in the womb of a woman…He was given a beautiful lovely life.

The other two souls had to endure their last test — prayer of gratitude to the almighty for what they had received in their life and the afterlife….

At the next step, their eyes closed involuntarily, little stars twinkling on their eyelids…A deep silence followed..In that moment they understood God…their eyes swelled with tears..They had endured the sweetest and the most painful moment of their life and afterlife and after they opened their eyes, there was nothing to see, nothing to hear…All was a dark abyss…They remained in this nothingness for maybe centuries, maybe years, maybe days, maybe seconds, maybe a millisecond — it was impossible to tell…

Then, a little golden star appeared in the abyss, it gradually increased in size, took a shape and turned into a golden flower, a simple melodious flute played….It was god’s own flower and music and now belonged to the two souls…..

© Manan sheel



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manan sheel

an artist, poet, singer and engineer. trying to introduce heart into the world of mind.