DevilIt happened when I was travelling in India.
One morning I found myself in Ellora, where the famous cave temples are.
You have no doubt read or heard about this place.
The mountain range runs from Daulatabad and is cut by sharp ridges and deep valleys enclosing the ruins of dead towns; it ends in a sheer rock ledge, horseshoe-shaped and several miles long. Stretching up from the ravine is a concave wall pitted with holes like huge swallows' nests—these are the openings of the cave temples. The whole rock face is pierced with temples penetrating deep into the earth. There are fifty-eight temples here, all belonging to different ancient religions and different gods, each one superseding the last.
Inside the huge dark halls, at a height unpenetrated by the light of torches, one can hear the rustling of scores of bats. Here are long corridors, narrow passages, inner courtyards unexpected balconies and galleries with a view of the plains below; slippery staircases polished by bare feet thousands of years ago; dark wells beyond which one can sense hidden caves; twilight, silence undisturbed by a single sound. Bas-reliefs and statues of many-armed and manyheaded gods; most of all the god Shiva—dancing, killing and merging in convulsive embrace with other figures.
Shiva is the god of Love and Death, with whose strange, cruel and strongly erotic cult is connected the most idealistic and abstract system of Indian philosophy. Shiva, the dancing god around whom the whole universe dances as his radiant reflection. All contradictions blend in a mysterious way in this god of a thousand names. Shiva, the benevolent and merciful, the deliverer from misfortune, the divine healer, with a thousand eyes and a thousand quivers of arrows to vanquish demons. Shiva, protector of "the human herd", with throat blue from a poison intended to annihilate mankind, which he drank himself in order to save the human race. Shiva, "the great time", continuous renewer of all he has destroyed. In this sense he is represented as a lingam, a black phallus existing in the ether, and worshipped as the source of life and god of voluptuousness. Equally he is Shiva the god of ascetism and ascetics, himself the great ascetic "clothed in air"; the god of wisdom, god of cognition and light. He is also the lord of evil, who lives in cemeteries and crematoria and wears a crown of snakes and a necklace of skulls. Shiva is at once god, priest and sacrifice, which is the whole universe. The consort of Shiva is as mysterious and contradictory as he. She has many different faces and is known by a variety of names: Parvati, goddess of beauty, love and happiness; Durga, patroness of mothers and family, and Kali, the black one, mistress of cemeteries, dancer among ghosts, goddess of evil, disease, murder, and, simultaneously, goddess of wisdom and revelation.
Further along the rock face are the temples of Buddha, where men have renounced the world and prayed for deliverance from it; these are places whose huge statues have stood silent and lost in contemplation for two thousand years.
In the centre of the long chain of temples is the vast Kailas temple or Temple of the Sky. Kailas is a mythical mountain in the Himalayas where the gods live—an Indian Olympus. A huge cavity was hollowed out of the rock for this temple. In the middle of the hollow stand three large pagodas decorated with carved stone tracery; not a single stone is laid upon another; all is hewn out of solid rock. Two gigantic statues of elephants, several times their natural size, stand at the sides of the pagodas, also hewn from the stone. Fanning out and boring deep into the rock behind are galleries, underground passages and dark, mysterious halls, whose rough walls still bear marks of the instruments that chipped the granite; statues and bas-reliefs of terrifying gods stand in the recesses.
Once all this was full of life. There were moving crowds
of pilgrims thronging to the festivities on nights of the full moon, to watch the sacred dances and to make sacrifices; hundreds of lithe dancers flitted about, the scent of jasmine was everywhere. In the inner sanctum the magic rites of mysterious cults were performed. Some say traces of these rites still survive in India today, though they are carefully concealed from Europeans. All the caves, down to the very depths, once had a life of their own, a life we cannot even begin to understand.
Nowadays nothing of this is to be seen. The city of temples is a wilderness. There are no Brahmin priests, no dancers, no wandering fakirs, no pilgrims; no more are the endless processions of elephants, nobody brings flowers, no one lights the fires. As far as the eye can see, there is not a single village or a sign of life across the plains below. Only in two or three hamlets, hidden in the trees, live a few watchmen who act as guides.
The caves and the temples appear as in a dream. Nowhere in the world does reality blend with the dream world so completely as in these caves. Everyone entering them shares the vague recollection of walking in a dream through dark corridors and narrow passages like these; of climbing, terrified of falling, up steep and slippery steps; of bending down and putting a hand out to feel the uneven walls and floor; of passing through narrow slanting galleries and emerging on the slope of the rock, where far down below stretches the misty plain. Perhaps none of this happened; perhaps it did. But the memory of the dark corridors and galleries lingers.
It was summer—the rainy season. The plains below were covered with a thick green carpet and everywhere brooks burbled over rocks to mingle with others further down and obstruct the route to the distant caves.
Starting early in the morning, I spent the whole day roaming about the temples with a camera, going down into the caves, climbing over rocks, scrambling up to the top of the slope, and always returning to the temples. All this I did with a kind of eager, avid curiosity, as if I knew or sensed somehow that it was here, in this very place, that I would
[img]http://theunexplainedmysteries.com/images/buddha_big.jpg[img]find something I had been searching for. Several times I went right down on to the plains, which were overgrown with vegetation and saturated with water, and tried separate approaches to the most remote and inaccessible part of the temple-city. I had been told that there was here, in the third or fourth temple from the end, a certain bas-relief, or symbolic wall drawing, and I was determined to find it and if possible photograph it. My guides diligently searched for a way through, wading waist-deep in the bubbling, muddy streams, splashing fearlessly through the wet, snake-infested grass and tearing a path through the dense bushes. But every time we came up against some obstacle: a steep rock face or deep water. It proved impossible to reach the right end of the horseshoe ledge by a short cut from the plain. It had been raining all day with hardly a lull, now and again there was a downpour. At such times I took refuge in the nearest temple, lit a cigarette and waited under a statue of the Buddha with the lowered eyes until the pelting torrents lessened to the familiar steady drizzle. All day long I did not see a single living thing, except my two guides (to whom I spoke in sign language for they did not know a word of English), the bats in the caves and the occasional grey hare starting from a bush as we approached.
In the end I lost hope of reaching the far temples from below and decided that early the next day I would go straight along the top of the slope and try to reach them from above.
Towards evening, tired, hungry and wet, I returned to the guesthouse.
This "rest-house" or "dawk-bungalow", of a kind to be found all over India, was about two miles from the caves on a mountain slope in the vicinity of the crumbling tombs of the Muslim conquerors who had ravaged half India in the seventeenth century.
It was already dark. I was so tired I could not eat and went straight to bed. Evening parties are not the custom in India and with the fall of dusk there is nothing left to do but go to bed.
The weather got worse. The monsoon was breaking. Sudden gusts of wind shook the whole house, and when the wind dropped, I could hear sheets of rain thundering on the
roof. I desperately wanted to drop off to sleep quickly and get a good night's rest so that I could make an early start. Tomorrow I simply had to find that temple with the symbolic bas-relief on the wall. But for a long time I lay awake in a kind of heavy stupor, spellbound by the memory of the awe-inspiring temples, feeling that I wandered there still, gazing at the gods and wondering about the underground passages which connected the temples.
At the same time I found myself progressively gripped by a strange agitation. There was something terrifying in the incessant noise of rain and wind which carried other unexpected sounds with it—the rattle of a train, although the railway was more than twenty miles away, or people's voices and the clatter of hooves on stones; then tramping, the measured steps of soldiers marching and the drone of singing, seeming sometimes nearer, sometimes farther away but never for a moment ceasing.
Weariness took its toll on my nerves. I began to feel that something uncanny and hostile was surrounding me in this "dawkbungalow". Somebody was watching me, somebody was stealthily approaching the small house. I knew that I was completely alone in it, that the doors were inadequately locked, and that the watchmen slept in their own hut at the other end of a large clearing.
This feeling of unease increased steadily and would not allow me to fall asleep. I began to be irritated, with myself, with the monsoon, with India and with everything around. At the same time I was becoming more and more gripped by fear, as if I had come to a place of no return, where dangers loomed from all sides and something threatened from every comer. I found myself deciding that I would go no further the following day, but travel back to Daulatabad first thing in the morning. At this point, it seemed that my consciousness began to fade, and rows of images, pictures and faces began to file before my eyes.
Suddenly something banged violently on the verandah a room away from me. At once all sleep was gone. The now familiar terror and the dread of some hostile and unpleasant presence gripped me with renewed force. I jumped out of bed, took my revolver out of my suitcase, loaded it and put
it on the table by my bed. For a time it seemed that everything was calming down, and I dozed off.
I woke up with a jolt, and sat bolt upright. Someone was knocking on my door, not with the usual light tapping but gripping the handle of the door with both hands, furiously pulling and banging at it. Slowly, as if afraid to reveal that I was awake, I stretched out my hand and fumbled for my revolver. Not until I had found it and aimed it at the door did a singularly calm and sober-minded voice tell me that it was only the wind knocking. Somewhat ashamed of my actions, I put the revolver back and returned to bed.
The knocking ceased, but two rooms away from me a door banged loudly shut, as if, despairing of making himself heard by me, somebody had gone out on to the verandah and slammed the door.
The "house for visitors" consisted of four rooms, two of which faced a big verandah. All the rooms were linked by doors. In my room were four doors, two opening into the adjoining rooms and two leading outside.
For a while everything was silent, except for the pouring rain. Then came again the loud banging of a door, and in the next room a window frame rattled as though a fist struck it. After several moments of silence, somebody or something must have crept stealthily up and gripped the handle of my door again, for it suddenly rattled furiously.
I could stand it no longer. I leapt out of bed, rushed to the door and flung it open. Beyond was darkness, and on the left, a room away, a door banged. I returned to my room, lit a candle and inspected the doors and windows. They were all cracked with the heat of the dry weather and the bolts broken and useless. So long as I walked through the house with the candle, all was quiet, and the doors seemed shut tight. But as soon as I returned, lay down and put out the light, a door in the farthest room banged and the windows rattled. I recalled that I had not found any banging door, and began to wonder. My anxiety and alarm increased as I realized that sleep had gone completely, and that I would probably have to suffer this torment for the rest of the night. It was so absurd not to be able to fall asleep after such a day. I had not slept the night before because I had had to change trains in the middle of
the night. Early in the morning I had arrived in Daulatabad and dozed off for two hours in a guesthouse like the one I was in. Then, when the horses arrived I had been jolted about for three hours in the wind and rain in a two-wheeled "tonga", pulled from hill to hill past fantastic ruins of fortresses and towns; and afterwards I had roamed among the caves from noon until dusk.
And now these accursed doors and this unaccountable, nameless fear drove away my sleep. Doing without sleep, in India, is doubly wearying, as the resulting exhaustion is harder to shake off than in other places. A trace of it will remain in the shape of apathy, indifference, irritability and a complete absence of interest in anything. All this I knew from experience. Now I began to worry that tomorrow I would not want to go anywhere and nothing would interest me; and this realization irritated me still more.
Of all the problems of travelling, the most trying is lack of sleep. All the rest are bearable, but when sleep is impossible one is overcome by a feeling of disintegration and one's normal self is transformed into a tired, capricious, irritable and listless creature. This I dreaded most of all.
I call this "immersion in matter". Everything becomes flat, ordinary, prosaic; the voice of the mysterious and miraculous, which is so strongly heard in India, falls silent and seems no more than a foolish invention. You notice only the discomforts—the ridiculous and unpleasant side of everything and everybody. The mirror loses its lustre and the world seems universally grey and flat.
This was what tomorrow promised in place of the awesome and unexpected visions which had struck me with such force in the caves the day before.
It seemed impossible to get back to sleep. At times the whole bungalow came to life as if it wanted to take off, and all the doors, windows and shutters clattered simultaneously.
Gradually the feeling of terror and fear began to fade, probably from no more than exhaustion. Of course, under cover of this rattling and noise, anyone could have broken in; in the end, though, it was all the same to me: he who wants to, let him come in. I only want to sleep.
Then began a painful struggle. I tried every trick to get to sleep. I tried relaxing all my muscles, letting my mind go blank; I listened to my heartbeat and tried to abandon myself to the rhythmic rocking of the waves which were running through my body. With closed eyes I attempted to penetrate the darkness and mark a central point into which I tried to sink by thinking of nothing. I succeeded in doing it more easily than usual. I did not have any intrusive thoughts and I went to sleep without difficulty. But as soon as my consciousness began to fade and dreams to appear, somebody started tearing at my door and banging on the verandah again. This noise penetrated my sleep and dragged me back.
For a while, during the brief moments of quiet between the paroxysms of rattling, I must have dropped off, only to wake up, concentrate again, and once more sink into sleep.
Then I remember wanting to get up one more time to try to fasten the shutters on the verandah; the fear seemed to have gone completely now. I thought how good it would be suddenly to find myself in the caves at night. Again the doors rattled and somebody paced the verandah. But nothing mattered to me any more. . . . Pictures drifted into my mind, somebody was speaking right by my ear. . . .
Now I saw that I was walking along the edge of the precipice above the temple of Kailas. Pagodas of stone, three in a row, stood below. I looked down, and then, thrusting slightly with my feet, I left the edge of the rock and began calmly and smoothly to fly over the pagodas. "This is far more comfortable," I said to myself, "than the roundabout way." I flew past the pagodas and landed on the ground, not far from the entrance.
I sat on the steps of the first pagoda, near the stone elephant with the broken-off trunk, and waited for somebody.
How strange, how could I forget! Of course, I was waiting for the Devil. Last time I saw him, we agreed to meet just here in the temple of Kailas. That is why I had come, although I had forgotten this on my way here.
The Devil came out from behind the elephant, wrapped in his black cloak, looking as if his presence was nothing out of the ordinary. He sat down on the pedestal of the elephant and leaned against one of the front legs.
"Well then, here I am," he said. "Now we can continue our talk."
As soon as he had said this, I remembered that he had promised to tell me, in detail, about devils, about their life and their role in human affairs. How could I have forgotten? Eagerly I prepared to listen. Meetings with the Devil and talks with him always showed things in a new and unexpected light, even things I thought I knew all about.
"I will repeat what I have said before," said the Devil. "You are interested in the nature of the satanic world and our relations with you humans. I told you at the time that you do not understand us and paint a completely false picture of the relationship. People make a great mistake when they think we cause them harm and evil. This is quite untrue. We are very distressed that people do not understand what we do for them. They do not know, indeed they never even imagine, that our whole life consists of constant sacrifice on behalf of the human race whom we love, whom we serve, and without whom we cannot live."*
"Yes, generally speaking, you have difficulty in understanding us, and it is difficult, first of all, because even if you do acknowledge us you regard us as creatures from some other world. Ha, ha, ha!" the Devil rocked with laughter. "Are we indeed! Creatures from another world! If only you knew how silly that sounds. We are the very quintessence of this world, the earth, matter. Do you understand? We form the bond, as it were, between you and the earth. And we make sure that this bond is not broken."
"You are called spirits of evil!"
"What nonsense! We are spirits of matter. What you call evil is, from our point of view, truth. It is often useful
* After this was written, a plagiarism on the part of the Devil was pointed out to me, which I myself had not noticed. He told me the very thing the devil said to Ivan Karamazov. ("I sincerely love people, but I have been slandered many times.") In connection with this, I can say that the coincidence is solely in this phrase. What the Devil says in everything else, bears no resemblance whatsoever to what is said by Dostoyevski's devil. On the other hand, an inclination towards plagiarism is one of the basic traits in the character of a devil. Furthermore, I cannot represent him to myself entirely without plagiarism. Author.
as a preliminary measure for binding you to the earth and preventing you leaving it. All the same, to call us the spirits of evil is not correct. True, there are spirits of evil among us, those like myself for example. However, they are the exception. After all, even I am not nearly as powerful in this sphere as I am reputed to be. I do not produce evil, I only, so to speak, collect it. I am not a professional, only an amateur, a collector. There you are; very probably my inclinations are somewhat perverted. I am extremely fond of observing the way people perform their nasty deeds, especially if they use fine words at the same time. Unfortunately, it is very seldom that I can help them. You can see, from what I told you last time, that I am completely powerless in the most interesting cases. More often than not, you people have very peculiar ways. Therefore, I repeat, I am an exception. A large majority of our fraternity is thoroughly attached to people. But you do not understand what we are doing for you. Were it not for us you would have been lost without trace, long ago." "What would have happened to us without you?" "You would have vanished, been completely annihilated, and dissolved in the cosmic ether," said the Devil, "just as you disappear when . . . when various foolish fantasies occur to you." He paused. "Such as that known as 'transferring consciousness into the other world'.
"You must remember from our former talks that I have not the faintest belief in other worlds; I consider them to be figments of the imagination. Consequently, I cannot give you any information about them. I know only those regions with which I have immediate contact, and for those with which I have no contact I do not admit existence. Do you understand? It means that people who go away from earth or lose contact with it are annihilated; they cease to exist anywhere at any time. So we pity you. What a shame you are so stupid, so susceptible to fantasies which bring ruin for you. We try to do our best to keep you on earth. Had we not cared for you, you would have ceased to exist here long ago. As to where you would be—how should I know? To my way of thinking, nowhere, because to me there is nothing besides this world. We alone and only we keep you on this beautiful earth, give you the chance of admiring the sunset or the rising
moon, listening to nightingales, loving, experiencing joy. Without us nothing would have been left of you."
"But wait," I said, "you just said yourself that you do not know where we would have been without you. Perhaps we might not have disappeared entirely, might not have annihilated ourselves, might not have ceased to exist anywhere any time, as you said. Maybe, on the contrary, we might have started a new and far more pleasant life somewhere you did not exist. You know, of course, that such a theory exists."
"That's all a lot of nonsense. Firstly, where is this somewhere? Where is it, on the right, on the left, in the east, in the west? It is a myth! And secondly, how are you going to enjoy something outside matter? All your pleasures are material, your bodies are matter, and without a material body you cannot experience sensation of any kind! He who is without sensations has no existence. Finally, even if you did enjoy yourselves there, without us, what satisfaction is this for us? What concern then would your pleasures be to us? I am telling you, we love you. Well, think for yourself: imagine a woman loves a man and you try to convince her that he would be far better off where she can never see him again. How do you think she will answer you? Do you think she will agree to let him go? Nothing in the world would persuade her, if she is a real, live woman. She will say: 'Even if it is not quite perfect for him here, he's got me here, and I will not let him go.' Isn't that true? And she will be right! You people are a funny lot, you understand perfectly, but still you ask us to do the impossible.
"Listen, is it really possible to believe in all these ravings about some world beyond? We know very well what happens to a human being when he dies. And we know perfectly well that he has in him nothing other than what has been put in by outside impressions. I am a positivist, or to be more precise, a monist. I acknowledge only one beginning of the universe, by which a visible, audible and tangible world was created. Outside this world there is nothing. Of course, there may be rays and vibrations as yet undiscovered, but that is something quite different. Sooner or later they will be discovered and will merely strengthen people's belief that everything is material. Ah, how you love fairy tales!
And how we have to fight against them! In fact it is quite easy to understand how these tales arise. People do not want to die, the thought of death frightens them: they are frightened that they will never see the sun again; in fact, frightened of the word never. So they invent various consolations for themselves. Paramount in their minds is the desire that something should remain after death. But we do not deceive ourselves. We have no need. We do not depend on time, and we live as long as matter exists. And the kingdom of matter is eternal!"
The Devil sprang to his feet, jumped high in the air, somersaulted, and landed on the elephant's head in a blaze of purple flame, shouting:
"The kingdom of matter is eternal!"
Eternal, eternal . . . echoed the vaults of the inner halls and the bats, rising in swarms, formed a strange black design above his head.
"Stop these acrobatics!" I said. "Maybe they impress some people, but I am much more interested in what you say. It seems that we have indeed been gravely mistaken about you."
The Devil jumped down and assumed the same pose as before beside the feet of the elephant.
"You are mistaken from beginning to end," he said. "As much about us as about yourselves! Your first error, as I have already said, consists in taking us for creatures of another world. No other world exists, none whatsoever! At all events, we do not believe in it. Our nature actually dictates that we do not know and cannot know anything except the earth. I am astonished that you fail to understand this. But as I have already begun to speak plainly with you, I will tell you that the legend about the other world has, to a considerable extent, been created by us."
"I do not understand," said I.
"You see, people often indulge in strange fantasies. Among other things, these often prevent people from living and from occupying themselves with their own affairs. And so, to free them from these fantasies, or at least to render them harmless, we take one tactical, or to be more precise, pedagogical course of action. Namely, parallel with the harm-
ful and distracting fantasies, we create others, resembling them, but harmless.
"Take those fantasies about the unreality of this world, the world beyond, everlasting life, eternity—in all that there is something weakening, depriving people of the perseverance indispensable for life. You can see how the person who comes to believe in everlasting life begins to regard the present one with some contempt. He begins to place little value on the good things of life, is not so willing to fight for them, very often does not even wish to retrieve what is taken away from him. Just think what can come of such a situation. Generally he begins behaving strangely, spending too much time dreaming, experiencing mystical sensations and finally resigning from life altogether.
"Mysticism—there's your chief evil. So we take pity on people, and, using some susceptible mind, we construct our own theory about the world beyond, life beyond the grave, everlasting life—call it what you will—a simple, consequential, logical theory, false though it may be. Nevertheless, you understand, I don't want to suggest that a genuine theory of a world beyond does exist—all are equally false. Undoubtedly there are theories of a certain unpleasant mystical or religious flavour; if these don't lead people straight into religious mania, they certainly corrupt them.
"Compared with these harmful fantasies, our theories are, between you and me, simply a small fabrication. There is nothing obscure, nothing mystical about them. We base everything on the most realistic earthly facts: it is just that they have never been, are not, and never can be true.
"As a result, our world beyond is not in any way different from the earth. It is merely, so to speak, the earth turned upside-down. You realize that places with much in common, even seen upsidedown, are not dangerous.
"We are much helped in this situation by that basic error you make about us, and ultimately by the error you make about yourselves."
"And how, according to you, are we mistaken about ourselves?"
"I even find it hard to explain it to you," said the Devil, "your ideas are so confused. I must begin a long way back.
.........I found this story which I will continue and the basic premise of the Kolbrin closely align,it's a beautifully told tale that should expand and enlighten you."In that old book of yours is written the story of Adam and Eve. Well now, that story is not correct, and this fallacious theory concerning the origin of man confuses all your subsequent ideas about him. As for the new theory of the origin of man from protoplasm, it is very witty. I admit that. But it is even further from the truth. I will now attempt to tell you what really happened.
"Adam and Eve are the names of those descended from the Great One. So they say; I do not know how true it is, but then I do not know that we can be sure of anything, probably not. But they do say that there was a Great One called the Bearer of Light, who fought and quarrelled, not with heaven but with the earth, with matter, or with falsehood, and conquered it. It was not until much later, we said, that he quarrelled with heaven.
"He rose very high, but they say that in the end he doubted the truth and for a moment he believed in that very falsehood he had been fighting against. This caused him to fall and be smashed into a thousand pieces. And it is from his descendants that Adam and Eve came. With the best will in the world I cannot tell the story any better than that: you see, it borders on matters I don't understand. And what I don't understand does not exist. It is most unpleasant to speak about what is found on the edge of some emptiness beyond which nothing exists. We are afraid of this void. And there you have it: I have told you our biggest secret. It is on account of this fear, this terror, that we attach ourselves to you: you help us to ignore the dreadful nothingness and forget about it.
"But I will return to what I was talking about earlier. Adam and Eve, according to your old book, lived in paradise. This is the first error: they lived on earth. But, how can I put it? They only played at living on the earth—like children! And with nine-tenths of their being they lived in that emptiness we so detest and which is hostile to life. They called this void the world of the miraculous. To my way of thinking they were not normal and they certainly suffered hallucinations of sight and hearing. Take the fact that they were reported to have seen God and spoken with Him. I don't know what that means, but it is undoubtedly something terrible."
kolbrinstruth wrote:sorry guys i'm gone
You just have to be aware of time zones with this place, personally I'm not into this stuff but a few people are so don't be disheartened
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