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The Ultimate Revelations

by
Jamshed Akhtar

Excerpts from the book

[Synopsis of the book]

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Excerpts from three chapters of the book are provided here: 

 

Excerpts from a chapter entitled 'The Fire'

He could feel the chill of the mountain air seeping into his bones. The plain expanded from the mountain's foot as smoothly as an inland sea, its distant shores invisible in the golden haze of the setting sun.

The temporary settlement that dotted the area seemed to belong to some nomads of this place. Hamza first heard the collective bleat and then saw the sheep returning amidst an air full of golden dust.

Through the fleecy turmoil, he saw a tall shepherd moving towards a large tent. The man was wearing a homespun cloak, and looked exceptionally graceful, strong and stately. He watched, fascinated by each single movement of this man, who seemed to have a kingly bearing even in this desert setting. He was walking among sheep as if a king was moving among his subjects.

As the man reached a tent, a woman emerged with a pitcher of water and greeted him with a smile. The gentle woman who must have been his wife, was wearing a loose flowing robe with a head covering. Her face had a soft ethereal quality which he had never seen among the coarse nomadic tribes he had encountered in the Thar deserts of India. Who were they? He knew that a lot of gypsies still preferred a nomadic existence, but these nomads seemed very different.

The woman who was looking towards the mountain pointed out something to the tall man, who turned to look. Others also arrived on the scene. They too stopped to look at the mountain. A hush fell suddenly on the assembly. Even the sheep seemed to fall silent. Hamza whose back was towards the mountain, turned to look at the object of attention.

The hill soared for thousands of feet into the sky. There was nothing to halt the upward path of the eye, except here and there, an irrelevant tuft of vegetation curling from the rock-face on a single stalk or a straight damp smear of some spring's overflow, like a snail track. But near the top, a strange luminescent glow was visible, lighting up the cloud layer that must have been near to its source.

Was it some kind of forest fire at the top? Hamza turned to look at the nomads. These people seemed equally perturbed about the cause of the light. The man was saying something to his wife. He gestured towards the path in the mountain and then towards the setting sun, which suggested that he was going to identify the cause of the fire, and promising to return soon.

Hamza felt a strong urge building up inside him. He wanted to talk to that man. But what was he supposed to do? Wait for his return or go after him? Hamza decided to go after him. He too wanted to see the source of the fire.

The shadows were lengthening. The sunlight was now mellow and golden. A deep gorge opened before Hamza, which narrowed and rose along a chasm between the mountains. He saw the man climbing steadily, and scrambled behind as fast as he could. Hamza had barely reached the end of this gorge when the sun dipped below the serrated edge of the hilly range. The mountain ahead turned greyish blue - sad, cold and threatening…

…"The light you saw was the start of the ministry of Moses." Father Joseph was looking at the jungle of skyscrapers from the wide glass wall of Hamza's apartment. He was a friend of Richard and a Bible scholar. His work was recently published, under the title, 'How the Pentateuchal traditions were transmitted'. Richard had already told him about his dreams and he had come straight from the church to Hamza's apartment. Throughout the narration, he had maintained an absolute silence without any interruptions or questions. It was only when Hamza finished his monologue that Father Joseph began speaking dreamily. "How strange it feels when one considers the fact that you personally saw an event that had actually occurred more than three thousand years ago...All the while that you were fighting wild dogs and hyenas in the mountain, and Moses was climbing higher and higher for a tryst with destiny, who knows what sufferings were being encountered by Hebrew families in Egypt. The same moon must have been shining on the opulent palaces of the Pharaoh and on the slave labor camps, where the slaves were rebuilding the fortified cities of Pithom and Remesis. I wish you could have stayed behind and waited for the return of Moses." He looked literally crestfallen. "Just imagine, the source of light you missed seeing last night was God's light Himself, the most mysterious event in the history of humanity. It was the key incident in the whole drama. The gift of Moses' staff came from within that fire. The plagues, the turning of Nile into blood, the shadow of death, the exodus, and the parting of the sea all followed later. It was that light, the fire that was all important. I wish I could have been in your place, I would have definitely waited for Moses to return instead of taking this stupid risk and losing the chance for ever. Oh my God!" He covered his face with both hands.

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Excerpts from a chapter entitled 'The Preacher'

The jungle trail became an aural, visual and olfactory treat for Hamza. He had never seen so many birds of different varieties, size and shapes, flitting from one branch to another; so many flowers, in hundreds of different shades and hues; butterflies of breathtaking beauty; droves of animals, known and unknown that came to the trail, stopped for some time, looking quizzically up at the humans and then vanishing into the lush dense growth. Never before in his life, had he encountered such diverse and exotic smells that were emanating from the combined array of flora and fauna, present in this tropical forest. And he had never heard such a symphony of jungle sounds that included multitude of bird calls, animal calls and the chirping of the ever present crickets, having a rhythm of their own. Hamza had a musical ear. He reacted to musical compositions much more intensely than his colleagues. Sometimes, even the prosaic mundane background sounds of a rural or urban day, blended into pleasing compositions for him. But, this aural experience was something different. It was much more richer than anything he had heard before. He wanted to stop and savor each and every note, every movement and color that was dancing before his eyes, and every exotic smell he was experiencing. But the monks were moving inexorably towards their destination. And Hamza did not want to be left behind.

The jungle had kept him so engrossed that he lost track of the time. Suddenly, he heard the voice of the boatman calling the monks. He was not visible from here, the trail had curved ahead into the forest. One by one, all of them joined the old man.

The forest had thinned from this point onwards. Through the branches, a large clearing was visible, where hundreds of men were sitting cross-legged on the ground, listening to a discourse being given by a man, not clearly visible from this distance. Hamza saw scores of people coming to the clearing and joining the congregation from all sides of the encircling forest. Many of them were in monks' apparel but common people too were sitting among them.

The boatman and the party of monks with him joined the congregation. They sat reverently in the last row, which soon got filled up by the new comers.

The rows were neat, and the large gathering extremely attentive and silent. Barring the clear and melodious voice of the preacher, Hamza did not hear a single murmur, whisper or even somebody coughing. Sometimes one of the monks from the front row spoke something, but that seemed to be in reply to a poser by the preacher himself. The discipline was absolute.

Who was this man? How come so many monks and common people were getting attracted to his sermons? Did he belong to some Buddhist order? Buddhism was very popular in the eastern lands but it had practically vanished from India, long long ago. Hamza did not know about any preacher in India, Buddhist or otherwise, with such a mass appeal. Then who was he? He had seen the photographs of Dalai lama. But he was sure that this man was somebody else.

Hamza decided to take a closer look at the enigmatic preacher. Together with the young boy, who had not joined the congregation, and walking on the periphery of the clearing without disturbing the congregation, he reached behind a tree, from where the man was clearly visible.

Sitting still on a raised mound in the lotus position, he seemed to have absolute control over his perfect body. The hair neatly tied up in a bun on the head, showed his clear broad forehead, the sharp long nose, the glowing complexion and the large eyes that were closed in meditation. All these factors had combined to give him an extremely handsome and stately appearance. But, the thing which struck him most about this preacher, was the peace and serenity on his face. Such calm, such peace, he had never seen in a human face before.

Suddenly, the man opened his eyes. And even from this distance, Hamza felt the power behind those black, unfathomable eyes. As the man looked around, he looked straight at Hamza and Hamza felt, as if he had been scanned by a very powerful source of X-rays…

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Excerpts from a chapter entitled 'The Creator Factor'

"Just a moment, if you are implying that we must look for a coded solution to our present problem in the Scriptures of the world religions, then before proceeding any further I suggest that you find out at least some credible answer to the question of the existence or non-existence of the Creator itself. If the atheists have a stronger case, and we have only a vague faith based on Scriptures whose accuracy is anyway doubtful, then let us not waste any more time on this wild goose chase. Let the masses wallow in their opium, fighting each other, and let the scientists do what they are best at doing, that is, let them try to find a way out of this crisis. If they succeed within time, we will be saved. If not, well the extra-terrestrials who may pass by this planet some day in the future, would know that at least we tried, and failed. After all, from the beginning of civilisation till today, several townships have been wiped out by natural catastrophes, and not all of them can be accused to rival Sodom or Gomorra. In those towns, there must have been children, too innocent to differentiate between right and wrong, and some citizens who were God fearing, loving, and good to others etc. etc." Dr. Keplar was the first to react when Hamza floated his suggestion before an assembly of his space station colleagues. The vehemence, the passion, and the anger showed that he was either a chronic atheist or an easily excitable man.

"Creator factor is a fascinating and mysterious subject." Dr. Drake was a senior scientist and resembled a very likeable half human, half Vulcan character Mr. Spock from an ancient Tv serial 'Star Trek'. Hamza could not guess his age, but it must have been within the age limits prescribed for a space mission. "It has always excited the most intelligent and the most stupid..," Hamza was again unable to guess which category was meant for Dr. Keplar "..And it is still being studied vigorously by extremely sharp men of knowledge and intellect, from all walks of life. But, no one has yet succeeded in really proving or disproving the existence of a Creator."

"Dr. Drake, two third of humanity is supposed to believe in the Creator factor. Do you really think that all this faith is without any tangible evidence of His existence?" This question had come from an eternally inquisitive young engineer Reeve, responsible for maintenance of life support systems of the space station.

"Surprisingly yes, but the statement should be amended to include that we neither have the proof for His existence nor for His non-existence."

"What do you mean?"

"There are basically four ways through which humanity has tried to discern the reality behind the concept of a Creator." Dr. Drake opened his broad palm and began counting on his fingers. "Through experiences and knowledge of spiritualists and mystics; through philosophical reasoning; through the testimony of prophets down the ages; and through scientific examination and observation of the world for evidences of a Design and a Designer of this Creation."

"And did none of these sources provide a definite knowledge of Creator?" Reeves asked again.

"The metaphysical experiences of mystics and spiritualists the world over, not only do not tally with each other, but such experiences also can not be verified individually. Therefore they are unreliable by their very nature."

"What about philosophical arguments for the existence of God?" Hamza asked.

"The philosophical reasoning started with Greeks, who tried to comprehend the reality of the First Cause but could not succeed. Then Arab scientists coming in contact with Greek logic tried to correlate the philosophy and reason with their Scripture, but that movement also failed and Creator factor remained a matter of personal belief. Saint Anselm in the west meanwhile, provided Ontological arguments for the existence of God, and after him Saint Thomas Aquinas gave arguments that became known as 'Five Ways'. But, unfortunately, as later philosophers showed, none of them could succeed in proving the existence of God satisfactorily."

"What about the third way you outlined. Doesn't the testimony of prophets provide a definite concept of Creator?" The question was asked by Dr. Isaac, the science officer of the space station, a serious and sensitive man, and a devout Jew.

"Except Buddha, who did not want to talk about metaphysics, Scriptures of other world's authentic religions, do provide us a definite concept of God. But these concepts are contradictory. The belief in the Vedas as a revealed wisdom is an essential part of Hindu religion. But the latitude permitted in the interpretation of Vedas is so wide that atheistic Sankhya philosophy of Kapila and the polytheism of Puranas are both recognized as orthodox. Besides Vedanta philosophy give us an organic concept of God while the God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is understood to be an ultimate 'Father in the Heaven' figure. And even this 'Father in the Heaven' concept is not without differences. The God of Israel and Islam is single, but the God of Christianity is a Trinity of three persons. Then this is not all. There are differences in the God of Israel and Islam also. It is for these reasons, and the fact that there is no infallible way to judge the accuracy of these Scriptures, that men of knowledge have always found the exercise of scientific reasoning as being the more acceptable way to prove or disprove the existence of God."…

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