(The hunter in the wilderness of sansara)
Chapter1 :(Part 10)
Thereafter, the hunter followed the crowfoot signs and discovered the
treasure trove. It was filled with gold coins and jewellery. He did not
know whether the glittering ornaments were actually made of gold. He did
not feel he needed to know either. He looked around rather bemused.
Finally, the Bahirawaya genuflected before him and followed him back to
the entrance of the cave. The hunter knew that the Naga King was
following the Bahirawaya and for this reason he realised that they had
once again surfaced on the top of the rock. Seeing the Tree Spirit
waiting for them, he felt that he could trust everything to be true.
The Bahirawaya was nowhere to be seen. Once the Tree Spirit confirmed
to himself that the Bahirawaya was indeed gone, he turned to the hunter.
ĎYou donít have to trust the Tree Spirit O Giant. Although he does
not speak in a language you would understand it would suffice to trust
this Naga King. There are seven arrows carved on the rock around the
crowfoot mark pointing to seven directions. This is the truth. At a
distance of seven leagues from there in the direction of each of these
arrow marks you will find seven such rocks and upon each a similar
At the foot of each of these rocks you will find treasure troves
similar to this. Therein you will discover seven treasures all made of
pure gold. The day that you see gold as gold, that day they will be gold
ĎThis vast forest has been bequeathed to you. It is not just another
forest. It was born on the remains of seven other such forests that were
birthed, decayed and perished, one after the other. Seven civilisations
lived and died therein. Their remains lie in seven layers of earth, one
stacked upon the other. These as well as those seven jungles all belong
to you, O Giant. All treasures that lie here too are yours.í
Amidst all these thoughts, feelings and actions, Golu Puncha was able
to comprehend one truth alone. He realised that he was not Puncha or
Golu Puncha, but Giant.
The Giant stood upon the rocky outcrop, surveying for a moment the
life of the forest with all its rocks and treasures that had now become
The Naga King and the Tree Spirit looked at his gigantic frame with
deep respect. The Naga Lady was unable to bear the heat that was the
aura that surrounded his stature. She tried to retire timidly into her
cave but found that she could not move, as though victim of a strange
immobilizing spell. The Giant glanced at her briefly with some pride and
the next moment cast his gaze on the rocky pool. He saw it with new eyes
It was not a random creation of nature. It was in fact constructed by
craftsmen who lived and died a long time ago, another and ancient
Having discerned this fact, the Giant made his way down the rock,
along with the Tree Spirit and while walking down he realised something
else. There were steps carved on the rock to make ascent and descent
The bottom half of the mountain was covered in thick jungle. There
were steps, he discovered, neatly carved right down to the roots of the
gigantic trees at the very bottom of the mountain.
Some were broken but this fact did not prove to be an obstacle to the
journey. Who had constructed this stairway which had not existed on his
way up to the top of the rock? Perhaps they did exist all along. Perhaps
he had ascended from a different place and in a different direction.
In any event, the Giant climbed down the flight of steps her had just
discovered. The Tree Spirit followed at his heels, as though insisting
that he too shared credit for the discovery and that the Giant should
not entertain any doubt about the Tree Spiritís loyalty.
We should not forget that the descent did not end at the bottom of
the rock. The earth surface of the present was not located at the
visible base levels of the trees. When they had reached the end of the
tap root of the most gigantic trees they encountered the ruins of an
Beneath this was another layer of earth. Thereafter, they found the
ruins of yet another civilisation. In this manner, they descended
through seven civilisational strata. The Tree Spirit pointed out that it
was those who peopled the first civilisation that had carved the flight
Tree Spirist saw the Giant gazing with a certain unperturbed vacancy at
all these ruins of all these civilizations, the wealth buried therein
and the remnants of uncountable creatures that had lived and died across
The Tree Spirit noted equanimity in the Giantís gaze. It is not
surprising that the Tree Spirit could not detect the Giantís eyes,
hidden as they were by a set of large, many-folded and heavy eyelids. A
tremor had passed through the deep caverns within which the Giantís
thoughts resided on account of seeing the seven buried civilisations,
one after another.
He felt his entire being shake, but it was not on account of sudden
cognizance of the enormity and sole propriety of his inheritance.
He felt his entire body being enveloped with goose bumps. And yet he
wandered about the ancient and subterranean ruins with the Tree Spirit
without indicating a hint of this discontent. There were very few ruins
at the first civilizational layer, the seventh that they encountered.
There were skeletal remains of animals but very few belonging to humans.
A massive forest had perished here and walking through it all, he
encountered the skeleton of a human being. He stopped and stared at it
for a long time. The Giant surmised that the man whose bones these were
would have been as tall and as well built as he was.
He saw a well crafted axe lying near the skeletal remains of the
manís hand. It was large. Its blade was made of granite. The hand of the
axe was made of some kind of metal. He felt an inexplicable shiver run
through his body.
He picked up the axe and examined it carefully. He realised that it
was a weapon that suited him when he hung it from his shoulder, the hand
falling down his back and blade upon collar bone.
The moment he strung the axe thus all fear and doubt vanished. He
felt a great relief encompass his being. He let the axe remain this way
even after returning to the earth of present-time and yet an undefined
thought remained resident within him regarding the original owner of the
axe, whose mortal remains he had discovered at the bottom-end ruins.
He felt instinctively that this ancient creature who lay amidst the
scattered remnants of countless other lives across several eras was tied
to him in some inexplicable way, perhaps on account of some blood-tie in
a different life time or in some umbilical manner. This thought didnít
For seven years thereafter he roamed the jungle, axe upon his
shoulder. This axe had endowed him with a clear understanding of his
strength. It gave him self-belief and kept away fear and doubt.
He had seen the boundaries of the jungle and noted its defining
characteristics the first day the Tree Spirit led him to this place. The
most important component of the jungle was the seven layers of
civilisation that lay beneath the surface.
The next important characteristic was the specifically patterned
arrangement of hill and valley across the length and breadth of the vast
jungle. The Tree Spirit spared no pains to explain to the Giant that
this constituted the remains of an irrigational complex.
ĎThere was a massive earth dam that ran across the Mee Oya, the river
that forms one boundary of this forest. There was an enormous reservoir
here. Beneath the dam was a massive tract of paddy land that was watered
by this reservoir.
There were seven other reservoirs that collected the water that
passed through the paddy fields. The water from each of these reservoirs
fed the paddy tracts below them and the residual water flowed into seven
further reservoirs from each of them.
In this manner the water from the Mee Oya as well as the water that
fell from the sky was collected and channelled through this irrigation
network into a large number of paddy tracts in an area that is now
covered by this jungle.í
While gathering in eye and mind the ruins of this irrigation complex,
the Giant also had opportunity to see all the treasures pointed to by
the arrows pointing out from the crowfoot sign.
He encountered the Nagas and the Bahiravas tasked to protect each of
the relevant treasure troves.
During these seven years the Giant developed the habit of descending
the mountain after having his midday meal. He would pick up the axe
which he left at the foot of the mountain.
He roamed the entire jungle. He passed through the most minute
elements of life within the jungle. In time it is possible that he
acquired the habit of sleeping even as he stood, even as he walked
through the trees and through all plant and animal life.
At all times he was acutely alert about the mysterious as well as
vast forest that was his inheritance. All creatures within it, the
poisonous and dangerous, the gentle and respectful and all other
creatures in all their immense variety were protected by the Gaint and
on account of his axe.
The part of the inheritance that lay beneath the surface, decaying
daily and dropped even deeper into the past, was also protected as it
all lay beneath his feet.