Wanderers in Eternity – Chapter 9


Table of Contents: Preface | Life Cycle | Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09





There was a celebration in the village named Bisoweva in the Yan Oya valley where thirty new houses had been built and several dislocated families and orphans were settled in as residents. The entire environment appeared refreshed and new washed clean by the previous night’s rain. Still there were dew drops on the grass and upon the trees. While the sun was gradually rising and while so many were participating in the activities of the celebration whole heartedly, Ajith who was among them felt very restless.

In an open space beyond housing scheme, the chairs and mast placed in rows were all occupied to capacity by people that had arrived from near and far. Beyond this area under the shade of the trees were more people listening and watching. They were all facing a wooden stage where there were several speakers. Some of them had come all the way from Colombo and other far off areas. Some had worked very hard to bring this project to fruition.

Ajith who was seated in a chair amidst the crowd looked at his parents and his older sister and her husband. He still felt an emptiness. They were not here yet.

An army brigadier named Weerarathna started to talk. “Today is the day that the flowers are blossoming in the dreams born out of this project. Now we are getting aid not only from our own people but from many other countries to rebuild the villages that were destroyed just like this one was. Like I mentioned before, we are not doing any of this hoping to gain profit, publicity of fame. Our only aim is to do some service to our people. today I feel like we have won. We did not win today by fighting with weapons such as bombs and guns. Our victory is what we can do to help these orphans and the displaced to stand on their own. Our victory is being able to tell the world what these people have suffered through. Winning hearts is the victory. Winning hearts is not something we can do by fighting with weapons…”

After this, Ajith did not hear most of what the speaker said. Ajith got involved in the rebuilding of the villages project because of reverend Subuthi. His service done with relentless courage and dedication was not for a particular race or a religion. This was a service to the entire mankind.

Ajith came to realize how very little the people in Colombo and the South knew about what was really going on in the Northern war only after he had started working with reverend Subuthi. The last few years he had spent with those who had come from far away places, helping the displaced and the orphans from the war by providing them with housing, clothing and money and rebuilding the road of the North Central, North East, and the east, were the most productive years of his entire life.

I there was any good he could do in this lifetime, which was only one stopping in his journey through eternity, he was ready and willing to do that. He also learned to meditate under the guidance of reverend Subuthi. Through relaxation and self hypnosis he brought his mind to one pointedness and learned about several of his previous lives. Just as he was the Tamil man named Sundaram in his last ;ife, he found out that in many other lifetime, he had been born into many different races, believing in many different religions and practices. He lost his pride of being born to a particular race in this lifetime. He realized that he belonged to the human race but not to a particular branch of it which man had created out of his ego. He also realized that men were fighting and killing each other, they were putting down each other and hurting and torturing each other because of an ignorance of not understanding the temporary nature of these thought attachments. Thanks to reverend Subuthi Ajith was no more attached to one lifetime.

It was true that Janaki was his daughter in one lifetime. But in so many different lives, how many different attachments he must have made? he wondered. He realized what was important in this journey through eternity was not the attachments but the separation from those attachments. Now his whole life was spent in helping others.

He helped in the rehabilitation of the Tamil prisoners of war. Some of them were learning meditation from reverend Subuthi. They also learned to took into their past lives. They realized that the race they were born to in this lifetime was not theirs to hold onto forever.

During this time, Ajith got very close to Vasantharaja who was in the Vauniya prison camp. After the hypnotic regression session, Vasantharaja also realized that in his previous life he had been Ajith’s older brother named Lionel.

Though Ajith revealed this to his parents both of them were doubtful about this revelation. His father, Victor Henegama’s comment was “Let bygones be bygones.” “My son has to be in heaven,” Mallika added. “That Tamil boy musthave agreed to all this nonsense to get out of prison.”

Ajith’s sister, Suneetha also listened to him with doubt. But today they had come to Bisowewa to take a look at Vasantharaja who was coming here after being released from prison. But so far, there was no sing of Vasantharaja or reverend Subuthi.

Ajith was restless though he was trying to listen to the speakers. After the brigadier’s speech, a young man who had come to serve the South and Buddhist spoke. After this were heard the sorrowful tales of the families misplaced during the war. One of the woman had hid in the forest when the Tigers attacked her village during a heavy downpour. Since she could not carry her little baby in the rain she had him somewhere near the hut. The Tigers who had come to attack had rotis that she had been preparing and then had put the baby in the frying pan to burn. Another boy had found out that all his family had been massacred while he was in school. He had returned home to find his whole family dead and soaked in blood.

Ajith had heard several stories like this before. But every time he heard more, they always created a painful curiosity within him. These incidences would always bring back memories of the painful experiences in his previous life. He sat in his chair and listened on. He there were a woman and a girl on stage. The woman who was nearing middle age stood close to the girl and stared her story.

“I came to live in Bodhiipura with my husband and my daughter. We came like that because my husband was a man who was unafraid and was willing to work hard and make a living as a farmer. Our village was destroyed by the terrorists. When we heard that the terrorists were coming we went and hid in the jungle. My daughter and I were in one spot, while my husband was in a nearby place with our son.” Although her eyes were filling with tears she spoke on with courage. “Then the Tigers came and started to burn down our houses. And they were killing anyone they happened to see. We were still hiding, Shivering with fear. I saw one of them coming towards us. I prayed to the gods hugged my daughter. That man came and shot my husband point blank. Then he took my son and…and….” She could not continue with her tragedy anymore.

The daughter started to speak at this time.

“For some strange reason or because of our luck, that man did not shoot us even though he saw us clearly. He just kept staring at us. That was he got shot by the army.”

The crowd was heard sighing. All at once a drizzle started to fall. It was as if the clouds that were gathering in the sky showing their sorrow this way.

“Dear friends, that was Anula of Bodhipura who just spoke to us. For a while she had been an undergraduate at the University in Kandy. She left all that and came to be a farmer…. This is her daughter Visaka” while the brigadier was introducing them, the rain started to fall steadily.

Everyone began to disperse and they all started to run to wherever there was a shade. Though some opened up their umbrella, and some others went under the trees, as the downpour got heavier, they also gave up the meeting and ran of find cover under the roofs of the houses. Ajith along with his parents and his sister and brother-in-law ran for cover like everyone else. Where they ended up was the porch of a new house.

“It is raining to wash off everything to give it all a fresh start,” Mallika Henagam said.

“A new beginning,” Suneetha said for Ajith to hear. “Would you like to live in a place like this, brother?”

“Really, I would like to do that,” Ajith replied. “Now, to me, any place is the same on this earth…. the same earth.”

As if not hearing his son’s words, victor Henagam lit up a cigarette. Rainwater fell off of the eaves and muddied the yard. Ajith kept looking at the bubbles rising in the muddy water.

“There comes the woman who just finished talking.” When Suneetha said this, Ajith looked up and ahead.

Anula who spoke last on stage and her daughter Visaka came running towards the house. Anula holding on to the raised and gathered hem of her pale yellow sari one hand. The chintz dress that Visaka wore was also soaked by the rain.

“Oh, don’t stay outside like that. Come into the house,” Anula said as she stepped on to the porch. :You, ladies and gentlemen, please do sit down. This is our home.”

Ajith’s eyes were drawn to Visaka. He thought that she looked just like her mother. The only difference was that Anula was a little order.

“Reverend Subuthi had also come and listened to my story,” Anula said. “He said he will come here. There he is.”

Ajith looked ahead. The priest with his head covered by an umbrella was not alone. Ajith recognized the young man who was sharing the priest’s umbrella.

“While you were telling your story, we stood in the back and listened,” the priest said as he neared the porch. “We were delayed on the road.”

“Please do come in, reverend,” saying this Anula turned to the interior of the house. “Let me bring a white cloth to cover the chair.”

When she went in, Visaka followed her.

The young man who came with the priest kept staring at the Henegamas as if in disbelief. Ajith spoke to him.

“Vasantharaja, this is my mother and my father. This is my sister, Suneetha.”

“I know.” Vasantharaja leaned against a pillar on the porch. “I know.” Victor and Mallika were dumbfounded. It was as if a restlessness was born within them on seeing Vasantharaja’s eyes.

“Don’t be afraid of me,” Vasantharaja said in very clear Sinhalese. “I know who this is…. Do you remember Lionel?”

Saying “My son!” Mallika started to cry all at once.

“Lionel- that is I. We are born and then we die, mother. This priest here explained it all to me.”

“We did and we are born again. There is no end to this eternity… All the attachments are temporary,” reverend Subuthi who was still standing on the porch side. This was when Anula came back out with a white cloth. While placing this over a chair, she at the young man who had come with the priest.

Vasantharaja was also looking directly at Anula and Visaka. After placing the cloth over the chair hastily, Anula allowed the priest to sit down and then worshipped him. All the others followed her actions.

“This is a very strange meeting, isn’t it?” the priest said.

“Anula…” Vasantharaja murmured. “Can you remember me?”

“Ian;t this man, reverend? He killed my husband, Siripala.” Wailing out loud, Anula ran out of the porch to the pouring rain. It was as if the soaking in the rain was a relief to her.

While everyone on in amazement, Vasantharaja also ran out to the yard.

“Anula….Anula….. Please forgive me, Anula… please forgive me for all the mistakes I made in my life, Anula.”

Yelling “Mother!” Visaka also ran out to the rainy yard. Hugging Visaka, Anula cried. Ajith could not hear everything that Vasantharaja was saying while kneeling down in front of the two women.

“Anula…I am Lionel…. I walked away from your love, Anula. Because of a revolution I gave up my whole life, Anula. Then I was born again, and again I joined a different revolution and killed innocent people, Anula… please forgive me, please forgive me, Anula….” His words were mingling in the downpour. the burning end of the cigarette that Victor threw out was doused by the rain.

Everyone who was staring in amazement on the porch heard the words spoken by reverend Subuthi.

“Good people, look at all the attachments that we create while we go around in this cycle of Samsara. Good people, look at the tangled web we weave because of the desires and cravings that we bring upon us in the meantime. When we can’t even hold on to our own selves, why do we create attachments saying these are my parents, these are my children, this is my wealth and this is my race, good people? Let us do what we can for the others. Let us give for the sake of others… It is by giving only that this craving and desires can be lessened. It si by giving that we are liberated. Then by virtue and meditation we can purify our thoughts and bring the mind to one pointedness. That is where Nirvana is, good people. That is where true enlightenment is….”

Hearing reverend Subuthi’s words, Ajith walked out to the yard. He felt that the falling rain was washing his heart as well as the surroundings and purifying his whole being.

April 2, 1995

English Translation completed December 24 1999.
Published on Internet 2001 as part of Panhinda Project.
Add to Bhadraji Website and Updated January 21, 2016.

©1999, Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilaka. All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher and author.


Table of Contents: Preface | Life Cycle | Chapter 01 | Chapter 02 | Chapter 03 | Chapter 04 | Chapter 05 | Chapter 06 | Chapter 07 | Chapter 08 | Chapter 09