The novel, Black Hole, continues.
For those who came in late, the story so far: Kailash Public School in Delhi is donated to Devlok Ashram by Sitaram Rana. The Ashram was founded by Kailash Baba with the generous collaboration of Aaron Matthews from London as well as Amarjeet who succeeded Kailash as the Baba and Mahendra Rana. Ishan is one of the teachers in Kailash School whose spirituality is stirred by the new happenings and begins to write his gospel. Nitin Jain is the son of Amarjeet who will succeed him as the Baba. An earthquake reminds Mahendra of his family. He soon discovers that he has a son back there in Kurukshetra and gets a new purpose for his existence. Rachel, Aaron's wife visits him in Delhi having obtained a free journey in the company of the Mountbattens who came to give Independence to India. Rachel returns to England realising that she has lost Aaron to Indian spirituality. Jane Abercrombie, a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany, is disillusioned with Amarjeet who taught her the Non-Being of Kamasutra.
Aaron handed over the manuscript of The Path of the Master to Kailash Baba.
“Aaron, you’ve done a great job.” The Baba ran his palm fondly over the sheaf of papers. He knew what the book contained though he had never read it. Aaron used to discuss the contents at regular intervals with the Baba and also make changes if the latter suggested them. The Baba knew that Aaron would be his ideal successor.
God can never be reached through logic. God has to be experienced just as love can only be experienced.
When Aaron read that once, Kailash Baba objected. “Avoid the parallel with love,” he counselled. “Love is an emotion. God is an experience.”
The Master has transcended all emotions including love, the Baba explained. The Master is a man with an expanded consciousness. God is also a consciousness. The Consciousness. We either know God or do not. There is no middle way.
When Augustine cried that “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee,” he was actually referring to the elevated stage of his life when his consciousness had experienced the harmony with the Consciousness. Hearts are always restless. Serenity belongs to the consciousness.
The Master shows the path leading to the Infinite Consciousness, the path from the darkness of the heart to the light of the consciousness. Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya.
The Baba read the last lines in the manuscript. He returned the sheaf to Aaron. Then he closed his eyes for a while.
“From heart to consciousness,” he mumbled and fell silent.
“We should publish this soon. I will also declare you as my successor on the day we will release this book.”
Aaron wondered why the Baba thought of a successor when he was hearty and hale.
“Amarjeet has certain designs,” the Baba said as if he had read Aaron’s thoughts. “Let him look after the temporal affairs of the ashram. He can never be a Master.”
Amarjeet, however, had his own path to masterhood.
“All the white men must leave India,” Amarjeet declared to Mahendra the day after Jawaharlal Nehru redeemed India’s age-old pledge and hoisted the tricolour at the Lahori Gate of Red Fort. But he had no courage to go and ask Aaron why he was still lingering when his compatriots had all left or were leaving.
Instead of leaving, Aaron was all set to release his book and become the custodian of the Path.
“How disgraceful would it be if a firangi sits on the Baba’s seat!” Amarjeet scowled.
Mahendra readily shared the scowl.
Together they hatched a plan to forestall the disgrace.
A little away, in the city of Delhi, two other patriotic Indians were also hatching a plan.
Mohandas Gandhi was a disgrace to the nation, Nathuram Godse had decided. His firend, Narayan Apte, readily shared the decision.
Mohandas Gandhi’s death eclipsed Aaron Matthews’ death.
“He fell down from the terrace,” Amarjeet explained to Kailash Baba.
“But why did he go to the terrace?” The Baba wondered.
“We took him to show the plans for the new construction there.”
The Baba noticed a satanic gleam in Amarjeet’s eyes. The gleam haunted the Baba throughout the night. He was not sure which disturbed him more: Aaron’s death or the gleam in Amarjeet’s eyes.
The funeral flames that engulfed Aaron’s pyre the next morning assumed a fiendish reflection in Amarjeet’s eyes. Kailash Baba saw Satan dancing in those eyes.
Satan continued to dance in the Baba’s consciousness though days passed after Aaron’s funeral. Something in his consciousness connected the death of the Lion of Punjab to that of Aaron Matthews. What has changed from then to now? Kailash Baba wondered. What have I achieved? A vast complex of concrete buildings. Thousands of devotees. Is this what I really wanted?
The Baba shut himself in his room. He told Amarjeet to ask the devotees to leave after chanting bhajans in the Meditation Hall.
“I’m not well,” said the Baba. “I need rest.” He looked at Amarjeet. He saw the gleam again in his eyes. It turned him giddy. He lay down on his bed.
The Baba did not rise again. He refused to eat or drink. He wanted to be left alone. Amarjeet and Mahendra visited him frequently. They saw him waste away quickly. On the third day they found him dead in his bed.
Even death did not erase the agony that had always marked his demeanour.
Chapter 1: The Original Sin
1.1: Black Hole I:1
1.2: Black Hole I:2
1.4: Aaron Matthews
1.5: Rachel's Orifices
1.6: The Original Sin
Chapter 2: A Gospel
2.1: Rahu and Ketu
2.4 Cry from Calvary
2.5 The Lost Sheep
2.8 The Y Chromosome
Chapter 3: Heart of Darkness
Next and the last part of this chapter: The horror! The horror!