—March 15-June 15, 1894
The Midnight Blossom
--“Arhans are born at midnight hour..... together with the holy flower that opes and blooms in darkness.”—The Voice of the Silence
We stood together at the door of our hut: we could see through the gathering gloom where our sheep and goats were cropping the sweet grass on the side of the hill: we were full of drowsy content as they were. We had naught to mar our own happiness—neither memory nor unrest for the future. We lingered on while the vast twilight encircled us; we were one with its dewy stillness. The lustre of the early stars first broke in upon our dreaming: we looked up and around: the yellow constellations began to sing their choral hymn together. As the night deepened they came out swiftly from their hiding places in depths of still and unfathomable blue; they hung in burning clusters; they advanced in multitudes that dazzled: the shadowy shining of night was strewn all over with nebulous dust of silver, with long mists of gold with jewels of glittering green. We felt how fit a place the earth was to live on, with these nightly glories over us, with silence and coolness upon its lawns and lakes after the consuming day. Valmika, Kedar, I and Ananda watched together; through the rich gloom we could see far distant forests and lights—the lights of village and city in King Suddhodana’s realm.
“Brothers,” said Valmika, “How good it is to be here, and not yonder in the city where they know not peace, even in sleep.”
“Yonder and yonder,” said Kedar, “I saw the inner air full of a red glow where they were busy in toiling and strife. It seemed to reach up to me; I could not breathe. I climbed the hills at dawn to laugh where the snows were, and the sun is as white as they are white.”
“But, brothers, if we went down among them and told them how happy we were, and how the flowers grow on the hillside, and all about the flocks, they would surely come up and leave all sorrow. They cannot know or they would come.” Ananda was a mere child though so tall for his years.
“They would not come,” said Kedar. “All their joy is to haggle and hoard. When Siva blows upon them with his angry breath they will lament, or when the Prets in fierce hunger devour them.”
“It is good to be here,” repeated Valmika drowsily, “to mind the flocks and be at rest, and to hear the wise Varunna speak when he comes among us.”