Jesus Christ Portrait of the master

Epilogue The Journey


The journey

The pupil whose homeland was in the west far from the high mountains on whose slopes the master lived had just asked about the sublime teacher from Nazareth and asked for advice.

“In my own country,” said the pupil, “there are many famous teachers who do not believe that he once walked the earth. They think that his portrait has been painted by legend, – indeed, there are some who believe that the stories of his life aresimply disguised accounts of an astral myth once held sacred by those living in ancient times.

You, who are pure, have often spoken words to me which you probably took intentionally from those books which tell of the life and teaching of this Jewish teacher.

You spoke reverently when you mentioned his name and, if I am not mistaken, he is esteemed more highly by you than all others who have walked along the path of unison? –

Why do I not find you numbered among those who confess themselves to be believers in the Jewish master, since you clearly revere him?”

The pupil asked this question since he did not yet know who ‘the Master’ is in every master born in the spirit…

The master to whom the question was directed simply smiled in a kindly way and with understanding but did not answer.

Then the pupil, assailed by doubts as to whether his question was appropriate, continued with some embarrassment:

“You are surely right, as you have command over spiritual powers of which my teachers in the west could tell me nothing, if you are laughing to yourself about my question!
You must look with pity on us westerners. –

Nevertheless, I ask you if you would at least honour this one question with your answer: –

Would it not be far better for us westerners if we were to leave the teaching of this Jewish teacher for what it is and ignore it like a legend which has nothing more to say to us today?

Each age has its own way of approaching the truth which is appropriate to that age.”

On hearing these words the Master stood still.

The two walkers had now reached a plateau separating the waters of one river from the waters of another one.

A mighty, square stone pillar with flat stone faces, once hewn from a single rock, marked the place.
Deeply carved into the pillar, in the native script of the land, were the sacred syllables, majestic in their grandeur:


meaning, “Truly! The lotus flower bears the mystery!”

Below these words was a sign showing foreign pilgrims the way to their journey’s destination.


Om Mani Padme Hum

Bô Yin Râ ''om mani padme hum''


“Do you not think it would be better,” – the master began, as though he had, immersed in his own thoughts, not heard the pupil’s question, – “if this enormous old pillar were to disappear?

I have seen different ones among the peoples of your race, and I’m considering getting a new signpost brought up here from the large city in the south, one which is more appropriate to the times, nicely painted and ornately decorated, just like those you westerners cast in iron.

Let the pilgrims see that the monks in the monastery below are not so detached from the world that they do not know how to keep up with the times!

This pillar, which has been out of step with the times for so long, can be cast down and smashed to pieces in the gorge near the pilgrims’ path.

What does this block of stone communicate to us
today?! – ”

You can’t be serious, Master,” replied the pupil in shock.

“It’s true, you can see from the pillar that it is old, but it still has the great, simple forms which can never age at any time, and the sacred syllables are carved in a script which is unmatched in beauty.

How could you let this powerful work, a witness to the most sublime dignity, be destroyed just to set up in its place a cast iron sign like the ones unfortunately you see in every street, bereft of any grandeur and barbaric in their lack of taste!?!

How could you be so indifferent to the sacred syllables that you could bear having them painted on miserable garish varnish?! –

High up here, exposed to every storm, such things would hardly last a moment!

But the pillar, shaped from a single rock with sublime handiwork, has stood here for more than a thousand years; it may continue to stand for thousands more years, showing pilgrims, who see it from afar, their way to the temple. The pillar itself is a hallowed shrine: – truly worthy of the godhead!

You surely were not being completely serious in what you said. For how could those things which concern us here have remained hidden for even just a moment from you, to whom all human feeling is revealed?? –”

The master smiled again and was silent, just as he had previously been silent.

Then they went.

In silence they walked down to the valley, – towards the extended buildings of the ancient Lama monastery, close to where the Master had withdrawn.

The pupil wondered why his teacher always compelled him to find his own answer to every question, – as had happened here too when he asked about the Master of Nazareth…

From: The Book of the Royal Art pdf pages 108-115