By Roohi Saluja July 2005 Mirdad’s quest for the mythical ark, and other journeys in mythology and folklore mirror the deep psychological truths that we must grasp on our own journey towards the absolute Book of Mirdad In the Milky Mountains, upon the lofty summit called the Altar Peak, stand the spacious and sombre ruins of a monastery once famous as The Ark. From the very beginning, numerous legends have been woven together in myth and folklore, to explain its origins. It was believed that when Noah and his family drifted in the ark on the day of the Great Flood, it finally docked itself in the Milky Mountains where they found fertile valleys and abundant cultivation. As Noah approached his death, he feared that people would soon forget the Grand Ark as a pillar of faith. It had led humanity through the one-hundred-and-fifty-day ordeal against the wrath of the Furies, and ultimately delivered them unto a peaceful new life. He feared that people would resume their old lustful and wicked ways and the lesson of the Ark would go unnoticed. Noah bid his son, Sam, to build an altar on the highest peak of the mountains. This was named as the Altar Peak. He asked him to build a house around this altar, similar to the ark, which would be a sanctuary where no less and no more than nine chosen men must stay. This came to be known as The Ark. A few generations passed, and one of the nine companions died. According to tradition, the very first man who would seek admittance would be taken in to fill the ninth place. And so it happened that one day a naked, famished and wounded man knocked at the door. At first, the senior abbot of The Ark, Shamadam, repelled by his appearance, refused him admittance. But on the stranger’s insistence, he was finally let in, but on the condition that he would be a servant, and not companion. Seven years passed, and the monastery hoarded unaccountable riches. But in the eighth year, Shamadam felt his authority begin to gradually loosen over the companions. The stranger-servant who had served in silence, took charge. Under his leadership, the monks gave away all their riches and deserted the monastery. As the stranger himself was about to leave, he laid a curse upon Shamadam, whereby he was bound to the grounds of the monastery, rendered dumb until his day of deliverance. What unfolds is a timeless tale of a mysterious man, Mirdad, who centuries later, decided to set off on a journey to The Ark. The vision of a solitary monk wandering in the gloom of the ruins of the monastery beckoned him. At last he decided, “I must ascend the mountain.” On his ascent, Mirdad decided to take the way up the Flint Slope. But what had seemed earlier like a smooth, straight road, stretched out before him as a vast, steep, unconquerable passage. Yet, he was not deterred. Soon, he felt the throes of hunger. As he untied the handkerchief around his waist and took out a loaf of bread, a shepherd appeared with his herd of hungry goats and a bellwether. Mirdad had no qualms about sharing his bread with him. But to his surprise, the latter fed all the seven loaves to his goats. Suppressing his anger, Mirdad asked for a portion of the goat’s milk to sustain him on the long journey. To this the shepherd replied: Your flesh is food sufficient, and your blood is drink sufficient. There is the way besides. Having crossed the Black Pit, bruised and mutilated by a series of ordeals, Mirdad now sought shelter in a grotto. Just then, an old, decrepit couple entered the cave, who robbed him of his staff and drove him out to face the chill of the soot-black night. As he tried to resist, the couple muttered, “Happy are the staffless, They stumble not. Happy are the homeless, They are at home. …The home-chained only, like ourselves, Must have a home.” As Mirdad set out once again to face the lonesome darkness of the night, this time unarmed, naked, and famished, he fell flat on the ground and fainted. His breath froze in the nostrils, but he continued to hold on to the last words of the old couple: Die to live, or live to die. Mirdad was blessed. The call of grace beckoned: Arise, O happy stranger. You have attained your goal. Let there be light The Book of Mirdad is a timeless allegorical tale about encountering untold danger and loss on the higher quest. It entails for the traveller an expansion of consciousness through facing one’s fears and vulnerability on a voyage into uncharted territory. The spiritual journey culminates in coming face-to-face with higher wisdom through the dissolution of one’s sense of duality. Mikhail Naimy reveals that in the end, The Ark is nothing but a symbol of enlightenment. In the final paradoxical twist to the story, the mysterious stranger Mirdad is in fact the servant of yesteryears who had promised Shamadam to return and redeem him! The unkempt and tattered stranger-servant is none other than one’s own rejected shadow, which must be accepted by the ego with compassion and love, to be reintegrated within the personality to achieve wholeness and balance. Until such integration occurs, there is always a sense of emptiness within. The shadow knocks on the doors of consciousness, and the ego seeks to suppress it, because it represents those aspects of oneself, which, if brought to light, can bring on censure or ridicule in society. It thus seems to highlight one’s innermost fears. Eventually, through repeated face-offs with the shadow self, the master-ego begins to lose its control until, one day, the shadow part is able to overcome the ego. It forces the self to get rid of all that is weighing it down into a false sense of security and well-being. Eventually, through embracing the risk of giving up one’s illusions and meeting the bare self shorn of its duality, the shadow is purified and transformed into a being of light, which returns to redeem the ego. This, in essence, is the meaning of Mirdad’s heroic journey and his quest to return to The Ark. Both Mirdad and Shamadam are one and the same, torn apart through the illusion of separateness, and unless they are united in mutual honour, they are condemned to live in pain and suffering. The tale also reminds us that irrespective of our social standing, we are all mystics by virtue of our birth. Human life is a means to nurture soul-awakening, which is made possible by a journey to the centre, through an immersion in non-duality, to experience the Oneness of all existence. The moment we recognise this truth, our hearts open to compassion and love for all in their suffering. This was the lesson that the bully Shamadam had to learn for his redemption. And this was also the lesson that Mirdad had to learn to be able to reach The Ark. Meeting the higher vision The lands where sages and prophets leave their trail come to be known as sacred places – journey to which becomes a pilgrimage for lesser travellers on the path. Visiting these places is to tap in and experience the spiritual dimension of the event in which God made himself known. As we become receptive to the higher vibrations of the holy site, the rarefied frequencies purge the darkness within and cleanse us of negative karma, to uplift our consciousness towards higher unfolding. Spiritual attainment is a matter of transformation of consciousness. But how can this occur unless we let go of our attachment to habitual modes of thinking? A pilgrimage is a process to allow us to experience encounters with the divine. It means going past the known, familiar terrain. One has to start living simply, drop all guards and pretences, and head straight into that which is holy and sacred. All that one knows, or imagines one knows is at stake. Little by little, the familiar way of life falls apart. We begin to change, to accommodate strange new experiences. But if the call is refused, and the lessons not learnt, we may never return to our home and sanity! The reward, in terms of transformation and awakening, is often in direct proportion to the level of risk involved in making the faith leap over deep chasms of self-obliteration. The purpose of pilgrimage assumes meaning when we understand the purpose of life itself – that is, to grow towards wholeness, in union with the divine. This implies liberation from the illusion of separative consciousness, and thus also from the repetitive cycles of death and rebirth. Part of this realisation requires self-purification. This paves way for clarity in perceiving who we are and the importance of spiritual evolution. This results in an expansion of consciousness, and if the gods are gracious, there is enlightenment. But more than a trek across the oceans or up the soaring peaks, the spiritual journey is a deeper expression of an inner response to the call of the mystical divine spirit. The phantom that waits at each turn, or the grotto that leads into sinister darkness is a manifestation of the danger that foretells the death of the ego. This is the threat that Mirdad faced in giving up the seven loaves of bread to the bellwether and going provisionless on the journey; or in leaving the grotto without a staff, unarmed to face the dark saturnalia of the night. Nevertheless, it is only in confronting these threats head-on that he finally attains enlightenment, symbolised by his entry into The Ark. Leigh, healer and transformation thinker, in his article, The Journey Towards Unity Consciousness, explains that our voyage of evolution is our journey towards unity consciousness. This may begin when we feel pain or suffering, usually caused by our fear of separation – be it from a person, society, world, or from oneself. Our journey of evolution requires that we go into the fear, and see what positive message it has to give us. The essence, at the end of the day, will be to experience the higher identity of our being as co-creators of our d
Life Positive follows a stringent review publishing mechanism. Every review received undergoes -
Only after we're satisfied about the authenticity of a review is it allowed to go live on our website
All our healers and therapists undergo training and/or certification from authorized bodies before becoming professionals. They have a minimum professional experience of one year
All our healers and therapists are genuinely passionate about doing service. They do their very best to help seekers (patients) live better lives.
All payments made to our healers are secure up to the point wherein if any session is paid for, it will be honoured dutifully and delivered promptly
Every seekers (patients) details will always remain 100% confidential and will never be disclosed