Gilded Bay narayana
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Ooc — mercury
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when you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes.
attachment breeds desire, the lust of possession that burns to anger.
anger clouds the judgment;
you can no longer learn from past mistakes.
lost is the power to choose between what is wise and what is unwise,
and your life is utter waste.
but when you move amidst the world of sense,
free from attachment and aversion alike,
there comes the peace in which all sorrows end,
and you live in the wisdom of the self.

he walks on the bottom of the sea, paws against the cool sand there. he is dead, and knows it. how else does he breathe here? how else do his eyes see as clearly as on land, his steps just as smooth?

the fronds of kelp kiss his face, the fish fluttering past. it is calm, and dark; vastly blue and blissful. he is dead, and he knows it.

hari, so dark and so beautiful, appears. his green eyes glitter like emeralds in the faint sunlight, the ever-present smile on his face growing wider as he sees his devotee. they touch noses, and then pull back, staring at each other.

he is dead, and they both know it.

the disunited mind is far from wise;
how can it meditate? how be at peace?
when you know no peace, how can you know joy?
when you let your mind follow the call of the senses,
they carry away your better judgment
as storms drive a boat off its charted course on the sea.

"i have done something terrible."

"i know, beta. no need to explain--of course, i saw it all."

"why, hariji? why did i sink so low, so quickly?" there are tears in his eyes, seemingly impossible with all the water surrounding them. but they are there, and they spill down his cheeks; he weeps for coelacanth, for stockholm, even; for kasatka and river and eventide and all the morningsiders he left behind. for alarian and for alya, for grayday, for nando. everyone here and there, alive and dead. everyone that he had wronged or failed in some way--

he would never have a chance to make amends.

hari shakes his head, the smile remaining, but growing sad, and this breaks his heart more than anything else before. to see a god so sad. . .

"you lost your way, child. you worshipped flesh and bone. you put all your love in someone who could not return it; you were caught up in desire. and you know. . ."

he nods, sniffling. he did know, somehow. knew exactly what hariji was to say. it doesn't make him feel any better.

use all your power to free the senses from attachment and aversion alike,
and live in the full wisdom of the self.
such a sage awakes to light in the night of all creatures.
that which the world calls day is the night of ignorance to the wise.

"i am dead," he states, not in the slightest a query.

"you are in the space between."

"i wish to die," he declares, nary a trace of doubt in his voice.

"not yet, child."

"kill me!" he shrieks, like a pup who does not get their way, voice a booming echo through the water. "i don't want to live, i don't want to go on. i have lost everything--everything! i cannot go back; i cannot face the world that i have destroyed."

hari grins, wagging his tail. "not yet, beta. it is not your time. you think i would let you go without a chance to redeem yourself?"

"how can i possibly redeem myself?" he shoots back despairingly, beginning to sob again. "you saw. . .you saw. . ."

"you could have killed him. killed them all. but you didn't. there is goodness in you, my child--you have simply lost your way. you will return to the world and find it again."

as rivers flow into the ocean but cannot make the vast ocean overflow,
so flow the streams of the sense-world into the sea of peace that is the sage.
but this is not so with the desirer of desires.

"the only true joy is through me, beta. the only thing you can depend on is me. no man, no woman, no child, will provide you the love you seek. there is only me. i am all, and all is me."

he nods, understanding. he had lost the way. taken joy and pain, love and hate, through flesh and bone. leaned too much on others, when the truth he sought was within himself.

he had asked of coelacanth something she could never give.

never again would he ask that of anyone.

"guide me, hariji. help me. i can't do this alone. i will fail again, and be doomed to die and be reborn for all eternity. please help me. help me."

"i was always there, beta," hari responds, smiling. there is the sad look again, the one that hurts worse than the wounds the seawolves had inflicted. "do not forget me, this time. keep me in your heart, always."


"it is me, and only me."

"you, and only you."

"cut away all your ties to the earth, the sky, the sea. all is one, and all is me."

"all is in you, hariji."

"then go forth," hari declares, eyes sparkling-- "govinda."

they are forever free who renounce all selfish desires
and break away from the ego-cage of 'I,' 'me,' and 'mine'
to be united with the lord.
this is the supreme state.
attain to this,
and pass from death to immortality.


out on the water, a bedraggled golden-brown figure hangs over a piece of driftwood, cheek pressed against the damp surface. ribs rising and falling, rising and falling, with breath, and the promise of new life.

floating slowly, inexorably, toward the shore.