A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
ceeded in understanding or obeying his deepest injunctions, may,
in their Pharisaic fervour, naturally resent the intrusion of one who
does not outwardly belong to their or any other denomination. A
man whose interior vision sets up bar and barrier between him and
them, as well as between him and every other creedal group, finds,
however, that it also sets him free. If he is strong enough to stand
aside from all the orthodox religious and racial groupings sur-
rounding him, and if he is independent enough to court the favour
of none nor to fear their frowns, then destiny and choice have indeed
combined to give,him a unique and delightful liberation. Whilst
other men hurl their silent or vocal hatred at each other, whilst
race murmurs against race, whilst creeds come into contemptuous
collision over trifles, he may regard the foolishness of these quarrel-
some folk into whose midst he has been flung as an observer from a
distant planet might regard it were he, too, flung here.
Such a man has no contemporary, and does not need to look for
one. The orthodox do not welcome such independence, while the
heterodox may disdain such "superstitions". It does not matter.
Truth, serene and supreme, can wait patiently for her day. She
can lose nothing, for she is eternal. Her revelation must come sooner
or later, suddenly or slowly.
It is because of this detached position that I can find my friends
among all faiths and none, and my enemies in the same wide-thrown
groupings too. I live amongst them all as an alien, well knowing
where my true native land really is.
No institution interposes itself betwixt me and the sacred beams
which fall from the Hidden Sun.
Fate has condemned me to become an interpreter of the Sphinx's
language; a task delightful enough so long as one keeps one's
interpretations to oneself, but disagreeable indeed as soon as one
begins to reveal them to a sceptical world.
But I find a secret comfort in the thought that this penible
sojourn of mine is but a temporary one, and that the relenting gods
will one day give me swift passage back to my own star, for whose
silvery greenish twinkle I search the sky every night with acute
The friend in Bombay, bless her kind but mistaken soul, in
attempting to rebuke my addiction to research into matters that lie
thickly veiled, however, has done me a real service all unwittingly.
She has put into my hands, all bookless as I was when I came
into this solitude, the words and life of the wise Gallilean, whose
very name carries ever a magic sound to my ears. I shall read these
pages right through. It is true that I can never accept the Authorized
Version of this book as the accurate record of him, nor as the