Ten Thousand Steps to Immortality and Prosperity
The King J was unhappy with the state of affairs in his kingdom. There were innumerable problems that troubled him. He was a man with a moral and ethical conscience and the implementation of the laws of the old forefathers to his present social life has become impractical. People have forgotten the real meaning of the social rules and rituals of the past and hence the King was worried about the degrading state of affairs of the people in the kingdom.
Now, the old laws have become rigid and people started to make rituals out of them. The inner meaning of the old laws has been forgotten due to complacency and general lack of interest in the society for matters of philosophical interest. People were more or less happy with their normal lives. But over the years the laws have become a ritual and people used these laws during ritual worship to their small gods for material and other worldly tokens.
The King desired the renewal of the meaning of the lost laws of the land without which the people would degrade further into meaningless lives and the society would collapse. The King saw that the general taste of the people has deteriorated and more and more people have started to enjoy crude forms of entertainments. The quality of the Arts and music has come down and people have lost respect for the learned and the sage. The sage has become a fictional character. When the King was a child he heard great stories about how the sage with his/her unique understanding of the nature of reality would renew the meaning of the laws to the people and uphold the law of the land in a new light.
There were ten thousand steps to heaven which a mortal can climb to find the real meaning of the laws of the land. These steps were wide and grandiose. There was also a iron railing on both the sides of the steps. Everybody in the kingdom would visit these steps and walk a certain distance up into the heaven but come back to their homes during the night more as a passtime than as to pursue the destination or to find the truth of the scriptures. There was a special connection between these ten thousand steps and the laws of the land. In the yore, a certain mortals went up the steps and brought back the laws of the land from the heaven. The mortals had to climb all the steps for at least a couple of years to reach the sky and the legend says that this mortal heros were the first sage to bring the law of the land from the sky. The Gods revealed the secret of the law to the sage who reaches the zenith of the steps.
As days went by the King grew frustrated with the state of affairs of the people and the deterioration of civic society. Out of desperation he called all this citizens to the court house and announced a strange message.
If any one of its citizens dares to climb the stairs to the sky and bring back the real meaning of the law he will be gifted with great prosperity. He pleaded his citizens to take the challenge and be the saviors of their law and destiny.
Actually there were at least a hundred people who decided to climb the stairs on an auspicious day. There were several dangers in climbing the stairs. There were many myths told about the stairs from the time of their forefathers. Some said that it was a long and dangerous path and did not deserve the sacrifice of life one enjoys normally on the land. What is the use of being wise one would say when all the enjoyments one needs are within your reach on land. Though one knows that these enjoyments are temporary who would risk the time and effort to climb all the ten thousand stairs to know the truth?
Others said that only a few can reach the top and out of which only one man came back and the rest liked to stay back in the heaven. That is the reason why all the people respect the only sage of yore as the greatest man but that’s been a long time now and the people do not understand the real meaning of the law anymore.
When the race to reach the top of the stair began there were nearly a hundred of them and by the time they reached three thousand stairs there were only ten men left. Most of them returned back home not because they could not climb to the top but because they really did not believe that this mission would give any benefit to their lives. They were happy doing the ritual worship and making love to their wives, eating and drinking wine. They were also uncertain if there was any danger to their lives and they did not want to risk their precious life in pursuit of some unknown happiness.
These ten people who were left would now talk to each other while walking up the stairs so that they did not feel lonely. They would talk several topics from a wide range. Sometime they would argue if their mission was doomed to be a failure. The ten men soon became good friends, however, by the time they reached five thousand steps another five men dropped down from the mission. The journey was difficult without the usual pleasure of daily life. It needed great determination and focus and a faith in the heart that the goal is worth achieving and good for everybody and precious to oneself too.
One would wonder how they would survive and what they did to eat and cook. The stairs was entwined with creepers which had their roots in the land that produced sweet fruits for its travelers up the stairs. They were so sweet that once ate, one would not feel hunger all day long. So one can come to the conclusion that food was not the problem but the traveling up the stairs needed discipline and self control on themselves. They had to give up the usual pleasures on life on land and have a determination to pursue the unknown. That was joy itself if one new that life on land was short and was basically a run after temporary pleasures. What could the mortals do, they could not see any other visible solution but climbing these stairs was not one of their ambitions. After all they were happy pursuing the sense enjoyments.