Once while travelling through the Himalaya I heard of a mono-syllabic guru; who was known to answer all questions with only one word... the same word. This seemed like the ultimate unified solution that theoretical physicists have been talking about; one theory to explain all theories, or in this case one word to explain all words. I had to go and see this guru.
I found him perched on a raised platform of mud, beneath a tree shade. He looked normal yet the smile plastered on his face that just refused to go bespoke of inner calm and happiness. I stood aside, observing the serpentine queue of devotees that came from far seeking his wisdom and blessings. I learned that the guru had only one rule that only one question was allowed per individual.
An old lady shuffled forward and asked: I am going to die soon, I am old yet I want to live to see my grandkids grow and get married and this makes me unhappy. Is there anything I can do to overcome my sadness? The guru parted his smiling lips: yes. And she was succeeded by a young girl. She asked: I am in love with a boy but he doesn’t love me, he thinks I am not beautiful enough for him. I am sad and I want to be beautiful. Am I not beautiful? The guru looked at the girl (for she was really beautiful; the boy must either be totally blind or daft) and uttered: yes.
Then came forward a young mother holding hands of a little girl and she asked: my daughter is ill, she can’t eat anything. I am so poor, how can I take care of her? The guru extended his right hand and caressed the little girl, pretty as a petal yet faded as old. He looked up at the mother and said: yes. A couple came forward thereafter; they looked wealthy and well-heeled. The man asked: we have everything yet we are not happy for we can’t have a son. We have tried everything, all the doctors, many temples have we visited yet nothing. Finally we have come to you. Please help us. The guru simply blinked twice and smiled: yes.
A young man in his mid-twenties crouched in front of the guru with bowing head. I want to be rich and famous and travel the world, yet I don’t know how I can. I want to change the world. Please tell me how I can! He asked. Yes, the guru said and looked at the old man waiting behind the young man. Even before the old man could open his mouth the guru said: yes. And bid him to move on.
Sensing a gap in the line and having already understood the guru’s message I jumped in and crouched in front of him. I looked into his deep set eyes and we held gaze for about a minute. We both were smiling.
And I said: Yes!
To which he uttered immediately: YES.