from Idyll of the White lotus by Mabel Collins ( the white Lotus)chapter 2
May 08, 2008 03:38 AM
THE WHITE LOTUS.
And as I gazed dreamingly in my youthful enthusiasm upon this white
bloom which seemed to me, with its soft, gold-dusted heart, the very
emblem of pure, romantic love -- as I gazed the flower seemed to
change in shape -- to expand -- to rise towards me. And lo, drinking
at the stream of sweet sounding water, stooping to take its
refreshing drops upon her lips, I beheld a woman of fair skin with
hair like the dust of gold. Amazed, I looked and strove to move
towards her, but ere I could make any effort my whole consciousness
left me, and, I suppose, I must have swooned away. For, indeed, the
next that I can recall I lay upon the grass, with the sense of cool
water upon my face, and opening my eyes, I beheld the black-robed,
strange faced gardener leaning over me.
"Was the heat too much for thee?" he asked, his brow knit in
perplexity. "Thou lookest a strong lad to faint for the heat, and
that, moreover, in a cool place like this."
"Where is she?" was my only reply, as I attempted to rise upon my
elbow and look towards the lily bed.
"What!" cried the man his whole countenance changing, and assuming a
look of sweetness that I should never have supposed could appear upon
a face so naturally unbeautiful. "Hast thou seen her? But no -- I am
hasty in supposing it. What have you seen boy? -- do not hesitate to
The gentleness of his expression helped my scattered and startled
senses to collect themselves. I told him what I had seen and, as I
spoke, I looked towards the lily bed, hoping, indeed, that the fair
woman might again stoop to slake her thirst at the streamlet.
The manner of my strange teacher gradually changed as I spoke to him.
When I ceased describing the beautiful woman with the enthusiasm of a
boy who has never seen any but his own dusky-skinned race, he fell
upon his knees beside me.
"Thou hast seen her!" he said in a voice of deep excitement. "All
hail! for thou art destined to be a teacher among us -- a help to the
people -- thou art a seer!"
Bewildered by his words, I only looked upon him in silence. After a
moment I grew terrified, for I began to think he must be mad. I
looked around, wondering whether I could return to the temple and
escape from him. But even as I debated within myself whether to
ventuch 2re upon this, he rose and turned upon me with the singular
sweet smile, which appeared to cover and hide the ugliness of his
strongly marked features.
"Come with me," he said; and I rose and followed him. We passed
through the garden which was so full of attractions for my wandering
eyes that I loitered on my path behind him. Ah, such sweet flowers;
such rich purples and deep-hearted crimson. Difficult I found it not
to pause and inhale the sweetness of each fair-faced blossom, though
still they seemed to me, in my so recent adoration of its beauty, to
but reflect the supreme exquisiteness of the white lotus flower.
We went towards a gate in the temple: a different one from that by
which I had entered the garden. As we approached it, there issued
forth two priests clad in the same white linen robes as I had seen
worn by the golden-bearded priest Agmahd [a servant of the dark
goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature]. These men were dark;
and though they moved with a similar stateliness and equilibrium, as
though indeed, they were the most firmly rooted growth of the earth,
yet to my eyes they lacked a something which the priest Agmahd [a
servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature]
possessed -- a certain perfection of calm and assuredness. They were
younger than he, I soon saw; perhaps therein lay the difference. My
dark-visaged teacher drew them aside, leaving me to stand in the
pleasant shadow of the deep-arched doorway. He spoke to them
excitedly, though evidently with reverence; while they, listening
with quick interest, glanced ever and anon towards me.
Presently they came to me, and the black-robed man turned and moved
over the grass, as though returning on the way we had come together.
The white-clad priests, advancing under the doorway, spoke together
in low whispers. When they reached me they motioned me to follow
them, and I did so: passing through cool, high-roofed corridors and
gazing idly, as was always a foolish habit of mine, upon everything I
passed; while they, still whispering together as they preceded me,
would now and then cast looks upon me, the meaning of which I could
Presently they turned out of the corridors, and entered into a large
room similar to the one I had already seen where the old priest was
instructing his copyists. This was divided by an embroidered curtain
which fell in majestic folds from the lofty roof to the ground. I
always loved beautiful things, and I noticed how, as it touched the
ground, it stood firm with the stiffness of the rich gold work upon
One of the priests advanced, and drawing back one side of the curtain
a little, I heard him say --
"My lord, may I enter?"
And now I began to tremble a little again. They had not looked
unkindly upon me, yet how could I tell what ordeal awaited me? I
looked in fear upon the beautiful curtain and wondered, in some
natural fear, who sat behind it.
I had not overlong in which to tremble and be afraid of I knew not
what. Before long the priest who had entered returned, and
accompanying him I saw was the golden-bearded priest Agmahd [a
servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature].
He did not speak to me, but said to the others --
"Wait thou here with him, while I go to my brother Kamen Baka [a
servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature]
And saying this, he left us alone again in the great stone room.
My fears returned trebly upon me. Had but the stately priest given me
a glance which held kindness in it, I had not so yielded to them, but
now I was again plunged in vague terrors of what next should come
upon me; and I was weakened also by the swoon which had but so
recently prostrated me. Trembling, I sank upon a stone bench, which
ran around the wall; while the two dark-haired priests talked
I think the suspense would soon hove brought another lapse into
unconsciousness upon me, but suddenly I was again awakened to the
doubts and possibilities of my position by the entrance of Agmahd [a
servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature],
accompanied by another priest of most noble appearance. He was fair-
skinned and fair-haired, though not so fair in either as Agmahd [a
servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature];
he shared with him the stately immobility of appearance which made
Agmahd [a servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human
Nature] an object of the deepest awe to me; and in his dark eyes
there was a benevolence which I had not yet seen in any of the
priests' countenances. I felt less fearful as I looked upon him.
"This is he," said Agmahd [a servant of the dark goddess[Avidya- the
dark side of human Nature], in his musically cold voice.
Why, I wondered, was I thus spoken of? I was but a new novice, and
had already been handed over to my teacher.
"Brethren" cried Kamen Baka [a servant of the dark goddess[Avidya-
the dark side of human Nature] "is it not best that he should be
clothed in the white garment of the seer? Take him to the baths; let
him bathe and be anointed. Then will I and Agmahd [a servant of the
dark goddess[Avidya- the dark side of human Nature] my brother put
upon him the white robe. We will then leave him to repose, while we
report to the company of the high priests. Bring him back here when
he has bathed."
The two younger priests led me from the room. I began to see that
they belonged to an inferior order in the priesthood, and, looking on
them now, I saw that their white robes had not the beautiful golden
embroidery upon them, but were marked with black lines and stitchings
around the edges.
How delicious, after all my weariness, was the scented bath which
they led me to! It soothed and eased my very spirit. When I left it I
was rubbed with a soft and sweet oil, and then they wrapped me in a
linen sheet, and brought me refreshment -- fruits, oiled cakes, and a
fragrant draught that seemed to both strengthen and stimulate me.
Then I was led forth again to the chamber in which the two priests
They were there, with another priest of the inferior order, who held
in his hands a fine linen garment of pure white. The two priests took
this, and, as the others drew away the sheet from my form, they
together put it upon me. And when they had done so, they joined their
hands upon my head, while the other priests knelt down where they
I knew not what all this meant -- I was again becoming alarmed. But
the bodily refreshment had done much to soothe my soul, and when
without further ceremony, they sent me away again with the two
inferior priests, with whom I felt a little familiarized, my spirits
arose, and my step became light.
They took me to a small room, in which was a long, low divan covered
with a linen sheet. There was nothing else in the room, and indeed I
felt as if my eyes and brain might well remain without interest for a
while; for how much had I not seen since I entered the temple in the
morning! How long it seemed since I had let go my mother's hand at
"Rest in peace," said one of the priests. "Take your fill of sleep,
for you will be awakened in the first cool hours of the night!"
And so they left me.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application