Monday, June 05, 2006

Startled by two teenage Naga!

A strange, un-naturally cool breeze caressing my sweat beaded brow, instantly alerted me that I was not alone as I stood in deep concentration on the banks of the Mekong River. The sky was nearly cloudless and the noon time sun was oppressively hot as it seemed to melt everything it touched. Before that sweet cooling breeze had surrounded and engulfed me, I'd been totally clueless as to the drama that had begun unfolding in the tall green grass directly behind me.

Two young, teenage Naga must have been playing around in the fields, as the Abbott of Srisaket Temple, Dr. Phrarajwuthimunee had brought me to this site just a few minutes before, where he'd come to release turtles, eel, snails and catfish into the water as part of a "merit" making ceremony.

Once the little critters,snails, eel, etc. had all been released back into the water, I'd stepped away from the Abbott for a few minutes of silent "standing" meditation along the humid banks of the Mekong. I'm not sure how long I'd been standing, baking under the noon time sun, when the cool breeze awakened me to my surroundings.

As if emerging from a thick, dense fog, my mind immediately snapped to attention. All my senses went on high alert. My hearing became so acute, I knew I could have heard a fish swimming by in the water or a butterfly landing on a flower a few feet away. My eyes, though tightly closed, could clearly see them. I knew who they were, but I didn't know why they were there, or more importantly, what they would do next!

As my mind tried, rather vainly, to comprehend what was going on as they raced by me, my mind's eye was transfixed by the rich deep color of these young naga's bodies. Their deep yellow, almost golden scales appeared to glow in the sunlight. The reflection of the sun off their scales, was mind blowing if not immediately blinding with its intensity. Highlights of green and red became a blurr as their powerful sleek bodies slithered silently through the tall waving grass.

Time appeared to stand still for an instant, as I saw the two young naga briefly come of a jarring halt on either side of me. Their cold, black eyes, staring deep into my very being, sent a shiver throughout my body.

As those four incredibly deep black penetrating eyes bore into my soul, my mind flashed back to two years ago and my unearthly encounter with the Phra Naga... or King of the Naga, also on the banks of the Mekong. For a very brief moment, that same ungodly fear that had so completely gripped me on that fateful day two years ago, flashed back through my mind, causing my body to freeze. For a second time, I found myself unable to move even one muscle, scared literally to death, and uncertain of what might happen next.

"T" came the faint call of the Abbott. A few moments passed.... "T" the Abbott called for a second time....

Slowly I opened my eyes. The brilliant sun blinded me for an instant... I squinted my eyes to try and see the two young naga. From the corners of my eyes, all I could see was the movement of the tall green grass, waving slightly in the wind. Rapidly blinking my eyes, I strained to clear the blur and focus on the Mekong instead.

All was quiet. Nothing out of the ordinary could I see, as my eyes now took in the whole panoramic view of the river front. Just in front of me, two slight ripples in the water's edge were all I could see. Fast fading ripples, as if something had just slipped silently back into the muddly waters.

"T... are coming?" called the Abbott. "I'm on my way" I answered ... as my eye briefly caught a greenish yellow reflection moving quickly, just a few inches under the water...

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