The ants kept moving – carrying specks of food to their colony. They moved back and forth at a regular pace. Occasionally, a worker would stray away, but as always find its way back to the line. The line ended nearby at a small hole in the ground. It was a new colony and the young workers were busy. 
Dhyaan observed the activity for a while and then turned his gaze. There was the lizard – sitting still. The complete contrast between the two was not lost on him. He nudged Dayaa gently and pointed to the lizard. Dayaa was still engrossed watching the ants but he shifted his gaze slowly upon the lizard. 
Five minutes passed and the lizard moved stealthily towards the line. Dayaa had the urge to shoo away the lizard but sensing his movement, Dhyaan restrained him. Dayaa settled back to his cross-legged posture. His eyes shifted between the ants and the lizard – which had inched closer. 
It was too fast to observe for both of them but they realized what had happened as the line of ants broke and there was mayhem with the workers scattered. The lizard had gulped its prey. It still stood its ground.  
The ants restored their line and were back to work. In a couple of minutes, it was as if nothing had happened. Life went on, except for the perceptions that the two observers had made. 
 
Dhyaan and Dayaa had retired to the village life, fed up with the hectic pace of the city. Their lives had been emptied of any meaning. Money had ruled their existence – its creation, storage, accumulation, enhancement – the rush to have more than the next and the next and the next. Dhyaan was the first to realize the joke that they had become part of. When both of them realized the futility of continuing in the gush of materialism, they met the Guru. He advised them to settle down to a peaceful life and over time fill it with meaning. They retreated to the slow-paced village life and built a hut for themselves nestled in the serene woods. The Guru assured them that he would see them when the time was right. 
After a year of seclusion and restoration of the joy to live – they were at crossroads on what should be the path to choose. The ants and the lizard had shown them. 
 
“The lizard,” said Dhyaan. “That is the way. Silence, focus, deftness – we must train our minds for these.” 
“To what purpose,” asked Dayaa. “The ants live in harmony.” 
“And are in danger.” 
“Who isn’t?” 
“The one with power.” 
“There will one more powerful all the time. And what use is power in this life of ours?” 
“For this village life, a few siddhis will suffice and we can help the village. We can make the villagers’ lives comfortable and protect them.” 
“Hmmm….are you sure?” 
“Yes, our Guru has already taught us how to acquire these capabilities.” Dhyaan’s reply was obstinate. 
“Let’s try our both ways,” Dayaa said. 
“And what of our friendship?” 
“It remains – we just do things differently. I’m always there for you.”  
Dayaa’s words were sincere and Dhyaan knew better than to push beyond this. It was decided. The tryst with the ants and the lizard had just helped conclude upon the difference the two had been having for the last few months. 
 
Dhyaan intensified his meditation. He spent days together sometime in silence, sometimes immersed in chanting. The sincerity and intensity of his effort was visible to Dayaa who served Dhyaan with food, water and supplies. Dhyaan’s body changed from well-built to thin and his gaze became sharp. Over time he learnt to levitate his body, move small objects with the power of his mind and bring about a small fire with focused gaze. At the end of two years of intense effort, Dhyaan could cause a mild rain if he wanted. After another year of intense effort, Dhyaan could sit for two hours in intense concentration. His intuition had developed and he could, to some extent read people’s minds and make predictions. Dhyaan’s reputation as a yogi had spread to the village and people looked at him with awe. 
Dayaa spent most of his day at the village. Gradually, he got involved in the local issues. He spent time helping people tend to their crops, helping the farmers choose the right seeds and fertilizers and he learnt the intricacies of animal husbandry to enhance the health of the flocks of the villagers. He learnt the ropes quickly. Initially, the villagers were reluctant to allow his involvement in their affairs. But with time, he became very closely knit with them. He would seek problems, analyze, learn and come up with effective solutions. The villagers even started confiding their personal strife and disputes with him. He maintained utmost privacy of their issues and was always available for them with a patient ear. At the end of two years of hard work, he had helped the village set up a canal all the way to their fields. A regular school for the children was established under his supervision. Dayaa would also meditate every evening to help him contemplate on the village’s needs and be fresh with energy and ideas for the next day. 
By the end of the third year, their hut was a place of prominence for the villagers who would often visit either to pay obeisance to Dhyaan or consult with Dayaa. Dhyaan would remain restrained with words and advice. Dayaa was always open for a good chat. The village children loved the place for its serenity and more so when Dayaa would be there as he would join them in their games and entertain them with stories and jokes. 
Their friendship remained strong and once in a while, the two friends would sit in silence and observe the ants. They were still there, toiling at their work. The lizard would come too and snap up a few ants. The scene enhanced their faith in their respective paths.  
 
At the end of the third year, their Guru arrived unannounced. Dayaa was busy in the fields. Dhyaan had just completed a three hour stretch of intense meditation. Seeing the Guru, his happiness knew no bounds. With his Siddhis, he arranged all comforts for the Guru to rest after his long journey in a jiffy. He reiterated that his powers were just a miniscule of what the Guru possessed and with all humility, served the Guru. The Guru praised his steadfastness, focus and achievements.  
Dayaa returned in the evening and was overjoyed too. He cooked tasty food and spent the evening pressing the Guru’s feet. He regaled the Guru with stories of the village and how the villagers had found prosperity by adapting new methods. The Guru appreciated his efforts too.  
It took but an evening for the villagers to realize the significance of the unassuming Guru and they requested an audience with him. The Guru wanted to spend his time first with Dhyaan and Dayaa.  
He watched Dhyaan meditating for three days. He gave him a few pointers for the next steps and taught him new practices. The Guru then spent the next three days with Dayaa at the village. He saw the tremendous achievements done in the areas of irrigation, animal husbandry, medicine and governance. He heard the villagers praise Dayaa. He blessed Dayaa with more strength and perseverance. 
A meeting of the village was arranged with the Guru at their hut. Dhyaan stayed away from the crowd and continued his intense practice. He had taken the Guru’s instructions and was back to his focused effort. Dayaa attended to everyone and ensured they could hear the Guru’s wisdom and assuring words. The evening before the Guru left, he sat in silence with the two friends and pointed out to the ants and the lizard. They both smiled knowingly. 
 
Dayaa’s next steps were to bring trade agreements of the village with neighboring ones. The exchange of goods was to ensure that the villagers could be well taken care even in an emergency. He developed cordial relations, resolved disputes, ensured fairness and cultivated the sense of joint responsibility. People had learnt from Dayaa to settle disputes amicably. The children had started exploring their new found knowledge to participate in the village’s daily activities. The elders had taken to sharing wisdom and experience. Several villagers learnt the practice of meditation from Dayaa. Dayaa himself was able to manage an hour of deep concentration, but that was his best. He was working with the womenfolk to develop craftsmanship and have a range of goods not directly agriculture based. 
Dhyaan had surpassed his goals. Over two years, he had developed control over the elements of Nature. He could create wind and rain at will and clear the clouds if he felt so. He felt satisfied with his progress and was contemplating his next goals.  
 
It was then that a drought hit the village. Crops started dying, the animals were under-nourished and producing less.  
As the situation became grim, a group of villagers visited Dhyaan. “You are our only hope,” an elder requested him. “With your Siddhis, you can set this right. We need rain.” 
“My Guru has instructed me that Nature would run its own course,” Dhyaan told them. “These Siddhis are only steps and not tools. I may not yet know the end of my path but I am bound by my Guru’s instructions. Please accept my sincere apologies but I am not at liberty to create rain for you.” 
After some persistence, the villagers left disappointed. Dhyaan went back to his intense practice. Water or no water, his body and mind were steadfast and strong. 
Dayaa was already working on his plans. He opened up the reserves, turned to handicrafts and tool-making instead of agricultural produce and activated all trade channels. Within fifteen days, the village had a stockpile of new products and help from neighboring cities and villages. The crisis was being managed and while the villagers still had to bear some hardship, the situation was under control. 
One evening, they friends sat together again watching the ants. The lizard had turned up too and had a few companions. Unexpectedly, their Guru appeared. The two very overjoyed and offered their prostrations. Dhyaan excitedly displayed his new found powers to create rain and fire while Dayaa attended to the Guru. The Guru’s astonishment at Dhyaan’s immense progress was evident. He remarked several times that Dhyaan had achieved his abilities very early and appreciated his intense effort. Dayaa was pleased for Dhyaan.  
Seeing the small shower of rain near the hut, a group of villagers rushed there. The Guru asked how they were faring and they informed him of the drought and all the work Dayaa had done to tide over the situation. The Guru smiled at Dayaa. 
When they three were alone, the Guru pointed to the line of ants. The lizards were there too, all waiting to prey on the ants. Farther away, a large ant hill had developed. The worker ants went about their business. The Guru called Dayaa and placed his hand over his head. Dayaa knew what had happened. He looked skywards and then towards the Guru. The Guru smiled his acceptance. 
Dayaa closed his eyes and soon there was gentle rain pattering about the village and the fields. The villagers came rushing to the Guru thinking he had worked out the miracle. The Guru pointed to Dayaa who was seated calmly looking at the sky. After a while, Dayaa folded his hands and the rain stopped.  
Dhyaan’s curiosity knew no bounds. He questioned the Guru vehemently on why this great blessing was bestowed on Dayaa. After all, he had been practicing intensely for so long and Dayaa had reached nowhere close. 
The Guru pointed to the ants and the lizard. “The ants work for each other. The lizard fends for itself. The ants deserve the benefit of the hill they have built.” 
“Power is of great use, but if the purpose is clear, power follows.” Dhyaan concluded understanding his digression from the purpose. The Guru smiled gently at Dhyaan’s words. Dhyaan was then permitted to use his Siddhis for the good of the villagers. 

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