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Tale about the Girl with Golden Braids
It happened long time ago… People in Russia lived then in little settlements containing just a few families each. They lived peacefully, quietly, and happily. In love and harmony those people existed.
In one of those settlements, a girl was born. She was growing up, and year-by-year she was becoming more and more beautiful. Everyone was amazed by her beauty! And she was making happy her mom and dad!
While she was little, the world around her was little too: both the parents’ house and garden, a clear river, and lake, a field nearby where wheat grew, and far away forest, where people went to pick mushrooms and berries.
And as she grew older, more beautiful she became.
She was so friendly that people called her Lada, which in Russian means harmonious.
Everything was good in her! She was very kind and gentle, with perfect posture. And her smile was as a warm sunrise in the morning. Her eyes were so blue, that when people looked in them, they felt they immersed into a blue sky!
Her golden hair amazed everyone: very rich and bright. When she weaved her hair, it became like morning spice — fresh and shiny! But when she loosened her braids, it appeared as a golden shaft of light on her shoulders that went from the top of her head to the feet; shining everywhere, on everything — like a glimmering golden waterfall!
But the greatest secret of her beauty, which was apparent not to everyone, was her loving heart and caress to everyone! It was like golden sunlight was emanating from her spiritual heart — to every man, to every tree, to the flowers, to the grass, and every living creature.
All living creatures were attracted and gravitated towards her by her warmth and caress. They all began feeling uplifted next to her! They all forgot about sadness and started being more kind and full of loving care!
The only thing that missed… she did not have an intended husband…
* * *
So it happened that their land had been invaded by a foreign tribe, they came on fast horses… This tribe had killed some people and took some others with them for slavery in their own land…
These warriors had attacked, too, the little village where Lada was living…
One of the outlanders grabbed the girl, threw her on the horse and galloped away faster than wind in a field…
He returned to their marquees and campfires. When the headman of the tribe saw the beautiful girl with golden braids, he yelled at warriors and took her away. He decided to put her with other captured people. He ordered others to guard the girl: this beauty definitely was not for an ordinary warrior; he wanted to take her to the khan — to be one of khan’s concubines, and, for doing that, he supposed to get great reward and glory…
* * *
In sorrow, time goes by so slow… But every sorrow has an end…
Warriors have gathered together enslaved people from different lands and brought them into their country — heat of the day’s sun and gloomy darkness of the nights, with its strange foreign rules and culture…
Each day, warriors fed their captives just once.
One time the girl with the golden braids saw an old man among prisoners. She noticed that the old man never was given food. Warriors did not want to waste food on him, because they thought that the old man in any case was going to die shortly…
After she saw that, she approached the old man with a bow and gave him her day’s portion:
“You should eat, grandfather!”
The old man took the food; he divided it in half, for himself and for her. Then he said:
“You have a kind heart, beautiful girl! But from all the sadness and sorrow, your inner glow is not so bright anymore as before!”
“How can I not be sad, grandfather? Being captured against my will, I miss my homeland; I miss my mother and my father! I would run away like a wild deer, I would fly away like a gentle swan!…”
“Not everything, which seems to you trouble, is actually so. From this trouble, the good can come to you and to other people too!”
“How is it not trouble, if I am captured against my will, far away from home, and they want to sell me into khan’s concubines?”
“You are thinking, Lada, that you have a bad fate, but, instead, it might be a wonderful blessing! Also if you travel more, your fate might bring a path of love to other nations in other countries.”
“How do you know my name, grandfather? How can you see past and future? Is it possible?”
“It’s possible. I can see the past and future. Because the past is just a slight influence on the future! I know, too, how to do the future wonderful! I know the ways to make it be!”
“Teach me, grandfather!”
“Wizards and Magi roam different lands. And when they find a pure bright soul, they teach him or her all the great Knowledge in the world, so such souls, too, can light up the Earth with their pure love and teach other souls about wisdom, pure love, kindness, and care for everything living on the Earth.
“Look: among all these distresses and evil captivity — we have found each other!… Here the Great Wisdom has become apparent!
“Listen: everything that happens with each, even something bad, — has been conceived by the Creator in favor of this human soul and the entire universe!”
“If you are a real magician and sorcerer, if you still know and can do all you say, grandfather, — why can’t you run away from here, why do you not free us all?”
“Freedom, Lada, consists not only in going wherever you want, eating or relaxing when you wish!
“My freedom, my girl, consists in what I live, being connected with the whole world by my love!
“No one and nothing can stop me to love!
“And no one can force me to do something that is not love!
“Because my love has the Power of God: it is — the Flow of God!
“Yes, I can, in no time, be any place I want. But I chose to be here to teach you my secrets. Because you really can learn them! And — through this — many people in the world will be helped by you! Because you will meet and cognize, will discover the Greatest Love, Whose name is God!
“People from different nations speaking in different languages — call God by different names, and it may seem that every nation has its own God. But it is not so! You hear here — among captives — speech in different languages, and if each one will speak about the same — the meaning, nevertheless, is one. That’s how One God, the Creator, is named in many ways by people of different nationalities.
“Listen always to the essence, catch on the meaning which is embedded in the statements — and you will learn the language of any people much faster than if you learn only words!
“There are among a lot of people, prophets-sages, who felt by themselves-souls the One Universal Origin. Each one of them declared for their people the messages from God and His laws for life of people. Those great Souls — after the death of their bodies — now stay in the Mergence with the One Universal God. They continue to help people, directing, correcting their fates. And many people call them now also as Gods…”
“Tell me, grandfather, why so much evil is around, so much tears pour, so much grief and pain, why so many violent people triumph?”
“Evil is not a hindrance for good! Evil only strengthens good, making it wiser and stronger! One, who knows God, has the power and the wisdom to resist evil!
“You need to know more about calm and patience. When it seems that evil governs events in your life — remember about the Power and Wisdom of Universal God! And bear the patience, which allows to save power and wait for the time, when you can overcome evil by good!
“Do not worry much, seeing evil! This is — as arable land: if to look at the dark clods of earth in the spring, it is only a wise plowman who can see ahead the gold of eared fields! You need to invest a lot of work and patience — to cultivate on a soil of life the fine shoots from good seeds and to get at last the good harvest!”
* * *
And the Magus began to teach every day the girl with golden braids:
“First I’ll tell you, Lada, — how the human happiness is built. It comes not from the outside — but from the inside!
“Love lives in your spiritual heart! Its light is like a ray of sunlight, which can transform all around!
“Recall the beautiful sunrise — and feel in your heart, too, the sun! If you look forward from your sunny spiritual heart — you will feel your own ray of light. And then look back to the depth most subtle — and you will see there the Great Light of the Living Immense Power! This Light is called as God!”
… Lada has learned to feel this ray like of the sun, warming others by love.
“Now, because you have learned to beam with the light from your good heart — let this light flow even through your hands and through your eyes! And let even thy thoughts be lighted with it!
“And if once you see that this light of yours has become weak, then immerse yourself-soul in the depth of the subtlest Light of the Primordial, from Whom all rays emanate — and fill yourself with Love and Calm of God!
“Strive to cognize how infinitely huge that Primal Light is! Learn to listen to how this Great Light sounds, learn to understand what this Great Light wants from you…
“In the human body of each, there are the special places, through which the Great Light can flow. It is — like a flute on which shepherds play. Breath pours through the various holes in a pipe — and the music comes.
“There are in a human body the secret channels, cavities, and windows. When the Great Light flows through them — amazing music pours! With this music, a song can be born! Or you can dance to it! And a lot of people will be able to feel this heart music! Through this — they will see the Light of God, will feel Love of God!
“Try to dance and sing like this Light sounds!”
… Lada tried — and the amazing beauty of the song has turned out, all around admired, even the guards forgot about everything. Lada danced — and all sorrows have been forgotten! Like the sun’s rays touched all the living — and all around has blossomed, having been filled with joy and bliss! River of Light, flowing with the singing streams, flowed over the land, all-embracing and caressing by Its gentle touches! The sound of Lada’s voice was connected with the Wisdom of God!
Magus praised Lada and said:
“We will be separated shortly. But you always will hear the wise advices in the Great Light: God’s help will be always with you!
“Now I’ll go to where you cannot follow me right now. But among Those, Who will help you, I will always be!
“You have learned, listening by the spiritual heart, to understand the thoughts of God! And the words of all men in any language you will understand. And you will be able to speak every language. God will lead you. And you will sing to people His heart songs!”
* * *
And, in fact, the prisoners were separated.
They have been brought to the slave market and were sold: women separately, men separately. Like well-crafted products, fabrics or jewelry — people were exposed for sale…
And word about the amazing captive reached khan’s palace.
And the servant told khan, the ruler of that country, about the golden-braided girl:
“Our lord, we have seen in the market the slave. She is so beautiful, as the morning sun! Her hair — like gold! It is said that she sings songs, tells tales and is dancing — and has no equal on the whole Earth!”
Khan has desired to seize the girl of golden braids. He paid for her gold as no one ever gave for a slave…
* * *
They have brought a new slave-girl to the khan. And the truth — she’s good: hair — like pure gold, eyes — as sky azure!
Khan said to her:
“Show me how you can dance! Sing me your songs!
“I am now — your only lord! If you will serve me well — then you will know no lack: the best adornments, silk dresses — all you will have!”
Khan became accustomed to speaking to her in such manner. And she answered him in his language:
“I do not want golden ornaments, silk dresses! Let me go, khan, home to my land!”
And she sang a song — so that khan listened spellbound and even tears in his eyes welled up!
He saw everything that Lada was singing: spacious fields golden from the mature ears, forests centuries old full of silence, calm and vast rivers, continuously carrying their water.
Like white-winged swans, flying over the expanse, lyrics swept over. And those words expressed the joy, love, and amazing freedom, where a soul can live freely and happily!
But instead of letting her go, khan said:
“I will not ever let you go! You’re as beautiful as the morning sun! Your voice is like a golden river, it excites me more than wine! You will be mine!”
Khan entreated Lada — for her to love him. He presented expensive gifts: rings, bracelets, clothes, and incenses.
But she — spoke only about the freedom:
“A bird, born free, does not sing in a cage, even if the cage is of gold! Bird, accustomed to the freedom, — spread its wings in the sky!
“And the heart cannot fall in love to orders! Let me go! When you want to use power to be loved — you are killing love! Love can only be free!”
“But I bought you! You belong to me! And I will conquer you!”
“That is your evil will — that you allow yourself to hold me as a captive! Renounce evil in yourself — and only then you could cognize true love!”
“But I’m rich! There are a lot of gold and jewels in my treasury! And many lands are subjected to me! A lot of people obey me! And all this belongs to me from my birth, on the right of my inheritance! My people are predestined to work to increase my wealth!”
“No! It is not that people are destined to raise your earthly riches! Appointment of man is other! It is beautiful and perfect!
“Quite another legacy every man has, having been born! Great gifts each have from God: man can become the soul similar to the Creator! And then — to become One with Him!
“If you believe that wealth and the people belong to you — you are the bad ruler! Because everything belongs only to the Creator!
“And if — by birth — you are standing at the head of the country and people, then much good you must do for them! Righteous ruler — belongs to his people! He works benefit — to his country and his people!”
* * *
… Time went on.
Once Lada asked khan:
“You said that you will fulfill any of my desires. Fulfill one of my requests!”
“It will be executed, unless the request is to let you go home,” — khan replied.
“Let me once a week dance and sing for all people at the square.”
Khan agreed to fulfill the request of Lada, but with the condition that she be dressed for the local custom: so that no one sees her beautiful face and hair, for her beauty belongs to only him alone. And she should always be accompanied by armed guards: so that she not be abducted. And she should promise that she will not run away.
Lada gave such promise.
… There was in that town a special place — the square. On it — the pure water source in marble fence. And beautiful trees were growing around.
That source belonged to all. Both khan, and a simple traveler, and any resident — could drink clean water from the source. Kind hands in old days had made of stone bowls for water, and trees were planted. And in the distance there were flowing ponds, to which animals came to quench their thirst. There were also ponds for human bathing.
Always a lot of people gathered there. Both the travelers from distant countries, and the most different people — all came to drink the water, to sit in the shade of trees, to listen to the babbling stream and the rustle of leaves… Often there were fakirs and roving performers, musicians, and preachers.
Lada came once a week to sing and dance for people there. Her love — filled all the space around! And the words of her songs were kind and wise — about how evil may be eliminated, how to multiply goodness, how the light of a soul should be open, how the Creator’s intentions for man on the Earth can be realized.
And everyone who heard — got the wise advice in her songs: the advice that he or she needed right then.
And rumor of Lada went throughout the district. From distant places — people began to come to listen to her wonderful songs. Because she placed in her songs the wisdom of the Magus. And also — because she heard herself the wisdom in the sounds of the Singing Great Light.
People said that even the water-source has become healing — of her songs! And many were healed of their ailments!
Or, perhaps, those were her songs that transformed and healed souls? Because everyone heard in them God’s Commandment of love and kindness. And those, who took it in their lives, — cleansed and transformed themselves. And therefore diseases and troubles left their lives.
Lada came to the source each week and exclaimed:
“Let the Love of God flow — like the sunlight!
“Let It flow — like clean water!
“If simply to open up ourselves to this Great Light of God — then He will flow through our bodies as the pure, transparent-golden and healing Stream! Invite Him in souls and in every corner of our bodies!
“This Living Divine Light will heal and cleanse both bodies and souls — if we are worthy to merge by souls with this Divine Love!”
And she began to dance. All around plunged into the Streams of the Living All-Washing, Cleansing, Healing Light!
Then she sang of heart love for all beings — and in many souls, listening to her, love was ignited, which wanted to be given away to each creature on the Earth!
… When people went from the square, Lada’s songs continued to sound in souls and teach kindness and love — in words, in actions, and in thoughts. It was as if she has prompted souls to a new way of life: to respect for each other’s life, and to master caress, calm, goodness, and giving light to all others who live around.
* * *
Khan wanted Lada’s love more and more…
And he has called together all the soothsayers, diviners, healers — to ask for their advice or means: how to win her love?
And they began giving him different offers. Some — were offering to give her beautiful ornaments. Others — offered to bewitch or to use potions. Others — invented crafty tricks…
But all this bad advice did not help khan to win the love of Lada.
But those of the guests, who were wise — they talked with Lada and multiplied thus their wisdom.
Lada said to khan:
“See: you bring to me potions — and I see that you do not love me, but only want to own me!
“You give me gems — and I see slaves who extracted them in hard labor in the underground mines!
“You give me gold jewelry — and I see soldiers killed and maimed in battles, where wealth was obtained, I hear the groans of the victims who were robbed and humiliated, I see their tears!
“You treat me with delicious meals — and I see hungry children in poor homes of your kingdom!
“Not glad am I for your gifts! I do not want to accept them!”
… Then khan — to win the love of Lada — became… do a lot for the good of his subjects.
Listening to her songs on wise rulers, he, too, tried to do so — in order to please her…
More and more good he was doing, but did not agree to let her go free…
* * *
Once, when Lada was dancing and singing near the source, a young man proved to be among the travelers. He was a dervish from the Brotherhood of Pure Souls. He went around the world preaching the good, and was looking for a spiritual connection with the Divine Sun, which shines from the most subtle depths, giving life to all beings.
He saw the Great Light, Which was merged with Lada when she danced, saw the Great Sun he was looking for: It shone so brightly in her and sent streams and beams when she sang!
He pulled out his sitar — and played in tune with her singing and dancing… Two souls began to sound in such harmony that all around stood still, listening to the sounds of the Divine…
Lada threw the veil off — and lit, streamed down her golden hair, her eyes shone with clear light!
And when Lada finished singing, the young man approached her with a bow and said:
“Come with me, wonderful! The whole world needs to hear your songs! Because the Comprehensive Love lives in you! And souls hear — through you — the Voice of God!”
Lada answered him:
“Oh you with eyes like the night sky, in which shines the light of all the stars! I would like to go with you over the land! But I am a slave of the khan and am not free to leave. These are — the guards who watch me. And even if I run away — then they will be killed for they did not deter me. And other soldiers will be looking for me night and day… Find a means to set me free!”
* * *
Then the young man came to the khan among healers and diviners, who tried to help khan win the love of Lada.
Khan took the young man by the name Hazrat and asked:
“You are young. Do you know the love yourself — to teach others how to win the love of a beautiful maiden?”
“Yes, I am young,” — said Hazrat. — “But I’ve spent my life in the understanding of the nature of love. And I have cognized its great secret. That’s what I wanted to tell you.”
“I tested all the remedies that I was offered, but they did not help me. I am sick! I have become the prisoner of my passion! I have become a prisoner of my own… slave — and cannot get rid of these shackles! Even if I kill her — I will not be free from this captivity, because I did not get the desired reciprocity… Or even if I kill myself — that passion will follow me into another world… And what is this mystery that will deliver me from this torment?!”
“The mystery is very easy!” — Hazrat answered. — “When a man really loves, he does not want anything for himself, but he does good to someone he loves. That is the great mystery of love, which distinguishes it from evil passions and desires!
“Miserable are those who crave a strange love!
“Happy are those who bestow love!
“Let Lada go, if you really love her — not for yourself, but for her sake!”
“You yourself have loved Lada and want by deception to lead her away!
“Well, give me the promise that you will pay me a ransom: I let her go, but you will be killed! And she will not even know that you bought her freedom at the cost of your life! Agree?”
“I agree,” — Hazrat said. — “But first, I have to teach you a secret, revealing the heart love…”
* * *
And Hazrat has taught khan how to clean and then raise the spiritual heart — and then to send love out of it to all over the world, to everything living on the Earth!
Khan listened to Hazrat, because Lada in her songs was singing about the same, but he did not want to heed this advice from her.
And the more flared up love in the heart of khan — the easier it became to him. Like the severity has fallen off, which was chilling him so long by gnawing passion!
And he realized that he was freed from his shackles. Calm and gentle love filled his heart.
Then khan realized the laws of love — and a great happiness came over him! That, about which he heard from Lada, he now has cognized through his own experience! He felt great joy!
He called Lada and said:
“You are free! You can leave alone or with this young man — and sing your songs of love to all over the world!
Lada thanked khan and said:
“I see that you are now able to give away — but not to pull to yourself and to usurp!
“Be happy, khan! Now you will become a great leader! Because you have cognized the happiness of giving freedom and happiness to others! You are now able to wisely govern your country!”
Hazrat also thanked khan.
Khan dismissed them both.
Lada sang a farewell song to khan, filled with love and gratitude.
And khan, listening, felt with surprise and studied a happiness in himself: yes, how beautiful it was — to give happiness to others!
All the courtiers were perplexed by the deed of khan and thought that the young man had bewitched him with his magic.
And khan watched the outgoings and was smiling happily…
Suddenly he felt a gentle touch of another soul. But — only Lada was able to relate at a distance by her spiritual light!
It turned out, one of his slaves quietly approached. She began to sing a song about her love for him.
“You sing as only Lada could sing! How is this possible?”
“I have loved you at first sight, oh mighty! I asked Lada — and she taught me how to sing so that love in the song could sound so much… She knew about my love for you…”
“Sing more,” — khan asked her.
She began to sing — and the response of love began to burn in the heart of khan…
Soon this former slave became the wife of khan.
And much has changed in the life of the country for a long time.
* * *
… Hazrat and Lada walked the land…
They went — and sang songs about life and love, awakening and transforming souls.
They have visited the place where Hazrat was born. And people told him there:
“You cannot marry a woman from the other nation, from other religion…”
Hazrat and Lada explained to them that their faiths are not different, that there is one God who created both the sun, and the stars, and the Earth, and everything that lives on it…
People listened to them and wondered…
Then they came to those lands, where Lada lived before. And people said there:
“How can you love a young man with a swarthy face?! And recall: people of his tribe attacked our land!…”
Lada answered them:
“Each man is not responsible for the actions of other people!
“And there is one God-the-Father, the Creator, — both for those who have dark skin, and those who have light skin!
“And for his or her actions — namely that individual is responsible before God!
“And realize that, in fact, there will be no enmity between people, if all people will comply with the laws of the Creator!”
… They were walking the land and sang beautiful songs.
And in many nations people long afterwards remembered those songs and sang them. Souls — learned to love!…
… They have found a place where they built a home and planted a garden.
Then there were the kids from them. Some of them had dark skin and golden curls. Others — light skin and dark hair. But all the souls were beautiful and full of light and love!
… The rumor was spreading — and people came to learn from Hazrat and Lada. And there were no boundaries for love and kindness between people in those lands! People have begun to live by the Words of God, every soul now felt the Living God — the Single Creator and Father for all people!