Tag Archives: tribe

Narrator – On foot through France


After I arrived in France through the Mont Blanc tunnel, I continued my journey by train to “Annemasse” just before the Swiss border near Geneva. Even in midsummer the Middle/High Alpine mountains north of Chamonix were not my world. Later in the snowy world at the beginning of winter I almost slipped to another world in a dream. In the icy stillness I felt completely at home within the enchanting white dream world. Carla Drift let me come back to life from this icy world.

[1]

My limited travel papers would not be good enough to cross the Swiss/French border twice. From “Annemasse” I walked along the Swiss border to “Les Rousses” to continue north via the GR 5. Luckily the trail north of “Les Rousses” was passable.

[2]

After the train trip no money was left. I had to get food one way or another. I did not have enough time to start working for my food, because I wanted to arrive in Amsterdam before the autumn.

On October 2, 1996, a former Bishop of Breda – Bishop Martinus Muskens – said in a VPRO television program that stealing (and eating) bread is lawful in case people are hungry and have no other way out to survive [3]. Herewith he forwarded the moral teachings of the Catholic Church in which life is more important than earthly possessions. Already in the Middle Ages this “food dilemma” was resolved by a monk who did not have to obey the abbot “in extreme necessity” by delivering food according to the command, but he should give food to a hungry person [4].

[5]

Fortunately, I had never seriously suffered hunger along the way. Very occasionally I had sinned by picking one or two pieces of fruit from a tree without the permission of the owner. I also had occasionally caught a fish or hunted a small animal – a noble act for the nobility and raunchy syrups for the ordinary man – and prepared on a small fire. With my background from a Maasai pastoralists tribe without borders and where all the land is for everyone, I could not see this use of the environment as theft; eventually the fruit, fish and small animals always spring from the world of everyone. Later in my life I started using the ethical [6] starting point that every manifestation has equal right of existence. But as a choice between two manifestations is inevitable, then a more complex manifestation – in this case, a creature that has a higher place in the hierarchy – deserves the preference [7].

Usually on my trip to Amsterdam I exchanged applicable stories of my ancestors for food or for a meal. Herein I followed the footsteps of my father.

In the European countries with material wealth and spiritual poverty, there is a great need for stories that provide interpretation. Politicians, managers, bankers, service providers in mental health, well-known film actors obtain an excellent income with their interpretations. In many cultures, these kind of exchanges are regarded as “wind trade” or vanity trade.

With the stories of my ancestors I could easily fill my stomach; I was never hungry on my way to Amsterdam. By exchanging stories against food, I actually lived of the wind – वात or vāta in Sanskrit – my father was my constant companion and guardian.

A roof over my head was not necessary in the summer; I slept in the open air under the stars. In bad weather I only needed an extra set of clothes and a plastic sheet.

So the first part of my hike along the GR 5 began in France.


[1] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

[2] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Rousses

[3] Source: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Muskens

[4] Source: Dougherty, M.V. Moral Dilemmas in Medieval Thought – From Gratian to Aquinas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, p. 77

[5] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger

[6] “The underlying meaning of Greek “ethos” was “personal disposition”. It ultimately came from the Indo-European word “swedh-“”” wherein we recognise the words “sva” and “dha” meaning in Sanskrit “self, Ego and human soul” and “to place, to give”.

Source: Ayto, John, Word Origins, The hidden History of English Words from A to Z. London: A &C Black, 2008 p. 199 and Source: electronic version of dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta.

[7] See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012 p. 80 – 81

Narrator – my origin


Unimaginably long ago I arose from the sound of falling rain in the blowing wind and the clattering of tumbling pebbles. With the rain the rhythm was created, by the wind my voice arose and with the tumbling pebbles the applause started. Stories emerged from the rhythm and the wind. Esteem started by the applause with the urge to seek the attention again and again.

My entire life I tell stories about life and death, about wars, greed, courage and loyalty, about love, revenge, honour, glory and wrath, icy wrath that brought countless horrors.

Since I was saved by Carla Drift from a dream in which I almost slipped to another world, I tell stories for improving discussions and insights on the interfaces between philosophy, literature and religion. Thus, I hope to contribute to a better world, peace and happiness for everyone and everything. This is the summary of the biography of my life.

In this summary my first remembrance is missing in which I heard my father singing in a language from the country from where he had left to Africa. This song sounds so familiar as if I already knew it  from the beginning of time. My father has told me that this chant is called the īśāvāsya [1] upaniṣad or the Isha Upanishad [2] in his country of origin. When I was four years old, my father taught me the text while I sat beside him [3].

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते।
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः॥

Ôm, Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate;
Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnameva Vashishyate.
Ôm shanti, shanti, shanti

Ôm, that is overall. This is overall. Overall comes from overall.

Take overall from overall and thus remains overall.

Ôm peace, peace, peace.

The chant of the  īśāvāsya upaniṣad can be listened via an annex to this post on the website of the publisher: http://www.omnia-amsterdam.com [4].

My father is dark as the night. He was born and raised in a poor southern part of India. At school he fluently learned Sanskrit: the language of the Gods in the world of women/men. All my grandparents and grand-grandparents spoke this language. As a young adult man my father travelled to Kenya in Africa to wander as storyteller and to have a better life. In this country he met my mother.

My mother is a proud woman from the Maasai nomads tribe. She does not know any borders; all the land is for everyone and the cattle needs food and care. She met my father as a young woman. He was starving and she took pity on him. Between them a love arose that transcends our existence. They go together through life; my father remains wandering as storyteller and my mother gives care and shelter when he is passing by. Here-from I came on Earth.

My first name is Kṛṣṇa [5] because I am dark as the night like my father with my black blue skin and because I was born during the dark period of the moon. My parents expressed the hope that I may awake every night again like the Moon and may not die like all other people [6]. Later in my life I changed my first name in Narrator, because I wish to belong to the mortals. My family name from my father’s side is Nārāyana. This means in the language of my ancestors: “Son of the original man”. [7]

[8]

Around my sixth year, my father brought me to school. There I learned to read and write. I never ceased reading. I read Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, Mahābhārata, Shakespeare in the last classes of school while the other students played warrior. Many of my stories stem from this time.

[9]

Until my 16th birth day I stayed at school. Then stark dark pages came into my life.


[1] Īśa means among others in Sanskrit “God in the heaven of the Gods”, “one with almightiness”. “Avāsya” means “putting down”. Hereby īśāvāsya can be understood as a description of God in the heaven of Gods. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[2] A literal translation of the Isha Upanishad in Dutch can be obtained via the following hyperlink: http://www.arsfloreat.nl/documents/Isa.pdf

[3] Upanishad literally means: “Sitting down near”. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads

[4] The author doesn’t know the origin of this mp3 file. When the owner makes her-/himself known to the author, the post will be amended to the wishes of the right holders in this question.

[5] Kṛṣṇa means amongst others “black”, “black blue”, “the dark period of the moon cycle”. Source electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[6] According to a Maasai myth the God Engaï gives cattle to the people and he brings people to life after their death and each day he lets the Moon die. After a sin wherein an opponent was desired death, Engaï lets people die and each night he brought the Moon to life. Source:  http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masa%C3%AF_(volk)

[7] Source electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[8] A Maasai woman. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people

[9] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasa%C3%AF