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Wednesday June 22 2005 09:40 IST

By Karmayogi

I have been repeatedly writing about Edmond Dantes and The Count of Monte Cristo. One becomes a great writer and his works come to stay because he has life knowledge. Man likes to think that life is moral, vindictive, wicked, evil. Maybe to his perception it is so, because life has all these capacities.

To perceptive, sensitive souls, Life tries to reveal God at each step. When life returns evil to good, one is furious. He does not SEE that life is teaching him that in the eyes of God, good as well as evil are equal. Mother says you can reach God either through heaven or hell. The choice is yours. If for any reason you like hell, life is a hell to you. Mother offers the sunlit path to us.

Danglars was a storekeeper on Dantes ship. He was jealous by nature, stole, carried tales, collected every possible information about everyone so that it could be used against them in time if necessary. He expected to be made captain based on seniority, not on capacity. The owner naturally made Edmond captain.

Danglars was burning with rage. To one who has no talents, everyone who is talented is an enemy. Danglars knew of Dantes meeting Napoleon and his letter. He suggested to Fernand, the other rival of Dantes, that Dantes could be arrested and Fernand could marry Mercedes, a scheme dear to Fernand. With his left hand, Danglars wrote a letter to the magistrate anonymously.

Experts say all left-handed writing is the same in appearance. Edmond was arrested. Danglars moved to Spain. There he had occasion to cheat a banker and come by a huge sum of money. He came back to Paris, married a rich widow, became a banker of renown. When Dantes came to Paris as the Count, he banked with Danglars, planning his revenge on his old colleague, Danglars.

Dantes went to a telegraph post, bribed the man there, sent a false telegram to Danglars with news that would cause some railway stocks to rise. Believing the false news, Danglars invested in the company and lost his all. Dantes propped up an ex-convict as a Prince and Danglars again falling a prey to Dantes arranged the marriage of his daughter to that fake Prince. The bubble burst and the Prince exposed Danglars wife in the court saying he was her illegitimate son whom she had believed killed by her lover.

Danglars fled Paris with whatever money he could get and went to Rome. Dantes arranged with bandits that Danglars be kidnapped. He was starved and charged 1000 francs for each piece of bread and 10,000 francs for a bottle of wine. At last, Dantes revealed to Danglars all that he had done. He released Danglars with 50,000 francs.

Alexander Dumas knew every secret of life and reveals LIFE to us through Dantes. Here a moral aspect of life is portrayed. We Indians will call it karma. To see beyond morality and karma is philosophy. To live that is yoga. Fernand and Danglars rose very high, just as Dantes did. This is one secret of life. It is the first half traced by this novel. Yoga traces the second half. When Dantes reaches heaven, the others too reach heaven. Life has no evil.

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