The Jivamala
The Life of an Avenging Warrior

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Lita - The Lord of Fire

This is the warrior life of Lita who was ironically both a hero and a mass-murderer who was responsible for the death of an entire village. He did his duty to avenge his parent's death and prevent the group slaughter of other innocent villagers. However, he was trapped in death by guilt, and tortured by the ancestor spirit that the villagers he killed had worshiped.

The Life of Lita

I am the Lord of Fire, demon of the underworld. I was a warrior in life, and now I am a warrior in death. I live by eternal dying.

I am you, but I am not you. To me, you are weak and cowardly, concerned with submission and purity rather than aggression and power. I am what you should be.

On earth, I killed without mercy or hesitation. None was given to my family. My earliest memories were war and the destruction of my village. My parents hid me as a child in a hole under the house when the invaders came. I was four or five. They told me not to cry, or I would be killed. They put a big rock over me. There was the sound of screaming, and then grunting, and later silence. I stayed quiet as long as I could, after it was quiet outside. But nobody came to take the rock off, and I could not breathe. But I was strong, and eventually I moved it myself. When I came out, everybody was dead, lying in blood.

I screamed and cried and ran but everybody was dead. I didn't know what to do. My parents had said that dead people belong in holes in the ground to be planted like seeds. There was only one hole I saw – the one I had been in. So I put my parents and older brother in there. They were too big for it, so I took some handfuls of dirt, and put it over them.

I cried by them, but it did not bring them back. The whole village was full of dead people. I did not know what to do.

I left my village to look for living people. I walked in the jungle for many days. I ate some fruit from trees, and bushes, but mostly I was hungry. Some of the things I ate made me sick.

I walked for days, and then weeks. Eventually, I wandered into a village that had living people in it. They did not know what to do with me, for my parents were dead.

Section One

A women with many children told me that I might stay with her while the elders debated what to do with me. Nobody wanted me – this has been the story of my life. I was too young to be an enemy, and to confused to give a clear idea who I was or where I came from. I knew my name was Lita, and I came from far away. I did not know them and their village. But I was starving, and I felt sick, and I was grateful for their food.

I was given to the elder in charge of warriors. It was decided since I survived a massacre and made it to their village, that I must have warrior potential. The other children were older and they insulted me for being small, and for having no parents. I said my parents were superior to theirs, but they said theirs were alive, and mine were dead. I said that if I ever found out who killed my village, they would all be dead.

The warrior elder, Guntar, was an old man with grey hair. I lived in his hut, and worked for him. I gathered food and made his meals. I was not called a servant, but that is what I was. He did not ask me what I wanted – he only gave things, or did not give them, according to his mood. I had no right to ask for anything.

As I grew older, I looked different from the people in the town. I was darker, and my nose was a different shape. I was insulted for my looks, as well as for my background.

I did not care about them. I did not know them. My rivalry was not with them but with the killers of my parents, and with nature itself. When I was in my teens, I found my way back to my village. I knew that I must walk towards where the sun rose, for when I was a child, I walked toward where the sun set. I remember seeing the sun setting before me each night. It was as if the sun were sad too, like me, and was hiding its head to hide its tears.

I walked for many weeks, and eventually found the ruins. It was really about two weeks away, but it took other weeks of exploration trying to find it, and identify it as the right village.

It was strange for me when I went in, yet familiar in some odd way. I wandered with my eyes closed, and eventually came to the house that was my parents. It was made of bamboo, with rotting thatch, and a dirt floor scattered with grass. I found the rock beneath which I had hidden the skeletons of my parents and brother. Nobody had even burned the bodies. It was as if nobody had ever visited there again. I found some tools that invaders had not taken, and I buried my family. I took some pans, jewelry, weapons, and god objects from the village. I wanted to show them to people, to find out the name and history of my village. I wanted to find who had destroyed it.

I eventually found my way back to the [adopted] village. Guntar was angry at me for leaving, and beat me. I told him I would no longer live with him. The elders agreed that I could have some land out in the jungle-forest. And I built a house of my own. One person helped me – a boy of my own age who was hated by the warriors because his right side was weaker than his left side, and looked different. I appreciated his help. It is hard to build a house by yourself. I decided to build a house like the ones I had seen in my parent's village. They were taller houses with pointed roofs, and projecting pieces of bamboo. I got new thatch, and new straw for the floor. When my worker was away, I build a tunnel underneath the house that led many yards away. I put a rock over it. I told Meng, who had helped me that he was welcome to visit when he chose. The house was large, and there was a space for a sleeping place for him, and even for others.

I continued warrior training. I knew how to hunt and gather food. I had always done that for Guntar . I made things for the house – a big place for fire, and a special place for things I had taken from my home village.

They sent us away as warriors to learn from other villagers. Those who were finished with training were sometimes sent to fight for these [allied] villages. Wherever I went, I brought some objects from my home village. I asked if anybody knew where these were from, but nobody did.

They looked down on me, but I would not be weak. I would be stronger than they were. Whatever practices they gave, I did twice as long. I spent days frozen still in hunting, merging with the forest. I threw spears over and over, hundreds of times a day, until my aim was good, and better than good. I lifted heavy rocks over and over again, to become strong for fighting. I caught fish while swimming, and killed animals without weapons by fighting them.

I became strong. I always carried my spear, and a knife I made from bone. People stopped insulting me, for I fought those who did, and one I nearly killed. I could bear fire and water, stand on hot rocks without complaining, and stay deep in the water like a fish. When I found the killers [of my village], I was ready.

Section Two

I trained until I was the strongest man in the village. Even the elders did not want to challenge me. I was fast, and I was deadly, and I was willing to kill. Nobody insulted me any more. The girls began to look at me with interest, but I was not marriageable. After all this time, I was still a stranger.

In one village I visited, I heard of a distant tribe that lived by wiping out villages – every man, woman, and child. I was interested, and asked them about it. These people had never seen them but had heard about them. In fact, nobody had seen them, and nobody survived. He heard that they sometimes took in warriors from other villages if they were strong, and ruthless, and they bribed them with women and wealth.

As nobody could find them, they would have to kill me or find me. I decided that I would become famous as a warrior, and then they would find me. There were yearly contests in the area, each spring, for the bravest warriors. I decided to go.

Our village elder, Liang-ro, spoke to me about it. He said that I could not go as a member of their tribe, as I had neither been formally adopted nor initiated. I said that I would go as an independent.

He said,

"I know that life has been hard for you, since you were a child. Here is my knife made with metal from far away. It can slice anything if you keep it sharp with a stone. Use it for the contest. You can return it afterwards. If I die, it is yours. It should go to our bravest warrior. Though you do not have your own blood, you have the fire we once had, and have lost. When you return, we will see about a marriage. You would make many women proud, and have strong children."

I thanked him and left. It was the greatest kindness I had been shown in a long time. But it did not erase the hateful behavior of the village men.

The contest was weeks of walking away, but I was ready. I had worked hard, and eaten little. My muscles were strong, and my eyes were clear. I took the elder’s knife and left for the gathering place.

It was a long journey, but I treated it as practice. Eventually I came to a village with a great empty field in front of it. On great poles were clusters of skulls - the heads of past losers who had lost their lives in the contests. I would not be one of them.

I came to the elders of the village, and asked to be allowed to enter the contests. They looked at me from head to foot, and then nodded. I stood tall and strong and proud. Nobody could die in contests with that pride. They gave me a tent, and a place to sleep and eat. They gave the contestants food, and at the end of the contest, we would go on a great hunt, and give animals for the village to eat, and furs for the great hall. It was a trade.

A loud horn began the events. We had to throw spears, throw rocks, wrestle, catch animals without weapons, run, jump, and go over a course of obstacles. I won the spear throwing, and also catching the deer quickest, and did well in the others though I was not the winner. But winning two was good – nobody else won any more. And I did not disgrace myself in any of them. I was offered gifts for the two contests. I won a spear made of inlaid shells and pieces of metal, and a great cape of animal skins edged with bird feathers. I loved it on sight, and decided to wear it always.

I went out at the end with the others, and caught a mountain lion. I brought it back as my offering to the village. I shared in its meat, and they gave me its teeth for a necklace.

When I started to leave, some men came to over to me. They said they were impressed by my abilities. They could reward a good warrior well – would I be interested in visiting them? They were strong, and some of them had fought in the contests. They were deadly fighters, as I was. I thought they might be the tribe I was looking for. So I said I was interested in what they had to say. They brought forward a woman, strong with bright eyes – the first of their gifts.

Section Three

The men said that the woman was mine for the time I came to visit the village. They said that they would feed me there, and give me enough food for my journey back. They said there were further gifts at the village.

I walked with them. Their village was far away. It took weeks to get there, as it had taken to reach my own birth village, but in a different direction. The men were largely silent but sometimes they spoke of great battles, and of animals they had killed. The woman was silent, and looked at me with large eyes. I did not immediately grab her, and go off to the woods with her, which made the men think less of me, and her think more of me.

Eventually we reached their village. It was a dark place in a deep valley, hidden by rock walls. There was a canopy of leaves and vines which hid it from view. Nobody could have guessed that there was a village there – it just looked like heavy greenery beneath a rocky hillside.

The village people looked at me curiously. They were hardened warriors, hostile and suspicious, and women and children walked among them. Many looked unhappy. I found out later that they stole the women from other villages when they ran low. Most women were tall and graceful, while the men were thick, and muscle bound.

I was taken to meet the chief, a man full of grease, whose eyes continually darted from side to side. They asked me of my village, and I told them of my adopted one, making myself an orphan of a famous warrior. One of the men had heard I called myself ‘independent’. I told him that I would not call myself a warrior of the village until I had proven myself. They all nodded.

I was young and they figured that they could shape me according to their wishes. So they sent me away with the woman. We went to her house which as poorly made. I found out later that she was taken as a captive. So she was not highly valued. I told her I could help her improve her house, for I had built my own. She shook her head and called me strange. Did I not want to sleep with her? I said that she was beautiful, and that I had never slept with a women and I did not want to hurt her. She smiled, and said that she would not be hurt if I followed her directions. I did so and neither of us was hurt. I found it a wonderful thing.

She told me she was captured as a child from a distant village, so young that she did not know the village’s name. I wanted to tell her my own past, and my suspicions, but I was not yet ready to trust her. So I nodded and asked her if she had anything from her village. But she did not – everything had been taken away.

I stayed with her for a few days while exploring the hidden village. I did not see objects which were identical to those in my home village, though I saw ones that were similar. Does this mean they were taken? I could find no proof.

I was taken to the chief, and told that I could prove myself on a hunt. We went off to kill animals and I did well. I wrestled down a wild cat, and killed a buffalo and a wild pig with my spear. We came back with much food, which we shared.

The chief called me in afterwards and said that I had done well. He said that the tribe had a secret, and that I soon should be ready to know it. He asked if I were satisfied with the woman, saying that another could be provided if she were unfit. I said that she was satisfactory.

They left me alone for several more days, and I worked with Ala to repair and extend her house. I gathered new thatch, and cut new branches with my knife. It became a good house, strong, and almost water tight, and she was happy.

Section Four

They took me on a raid for women. They said that they were running low. I agreed to go, for I would be one of them until I found out if they were the killers [of my village]. We walked many days carrying weapons and ropes, and came to a peaceful looking village. The raiding party came in yelling, and started grabbing young girls. They said the girls would adapt to the village better, while the old ones would hold grudges. It was a quick entrance, and exit, and about half a dozen girls were grabbed off with us into the woods. The warriors who followed were fought and slain. I was among the warriors who waited to fight the pursuing villagers. I did not want to fight them – they were acting rightly in defending their women. But I had no choice if I wanted to stay with the tribe. I fought two men, and one I killed, and the other I think was only wounded and unconscious. So I said he was dead and led the party away.

When we came back, the village celebrated. They were called the Luangsi, the chief told me, and he congratulated me upon being blooded. He said that now I could truly call myself a proven warrior. I did want to kill, but only the right people. I would have to find out.

These raiders did not kill every man, woman, and child. Could I have the wrong village? Would I ever learn [who destroyed my village]?

I went back to Ala, and told her that the raiders had taken girls, and killed innocent people. She started crying, and I tried to calm her. I remembered a song that my mother sang when I was a young child. I sang it for her, and she relaxed and smiled, and then suddenly jerked forward. She asked where I had learned that song. I told her that my mother had sung it to me, and she asked me pressing questions about my origins. I admitted to her that my village too had been destroyed, but that I had survived, and sought revenge upon the killers of my parents.

She said that she was sure that these people were killers. They were heartless and cruel. When she had just become a woman, she was attacked by the young men of the village as ‘practice’ for being with their future wives. She said it was lucky that she had not conceived, or she would have strangled the child at birth. She was cold and disgusted, and they knew that she hated their touch. Occasionally, some man would demand her services, but that was rare, for there were many more willing women around who appreciated the warrior’s gifts. Now new girls were taken for the boys who would be initiated in the next two years.

I said that I found her warm and soft to touch. She said that was because I had not attacked her, but had waited for her to ask. It made all the difference. I was glad I had come to the village, and met her.

But it did not change my plans. I must have proof that these were the killers.

Section Five

At last the chief called me into his room, to speak with me alone. He was old, and shifty-eyed always waiting for assassins. But he did not think of me as one. The other warriors have reported to me that you are strong and brave, that you have obeyed the rules of the village, and that you do not seek wealth from others. This is good. You have acted rightly as a novice warrior, and on the raid, you did your job well.

Soon we will go on a different type of raid, and you will join. Have you ever wondered why we live beneath the canopy of leaves, and why our village is wealthy in food and weapons? I will tell you. From the time of our ancestor, the vampire bat who lives on blood, we have needed blood sacrifice to survive. Every five years, we choose a village, and kill everyone in it. Koyowyan, our ancestor said we must do this. If even one escapes, it will mean our disaster. In the hundreds of years we have lived as a tribe, nobody has escaped. Thus we are strong, and rich.

I asked how the village was chosen. Were there great warriors to fight, or had they sinned greatly against the gods? He said those were human ways to choose. They had captured a great bat, and kept him in a cave. He was freed every five years, and the first village in the path of his flight was the one to be sacrificed. He is kept prisoner, but fed well, between these flights. When he flies, he may or may not return to his cave. If he does not, a new Great One is chosen.

I asked if blood relatives or neighbors in other villages nearby who visit, work, or intermarry with those in the doomed village did not avenge their deaths. He said, "No" and that they did not know what had happened when they first visited the village, and that warriors were forbidden on pain of death from leaving anything of their own in the village. Even if by chance, something had been left, nobody else knew who they were, or where they were. They were secret raiders, bound by tribal obligations, ensuring the tribe's future existence.

The chief asked if I were willing to go on such a raid – not for the sake of murder, but for the tribe’s survival. It was a necessary war.

This was a difficult moment. I knew that if I refused, I would be killed. Yet how could I agree to murder a village of innocent people. I decided to agree, and then find a way out of it later.

I told him I did not follow my warrior code to kill women and children. However if it is for the sake of the tribe’s survival, I could look upon it like sacrificing animals to a god. But I did not wish to do it often.

The chief nodded. He said, “We have different responses on the part of warriors. Those who refuse are cowards and unworthy of us. But those that are too anxious to kill are untrustworthy for they may turn against their brothers in their blood-lust. Those who hesitate but agree when they realize its importance are the best.

He said that such an event must happen in a few months time. I must practice fighting skills and make myself strong, for a moment of mercy could mean the end of the village. I must harden my heart.

I returned to Ala and whispered what the chief had said. She nodded gravely, and told me she knew this all along. But the question was, "What to do about it?"

I did not know. They must be stopped, or they would keep wiping out villages for the sake of their vampire god. But how could I stop a whole tribe? I would have to kill them all. How could I do that? And if I somehow could, wouldn't I be as bad as they were?

I decided that perhaps I could find a weak point if I understood the history of the tribe. I went to the chief and told him that I thought the tribe had great warriors. I would like to learn their history and exploits. He was very pleased at this and kept slapping himself on the thigh. He said no other adopted warrior recognized their greatness, and even their own young warriors were not interested in the tribe’s past. This interest of mine was a very good one.

He took me to the priest of the tribe, who knew the history and stories of the past.

Section Six

I went to the priest each day, and learned the stories of the tribe. The priest was very happy, for few people visited him, except for healings and rituals. He spoke of how nobody seemed suited to be the next priest, for a priest needs an interest in the past, like I had. He clearly wanted a disciple, and someone to continue his work.

I looked for the weaknesses of the tribe in the stories. The Bat-ancestor apparently spoke through the priests of the tribe on occasion, and always demanded blood. He preferred blood from wealthy villages. More food and women meant richer blood for him. Once the tribe refused to kill, and the bat haunted everyone in their dreams. The village went mad, and only later returned to sanity. Nobody went against the ancestor again.

I tried to find if the village was vulnerable in any way. It had never been found by others, and was never attacked. The vines had been there for a very long time, and they covered the sky so little light came in. They grew into all the houses.

As the months went by, the vines grew dry, and lost their leaves.If anyone were to look from the outside, they might be able to make out a village. It was at its most vulnerable to detection. It was also the most vulnerable to fire.

What I learned from the priest was that this village will never turn from mass murder – it is its reason for living. All the men and male children participate. The women support them. Who is guilty for the death of my parents, and my village? The answer is - all of them.

I told Ala I meant to destroy the village, and that she must leave that night. It was a night that people went to bed early – a dark moon night. I took dry vines and scattered them throughout the village. With the knife of the old chief, I worked a stone, and made a fire. I lit the branches in several places, and ran out of the village through the hidden door. I bound that door behind me with vines and branches, and piled up rocks.

The fire spread, and smoke rose. I heard shouts and screams. The people could not leave. I was like them – responsible for the death of a village. I was the Lord of Fire, dancing in the flames.

Section Seven

So I killed them all, that they might not kill others. Most were guilty – yet I knew some that I killed were innocent. I killed a village of fifty to save 500. They killed my family, and I betrayed them in return.

Who knows what is good or evil here. It is only evil, and greater evil. I exaulted in their deaths, and was glad of [my] revenge. I called upon the ghosts of my parents, hapless wanderers as unavenged murder victims, and I shouted, “Parents, be at peace! Your killers have been slain!” I danced the dance of victory over enemies, and called upon all members of my clan (whoever they were) to affirm that I had done my duty to my parents. I had fulfilled my reason for surviving the massacre.

I was filled with joy, and destruction, as I heard the screams and cries and crackling of the dark village. Eventually, the flames died, and I found Ala in the forest and left that place. I decided to return to the village where I had grown up.

The chief welcomed me back, and I gave him back his knife. He was disappointed that I would marry an outsider woman, but he said that he would be glad to celebrate our wedding. He said that other people in the village missed me, and realized I had done much for them, and that they had treated me badly.

I married Ala, and returned to the house I had built. It was not really suitable for a wife. I expanded it and added rooms. As my wife, she gained status, and nobody would take her against her will. She liked that.

I told the chief that I could not discuss my travels, and he said he would not ask. I told him that Ala was from my home village, or near it, and I think that is true. She knew my lullaby. I think that a member of my village married outside, and Ala was one of the young girls stolen in a raid by the warriors. She did not grow up in my home village, but she had its blood.

I was not certain that I wanted to stay, but the chief wanted me there. He asked if I had been a blooded warrior, and I said yes. He said he could tell, just by looking at me.

He said that he wanted me in the village and would prove it. He officially adopted me as a foster son. His own children were grown, with sons of their own, and I was still young. He said that he wanted someone strong and clever in the village.

With that adoption, I became a member of the village. I got a clan god for my house, and jars and weapons which were handed down in each family (of course I got fewer as a late addition). Ala was welcomed by the women, and introduced to the women’s house, to take part in weaving and shell work.

The old warrior instructor had died, and I took his place. I taught the young warriors, with what I had learned in lessons, and by myself. I also came to listen to the priest, whom I had ignored before. He spoke of ancestors, and offerings to them. I offered the ghosts of my parents many gifts, and gave some to Ala’s unknown ancestors. I became friends with the priest.

I lived my life there, and had sons of my own. Ala and I did not speak of the past often. We were glad to have escaped with our lives. But sometimes at night, I would hear the screams from the burning village, and I would wake up tossing and sweated. Ala would always say,

"You did the right thing, there was no other way. They could have destroyed this village as well. You protected those you love from murderers. You acted rightly."
I heard her yet I did not hear. My soul would sound with their cries. I would do it again, but I wish their cries would end.

I grew old, and when I felt death approached, I called my oldest son and told him the story. He had always hated bats and snakes. He said that he understood, and that he would give offerings for the peace of my soul. He said he knew that I might suffer for this, but should be glad that I prevented the suffering and death of others.

Section Eight

At death, the guilt was my first thought - before my wife and children, before my hope of meeting ancestors. Again I heard the cries, and I was surrounded by their cries like ropes. They pulled me down into the fire.

I have been burning forever in the flames, under the curses of those who have fattened the bat ancestor. It is his hell I have entered, and he is my chief tormentor.

I have avenged my family and ancestors, and protected my wife and children, and my adopted village. A warrior must protect, and risk the curses of priests to protect his people. I have acted rightly.

But I am in hell with rivers of blood, and a bat-ancestor in eternal hunger. Each day we fight, and neither of us wins. I can do more than be a prisoner of a mad bat forever, but I do not know how to escape.

Was I to leave these murderers free to kill again? Nobody in generations had tried to do anything. It was left to me, and I did my duty. I have paid for it.

Section Nine: The Bhairava Comments on the Lord of Fire's Life

Another life of yours is trapped, and bound by curses. You certainly have a collection. You are even in your own region of the hell worlds.

Again, it is a conflict of responsibility, with punishment due for acts which may be viewed as evil or heroic. Again the intention was honorable, though the result was a problem.

I can see the ties which bind the past self, like the suckered tentacles of an octopus. I send the fiery light of truth to them, and they shine as crimson claws, and then dissolve. They entrap on the basis of guilt, not genuine karmic evil. When the guilt is dissolved, the tentacles dissolve, and the actions are placed within the vast net of the greater good. Your past life is free.

I shall place him in a world where his skills and sense of honor will be appreciated. He will be born as the child of a knight, and his soul will grow and develop a moral code. He will learn to resolve conflicts, and his protection of the innocent will be valued. He will never return to that hell.

Section Ten: The Bhairava Comments on the Bat Ancestor

Your Lord of Fire personality was not really a demon, but he was the prisoner of one, who was in turn an emanation of a Lord of Destruction – one of the earliest pure destroyer beings. In the creation of the universe, the forces of destruction were also generated, as a sort of balance. The Vajrayana system is a single wave of that creation, but there are others. The destroyer beings oppose the lush creation of jungles and species on many worlds. With each new variation, they gain power. This being was one of the first created ones. Even his lower manifestation was a dangerous enemy. You are rid of an anchor on your soul.

You hope to feel elation, yet feel nothing. This is a part of you which is totally unconscious, and you have no access to it except through the Jivamala. In ordinary life, you cannot perceive either the enslavement or the freedom.

I spoke with the higher manifestation [of the bat ancestor] informing him of violation of [karmic] order. Even essences of destruction create a kind of order, and they expect that the order will be followed. I did not wish to destroy the [bat] being, for its sins came with its essence. He will not bother you again.

A new life awaits you.

To continue with the Jivamala practice, click on the Group of Past Lives link below (this is the final life on the Lives of Spiritual Weakness page), or click [ NEXT ]:

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