The Great Shaman took the drum by the handle, put on the shaman cap with owl feathers and different colorful pendants that covered half the face. Then he stood up, bent down his head and bowed a little, as if hiding his face in the drum. Saosh Yant even thought for a minute that he wanted to hide in it completely.
“When drumming, you need to listen to your drum carefully,” said Kudai Kam at last, “in order to clear the mind of every single thought. Do not think up anything like you usually do. Then the true Knowledge will come to you, and you will hear the voices of the ancestors, of the spirits and the Ayami. Now I’ll start drumming calling upon the Ayami of this place, and you listen carefully and try to grasp everything that will be going on.”
He beat the drum abruptly with the stick. The metal pendants echoed to the beat. They were ready for the great ritual. The next instant the drum came to life. It filled up with new energy and uttered a dull, long-drawn-out sound. Saosh Yant closed his eyes for a moment and suddenly saw a beautiful young maral appear before his master and bow its head before him. Kudai Kam got on it at once, ready for the long journey into the world of the spirits and ancestors.
“I will now start the drumming. My maral will show me the way, and you listen carefully. Pay heed to everything that will be going on. Stop thinking, and, maybe, you’ll hear the spirits.”
Kudai Kam began to abruptly beat the drum. A shiver went up and down Saosh Yant’s spine. Every beat resounded in the drum with a hollow echo and it seemed to be taking the soul straight to heaven. To the worlds where time doesn’t exist. It has stopped at its upper abode and was in no hurry. Where the eternal powerful Gods dwell gazing at the entire world from the peak of their wisdom and omnipotence. At the people. Wondering at their actions at times, but not interfering in their life. And where everything becomes possible once you have got there. On the instant, Saosh Yant understood that most people DON’T EVEN WANT to get there! That’s why their countless requests, complaints and prayers don’t reach the Gods. Curses, too. The people are just unable to stop talking to themselves and get into these worlds. Even when they are praying and asking something from God, they keep on talking to themselves. And the Gods? They remain in peace and tranquility. In exceptional cases only do shamans go up before them and humbly ask for something. And they get what they ask for. But how rarely such things happen! How rarely!
In the meantime Kudai Kam was beating the drum faster and faster. More and more vigorously. As if urging his maral on. Bending to his will, it carried its master at full career to unknown lands. They were rushing along together, driven only by the soul of the shaman ecstasy, the Tyn Bura.
Saosh Yant was carefully listening to the sounds of the drum and seemed to be carried away by the deer too. He saw everything that was happening to Kudai Kam. Meanwhile, the shaman started throat-singing and hopping to the beat of the drum. Eventually, he lost himself in vehement drumming, falling into a trance, dancing, at one moment bending down to the ground, at another jumping high and continuing the throat-singing. He was moving with such agility and energy, as though he was eighteen years old. As though he wasn’t a man whose hair was bestrewn with first snow, but a strong young lad. The same as his apprentice.
Listening to him attentively, Saosh Yant also began to fall into a trance. Vague forms, visions and voices, fragments of words and some long forgotten, but so familiar emotions filled the whole of his being. He felt as if he was floating in the ocean of unending impressions. And he liked it. He sensed that it was to be so. And he blended into this endless torrent.
In the meantime, a strong wind sprung up, ruffling the flame in different directions. The disheveled tongues, scattering sparks on everything, were saying, “You’re here, you’re close. Soon you’ll know all you wanted to know! Soon! Very soon!” Slowly and smoothly, almost insensibly, a cloud wafted on the mountains. Stealthily, it rose from the bottom, from the cozy and quiet valleys, and gently enveloped the landscape. It happened so fast that before Saosh Yant knew it, he was in the thick dense mist. Nothing could be seen through it. But that did not worry him at all. He had already reached his destination. Saosh Yant was some other reality. A familiar face showed out of the mist. It in some way resembled the face of the Altai Princess. Beautiful, stern and majestic, it made him tremble even to glance at it. She peered at the young man with her penetrating eyes and her lips said:
“Expect me! I will come to you in a dream.”