Tales : Choosing the Instrument

There was, once upon a time, a certain guru who wished to open a student’s understanding to the spiritual mysteries of vibration, but as they were living in a very simple way in the forest, they had no instrument on which to play. Therefore the guru decided that they must make a journey to the city, and look for something on which the student could perform his studies.

When they came to the city, they made inquiries, and they were directed to a certain street which was lined with shops selling instruments of every kind, all highly polished, all ornamented with gleaming brass and complicated inlays of precious wood and mother of pearl. The shopkeepers called to them as they made their way down the street:

“Yes, please, come in, Maharaj! What you are looking for is here!”

“Go no further, Master! I have your instrument! Just look!”

“Guru-ji, come! This way! Only highest quality in my shop!”

But the guru paid no attention to the shopkeepers, merely walking quietly on down the street, until a man emerged from a small door carrying an instrument which, without a word, he humbly placed at the guru’s feet.

“This is the instrument we are seeking,” said the guru. And it was indeed the instrument that they carried back to their hut in the forest.

When, after ablutions and prayers, the student began to touch the strings of the instrument, he found that it had a most remarkable tone, as if the instrument itself was alive. Every note thrilled his soul to ecstasy.

“Guru-ji,” he asked, “how was it that you chose this instrument? You agreed to take it without having heard a single note, and yet it surely is of the highest quality.”

“My son,” the master replied, “I chose it by listening to the heart of the instrument-maker. If the heart has no tone, what can you hope for from the instrument? Whereas if the heart is alive, the instrument it produces must also be living.”

One Reply to “Tales : Choosing the Instrument”

  1. Ganesh

    The afterlife is like a gramophone; man’s mind brings the records; if they are harsh, the instrument produces harsh notes, if beautiful then it will sing beautiful songs. It will produce the same records that man has experienced in this life. (Inayat Khan) Bowl of Saki may 7th


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