Tales : The Bird that Grants Wishes

Once a student came to her guru and asked, “Guru-ji, this life is full of illusion. I wish to find the truth. What is the way to go forward on the spiritual path?”

“Go to the forest,” the guru replied.

“To practice austerities?”

“No. To find the bird that grants wishes.”

“Guru-ji, I have never heard of such a bird.”

“Very few have heard of it. Fewer still have seen this beautiful bird. But if you find it, your wish for spiritual success will be fulfilled.”

The student went and spent a long time in the forest, but when she came again to visit her guru, she had to admit she had not succeeded. “I have been to every corner of the forest,” she said, “but I do not find it.”

“It is a very shy bird,” the guru told her. “You must be completely still or you will frighten it away.”

She went again, and practiced sitting motionless in the forest. But the next time she came to her guru, she was discouraged. “Guru-ji, I sit without moving for hours, but the bird does not come. Perhaps it has flown to a different land.”

“No,” the guru reassured her, “I am sure you are getting close to catching a glimpse of the bird that grants wishes. Do not give up. But this bird is very sensitive. Even the sound of your thoughts will make it fly away.”

“My thoughts?”

“Thoughts are noisy. Be empty of thoughts,” the guru told her, “and you will discover the bird perched very close to you.”

After a time, the student came once more to the guru, and said, “I sit motionless without thoughts, guru-ji. But now I am unaware of the forest. If the bird comes, I do not notice.”

“Good,” said the guru. “Continue. And listen carefully in the silence.”

And when the student came once more to the guru, she said, “I hear a sound, guru-ji.”


“In my chest. And sometimes I feel something there that is like wingbeats.”

“Well done,” the guru said, smiling. “You have found the nest of the bird that grants wishes. Now your progress will be assured.”

2 Replies to “Tales : The Bird that Grants Wishes”

  1. Alim Reijers

    Dear Pir Nawab,

    What a wonderful learning story! Also in the Christian mystical tradition, the emphasis is more on “Stillness” (motionless) than on “silence”; a silent mind in a silent body.
    With Love, Alim

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Thank you, dear Alim. A psalm says, “Be. still and know that I am God,” but that stillness seems to me to be for the purpose of listening. Sending loving greetings, Nawab


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