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Chapter 3: Birds Don’t Go to College

Where is that door? What mansion is it
Where You sit and overlook Your creation?
Infinite sounds are ringing, and infinite are the players;
Infinite the singers, and infinite the melodies they sing.
Water, fire and wind sing Your glory,
And the God of death sings at Your door;
Chitragupta, Shiva, Brahma, Devi - all sing Your glory;
And Indra on his throne and all the deities,
And holy men in meditation, and realized beings in their samadhi,
And ascetics, chaste women, contented people and warriors,
And pandits, rishis, and their Vedas through the ages,
And beautiful maidens of heaven, and fishes that dwell in the depths,
And the fourteen gems created by You, and the sixty-eight sacred places,
Heroes and great warriors, and creatures of the four kingdoms sustained by You,
All continents, all spheres, and the entire universe,
Those in Your favor and deeply immersed in You, such delightful devotees,
They all sing Your praises! And how many more, I cannot conceive or infer.
He and only He is the true lord. He is truth - Satnam.
He is and always will be. Though all vanish His reality will never leave.
He created Maya - things of various colors and emotions and dispositions.
He creates all things and watching over them, He also gives them greatness.
He does what pleases Him. None can interfere with His order.
Nanak says, He is the King of Kings. Abide by His will.

There is a Sufi tale: Becoming angry with his prime minister, a king had him confined in a very high tower with no way to escape; if he tried to jump he would surely be killed. The king did not know it, but on his way to the tower the prime minister had whispered something in his wife’s ear. On the very first night she came and left an ordinary insect on the tower wall. She applied a little honey to its antennae and the insect began to climb up the tower in search of the honey, but she had also tied a thin silk thread to its tail. Slowly the insect climbed the three hundred feet of the tower where the minister was waiting for it. He grabbed at the silk thread to which the wife had tied a string, and to the string she had tied a cord, and attached to the cord was a strong rope. The minister pulled till he had the rope in hand, and with its help he climbed down from the tower.

The story states that not only did the minister escape the prison, but he also discovered the means to escape from life’s ultimate prison. If even the thinnest, weakest thread comes to hand, there is no difficulty in attaining liberation. The weakest thread can pave the way to beatitude, but the thread must come to hand. A slight ray, once recognized, can lead to the sun.

All religions, all gurus, have reached God by catching hold of one thin thread or other. These threads are many, and can be tied to many kinds of insect. It isn’t necessary to smear the insect’s antennae with honey; you can apply anything that tempts the insect to climb to the prisoner. The thread becomes the bridge.

The thread that Nanak caught hold of is so crystal clear, but since we are both deaf and blind, we cannot hear him.

If you observe life closely, you will find that the most outstanding thing in existence is song. The birds have always been singing; each morning at the break of day they herald the coming of the sun with their song. The wind brushes against the leaves of the trees, and there is music. The waterfall has a melody all its own. The clouds clash with tumultuous sounds. The sound of the rivers as they flow, and the waves as they lash against the shores, have a quality of their very own. Look at life all around and listen! Existence sings from every corner.

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