Chapter 9: You Have My Marrow
What I am saying is almost the opposite to what you have been trained to look for. If you go to your religious people, the so-called saints, you will find them almost dull. They are not sensitive, in fact, they are afraid of sensitivity. They have been trying to eat food without tasting it, they call it aswad. They have made it a great method. Mahatma Gandhi used to teach his disciples, “Eat, but without tasting.” Now if you do that, by and by you will lose the delicate sensitivity of your tongue. Then you will not be able to taste godliness. If you cannot taste food, how can you taste godliness? Godliness is food also, and in food godliness is hidden. The Upanishads say “Annam Brahma.” Food is Brahma. Now if you cannot taste food - you can dull your tongue, your tongue can become almost dead, you can simply go on stuffing yourself without tasting - then you are losing one dimension of reaching to godliness. Then you will not be able to understand when Jesus says, “I am your food, eat me.” Impossible to think of it: you will eat Jesus also without tasting him!
Islam became afraid of music because music has tremendous power over humanity, and it is good that it has. Wherever religion sees that something has tremendous power over humanity, religion becomes competitive, jealous. Food has tremendous power over humanity. There are many people who live to eat and many who eat to live. Religion became afraid. Their God became jealous of food. A competition arose. They said, “Kill this sensitivity of taste, otherwise people will choose food rather than choosing God.”
Music has tremendous power - it can possess. It can almost make you ecstatic, intoxicated. Islam became afraid; music was debarred. Music was thought to be irreligious because the ecstasy should come from God, not from music - as if music comes from somewhere else.
It happened in an emperor’s court that a musician came. He was a very rare genius, and he said, “I will play on my veena, on my instrument, with only one condition: that nobody should move his head while I am playing. Nobody should move his body, people should become like stone statues.”
The emperor whom he told that this condition had to be fulfilled was a madman. He said, “Don’t be worried. If somebody moves his head, his head will be cut off immediately.”
The whole town was made alert that if they came to listen to the musician, know well that it was risky: “Come prepared, don’t move, particularly your head.”
Thousands of people wanted to come. They had long cherished the idea of hearing this musician, and now he had come with such a dangerous condition, almost absurd. Who has ever heard of any musician asking for such a condition to be fulfilled? In fact, musicians become happy when people sway and their heads move and their body energy starts a subtle dance. They feel happy because their music is possessing people, their music is effective, people are moved. Emotion is a movement; hence the word emotion. It comes from motion.
When people are moved, thrilled, stirred, a musician feels happy, rewarded, appreciated. So what type of man was this? Only a very few people came, only people who were madly in love with music, who said, “Okay, at the most we can be killed, but this man has to be heard.” Just a very few people came.
The king had made arrangements: soldiers were standing all around with naked swords. Then the musician started playing on his veena. For half an hour nobody moved. People were like yogis, sitting like stone buddhas, unmoving, as if dead. Then suddenly the people were possessed. As the musician entered deeper, deeper, deeper, a few heads started moving and swaying, then a few more.