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Chapter 7: Tuning the Heart

If the strings of the veena are too loose or too tight and a musician touches them, the sound that is created is unmusical, disturbing to the ears and frightening to the mind. If to protest against this disharmonious sound a person were to get angry and break the veena’s strings and throw the veena away, he can, but he should not forget that by tuning it, harmonious sounds could have been created on the same instrument. The unmusical sound is not the fault of the veena: the mistake is that the veena has not been tuned. If the veena had been tuned, then from the same strings which produce disharmony, music which is a balm for the soul could also have been created.

Musical and unmusical notes both arise from the same strings - although this appears to be absolutely contradictory - and the results of both will be opposite. One of them will lead you into a state of bliss and the other one will lead you into a state of unhappiness, but the strings and the instrument are the same.

Anger arises in man’s heart if his heart is not balanced. If the same heart becomes balanced, then the energy which begins as anger starts transforming into compassion. Compassion is the transformation of anger.

If a child is born without anger, then it is certain that compassion will never appear in the life of that child. If there is no possibility of hate in the heart of a child, then there will be no possibility of love either.

But until now you have lived with the illusion that feelings like these are contradictory, and if you destroy one, then the other will take over. This is absolutely wrong. There can be no teaching more dangerous than this - it is not psychological and it is very unintelligent. Compassion does not arise through the destruction of anger: it is attained through the transformation of anger. Compassion is not the destruction of anger, it is anger that has become tuned and musical.

So if you are opposed to anger and try to destroy it, then you are trying to destroy the musical instrument. And in destroying it, your development will be very weak and feeble; none of the qualities of the heart will be able to develop in you. It is the same situation as somebody piling fertilizer around his house - which will spread dirt and a bad smell everywhere - in order for flowers to blossom. But instead of the fragrance of flowers you will get the bad smell of the fertilizer and your life will become intolerable.

Flowers will certainly blossom with fertilizer, but not by just piling it around the house. The fertilizer first has to undergo a change. It must enter the plants through the roots, and then one day the foul smell of the fertilizer will turn into the fragrance of flowers. But if somebody simply piles fertilizer around his house he will go crazy with the smell, and if he throws the fertilizer away his flowers will become lifeless and pale. The transformation of the fertilizer can change a foul smell into fragrance.

This very chemistry, this very alchemy is called yoga, religiousness. The art of transforming whatever is meaningless in life into something meaningful, is religion.

But what you are doing in the name of religion is committing suicide, you are not transforming your consciousness. You are living with some basic misunderstandings, a shadow of some deep curse hangs over you. Your hearts have remained undeveloped because you have condemned the basic qualities of the heart. It will be good to understand this more deeply.

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