They were in a hurry. With a great army the sultan was moving to conquer India. He had no time. But something mysterious happened and he had to stop; there was no way to avoid it.
The sound of singing coming from the garden caught the sultan’s attention. He was a lover of music, but he had never heard something like this. He had great musicians in his court and great singers and dancers, but nothing to be compared with this. The sound of singing and the music and the dance…. He had only heard it from the outside, but he had to order the army to stop. It was so ecstatic. The very sound of the dance and the music and the singing was psychedelic, as if wine was pouring in; the sultan became drunk.
The phenomenon appeared not to be of this world. Something of the beyond was certainly in it: something of the sky trying to reach the earth, something from the unknown trying to commune with the known. He had to stop to listen to it. There was ecstasy in it , so sweet and yet so painful – it was heart-rending. He wanted to move, he was in a hurry; he had to reach India soon, this was the right time to conquer the enemy. But there was no way. There was such a strong, strange, irresistible magnetism in the sound that in spite of himself he had to go into the garden.
It was Lai-Khur, a great Sufi mystic, but known to the masses only as a drunkard and a madman. Lai-Khur is one of the greatest names in the whole history of the world. Not much is known about him; such people don’t leave many footprints behind them. Except this story, nothing has survived. But Lai-Khur has lived in the memories of the Sufis down the ages. He continued haunting the world of the Sufis because never again was such a man seen.
He was so drunk that people weren’t wrong in calling him a drunkard. He was drunk twenty-four hours, drunk with the divine. He walked like a drunkard, he lived like a drunkard, utterly oblivious of the world. And his utterances were just mad – this is the highest peak of ecstasy, when the expressions of the mystic can only be understood by other mystics. For the ordinary masses they look irrelevant, they look like gibberish.
You will be surprised to know that the English word gibberish is based on a Sufi mystic’s name, Jabbar. It is because of Jabbar’s utterances that the English word gibberish has arisen. But even Jabbar was nothing compared to Lai-Khur. To the ignorant, his utterances were outrageous, sacrilegious, against tradition and against all formalities, mannerisms and etiquette – against all that is known and understood as religion. But to those who knew, they were nothing but pure gold.