I have heard about one dignitary who went to Africa to visit a community, a very old, primitive community of aboriginals. He gave a long lecture. He told a very long anecdote – for almost half an hour the anecdote continued – then the interpreter stood up. He spoke only four words and the primitives laughed heartily. The dignitary was puzzled. He has been telling the anecdote for half an hour, how can it be translated in four words? It seems impossible. And people understood; they were laughing, a belly laugh. Puzzled, he said to the interpreter, “You have done a miracle. You have spoken only four words. I don’t know what you said but how can you translate my story, which was so long, into only four words?”
The interpreter said, “Story too long, so I say, ‘He says joke – laugh.’”
What type of laughter will come out? Just mannerly etiquette – and this man has been laboring for half an hour. Look at people’s laughter. It is a mental thing, they are making an effort. Their laughter is false, it is painted, it is just on the lips, it is an exercise of the face. It is not coming from their being, from the source, it is not coming from the belly; it is a created thing. It is obvious that we are bored, and whatsoever we do will come out of this boredom and will create more boredom. You cannot celebrate. Celebration is possible only when existence is a continuous newness, and existence is always young. When nothing grows old, when nothing really dies – because everything is constantly reborn – then it becomes a dance. Then it is an inner music flowing. Whether you play an instrument or not is not the point, the music is flowing.
I have heard a story. It happened in Ajmer…. You must have heard about one Sufi mystic, Moinuddin Chishti, whose dargah, whose tomb, is in Ajmer. Chishti was a great mystic, one of the greatest ever born, and he was a musician. To be a musician is to be against Islam because music is prohibited. He played on the sitar and on other instruments. He was a great musician and he enjoyed it. Five times every day, when a Mohammedan is required to pray the five ritual prayers, he wouldn’t pray, he would simply play on his instrument. That was his prayer.
This was absolutely anti-religious, but nobody could say anything to Chishti. Many times people would come to tell him and he would start singing, and the song would be so beautiful they would forget completely why they had come. He would start playing on his instrument, and it would be so prayerful that even scholars and pundits and maulvis who had come to object, couldn’t object. They would remember at home; when they were back at home they would remember why they had come.
Chishti’s fame spread over the world. From every part of the world, people started coming. One man, Jilani, himself a great mystic, came from Baghdad just to see Chishti. When Chishti heard that Jilani had come he felt, “To pay respect to Jilani it will not be good to play my instrument now, because he is such an orthodox Mohammedan. It will not be a good welcome. He may feel hurt.” So only for that day, in his whole life, he decided he would not play, he would not sing. He waited from the morning and in the afternoon Jilani came. Chishti had hidden his instruments.