“I know it is difficult,” I said, “but there is no other way. It is not impossible. Just because your experience is so juicy, you don’t want to get away from it. Your whole being is drowned in it and you don’t want to get out of it. But you don’t know that if you can get out of it, you are not going to be a loser. Far more blissfulness, far greater benediction is waiting for you.
“You just give it a try. You have nothing to lose. If you feel that you are losing something, come back to your old involvement with the music and live your life joyfully. There is no hurry, either. You have come very close. Some day in some life you may take the step.”
He asked, “How in this life, or in another life, can I take the step? I cannot conceive the possibility.”
I said, “You do not understand one thing: howsoever beautiful is the experience, howsoever wonderful – but you will get bored with it one day. Maybe it takes a few lives for you to get bored, but because it is the same experience, sooner or later boredom is going to come in, and that will be the time that you will become aware. But that is for the unintelligent man – to wait for boredom. The intelligent man can do it now.”
And he managed…. He was the teacher of Ravi Shankar and also Ravi Shankar’s father-in-law. He was an old man; he lived beyond one hundred and ten. But the day he managed it, he died. He died with his sitar in his hands. But you could see on his face the marks, the footprints: the buddha had just walked on the wet sand. At the age of one hundred and ten…and he was looking so silent, so peaceful, so young.
But he was a remarkable man in many other ways too. I was afraid that this was going to happen: if he tries, he is so old, so fragile, that he may not be able to keep his body and his soul together. The sudden lightning experience will become the death of the body, the separation from the body. And that’s what happened.
I have seen many musicians but none was of his quality. He could use anything as an instrument –just iron rods and he would start playing with those rods. And you would be amazed that he could create such beauty out of those iron rods which can only create noise and nothing else.
He was a Mohammedan. Because of him I was acquainted with his daughter, who is married to Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar has betrayed her. He has not proved a real man of heart and grace. Just to be the topmost disciple he married the daughter of the master, because that made him the most famous disciple. But once he came to the West he has not bothered about his wife. She is living in poverty.