It is very difficult to find out who are the sculptors of the most beautiful ancient statues of Gautam Buddha, which have never again been equaled. The grand architecture of the caves of Ajanta, Ellora… It seems almost superhuman work, and the people have not even signed their names because they never believed that they were doing it. They experienced that existence was using them as instruments, and they were blessed and grateful that they had been chosen to be instrumental. Existence had been compassionate towards them; they were rewarded enough.
Ashok Bharti is a poor man, but has a very rich heart; and to have a rich heart is the only real richness in the world. He has the potentiality of becoming a great singer, a great poet, a great composer, but he was not aware of it. He had come just to see me; he’s my old sannyasin. And knowing that to me, religion means celebration, he brought his khanjhari – just to sing a song to me, what else to bring as an offering? He was very shy in asking, “Can I sing a song in your presence?”
I said, “This is the most beautiful present anyone could have brought to me. You can sing every day.” And I have been watching him for almost one month – the depth, the significance, the meaning of his songs has been deepening. His courage is growing, he is no longer hesitant, he is not worried that so many people are watching. He is not a public singer. He’s just like everybody else, a bathroom singer.
It is strange: in bathrooms you will find the great singers of the world, but the moment you bring them out of the bathroom they become dumb. Everybody is a good conversationalist. The whole world is agog with people talking to each other, but just put somebody on a pedestal, and he looks at the crowd watching him and his heart starts sinking. These are the same people he has been talking to separately, privately. But to be observed by thousands of eyes, a fear arises, “If something goes wrong, I will become a laughingstock before so many people.”
I have been watching Ashok. The first day there was that fear. Slowly, slowly, the fear has disappeared, on the contrary, a fearlessness, a strength… And he has been creating his own songs, tremendously beautiful – not composed by the mind, but arising out of his love and out of his heart. They have a totally different beauty. It is true, that if you love me you will feel in my presence as if you are disappearing into a vast emptiness or into a vast fullness. Beyond the human mind, emptiness and fullness mean the same thing. Love makes you empty – empty of jealousy, empty of power trips, empty of anger, empty of competitiveness, empty of your ego and all its garbage. But love also makes you full of things which are unknown to you right now; it makes you full of fragrance, full of light, full of joy.
An ancient story is: