The condition: nobody to shake their head

1001 Tales Discourses

“The duality has melted into oneness. The knower and the known are dissolved; there is only knowing,” states Osho.

Ravi Shankar

God is music, from one side. And when you hear it you are also music, from another side. Then the singer is no more and the listener is no more; they have become dissolved into one music.

I have heard a beautiful story.

It happened in Lucknow, a great musician came to the city. But he was a little bit eccentric, as musicians are prone to be. The king was very much interested, he was a lover of music – he asked the musician to come to the palace and play on his sitar for him.

The musician said, “There is a condition. While I am playing, everybody has to sit like a marble statue. Nobody should move, not even in appreciation. Nobody should shake his head – and if somebody shakes his head, his head has to be cut off.”

The king was surprised by this condition. But he was also a madman. He said ‘”Okay. The music has to happen.” So the people of the city were informed: ‘”If you come, beware, come prepared. Nobody is allowed to move.”

And it naturally happens when you hear great music you are moved – actually moved. Your body starts throbbing with it, you start pulsating with it, the beat enters into your being. People were also very much puzzled; they had never heard of such a condition. In fact a musician loves seeing that people are moved – that tears are flowing and people are swaying, that the music has reached their heart and touched them and moved them.

Thousands of people were interested to hear him play, but only a few hundred came. They all sat like statues in yoga postures, unmoving, afraid, and the king placed a few people around the audience with naked swords. It was a strange sight. And the musician played – and he was a great musician, incomparable – and after one or two hours a few heads, a dozen or so, started shaking. The king was worried. Those dozen people were caught; when the musician had stopped, those dozen people were caught. And the king asked “Do you really mean it? Should we kill them?’

The musician said ‘”No. These are the people I would like to play for now – for them I would like to play. Let the others go, they are worthless. I wanted to find these people, and that was the only way. That’s why I made the condition. These are the people who were really moved – even death was meaningless – who were really drowned, drunk, who became the music.”

[…] The duality has melted into oneness. The knower and the known are dissolved; there is only knowing. The lover and the beloved have dissolved; there is only loving.

Osho, The Revolution – Discourses on Kabir, Ch 7 (excerpt)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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