this morning a dear friend introduced me to her teacher. her guru. a guru in sanskrit, we remember, is one who helps the student from the darkness unto the light. a guru in this culture, i am learning, is respected right after mother and father, and is so important and powerful in a child's life that they must even bow to him.
something to do with learning and ignorance understood not as being confined to the realm of classes, wealth, or materiality, but being in and of itself The Ultimate Struggle.
as seen in this most common prayer Rama taught me and wikipedia remembers replete with diacritical notation:
- Asato mā sad gamaya / tamaso mā jyotir gamaya / mṛtyor mā amṛtam gamaya
- "lead me from non-truth to truth; lead me from darkness to light; lead me from mortality to immortality"
what they're talking about is learning algebra. or meditation. or selfhood. or whatever. immortality.
and the point is that somehow the magic is just in the Air here and i knew this would be Important and i asked for humility and to approach as a wayward son and to be shown the way. so i find my way up the backstairs and shoeless joe jackson sit down amidst half a dozen juvenile tabla players, a couple of parents, and my friend heena. he is looking at/past me the whole time at the parents, i have arrived at a dramatic pause before he begins some philsophy.
he is nominally a tablist, internationally known, with schools all over the world. but he is speaking, here, truth.
he starts talking about how everybody has different priorities, their own tension (stress in indian english), their own desires. its understandable. he speaks a little about how the child in question is amazing material, has already played in concerts, and could a gift from god to the performing world. and then he focuses his words and eyes and even spirit a bit, focused to a drill bit, and looking past me and perhaps past them as well he speaks ice to the parents, offering to step off and stop his teaching, asking for them to trust him to allow him to do his job, that as long as he is a teacher the kid needs to come 3 days a week minimum it doesnt matter what they want in their lives. its about education and its much bigger than school and hiphop this is music this is life and if you want your cute little indian kid to be the master you have to give him to the Master, free reign. this goes on in total pacific calm and a powerful undertow for 20 minutes with humor and allegory and wayward paths but the strong fiber is DONT FUCK UP mom and dad and you can tell they are hushed and shamed and they will do their best not to. she moves to speak and he stops her -- yes yes feel free i treat all my students' parents like family, im sorry if i do not speak sweetly today, but before you speak you must know there will be no compromise.
you're either on the bus or you're...
he cuts off their apologies and prostrations with pure sleight-of-hand politeness and begs off, "i have a friend i must talk to for a time" and pulls me into another room.
we sit and smile in a room full of keyboards and he proceeds to tell me all about my past and future from reading my energy and my face, a science he has studied for 20 years. he knows all about my relationship with my mother, my parents separation, my role in peoples' lives. all of it. i look in his eyes and try to focus my thoughts, repeating in my mind what he says. i have a strange sensation i have only felt very very rarely in my life that he can read my thoughts so i better keep it real. he likes me and offers to teach me many things that he has not taught anyone else. the only things that interest him are music and philosophy.
he says he can that i have no interest in money, in cheating, in fame, in fraud. and i will always have lots of money and never be in need. that my family is worldly in their concerns and cannot understand or approve of the path of knowledge, and that i have many complaints in mind we must get rid of and first of all is the complaint that nobody understands me. even though its true. he says all manner of pleasant and unpleasant things about my mind in a gentle fashion and both assumes and concludes that i should spent as much time as possible with him and he would take care of everything.
so that might change my plans. it's hard to know anything of course and i'm just reflecting on his observations and trying to rein in the confusion and just be.
so there's that. i just know that there is a strong wind and a hard rain and gandhi says he opens his house to the winds of all faiths and is blown off his feet by none. all the teachers and medicines and friends and revelers have shared with me that it can Only be about the Love. only. only. avatars are avatars and its important to focus on the prize.
something good. like that.
back to mangolandia.