Osho on Baba Alauddin Khan
Baba Allauddin Khan was a born musician, instrumentalist, composer, and rebel. He was born in 1862 and is considered one of the most influential music teachers of the 20th century. He ran away from his village at the age of 10, starting his extraordinary journey of rebellion and music. Khan was taken under the patronage of Gopal Krishna Bhattacharya with whom he trained for 12 years, learning and practicing vocal music. Eventually, he turned to instrumental music and learned instruments like sitar, flute, mandolin, banjo, tabla, mridang, and pakhawaj – to name a few.
Baba Allauddin Khan’s life story is nothing short of a legend. He trained popular musicians like Ravi Shankar, Annapurna Devi, and Ali Akbar. He also established the Maihar Band and taught instruments to orphaned children. Khan became the court musician for the Maharaja of Maihar where he laid the foundation of the modern Maihar Gharana. He received the Padma Bhushan as well in 1958 for his contribution to Indian classical music.
Osho talks about Baba Allauddin Khan, “Allauddin was certainly a rebel. Not only an innovator, but an original source of music. He brought many things to music.
Today, almost all the great musicians in India are his disciples. It is not without reason. All kinds of musicians would come just to touch Baba’s feet: sitarists, dancers, flutists, actors, and whatnot. That’s how he was known, just as “Baba,” because who would use his name, Allauddin? When I saw him, he was already beyond ninety; naturally, he was a Baba. That simply became his name. And he was teaching all kinds of instruments to so many kinds of musicians. You could have brought any instrument and you would have seen him play it as if he had done nothing else but play that instrument for his whole life.”
ENLIGHTEN US ABOUT A FEW PRACTICAL POINTS FOR THE OPENING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE HEART CENTER.
The first point: try to be headless. Visualize yourself as headless; move headlessly. It sounds absurd, but it is one of the most important exercises. Try it, and then you will know. Walk, and feel as if you have no head. In the beginning it will be only “as if.” It will be very weird. When the feeling will come to you that you have no head, it will be very weird and strange. But by and by you will settle down at the heart.
There is one law… You may have seen that someone who is blind has more keen ears, more musical ears. Blind men are more musical; their feeling for music is deeper. Why? The energy that ordinarily moves through the eyes now cannot move through them, so it chooses a different path. It moves through the ears. Blind men have a deeper sensitivity of touch. If a blind man touches you, you will feel the difference, because we ordinarily do much work with touch through our eyes; we are touching each other through our eyes. A blind man cannot touch through the eyes, so the energy moves through his hands. A blind man is more sensitive than anyone who has eyes. Sometimes it may not be so, but generally it is so. Energy starts moving from another center if one center is not there.
So try this exercise I am talking about — the exercise in headlessness — and suddenly you will feel a strange thing: it will be as if for the first time you are at the heart. Walk headlessly. Sit down to meditate, close your eyes, and simply feel that there is no head. Feel, “My head has disappeared.” In the beginning it will be just “as if,” but by and by you will feel that the head has really disappeared. And when you feel that your head has disappeared, your center will fall down to the heart — immediately. You will be looking at the world through the heart and not through the head.
When for the first time Westerners reached Japan, they couldn’t believe that Japanese had traditionally believed for centuries that they think through the belly. If you ask a Japanese child — if he is not educated in Western ways — “Where is your thinking?” he will point to his belly.
Centuries and centuries have passed, and Japan has been living without the head. It is just a concept. If I ask you, “Where is your thinking going on?” you will point toward the head, but a Japanese will point to the belly, not to the head. And one of the reasons why the Japanese mind is more calm, quiet and collected, is this. Now this concept has been disturbed because the West has spread over everything. Now there exists no East. Only in some individuals here and there, who are like islands, does the East exist. Otherwise the East has disappeared; now the whole world is Western.
Try headlessness. Meditate standing before your mirror in the bathroom. Look deep into your eyes and feel that you are looking from the heart. By and by the heart center will begin to function. And when the heart functions, it changes your total personality, the total structure, the whole pattern, because the heart has its own way. So the first thing: try headlessness. Secondly, be more loving, because love cannot function through the head. Be more loving! That is why when someone is in love, he loses his head. People say that he has gone mad. If you are not mad and in love, then you are not in love really. The head must be lost. If the head is there, unaffected, functioning ordinarily, then love is not possible, because for love you need the heart to function — not the head. It is a function of the heart.
It happens that when a very rational person falls in love, he becomes stupid. He himself feels what stupidity he is doing, what silliness. What is he doing? Then he makes two parts of his life. He creates a division. The heart becomes a silent, intimate affair. When he moves out of his house, he moves out of his heart. He lives in the world with the head, and only comes down to the heart when he is loving. But it is very difficult, and ordinarily it never happens.
I was staying in Calcutta at a friend’s house, and the friend was a justice of the High Court. His wife told me, “I have only one problem to tell you. Can you help me?”
So I said, “What is the problem?”
She said, “My husband is your friend. He loves you and respects you, so if you say something to him it may be helpful.”
So I asked her, “What is to be said? Tell me.” She said, “He remains a High Court judge even in the bed. I have not known a lover, a friend or a husband. He is a High Court judge twenty-four hours a day.”
It is difficult, it is difficult to come down from your pedestal. It becomes a fixed attitude. If you are a businessman, you will remain a businessman in the bed also. It is difficult to accommodate two persons within, and it is not easy to change your pattern completely, immediately, anytime you like. It is difficult, but if you are in love you will have to come down from the head. So for this meditation try to be more and more loving. And when I say be more loving, I mean change the quality of your relationship: let it be based on love. Not only with your wife or with your child or with your friend, but toward life as such become more loving. That is why
Mahavir and Buddha have talked about nonviolence. It was just to create a loving attitude toward life.
When Mahavir moves, walks, he remains aware not even to kill an ant. Why? Really, the ant is not his concern. He is coming down from the head to the heart. He is creating a loving attitude toward life as such. The more your relationships are based on love — all relationships — the more your heart center will function. It will start working; you will look at the world through different eyes, because the heart has its own way of looking at the world. The mind can never look in that way — that is impossible for the mind. The mind can only analyze! The heart synthesizes; the mind can only dissect, divide — it is a divider. Only the heart gives unity.
When you can look through the heart, the whole universe looks like one unity. When you approach through the mind, the whole world becomes atomic. There is no unity, only atoms and atoms and atoms. The heart gives a unitary experience, it joins together, and the ultimate synthesis is God. If you can look through the heart, the whole universe looks like one. That oneness is God.
That is why science can never find God. That is impossible, because the method applied can never reach to the ultimate unity. The very method of science is reason, analysis, division. So science comes to molecules, atoms, electrons… They will go on dividing, but they can never come to the organic unity of the whole. The whole is impossible to look at through the head.
So be more loving. Remember, whatsoever you are doing, the quality of love must be there. This has to be a constant remembering. You are walking on the grass — feel that the grass is alive. Every blade is as much alive as you are.
Mahatma Gandhi was staying with Rabindranath Tagore in Shanti Niketan. And look at their different approaches! Gandhi’s nonviolence was a mind affair. He was always reasoning about it, rational about it. He thought about it, he struggled over it, he pondered, contemplated, and then he concluded; he experimented, then he concluded. If you have read his autobiography, you will recall that he has named the book, EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH. The very word EXPERIMENTS is scientific, of reason — a lab word. He was staying with Rabindranath the poet, and they both went for a walk in the gardens. The land was green, alive, so Gandhi said to Rabindranath, “Come out to the lawn.” Rabindranath said, “That is impossible. I cannot walk over the lawn. Every blade is as much alive as I am. I cannot step over so alive a phenomenon.” And Rabindranath was not a preacher of nonviolence — not at all. He never talked about nonviolence, but his approach was through the heart. He feels the grass. Gandhi pondered over what he said, and then answered, “You are right.” This is a mind approach.
Be loving. Even with things, be loving. If you are sitting on a chair, be loving. Feel the chair; have a feeling of gratitude. The chair is giving comfort to you. Feel the touch, love it, have a loving feeling. The chair itself is not important. If you are eating, eat lovingly. Indians say that food is divine. The meaning is that when you are eating, the food is giving you life, energy, vitality. Be grateful, be loving to it. Ordinarily we eat food very violently, as if we are killing something, not as if we are absorbing — as if we are killing. Or very indifferently you go on throwing things into your belly, without any feeling. Touch your food lovingly, with gratitude: it is your life. Take it in, taste it, enjoy it. Do not be indifferent and do not be violent.
Our teeth are very violent because of our animal heritage. Animals have no other weapons; nails and teeth are their only weapons of violence. Your teeth are basically a weapon, so people go on killing with their teeth — they kill their food. That is why, the more violent you are, the more you will need food. But there is a limit to food, so one goes on smoking or one goes on chewing gum. That is violence. You enjoy it because you are killing something with your teeth, grinding something with your teeth, so one goes on chewing gum or pan. This is a part of violence. Do whatsoever you are doing, but do it lovingly. Do not be indifferent. Then your heart center will start functioning, and you will come down deep into the heart.
First: try headlessness. Secondly: try love. Thirdly:
be more and more aesthetic — sensitive toward beauty, toward music, toward all that touches the heart. If this world can be trained more for music and less for mathematics, we will have a better humanity; if we can train the mind more for poetry and less for philosophy, we will have a better humanity. Because while you are listening to music or playing music the mind is not needed, you drop from the mind.
Be more aesthetic, more poetic, more sensitive.
You may not be a great musician or a great poet or a great painter, but you can enjoy, and you can create something in your own right. There is no need to be a Picasso. You can paint your house yourself; you can paint some pictures. No need to be a maestro, an Alauddin Khan. You can play something in your house; you can play on a flute, no matter how amateurish. But do something which is concerned with the heart. Sing, dance, do something which is concerned with the heart. Be more sensitive to the world of the heart — and not much is needed to be sensitive.
Even a poor man can be sensitive; riches are not needed. You may not have a palace where you can be sensitive. If you are just lying on the beach, it is enough to be sensitive. You can be sensitive to the sand, you can be sensitive to the sun, you can be sensitive to the waves, to the wind, to the trees, to the sky. The whole world is there for you to be sensitive to it. Try to be more sensitive, alive — and ACTIVELY sensitive, because the whole world has become passive. You go to a cinema hall: someone else is doing something and you just sit there and watch. Someone else is loving on the screen and you are watching. You are just a voyeur — passive, dead, not doing anything. You are not a participant. Unless you are a participant, your heart center will not function. So it is better sometimes to dance. You are not going to be a great dancer — there is no need. Howsoever awkward, just dance. That will give you the feeling of the heart. While you are dancing your center will be the heart; it can never be at the mind. Jump, play like children. Sometimes forget completely your name, your prestige, your degree. Forget them completely; be childlike. Do not be serious. Sometimes take life as a fun, and the heart will develop. The heart gathers energy.
And when you have a heart that is alive, the quality of your mind will also change. Then you can go to the mind, you can function through the mind, but the mind will become just an instrument — you can use it. Then you are not obsessed with it, and you can move away from it any moment you like. Then you are a master. The heart will give you a feeling that you are a master. And another thing: you will come to know that you are neither the head nor the heart, because you can move from heart to head, from head to heart. Then you know that you are something else — X.
If you remain in the head and never move anywhere, you become identified with the head. You do not know that you are different. This movement from heart to head and from head to heart will give you the feeling that you are totally different. Sometimes you are at the heart and sometimes you are at the head, but you are neither heart nor head. This third point of awareness will lead you to the third center — to the navel. And the navel is not really a center. There, YOU ARE! That is why it cannot be developed, it can only be discovered.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
Chapter title: Beyond mind to the source
15 November 1972 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, music, painting, poetry, dance,’ and creative geniuses like Picasso, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Wagner, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Ali Khan, Tansen, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, John Ruskin, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Milton, Nijinsky, Omar Khayyam, Shelley, Tagore, Yeats and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Ah This
- Be Still and Know
- Beyond Psychology
- Come Follow to You Vol.1-4
- The Guest
- Going All the Way
- This Is It
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Path of the Mystic
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- The Last Testament, Vol 2
- From Personality to Individuality
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 10
- From Bondage to Freedom