Nihal Singh’s Review

Happy are the moments spent in the company of an ustād. Their measure is not in their number, but in the quality of the fruit they bear for years to come. During such happy moments, the student—sedulous as he may fancy himself—struggles vainly to cup the subtle and ever-new torrent before him.

When it has passed, he finds the soil of his mind supple and primed for the strenuous tilling of riyāz. He realizes that his fingers are still cupped, and peering into the bowl before him, discovers that he holds not the torrent, but a glistening piece of fruit.

This composition is the student’s to weigh , to trace its contours, to contemplate its hue. It is his privilege and duty to do this, but he would be remiss to then lay the piece of fruit aside as a memento, or else to establish it as an idol. There is nothing to do now but eat it.

He savors the subtle torrent of the fruit’s nectar, and the tilled soil welcomes its seeds. The fruit is no longer before him, but within him. It is a drop in a subtle stream that may someday ferry fruit. But in the meantime, the fruit is his to bear at will—and how wondrous is its ever-new nectar!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
University of California, Berkeley