Faith

The flute analogy

The Indian flute is made of bamboo, which is specially grown for the purpose. Only bamboo that does not have a tough bark can be used. After the bamboo is cut, one end is closed, leaving only one end open. The flute is then dipped in a solution that gives it colour and seasons it. It is then decorated, to make it look attractive.

Now what is the spiritual analogy here? While we know that only those whose minds are focused on God will attain His feet, how do they get their minds to focus on Him? They need to cultivate thoughts about Him, just as bamboo is specially cultivated for flute-making. Just as bamboo with a hard exterior is unsuitable for a flute, a mind, which is surrounded by a wall of pride, is unsuitable for spiritual contemplation, said Kidambi Narayanan, in a discourse.

Just as only one end of the flute is left open, so too must all thoughts be shut out, except thoughts about the Supreme One. Just as the flute is dipped in a solution so that it gets seasoned, so too must the mind be placed at His feet, so that it becomes ready to receive Him. Just as the flute is decorated, the heart of a person who has love for the Supreme One is adorned by His presence in it.

From the flute comes melody. And bhakti flows from a person whose heart is the Lord’s abode. It is to demonstrate this that Lord Krishna chose the flute as His musical instrument. Vedanta Desika, in his Yadavabhyudayam, says that when the Gopikas, drawn by Krishna’s flute playing came to Him, Krishna’s flute spoke to them. So does the Paramatma receive joyously the ones who come to Him with bhakti.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 10:43:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/the-flute-analogy/article6719880.ece

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