Thursday, June 03, 2010
I was rummaging through a pile of music books, looking for my volume of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Bossanova guitar scores when I came upon this little book, a gift from Dan Lepard. It must have been stuck there by my son who has a voracious appetite for books.
I have always loved books of this nature. They offer nuggets of wisdom which are so appropriate for the situations we get ourselves into. The first time I came upon this kind of book was when I was an undergrad in the University. Someone from the Catholic Students Society lent me a book, The Song Of The Bird by Fr Anthony de Mello. It was a collection of stories which were either original or compiled from masters from the past. That book opened up my mind at a time when I was having a lot of doubt. Ironically, I learned recently that the books by Fr De Mello were actually frowned upon by the current Pope.
I went on to discover the writings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Lao Tze and the Zen and Sufi masters. What struck me was that they were all so similar. It made me realize that the wisdom passed down through the ages transcended organized religion. As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar once said that Religion is like a banana, the flesh is all the good values that we all treasure, the traditions and rituals that come with the religion is just the skin. Nobody fights over the teachings of love, compassion etc but everybody is fighting over the skin.