There was a singer who put everybody to sleep when he sang. As soon as he began to sing, his audience would fall asleep. They would wake up hours later when the power of his singing had worn off.
Some said that he was such an excellent singer that he put everyone’s soul to sleep. Others said that he was such a horrible singer that people slept rather than listen to him. So there were two schools of thought about the singer. One deeply appreciated his musical talent; the other did not appreciate him at all. But they all went to hear him sing.
One day, two burglars came to the singer and said, “You are such a great singer. We want to hire you. If we give you a lot of money, will you sing at a particular place?”
The singer said, “Of course! As long as you pay me, I’ll sing. I don’t trust you, but if you give me the money beforehand, then I’ll go wherever you want me to.”
The two burglars gave the singer the promised sum of money and asked him to follow them. They brought him in front of a small bank and asked him to sing there. It was early evening, and there was only one guard watching this bank. As soon as the singer started singing, the guard fell asleep. Then the two burglars entered the bank and began collecting all the money.
After a while the singer stopped singing because the guard was fast asleep. He thought, “There is nobody to listen. This man doesn’t like my music.”
For a long time the singer waited for the burglars to come out of the bank. Finally he went inside and told them, “You’ve already given me my money. I’m leaving.”
The burglars, greedily stuffing their pockets, said, “Go ahead,” and they thanked him profusely.
As the singer was about to leave, all of a sudden he got the inspiration to start singing. Immediately both of the burglars fell asleep. In the meantime the guard who was outside woke up since he was not in earshot of the singing.
When the guard saw the singer coming out of the bank, he said, “What were you doing inside the bank? What’s going on in there?”
The singer said, “I don’t know,” and he ran away.
When the guard went inside, he found the two burglars sleeping and he caught them.
from Garden of the Soul
by Sri Chinmoy
Published by Health Communications