Once there lived a sculptor, called Bhulley Baba. He was master of his art, skilled at his craft, and a wise man as well. While he chiseled and chipped at his work, he sang and prayed for the light of spirit to flow into and through his work. Of-ten he received revelations while he worked and taking heed of this counsel he would make changes to his work as he went along.
However, despite his mastery, skill, and wisdom, when he completed a piece of sculpture and looked at it, he always found something lacking. He remained frustrated and puzzled for a time, when one day the Voice of the Beloved spoke to him. This is what the Voice said:
My friend, you must go in search of new tools. You have the skill in your hands, the ideas within you, the materials before you, and the breath of creation infuses your work. But that which causes you such frustration is mediocrity. Even in the hands of a master such as yourself, with the tools you have, your work can never be as you wish it to be.
Bhulley Baba gave a prayer of thanks, and leaving all his completed works behind, he packed a handful of possessions into a bag, and set off in search of worthy tools. He travelled through the barren desert and followed the tracks of the sculptures he came across. He went through lush forests, climbed rocky mountains, and walked across fer-tile plains; all the while meeting with sculptors. He met some who had superior tools, but lacked mastery or skill, and in their hands the tools rendered work that was pass-able in quality. He met some like himself, who lacking fine tools made work that was good though not superior. Unlike him they were content with what they could do.
From these sculptors he caught glimmers of hope, and learned that those elusive people, the master toolmakers whom he searched for, did in fact exist. He continued on the path, searching wherever he went, and at last he found himself at the shores of the ocean. Here he met an old wizened man. He had been a sculptor until his eyes be-came so weak he could barely see what he was doing. The old man sat with Bhulley Baba on a rock, and they listened to the sounds of the waves together. Then the old man felt Bhulley’s hands and face, and took him back to his hut. Here he took out a pouch, which he gave to Bhulley Baba.
“Now these are yours, take care of them, and they will take care of you,” he said.
Bhulley Baba thanked the old man, and set off in search of materials to sculpt. It wasn’t long before he was busy at work. The stones sang beneath these new tools, so Bhulley worked silently, letting the music and prayer flow through his hands. He worked like this for many, many moons. When he was done, he stood back and looked at his finished work.
First he was filled with awe, then wonderment, and finally pride filled him up. He sat down and looked at it, he walked around and looked at it, he danced and looked at it, he twirled around and looked at it, he ripped off all his clothes and lay down and looked at it until he could look at it no more and the sight of it made him shriek wildly. Tears flooded down his cheeks and suddenly something shifted within him, as he beheld the perfection that he had wrought from where he was curled up on the ground. He stood up and looked at it in silence for a while, then began chiseling again. He carved off a little bit here, chiseled a bit, and then hammered off chunks there. He worked quickly, calmly, purposefully, and when he was finished he looked again at his masterpiece one last time and the sight of it made him smile. Giving a sigh of contentment and a prayer of thanks, he wrapped up his tools and put them in his bag along with his meager possessions. He walked away and left his master-piece behind.
Bhulley Baba set off on a new journey. He never sculpted again. Instead he taught his art and skill to the devotees that he met on his travels. One day, when he was old and wizened, a young sculptor in search of superior tools found him.
Bhulley Baba gave him the tools that he had been given, saying,
“Now these are yours, take care of them, and they will take care of you.”
After he died, his early works were discovered. They were declared masterpieces. They were studied and examined and talked about. They found homes in museums, where people from all over the world came to look at them. His grand finale was also found and declared a mistake. It was sold at auction. I bought it. I sat with it in my hands for many moons, feeling it, hearing its song. One day it told me the story of its creation. I share that story with you. So.