Sit like this, close your eyes like that, walk in this fashion, apply the mark—the flow of instructions to the devotee are endless. The devotee is constantly told—if you don’t follow “the” perfect way, then all is in vain.
And so there was the head priest of the temple, who knew the perfect ways, and the method of pronunciation of the hymn. One day, the head priest is walking near the river, when he hears the hymn being sung aloud, but the phonetics are all mixed. The sound is coming from an island in the center of the flowing river.
He calls for a boat, and reaches the little island, where he finds a simple hut. In the hut is a bee keeper, and as he tends to the apiary, he is singing hymns from the Book. “Not so,” said the head priest, “the hymn is sung differently. I have come all the way to teach you.”
Many times he repeated the hymn in the “correct” way, till the simple man assured him that he had now understood the method. “Sing it well,” the priest promised, “and it is said you can walk on water.”
Back on the shore, the head priest is happy with his efforts of the day, having imparted the “correct” method to a devotee. But his happiness seemed premature, for the devotee’s singing wafted over the river waters, and it was again “wrong”. To his surprise, he sees the devotee walking on the water towards him. “Forgive me, great priest,” said the devotee, “please teach me, my simple mind has got it wrong again!” The speechless head priest could only fold his hands and bow his head.
The only “correct” way is to love the Lord. For all “showmanship”, Saint Kabir has this gem to offer: Kabeer, why do you show other people your rosary beads? Not remembering the Lord in your heart, this rosary is useless.