The Secret for Growth

It is always my wish and prayer that my students and all those that I know will grow with each passing year. As we begin 2010, I would like to share a small story that illuminates a secret for growth, whether in your spiritual life, professional life, or personal life.
Tānsen had been appointed as a musician in Akbar’s court. In his times, to become a court musician was a major accomplishment. You were given immense resources – a palace to live in, an elephant to move around on, etc. It was a musician’s dream. Upon receiving this news, he made the long journey to visit his Gurū Swāmī Haridās deep in the forest. After sharing the news, he bowed at the feet of his teacher and sought his blessings.
“I am very happy that you have accomplished so much. Always stay like this,” his Gurū said, “if you want to continue to grow.”
Tansen rose and asked him to explain.
“Observe the posture of one seeking to climb a mountain. He is always leaning forward, keeping his head bowed. Observe the posture of one going down a mountain. He stands tall with his chest out. If you want to reach great heights, you must keep your head bowed and keep your ego in check. When you stand tall, you will no longer be able to go higher.”
Tansen got the message.