Esraj Story part 2

The next day was already the day of our departure. This time we spent only around five days in New York. Because there was no more opportunity to see Sri Chinmoy that day, we decided to pack for departure and then go out for lunch. We came back and we just wanted to call for a taxi to the airport when Minati called: "Sri Chinmoy is asking when exactly you have to leave." We told her that we had to go in around 15 minutes. "Just wait" she said and hung up. Two minutes later she phoned us again: "Please come immediately over to Sri Chinmoy's house, he is waiting for you."

We were delighted. We rushed out and ran towards Sri Chinmoy's house. But alas, where was it actually? We had been there only a few times, when Sri Chinmoy gave out Prasad (Blessed food) to all the visiting students. We had been in a long queue and it was evening. Now it was a bright day, nobody around and we had no time. Finally we made the right turn. When we entered we took off our shoes and had to wait for a few moments at the side door. Then we were able to see Sri Chinmoy inside his meditation room. We entered the room and saw Sri Chinmoy sitting in his chair. With a big smile he gave each of us a big trophy and an envelope. He did not say anything. It was such a powerful moment. We could feel our Master's vast gratitude- heart. It was immense. Then we had to go to the airport. On the way out of his house we had a quick look at the envelope. On each envelope Sri Chinmoy had written our names and drawn a few beautiful birds.

We never expected to get money from Sri Chinmoy. When we build something for him, we are always happy to give it to him as a token of our gratitude. After all, Sri Chinmoy is constantly pouring his peace, joy and love into us. So we are always more than happy to have at least something small to offer. But as the Master always knows best, we found that he had included money in the envelope. We found out later that without the money we would have never finished the project as fast as we did. We would have just hesitated too much on our shopping trips, and shopping is unfortunately very time consuming - especially on a new project where you do not know exactly what to buy.

Back in Germany, after all these experiences it became very clear to us that Sri Chinmoy would be satisfied only with a real masterpiece of an esraj. In the summer, Sri Chinmoy tried many esraj's but seemed to be completely happy with none of them. Of course, they all had been built by real professional instrument makers. How many instruments would they have to build before making a really good one? We didn't know; we only knew that ours had to be perfect right from the beginning. Of course this seemed to be completely impossible.

Our whole knowledge was - we have five weeks time, no tools, no wood and no experience!

We were completely helpless, but very eager! Maybe this was the combination that pulled down God's Grace and so the miracle began.

First the wood. After many unsuccessful attempts to get highest quality tone wood from local wood suppliers, we finally got a hint from a violin maker. We knew him because his shop was next to our Meditation Centre in Augsburg. He told us that the small town Mittenwald in the Alps is very famous for their excellent tone wood. A few days later we went to Mittenwald to buy wood. We were very lucky to meet the owner of a big tone wood company. He was so nice and so eager to help us. He introduced us to the whole subject of instrumental wood. Later we found out that he is actually a wholesaler who exports wood to the whole world. We were just lucky to be able to buy from him. The funniest thing was that we wanted to have wood cut in a very special way. He showed us a stack of wood cut exactly as we wanted it, and told us: "You will not get this wood anywhere." He cut it this way only because he delivers to a big company in Taiwan who requires it in this way.