Music and spirituality go together. God Himself is the Supreme Musician and each human being is a note in His cosmic Game. God is playing His cosmic Role in mankind through music. Through His music, God is offering to His children the message of unity in multiplicity and also the message of multiplicity in unity. When we play soulful music, we elevate our consciousness most rapidly. Soulful music is a form of aspiration, a form of meditation. But if we play undivine music, then it destroys our aspiring consciousness. All those who are seekers of the infinite Truth will naturally play soulful music; and when they play soulful music, they have to know that they are consciously running towards their destined goal. 1
It is quite possible to be both a musician and a Yogi. In Mother India there have been many saints, sages and spiritual Masters who were blessed with divine music. Their musical talent did not interfere with their God-realisation, and even after achieving God-realisation, their musical talents did not leave them.
Yoga means union, inseparable oneness with God. A Yogi is one who has established conscious union with God. He can easily become a musician because in his inseparable oneness with God, he can do anything he wants. But a Yogi has to wait for God's Will. If it is God's Will, he will become a musician; or if it is God's Will, he will become something else. Otherwise, he will just remain with his own lofty realisation and oneness; he will reveal and manifest the highest Peace, Light and Truth the way the Supreme wants him to.
When an individual realises God, he and God are not different beings; they are one, like a tiny drop and the vast ocean. In the same way, sometimes the soul responds to music. The soul thrills to music; it just melts and becomes one.
A Yogi's qualities and a musician's qualities can go side by side, provided the Yogi has the capacity and inherent talent for music. Even if the Yogi spends a very short time in the musical world, he can be a very good musician, but it will take infinitely more time for a musician to become a Yogi. 2
Music and religion are like the obverse and reverse of the same reality-coin. Music in its purest sense is religion and religion in its purest sense is music. This music-religion, this code of life, this universal language of the soul, can only be offered; it cannot be purchased or sold. Music and religion are for the seekers, for the music-lovers, for the truth-servers. Money-power or earthly name and fame cannot lord it over these two immortal realities, these two earthly and heavenly treasures.
The source of true music and the source of true religion will always remain the same, and that source is a cry, a birthless and deathless cry – an eternal hunger. It is a hunger not for one's own satisfaction, but for God's Satisfaction in God's own way. When music and religion come from this source, only then will the message and beauty of music and the message and beauty of religion be divinely illumining and fulfilling. 3
Question: What do you concentrate on when you play music?
Most of the time I concentrate on the soul of the particular piece that I am playing. Each song has a soul, so I concentrate on the soul of each song. Sometimes I concentrate on the soul of a particular melody that I feel is very haunting; and I try to reveal and manifest the divine beauty of that melody.
Question: You have created thousands of paintings, poems and songs. Where does this endless fountain of creativity come from?
This endless fountain of creativity comes from only one Source, and that Source I call the unconditional Compassion of my Lord Beloved Supreme. He bestows upon me His unconditional Compassion-Light and according to my receptivity He creates in and through me.
Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy speaks, part 5, Agni Press, 1976↩︎
Sri Chinmoy, God the Supreme Musician, Agni Press, 1976↩︎
Sri Chinmoy, Sound and silence, part 2, Agni Press, 1982↩︎