What does 'soulful' mean in relation to music?
What do we mean by soulful music? If you say it is the music that embodies the soul, then I wish to say that you are mistaken. You have to feel that soulful music is the light that wants to express itself in a divine way. Even as darkness wants to manifest its authority on earth, light also wants to manifest its reality and divinity in a specific way. Light is the soul of everything. Light is the soul of music, the soul of love, and the soul of all art. When light divinely manifests itself in the form of music, it is the music of the soul.
Soulful music is the music that immediately elevates our consciousness to the highest. Soulful music takes us into the world of aspiration. From aspiration we enter into the world of realisation, where our inner existence is flooded with light and delight.
Soulful music is the music that wants to eventually transform our consciousness. It carries us into the Universal Consciousness and makes us feel that we are in tune with the highest, with the deepest, with the farthest.
It also makes us feel that God Himself is the Supreme Musician. When we play soulful music, we come to realise that we are not the musician; we are just an instrument. We are like a piano, violin or guitar, and it is God who is constantly playing on us. If we really play soulful music, we will feel that we are the instrument, and somebody else is singing and playing in and through us. That somebody is our Inner Pilot, the Supreme.
God the Creator is the Supreme Musician and God the creation is the supreme music.
When we listen to soulful music, or when we ourselves play soulful music, immediately our inner existence climbs up high, higher, highest. It climbs up and enters into the Beyond, which is constantly trying to help us, guide us, mould us and shape us into our true transcendental image, our true divinity. When we hear soulful music or play a soulful piece of music, we feel a kind of inner thrill in our entire existence. From the soles of our feet to the crown of our head we feel that a river is flowing through us, a river of illumined consciousness.
Next to deep prayer or meditation, music is of paramount importance in our spiritual life. Meditation is like a direct route, or shortcut, to the goal. Music is a road that is absolutely clear: it may be a little longer, but it is quite clear of obstacles. If one can play soulful music or hear soulful music, the power of his own meditation increases. Music, soulful music, adds to our aspiration. Similarly, if a spiritual seeker wants to be a musician, even if he does not have a musical background, he will be able to be a good musician because prayer and meditation contain all capacities. You may never have studied music, but if you pray and meditate soulfully, then inside your prayer, inside your meditation, by the Grace of the Supreme, the power of music will loom large.