The Guru-Songs of the Song-Guru

If Sri Chinmoy had never walked this earth but sent only his songs, they alone would suffice to perfect mankind.

If a spiritual Path leads us to God by first inspiring us to dream of God, aspiring in us to yearn for God, awakening the budding sense of God's Closeness within, nurturing the blossoming of our devotion for God through every step and stumble of our Godward journey, crowning our quest with the full realisation of our oneness with God, before revealing and manifesting God all around, then Sri Chinmoy's songs embody not one, but several complete spiritual Paths.

Sri Chinmoy's songs offer a spiritual teaching the like of which has never before graced this earth. In its conception, imagination, originality, daring, scale, detail, variety, universality, beauty, sublimity, subtlety, intimacy, intricacy, intensity, immensity, energy, power, magnitude, completeness and fullness - and in its breadth, depth and height, this teaching is unprecedented and unparalleled.

As spiritual tutors, Sri Chinmoy's songs act on many levels. Their initial task is to circumvent the most obstinate obstacle to spiritual receptivity - the human mind. The songs disarm and charm the mind with their simplicity, clarity and purity. Requiring no interpretation and defying analysis, they render the mind redundant.

The songs' primary task then is to summon and turn the attention of all parts of our being to the divine within.

As a God-realised spiritual Master, Sri Chinmoy is one with the universal consciousness which permeates our every being and connects us at our source. His songs are drawn from the wellspring of light, power and delight found in the inmost recesses of every heart. So in a real sense, they are ours even before they are composed. One might say that Sri Chinmoy simply borrows the songs from our deeper Self, to share with our many human selves.

This wellspring is at once our source, and that for which we yearn. It is unspeakable beauty, utmost purity, absolute intensity and sheer ecstasy, our inner divinity and God-intimacy. Though at the core of our being, we usually cannot access it so readily. Yet Sri Chinmoy's songs offer a ready and willing key.

When the deepest string of the piano is struck, all the other strings resonate to a certain extent, in sympathy. They cannot help it for they are formed of that vibration. Even so when a song arises from our universal soul, it echoes however faintly in each human heart. We cannot resist it for we, like the notes of the piano, are but varied expressions of that one vibration.

Sri Chinmoy's songs can so readily be claimed by all because they speak - or rather sing - from universal experience and with a universal voice. As a composer, Sri Chinmoy leaves no stamp of personality on his songs. He is rather an instrument, voicing unadorned the intimacy and immediacy of direct spiritual experience.

There is no distance, no medium of translation between the experience-inspiration which fathers a song, the song itself, and our reception-experience of the song in our own hearts. There is no cultural conditioning or acclimatisation needed to appreciate, embrace and own these songs. They are a fountain flowing from our own inmost soul, offering us nourishment to our hearts' content.

While we hear the songs with our outer ears, we assimilate them as a revelation of our inner nature. The beauty we hear, the joy we feel, the nuances we thrill to are not external - they are already within us. Like Sleeping Beauty aroused by the magic kiss, it is our own beauty, joy and subtlety, excited and summoned by their own vibration, which come whispering, smiling and beckoning from within to shepherd us through the gates of our divinity.

The essence of the songs and the qualities they embody are within us even before Sri Chinmoy gives them voice. But they lie asleep till roused by the songs' siren-call.

Once activated, with a free access to open secret doors to inner dimensions we otherwise may never have suspected, the songs bring us face to face with our own divinity. They show us who we truly are. They lift us from the mundane into the sublime, the temporal into the eternal, and ultimately from the earthbound into the immortal.

Each song is our own, it is ourselves and it is God, for we and the songs alike are of God, and in allowing the songs to grow in us as our very own, we allow God to grow in us and we become God.

While each song has its unique role to play and its own lessons to teach, the songs' ultimate effectiveness lies in their collective strength. Individually, the songs convey innumerable aspects and divine qualities of the Creator. Collectively, the songs embody the vastness and diversity of the creation.

As a Path, the songs teach every lesson and impart every quality that is needed to expedite the seeker's progress. They come to us from within, from above and all around, singing at once from the depth and height of God-oneness, and from every stage and viewpoint of the God-journey. Whenever we come to a junction in the road, they are there as signposts. Some point us inward to address an immediate need; some point upward to God's Feet or to His Throne; others point outward to the world at hand: yet all point ahead, always ahead. One signpost will surcharge us with enthusiasm, a second will infuse in us a poignant longing, a third will rally our determination, while another will simply sweep us off our feet in breathless bliss.

Working as a team, the songs fulfill all the requirements of a spiritual Path and perform all the tasks of a Guru, together inspiring and accompanying the seeker along his inner Path. They show us God, they ignite in us a longing for God, offer us a familiarity with God, then an appreciation for God, a reverence for God, a love of God, an experience of God, an intimacy with God and finally they unite us with God and in God.

Sri Chinmoy's songs sing with the multiple voices of the One, and the one voice of the many. They carry us to Heaven, and bring Heaven to us. They are for our realisation of the highest, and for the revelation and manifestation of the highest here, in the heart of man in the breath of now.

As spiritual teaching, the songs do not reveal their full treasure at once. Like the lamp that has to be caressed a certain way to summon the genii, so the songs respond according to how they are heard, played or sung. As the Guru requires an effort from the seeker, so the songs engage us in our spiritual quest. They must be valued and treasured for the wealth they embody; and played or sung with love and commitment.

As songs of the soul and for the soul, they must needs be sung in the soul and by the soul. To approach the soul's fullness, we must first sing with our whole heart. Only when a song is sung with all one's heart can we acquire the inner momentum to outpace the busy mind. And only when the performer abandons himself to the song with his whole being might he touch that sacred state of soulfulness, where the soul of the song and his own soul merge in one consecrated expression. Only then does the song consent to offer its true and full fragrance.

Whoever gives himself to the songs, can claim the songs in return. In this way, the songs implicitly offer three supreme secrets of spiritual progress: love, gratitude and self-giving. Whatever we love, intensely enough, we become. What we are grateful for, increases within us. And when we offer ourselves, we are divinely fulfilled. The self-giving seeker-singer discovers that the song which is blossoming all around and transforming his world, has sprung from a seed which was always within him. The song is himself. In gratefully claiming it as his very own, he becomes the song. In becoming the song, he flies into the song-source, his universal and liberated self.

In bringing God to man and man to God, Sri Chinmoy's songs proclaim God, fulfill man, and justify the very purpose for which God created music.

photo credits: Prashphutita Unmesh Germany