The Song of Life
I wrote this article in May 2005 after Sri Chinmoy completed his 12,000th Bengali song. Since the article is more personal than some of my other writings, I refer to my Master as “Guru,” which is what I normally call Sri Chinmoy. You will see this from time to time in some of my other articles as well – but without this explanation. Perhaps Guru’s greatest musical achievement lies not in the haunting melodies or poetic grandeur of his songs but in their ability to express the very essence of silence. Many of Guru’s Bengali songs are pure rivers of silence, so quiet and deep that it is nearly impossible to distinguish them from their source. They seem to emerge from a fullness we can only imagine and take on a luminous existence all their own. Long after his songs have ended, the sound fading from our ears, their silence and beauty still resonate in our hearts. His music has become part and parcel of the earth atmosphere – like the cry of birds or rustling of the wind – and it shall forever remain embedded in our natural world.
Guru sometimes speaks of the loka he has waiting for his disciples in Heaven, the world we shall one day see after we leave the body. But when he performs his Bengali songs, we can easily experience this divine loka here on earth. Where Guru’s songs are – there and nowhere else is the real Heaven. As the music flows from his lips or fingers, we can almost see him building his great loka – thread by golden thread, note by glowing note. Entering his music world is like stepping onto the ledge behind a huge waterfall. Nothing exists except the deafening roar of water and swirling, sunlit clouds of mist. Surrounded by the heavenly music pouring down on all sides, immersed in the golden sunlight of Guru’s songs, we find the ordinary world very distant – blurred, subdued, only half real.
Guru calls his paintings Jharna-Kala, Fountain-Art, but his songs also come in an endless flow of creativity. From this Jharna-Giti he has created myriad worlds as bright and varied as his world of birds. If each bird is a flash of lightning, then each song is a veritable explosion, a flaming volcano, a blazing sun. Guru has created 12,000 galaxies of light that will one day illumine the entire darkness-ocean of human existence.
Each of Guru’s songs is a meditation, just as each of his meditations is a song. In fact, Guru’s whole life is a most exquisite song, the greatest song, which God Himself is personally singing. We his students are part of Guru’s life-song. Each one of us is a song that Guru at every moment is painstakingly and lovingly composing. At the same time, we are just a musical phrase, a single note, in the extraordinary song that is Guru’s life. We are celebrating Guru’s unimaginable human creation of 12,000 Bengali songs. But this pales before the untold thousands and millions of songs he is divinely creating in our lives and in the life of humanity through his meditations, his prayers, his poems, his weightlifting and his countless other activities on earth.
My aspiration-heart is deeply grateful for Guru’s Bengali songs. My devotion-life is especially grateful for Guru’s ‘Chidananda’ song – the song of my life. My realization-dream is everlastingly grateful for Guru’s ‘Chinmoy’ song, which is nothing other than God’s golden smile on earth. My soul-reality is eternally grateful for Guru’s supreme Song, the Supreme Himself – His Eternity’s Fullness-Breath, His Immortality’s Consciousness-Life.