Music makes you forget yourself
Puttaparthi, Sai Kulwanth Hall (1996 Special Discourses )
One gets satisfaction by singing the miracles of God. Music, as all know, is melodious and pleasant to hear. During the early morning nagarsankeertan, people who do not know the songs also join the chorus. How sweet is this music!! An atheist and a theist equally get lost in the divine music. It is the music that makes one forget oneself and takes one to an ecstatic state. Not only this, through music one can convey and share the miracles, mystery and the divine qualities of the Lord.
Lyrics are not given importance in music today: Humorous analogy of Thyagaraja Krithi00:03:51
In a music concert the musician concentrates on the ‘raga’, the tune, ‘tala’, the beat and the ‘bhava’ the feeling. But none of the listeners realise the meaning of the words sung, even the singer himself does not realise the meaning of the words. The musician is more concerned about the beat and tune and fears losing the rhythm if he dwells on the meaning of the words while singing. Music is real art in Bharath. Bharath is a unification of bhava, raga and taala. “Bha”- means bhava, the feeling, “ra” – means raga, the tune and “tha”- means taala, the beat. This is “Bharatha”. It means the unification of mind, word and the body. Once such harmony is achieved, the meaning and significance of the words will be known. No one is recognising the meaning of the words. Fortunately the Bharatiyas recognise the meaning of the words in the Thyagaraja’s Telugu songs. The reason is that they know the Telugu language. But the Tamilians who do not know the language of Telugu excell in the music world. The Andhra people who know Telugu and the meaning of the lyrics do not understand the Carnatic music that well. The Tamilians who do not know the meaning of the Telugu lyrics sing the songs with great enthusiasm. If a person, who is well versed in music and lyrics, listens to the concert, he would go mad. Thyagaraja sang: “Ne pogadakunte neekemi Rama, ne pogadakunte neekemi koratha?!”- What do you lose O Rama, if I do not praise you? He said, “O Rama! Do you have any shortfall of praises if I do not praise you? There are crores of people who praise you. If I do not praise you, there is nothing that you lose. So if I do not praise you do not lose anything.” The Tamil language does not distinguish between ‘ka’& ‘ga’, ‘ta’ & ‘da’, ‘tha’ & ‘dha’. It is not the mistake of the Tamilians, their language is so. So the Tamilian sings the above song as “Ne pakoda tinte neekemi Rama?” Instead of singing “pogada” praise, they sing “pakoda” fritters, eatables. So the meaning becomes “what do you lose Rama if I eat fritters?” !! Therefore one must have the capacity to bring harmony of the rhythm, the feeling and the tune. There are students in this gathering who are studying. What is the goal of the student’s study? The students study to lead a life of peace and happiness later on but they must also recognise the inner significance of their study. That is termed as ‘Samskruthi’, culture. “Samyak kruthi iti samskruthi”- meaning one should know completely and totally.
What is real music?00:01:21
What is the essence of ‘Sankeerthana’, oratorio? The essence of music is to earn love of god. His sound, his feeling, his devotion mixing it with the scale, rhythm, and tune and merging it in God is the essence of Sankeerthana. Knowing the meaning (feeling), filling it with devotion, infusing it with love, using sacred words, loving the Lord and describing Him - is singing. Without knowing the meaning of the words, without filling it with feeling, without infusing love, loveless singing is like the music from tape recorder or the gramophone.
God is Ganalola and Ganapriya: Analogy of Poets; Music melts the heart of God00:01:53
One should make the Lord’s name as the basis of one’s life and sing His glory whole heartedly. God is ‘ganalola’- one who carried away by music and ‘ganapriya’- one who loves music. The celestial sages Narada and Tumbura sing incessantly in the presence of Lord Vishnu! When one sings whole heartedly, the Lord will manifest Himself at that moment. Music and singing has the capacity to melt and move a person. Some poets compose poems: ‘Rama nannu kapaadu!’ ‘O Rama! Rescue me!!’This depicts egoism. Some writers compose songs: ‘Rama nannu kaapadara!’, ‘O Rama! Rescue me!’ This prosaic singing does not touch the heart. But the same lyrics, when composed to music and sung by a singer, attract and touch the heart of the listener. Music has such sweetness that it moves the listener. Therefore singing is fulfilling when done wholeheartedly.
Music is the royal path to liberation00:02:50
There are many devotees who propagated the divine actions and the divine mystery through music. Therefore, it is the music that energises everybody. Music is a royal path that leads to liberation. By singing the glory of the Lord, one can certainly reach and attain Him. While singing the glory of the Lord, one forgets oneself, merges in Him and develops love for the divine. “Krishna, was it not you who rescued Draupadi?! Was it not You who protected the Pandavas? Was it not You who helped Kuchela? Was it not You who righted the deformed figure of Kubja! Is it possible, even for Brahma, to extol your glory! Hey Krishna, I am waiting for you to shower your grace on me and protect me!” ‘Vaachama gochara’- God is beyond comprehension.
God is Ganapriya00:02:00
God loves singing. Words come out through singing. Those words which come from poetry or prose will not be as sweet as singing. That which comes from music is very sweet. If you say things prosaically, it isn't very sweet. If you say it in a matter of that way, then also it is not sweet. The same thing sung melodiously has such sweetness about it. So when you sing it, it sounds very sweet. Mothers' words are as sweet as this. Her words are sweet, everything about her is sweet, and sweet and sweet. It is wrong to forget the love of a mother. Therefore, to share with everybody the mothers' love, so that every mother also increases her love to her children and grand children and many more, we women have got to inculcate these virtues within us.
Music is the reflection of Love00:01:24
We should sing with love. We should speak with love. This is what the Gopikas said, 'In this barren land without love, for the seeds of love to germinate, with all the emotions of love, with the rain of love, with the river of love flowing continuously, O Krishna sing for us. Your music is so melodious. Your heart is full of love'. Music is the reflection of love. Everything is a result of reaction, reflection and resound. So we should think of this life as a reaction. But the heart stands for reality. Once there is reality, it can come back to you as good reaction, reflection and resound.
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