It is with a deep inner feeling that I share this with you today. So many things I want to say, I do not know where to start!
This is a feeble attempt to express an iota of gratitude to my Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Words are insufficient; they cannot possibly express what I feel, the enormity of the feeling!
It is all about Love…….
In 1978 someone invited me to a public meditation that Sri Chinmoy was offering at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University. I was about to start studying music at Manhattan School of Music. When I went to this public meditation, which Sri Chinmoy offered once a week, I did not know how to meditate, or what a Spiritual Master was, but I was seeking. There was a hole in the middle of my chest, which seemed infinite to me; nothing could fill it! We sat down in the middle of this 2,000 seat church, and waited. Then Sri Chinmoy came in. He walked silently to the front of the shrine area, sat in a modest seat, bowed down to the public (later I would come to learn that this was the traditional Hindu way of bowing down to God inside each person), and proceeded to meditate. Since I did not know what to do, I started admiring the architecture of the place- I had never been in a church so large! As I was doing this, I noticed a beautiful cloud of light that was expanding, from the area where Sri Chinmoy was, towards the rest of the church. When I noticed it, the question arose in me: “What is this light, and where does it come from?” As I thought this, the light reached me, and touched me. Immediately it flushed my entire being, and I felt absolutely pure, like a small child. At that moment, I looked at Sri Chinmoy. He was still meditating, and when I looked at him, I said to myself, “Ah, it is coming from him!” Indeed, he was emanating this beautiful, divine Light that was surcharged with Purity, Bliss, Love and Peace. At that moment I decided to become his disciple, to study with him. I fell in love with his Light!
Not only was the emptiness inside myself filled; it overflowed with Joy and Light!
When I became a disciple, I also fell in love with Sri Chinmoy’s music. In 1978 the songbook and cassette titled “Bela Chale Jai” was released. Every day, coming from the music school, I could not wait to go home and sing along with my Guru!
It is all about Love…….
In all these years since 1978, all I have received from Sri Chinmoy is an infinite amount of Love, Compassion and Concern, among other divine qualities. All human beings are like flowers. We all have this divine reality which wants to blossom and offer its beauty and fragrance to God’s Creation. I am a bud, a flower that has not blossomed yet. A God-realised Master like Sri Chinmoy is a fully-blossomed flower, which can help me, and others who have affinity with his Light, to blossom fully. I cannot measure the amount of encouragement that Sri Chinmoy offered to all his disciples; it is indeed immeasurable!
It is all about Love…….
Sri Chinmoy has an infinite love for God and for humanity. Out of this Love comes his concern for mankind; his aspiration to share the fruits of prayer and meditation with the world at large. A Master has no desire for himself; his only desire is to serve God unconditionally, to serve the Supreme in every human being. In other words, to be of service to that blossoming Reality in each human being on Earth.
Sri Chinmoy offered unconditionally this Light he received; by expressing it in different fields with an inexhaustible dynamism, enthusiasm and creativity, he tried to inspire others to go deeper and higher in their own lives.
In the field of art, he painted hundreds of thousands of paintings and drew millions of birds, which he called “soul-birds”.
“For me, birds have a very special significance; they embody freedom…I feel that inside each of us there is an inner existence that we call the soul. The soul, like a bird, flies in the sky of God’s Infinity. When we think of birds flying in the sky, we are reminded of our own soul-bird flying in the sky of Infinity.”
– Sri Chinmoy
In the field of music, Sri Chinmoy composed over 20,000 songs and also offered almost 800 concerts worldwide, always free of charge!
In venues large and small including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and Royal Albert Hall, to more modest venues, Sri Chinmoy endeavored to share through music the inner Peace, Light and Bliss that he received through prayer and meditation.
“My music embodies
The fragrance of my heart.
My songs embody
The glories of my life.”- Sri Chinmoy
It is all about Love…..
When Sri Chinmoy attained Mahasamadhi in 2007, I had the desire to compose a piece in his honor, a tribute. At that time I was doing what people call “soundscapes”, New Age-type compositions, arrangements of his melodies with a cosmic feeling. I would sometimes perform, singing with these cosmic arrangements as a background. A friend encouraged me to pursue a combination of voice and piano, something I could perform live, without background tracks.
This took me on a completely different journey. When you play the piano and sing, the feeling is much more personal.
In 1994, Sri Chinmoy told me that my soul’s music has the qualities of “softness, sweetness, soulfulness and tenderness”. This is what I aim for when I sing his songs. With Sri Chinmoy’s encouragement, I have dedicated myself to his music; I feel that he is my spiritual father, and his music I claim as my own. When I sing Sri Chinmoy’s songs, they take me to the deepest and highest part of myself. I feel my soul in my interpretations of Sri Chinmoy’s songs!
This piece, titled “Ode to My Lord”, is a 24-minute tribute; a longing for His presence, an enjoyment of the Peace, Light and Bliss which emanated from Sri Chinmoy’s Heart.
I hope that the feelings expressed in this music will be of service to others; that it may help them to blossom in infinite ways!