Music

…the best way of listening (to music) is this. It is to be like a still mirror and very concentrated, very silent. In fact, we see people who truly love music . . . I have seen musicians listening to music, musicians, composers or players who truly love music, I have seen them listening to music . . . they sit completely still, you know, they are like that, they do not move at all. Everything, everything is like that. And if one can stop thinking, then it is very good, then one profits fully. . . . It is one of the methods of inner opening and one of the most powerful.

-Mother (Mira Alfassa)

All music is only the sound of His laughter

-Sri Aurobindo in his poem “Who”

Artist : Priti Ghosh

Artist : Priti Ghosh@Aurobindo Ashram.  Click on the image to go to the artist’s homepage

Sri Aurobindo & the Mother Mirra Alfassa’s views on music

  1. Identifying the celestial quality in music
  2. Mother Mirra Alfassa on Music
  3. Sri Aurobindo on Music
  4. Alternate link: Sri Aurobindo & The Mother on Music

Devotional music collection

  1. Auromusic collection
  2. Mother’s organ music
  3. Another site hosting the Mother’s music
  4. Sunil Bhattacharya’s music
  5. Devotional songs by Mohan Mistry (if this link doesn’t work, try Devotional Songs by Mohan Mistry and if that also doesn’t work, go to http://www.sriaurobindoashram.info/ and search under Multimedia)
  6. Alternative site for Mohan Mistry’s song

Indian classical music

Indian music, when there are good musicians, has almost always a psychic origin; for example, the ragas have a psychic origin, they come from the psychic. The inspiration does not often come from above. But Indian music is very rarely embodied in a strong vital. It has rather an inner and intimate origin.

– Mother (Mira Alfassa)

  1. Overview of Indian classical music
  2. Index of Ragas illustrated with youtube videos

My approach to music is very deep. I do not compromise. Indian music is based on spiritualism and was practiced and learned to know the Supreme Truth. A musician must lift up the souls of the listeners and take them towards Space.  This is the history of Indian music.

Nikhil Banerjee

Western classical music

But imagine this same vital power of expression, with the inspiration coming from far above–the highest inspiration possible, when all the heavens open before us–then that becomes wonderful. There are certain passages of César Franck, certain passages of Beethoven, certain passages of Bach, there are pieces by others also which have this inspiration and power.

– Mother (Mira Alfassa)

22 thoughts on “Music

  1. kalpana

    Thank you also for the post titled
    The subtle sounds which indicate progress in Yoga”,
    revealing how a finely-tuned consciousness can receive/perceive this primordial nada. A Planck to the future involution/evolution lies within.
    ”The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma
    Music and the Landscape of Consciousness
    by Joachim-Ernst Berendt ” This book looks very interesting, especially the exercerpts I read on http://fusionanomaly.net/worldissoundnadabrahma.html.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Identifying the celestial quality in music | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  3. ipi

    It is with an Alaap that an Indian musician begins to explore and introduce a Raga. This is why, this unique creation of 20 Audio CDs and a resource Book has been titled Alaap. Researched and compiled by Sri Aurobindo Society, it is an authentic introduction to Indian Classical Music.

    The various magical dimensions of Indian Music – the deep truths, the facts that are stranger than fiction, the variety and richness, the unity and the diversity, of the Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) styles, are all brought together in one comprehensive and fascinating set.

    Alaap is formed of three parts. Part I (6 CDs) seeks for the spiritual core of Indian music and explains the mystical elements of the Swara, the Guru-shishya-parampara, the Sadhana, in the framework of the Raga and the Tala. Part II (7 CDs) presents the Hindustani or the North Indian style, its language, techniques, gharanas, instruments and the meaning of improvisation. Part III (7 CDs) presents the Carnatic or the South Indian style, its terminology, its richness and complexities, its ancient tradition.

    For ordering info, see http://www.sriaurobindosociety.org.in/marnews.htm

    Reply
  4. ipi

    And you might want to make that a classical tune.

    Blissing Out: 10 Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress On-the-Spot

    Music can calm the heartbeat and soothe the soul, the experts say. So, when the going gets rough, take a musical stress detour by aligning your heartbeat with the slow tempo of a relaxing song. And you might want to make that a classical tune. Research shows that listening to 30 minutes of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to taking 10 mg of Valium.

    source:
    http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/blissing-out-10-relaxation-techniques-reduce-stress-spot?page=3

    Reply
  5. Ana

    Hi. I read about music here a month ago which moved me very deeply and I can’t find it. The Mother mentioned something about timelessness and music…different planes and different genres of music…can you help me? Please….

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I was able to locate a couple of passages on the “planes of music” in the Collected Works of the Mother. Maybe you read them there and not on this site. This is the first passage:

      Question: From what plane does music generally come?

      Mother: There are different levels. There is a whole category of music that comes from the higher vital, which is very catching, somewhat (not to put it exactly) vulgar, it is something that twists your nerves. This music is not necessarily unpleasant, but generally it seizes you there in the nervous centres. So there is one type of music which has a vital origin. There is music which has a psychic origin—it is altogether different. And then there is music which has a spiritual origin: it is very bright and it carries you away, captures you entirely. But if you want to execute this music correctly you must be able to make it come through the vital passage. Your music coming from above may become externally quite flat if you do not possess that intensity of vital vibration which gives it its splendour and strength. I knew people who had truly a very high inspiration and it became quite flat, because the vital did not stir. I must admit that by their spiritual practices they had put to sleep their vital completely—it was literally asleep, it did not act at all—and the music came straight into the physical, and if one were connected with the origin of that music, one could see that it was something wonderful, but externally it had no force, it was a little melody, very poor, very thin; there was none of the strength of harmony. When you can bring the vital into play, then all the strength of vibration is there. If you draw into it this higher origin, it becomes the music of a genius.

      For music it is very special; it is difficult, it needs an intermediary. And it is like that for all other things, for literature also, for poetry, for painting, for everything one does. The true value of one’s creation depends on the origin of one’s inspiration, on the level, the height where one finds it. But the value of the execution depends on the vital strength which expresses it. To complete the genius both must be there. This is very rare. Generally it is the one or the other, more often the vital. And then there are those other kinds of music we have—the music of the cafe-concert, of the cinema—it has an extraordinary skill, and at the same time an exceptional platitude, an extraordinary vulgarity. But as it has an extraordinary skill, it seizes you in the solar plexus and it is this music that you remember; it grasps you at once and holds you and it is very difficult to free yourself from it, for it is well-made music, music very well made. It is made vitally with vital vibrations, but what is behind is frightful.

      But imagine this same vital power of expression, with the inspiration coming from far above—the highest inspiration possible, when all the heavens open before us—then that becomes wonderful. There are certain passages of Cesar Franck, certain passages of Beethoven, certain passages of Bach, there are pieces by others also which have this inspiration and power. But it is only a moment, it comes as a moment, it does not last. You cannot take the entire work of an artist as being on that level. Inspiration comes like a flash; sometimes it lasts sufficiently long, when the work is sustained; and when that is there, the same effect is produced, that is, if you are attentive and concentrated, suddenly that lifts you up, lifts up all your energies, it is as though someone opened out your head and you were flung into the air to tremendous heights and magnificent lights. It produces in a few seconds results that are obtained with so much difficulty through so many years of yoga. Only, in general, one may fall down afterwards, because the consciousness is not there as the basis; one has the experience and afterwards does not even know what has happened. But if you are prepared, if you have indeed prepared your consciousness by yoga and then the thing happens, it is almost definitive.

      (Collected Works of the Mother, vol. 5, pp 74-76)

      And this is the second passage:

      Question: Is sound particular only to the physical world or is there sound in the other domains also?

      Mother: There is sound there also.

      Question: In the same way as here?

      Mother: There certainly is a sound in all the manifested worlds, and when one has the appropriate organs one hears it. There are sounds which belong to the highest regions, and in fact, the sound we have here gives the feeling of a noise in comparison with that sound.

      For example, there are regions harmonious and musical in which one hears something which is the origin of the music we have here—but the sounds of material, physical music seem absolutely barbaric in comparison with that music! When one has heard that, even the most perfect instrument is inadequate. All constructed instruments, among which the violin certainly has the purest sound, are very much inferior in their expression to the music of this world of harmonies.

      The human voice when absolutely pure is of all instruments the one which expresses it best; but it is still… it has a sound which seems so harsh, so gross compared with that. When one has been in that region, one truly knows what music is. And it has so perfect a clarity that at the same time as the sound one has the full understanding of what is said. That is, one has the principle of the idea, without words, simply with the sound and all the inflexions of the… one can’t call it sensations, nor feelings… what seems to be closest would be some kind of soul-states or states of consciousness. All these inflexions are clearly perceptible through the nuances of the sound. And certainly, those who were great musicians, geniuses from the point of view of music, must have been more or less consciously in contact with that. The physical world as we have it today is an absolutely gross world; it looks like a caricature.

      It’s the same thing with painting: all the pictures we know today look like daubings when one has seen the domain of form and colour, the source of the things expressed through the painting.

      And fundamentally it is the same thing from the point of view of ideas. If one enters into contact with the domain of pure ideas beyond words, all words are such limitations, restrictions… it becomes a kind of caricature. The intensity of life contained in the idea is untranslatable. One can receive it if one is capable of entering consciously this domain. One can transmit it to a certain extent if one is master of its vibrations and can let them pass and emanate from him. But all that one says or all that one writes is truly a caricature

      (Collected Works, vol. 7, p 346)

      You can also find these online at http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/mother/writings.php

      Reply
  6. ipi

    Words of the Mother- Letters to a young captain

    Sweet Mother,
    How can one enter into the feelings of a piece of music played by someone else?

    In the same way that one can share the emotions of another person—by sympathy, spontaneously, by an affinity more or less deep, or else by an effort of concentration which ends in identification. It is this latter process that we adopt when we listen to music with an intense and concentrated attention, to the point of stopping all other noise in the head and obtaining a complete silence into which fall, drop by drop, the notes of the music whose sound alone remains; and with the sound all the feelings, all the movements of emotion can be captured, experienced, re-felt as if they were produced in ourselves.

    20 October 1959

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Ways of navigating this blog | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  8. Prabhjot Kulkarni

    Nice to know so much! Please keep me infoall about the ashram and devotees.T hanks, Prabhjot

    Reply

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