Chapter 22: This Is My Secret: This Silence
The ancient music in the East needs not only the training for the musician, it needs immense training for the listener. Everybody cannot understand the ancient classical music. You have to be capable of falling in tune with the harmony. In a certain way you have to disappear and let only the music remain.
It has been the experience of all great musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors, that while they are deepest in their creativity, they are no more. Their very creativity gives them the taste of disappearing into the universal. That becomes their first acquaintance with meditation. So both are possibilities: either music has led people to the point of meditation, or meditation has tried to find a means to express the inexpressible. But in any case, music is the highest creation that man is capable of.
Music is your creativity.
But we have lost contact with the authentic music. And slowly slowly, as humanity has become less and less interested in the inner world, its music has become lower and lower. The contemporary music is absolutely the lowest that has ever existed. It touches you, but it touches you at your lowest center of sexuality. The contemporary music is sexual, and the classical music was spiritual. I would like my people to create music on the path of meditation - or create music if you have found meditation, as a language to express the silence of it.
Many mystics have done that. The mystic Nanak always was accompanied by a musician, his disciple Mardana. Before he would speak, he would tell Mardana to play on his veena and create the atmosphere for him to speak. And as he would stop speaking, he would again ask Mardana to create music as beautiful as possible. “So that these people who have come to listen to me understand perfectly well that words are impotent. The beginning is music and the end is the music. I have to use words, because you are not aware that there are higher ways of communicating.”
Mardana followed Nanak.and Nanak is a mystic who stands aloof in a way, because he traveled the most. He traveled all over India; he went to Ceylon. And finally, he traveled to Afghanistan, to Saudi Arabia, and reached the holy place of the Mohammedans, Kaaba.
It was evening time when he arrived. His fame, his name, had already reached ahead of him. But the people, the priests of Kaaba, could not believe that a mystic of the quality of Nanak, as they have heard about him, should behave in this way. The night was falling and he prepared his bed and told Mardana to make arrangements for sleeping. And they both kept their legs towards the Kaaba! That was absolutely insulting to the Mohammedans. They are so touchy about it that even the graves of all the Mohammedans in the world are made in such a way that their heads in the grave are pointing towards Kaaba. They don’t allow even the dead people any freedom.
Certainly they were offended. And they told Nanak, “You are not a mystic and you don’t know even how to behave in a gentlemanly way. You are insulting us.”