Chapter 21: Sunrise in the Soviet Union, Sunset in America
The same orchestra, the same instruments, can be played by monkeys too - and they will really enjoy. But music will not be born; what will be born will be a maddening noise! Even to people who do not know the art of music, who have not learnt, who have not gone into the discipline, all those instruments are useless. An orchestra in which thirty or more instruments are being played by those who know how to play them does not create noise; on the contrary it creates music - which is closest to silence. The higher the music is, the closer it is to silence. Listening to great music, you will fall into silence.
In the East music has been always used as a support for meditation. It is difficult to fight with the mind, its constant rush of thoughts, but being absorbed in beautiful music all those thoughts disappear. Music is sound, but sound can be used in such a way that it creates silence; that is the whole art.
Life has many components. They can all live together like a crowd - noisy, conflicting with each other, fighting to dominate - that’s how we create a hell. Hell is your inability to bring the crowd within you to a peaceful, loving existence. It is the inability to create an orchestra out of your being. The man who can create an orchestra out of his being - whose mind, heart, being, are all in tune - has created paradise for himself, and an energy field around himself, which will affect others also.
It is everybody’s task; in fact it is the only task, the only challenge life gives to you - whether you turn it into a hell or into a heaven. The man who turns his life into a heaven is the greatest artist in the world. Musicians and painters and dancers and poets - all are left far behind. I call this man the mystic. He is the highest category.
It is up to you to see that your components are not at war, that you are at peace with yourself. One great Sufi mystic, Bayazid was dying. His old grandmother was always worried about the life of Bayazid, because he was not a traditional, orthodox, religious person; he never went to the mosque, he never prayed the way a Mohammedan should pray, five times a day - he laughed at the very existence of God. As he was dying, his grandmother came close to him and whispered, “Bayazid, there is still time; make peace with God.”
And Bayazid died with a great laughter, saying, “I don’t need to, because I have made peace with myself.”
Those who are not at peace with themselves are trying in every way to make peace with God, to make peace in the world, to make peace among the warring nations. But the man who has found peace within himself, radiates it. He becomes the source, triggering the same kind of music, the same harmony, and the same beauty in others who come close to him.
The enlightened man, while he is alive, works through his presence, through his love, through his silence. And when dead, he does not disappear; he simply becomes spread all over existence.
Ramakrishna was dying and his last instructions to his wife were.. In India, the moment the husband dies the wife goes through a trauma. She cannot wear colored clothes, she has to shave her head - she cannot have hair; she cannot use any ornaments, not even the cheapest glass bangles - she has to break them.