Saturday, October 18, 2014

If music be the food of love, Play on

That famous English bard in Twelfth Night extols music as a great companion to Love. There are people who believe of such a relationship between Music and Enlightenment. There is the Bakthi movement with Bajans and singing, and chanting and rendering. There are people who seek to unite with the God through Dance. There are people who think by a control of eating one can get closer to Him. By constant visualization of the Forms of the Divine people believe they can reach their Divine goal.

If one observes in detail, it becomes clear that all of these are based on the senses. They are either indulgence in the senses or an abstinence from them. Senses are closer to the mind (with a lower case 'm'). The mind is the oscillating, happiness craving, vibrant aspect of us. and the mind is closely bound with the senses. 

All these acts of singing, music, dance, drama, and so on are to keep the mind in check. To coax and cajole the mind into dissolving into nothing. The mind is the hindrance to us enjoying our true infinite happy Self. The mind through its vibrant existence creates a world full of variations and makes us oscillate between pleasure and pain. Art, music, chanting of divine passages and other acts makes this mind dissolve in these and hence make us experience our true nature of Bliss. Also one should remember that some of these acts are physical from smoking incense sticks to sticks of insanity, from drinking divine water from holy rivers to distilled waters from wholly owned yards.

This tradition has been there since existence of time, and it takes new forms as time turns its wheels. New things to feed and indulge the senses with a hope of transcending the physical world. But by feeding the senses more and more, they are reinforcing their existence. The momentary bliss is mistaken for a future permanent offering. Little do the people realize that this momentary experience exists only as long as the indulgence exists. Indulgence in the senses in itself is a fine experience, but hoping them to take us to a higher existence is the fallacy.

All of these acts coaxes, cajoles and quietens the mind similar to a pain killer providing immediate but momentary relief. After a while, once the effect wears away, all the miseries of the world come gushing towards us.

Enlightenment, Mukti, Moksha, Awakening are things that have nothing to do with the mind! and are to do with the other aspect of our self, the Intellect. The logical and analytic faculty is however busy dealing with its intuitive counterpart the mind. Through music and singing and other similar acts if the mind can be dissolved, there is a chance for the intellect to contemplate on reality and get the knowledge. But the mind is too powerful and the effort has to be sustained, leaving little room for the intellect to realize the Truth. Even though all the music and dance and chanting appear divine, it is counterproductive in the process of reaching the Ultimate. It is Knowledge through the sustained listening and contemplating under an Enlightened Master that would result in enlightenment.

Until then one can enjoy the music for its own sake. After Enlightenment though, one can indulge in all the senses resulting in a joyful life

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