Each month, Jivamukti Yoga has a different focus, and April is Music Month!
Below you will find this month’s essay on Music as the Universal Language, from the Jivamukti Website – enjoy!
Music is the language of the Universe. By creating good and harmonious sound-vibrations, we should, therefore, extend and expand our mental horizons even while sitting quietly in our home instead of wasting time on cheap entertainment like cinema and TV, which besides making us addicts through systematic brain-washing and slow poisoning, adversely affect the clarity and transparency of the mind. By our noble thoughts, benevolent aspirations and harmonious sound-vibrations we are able to help even plants, flowers, birds and animals. How much joy one is able to feel while watering the plants and feeding the birds and animals with kindness, love and affection of the heart! Even in looking at anything or anyone in this manner it is possible to derive unspeakable joy. These little acts of kindness, help and benevolence in our everyday lives are not wasted. They may even be a better form of help than our helping only the poor.
The poverty and the present plight of the world and humanity are the result of our wrong thinking, wrong notions, wrongdoings and wrong relationships with all. Without correcting these wrong uses of the mind in our daily living, any amount of our organized charity and dry philanthropy are not going to solve the problems of poverty and the growing hardship of the poor. Without going beyond our front yard, we are able to do a world of good for the noble cause of universal benevolence, for a better world and happier humanity. Establishing the right relationship with all is the first step.
With happy and frictionless living and harmonious sound-vibrations, one’s life becomes a blessing and a benediction to all. Despite the world and its multifarious problems, we must be able to find our peace, freedom, happiness and harmony in life. Singing and humming with harmony is the easiest way to accomplish this.
Everywhere in nature we see the branches of trees, plants, flowers and the hanging creepers dancing and rejoicing in the breeze. Even distant mountain echoes. The running streams and the flowing rivers make their gurgling sound. Likewise, if there is no dancing of the mind and heart, there can be no religion, peace, poetry, freedom and happiness in us. Our singing or humming or dancing on the stage is only an outer expression of this inner dancing and rejoicing of the mind and spirit. Even birds are singing everywhere their pleasing songs. Children sing all over the world. Angels are said to be singing the glory of God.
Why don’t we then sing the “song of life” in our own way and listen to our own music of the heart? The joy of it cannot be described in words. Only those whose hearts are empty and barren cannot sing the joy of life and they are full of excuses for their not singing or humming. We must realize that Life itself is the living poem. If we want abundant life, it is necessary to have more music and poetry in everyday living.
The world is like a looking glass: If we frown at it, it will frown at us in return, but if we smile at it, it will smile back at us. By living an intelligent way of life, we not only derive much joy in ourselves, but also help establish the kingdom of benevolence thereby benefiting all beings far and near. Even though the sun is far away, it creates warmth and light and brings untold benefit to all beings.
Let us, therefore function as God’s instruments of love and peace for the well being of all. In this unique way of life there is the living quality of music and poetry, sweetness, harmony and frictionless living. Is this not what we all want in life?
-Swami Nirmalananda, excerpted from A Garland of Forest Flowers, 1993