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“What is it we should look for in music?
How to judge the quality of a piece of music?
How to develop good taste (for music)?
What do you think of the light music (cinema, jazz, etc.) which our children like very much?

The role of music lies in helping the consciousness to uplift itself towards the spiritual heights.
         All that lowers the consciousness, encourages desires and excites the passions, runs counter to the true goal of music and ought to be avoided.
         It is not a question of name but of inspiration — and the spiritual consciousness alone can be the judge there.”[1]

“From what plane does music generally come?

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.”[2]

“Mother, when one hears music, how should one truly hear it?

For this — if one can be completely silent, you see, silent and attentive, simply as though one were an instrument which has to record it — one does not move, and is only something that is listening — if one can be absolutely silent, absolutely still and like that, then the thing enters. And it is only later, some time later, that you can become aware of the effect, either of what it meant or the impression it had on you.
          But the best way of listening 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.[3]

“What is the cause of the great difference between European and Indian music? Is it the origin or the expression?

It is both but in an inverse sense.
         This very high inspiration comes only rarely in European music; rare also is a psychic origin, very rare. Either it comes from high above or it is vital. The expression is almost always, except in a few rare cases, a vital expression — interesting, powerful. Most often, the origin is purely vital. Sometimes it comes from the very heights, then it is wonderful. Sometimes it is psychic, particularly in what has been religious music, but this is not very frequent.
         Indian music, when there are good musicians, has almost always a psychic origin; for example, the rāgas 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. I have heard a great deal of Indian music, a great deal; I have rarely heard Indian music having vital strength, very rarely; perhaps not more than four or five times. But very often I have heard Indian music having a psychic origin, it translates itself almost directly into the physical. And truly one must then concentrate, and as it is — how to put it? — very tenuous, very subtle, as there are none of those intense vital vibrations, one can easily glide within it and climb back to the psychic origin of the music. It has that effect upon you, it is a kind of ecstatic trance, as from an intoxication. It makes you enter a little into trance. Then if you listen well and let yourself go, you move on and glide, glide into a psychic consciousness.”[4]

(Concerning a medieval love song)

“The words are ridiculous and even in bad taste. Generally, when we studied a song, if the lyrics were unbecoming they would be changed and only the music retained.
         Someone who has a sense of rhythm can do it very easily.”[5]

(Champaklal:) “When she was living in Library House, Mother always had her bath late in the evening. While bathing she would sing, and the song often continued for a very long time. ”[6]

On musicians

See also

External links