Swami Kriyananda often spoke of the importance of listening to the right kind of music. He would say that it is not just about personal taste, but that different melodies will affect us differently, according to the level of consciousness in which we are, as well as the consciousness in which the composer was when he wrote it. Very little music, even among classical pieces, seek to uplift the listener’s consciousness.
I remember one day when I was at our ashram outside Pune city. I was asked to install, for the first time in our property, an irrigation system which would help us tremendously to keep our growing fruit trees alive, as well as to save a lot of water. This was something that I had never done before, nor I had any experience with. The task was simple enough, but it took quite a bit of time and creativity to get all the trees, which were very spread out, hooked to this irrigation system.
After many hours of working under the hot sun, the job was completed and, to my delight, it was working as intended! There was a certain amount of satisfaction there, but I was feeling a little tired. After looking at all the trees, I started heading back home for a shower and some rest when I decided to keep myself up by singing a part of one of Swami Kriyananda’s songs titled The Secret of Laughter: “Luru luru lero, luru luru lai, joy will come to anyone who’s soul has learned to fly!” (toward the end of his life, Swamiji changed the word “soul” for “heart”). I sang these lines with all my heart just a couple of times, and was amazed how instantly my whole being was filled with joy; a joy that I had not experienced in any other way! I arrived home energized and inspired.
Listening – and even more importantly – singing inspiring music, especially music composed by saints, can not only help us heal ourselves, be inspired and get us out of moods, but more importantly, it can very much give us higher states of consciousness if we sing or listen to them with an open heart. For me, this was one of those experiences which proved that music is a very powerful tool, and a very essential one on the path to God.