Quotes on Music

Quotes on Music

You are a musician. Let music be your meditation. This is your religion — not Mohammedanism, not Hinduism, not Christianity. Music is your religion. If you are a dancer, then dancing is your religion.’

Listening to the music of the winds as they pass through the pine trees, what can you understand? Or listening to the sound of running water, what can you understand? Or looking at a beautiful sunset and all the colors spread over the horizon, what can you understand? What do you understand? But something happens which is far more precious than understanding. You fall in love, you feel it, you become it.

There is much more than music, because music is after all sound, and there is silence too. Music is beautiful but you should not forget silence. Dance is beautiful, but there is something beyond it: an absolute unmoving state of consciousness… no dance. There are beauties and beauties… and there are categories. Music and dance are very physical. As far as they go they are beautiful, but one should not get stuck with them, one should not be stopped by them. They should open the door for the higher realm. For example, if you are really a lover of music, soon music will be forgotten and you will be entering into silence. If you are really in deep attachment with dance, soon the dance has to disappear, so that you can be in an unmoving state of being.

When you are listening to music, what really touches your heart is not the sound but the gap between two sounds. How to bring that gap to your heart is the whole art of music. But if a man can bring that gap just by his presence, and you fall into deep silence, you will know the real music. Then you will know that what you used to think of as music was only a preliminary training. And the same is true about dancing, the same is true about every creative art. What it appears to be is not the reality; it is just a device so that you can become aware of something intangible, hidden, beyond. But to love music is good, to love dance is good, to play music is good, to dance is good — but remember, that is not the end. You have to go far — away from music, away from dance — to understand the real beauty of any creative art. Every creative art brings you to your innermost being where there is just calmness, utter quietness, absolute silence.

Sometimes you hear music and the mind stops. The music surrounds you, you are drowned in it. You are no more there. Just a transparent presence: the music goes through and through. In that moment, it is not only music that is happening; it is religion. But you don’t recognize it.

Look at modern music: it is simply insanity, it is not music. Just making noise is not music. It may help you to have some catharsis — that’s what music like jazz does, it is cathartic. You feel afterwards a kind of well-being, relaxed; but it is not music.

Music will make you silent, will make you disappear, will make you almost absent. Only the music will be there, not the musician — because in meditation the musician cannot exist. And if you are listening, soon you will find yourself melting, disappearing. It will create a new space within you. It has come out of meditation, and anyone who listens to it will feel something of meditation.

Music is certainly next to meditation. But not the modern music, which is ugly, which is sexual, which draws you lower rather than taking you upwards. It does not give you more consciousness, higher skies to fly in; it brings you down, back to deeper gutters.

Music comes closest to meditation. Music is a way towards meditation and the most beautiful way. Meditation is the art of hearing the soundless sound, the art of hearing the music of silence — what the Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping. When you are utterly silent, not a single thought passes your mind, there is not even a ripple of any feeling in your heart. Then you start, for the first time, hearing silence. Silence has a music of its own. It is not dead, it is very much alive, it is tremendously alive. In fact, nothing is more alive than silence. Music helps you from the outside to fall in tune with the inner. Music is a device; it was invented by the buddhas. All that is beautiful in the world, all that is valuable in the world has always been discovered by the buddhas.

Much modern music is not music; it simply makes you sexually excited. It is just the opposite of real music. Real music helps you to transcend your biology, your physiology, your psychology. Real music takes you to the world of the beyond — what Buddha calls the farther shore, even beyond the beyond.

Music has been used by many religions as an approach towards prayer — because music will make your ears more vibrant, more sensitive. One has to become more of the ears and less of the eyes.

The real musicians will not accept this nonsense that goes on in the name of music. But young people who know nothing about music, who know nothing about meditation, who know nothing about silence, become fans, and they are mad about these idiots who think they are playing music. In any other wiser generation they would have been kept in psychiatric hospitals to be cured. They have gone berserk!

A song has not to be thought about. If you start thinking, about a song, you are already missing it. When you listen to music, how do you listen? Do you bring your mind in? If you bring your mind in, where is the music? Music and the mind both cannot exist together. That is the mystery of music: you have to put your mind aside. You cannot argue with music; you cannot nod your head in agreement or disagreement. You cannot say, “Yes, I agree,” or “No, I don’t agree.” There is no question of agreement or no agreement. With music you simply become one. If you want to feel it you have to put your head aside. The heart has to open towards it. It goes directly to the heart, it showers on the heart. It helps the flower of the heart to open and bloom. It is a nourishment for the inner lotus.

To me, music and meditation are two aspects of the same phenomenon. And without music, meditation lacks something; without music, meditation is a little dull, unalive. Without meditation, music is simply noise — harmonious, but noise. Without meditation, music is an entertainment. And without music, meditation becomes more and more negative, tends to be death-oriented. Hence my insistence that music and meditation should go together. That adds a new dimension — to both. Both are enriched by it.

If you want to enjoy classical Indian music you will have to learn. You cannot just go and enjoy it, it needs a certain preparation in you, it needs a certain receptivity in you. It is not vulgar. It needs a certain understanding in you… a deep understanding of sounds and silence — because music consists of sound and silence. It is not only sound, it contains silence in it. The music becomes higher and deeper when it contains more silence in it. When it provokes your silence, when it penetrates your heart and releases your inner silence, when listening to it your mind disappears, your thoughts stop…. But then you will have to learn, you will have to go through a certain discipline, you will have to become more meditative. One day you will be able to enjoy it. But if you want to enjoy it right now and you are not ready for it, don’t blame it.

Listening to great music you suddenly become silent — with no effort. Falling in tune with the music you lose your ego with no effort. You become relaxed, you fall into a deep rest. You are alert, awake, and yet in a subtle way drunk.

Music has tremendous power. It can possess. It can almost make you ecstatic.