By this title I do not mean to encourage any superstition,
or any idea that might attract people into fields of curiosity.
My aim is to direct the attention of those who search for truth
towards the law of music which is working throughout the universe,
and which in other words may be called the law of life; the
sense of proportion, the law of harmony, the law which brings
about balance, the law which is hidden behind all aspects of
life; which holds this universe intact and works out the destiny
of the whole universe, fulfilling its purpose.
There are many in the world who look for wonders; if one
only noticed how many wonders there are in this world, which
is all phenomena! The deeper one sees into life, the wider life
opens itself to one, and every moment of one's life then becomes
full of wonders and full of splendor.
What we call music in our everyday language is only a miniature,
which our intelligence has grasped from that music or harmony
of the whole universe which is working behind everything, and
which is the source and origin of nature. It is because of this
that the wise of all ages have considered music to be a sacred
art. For in music the seer can see the picture of the whole
universe; and the wise can interpret the secret and the nature
of the working of the whole universe in the realm of music.
This idea is not a new idea; yet at the same time it is always
new. Nothing is as old as the truth, and nothing is as new as
the truth. It is man's desire to search for something traditional,
for something original, for something new; all these tendencies
can be satisfied in the knowledge of truth.
All the religions have taught that the origin of the whole
of creation is sound. No doubt the way in which this word is
used in our everyday language is a limitation of that sound
which is suggested by the scriptures. Language deals with comparative
objects, but that which cannot be compared has no name. Truth
is that which can never be spoken; and what the wise of all
ages have spoken is what they have tried their best to express,
little as they were able to do so.
The music of the universe is the background of the small
picture which we call music. Our sense of music, our attraction
to music, shows that there is music in the depth of our being.
Music is behind the working of the whole universe. Music is
not only life's greatest object, but it is life itself. Hafiz,
the great and wonderful Sufi poet of Persia, says, 'Many say
that life entered the human body by the help of music, but the
truth is that life itself is music'. What made him say this?
He referred to a legend which exists in the East and which tells
how God made a statue of clay in His own image, and asked the
soul to enter into it; but the soul refused to be imprisoned,
for its nature is to fly about freely and not to be limited
and bound to any sort of capacity. The soul did not wish in
the least to enter this prison. Then God asked the angels to
play their music, and as the angels played the soul was moved
to ecstasy, and through that ecstasy, in order to make the music
more clear to itself, it entered this body. And it is told that
Hafiz said, 'People say that the soul, on hearing that song,
entered the body; but in reality the soul itself was song!'
It is a beautiful legend, and much more so is its mystery.
The interpretation of this legend explains to us two great laws.
One is that freedom is the nature of the soul, and for the soul
the whole tragedy of life is the absence of that freedom which
belongs to its original nature; and the next mystery that this
legend reveals to us is that the only reason why the soul has
entered the body of clay or matter is to experience the music
of life, and to make this music clear to itself. And when we
sum up these two great mysteries, the third mystery, which is
the mystery of all mysteries, comes to our mind. This is that
the unlimited part of ourselves becomes limited and earthbound
for the purpose of making this life, which is the outward life,
Therefore there is a loss and a gain. The loss is the loss
of freedom, and the gain is the experience of life, which is
fully gained by coming into this limited life which we call
the life of an individual.
What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being
is music; our mind and our body, the nature in which we live,
the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around
us, it is all music; and we are close to all this music, and
live and move and have our being in music.
Therefore music interests us and attracts our attention and
gives us pleasure, because it corresponds with the rhythm and
tone which are keeping the mechanism of our whole being intact.
What pleases us in any of our arts, whether drawing, painting,
carving, architecture, sculpture, or poetry, is the harmony
behind them, the music. What poetry suggests to us is music,
the rhythm in the poetry or the harmony of ideas and phrases.
Besides this, in painting and drawing it is our sense of proportion
and our sense of harmony which give us all the pleasure we gain
in admiring art. And what appeals to us in being near to nature
is nature's music, and nature's music is more perfect than that
of art. It gives us a sense of exaltation to be moving about
in the woods, and to be looking at the green; to be standing
near the running water, which has its rhythm, its tone and its
harmony. The swinging of the branches in the forest, the rising
and falling of the waves, all has its music. And once we contemplate
and become one with nature our hearts open to its music.
We say that we enjoy nature. But what is it in nature that
we enjoy? It is music. Something in us has been touched by the
rhythmic movement, by the perfect harmony which is so seldom
found in this artificial life of ours; it lifts one up and makes
one feel that nature is the real temple, the true religion.
One moment standing in the midst of nature with open heart is
a whole lifetime, if one is in tune with nature.
When one looks at the cosmos, the movements of the stars
and planets, the law of vibration and rhythm, all perfect and
unchanging, it shows that the cosmic system is working by the
law of music, the law of harmony; and whenever that harmony
in the cosmic system is lacking in any way, then in proportion
disaster comes to the world, and its influence is seen in the
many destructive forces which manifest there. The whole of astrological
law and the science of magic and mysticism behind it, are based
Therefore the whole life of the most illuminated souls who
have lived in this world, like the greatest prophets in India,
has been music. From the miniature music which we understand,
they expanded the whole universe of music, and in that way they
were able to inspire. The one who receives the key to the working
of life, is he who becomes intuitive; it is he who has inspiration.
It is he to whom revelations manifest, for then his language
becomes music. Every person who comes to us, every object we
see, is revealing. In what form? It tells us its character,
nature and secrets. Every person tells us his past, present
and future. In what way? Every person explains to us all that
they contain. In what manner? In the form of music, if only
we can hear it.
There is another language: it is rhythm and tone. We hear
it, but we do not hear it with our ears. A friendly person shows
harmony in his voice, in his words, in his movement and manner.
An unfriendly person in his very movements, in his glance and
expression, in his walk, in everything, will show disharmony
if one can but see it. I had a friend in India who became cross
very easily. Sometimes when he visited me I would say, 'Are
you cross today?' He would ask, 'Now how do you know I am cross
today?' I said, 'Your turban tells me. The way you tie your
turban wrongly shows disharmony.'
One's very actions show an inharmonious or harmonious attitude.
There are many things one can perceive in handwriting, but the
principle thing in reading handwriting is the harmonious or
inharmonious curves. It almost speaks to you and tells you the
mood in which the person wrote. Handwriting tells you many things,
the grade of evolution of a person who has written, his attitude
towards life, his character and his mood when writing. You do
not need to read the whole letter he wrote, you only have to
see his handwriting. For line and curve will show him to be
either harmonious or inharmonious, if only one can see it.
In every being you can see this, and if one looks with deep
insight into the nature of things one will read it even in a
tree. According to the fruit or flowers which the tree bears
one discovers what music it expresses.
You can see from the attitude of a person whether that person
will prove to be your friend, or will end in being your enemy.
You need not even wait until the end; you can see at the first
glance whether he is friendly inclined or not, because every
person is music, perpetual music, continually going on day and
night; and your intuitive faculty can hear that music. That
is the reason why one person is repellent, and the other attracts
you. It is the music he expresses; his whole atmosphere is charged
There is a story of Omar, the well-known Khalif of Arabia.
Someone who wanted to harm Omar was looking for him, and he
had heard that Omar did not live in palaces though he was a
king, but that he spent most of his time with nature. This man
was very glad to think that now he would have every opportunity
to accomplish his object. And as he approached the place where
Omar was sitting, the nearer he came the more his attitude changed;
until in the end he dropped the dagger which was in his hand
and said, 'I cannot harm you. Tell me what is the power in you
that keeps me from accomplishing the object which I came to
accomplish?' And Omar answered, 'My at-one-ment with God'.
What did Omar mean by that at-one-ment with God? He meant
being in tune with the Infinite, in harmony with the whole universe.
In other words, Omar was the receptacle of the music of the
The great charm that the personality of the holy ones has
shown in all ages has been their responsiveness to the music
of the whole being. That has been the secret of how they became
the friends of their worst enemies. But it is not only the power
of the holy ones. It manifests in every person to a greater
or lesser degree. Everyone shows harmony or disharmony according
to how open he is to the music of the universe. The more he
is open to all that is beautiful and harmonious, the more his
life is tuned to that universal harmony and the more he will
show a friendly attitude towards everyone he meets. His very
atmosphere will create music around him.
The difference between the material and the spiritual point
of view is that the material point of view sees matter as the
first thing, and considers that intelligence and beauty and
everything else evolved from it. From the spiritual point of
view we see the intelligence and beauty first; and from them
comes all that exists. From the spiritual point of view we see
what one considers last to be the same as first; and therefore
in the essence of this whole being, as the basis of all that
exists, there is music. One can see that in the essence of the
seed of the rose there is the rose itself, its fragrance, form
and beauty; and although in the end it may not be manifested,
at the same time it is there. And the one who tunes himself
not only to the external but to the inner being and to the essence
of all things, gets an insight into the essence of the whole
being; and therefore he can to the same extent find and enjoy
even in the seed the fragrance and beauty which delights him
in the rose.
The greatest error of this age is that activity has increased
so much, that there is little margin left in one's everyday
life for repose. And repose is the secret of all contemplation
and meditation, the secret of getting in tune with that aspect
of life which is the essence of all things. When one is not
accustomed to take repose, one does not know what is behind
one's being. This condition is experienced by first preparing
the body and the mind by means of purification; and by making
the senses fine one is able to tune one's soul with the whole
It seems complex, and yet it is so simple. When one is open
to one's true friend in life, one knows so much about him; it
is only a question of the opening of the heart; it is the at-one-ment
with one's friend. We know his faults and his merits, but we
know also how to experience and to enjoy friendship. Where there
is hatred and prejudice and bitterness, there is loss of understanding.
The deeper the person, the more friends he has. It is smallness,
narrowness, lack of spiritual development, which makes a person
exclusive, distant, different from others. He feels superior,
greater, better than the others; the friendly attitude seems
to have been lost. In this way he cuts himself off from others,
and in this lies his tragedy. That person is never happy. The
one who is happy is he who is ready to be friends with all.
His outlook on life is friendly. He is not only friendly to
persons, but also to objects and conditions.
It is by this attitude of friendship that man expands and
breaks down those walls which keep him in prison; and by breaking
down those walls he experiences at-one-ment with the Absolute.
This at-one-ment with the Absolute manifests as the music of
the spheres; and this he experiences on all sides, in the beauty
of nature, in colors of flowers, in everything he sees and in
everything he meets. In the hours of contemplation and solitude,
and in the hours when he is in the midst of the world, the music
is always there, he is always enjoying its harmony.