If you love listening to music – and I believe everyone loves music, it matters not what kind of music it is — you’d know that there’s this very special and powerful thing that exists in some music, a thing that lights up in your mind and heart when you are listening to the music; a thing that is like pure ecstasy. It awakens you, inspires you, excites and moves you to the point where you feel a sense of supreme joy, pure intense awareness, the wild, mad, uninhibited passion of junoon, utter liberation from all the stuff and nonsense of daily life…when you transcend time and lose the sense of Self, yet, strangely and paradoxically, you feel more close than you have ever been to the entire universe.
It’s this mysterious, timeless, supremely powerful thing that makes great music; it’s the ability to find this thing and convey it that makes great musicians great. To experience this thing is like awakening into a Realm of infinite possibilities, of power and bliss, of union with the One in All and the All in One. For great musicians, every performance is an exploration, a quest for the gateway to this Realm. Hindustani classical musicians sometimes speak about looking for ‘Saccha Swar’; the ‘Note of Perfection’… maybe that’s a nice description of the gateway.
And how does one find and follow the path that leads to the gateway of Saccha Swar?
Perhaps only the great musicians know; perhaps even they can describe the path and their quest only through their music, not by mere words. This much is clear, though: the path itself has to be laid down individually, with the paving stones of endless learning and practice, riyaaz and saadhana; the path must be walked alone, it must be smoothed through deep discipline and dedication, illuminated by humility and openness and selflessness…
At this point, O long-suffering reader, I abandon my pitiful efforts at describing what I cannot describe. Instead, I quote wonderful musician Aruna Sairam from an interview I came across recently:
“…Ultimately, when you speak of a raga, it is an emotion. And therefore the musician that engages with this raga is making himself or herself very open, emotionally—and very vulnerable to everybody else who is in that space. This means that you have to trust, and you have to love, yourself and everyone else. And in that trust you put out your music, and the moment you express it, without inhibitions, the audience gets it, everybody around you gets it, and they in turn return that love manifold back to you…”
[click here for full interview]
Aruna Sairam is going to perform at the Music Summit, Jaipur. We’re going to join her, and many great Path-finders like her, in their explorations towards Saccha Swar; through them and with them, we too shall glimpse and experience the Realm of Perfection.