Last week I was on tour with Oneness-Dream, a group of singers who sing acapella the songs of Sri Chinmoy. I was driving three friends, including Snatak, who formed the group back in 2011 and who now has restricted mobility.
The first performance was at Kings College, Cambridge. One of the most impressive chapels in Britain. The last time I visited was in 2003 when Sri Chinmoy visited to honour his spiritual mentor, Sri Aurobindo. [Sri Aurobindo studied at Kings College, Cambridge before returning to India where he was an early leader of Indian Independence and later spiritual Teacher.]
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we left 45 minutes late, and so only arrived with a few minutes to spare. Kings College is very strict at closing the doors 5 minutes before the service starts. But, despite concerns over time, it all worked out – fortunately!
The Evensong service was very nice. I was admiring the architecture and beautiful singing. Then after the service, Oneness-Dream were given the opportunity to sing for 15 minutes in this sacred church. The first song was a song composed by Sri Chinmoy and dedicated to Sri Aurobindo. Sri Chinmoy would often sing this song at his Peace Concerts and counted it as one of his most soulful.
As soon as the singers sang the first note, it felt like there was a real transformation. It felt like some special Grace which allowed Heaven to fleetingly touch the earth. The soulful singing was very pure and simple. It was a magical performance – far beyond the ordinary human experience.
The other observation is that it felt like the inner coming together of three great spiritual Masters – Jesus Christ, Sri Aurobindo and Sri Chinmoy. On earth, there can be rivalry between different religions and perhaps a sense of supremacy. But in that moment, there was only a oneness of spirit as the spiritual realms seemed much more tangible than usual. It was a truly remarkable experience which will stay long in the memory.
After King’s College Cambridge, there were many other concerts in different sacred venues. I learnt to surrender to time and go with the flow of my companion’s different perspectives on time and planning. It reminded me a little of when Sri Chinmoy was in the body and was moving with great dynamism from one location to the next event. It created a need to go with the flow – to surrender to the spontaneous changes and flow. Nothing set in particular routines.
Often people would comment on how moved they were by the music – even those who were just passing by but were able to listen to the music.
The Revd Marcus Braybrooke attended our concert at Dorchester Abbey. In 2003, he was lifted by Sri Chinmoy in the “Lifting up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award” for his work in interfaith harmony.