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God’s Secret Agents: Playing “The Divine Romance” in the Airport
January 18th, 2011

I was standing in the Baggage Claim section of the San Jose (CA) airport when I heard an unexpected sound. Someone was tentatively playing a few keys on a piano, like a tunesmith toying with a melody. Looking around a corner, I spied a baby grand situated in the middle of an open space. As I approached, a man seated there got up and walked away.

There was a sign on the piano: “Feel free to play, no experience or skills required!” And a memory came to mind of Swami Kriyananda playing his exquisite sonata, “The Divine Romance,” years ago on a piano at the Ananda Meditation Retreat temple.

I know that sonata, I thought. At least the first movement. I’d memorized it years ago.

Dare I try it? I’m no piano player — the foot pedals, for example, are a complete cipher to me — yet that sign said, “No experience or skills required.”

And then, another memory came to me. “God’s secret agents.” Smiling, I sat on the piano bench, spread my fingers on the keys, and began tickling the ivories.


“God’s secret agents” is a term coined many years ago by Haridas Blake, an Ananda minister. The basic idea behind this concept is for devotees to act as instruments of God whenever and wherever opportunities arise. An essential aspect of the practice is that no one would know of your real intent — thus, turning you into a “secret agent.”

I have experimented with this practice over the years and have always found it deeply worthwhile. I can also attest from personal experience that the more one practices it, the more opportunities one finds for being a hidden instrument of God in daily life — opportunities laid, so to speak, on one’s doorstep.

Like that piano in the airport…


“God’s Call Within” was flowing more smoothly now. A few glitches here or there — no one would mistake me for a maestro — but the melody was definitely recognizable. I was even hitting the keys with more force at times to emphasize a particular phrase.


This was not the first time I’d used Swami’s music to meet my clandestine purposes. Once, while on a train in the Midwest, I sat next to a man holding a violin case. The violinist, obviously proud of his heritage and gifts (he played in concerts), was also a lover of great music.

Discovering that the man was also a fan of Handel’s Messiah, I wrote down his name and address and sent him, from Swamiji’s Handel-like Holy Land Oratorio, the score for “Lord, Let This Cup Pass From Me” — the most beautiful duet for violin and cello I have ever heard.


Finishing the first movement, I commended my soul to God and started in on the second, rendering the melody through a combination of single notes and chords.

Da-da Da-da-da. Da-da Da-da-da

No one approached to point a finger and laugh. I bent my head to concentrate on the music.


Speaking of Swami Kriyananda’s music, a friend of mine did something interesting. Noticing that a disciple of this path had a deep, bass voice, he sent the man a recording of Swami singing “Life Flows On Like a River” (a melody inspired by St. Francis of Assisi), knowing that hearing Swamiji hit the really low, basso profundo notes of that song, he would be compelled to see if he could hit them, too.

Definitely a covert operation.


Intent on finishing, I continued on with the sensitively beautiful third movement, still picking away with single notes and chords:

“Lord, I long to see Thee…. Lord, I long to see.”


Swami’s music is a good means of sharing God in a hidden way. Music speaks to the soul, bypassing the often over-intellectual Western mind. And Swami’s melodies cover such a wide variety of musical interests. There’s something there for everyone.


At last, the beautiful sonata came to the end. A few notes here, an extended chord there, and it was over — finishing on the same note with which it began.

I looked around. A small group of travelers were gathered around the piano, sitting quietly.

A man stood up and approached me. His face lit with a bright smile, he whispered, “Bless you!”

God’s secret agents strike again!

Their mission: to infiltrate the world with a hidden divine influence.

Who knows where they will next perform their heavenly, but stealthy activities?

 

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14 Responses

  1. Rambhakta says:

    Bless you indeed. Good grief, Richard – this was a wonderful read, and a wonderful experience for you. Thank you. Also for reminding us of the secret joys of the spy game.

  2. Koral says:

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing Agent Salva.
    PS. This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds.

  3. Isa says:

    “Swami’s music is a good means of sharing God in a hidden way”. It bypasses all our subconscious reservations and sows an inspiring seed thought in our mind. I would love to get the scores for some of the beautiful instrumental music of Swamiji.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for the beautiful story! I love the thought of being one of God’s secret agents – I think I will sign up :)

    Is the sonata you played available anywhere? I would love to hear it!

    Thank you for my morning inspiration!

    Joy to you!

    Kimberly

  5. Cheryl Fansler says:

    Thank You! Very beautiful!
    Maybe somewhere along the path, I will discover one of God’s secret agents.
    Bless you in your secret agent activities!

    Cheryl

  6. Richard Salva says:

    Thanks, everyone.

    If you’d like to become one of “God’s Secret Agents,” all it takes is opening our minds and hearts to the possibility, and “secret agent” opportunities just show up.

    If you’d like to hear “The Divine Romance,” click the link below. (Performed much better than I did in the airport.)

    http://www.ananda.org/mp3/music/divine-romance-irw2010.mp3

    Also, there used to be a compilation of Swami Kriyananda’s musical scores in spiral-bound book form. I don’t know if that is still available.

    If you are interested, contact David Eby at clarity@crystalclarity.com.

    Blessings,

    Richard

  7. Marianna Taranto says:

    Dear Richard, Thank you so very much for your inspiring posting. Wow! What a concept: God’s secret agents. I am definitely in and ready to join the cause. Many Blessings to you!
    In Divine Appreciation, Marianna

  8. miriam says:

    So lovely, Richard. You’re a very powerful secret agent for Master and Swamiji. Keep up the good work!

  9. Tyagi Maitreyi says:

    What a delightful thing you did, Richard. Reading of it has brought an extra ray of sunshine into my day. God works in covert ways whch only adds to the beauty and wonder of it all…

    God’s love

    AUM

    maitreyi

  10. Chris says:

    Love the idea ~ your blog put a huge grin on my face.
    And sometimes these opportunities fall literally into our lap ! The happiness one feels when utilizing them is different from other happiness.
    “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
    — Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

  11. David Eby says:

    Thank you, Richard! It’s amazing how many people will come up to me when I’m practicing Swami’s music on my cello, and ask me what this beautiful music is, simple as it may be! Thank you for sending out Swami’s vibration!

  12. Sandy says:

    I loved your delivery on the ‘secret agents’ of God story.

    It may actually help one to keep his ego out of the way and also not have the appearence of evangelizing or prosiletyzing ( I think that’s how you spell it..?)
    Anyway nice story and well delivered,

    love and blessings to you,

    Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

    sandy

  13. James Swafford says:

    Yes, I have found God in music, even in Bluegrass Gospel Music.

  14. VIneet says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article :) “God’s secret Agents Strike Again”. And thank you for the link to the “divine romance”.