How to Play a Musical Instrument in a Spiritual Way?


I am learning to play the classical guitar and wish to invoke the blessings and guidance of the Divine in my pursuit. What should my approach be? I do say a small prayer after my daily meditation asking for help to play His sweet music. Are there any chants or prayers that I can include ? Any techniques that I can follow?

—Amlan, India


Dear Amlan,

This is wonderful.

Your approach is perfect: after meditation, ask for His blessings. Then, looking at the spiritual eye, ask the Divine to be its instrument with the guitar. Then play, trying to channel superconscious inspiration as you do so.

Feel that He, the Divine, is playing through you. In this way, music becomes a sadhana (spiritual practice).

There is a wonderful chant by Yogananda which you might enjoy and want to play for a long time, meditating on it as you make your guitar sound: “When Thy Song Flows Through Me.” You can find it on YouTube.

Here is a poem by Yogananda which might inspire you to become a pure channel while playing music. It is from his book, Whispers From Eternity:

Let My Songs Resound With the Magic Power Of Thy Voice
I drew apart the gross veils of earthly music, O Infinite Musician,
and heard Thee playing through the sweet lilt of the violin,
through the bright strumming of the harp,
and I heard Thy song through the whispered longings
of my own mind.
O Magic Musician! plucking gently
on the hidden feeling-strings of my heart,
at last I beheld Thy soft, warm light spreading like dawn
over the awakening sky of my mind.
Thou Dearest of all singers, Thy notes have awakened me
from the slumber of ages!
I now stand before Thy altar,
eager to offer Thee my own melodies,
inspired by Thee.

In Divine Friendship,