Flute Anniversary Celebration in New York
- Wednesday, March 10, of this year, 2010, is the 34th Anniversary of Sri
Chinmoy first playing the Western flute. It happened in Melbourne,
Australia in 1976. This evening at our Wednesday night meditation
function in New York we celebrated this most auspicious occasion in
simple and inspiring ways.
After our usual time of silent meditation and singing three songs after
the Invocation, we listened to a recording of Sri Chinmoy soulfully
reciting his poem called `The Golden Flute', from the poetry
book, `My Flute'. Then a group of singers led by Tanima sang
the following selected songs: `My heart is a God-made flute
medody', `The heart-flute plays only angel notes', `O my
life-flute, dream. O my heat-flute, sing. O my soul-flute, smile',
`Play your eagerness-flute on your way to God's Palace',
`God drinks and drinks and drinks His Ecstasy-Flute Melody',
`My Lord, Your Flute has stolen the tears of my heart', and then
to finish we sang this song in honor of the first time he played the
flute in Australia: `Australiai, Western flute, bajate suru kari,
Ami ajo benche achi banshidhari kanur charan dhari'.
After we sang these flute songs, two disciples came up to play on their
flutes. This was a tradition that Guru liked to encourage at most of the
flute anniversary functions in the past. I am sure there are more than
two disciples who play the flute in the New York area but these two were
the ones who were inspired to offer us their soulful performances. Maral
played three soulful songs on a wooden flute and then Premik played some
haunting melodies on his Western style flute similar to the ones Guru
We also watched a video of Sri Chinmoy at a flute anniversary function
at P.S. 86 about ten years ago. There were many drawings and paintings
of Sri Chinmoy playing the flute displayed on standing units surrounding
the stage. As he walked into the hall wearing a beautiful blue dhoti
with a matching blue winter down jacket, Sri Chinmoy took time to look
at each and every work of art that was submitted by disciples from many
On stage was a small, beautiful white statue of Sri Chinmoy playing a
flute which was unveiled and garlanded during his very deep meditation
at the start of the function. Next to that was a very large photo of
Sri Chinmoy playing the Western flute.
At one point after playing eight songs on the flute beginning with
`My Own Gratitude-Heart is all the Matters', Sri Chinmoy stood
in front of the statue and kept playing. It was a very striking and
powerful scene with the huge photo of him playing the flute in the
background as he was actually playing the flute to a statue of himself
playing the flute. I hope someone has a photo of that immortal scene
that we can all share someday.
When he was leaving the stage at the end of the function, he again was
looking at some of the artwork on display. There had been a vote on the
artwork by the hundreds of people that were present during the function
and Sri Chinmoy was commenting on the first and second place paintings.
His last enthusiastic and sweet comment before leaving was,
"California won, oh, oh." Presumably someone from a California
Centre got the most votes for their rendition of Guru playing the flute.
I do not recall who it was but if anyone knows please speak up and
identify your talented self.
The Western flute was one of Sri Chinmoy's favorite instruments and
he played it quite often for over 30 years. He also played many other
types of flutes but I think the Western flute was the most listened to.
Many of his flute recordings are on the Western flute, loved by everyone
for their haunting melodies and peaceful qualities. Many people use
these flute recordings to accompany their meditations when one wants
peaceful, meditative music as a background instead of complete silence.
The inner depth and beauty of these songs played on the flute by Sri
Chinmoy offer a wonderful opportunity to experience a truly peaceful
After this kind of celebration and meditation one can feel inspired to
start playing the flute, or at least listening more to the flute as Sri
Chinmoy so soulfully played it. We are so fortunate to have seen and
heard him play so many flutes in so many different settings and styles.
Remembering at least some of these moments helps us to not take for
granted the many, many hours of practice and performances that Sri
Chinmoy spent only to offer us all more peaceful and soulful
opportunities to enter into the worlds of real, sweet, deep and powerful
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- Hi Arpan,
Once again, thank you for the wonderful posts about what's happening in New York. It truly does help to keep one inspired.
One of my favourite things was always listening to Guru play the flute; any flute. I can listen to his flute music CD's over and over and absolutely never tire of them. The ethereal quality of his playing seems brand new each time I hear it.
I was not aware that it was Guru's flute anniversary this week, but it must have been somewhere in my consciousness as I pulled out the CD 'My Devotion-Heart-Melodies', and listened to it several times this week. This is the CD where Guru played 74 different flutes on the occasion of his 74th birthday. I remember watching that concert, absolutely enthralled. Listening to the CD brought it all back, especially with the crickets in the background. I could feel myself there again, floating away on the sweet melodies.
Wish I could have been there for the anniversary celebration.
Looking forward to your next report.