Of all the instruments which Sri Chinmoy plays, the flute is perhaps the most classically associated with meditation.
Of all the instruments Sri Chinmoy plays, the flute is perhaps the most classically associated with meditation. The flute has an intimate quality because it comes from the breath. In meditation, we attempt to make the breath very slow and relaxed. When the flute is played in a meditative consciousness, the music is inundated with the feeling of meditation. The melodies which Sri Chinmoy plays come from deep in the inner worlds. They reflect a state of inner poise and harmony. Most music we hear evokes some emotion, such as excitement or sadness, which ultimately causes disharmony within us. Spiritual music is different in that it only centres us more deeply within ourselves. That is why we do not easily tire of hearing genuine spiritual music.
The flute has a haunting quality. It reminds us of vastness and stillness. It can also be playful. Sri Chinmoy plays a wide variety of flutes, each with a different mood. The Western flute has a deep resonant feel, whereas the wooden flute is sweeter and sharper. Other more unusual flutes which Sri Chinmoy plays include a double flute from New Zealand which uses a gourd to produce deep harmonies to accompany the lighter notes of the flutes. Sri Chinmoy plays several ocarinas, small ceramic flutes often shaped like animals, which tend to be high-pitched. He also plays some eastern flutes which have a pipe-like sound.
Throughout history the flute has been renowned for its mesmerizing quality. The story of the pied piper of Hamelin tells of a man who lured the rats out of Hamelin by playing a melody on his pipe. When the villagers refused to pay him for his work, he took his revenge by luring away the children in the same way. In India and the Middle East we can still see the practice of snake charming, where a snake is apparently hypnotized by the sound of the pipe. The story of Krishna tells us how the Gopis were captivated by the sweet sound of Krishna's flute; upon hearing it they would abandon everything and come running. When played skillfully, the flute has the ability to induce trance in the receptive listener. Sri Chinmoy's flute music for meditation is very sublime and renowned for its mesmerizing, timeless quality.