Osho on Indian classical music

[A visitor says he has been learning Shastri Sangeet from a guru in Bombay but he is not satisfied with it; the technique is becoming strong but not the emotional side.]

Osho – And don’t you feel strong enough to start doing it on your own?… Not yet? Because there is a problem in it. Shastri Sangeet – the classical indian music – is technical, so it is not the fault of the guru. It will be very very difficult to find a man who can teach you from the heart. The whole thing is technical; it has not much to do with the heart.

The whole thing – the approach – is technical. If you hear a great master then you don’t know what the great master is doing. If you see him practising eight hours per day then you will know that he is a technician. There are a few people who are innovators but it is very rare to find them. My feeling is that if you really want to learn it, you have to be with a technician, mm? The whole approach is technical, it is technique, it is technology.

Once you have known the technique perfectly well then you can move on your own and bring your heart in, not before it. When you have known the technique so well that it has become part of you, you can forget about it. Then you can move on your own because you know the technique is there. It will be used by the unconscious automatically – you need not deliberately remember it. Then you can feel a satisfaction in the heart, otherwise not.

You can change the master but you will find another of the same kind. The problem is the very thing. For example, if you go to a university to learn mathematics and you want a teacher who is a man of the heart, you will be in a difficulty because if you want to learn higher mathematics it is technical. And indian classical music is the mathematics of sound! It’s the grammar of sound; it is absolutely technical and scientific.

Listening to a maestro is one thing – he knows the technique, he plays through his technique. Because he knows the technique he affects your heart. The technique is how to affect the heart. But he is a technician and his own heart may remain unaffected by it. I have known many great musicians…. In their life they are very ordinary people; nothing has happened to them. But when they play they are really great, incredible. Then you know not the man, not his heart, but his technique. But the technique is such that it goes on playing on your heart so your heart starts feeling a dance and you think it is really of the heart. It is not! The heart is affected by it but in itself it is not coming from the heart.

In that way modern music is more of the heart; black music is more of the heart although there is not much technique in it. There is a problem – it has always been so: if you go too much towards the heart, the heart is not technological, it is more wild. The mind is technical but then it is not wild and not of the feeling. And it always happens to every science, to any discipline. By and by the mind goes on refining it, refining it, refining it, making it more and more perfect; one day there is only technique left.

It is just as if you go to a man like Kinsey or Masters and Johnson – those who have known everything about sex technically. They know everything about sex technically, all that can be known, and they can give you a beautiful discourse on the technique of sex, but that doesn’t mean that their sex life is fulfilled! It doesn’t mean that at all.

In fact, the very thing that they became so technically interested in sex, may have been caused by some defective perversion in their minds. You will be impressed by the knowledge that they can bring to the subject. They are technicians of sexuality – they may not be good lovers! And my feeling is that they cannot be, because a lover does not need the technique. When you are not a lover then you start looking for the technique.

So if you really want… And I can understand your problem, your dilemma – it is a great dilemma: four years and now you must be feeling stuck with the technique. It will become more and more dry and the more you go into it, the more dry it is, because you start moving into more systematic, mathematical, grammatical parts of it. Then it is just mathematics and you will not feel fulfilled.

But if you really want to understand indian classical music you have to know the technique first. Then one day, when you have known the technique, you start playing on your own; then you innovate. For example, Ravi Shankar – he is an innovator but indian classical people won’t appreciate him much. They will condemn him, they will criticise him, because he is not perfectly in tune with the classical science.

So no innovator is ever appreciated by the conventional and the orthodox. And it is such a long process to learn, that there is every possibility that by the time you have known the technique you may have forgotten about the heart completely. That has to be remembered.

So my suggestion is: if you want to change your master you can; that is not a problem. You can find one in Poona – you can be here and can find a very good man here it is possible. But start working on your own, side by side. Go on learning with the master and never bring innovations to him. He will not like them – he will throw you out!

They have found the perfect method – they don’t bother now that any amateur person should come and improve upon it. They have improved it to the very last. They don’t think that it can be improved anymore. It cannot be improved, that is true, but you can play many things on the side paths, mm ? You can move on the side paths and you can go and take your own direction. That you have to do on your own, and don’t tell your master anything about it.

You go on learning the technique from the master with a great respect, and on your own in the night go on playing so you keep your heart alive. Otherwise in four or five years time – and it is a long training, eight, nine, ten years – they will destroy your heart. So this is your duty: to keep your heart alive… at least until the time you are freed from them; then you can go on your own.

You can come to poona, you can find someone here or you can remain in Bombay. Nothing is the problem; even with the same master you can continue. And I understand your difficulty. Start doing something on your own; that will satisfy you more. Then one day when you feel that you have known enough to go on, drop the teacher and start moving on your own – then there will be joy! Good!

Source – Osho Book “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There”

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