Symbols of the world's religions



Fred Frey Jr.

On September 19th, 1954, Baba played for us Indian and Persian recordings. In His presence the music itself sounded enchanting, but a sudden thought struck me, "Would this music sound as beautiful when He was not in the same room?" That evening I played the same discs again and they sounded flat. Could it be that my love for Baba was not deep enough to prove that He was and always will be ever present? Without this knowledge, life would be unbearable.

On the following day when He asked me how I had enjoyed the records, I must have sounded unenthusiastic. A quick twinkle was shot my way. From this and the vibrant twitching of the fingers of His right hand and the expression on His face, I knew that "I was in for something."

Almost at once it became poignantly clear that His love and presence are expressed in all sounds of existence. Sandwiched in between rich and busy days, one was startled from time to time to realize that in the calm of night insects held serenades, and the rustling of leaves was their accompaniment; that the pelting "Elephant Rain" and roaring winds expressed symphonic power; that the rattling and clanging of the "iron monster" that took hours on end to get us from Ahmednagar to Bombay was most delightful; that the many sounds of this large city formed melodies of their own, and that the humming drone of the plane from Bombay to New Delhi was most soothing.

While in New Delhi Baba planned that I be in the home of His East Indian devotees, Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Kain. We exchanged thoughts based on the teachings of our Master. The teachings are identical, but the ways of expressing them vary in the East and the West. The deepest discussions were of Baba's final declaration. Among Baba's people, as with us in America, each has his own interpretation of this declaration. We left this subject with the joint feeling that "If the Guru dies and the disciple weeps, it means that both have wasted their lives." Also, "If churches, synagogues, and mosques fall, we must carry on His Love within ourselves until His return."

The first Sunday in New Delhi was spent listening to the most beautiful, fascinating, and penetrating ragas, executed by lovers of Baba — all untrained but naturally rhythmic voices of men, women and children, tuned in syncopation with native drums, cymbals and harmonium. Through all was a lifting, sacredly haunting oneness of floating melodies of ever-changing intensities in scale patterns and tones. The music was a flow of now happy and now solemn repeated words in amalgamated chants. Each song ended on a joyous, uneven, unexpected and broken tempo.

Back in Bombay Alexander Markey was kind enough to arrange to have his assistant, Ramish Prem, play his vichitra veena for us. The beauty of this sophisticated and polished music was beyond description. It sounded like frolicking winds whispering in enchanted caves one moment, and like snorting elephants the next. It is part of the rich classical heritage of India.

When in Lebanon, beneath whispering pines and cedars, we heard deep earthy rumblings underground, which prove to be torrents of gurgling, icy waters flowing unexpectedly from dry and barren rocks.

In Cairo, housed on the "Kasad Khuer" anchored on the banks of the Nile, we welcomed night and moonlight. Seated on deck, we heard the faintly rippling waters caught in a current of nightly sounds. Here we felt His presence everywhere — in the frolicking, twinkling lights, deep beneath the cold waters, high in the black space above — penetrating our inner beings, all wrapped in gentle, caressing melody.

New York and her jaded clash of unharmonious harmony mingled with the voices of dear ones, on hand to welcome us. Finally landing on our home soil, we were met by the shrill musical laughter of children and the tingling warmth of loving arms. We are home, knowing that His music and love is and always will be ever present, within the reach of all to share.


THE AWAKENER MAGAZINE, Vol. 2, No. 4, 1955, pp. 36-38, ed. Filis Frederick
1954 © Circle Productions, Inc.


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