Leonard Bernstein (looking at the song pamphlet): Are you going to sing all these songs?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. It will not take much time.

Leonard Bernstein: No, I am not worried about the time. I am just worried about the endless energy. I don't know why. I smoke, drink and do everything bad. Am I allowed to have a drink?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly!

Leonard Bernstein (to the singers): You have been waiting so patiently. I didn't know you were here. Nobody told me you were coming. Where did you wait — outside in the street?

DISCIPLES: In the park.

Leonard Bernstein: That is incredible. Okay, let's go! Shoot!

(Singers perform "The Leonard Bernstein Cantata," a 25 minute arrangement by Haridas Greif of Sri Chinmoy's original song which was performed for Leonard Bernstein at their first meeting.)

Leonard Bernstein: Unbelievable! How did you remember all that? I hope that this time it was recorded. The last time — do you remember — you finished and someone said, "Gee, it's a pity we didn't record that!"

Haridas: It is recorded. We have made a tape. (He gives Mr. Bernstein the tape. Then Sri Chinmoy presents Mr. Bernstein with a plaque.)

Leonard Bernstein: Goodness, O my God! I haven't got any more wall space to hang these. And who is that young fellow (pointing to his own picture in the plaque)?

Sri Chinmoy: The eternal child!

Leonard Bernstein: I hope so. If that ever goes away, then I will give up. I'll have to find a place for this. I am so grateful. I can't get over it. You talk about perfection. You cannot learn a song like that in a couple of days. Is it like weightlifting? Through meditation you can do everything — even remember 30 minutes of variations and notes!

Singer: Let's hope it did not seem that long.

Leonard Bernstein: I have been rehearsing all day with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. They have the notes in front of them. When I tell them that something has to be this way, they see what it is and they write it in. But they have the notes. You have nothing in front of you except your spirits and your brains. I don't know, I have never seen such a phenomenon of memory. How does it work? Somebody explain it to me.

Haridas: I think you have the answer near you (pointing to Sri Chinmoy).

Leonard Bernstein (to Sri Chinmoy): You!

Sri Chinmoy: I teach the life of prayer and meditation. When we pray and meditate, there is no such thing as impossibility. Just three days ago I told them, "You will not be allowed to read the music." So in three days they memorised everything.

Leonard Bernstein: But there is something else in what you just said, which is a certain divine authority.

Sri Chinmoy: On the strength of my oneness with them, I know they have the capacity. It is my oneness-authority. I will not ask someone in the street to do this. But these people pray with me and meditate with me; they are part and parcel of my aspiration-life. It is all a sweet little family. As the head of the family, I tell them that this is what will give me joy, and out of love they do it. They belong to me and I belong to them.

Leonard Bernstein: The relationship is so deep and strong.

Sri Chinmoy: We have the same goal: perfection in life, perfection in action; perfection is satisfaction. Perfection and satisfaction cannot be separated. If there is perfection, then there is satisfaction. This is what your life is. These are the words.

Leonard Bernstein: This is what I try for. (Looking at the music score) I need glasses to see this. I love the fast tempo. Last time you did it much slower. It is a great idea and it has such energy.

Haridas: It is your energy that is portrayed.

(Singers perform the songs that Sri Chinmoy has written to Leonard Bernstein's words.)

Leonard Bernstein: How did you remember all that? It gets more and more imponderable. I do not understand it. I do, but I just cannot believe it. There are only two words I cannot bear anymore: one is 'Leonard' and the other one is 'Bernstein.' I would love to lose that identity completely!

Sri Chinmoy, Four Summit-Height-Melodies meet with Sri Chinmoy.First published by Agni Press in 1995.

This is the 1093rd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Four Summit-Height-Melodies meet with Sri Chinmoy, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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