Question: I wanted to ask if there is a certain spiritual quality that the cello embodies. Recently you gave two concerts on Long Island and I felt a lot of power and intensity when you were playing the cello.Sri Chinmoy: Truth to tell, I am not satisfied with my cello performance. If your consciousness goes high while I am playing the cello, I give all the credit to you, all the credit! When your consciousness goes high, anything that you see in front of you will give you tremendous joy. I give full credit to you, not to the player in me. The higher we go, the better we experience the reality. Do you understand? As a cellist I am not satisfied with my standard. But if you like my cello performance, it is because of your consciousness. I am serious when I say this.
In the cello world, the maestro of maestros is Pablo Casals. In the very evening of his life we met together in Puerto Rico. As soon as he saw me, tears started rolling down his cheeks. They fell on my shoulder. With such joy he was telling me, "You have come at the very evening of my life." Then he played two pieces for me from Bach. His cello playing was sublime.
Another experience I am telling you about my cello. I gave a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in England. Among my disciples, there was someone who could not appreciate my cello performance. As good luck would have it, a member of the audience came up to that person after the concert and said, "How long has Sri Chinmoy been playing?"
The disciple answered, "Three years."
"Three years? I have been playing for seventeen years," that musician said, "but he plays better than I do!"
To that particular disciple who could not appreciate my cello performance, a real cellist came. And he was saying I played better than he did!
Last year I lifted a very famous cellist. His comment was that if I learnt the proper technique, I would enjoy the cello better. To be frank, I only like my cello at one time and that is when I sing my song for Lord Buddha. If my voice is in good condition, that is the only time I like my cello.