Question: When you write poems in English, some of them are so beautiful and inspiring; they are like mantras. But why is it that when you make songs out of your poems, the Bengali songs are always much more beautiful and melodious?

Sri Chinmoy: Not always! When I sing, I came to Your Lotus-Feet with a hopeless hope-heart, that song is as beautiful as any of my Bengali songs. There are also a few others. But you are absolutely right — in most cases there is no comparison between my Bengali songs and my English songs. Because of my Bengali incarnation, I find it easier to express some things in Bengali. The Bengali words come immediately from my heart, whereas the English words still come from my mind. In Bengali everything comes spontaneously, but when I use English, the mind is always there. Because English is a borrowed language for me, when I use English, sometimes a borrowed feeling comes. But the feelings I express in Bengali are never borrowed; they are my own.

I have learned the English language to my satisfaction. But when you want to give a borrowed thing to another individual, it does not come so spontaneously. Since I feel that it does not really come from me, I do not get the same joy in offering it. The English grammar can be correct, and the idea can be expressed properly, but an intimate feeling does not come for me.

I have written many, many mantras in English, and I know that they came from a very, very high source. But in singing, it is not a question of something coming from a high source. In singing, the feeling has to come from the very life-breath. That is why I will never be able to sing any song — even Jiban debata — as soulfully as I sing the Sri Aurobindo song. The way I can give my heart when I sing that song, I cannot do with any other song — especially not with any English song.

There are ten or twelve English songs that I can absolutely give my heart and soul to when I sing, whereas there are hundreds of Bengali songs that I can give my heart and soul to. When I sing certain Bengali songs, some of the subtle nerves in my being literally tremble, and I enjoy a kind of divine thrill. It is not excitement, but something very sweet, soft and delicate. I am filled with such bliss that my whole being is transported.

Again, there are times when I am singing some songs most soulfully, not because I am trying to sing soulfully, but because at that particular moment my throat chakra is completely open. The throat chakra is the spiritual centre for sweetness, tenderness and expressiveness in speaking and singing. There are times when I see it flooded with light — my soul's light. When the throat centre opens and functions very powerfully, at that time my voice is totally different. I even pronounce some words differently. But it is not my conscious will; it is all the doing of the throat centre.