Question: Some of your songs are quite long. Is there a trick to learning them?

Sri Chinmoy: There are many ways to learn a long song — not just one way. Take, for example, my longest song, Dyulok chariye. One way is not to do it page by page, not to attempt to learn each verse or stanza in order. Instead you can break the mind by learning one page here and another page there. Then it becomes easier. Start, for example, by learning the first two pages and then learn the last two pages. In this way you can make your mind feel that you have started the journey and also that you have completed the journey. Another thing you can do is to first learn the lines or verses that you feel are easiest or the ones that you feel are most melodious. If the words or music are appealing to you, they are easier to learn. Then, for each verse, write down the first two words and the last two words and learn only these. Like this, you can do jugglery with your mind.

There is another thing you can do. Over the years you have learned many, many of my writings by heart. If one line or one particular poem from some book of mine gives you immense joy, then repeat it ten or twenty times before you start practising the song. You will get real joy from your own retentive faculty.

When you feel that you have learned one page thoroughly, you can recite it three times instead of singing it. You will get more strength from your own recitation. The mind will say, “Oh, why do I have to recite it three times since I have learned it by heart?” But you have to break the mind’s pride. On the one hand, the mind is unable to memorise it. On the other hand, when the mind feels that it has learned something, it is beneath the mind’s dignity to repeat what it has learned again. So you have to break the mind’s pride into pieces and then use the heart. At that time, feel that you are learning the song because you like it and not because you have to learn it.

Another thing you can do is pray to the Supreme for a few minutes to give you the capacity to learn the song quicker than otherwise. There is nothing wrong with doing this. When I was a student I had a very powerful, extraordinary memory and many books I used to learn by heart. My teachers could not believe it, but it was all because of my prayer-life. Thousands and thousands of times I used to repeat a mantra to Saraswati, the goddess of learning. In your case, you do not have to learn the Sanskrit verses; just repeat “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme.”