Question: I have trouble organising my life. It takes so much time to pay bills and do the everyday things in life that there is not enough time for music. There is so much junk in my life; it is just like my mind. I would like to have a much more simple life, but to live in this world I need to do so many things.

Sri Chinmoy: You have to have silence, not sound. Sound can be silenced by silence itself. When you meditate, there is tremendous silence. On the surface there are huge waves, but the waves are only a very small part of the ocean. At the bottom of the ocean there is deep silence.

You are talking about paying bills and so many other things that you have to do. You have to think of these things as monkeys that are biting you; they are not biting your body but your mind. If you pick up a big solid stick, the monkeys become frightened and stop biting you. In this case, the stick is your inner silence. When you keep your mind absolutely quiet, you will know what is most important. You are a musician and not a secretary or a politician. If you do not answer certain letters, your world will not collapse. But if you do not pay attention to your music first and foremost, then you will be the real loser. Again, you have to be practical and pay your bills. But the money for this comes from your music. So always you have to go to the source. Music is the source of your inner life and also the source of your outer life.

If you pay utmost attention to your music, from your music-world you will get tremendous joy. Then, if you are happy, you will pick up a particular letter that came three months ago or six months ago and answer it. But if you are unhappy, you are not going to touch anything. So first you have to derive joy from your music. Then, once your mind is inundated with joy, everything else will come easily. But if you do not do first things first, which in your case is music, then everything will go wrong.

I have one particular song that is the source of all my musical pieces; it is called The Invocation. I sing The Invocation every day, as well as play it and listen to it on tape. Before that I meditate. All my disciples early in the morning also sing that song in front of their shrines. Then their outer world and inner world become in tune with the universal harmony. For me and my students, the highest type of music is meditation. Life without meditation is out of tune with the inner harmony.