Swami Kriyananda sat with his eyes closed and a blissful smile on his face as he listened to a piece of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As it ended, Swamiji quietly remarked, “Mozart was a consummate artist. He never compromised integrity for showmanship.”
I reflected for quite some time on Swamiji’s words, trying to understand their subtlety and depth. What I finally concluded he meant was that Mozart never took the well-trodden path of “playing to the crowd” to achieve popularity or success. Rather he chose to express in his music personal honesty, as well as a timeless truth and beauty. This is what touches the heart of every sensitive listener, and why Mozart’s compositions are still widely appreciated hundreds of years later.
This same integrity is found equally in Swami Kriyananda’s own music and writing. He once said that he never intruded a single note of music, or a single word in his books, that wasn’t absolutely sincere. What a powerful thought. And what a spiritual guideline for our own life!
For we too must become “consummate artists” in whatever role God has given us, a role determined by the karmic lessons we need to learn. The prince or the print maker, the rock star or the stonemason—in God’s eyes no part is better or more important than another. What is important is to live with as much sincerity and personal integrity as possible. Try to replace the thought, “Will this win me acceptance, praise, or popularity?” with “Is this pleasing to God and my own higher Self?”
Each day will present its own challenges and difficulties. Step back from the daily fray, and inwardly listen to God’s inner guidance. The details may vary, but the essence will invariably be: Be true to yourself. Seek to please Me in all things. Find joy in every situation, even in the seeming setbacks. Accept whatever comes with a sense of purpose and poise.
Finally, remember this prayer of Paramhansa Yogananda: “Beloved Father, I realize that praise does not make me any better, nor blame worse. I am what I am before my conscience and Thee. I shall travel on, doing good to all and seeking ever to please Thee, for thus shall I find my only true happiness.”
In divine friendship,