Nirtan Commentary

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“Before you judge my actions,

Lord, I pray, you will forgive.

Before my heart has broken,

Will you help my soul to live?


Before my eyes are covered,

Will you let me see your face?

Before my feet are tired,

May I reach your dwelling place?


Before I wake from slumber,

You will watch me, Lord, I hold.

Before I throw my mantle,

Will you take me in your fold?


Before my work is over,

You, my Lord, will right the wrong.

Before you play your music,

Will you let me sing my song?”

In the end, all will be well. The veils will be lifted, the truth will be revealed, and the Infinite will have the last word.

Meanwhile, here on earth, matters remain unresolved. We are down in the trenches, struggling to realize our duties and desires, uncertain what tomorrow will bring.

Our days in these bodies are brief and fleeting. But this sojourn no accident. Our commission is from the Ancient of Days.

Only by dying before death can we live as we must here. Only by rising before the Rise can we soar in the depths.

We will know what the Invisible and the visible are to each other when we know the first as water, the second as salt, and our breaths as waves in the shoreless, floorless sea.

Chased by death, lured by beauty, the psyche calls out: Highest Friend! Be with me in this twilight. Guard over the dream in which I wander, and suffuse it with the beams of Your Glance. Let me lift a song up to You before my tongue disappears in Your Eternal Light.

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“Why, oh my feeling heart

do you live and die?

What makes my feeling heart

now to laugh and to cry?

Death is my life indeed,

I live when I die.

Pain is my pleasure, when

I laugh then I cry.”

The sage speaks to his heart. Who planted you in my breast? What a strange amphibian you are—half angel, half animal, and all paradox! You are always hunting for form in the void, and for the void in form. Desire is your law and your way, but at the very brink of consummation a gulf of separation gapes in your core. Then, just as bewilderingly, in the depths of exile you sip the cup of union.

The heart answers. Your language lacks the words I need. My speech is entirely tears and sighs and drifts of melody. “Life” and “death” make no sense to me—which is which? Nothing ever began and nothing will ever end. All is one thing, endless and splendorous beyond reckoning even when clothed in the meanest of rags. Knowing is feeling, and feeling is the pulsing ebb and flow of the ancient juice. Would you rather be a stone?

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“The essence of today’s Message is balance.”

God is the First and the Last, the Outer and Inner. To find God, look where the opposites meet.

The outward beckons. Colors and fragrances allure the senses. Hands look for wood, stone, or metal to mold. Towers rise up to the sky. Crowds gather, goods are bought and sold, armies clash, and councils convene. The soul loses itself in the story.

In time, as it must, remembrance breaks though. The cityscape goes pale and behind the orbs of the seer’s eyes a prismatic fountain wells up. The world is liquefied, ignited, evaporated, and at last dematerialized. The story of the earth is forgotten. The soul stands face-to-face with its transcendental Origin.

Will the soul reside forever in that placeless place? Or will it fall back to earth, as one awakening from, and forgetting, a dream too large to carry into time and space?

Or yet, somehow, will a balance be struck? When the soul enters the earth’s story without losing sight of its own light, and the source of that light, a holy mystery unfolds. The story of the earth becomes the story of God’s revelation.

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“When my heart is asleep, both the worlds slumber.”

The Arabic word wujud suggests three meanings: existence, finding, and ecstasy.

Existence is something we commonly take for granted. You exist, I exist, the world exists, and that is all there is to it—or so it seems. But you and I only exist insofar as we are found to exist. The existence is in the finding. What is a material fact without a conscious witness? What is not known is not.

The mind is the surface of the heart and the heart is the depth of the mind. The knowledge of each is different.

The mind’s knowledge is indirect: the knower and the known stand at a remove. That which the mind perceives obtains a shadowy existence, a pale and fleeting reality destined soon to fade into oblivion. The world known to our minds is a dream world.

The heart’s knowledge is direct: the knower and the known converge in an uncanny union of spirit. This primal encounter is called love. Here, existence, finding and ecstasy are all one and the same. Discovery unveils the discoverer and the discovered in a single stroke, and the heart awakens to the Awake.

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“The Message is a call to those whose hour has come to awake, and a lullaby to those who are meant to sleep.”

The Divine Face is shrouded in 70,000 veils of prismatic light and dappled darkness. Each veil is a cover on the bed of the sleeping soul. To throw off the covers and banish dreams is to meet the Eternal Sun.

The world would disappear if the totality of souls leapt from their beds at once. There are cloud castles still to be built here; night is not yet at its end. We are each to remain in the sleeping rooms of I-thou until the hour of our summoning before the Presence of I-Am-That-I-Am.

How melodiously the holy prophets and prophetesses intone the lullabies that exorcise our night terrors and becalm our nocturnal hours. Pacified by their ethereal hymns, we sleep well.

When the time is right, they will lift up their voices in another fashion. Like a peal of thunder, their beckoning call will compel us to sit up, and then to rise resolutely on our feet.

Sand will fall from eyes. Blankets will drop from bodies. Gazes will turn to the East. And dawn will break.

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“The rapidity of my walk imagination cannot follow.”

The sleepwalking soul hurries here and there, and goes nowhere. The wakeful soul sits still, and travels beyond the stars.

Five companions accompany the soul on its pilgrimage to the Source: sensation, memory, imagination, will, and self. None but the soul reaches the goal.

Sensation is at first full of enthusiasm, but when forest turns to desert it begs off, making excuses.

Persevering in the desert, memory recalls fonder times. As its recollections gradually evaporate in the heat, however, memory finds at last it can’t go on.

Imagination endures longer, its hope spurred by a succession of visions of greenery. When each, in turn, is revealed as a mirage masking yet another tract of burning sand, imagination concedes defeat.

Will insists the march must continue. At last the desert has been crossed. A river appears, a canoe at its bank. In the absence of a paddle, there is no choice but to follow the current. Its work finished, will remains on dry land.

In time the river issues into the sea. Amidst crashing waves, the canoe capsizes. The self, gasping, manages to swim to the shore and save itself.

The soul drinks the sea and the sea drinks the soul. Soul and sea are now forever one being, companionless except for the fish that are its eyes and ears.

Music of the Spheres: Gamaka Commentaries, Nirtan

“By every hurt or harm that one causes me, one only makes me know him better.”

It’s all too easy to take offense. To flush red, glare, groan and snarl requires no insight. Reflection, on the other hand, is a science of the heart.

Much is to be discovered by looking beneath the surface. What first meets the eye is only the peel of the truth, not its kernel.

Why did the person do it?

Firstly, while the act might have seemed objectionable to you, the one who did it likely saw it in a different light. The person probably does not have all of the facts available to you, and vice versa.

Secondly, not only is the other person differently placed in the situation, the person is differently placed in life and being. You are separated by a gulf of divergent experiences traceable all the way back to infancy. In fact, even before birth, your souls were contrastingly tinctured by varying astral and spiritual influences.

And thirdly, as a rule a person who habitually causes suffering to others is himself or herself the sufferer of a wound, whether hidden or apparent. To chastise the person will not stanch the gash, though something else might.

The world is a theater of contrasts in which everyone has a unique part to play. If there would be heroes, there must be also villains. No villainy, however, is final, as change is constant, and every soul is bound at last to awaken to the Infinite.


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