Sri Chinmoy meets with Pablo Casals, world-renowned cellist, at the maestro’s residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Read more...


Maestro Pablo Casals

Remarks by Sri Chinmoy
on 11 December 2005 in Kuantan, Malaysia


I met Maestro Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico. He was on the wrong side of ninety, and I had perhaps scarcely crossed the barrier of forty. I was quite young. I still had a considerable amount of hair!

The rumour was circulating that Pablo Casals’ wife had been his mother in her previous incarnation. That rumour I had been hearing from the Puerto Rican disciples. She played the violin and another musical instrument with him. There was a great difference of age. She was quite young and he was over eighty when they got married. Some people said she had been his mother, and others said no, it could not be. I said, “All right, one day if I can see him, I will request him to show me a picture of his mother.”

I was able to see Pablo Casals. I folded my hands. He stretched out both his arms and placed his hands on my shoulders. I was much taller than he was. He put his palms on my shoulders and started shedding tears. I bent forward, and hot tears were falling from his eyes onto my garment. He said, “You have come in the very evening of my life.”

At that time I had never thought of playing the cello. He said, “Do you want to hear a piece? I will play a piece by Bach.”

He was an expert, a real expert — a maestro of the highest order. He started playing, and I was listening most devotedly, with deep feeling. He wanted to play another piece, so he played and I appreciated him.

Then we started talking. He wanted to talk all about children, little children. He said that they are our future, they are our dream. I most sincerely agreed with him.

I asked him if I could see a picture of his mother. I said, “Please, would you kindly show me a picture?” His wife overheard me and she brought the picture to me. It was hanging on the wall. I very sincerely, seriously and powerfully concentrated on the picture for three or four minutes. Then I smiled and said, “Those who say that your mother has reincarnated in the form of your present wife are absolutely correct. I am a man of prayer. I do have the capacity to enter into previous incarnations.” He definitely believed me. He was so happy and so relieved! Then his wife came and sat beside him. It was very, very moving. We talked and talked, all about children.

One or two years after his departure from the earth-scene, Pablo Casals started coming from the soul’s world when I gave Peace Concerts. He would sit always facing me, about a metre away, when I was playing. He would meditate very deeply. Other musicians who came from the inner world used to converse. They even brought their instruments. They were in their own world! But Pablo Casals never brought his instrument. His only request was to meditate, meditate with me. He was the only musician who always wanted to meditate. Others meditated a little, but Pablo Casals made it a point only to meditate in front of me. Of all my instruments, he said he liked the esraj best. Had he known, when he was in the physical, that I play the esraj so well, he would have wanted it to open his symphony orchestra!

Many, many times Pablo Casals has come to me in the inner world. Others also have come — even people whom I never knew, as well as some that I saw in the physical world. Occasionally Bach’s soul, Beethoven’s soul and others have come. A few times Leonard Bernstein has come. He really appreciated me when we met! He is always very exuberant. He plays the cello so charmingly. Sometimes he is almost dancing, because of his familiarity with me.

Pablo Casals asked me not to forget him when I give very serious concerts, so I have kept my promise. Whenever I know I am going to be performing in a very serious, soulful concert, I invite him. He has come many, many times — more than any other musician. Meditation: soulful, prayerful meditation. He says that is the thing he should have done. When he was in the world of the living he did not meditate, so now he wants to meditate, meditate, meditate with me.

Published in My Golden Children