We are sitting in the garden of Istvan's Surya Sangita Ashram, in the shade of an old walnut tree. All around us peace and quiet. Then he takes his guitar and breaks the silence with song. "Everything is singing. Every blade of grass, the flowers and this old walnut tree, too. Beautiful, old songs to bless the place ", he sings. "Here we sit under it, and I feel that it's incessantly chanting. Still, motionless. I'm sitting here and I'm flying with it. I'm singing its song, hugging its waist, over an infinite time. Its green foliage adorns the sky. Each flower is smiling."
How did you find your voice?
"My grandparents and my mother sang a lot. Whether my mother was happy or sad, she was singing. And I saw that the singing itself made her happy. From a world that we call the world of adults and the world expectations and control, she could enter a world where she could be happy and free to rise. I really loved this world as an innocent child. I started to sing with her while still in the womb."
What happens when we sing?
"If you sing from the heart, you can connect to the beautiful cosmic world, where there is no past and no future. Only the blessed present exists there. We do not judge anything or anybody, we're just existing in this beautiful flow, between heaven and earth. If you sing, you're in wholeness, in the blessed palms of God, in the flowers' field, smiling at the heart, and all difficulties evaporate. The soul is happy and the spirit expands. The constraints, which were built by the mind, crumble in an instant. You're free again, like a bird. You are alive and creating again. You take part in the divine creation and in the magic that is honest and pure. You don't want to control or change it, just let it lead and teach you."
So it's like a deep meditation?
"You make magic when you sing. Especially if you sing while deeply engrossed, which brings you into the joy of the moment. If you sing every day, the channel that connects you with nature opens. All your feelings of pain and emotional suffering disappear. You are renewed. The chant cleans and opens all seven of your energy centers. You live happily in the temple of the body, in this holy place again."
How does the singing cure?
"All your cells are glad and happy when you sing. You don't talk and think then. Every chant is in the present, and present is the moment of the divine wholeness. Many people start to cry at my concerts. They cry because poisons, problems, pain and hardness disappear from your body this way, and sensitivity, kindness, beauty, loving reception and harmony re-seats there. You don't have to defend yourself and be afraid of anyone in this state, you only exist in this timeless state, like a flower, which stretches up to the light, happy in the rain, the dew, the wind."
What do you teach to anyone who goes to the Surya Sangita Ashram?
"First of all, I urge you to cast off your fears. Leave at home the kind of defense, constant control, and fear with which you have traveled so far. Arrive at the site, among the flowers and caress them. Just sit in the grass and feel this divine state. Arrive into the sanctuary. Then I ask you to forgive yourself and others. Step inside the shrine and meditate. Listen to the sound of cosmic creation, return to the womb. Be reborn without pain, sadness or any kind of compliance. Just listen, be the witness, the observer. Do not judge, just listen, flow with the nature, wave with the wind. Just be in the moment, just be. Become who you are. Then start singing the sounds of the chakras. Because the chakras have not only colors, they have voices too."
How are your songs born?
"During raving and chanting. In the presence of the spirit. The song Gate Gate came to me in Istanbul, for example, early in the morning on a spring day. They come with a special feeling as if someone is messaging me. I don't bring a piece of paper or a pen, I close my eyes and listen to the flood. And the sounds just keep coming through the channel of light. I swim in this light. This is a rare experience in this earthly life. And the first voice comes: 'Take this tune to the people. Sing it them to be happier and to be in the present.' Other times I fast. I wait because I know that I can get the sounds at any moment. I'm waiting, sitting in a quiet location, among beautiful natural surroundings, under the cedar tree or on the shores of the lake. I prepare my body. I don't take food or water. I let my body go hungry and thirsty for this beautiful light. There are no words to describe the catharsis when the tune finally arrives to me. Then, with great respect and love, I thank God for such a great gift that these songs could find a place in my heart."
written by: Krisztina Chilembu, Istvan Sky