The gopis addressed Murali with their question, 'Murali! Tell us the truth. Please do not keep it a secret. What merits does our Lord see in you that He holds you so lovingly and tenderly day and night?'
Gently smiling, Murali replied, 'My dear friends! I know neither magic nor any arts of attraction. Neither do I possess any merits. Dead ignorant of them all, I am a simple forest reed, all hollow within and bereft of any beauty. Krishna, my Lord, Lover and Bearer calls this attitude of mine the greatest virtue and is extremely pleased with it. He, over and over again, whispers into my ear His excellent teaching, 'Empty yourself and I will fill you. I have realized its truth, and I obey it to the very letter.
This is magic, if magic you will call it. This is my strength. It is He who sings through me and enchants you all. My dear friends! If you too empty yourselves of all the arrogant airs of your beauty, excellence, family pride and possession, He will fill every nerve and atom of your body with His Life and Love. Does the pervading air not fill a jar once it is emptied of other impeding objects? He will not leave you even for a moment, I tell you, and will ever sing through you the sweetest, soothing melodies of harmony and peace to the whole world.
As I understand, every creature here is His flute or Bansi, the instrument of expressing His divine voice. You too are His Murali. The sockets, or seats of organs in the body, such as eyes and ears are his blow-holes. He blows through them various notes. To speak poetically, he sings sweet melodies through your tongue, beauties through your eyes and fragrance through your nose. Every heart is Madhubana, the seat of all his lilas, the rendezvous of all the Gopis, the centre of all the vrittis. There the only Purusha is Sri Krishna. All others have to make a passive surrender to Him.'
All sounds are His voice. Para, pashyanti, madhyama, and vaikhari are the various gradations of the one sound, the gradual and materialized expressions of His voice. Vaikhari is the physical sound well known to us, while madhyamais the intermediate, unexpressed state of sound.
Clairvoyants say that sound is associated with colour and form and, accordingly, the pashyanti state of a word is an object of internal vision. The more we trace the inner origin of different languages, the closer we come to discovering the vibratory homogeneity of sound behind them. Birds, beasts, Indians, Africans, Americans - all, in the pashyanti state of His voice, experience the same bhavana, or feeling of a thing. Just as one and the same shakti working through the ears becomes hearing, through the eyes becomes seeing, and so forth, so also the same pashyanti bhavana assumes different forms of sound when materialized. As gesture, being a sort of mute subtle language, it is one and the same for all people. Any individual of any country when thirsty would make the same gesture of holding his hand to his mouth in a specific manner.
Ishwara, or God, with the help of his mayaic power, incarnates Himself first as para vani in mooladhara chakra, then materializes himself as pashyanti in manipura chakra at the navel, then as madhyama and, finally, as vaikhari. Such is the divine descent of His voice.
He, as paratpara, the transcendental, stands above and beyond all the koshas, or bodies, states of consciousness and sound. From there with a mere will, He sets the vibrations of sound into motion to extend out to the grosser planes. To us on the physical plane, this divine voice of His is known as vaikhari, or the physical speech. This is our Lord Krishna's blowing of the flute. The most inward-minded can hear that inner voice and feel His divine being.
Close your eyes. Withdraw the indriyas, or senses, and concentrate. After long and constant practice, the voice will become audible to you. First, re tire into perfect seclusion and silence. Try to hear it alone on the beach of the roaring sea, on the high peak of a mountain, in the dead silence of dark starry nights, in a dense forest or a lonely cave, and then try to hear it within yourself when you command good concentration. Retain this experience and try to hear the voice in the busy hours of your daily life as well.
The heart is naturally pure. It is made up of the sattwic portion of the five elements but, like the pure waters of a lake, its purity and transparency are ruffled and muddled by our crude and earthly attractions and repulsions and such other pairs of opposites. Thus, the free passage through which the vibrations of His voice are constantly streaming forth is blocked, as it were, and like the clogged and roughly handled reeds of a harmonium, begins to emit discordant notes of envy and anger, hatred and censure, and so forth. Then it is said that we do not allow the inner Lord Krishna to blow uninterrupted the Bansi of our hearts.
Therefore, my friends, keep your heart ever unalloyed and pure and the Lord within will be highly pleased to manifest His voice through you. Then, ambrosial words will be dripping from your lips and your talk will mesmerize and magnetize the people with its modesty, respect and love. Their woes and sorrows will be washed away. Your word will not go unheard. Nobody will have the strength to contradict your opinion. Your speech will be a Murali to them. Your words will soothe thousands of wounded, bleeding hearts and radiate joy and peace. Thus, the purity of one's heart expresses the divinity of His voice.