An article by contributing writer Jogyata Dallas
Reprinted with kind permission of Indianz Outlook

Aucklanders enjoyed a memorable and inspiring evening on Saturday, May 9th when an internationally acclaimed women’s group performed a free concert of peaceful, meditative music in the Mt Eden Community Hall. Visiting Czech musicians ‘Agnikana and Friends’ were on the New Zealand leg of a whirlwind Australasian tour encompassing five cities in as many days, with only one Auckland concert. Hosted by Auckland’s Sri Chinmoy Centre, the vocal and instrumental all-women’s group specialise in the peaceful, mantric type songs of the late composer-musician Sri Chinmoy, whose 20,000 compositions place him among the most prolific composers of spiritual music in history.

‘Sounds of the Sacred’ offered a selection of these songs, endeavouring to offer an experience of inner peace through music. “Our concerts are interactive – we try to encourage a meditative atmosphere and a peaceful stillness in our audiences, and as performers we try to sing and play in the same meditative spirit, so that together we can co-create something very special. Music performed and received in this way is a universal language that unifies and harmonises and brings us all closer together” commented local organizer Jogyata Dallas.

The late spiritual master Sri Chinmoy saw music as a powerful way of uplifting and inspiring humanity, and in over 700 concerts offered globally during his lifetime tried to share his hopes for world peace and his optimism for a brighter future. Today his compositions and performances are gaining a widening popularity in over 250 recordings and CDs.

Speaking of the power of music, Sri Chinmoy once remarked:

Music transcends the barriers of nations, nationalities and religions. It is through music that the universal feeling of oneness can be achieved in the twinkling of an eye.”

 He further wrote: “Music is the universal language. We do not have to learn any particular language to communicate with others if we can play soulful music. Soulful music carries the beauty and fragrance of silence … the heart is receiving the beauty and light of the higher world of silence.”

With ten years of touring in the US, Europe and Asia, the Agnikana and Friends ensemble  combines both vocal and instrumental arrangements with a variety of instruments including harmonium, Western flute, santur, guitar and tabla. Their music can be viewed at : www.agnikanasgroup.cz/en/