A story tells that Mullah Nasruddin was one evening sitting in the village square plucking the strings of the sitar. And little by little, as expected, a circle of friends gathered around him. And he kept on strumming just one note. Finally, one villager mustered enough courage to inquire:
–Mulla, that note you’re playing is very nice, but most of the musicians use all the notes. Why don't you?''
–They are still searching for “the note", replied the Mulla, and "I have found it''. (1)
In India musicians usually refer to a musical note as “swara”, and there are seven basic swaras, as in the West. However, a closer look reveals this term refers not just to one note among others, but rather to “that perfect note” or “fullness” we all look for. Within the context of music this search is "swara sadhana".
In Sanskrit “swa” points to our true Being, whereas “ra” indicates “to shed light on or get light from”, as Kala Ramesh indicates in her article (see link below).
Swara is indeed the alignment with our essential Being, and since all is vibration within it, we´re meant to find such a "the perfect fundamental Note” in everything we do, including walking, washing our hands and other daily activities. In right alignment, everything shines, time expands and one can live each simple moment blissfully, gratefully, feeling already in Eternity.
And despite all the teachings, there is really only one way of entering, or should we say, realising, such a Note. Nevertheless, as the Indian proverb says, this is “as difficult as walking on the edge of a knife”. And that is very strange, because once on the edge, we are everywhere. Isn´t it intriguing?
(1) What is spirituality in music?, article by Kala Ramesh. http://www.artindia.net/kala1.html