Nowadays radio technicians have made a kind of horn which they use at stations in the United States. A person takes that horn and on speaking into it his voice becomes twenty times louder. It is all right for trade and business purposes, but when you come to life itself, and when you come to conversation, to speaking to your friends, it is different. It is a most psychological occasion when you speak to one person or to many persons, because something is taking place which has its echo in the cosmos. No word ever spoken is lost; it remains, and it vibrates according to the spirit put into it. If a person makes his voice artificial in order to convince people, in order to be more audible, and in order to impress people, it only means he is not true to his spirit. It cannot be. It is better for a person to be natural in his speech with individuals and with the multitude, rather than that he should become different.
Now coming to the subject of singing: there are certain things which must be retained in the voice. However much the voice may be developed, however great its volume, however far reaching it may be and should be made by practice, at the same time one must feel responsible for keeping one's natural voice through every stage of development- that the natural voice is not hurt by it. It does not mean that one should not have a far reaching voice, it does not mean that one should not have a voice of a larger volume, that one should not have a voice that is vigorous and flexible. Everything that enriches the voice is necessary and must be developed by practice, but all the time keeping in view: 'I must not sacrifice the natural quality of my voice'. For every person, every soul must know that there is no other voice like his. And if that particularity of its own voice which each soul has is lost, then nothing is left with it.
Besides this, every person is an instrument in this orchestra which is the whole universe, and his voice is the music that comes from each instrument. Each instrument is made distinct and particular and peculiar, so that no other voice can take the place of that particular voice. If then - with the instrument that God has made and the music that God has intended to be played in the world - one does not allow that music to be played and one develops a voice which is not one's own, naturally that is a great cruelty to oneself and to others.
For those on the spiritual path, thinkers, students and meditative souls, it is of the greatest importance to know the condition of their spirit from time to time by consulting their voice. That is their barometer. From morning till evening one can see the weather - the weather created by oneself: whether it is warm or cold, or whether it is spring or winter. One's voice is that barometer that shows to us what is coming, because what will come is the reaction, the result of what is created, and the voice is indicative of it.
Those who think still more deeply on this subject will be able to see how, step by step, they are progressing in the spiritual path, if only they consult their voice. Every step in the spiritual path brings about a little change. By a distinct study of the voice you will find that it is so. When you go back, you will find by the change: 'I had gone so much further, and I have gone back again'. The voice will tell you.
There is another point which is most wonderful about the voice: that once you have worked with the voice and have cultivated it, deepened it, widened it, and it has become invigorated, and then you have left it, you may leave it for months and years, and the voice may take a different shape and a different appearance, but at the same time what you have once developed remains with you somewhere. It is just like a kind of deposit kept in a bank. You do not know of it, you have forgotten it perhaps, yet it is there. The day when you will touch it again, it will come back in the same way and it will take very little to complete it.
If the voice has developed a spiritual quality and one finds later that it has lost that spiritual quality, one must not be discouraged or disappointed. One has not lost it. One must correct oneself and want to go forward again, and be sorry for having gone backward, but never be discouraged, never be hopeless, because it is there; it only wants a little touch. It is just like a little candle which has gone out, but once you strike a match it is lighted again; it is a candle just the same. The voice is light itself. If the light has become dim, it has not gone out, it is there. It is the same with the voice. If it does not shine, it only means that it has not been cultivated. You must cultivate it again, and it will begin to shine again.
Question: Is it advisable to train one's voice, if one has not much of it. Answer: One might ask: Is it advisable to do physical exercises when one is very thin? If one is thin, it is even more necessary to do physical exercises. So if there is no voice, it is more necessary that one should develop it.
Question: Does the voice change through the different ages? Answer: Yes. Every age, infancy, childhood, youth, and more advanced age changes the pitch of the voice. The advanced age is an expression of what a person has gained, and so the voice is also indicative of his attainment. No doubt, as with every step in the age of a person, so with every step forward in spiritual evolution, there is also a difference in the voice. Every experience in life is an initiation. Even in the worldly life it is a step forward, and that experience changes the voice.
Question: Do the words one has spoken in the past continue
to affect one's life? Answer: Certainly, certainly.
Question: Which is more powerful: to say something mentally or to say it aloud? Answer: If you say it mentally and do not speak, it is powerful. If you speak and do not say it mentally, it is powerless. If you say it mentally and speak it at the same time, it is most powerful.
Question: Would you say a few words about the modern art of dedamation or recitation? Answer: There is little to be said about it. Very often people think that, when they have to recite, they must have a different voice, they must become a different being. A person does not want to remain what he is, he wants to be different. There is nothing more beautiful, nothing more convincing and appealing and impressive than reciting in one's own natural voice.
Question: Would you tell us how it was that Tansen kindled candles by singing? Answer: It is told that Tansen, the great singer, performed wonders by singing. Tansen was a Yogi. He was a singer, but the Yogi of singing. He had mastered sound, and therefore the sound of his voice became living, and by his making the voice live everything that he wanted happened.
Very few in this world know to what extent phenomena can be produced by the power of the voice. If there is any real trace of miracle, of phenomena, of wonder, it is the voice.