Questioner: Does the musical genius of people like Beethoven come because of their accumulated talent from past lives?
Sadhguru: That’s a very simplistic conclusion – possible. It is a possibility, but not necessarily so.
Genius means – the word genius comes from the word genesis – genō – means creation, or creativity, or the source of creation. So, a genius means, somehow he touched the source of creation – unknowingly, or knowingly. Either you can become consciously move towards being a genius, or unconsciously a genius.
When I say unconsciously becoming a genius, you can say a Beethoven. He’s an unconscious genius, he doesn’t know why he’s a musician, but he is. Deaf of hearing, but still music flows, because you don’t become a musician because you have a great voice – because you have a great sense of hearing, that’s how you become a musician. So, somebody who cannot even hear becomes a musician, this is an unconscious genius. Maybe because he could not hear the normal sounds, he paid attention to something else.
You have heard yogis speaking about how, if you become meditative, first you will hear a bell, then you will hear a harp, then you’ll hear some other music – you heard these stories? So, because everything was, you know, he’s tone deaf, he cannot hear any external sound, maybe he started listening to something else, and sounds formed themselves into, whatever, became a great musician. So, this is an unconscious genius, probably. We cannot make that judgment – probably.
But you never know, maybe he was conscious, because he’s in Europe, he could never talk those things. So, maybe he only spilled out the music, and never managed to speak, because it’s not allowed to be spoken in a particular society. If he was in India, he could blabber whatever he wanted, you know? Because of safety net. No, it’s very important – if spiritual dimensions have to really evolve in a society, that freedom should be there. Their crazies will come, loonies will come, but sages will come, too.
You heard of the mathematician Ramanujan? On his deathbed he wrote a theorem – there are many others before that – but on his deathbed he wrote a theorem. After 100 years, only in 2010 I think, they figured it out, that this theorem describes the black holes in the universe. 100 years ago, even the concept of black hole did not exist in the scientific community. But he made a mathematical calculation for the black hole, describing black hole through mathematics.
Because unless – any theory that you make, unless you have a mathematical backbone, that theory is discarded. But now he did not have a theory, he just made a mathematical backbone, and he said, “I don’t know what this is, my Devi gave it to me.”
Like in Yoga Center, we have a Linga Bhairavi – like this, some deity consecrated window into the creation. So, all these deities are actually doorways into the limitless possibility. If you know how to open the doorway, this becomes a limitless possibility. For him it all became mathematics, for somebody might have become music, with somebody else it becomes something else. Or if you are consciously approaching it, you can make it what you wish – whatever you wish, you can make out of it. Unconsciously if you get there, it may become one dimension of the universe.
So, mathematics did not get invented in your classroom, do not curse your math teacher – it is the nature of the universe. This is the only way the nature of the universe can be translated into human experience, and one of the reasonably efficient ways to do this is mathematics. Words would be total waste. The only efficient way to do it is, to imbibe the universe as a part of yourself. That’s what yoga means – yoga means, it’s become one – everything is in union. That’s the only way you can truly know it.
Mathematics is a reasonably good way to interpret it. So, a genius might have happened due to many reasons, but it is not necessarily that in his previous life Ramanujam was a mathematician, a Beethoven was a musician – not necessary. They might have been something else, definitely there was something of some consequence, okay? Definitely there was some evolution of state within themselves, that might have manifested as music, or math, or something else in this life, but it is not necessary that there must have been musicians, or mathematicians.
It is just that somehow they opened a window, or a door – because of that, one dimension of life became simply apparent for them.