Angelic singing

They don’t let go, do they? Here’s a recording of real life angels made in a locked down church:
 

Presented by one of our initiating spiritual masters to a large audience at one of those “bridge preaching” festivals. On the stage there’s harmonium so they probably just had a kirtan. Behind him is a whiteboard with names of Siva, Vishnu, Krishna, and their consorts Pravati, Lakshmi, and Radha – looks not like “bridge” but pretty straightforward preaching instead. He gives a short introduction about how this recording came about, which is as follows: one overnight visitor to Mt Athos wakened in the middle of the night, hearing beautiful singing coming from the temple. He thought he overslept and missed the morning program so he ran there but temple doors were locked. He peeked through the window and saw lots of angels inside. He got his dictaphone/player from his room and recorded their singing through this window.
 
Next the speaker says that authenticity of this record is being investigated by professionals, but also tells people to simply hear it and feel it for themselves. Several people saw their previous lives while listening to this recording, he says. One woman saw herself in her mother’s womb. He asks the audience to take it seriously, it’s not a joke and not a prank. He wants to share this experience as a gift to others because it would not be right to keep it to himself. Audience applauds.
 
While recording is cued up, he tells people that some specialists have already declared that human voice is physically incapable of making such sounds. He again asks people to feel it for themselves and then shares his own realization – that times are changing, that higher powers are getting involved, supernatural things are happening and our faith will become stronger and stronger in this regard. Materialistic people are doomed, we should not strive for material things, we should use them only as an instrument, like we use healthy lifestyle. Everything else is already given and angels are coming to sing with us already. They know us very well. “Our festival will not go unnoticed up there,” he says. And then the recording starts. Of real life angels.
 
This was at a festival in 2018.
 

Back in 2014 this same story was featured in some Russian language TV program where Russian Donald Trump Junior asked an Orthodox priest a few questions about it. His first question was whether these were real angels or maybe “besy” – demons who try to divert faithful form the path of religion. It’s a big thing in Orthodox Christianity – Prelest. I don’t think I can give it justice here but there are tons and tons of warnings to practicing monks not to confuse genuine spirituality with these demons’ work. The priest answers that in this case it’s unlikely because he can’t find any deviations being introduced here. However, he doesn’t consider subtle pride that comes with realization “we can see and hear angels, we are important” so this doesn’t sound conclusive to me. They made out the song and the words, btw, and discussed why the recording captures only the part of it. The beginning was missed, that’s understandable, but the last part was not sung because it’s about concerns of ordinary humans not shared by angels so they naturally didn’t sing about them, the priest explained. Another point he made was that this singing follows traditional Byzantine style, sung in unison, as opposed to the style introduced in the 17th century splitting choir voices into multiple harmonious parts. This record should settle the question of whether this innovation was appropriate or not, he says. All in all it was a deep and meaningful discussion. You can turn translation in Youtube settings if you want:

 

A lot can be discussed here, the “prelest” angle could turn very fruitful, for example. Or we could talk about fitting these Christian angels into Vedic hierarchy, or so many other things, but let’s start and stop with just one – it’s a fake. In the comments to the above video people give references to 1962 performance of this song by a Greek singer and that it needs to be sped up for the desired effect. I tried it myself and it sounds remarkably similar even without any editing.

What more needs to be said? Maybe that fakes generate a lot of life of their own and people eagerly fall for them – just look at all the current claims about coronavirus.

Finally, this leaves me with the most disturbing realization of all – these days our gurus cannot be explicitly trusted and everything they say needs to be double checked. How can devotees make any spiritual progress this way? Even if I’m not his disciple, when I hear him speak I expect him to speak the truth, not spread cheap internet fakes for dubious purposes. We are not getting closer to angels by doing this. Paraphrasing Srila Prabhupada – if you hear angels while chanting, keep chanting – it will go away. This turns us into sahajyas who take everything very cheaply. Forget about trust – such association needs to be avoided instead. And how do you know when such a devotee imposes another fake on you? How do you know when a vaishnava speaks the truth and when he embellishes it for the benefit of the audience? Simple – vaishnavas don’t do that so we don’t need to guess. We need to hear to a “guru” or to a “dhira” – heavy and steady respectively – to people who are not swayed by fakes and feelings.

PS. I spotted this story on Hanuman’s website but he is such a deluded offender that I don’t want to provide a link. It was sent to him by some unnamed devotee so he is not the original source that really needs to be credited.

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