Musician Remo Fernandes says he experienced a god moment when he ‘saw’ the same giant heart beat in every entity.
What’s your idea of god? Have you had any god moments?
God is best found within us and in nature. If we do not find god in these two places, there’s no way we’re going to find god under mountains of man-written scriptures, or in man-built places of worship which all presume to house god. The first time I experienced such a moment (without looking for it, without knowing it existed) was when I set off on a college tour while a student in Mumbai. As the train left the city and the sun rose over (then) virgin countryside, I ‘saw’ infinity, I ‘saw’ the same giant heart beating in every tree, mountain, cow, human being, in the entire cosmos. I ‘saw’ that there is no past, future, up, down, there and here. It is all one. I looked for this knowledge thereafter, but with varying degrees of success and failure... mostly failure.
How has your family influenced you?
In every way. But then again, each of us is quite a strong-headed individual who isn’t easily led or influenced by the other.
Your definition of love, happiness?
Love has to be selfless, without possessiveness, and without even the need for reciprocation. Happiness lies in making that connection with infinity, which can be achieved through meditation. Once that connection is achieved, everything else falls into place.
Do you make a distinction between religion and spirituality?
Certainly. Religion is between you and a religious leader, a religious sect, established rituals and dogmas. Spirituality is simply between you and god.
What has been your greatest learning as a musician?
That earning your living from doing something you love so much you’d do it for free anyway, is the greatest blessing on earth. It means you never work a day in your life.
Who/what are your spiritual influences?
A couple of friends I met along the path of life. They were ‘sent’ to me at the right time. Some books, and some pieces of music and theatre too were very influential spiritually. Among religious scriptures, the Bhagwad Gita was invaluable. I discovered it soon after that college tour, because I went looking for a book which would tell me how to achieve the state of mind I had accidentally experienced, but tell me this scientifically and philosophically, not through dogma and blind belief.
What’s your solution for communal harmony in India?
Shoot every politician who disrupts this harmony, and/or who is corrupt. That about sums up every politician in the country!
What gets your mind unburdened?
My work — music! Also, a walk in nature — on a deserted beach, on a hill, through rice fields, whatever.
Do you feel that something keeps you protected?
Yes, I do, now that you ask me. But I don’t know what or who it is. Even when things are really bad, I realise that they could have been much worse, and that I’ve been protected from that worse fate somehow.