Sample from the Spring 2007 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine

Music of the Soul:
Remembrances of Swami Turiyasangitananda (Alice Coltrane)

By Gopala Pozzi

On December 31st, 2006, just two weeks before she left the body, Gopala Pozzi visited Swami Turiyasangitanandaji at her ashram in California. Two weeks later, when Vimala Pozzi (director of the Integral Yoga Center of Richmond, Virginia) visited her son Gopala, he returned to the ashram, bringing his mother to meet Mataji. He had no idea that when he arrived, he would find her students in shock and grief with Mataji’s sudden passing. Gopala shares this remembrance.


I drove to Sai Anantam Ashram to hear Swami Turiyasangitanandaji speak, listen to her play her organ and chant bhajans in the small chapel with her devotees. Afterward, I went into her room. She welcomed me with a big smile. I sat at her feet and looked into eyes so sweet and generous, so curious and enchanting. As we talked, her humor and love interweaved our conversation that ranged from what I doing in Los Angeles to her memories of Yogaville.

Two weeks later…

I sat inside the little chapel and reflected on that day, exactly two weeks prior, when she had said, “God made our world beautiful and wonderful, but we, humans, have messed it up. It is time for us to push up our sleeves and get to work in fixing the world. Only by loving each other and by loving the world, by putting love into action, will we be able to clean up the world.” As she talked she would smile knowingly. Then she would frown intensely. She was feeling every word deeply as she said each sentence. Then she would laugh or smile. To be honest, I was confused watching her as she spoke. When the talk ended and she sat at her organ and began playing, there was no difference between her and the music. The waves of emotion that now passed through her face with her flashing smile and her devotional looks at her Guru, as the music went through her body into her hands, she found combinations of chords that invoked the soulful suffering variations of jazz and praising repetitive melodies of Hindu bhajans. It was passionate music, almost painful. I felt the music crying out.

Suddenly, her way of talking, made sense to me. All the movements that had seemed strange to me as she spoke became coherent as she played her organ. I saw that she talked the way she played her instrument—full of syncopated skips. Her body and face were a combination of emotions that sparkled like light spilling off a vibrant and powerful waterfall—suddenly bright and delighted, then heavy, dark and full. There was struggle in her face, reflective of her effort to find the right notes to praise God and to praise her Guru. When those notes breached the air, she seemed pleased, as if hearing something within that now emerged, realized, into the world…

Read the rest of this article in the Spring 2007 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine