Sounds are vibrations. They give rise to definite forms. Each sound produces a form in the invisible world and combinations of sound create complicated shapes. The textbooks of science describe certain experiments which show that notes produced by certain instruments trace out on a bed of sand definite geometrical figures. It is thus demonstrated that rhythmical vibrations give rise to regular geometrical figures. The Hindu books on music tell us that the various musical tunes, ' Ragas : and ' Raginis,' have each a particular shape, which these books graphically describe. For instance, the Megha-Raga is said to be a majestic figure seated on an elephant. The Vasant-Raga is described as a beautiful youth decked with flowers. All this means that a particular Raga or Ragini, when accurately sung, produces etheric vibrations which create the particular shape, said to be the characteristic of it. This view has recently received corroborations from the experiments carried on by Mrs. Watts Hughes, the gifted author of" Voice Figures." She delivered an illustrated lecture before a select audience in Lord Leigh-ton's studio to demonstrate the beautiful scientific discoveries on which she had alighted, as the result of many years' patient labour. Mrs. Hughes sings into a simple instrument called an " Eidophone " which consists of a. tube, a receiver and a flexible membrane, and she finds that each note assumes a definite and constant shape, as revealed through a sensitive and mobile medium. At the outset of her lecture, she placed tiny seeds upon the flexible membrane and the air vibrations set up by the notes she sounded danced them into definite geometric patterns. Afterwards she used dusts of various kinds, copodium dust being found particularly suitable. A reporter, describing the shape of the notes, speaks of them as remarkable revelations ofgeometry,perspectiveandshading; " Stars, spirals, snakes and imaginations rioting in a wealth of captivating methodical design." Such were . what
SOUND AND IMAGE
were first shown. Once when Mrs. Hughes was singing a note, a daisy appeared and disappeared and " I tried," she said, " to sing it back for weeks before ; at last I succeeded." Now she knows the precise inflections of the particular note that is a daisy, and it is made constant and definite by a strange method of coaxing an alteration of crescendo and diminendo.-After the audience had gazed enraptured a series of daisies, some with succeeding rows of petals, delicately viewed, they were shown other notes and these were daisies of great beauty. !i How wonderful ! How lovely ! " were the audible exclamations that arose from the late Lord Leighton's studio, an exquisite form succeeded exquisite form on the screen ! The flowers were followed by sea-monsters, serpentine forms of swelling rotundity, full of light and shade and details, feeding in miles of perspective. After these notes came there from other trees, trees with fruits falling, trees with a fore-ground of rocks, trees with sea behind. " Why," exclaimed the people in the audience, ;i they are just like Japanese landscapes."
While in France, Madam Finlang's singing of a hymn to Virgin Mary " О Ave Marium " brought out the form of Mary with child Jesus on her lap and again the singing of a hymn to " Bhairava " by a Bengali student of Benares studying in France, gave rise to the formation of the figure of Bhairava with his vehicle, the dog.
Thus repeated singing ofthe Name ofthe Lord builds up gradually the form ofthe Devata or the special manifestation of the Deity whom you seek to worship, and this acts as a focus to concentrate the benign influence of the Divine Being, which, radiating from the centre, penetrates the worshipper.
When one enters the state of meditation, the flow of the inner Vritti is greatly intensified. The deeper one goes into meditation the more marked is the effect. The concentration of the mind upwards sends a rush of this force through the top of the head and the response comes in a fine rain of soft magnetism. The feeling arising from the downward power sends a wonderful glow through the body, and one feels as if he is bathed in a soft kind of electricity.
The above experiments demonstrate the following facts:—-
1. Sounds produce shapes.
2. Particular notes give rise to particular forms.
3. If you want to generate a particular form, you must
produce a definite note in a particular pitch. The repetition of the Panchakshara Mantra, '■' Om Namah Sivaya " produces the form of Lord Siva. The repetition of " Om Namo Narayanaya," the Ashtakshara Mantra of Vishnu, produces the form of Vishnu. In a Mantra, the vibrations to be produced by the notes are all important. Much emphasis is laid on the pitch (Swara) as well as form (Varna) of a Mantra. Varna literally means colour. In the invisible world all sounds arc accompanied by colours, so that they give rise to many-hued shapes. In the same way colours are accompanied by sounds. A particular note has to be used to produce a particular form. Different notes in different pitches give rise to different shapes. In the science of Mantras, we use different Mantras for the purpose of invoking different gods. If you worship Lord Siva you use " Om Namah Sivaya," but in worshipping Vishnu or Sakti you will have to change the Mantra. What happens when a Mantra is recited ? The repeated recitation ofthe Mantra produces in the mind the form of the Devata or the Deity connected with the Mantra which is your Ishta, and this form becomes the centre of your consciousness when you directly realise it. It is, therefore, said that the Mantra of the Deva is the Deva Himself. This may explain the mucli misunderstood dictum of the Mimamsa philosophers that the gods do not exist apart from the Mantras (Mantrat-mako Devah). This really means that when a particular Mantra appropriate to a particular god is properly recited, the vibrations so set up create in the higher planes a special form which that god ensouls for the time being.
WHAT IS NADA ?
i it «„я Sakti The union and mutual relation of c- V , £i U ■\"da Front Nada came Mahabmdu. Slda htctiot1 Sail tJbecomes for the first time acuve
aSXVKH etvmologically means sound. Sound is not the oross^otmd which Is heard by the ear, Nada » the most 5e aspect of Sabdha. Nada develops mto Bindu.
Nada is the first emanation stage in the production of ,,,„,; The second is Bindu. Nada and Bindu ex.s in al^Mantras Nada is that aspect of Sakti which evolves into Bindu.
THE FOUR STAGES OF SOUND
The Vedas form the sound-manifestation of Ishwara. That sound has four divisions. Para which finds manifestation only in Prana, Pasyanti which finds manifestation in the mind, Madhyama which finds manifestation in the Indriyas and Vaikari which finds manifestation in articulate expression.
Articulation is the last and grossest expression of divine sound energy. The highest manifestation of sound energy, the primal voice, the divine voice is Para. The Para voice becomes the root-ideas or germ-thoughts. It is the first manifestation of voice. In Para the sound remains in an undifferentiated form. Para. Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikari are the various gradations of sound. Madhyama is the intermediate unexpressed state of sound. Its seat is the heart.
The seat of Pasyanti is the navel or the Manipura Chakra Yogins who have subtle inner vision can experience the Pasyanti state of a word which has colour and form, which is common for all languages and which has the vibrating homogeneity of sound. Indians, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Japanese, birds, beasts—all experience the same Bhavana of a thing in the Pasyanti state of voice or sound. Gesture is a sort of mute subtle language. It is one and the same for all persons. Any individual of any country will make the same gesture by holding his hand to his mouth in a particular manner when he is thirsty. As one and the same power or Sakti working through the ears become hearing, through the eyes become seeing and so forth, the same Pasyanti assumes different forms of sound when materialised. The Lord manifests Himself through His Mayaic power first as Para Vani at the navel, then as Madhyama in the heart and then eventually as Vaikari in the throat and mouth. This is the divine descent of His voice. All the Vaikari is His voice only. It is the voice ofthe Virat Purusha.
NADA, BINDU AND KALA
An aspirant enquires : " I would like to ask you to enlighten me on the meaning of the words, 'Nada', "Bindu' and " Kala,' as they are used in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, where it is said that Siva appears as Nada, Bindu and Kala. How can Siva, who is the Supreme Reality, devoid of any quality, possess Kala which represents a particular guna or quality ? "
The primal sound or first vibration from which all creation has emanated is Nada. It is the first emanative stage in the projection of the universe (creation). Nada is the first manifestation of the unmanifested Absolute. It is Omkara or Sabda-Brahman. It is also the mystic inner Sound on which the Yogi concentrates.
Bindu is not to be taken in the sense of drop or vital force. It is the inconceivable, subtle point, the very root of all manifestation. It is the point from which is projected the phenomenal universe of names and forms. From this point or Bindu emanates all creation. Therefore, in its aspect as the vital source of manifestation, it is sometimes used in a sense akin to vital force.
Briefly put in its primary sense, Kala means a particular kind of divine power of quality (Guna). There is no question of Kala, in the case of Parama-Siva, who is Nirguna, without quality, and therefore Kalateeta. The moment Sakti manifests, the Absolute Siva Tattva becomes present in His Saguna aspect which is also Sa-kala. When thus manifest, He is Purnakalamurti, endowed with sixteen Kalas. He who possesses one of these sixteen Kalas is called a Kala-murti ; further fraction of this becomes Amshamurti, and still further fraction is sometimes called Amshamshamurti.
In certain sounds such as the beating of a chum, the roar of thunder, the sounds of laughing, crying etc., no letters are manifested. This is Dhvani. In certain others, letters or Varnas are manifested as in the case of sounds of articulate speech. This is Varnatmaka sabdha.
Sound is produced by the contact of one thing with another, ofthe hand and the drum in the case of unlettered sound and the vocal organs and ear in the case of uttered speech.
But the Anahat sound is uncreate and self-produced. It is not caused by the striking of one thing against another.
Varnatmaka Sabdha has a meaning. Every Dhvani also has a meaning. The sound of laughing indicates that a particular person is happy. The sound of crying indicates that a particular person is in trouble. The sound of a bell indicates that tea or food is ready. The sound of a bugle indicates that there is parade.
Bear in mind that Mano Laya is not the goal but that Mano Nasa and Self Realization is the goal.
Remember not to take any special fancy or liking for any particular sound but try to lead the mind from the first to the second, from the second to the third, and so on to the tenth.
There is another school of Nada Yoga that distinguishes three different stages in the hearing ofthe sounds.
The first stage is when the Prana and Apana are led near the Brahmarandra. The second stage comes when they enter the Brahmarandra and the third when they are well-established in it. During the first stage sounds like that of the roaring sea, the beating of drums etc. are heard. During the second, sounds like those of mridanga, conch, etc. are heard. In the third stage, sounds like Kinkini, humming of the bee, sound of the flute or the lute etc. are heard.
Knowledge pertaining to hidden things arise in a person who can hear well the seventh sound (like that ofthe flute). If he can hear clearly the eighth sound then he will hear Para Vaak. With the ninth, he develops the Divine Eye. When he hears the tenth, he verily attains Para Brahman.
JVadanusandhanam means meditation on Nada or Sound that is heard at the Anahat Chakra.
The essential pre-requisites for this type of Sadhana are the same as those for any other Yoga Sadhana. Ethical and moral preparations are the first important pre-requisites. Similarly, proficiency in Hatha Yoga and Pranayam is essential. It is better to have sufficient practice in concentration and meditation. That will make it easy for us to concentrate inwardly and meditate on the Anahat sounds. Ajapa Japa or Japa of ' Soham ' with breath will help you in your concentration on the subtle sounds. That by itself will take you to the Anahat sound.
Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Have the Shanmukhi or the Vaishnavi Mudra. (Details about this can be had from my book ; Hatha Toga '.) Do Ajapa Japa. Let your gaze be inwards. That will lead you to the Anahat sound.
With Shanmukhi Mudra in Padmasan or Siddhasan, you can also lead the Prana and Apana into the Sushumna and then meditate on the Anahat Chakra. Then also, you will hear the Anahat sounds. The sweet melody ofthe sounds will bestow on you greater power of concentration.
At first you will hear ten different sounds that will make you deaf to all external sounds. The sounds are : Chini, Chinchini, ringing of the bell, blowing the conch, sound of the lute, sound ofthe cymbal, that ofthe flute, like that of a drum, of a mridanga and that of the thunder.
These sounds should be heard through the right ear. There are two aspects of these sounds, gross and subtle. You should proceed from the gross ones to the subtle ones. If the mind runs only towards the gross sounds, do not get perturbed. Let it get first accustomed to and established in the gross sound. Then it can be led to the subtle sound.
THE SACRED PRANAVA
Om is the word of power, Om is the sacred mono-syllable, Om is the mystic letter, Om is the Immortal Akshara. In Om the world rests, In Om we live and move, In Om we go to rest, In Om we find our quest. Sing Om rhythmically, Chant Om loudly, Roar Om forcibly, Repeat Om mentally. Draw strength from Om, Get inspiration from Om. Derive energy from Om, Imbibe bliss from Om. Glory to Om, Victoi у to Om, Hosanna to Om, Hail to Om. Adorations to Om, Salutations to Om, Prostrations to Om, Devotion to Om, Rely or. Om, Reflect on Om, Cor~entrate on Om, Meditate on Om.
RELEASE OR MOKSHA
The Mind that is attracted by the Anahat sound shall surely attain the state of Samadhi. Just like bee that tastes the sweet honey is not attracted by the smell of the flower, the mind too shall no more run after the old Vasanas if once it hears the subtle Anahat sound. The mind-cobra hearing the Anahat sound stands spell-bound shaking all vasanas and wavering nature. Forgetting the external sense-world, it gets one-pointed, and never wanders about thereafter.
The sound that is the nature of Om or Pranava which is Brahman itself, is of the form of Effulgence. That is the Supreme Abode of Lord Vishnu. In that mind attains Laya. That means Moksha.
As long as the sounds (Anahat) are heard, so long there exists the Akasa Tattva in the mind. As long as the Anahat sound is heard, the mind exists. When once the Anahat sound becomes Soundless Sound, Brahmanubhuti or Atmanu-bhuti prevails.
The Xada with sound dissolves into the Akshara Brahman. That Soundless Sound alone is called the Supreme Abode. When the mind leaving the subtle sound goes to the Soundless Sound, the mind and Prana enter into a state of Laya in the Nirakara Brahman.
The mind that has become one with Nada like milk in water enters the Chidakasa along with the Nada. There, at that moment, the tenth sound, Thunder, prevails for a while : then like lightning the Supreme Effulgence reveals its nature at which moment the thunder-like sound becomes-Soundless Sound, Brahma Jnana or Atma Jnana dawns.
Om is the word of power,
Om is the sacred mono-syllable
Om is the highest Mantra,
Om is the symbol of Brahman,
Om is Soham,
Om is Om Tat Sat.
Om is the source of everything,
Om is the womb of Vedas,
Om is the basis for languages,
In Om merge all Trinities,
From Om proceed all sounds,
In Om exist all objects.
О Sweet Om ! Potent Pranava !
The life of my life,
The boat to cross this Samsara,
Harbinger of Eternal Bliss,
My Redeemer and Saviour !
Guide me and take me
To Brahman, the hidden sage !
Nada is Sound
Nada is sound.
Om is Nada Brahman.
Veda is Nada Brahman.
Sound is vibration.
Name is inseparable from form.
The form may vanish.
But the name or sound remains.
Om is the first vibration of sound.
The world has come out of Nada oi'Om.
In Pralaya all sounds merge in On.
Sound vibration is gross and subtle.
The quality of Akasa is sound.
Akasa is infinite.
So you can fill the ear with the infinite sound.
NADA-BINDTJ UPANISHAD OF RGVEDA
The syllable A is considered to be its (the bird Om's) right wing, U, its left ; M, its tail ; and the ardhamatra (half-metre) is said to be its head.
The (rajasic and tamasic) qualities, its feet upwards (to the loins) ; sattva, its (main) body ; dharma is considered to be its right eye, and adharma, its left.
The Bhurloka is situated in its feet ; the Bhuvarloka, in its knees ; the Suvarloka, in its loins ; and the Maharloka, in its navel.
In his heart is situated the Janoloka ; the Tapoloka in its throat, and the Satyaloka in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows.
Then comes the Matra (or mantra) beyond the Sahasrara (thousand rayed).
An adept in yoga who bestrides the Hamsa (bird) thus (viz-, contemplates on Om) is not affected by Karmic influences or by tens of crores of sins.
The first matra has agni as the devata (presiding deity') ; the second, vayu as its devata ; the next matra is resplendent like the sphere ofthe sun and the last, the Ardhamatra the wise know as belonging to varuna (the presiding deity of water).
Each of these matras has indeed three kalas (parts). This is called Omkara. Know it by means ofthe dharanas, viz-, concentration on each ofthe twelve kalas, or the variations of the matras produced by the difference of svaras (or intonation). The first matra is called ghoshini ; the second, vidyunmali (or Vidyunmatra) ; the third, patangini ; the fourth, vayuvegini ; the fifth, namadheya ; the sixth, aindri ; the seventh, vaishnavi ; the eighth, sankari ; the ninth, mahati ; the tenth, dhrti ; the eleventh, nari ; and the twelfth brahmi.
If a person happens to die in the first matra (while contemplating on it), he is born again, as a great emperor in Bharatavarsha.
NADA-BINDU UPANISHAD OF RGVEDA
If in the second matra, he becomes an illustrious Yaksha ; if in the third matra, a vidyadhara ; if in the fourth, a gandharva (these three being the celestial hosts).
If he happens to die in the fifth, viz-, ardhamatra, he lives in the world ofthe moon, with the rank of a deva greatly glorified there.
If in the sixth, he merges into Indra ; if in the seventh, he reaches the seat of Vishnu ; if in the eighth, Rudra, the Lord of all creatures.
If in the ninth, in Maharloka; if in the tenth, in Janoloka; if in the eleventh, Tapoloka ; and if in the twelfth, he attains the eternal state of Brahma.
That which is beyond these, viz-, Parabrahman which is beyond (the above matras) the pure, the all-pervading, beyond kalas, the ever resplendent and the source of all jyotis (light) should be known.
When the mind goes beyond the organs and the gupta and is absorbed, having no separate existence and no mental action, then (the guru) should instruct him (as to his further course of development).
That person always engaged in the contemplation and always absorbed in it should gradually leave off his body (or family) following the course of yoga and avoiding all intercourse with society.
Then he, being freed from the bonds of Karma and the existence as a Jiva and being pure, enjoys the supreme bliss by his attaining ofthe state of Brahma.
O, Intelligent man, spend your life always in the knowing of the supreme bliss, enjoying the whole of your prarabdha (that portion of past karma now being enjoyed) without making any complaint (of it).
Even after atmajnana (knowledge of Atma or Self) has awakened (in one), prarabdha does not leave (him) : but he does not feel Prarabdha after the dawning of Tattva-Jnana (knowledge of Tattva or truth) because the body and other things are asat (unreal), like the things seen in a dream to one on awaking from it.
N A D A - В IN D U tPANISHAD OF RGVEDA
That (portion of the) karma which is done in former births, and called prarabdha does not at all affect the person (tattvajnani), as there is no rebirth to him.
As the body that exists in the dreaming state is untrue so is this body. Where then is rebirth to a thing that is illusory ? How can a thing have any existence, when there is no birth (to it) ?
As the clay is the material cause of the pot, so one learns from Vedanta that Ajnana is the material cause of the Universe; and when Ajnana ceases to exist, where then is the cosmos ?
As a person through illusion mistakes a rope for a serpent, so the fool not knowing Satva (the eternal truth) sees the world (to be true).
When he knows it to be a piece of rope, the illusory idea of a serpent vanishes.
So when he knov/s the eternal substratum of everything and all the universe becomes (therefore) void (to him), where then is prarabdha to him, the body being a part ofthe world ? Therefore the word prarabdha is accepted to enlighten the ignorant (only).
Then as prarabdha has, in course of time, worn out, he who is the sound resulting from the union of Pranava with Brahman, who is the absolute effulgence itself, and who is the bestower of all good, shines himself like the sun at the dispersion of the clouds.
The yogin being in the siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavimudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.
In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.
At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the oeean, clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts ; in the middle (stage) those proceeding from mardala (a musical instrument), bell, and born.
At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, vina (a musical instrument), and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.
When he comes to that stage when the sound ofthe great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.
He may change his concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.
The mind having^ at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.
If (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water, and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails).
Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.
Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his attention on the sound, and (then) his chitta becomes absorbed in it.
Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the colour, so the chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature.
The serpent Chitta, through listening to the Nada is entirely absorbed in it, and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.
The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant—Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden ofthe sensual objects.
It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer Chitta. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean-waves of Chitta.
The sound proceeding from Pranava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence, the mind becomes absorbed in it : that is the supreme seat of Vishnu.
The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (akasasankalpa). Beyond this is the (asabda) soundless Parabrahman which is Paramatma.
The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound's) cessation, there is the state called Unmani of Manas (viz-, the state of being above the mind).
The sound is absorbed in the Akshara (indestructible) and the soundless state is the supreme seat.
The mind which along with Prana (Vayu) has (its) karmic affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon Nada is absorbed in the unstained One. There is no doubt of it.
Many Myriads of Nadas and many more of bindus— (all) become absorbed in the Brahma-Pranava sound.
Being freed from all states and all thoughts whatever, the Yogin remains like one dead. He is a Mukta. There is no doubt about this.
After that, he does not at any time hear the sounds of conch or dundubhi (large kettle-drum).
The body in the state of Unmani is certainly like a log and does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.
The Yogin's chitta having given up lame or disgrace is in samadhi above the three states.
Being freed from the waking and the sleeping states, he attains to his true state.
When the (spiritual) sight becomes fixed without any object to be seen, when the Vayu (Prana) becomes still without any effort and when the Chitta becomes firm without any support, he becomes of the form of the internal sound of Brahma-Pranava.