Monday, March 21, 2011

The Sound and Power of Silence

On the face of it, it appears paradoxical that silence could have a sound and that it could be powerful! Whenever two surfaces strike, a sound is produced but there is another type of sound, the primordial sound which is an “unstruck’ sound, hence called “Anhad’. It is only when we manage to delve into the depths of silence do we realize that it is pregnant with unbelievably beautiful sounds just as “space’ is full of billions and billions of atoms colliding or coalescing into so many forms of matter!
Whenever anything moves, acts or functions, such as a machine, it produces sound vibrations which may or may not be audible to us. Similarly when this universe and the galaxies move, they also produce sounds not normally appreciated by the human ear. Scientists believe that creation of the entire universe took place as a “Big Bang”, a cosmic explosion which obviously must have produced a sound and since the universe is expanding (as proved by physicists) and the galaxies moving, the sound must be a continuous process. This sound of creation was picked up by the big new horn antenna set up at Bell Labs in New Jersey, as a constant hissing sound, though scientists had trouble deciphering it!(Dr Bhaumik, “Code Name God”).
It is believed that creation of this entire universe and so many other universes started as a vibration which comprised of sound and light. This vibration has been called “Aum’, “Amen”, “Ameen’, ‘Hum” etc. This means that all major religions of the world have understood creation as a vibration. Our ancient rishis too heard this sound during their meditations and called it “Aum’. It is also called “Word”, “ Holy Ghost”, ‘Shabd” or “Anhad Shabd’. This means an “unstruck sound” always present but never heard except by those who are fortunate to “hear’ it during meditation (“appreciating” would, perhaps be a better word)
What is power? We normally understand that a powerful person is one who can “control’ others and, perhaps, circumstances as well, and that money can make a person very powerful. Nothing could actually be further from the truth. Possessing money and other material things of this world are really transitory, ephemeral and with you for a limited period of time. They bring along a feeling of insecurity as one is always worried about losing whatever one has acquired. The Sunami which just hit Japan is a standing example, when people lost everything in a fraction of a second. “Control” over others cannot last forever, either. A “powerful” person, as ancient rishis of yore keep reminding us, is one who has control over his mind, anger, jealousy, hatred, lust, greed and, for that matter, all negative emotions and remains cool, calm and unruffled due his control over his restless mind. He is, therefore, at peace with himself and the world.
Coming back to the “sounds” “heard” during meditation. These are very subtle and alter with the spiritual progress of the meditator. How do these two correlate?
We humans have been bestowed with the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing but we get identified with them, leading to our indulgence in sense pleasures, which ultimately become a source of our unhappiness, turmoil and stress.
It is for this reason that we seek solace in silence. The present world, with its myriad problems keeps us in a constant state of stress, which is due to multiple reasons, some obvious while others very subtle like geopathic stress, disease, or due to our past karmas which can affect all levels of our consciousness (Conscious, Subconscious, Individual and Universal Superconsciousness) This prevents us from accessing our “Self”, which is our true nature, the “core’ of our being. Since we cannot do so, we fail to appreciate the proddings of our intuition, trying to take us upward and evolving into better human beings, and, finally leading to a connection with divinity. Our intuition is actually God’s way of communicating with us! It is only in silence that we can appreciate that ever so small “whisper” of our intuition or subconscience trying to makeitself heard above the cacophony of sounds of the material world.
We have been gifted with what is called “free will”, but, unfortunately most of us identify ourselves with our senses and get carried away by them to satisfy our egos. We forget that “ego” is just a representative and serves the purpose of our growth but when it becomes too powerful, it loses its connection with the divine. It then acts as the “pseudo soul” and starts ruling us leading to all our problems. A vicious circle ensues…a circle of wants, desires, fulfillment of desires ultimately resulting in disappointments, frustrations, owing to non fulfillment of all of them, envy, jealousy, anger etc. Do we realize that it is only we human beings who have the power of free will?

Nature brought us to life through Pranashakti’ which, after giving birth to us lies dormant at the base of our spine as the ‘kundalini ‘shakti. It is this shakti which controls our entire physiological system through a network of 72,000 nerves. As long as this shakti remains dormant we continue to remain attached to sense pleasures and, as a consequence, suffer with problems ranging from disease, unhappiness, torment, stress etc. The creative force differentiates into energy centres called “chakras’ which are actually transformers and control the functioning of different systems of our body. In addition these chakras are also responsible for our nature as well. The smooth functioning of our “body’, which actually comprises of the physical, mental and spiritual components depends on a balance of the energy flowing through the chakras and whenever there is an imbalance in this energy, dis-ease occurs.

By tuning into the vibrations of the subtle sounds, one gradually manages to withdraw from one’s surroundings and the temptations of this world. This happens with meditation when our consciousness then gradually “ascends” up through our spine through the various chakras with the awakening of the kundalini. As one ascends from the Muladhar chakra to the Svadhisthan, on to the Manipur and further up to the Anahat, the nature of the sound changes but always remains very subtle. This may be accompanied by visions also. The sounds become more and more pronounced with further progress till one, if blessed, reaches the Agya or the Sahasrar chakras.
The ascent is associated with balancing of the energy flowing through us. When one crosses the Muladhar chakra, one starts becoming more balanced and after crossing the Swadisthan chakra one becomes more intuitive, receptive and emotional. The ascent beyond the Manipur chakra brings about control over anger. Further progress to the Anahat or the Heart chakra, (which is responsible for our feelings and love),produces a tremendous increase in feelings of love and forgiveness. Going beyond the Vishudhi Chakra, brings about improvement in our intelligence, makes us more honest, ethical and, at the same time improves our communication skills. If one is fortunate enough to reach the Agya chakra, which is the “command “centre, one obviously gets a tremendous control over one life since the Agya chakra controls all the other chakras. When one reaches the Sahasrar chakra, one touches divinity!
This progress brings about a sea change in our lives. One starts becoming happier, worries become less, one see and feels positivity everywhere, starts to recognize divinity in others, resulting in compassion, kindness, feelings of empathy for all. With further progress, one becomes more and more intuitive, clairvoyant and clairaudient , may start remembering or “seeing” one’s previous births, recognizing people and friends as those from earlier relationships etc. Gradually the meaning and purpose of one’s present life starts becoming obvious. One learns to peep into the souls of others and soul beauty takes precedence over physical beauty. Every inch of progress is associated with more and more happiness. To this are added beautiful visions, making one even more happy, finally culminating into real bliss.
Simultaneously, the sense of fear starts to disappear and one’s once egoistic or arrogant attitude is replaced by real humility and a feeling to serve others becomes paramount. One craves for the happiness resulting from serving another being. All this occurs because one does not differentiate oneself from the “other self’. The question of being selfish, therefore, does not arise! This also means that whatever one does, it is done with a feeling of empathy and a genuine desire to “help” the other… which translates into happiness for one self at the same time. It is not associated with any expectation for the result.
Finally, one stops getting affected by anything ‘adverse” since it is taken as a test which ultimately culminates in improving oneself as a human being. One learns to accept reality and finds tremendous improvement in the quality and nature of whatever vocation one pursues. The “power” one derives from meditation in silence is truly wonderful and intoxicating but a true seeker, firmly established on the spiritual path is not affected, nor does he crave for the “power” of clairvoyance and clairaudience, since they are actually by products of his spiritual quest and just ordinary events on his journey to his union with the Almighty.
Blessed are those of us who have been able to tap the tremendous power of the self, and have had the good fortune of tuning in to the divine frequency of sound through meditation and have reveled in the ecstacy of this divine melody! Blessed are those who have access to that beautiful, scintillating bright light, a result of the power and sound of silence! Yes, a true guru can take us through this ever so wonderful journey!

1 comment:

Narender Kumar Jain said...

A wonderful and thought provoking discourse on the celesial sound of creation. I as an ordinary mortal will consider myself lucky if I can place the needs/problems of others before my greed/resources. Waiting till the time I find a Guru and will remain only a seeker. Thanks indeed.