From years of teaching experience, I notice there are some people who shun mantra chanting during yoga classes or meditation due to a lack of understanding of the science behind mantra or the wrong conditioning of fear. They do not understand the true power of science of sound. My intention in this article is to help shed more light to the non-believers and laymen.
More than 5,000 years ago, there was a time in Vedic civilization near the Ganges river of India, the use of sound technology was common in human’s daily life such as watching moving images in communion with Divine, flying an ‘aircraft’, building weapons for war, communicating with animals, breaking objects like stone etc. Just by producing certain sound vibrations, the civilization was able to lead a very sophisticated lifestyle by playing with sound and Nature. On planet earth, there are 2 traditions: 1) light -based tradition or 2) sound-based tradition i.e. the use of light particles vs. the sound particles. In the Eastern civilization, they use the sound particles to win the cosmos while the Western civilisation, they use the light particles to win over nature. In earlier period of Vedic tradition, everything was done through the sound particles. The Vedic masters were able to summon Sun and Moon and any energy just by sound and achieved whatever they needed to accomplish on the earthly plane! To them, everything is possible by creating the right sound vibrations through mantras! Unfortunately, the mass destruction of this sacred science of sound happened during the Mahabharata War and a few natural calamities, hence this powerful science of handling sound and playing with extraordinary things did not get transmitted to future generations. This is a great loss to humanity.
Here are a few truths we need to cognise about the science of sound:-
- Whatever that exists is Sound. The ancient Rishis (saints or mystics) discovered a long time ago that all of matter is sound, and sound is the original aspect of creation that acts as the substratum for everything else to come into existence. The original sound is ‘OM’. Upanishad (the sacred scripture of Vedic tradition) says Nada Brahman i.e. from the Nada (sound) the Existence expresses itself. The ancient Rishis discovered many expressions of Nada Brahman during the profound states of meditation. As the mind becomes quiet and subline, one hears subtle sounds corresponding to various chakras (energy centers) and levels of consciousness. Even Jesus said with reference to hearing the “word of God” – “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Luke 8:8). In the Bible, it is said : “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..All things were made by Him (the Word or Aum), and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John I:1-3).
- Nada holds the Form. Ancient Rishis were able to go deeper in their research of inner world. If we take the smallest molecule, we can find atoms inside the molecule, then going deeper down are the sub-atomic particles. Finally we land in the tiniest unit called quark. According to Vedic tradition, it is the Nada, the sound which acts as the energy field that binds the quarks together and retains the object as a solid form. So Nada is the ingredient which is responsible for the mud to remain as a mud pot. Whatever we see, the reason for things to remain in its shape, Nada is responsible for the forms or shapes!
- Primordial Sound “OM”. The seed syllable “OM” or “AUM” is the most fundamental and potent mantra in the Vedic tradition. This mantra represents the underlying unity of Brahman or reality. Essentially, before existence and beyond existence is only One Reality, Brahman and the first manifestation of Brahman in existence is the vibration of “OM”. That is why “OM” is known as the pranava mantra, the source of all mantras. It represents both the unmanifest (nirguna) and manifest (saguna) aspects of God - meaning that it pervades all life forms and runs through our prana or breath. In the 1960s and ’70s, a Swiss engineer and medical doctor, Hans Jenny performed experiments using sound frequencies on various materials such as water, sand, dust, liquid plastic and milk. Dr Jenny placed the material on a metal plate attached to a crystal oscillator which was controlled by a frequency generator capable of producing a wide range of vibrations using the tonoscope. He then filmed and photographed what happened on the plate. He found a similar Sri Yantra after the “OM” chanting by a human voice. The ancient Rishis told us that the geometrical representation (yantra) of OM was the Sri Yantra which was proven by Dr Jenny’s research! See the image below.
- The 5 Elements. The human body is a microcosm (Pindanda) of the macrocosm of Universe (Brahmanda) because both are made of the same 5 elements (pancha bhutas) – earth, water, fire, air and ether. Ether is the subtlest form of all the elements which works on the space of consciousness. Only through use of sound vibrations that we can penetrate into the subtlest space. The sound vibration when it comes from the pure source, uncreated it is called Anahanta Dhvani i.e. the sound which is created not by 2 things striking each other. When the Anahanta Dhvani gets mixed with the sub-atomic particles, it retains the quarks in different forms through its energy binding force that is responsible for solid existing. Everyone of us has the ability to listen to this sound if we are able to tune ourselves to it.
- Diseases and Sound are Related. Sound energy field is responsible for the diseases we carry. If our energy field is altered, naturally our diseases will be cured. Therefore, Nada is responsible for our health or diseases. All authentic healing systems in the world work on Nada, i.e. all healing happen on energy of Nada.
- Healing Power of Mantras. The word “Mantra” means “to free or protect”, referring to freeing one from the bondage of “samsara”, our habitual tendencies. In another words, mantra means sound that which protects those who reflect on it or which helps to cross the mind to consciousness. Many of us are bound by habitual tendencies but when the mantra is substituted for these tendencies, one becomes liberated from them. Repetition of certain mantra removes those desires which obscure one’s vision such as anger, fear, greed and lust. Mantras have the cleansing effect to help our mind reflect the reality of higher spiritual truths. Mantra chanting bestows peace, bliss, illumination and consciousness. It can awaken the intellect by opening the intuition which, in turn, inspires the intellect. Creative thinking starts happening spontaneously and inspiration dawns within one’s inner space.
- Bija (seed) mantras. All mantras are oriented towards different aspects of the Divinity. The most powerful mantras contain the bija syllables or sounds which were discovered by Siddhas (Vedic saints) as the keys to higher states of consciousness. These bija mantras have no meaning by itself but the vibration in the human-mind system is very powerful in awakening higher consciousness. The 6 bija mantras are – om hram, om hrim, om hroom, om hraim, om hraum, om hraha. They contain a transformative divine power (shakti) which manifests through sound. Each bija mantra has a corresponding pattern (yantra), a geometric, mandala-like form.
- Language of Divinity. In the world, there are 2 kinds of languages: 1) those which are used to communicate between common men such as English, French, Mandarin, Hindi etc. and 2) those which are used to communicate between the different levels of consciousness. Most people are only interested in the common man language as the second kind exists only in many spiritual or religious traditions. Nada Brahman and mantras belong to the language of conscious cognisance i.e. deva bhasha. Learning of mantras should happen in a spiritual community where both the students and the atmosphere have been purified by the various yogic practices, and only from the teachers who have experienced the mantras and its states of consciousness.
You may ask – How does Nada work as a form of healing?
There are two ways:
1) By creating the right sound and repairing the wounded Nada in our body for e.g. through mantra chanting. Intense sound or silence which comes from the Anahanta Dhvani, heals the body-mind system and awakens our consciousness. All Vedic mantras are considered Nada Brahman. The mantra is like a candle in a dark room, it is like an immunising injection for the karmic diseases.
2) By taking one’s disturbed Nada structure to an enlightened being who’s Anahata Dhvani (i.e. realised masters) is continuously happening. In the very silence of a master, the person’s wounded Nada structure gets healed, re-aligned and re-structured. If it happens through the right sounds, only physical healing happens. But if the wounded Nada structure is brought to a realised master who’s Anahata Dhvani is radiating, not only one’s whole body goes through a complete change, even the brain and cognition gets a complete re-wiring and consciousness gets awakened. That is why a master’s presence – the intense soundless sound (silence) is considered as the healing method for all possible diseases. All diseases are healed just by the vibrant silence of a living enlightened master.
It is time humanity revives this technology of sound once again on planet earth instead of being dependent on the light particles technology. Science based on light particles is always going to be gross because it demands resources from the mother earth. On the other hand, sound-based science is always subtle, not only we will not be hurting the planet earth, we will also realise that it is an inexhaustible resource. The ancient Vedic healing science of sound should be re-discovered, transmitted and made available to humanity once again! I envision exciting time ahead of us, I can’t wait!