Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Sound of God and Inner Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga)

The Sound of God and Inner Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga)


Sant Mat Fellowship:
{"Repeat the Name of your Beloved, day and night, again and again. With care in thought, word and deed, you will cross to the other shore." -- Dadu}

The Sound of God and Inner Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga)

The realm of creation in which we live is the Gross Realm. Above the Gross is the Subtle Realm [astral]; above the Subtle is the Causal; above the Causal is the Supra-Causal, and above the Supra-Causal is Kaivalya, the realm of Oneness (Pure Conscious Realm). The existence of these realms is as fixed as the Pole Star. Thus, there are five spheres of creation including the Gross Realm. Kaivalya is of Pure Consciousness and the other four realms are Non-Conscious, but coexisting with the conscious. In the creation of the Realm, first the center of each Realm must have been established. When the vibration (current) for the creation of that Realm emanated from its center, only then the creation of the Realm came into existence. In the origin of the flow or vibration, an accompanying sound must have been generated. Therefore, it is necessary to acknowledge that the specific realms have their essential central sounds.

Sound by its nature has the quality to draw one to its point of origin. In reviewing the above, it is evident that creation continues to evolve through the sound. Logically, no other means is better than the sound for transcending the concealments (realms) of creation.

The Central Sounds of the various Realms cannot be spoken or articulated; they are non-spoken (inarticulate). The practice of Nadanusandhana (Yoga of Sound) works with these very inarticulate sounds. And due to the drawing power of sound, the practice of the Yoga of Sound results in reaching the highest realm.

The five Realms of creation (Gross Realm, Subtle Realm, etc.,) described above are the five concealments which connect and permeate the body (the microcosm) and the cosmos (the macrocosm).

The Upper Nature or surat (consciousness) or Pure Conscious nature is extremely close to the essential nature of the Supreme Sovereign and therefore is perfectly suited for direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign. The essential nature of the Self is of a higher order than this conscious reality (Upper Nature) and is the superior of the two. Therefore, it can be said that the ksetrajna (the Self, the Unqualified, the knower of the body field) will experience the direct knowledge of one's own essential nature along with the essential nature of God. As long as the consciousness is within even one of the four Realms of Non-Conscious nature, it cannot experience nor attain direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign.

It is certain that Self (spirit) will have direct knowledge and realization of one's own essential nature as well as direct knowledge and realization of the Supreme Sovereign.

The Sound of the higher level naturally reaches far downward. Further, the flow of the subtle substance (Sound) is further than the flow of the gross substance (Sound), and naturally the subtle permeates the gross substance. This is natural in the order of creation: the subtle existing above and the gross existing below. Therefore, in the order of creation, the upper realms are subtler than the lower realms.

Subsequently, the sounds of the centers of the upper Realms are subtler than the sounds of the lower realms. Therefore, the sound originated from the center of the above realm and is sequentially grasped from the realm immediately under it. For example, the sound of the Subtle Realm can be grasped from the center or core of the Gross Realm; the sound of the Causal Realm can be grasped from the center or core of the Subtle Realm. The sequence progresses until the Divine Sound which originated from the center of the Realm of Pure Consciousness or the Supreme Sovereign will be grasped from the center of the Supra-Causal Realm. The consciousness drawn by the sound will meet with the Supreme Sovereign and after becoming one will lose its existence. This is the culmination of the spiritual journey, the journey of seeking direct knowledge of the Supreme Sovereign.

The Original Divine Sound, which originated from the Supreme Sovereign, continuously without break reverberates throughout the hearts of the entire macrocosm and microcosm. The Sound will inherently go on for the duration of creation because the evolution of creation depends upon the existence of sound. Should the Sound cease so would creation. The ancient sages call this Original Supra-Cosmic Sound Om. The literature of Indian saints speaks of the Original Sound as the Nirguna Ram Nam (Unqualified All Pervading Sound), Satya-nam (the Eternal Sound), Adi-nam (Eternal Word, the Name or Sound of the beginning) and Sar Shabd (the Quintessential Sound). It is therefore useless to search the streams of the spiritual sounds outside oneself. This task of holding sounds will be accomplished through following the internal spiritual path under the guidance of a spiritual master.

Through the practice of meditation one can progressively move the consciousness inward within oneself. In the beginning the practice of subtle meditation is difficult to accomplish owing to its unfamiliarity. Through the initial practice of Manas jap (repetition of mantra [simran]), the mind begins to focus. Then one progresses to the subtler practice of Manas dhyan (dhyan, the form of deity) and prepares for the subtle meditation. Subsequently, through Drshti Yoga [Yoga of Inner Light] one practices one-pointedness. Finally, through the practice of Surat-Shabd-Yoga (the Yoga of Sound) the transcending of all the Realms is achieved.

-- Maharishi Mehi Paramahansa Ji, The Philosophy of Liberation (Moksha-Darsan)