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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buddhism and Inner Sound Meditation


Buddhism and Inner Sound Meditation
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}

Extracts from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", "The Surangama Sutra", "A Buddhist Bible", "My Experience in Meditation" by Tai Hsu, and "The Sound of Silence" by Ajahn Sumedho


"The Shabd is the basis of all true religions, for religion
means 'that which connects us with the Lord'. All forces of
nature are sustained by the Shabd. The Life Force is also its
manifestation, even though it is working in the regions of
maya. Like electricity, Shabd, whether manifest or unmanifest,
pervades everywhere. It is all-powerful and is the Creator of
all. In the scriptures of all religions, Shabd is recognized
as the Creator of the universe."
("Philosophy of the Masters", abridged edition)

Ajahn Sumedho, a bhikkhu of the Theravada school of Buddhism, from,
"The Sound of Silence":

As you calm down, you can experience the sound of silence in the
mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency sound, a ringing sound
that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you
begin to hear that sound of silence, it's a sign of emptiness - of
silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As you
concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and
blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the
conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another
condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over

"A Buddhist Bible," Surangama Sutra: Avalokiteshvara Buddha
(Quan Yin), the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the
Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired
transcendental powers of boundless freedom and fearlessness and
has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and

How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of
Avalokiteshvara! Is is the subdued murmur of the seatide setting
inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all
sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid.

Absence of sound is not the end of hearing,
And sound when present is not its beginning.
The faculty of hearing, beyond creation
And annihilation, truly is permanent.
Even when isolated thoughts in a dream arise,
Though the thinking process stops, hearing does not end,
for the faculty of hearing is beyond
All thought, beyond both mind and body.....

Ananda and all you who listen here
Should inward turn your faculty
Of hearing to hear your own nature
Which alone achieves Supreme Bodhi.
That is how enlightenment is won.
Buddhas as many as the Ganges' sand
Entered this one gateway to Nirvana.
(The Surangama Sutra: Selections from the
Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu Translation,
Published by Rider and Company, London)

As you calm down, you can experience the Sound of Silence in the
mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound
that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you
begin to hear that Sound of Silence, it's a sign of emptiness —
of silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As
you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful
and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the
conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another
condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over

This process of putting one condition on top of another is what is
meant by making 'kamma'. For example, if you're feeling angry, then
you start thinking of something else to get away from the anger. You
don't like what is going on over here, so you look over there, you
just run away. But if you have a way of turning from conditioned
phenomena to the unconditioned, then there is no kind of kamma being
made, and the conditioned habits can fade away and cease. It's like
a 'safety hatch' in the mind, the way out, so your kammic
formations, "sankharas", have an exit, a way of flowing away instead
of recreating themselves.

One problem with meditation is that many people find it boring.
People get bored with emptiness. They want to fill up emptiness with
something. So recognize that even when the mind is quite empty, the
desires and habits are still there, and they will come and want to
do something interesting. You have to be patient, willing to turn
away from boredom and from the desire to do something interesting
and be content with the emptiness of the Sound of
Silence..................You can turn to the emptiness of the mind--
to the sound of silence. This gives the conditions like anger a way
out to cessation; you let it go away.
(The Sound Of Silence -- by Ajahn Sumedho:
http://www.4ui.com/eart/188eart1.htm )

In practice I've used the listening faculty. I listen. When I
listen, I listen to myself, and I listen to the sounds that impinge
on my ears: the sounds within and the sounds without. This attentive
listening is very supportive to intuitive awareness. So I listen to
the rain, I listen to the silence. When I listen to the silence, I
listen to the Sound of Silence. (Sumedho)

There is a Chinese sutra in which the Buddha asked all the
bodhisattvas their method for realizing enlightenment. Each one
described a specific meditation practice. Avalokiteshvara described
meditation on hearing. She said she starts her meditation by
listening to the sound of the roar of the sea. Then she takes that
Sound and turns it inward. She returns the hearing to listen to the
ear organ. By doing this she realizes the true way.

Some years ago Ajahn Sumedho was teaching a retreat at a Chinese
monastery in California. For years the people at this monastery were
puzzling over this phrase, "returning the hearing to listen to the
ear organ." They couldn't figure out what that meant. Now, Ajahn
Sumedho had been teaching a meditation on the Sound of Silence, the
Nada Sound. Suddenly the people at the monastery realized this must
be what he was teaching, this active inner listening. Listening to
the inner sound brings the heart into a position of acute inner
awareness. It is not that the inner sound has some magical property.
Rather, it is that bringing of the alert mind, bringing openness and
receptivity to Sound, is symbolic of the presence of ultimate truth.
The Sound is always there. We don't have to create it. It is
featureless. It is ever present. So it is a good symbol for Ultimate
Reality itself.

In the sutra the Buddha praised this method, the meditation on
listening, as the best method for enlightenment. Ajahn Sumedho had
been teaching the meditation on the Nada Sound for some years so he
was tickled by this connection to another Buddhist tradition. He
hadn't realized that there had been so much emphasis on this in
traditional Buddhist meditation practices.
(Ajahn Amaro:
http://nyimc.org/articles/thinking.htm )

Sustain your attention on that emptiness at the end and see how long
you can hold your attention on it. See if you can hear a kind of
ringing Sound in the mind, the Sound of Silence, the Primordial
Sound. When you concentrate your attention on that, you can
reflect: 'Is there any sense of self?' You see that when you're
really empty -- when there's just clarity, alertness and attention --
there's no self. There's no sense of me and mine. So, I go to that
empty state and I contemplate Dhamma: I think, 'This is just as it
is. This body here is just this way.' I can give it a name or not
but right now, it's just this way.
(Ajahn Sumedho:
http://www.glbvihara.org/teaching8.htm )

Extracts from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" (Bardo Thodol), edited by Dr. W. Y. Evans-Wentz (London, 1957):

O nobly-born, when thy body and mind were separating, thou must have experienced a glimpse of the Pure Truth, subtle, sparkling, bright, dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome, in appearance like a mirage moving across a landscape in springtime in one continuous stream of vibrations. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed. That is the radiance of thine own true nature. Recognize it.

From the midst of that radiance, the natural sound of Reality, reverberating like a thousand thunders simultaneously sounding, will come. That is the natural sound of thine own real self. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed.

O nobly-born, five-colored radiances . . . vibrating and dazzling like colored threads, flashing, radiant, and transparent, glorious and awe-inspiring, will . . . strike against thy heart, so bright that the eye cannot bear to look upon them.

. . . Be not afraid of that brilliant radiance of five colors, nor terrified; but know that Wisdom to be thine own.

Within those radiances, the natural sound of the Truth will reverberate like a thousand thunders. The sound will come with a rolling reverberation.

Fear not. Flee not. Be not terrified. Know them (i.e., these sounds) to be (of) . . thine own inner light.

Extracts from "My Experience in Meditation" by His Holiness The Venerable Tai Hsu (Chinese Buddhist monk), translated by Bhikku Assaji:

. . . From this time I discontinued my old routine of meditation; this was from 1908 to 1914. When the European War broke out, I began to doubt Western theory and my own power to save the world with Buddhist teaching. I felt it was a sheer waste of time, if I did any more of what I had done. So I went to "Po-To" island, where I secluded myself in a monastery to develop further spiritual advancement.

After two or three months of seclusion, one night when I was meditating, my mind became calmer, I heard the sound of a bell from a neighboring temple. It seems that my chain of thoughts was broken by that sound and I sank into a state of something like a trance, without knowing anything until early next dawn, when I heard the sound of the matin bell and I regained my sense of knowing. At first, I only felt that a light melted into me. There was no distinction of self and other things and of what was inside and what was outside.

After this experience, I continued my life of reading sutras, writing books and meditating, for about one year, and after that one year, I chiefly engaged myself in studying the books of the Vijnana School. I especially paid attention to the Records on Wei Shi (Vijnana). Here I once more experienced another trance-like state. I was reading for several times repeatedly a certain paragraph of the said Records, explaining that both conditional things and the Truth are devoid of the substance of Self. I entered the trance-like meditation. This time it was different from the former two; I perceived in it that all things which exist on conditions had their deep and subtle order, minutely arranged without the slightest confusion.

This kind of comprehension I can produce now whenever I desire.

The third experience showed me the truth of cause and effect, which appear to be so on account of our consciousness. It is true, the law of cause and effect has its natural way without disorder.

After each of these three experiences, there was some change physically and mentally, and I also happened to have some presage of divyachaksus (clarvoyance), divya-srota (clairaudience) and parachitta-jnana (thought reading).

If the six supernatural powers are possible, then the theory of Karma and Rebirth, which is based on the demonstration of clairvoyance and purvanivasan Usmritijnana (knowledge of all former existences of self and others) is also believable.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Sant Mat Way of Life

A Sant Mat Way of Life

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}

From, The Philosophy of Liberation, by Maharishi Mehi

Philosophy-1.jpg picture by agochar

87. The practice of Nadanusandhana (the Yoga of Sound) is not mere child's play. Its full practice cannot be exercised by one who lacks Yama and Niyama (virtues and moral rectitude). See the following section 88 for more detail on Yama and Niyama.

There are sounds due to gross vibrations in the material body. To meditate on these gross sounds and believe it to be as the full practice of the Yoga of Sound shows a lack of knowledge of Yoga. According to the literature of the Sants (Saints), Yama and Niyama are essential for mastery in the practice of the Nadanusandhana (Yoga of Sound [Nada-nu-sand-hana, the spiritual practice of inner Sound meditation, also called Surat Shabd Yoga]).

88. Yama consists of five disciplines: satya (truthfulness), ahimsa (non-violence), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacarya (continence), and aparigraha (control of greed or non-possessiveness).

Niyama also consists of five practices, which are the following: sauca (internal and external purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (penance), svadhyaya (study of spiritual matters) and lsvara pranidhana (meditation on God).

89. In following Yama and Niyama, one exercises aversion from the five sins, serves the spiritual master, attends satsang, and practices meditation as referred to in section 60.

90. A comfortable asana (a pose of sitting or posture) of keeping the head, neck and trunk straight and steady is a must for meditation. Without the ability to sit in such a steady posture for prolonged periods, meditation cannot be practiced.

91. Meditation should be practiced being alert, without being drowsy, shutting the eyes comfortably and without turning the eyeballs or pressing them in any way.

92. The practice of meditation should be an essential part of the practitioner's daily routine. The preferred time of meditation is Brahmamuhurta ([Hour of God: Brahma-mu-hurta, or Amrit Veela: Hour of Elixir]: very early in the morning: 3:00 A.M.). Likewise one should meditate at mid-morning and then again in the evening time. While falling asleep, one should also engage his mind in meditation. Further, it is good to practice Manas japa [Simran] or Manas dhyana [Dhyan] while working.

93. Before learning the Nadanusandhana (meditation on inner Sound) in practicing Manas japa (mantra repetition), Manas dhyana (focusing on the form of the master or deity) and Drshti Yoga ([inner Light meditation in the Third Eye Center or Eye-Focus] focusing on a Point that is practicing one-pointedness), one should meditate with eyes and mouth shut. Upon learning Nadanusandhana (Yoga of Sound [Inner Sound meditation]) from the Master, one should also close the ears.

94.............In the initial stages of dhyana (absolute concentration), pratyahara is practiced. [Note: Pratyahara means to bring back. Bringing back or refocusing one's attention during meditation, bringing the mind distracted by worldly thoughts back to the Focal Point during meditation.] Through the means of pratyahara, the mind is brought back repeatedly to the Focal Point. By this constant practice of pratyahara, one is eventually able to concentrate for a short period on the Focal Point. This state of concentration is called dharana (steadiness of concentration or absorption). When absorption is maintained for longer and longer periods of time, then it is dhyana (absolute concentration). Then in this state of dhyana, one is able to grasp the Streams of spiritual Sounds (described in section 60) and finally achieves samadhi (Unity [Union, Absorption, Oneness in deep meditation]). Drshti Yoga (seeing the inner Light---the Yoga of Vision) will greatly facilitate pratyahara and dharana...... (Maharishi Mehi)

Masters say: "An intense longing to meet the Lord during one's lifetime is the first and foremost qualification for Initiation. 'Seek, and ye shall find', is the principle."

At the time of Initiation one vows to practice meditation each day. The spiritual path is a life-long commitment.

. Moral requirements for Initiation

1. Abstinence from alcohol and drugs;

2. Non-Violence (Ahimsa in thought, word, and deed) including vegetarianism (abstinence from meat, fish, and eggs);

3. Lead a truthful life;

4. Practice non-stealing -- an honest, ethical source of income;

5. Loyalty to ones spouse;

. Another Version of This is called: The Five Precepts

1) Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. [This precept requires strict adherence to a lacto-vegetarian diet: no meat, fish, poultry or eggs (fertilized or non-fertilized).]

2) Refrain from speaking what is not true.

3) Refrain from taking what is not yours.

4) Refrain from sexual misconduct.

5) Refrain from using intoxicants.

Upanishads and Sant Mat Meditation (the Inner Light and Sound of God)

Upanishads and Sant Mat Meditation (the Inner Light and Sound of God)

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}
SatsangYoga1.jpg picture by agochar

Upanishads & Santmat - I

- Hymns from Yogashikhopanishad (Krishna Yajurveda), Chapter 6 excerpted from the book “Satsang Yoga – Part I” by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj (28.04.1885 – 08.06.1986)

-Translated into English by Pravesh K. Singh (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati , http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh)

“Ekottaram Naadishatam taasaam madhye paraa smritaa |
Sushumnaa tu pare leenaa virajaa brahmaroopinee ||”

[There are 101 (important) nerves (nerve currents) out of which the Sushumnaa/Sushumna is the most important. Sushumnaa lies beyond, is devoid of ‘raja/rajas’ -one of the three qualities- thus being predominantly ‘sat’ (the best of three qualities which makes a person inclined towards spirituality, a virtuous, pious way of life), and is the form of Brahma.]

“Idaa tishthati waamen pingalaa dakshinen tu |
Tayormadhye param sthaanam yastadveda sa vedavit ||”
[Idaa/Ida is located to the left (towards the left eye) and Pingalaa/Pingala to the right (right eye). He who knows the magnificent place or Point located in the centre of these two (i.e. the Sushumnaa) knows the Vedas.]

“Anaahatasya shabdasya tasya shabdasya yo dhwanih |
Dhwanerantargatam jyotirjyotishoantargatah manah ||”

[There is ‘anaahat sound’ (primeval quintessential unstruck sound) inside - the sound that emanates from it is illuminated, i.e. consists of light within it. The mind (through meditation) is made to immerse or be absorbed in that light.]

“Kechidwadanti chaadhaaram sushumnaa cha Saraswati”

[Aadhaar (base) is called by some as Sushumnaa and (also) Saraswati.]

“Aadhaarchakramahasaa vidyutpunjasamaprabhaa |

Tadaa muktirna sandeho yadi tushtah swayam guruh ||”

[There is no doubt that by perceiving the light in the Aadhaar Chakra (Sushumna) which is full of light as bright as the beam of lightning, liberation is effected provided Guru is pleased.]

“Vaamadakshe nirundhanti pravishanti sushumnayaa |

Brahmarandhram pravishyaantaste yaanti paramaam gatim ||”

[(Those who) enter into the Sushumnaa having blocked left (idaa) and right (pingalaa), attain liberation entering into the Brahmarandhra (gateway of Brahma).]

“Sushumnaayaam praveshen chandrasooryau laye gatau ||”

[On entering into Sushumnaa moon and sun (in literature idaa and pingalaa have also been referred to moon (representing ‘tamas’) and the sun (representing ‘rajas’) respectively – English Translator) are lost.]

“Sushumnaayaam yadaa yogee kshanaikamapi tishthati |

Sushumnaayaam yadaa yogee kshanaardhamapi tishthati ||
Sushumunaayaam yadaa yogee sulagno lavanaambuvat |
Sushumnaayaam yadaa yogee leeyate ksheerneervat |
Bhidyate cha tadaa granthishchhidyante sarvasanshayaah |
Ksheeyante paramaakaashe te yaanti paramaam gatim ||”

[If the Yogi stays in Sushumnaa even for a kshana (unit of measurement of time which is equivalent to a very small fraction of second – English Translator)…if the yogi stays in the Sushumnaa for even half a kshana … when the yogi is absorbed in Sushumnaa as salt in water … and when the yogi gets immersed in Sushumnaa like a mixture of milk and water, then his knot gets broken, all his doubts get demolished and he attains to Supreme State merging into the Highest sky.]

“Gangaayaam saagare snaatvaa natvaa cha Manikarnikaam |
Madhyanaadeevichaarasya kalaam naarhanti shodasheem ||”

[The benefits that accrue out of paying obeisance to Manikarnikaa after having a bath in Gangasagar are not equal to even one-sixteenth of the benefits resulting from meditation in the central nerve-current (Sushumnaa).]

“Ashwamedhasahasraani vaajapeyashataani cha |
Sushumnaa dhyaanayogasya kalaam naarhanti shodasheem ||”

[(Merits of) Thousands of Ashwamedha Yajna and hundreds of Vaajapeya Yajna together can not sum up to even one-sixteenth of meditation in Sushumnaa.]

“Sushumnaayaam sadaa goshteem yah kashchitkurute narah |
Sa mukteh sarvapaapebhyo nihshreyasamwaapnuyaat ||”

[He who always attends meetings in Sushumnaa gets absolved of all sins and is blessed with true benediction or welfare.]

“Sushumnaiva param teertham sushumnaiva paro japah |
Sushumnaiva param dhyaanam sushumnaiva paraa gatih ||”

[Sushumnaa itself is the prime place of pilgrimage. Sushumnaa itself is the principal chanting. Sushumnaa itself is the main meditation. Sushumnaa itself is the high state or fortune.]

“Aneka yajnadaanaani vrataani niyamaastathaa |
Sushumnaadhyaanaleshasya kalaam naarhanti shodasheem ||”

[Numerous yajna, daana (donations or alms), vrata (meritorious acts of devotion such as penance, vow etc.) and niyam (observing set of rules) can not add up to one-sixteenth of Sushumna – Dhyana.]

“Sadaa naadaanusandhaanaatsanksheenaa waasanaa bhavet |
Niranjane vileeyet marunmanasi padmaj ||”

[Regular practice of Meditation on Divine Sound leads to destruction of passions or intense desires. O Brahmaa! Then the vital life current merges into God.]

“Karnadhaaram gurum praapya tadvaakyam plavavadridham |
abhyaasavaasanaashaktyaa taranti bhavasaagaram ||”

[People cross the ocean of existence with diligence holding the Guru to be the adept boatman (who steers the boat) and his counsels as the strong boat.]

Mehi-1.jpg picture by agochar

Upanishads & Santmat - II

- Hymns from Naadabindoopanishad (Rigveda) excerpted from the book “Satsang Yoga – Part I” by Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj (28.04.1885 – 08.06.1986)

-Translated into English by Pravesh K. Singh (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sant_santati , http://blog.360.yahoo.com/praveshksingh)


While defining Santmat Maharshi Mehi Paramhans ji Maharaj, one of the greatest ever exponents of Santmat, says (in his exquisite book “Mehi Padavali”):

The urge or impetus to acquire shaanti’ (tranquility or stillness of mind) is so natural to human heart. Inspired by the same urge, the ‘rishis’ or sages (who are said to have visualised the mantras - which were later compiled in the form of Vedas & Upanishads - during their meditation) in ancient times, made all-out attempts in search of shaanti’ and described the ideas or ways to obtain it (‘shaanti’) in Upanishads for the beneficence of common people. Sants such as Kabir Sahab, Guru Nanak Sahab, etc. also expounded thoughts or ideas resembling or identical to these (ideas expressed in the Upanishads) in their local languages such as Bhaaratee (Hindi), Punjabi, etc. These very ideas or thoughts are termed as Santmat’. However, the sacred verses of the Upanishads particularly have to be acknowledged to be the basic foundation or the bedrock of Santmat, for the highest knowledge or wisdom and the precise principal means to attain that wisdom namely, the naadanusandhaan’ or ’surat shabd yoga’ (the subtler and the subtlest meditation of Santmat, in which the practitioner meditates upon the Divine Sound/Vibration that springs directly from the God), in which Santmat takes so much of pride have been dazzling brilliantly upon this very terra firma since times immemorial.

“Brahmapranava sandhaanam naado jyotirmayah shivah |
Swayamaavirbhavedaatmaa meghaapaayenshumaaniva ||30||”

[Through practice of Pranava-Brahma Yoga (Naadaanusandhaan Yoga or Meditation on the Divine Sound Current) that naada/nada (sound) becomes manifest which is illuminated and benevolent. As the Sun glitters in its full glory after scattering away of clouds, the soul also is self-illuminated]

“Siddhaasane sthito yogee mudraam sandhaay vaishnaveem |
Shrinuyaaddakshine karne naadamantargatam sadaa |31|||”
[Having seated firmly in Siddhaasana, a yogi or practitioner should, adopting Vaishnavee Mudraa (having fixed sight at the Ajnaa Chakra), try to listen to the inner sound through the right ear.]

“Abhyasyamaano naadoayam baahyamaavrinute dhwanih |
Pakshaadvipakshamakhilam jitvaa turyapadam vrajet ||32||

[Practicing meditation on Divine Sound turns one deaf to the external sounds or the sounds of the outer world (what is implied here is that during this meditation when the attention is fully focused on listening to the inner sound currents, the current of consciousness is withdrawn from the hearing organ i.e. ears, or for that matter all other sense organs, and thus sounds of the outer world can not be heard). Conquering all the impediments one enters into the Turiya/Tureeya (the state of pure consciousness) within a fortnight.]

“Shrooyate prathamaabhyaase naado naanaavidho mahaan |
Wardhamaane tathaabhyaase shrooyate sookshmasookshmatah ||33

[In the beginning of the meditation (on sound) grosser sounds are heard. With maturity of practice the sounds heard tend to be increasingly finer and finer.]

“Aadau jaladhi jeemut bheree nirjhar sambhavah |
Madhye mardal shabdaabho ghantaa kaahalajastathaa ||34||”

[In the beginning (stages of meditation) sounds perceived resemble those of a (roaring) sea, (thundering) clouds, war drum/ trumpet and (gurgling) waterfalls while in the middle stage (they appear to) resemble sounds of mardal (a sort of drum), gong and singha (a type of trumpet).]

“Ante tu kinkinee vansh veenaa bhramar nihswanah |
Iti naanaavidhaa naadaah shrooyante sookshmasookshmatah ||35||”

[In the final stages (the practitioner hear) the sounds of kinkinee/ majeeraa (cymbal), flute, lute and buzzing of bees. Thus he gets to listen to finer and finer tunes.]

“Mahati shrooyamaane tu mahaabheyaardikadhwanau |
Tatra sookshmam sookshmataram naadameva paraamrishet ||36||”

[When (the practitioner) reaches unto that place where the sound of large trumpet is heard, he should try to perceive the more and more subtle (or minute) sounds.]

“Ghanamutsrijya waa sookshme sooksmamutsrijya vaa ghane |
Ramamaanamapi kshiptam mano naanyatra chaalayet |37|||”

[(The practitioner) may shift his attention from subtler to heavier (coarser or grosser) sounds or vice versa (from coarser to finer sounds), but he should not divert his attention in any other direction.]

“Yatra kutraapi waa naade lagati prathmam manah |
Tatra tatra sthireebhootvaa ten saardham vileeyate ||38||”

[Stilling one’s attention on any one of the sounds he becomes established there and is absorbed in that (sound) only.]

“Vismritya sakalam baahyam naade dugdhaambuvanmanah |
ekeebhooyaath sahasaa chidaakaashe vileeyate ||39||”

[Becoming completely forgetful or unaware of the outer emotions he gets dissolved in that (sound, or listening to that sound) like (a solution of) milk and water and, thus, is immersed in the chidaakaash (conscious sky).]

“Udaasenastato bhootvaa sadaabhyaasen sanyamee |
Unmaneekaarakam sadyo naadamevaavadhaarayet ||40||”

[Making himself disenchanted, detached or disinterested or withdrawn from the sensory objects the Yogi should still his attention upon the (inner) sound through regular practice keeping the defilements of the mind well under control.]

“Sarvachintaam samutsrijya sarvacheshtaa vivarjitah |
Naadamevaanusandadhyaannaade chittam vileeyate ||41||”

[Abandoning all external worries and (worldly) efforts, a Yogi should dissolve his chitta into the inner divine sound, meditating upon it.]

Mehi66GT.jpg picture by agochar

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Inner Sound Meditation: Nada-Bindu Upanishad, Audible Life Stream

"In the beginning was the Word" (Logos--AUM--Tao--Shabda--Nada--Sound Current--Song of the Creator--Holy Stream of Sound--Audible Life Stream--Music of the Spheres--Akash Bani--Bang-I-Asmani--Anhad Shabad--Naam--Vadan--Saut-e Sarmad--Kalma or Kalam-i-
Ilahi--Sarosha--Harmony of All Harmonies--The Voice of God that vibrated: "Let there BE, and all all became"]).

Excerpt from the Ancient Nada-Bindu Upanishad on Inner Sound Meditation

31. The Yogin being in the Siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavi-Mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.

32. The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Turya state within fifteen days.

33. In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.

34. At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the ocean, clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts; in the middle (stage) those proceeding from Mardala (a musical instrument), bell and horn.

35. 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.

36. When he comes to that stage when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.

37. 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.

38. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.

39. It (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).

40. 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.

41. 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.

42-43(a). Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, 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.

43(b)-44(a). The serpent Chitta through listening to the Nada is entirely absorbed in it and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.

44(b)-45(a). The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant – Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects.

45(b)-46(a). 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.

46(b)-47(a). 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.

47(b)-48(a). The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) Soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman.

48(b). 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).

49(a). This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (Indestructible) and the Soundless State is the Supreme Seat.

By Julian P. Johnson, in, Path of the Masters


THE Audible Life Stream is the cardinal, central fact in

the Science of the Masters. It is the keystone of the

arch. It is the cornerstone of the structure. It is the

structure itself. And it is the Path of the Masters.

One might say that the Master and the Life Stream

constitute the Path of the Masters. The great spiritual

Current is not only the central fact in the Science of the

Masters but it is the supreme fact and factor of the

entire universe. It is the very essence and life of all

things. It is perhaps less known than any other important

fact of Nature, yet it is the one determining factor

of all Nature. That is indeed a pity. This great

truth or fact is significantly spoken of in the first chapter

of the Gospel of John:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. All things were made by him and

without him was not anything made that was made."

Here it is definitely stated that something which is

called "Word" is identical with God, the Creator.

Although not at all understood by the Christian

church, this statement is an important announcement

of the stupendous fact of the Audible Life Stream.

It is often called the Sound Current. But that is not a

good name for it because it is not sufficiently definitive.

The Indian name is simple shabd, meaning sound.

But that is not definitely clear. There are many

sounds. Logos was the Greek term used by the Neoplatonic

school, whose masters were familiar with portions

of the Eastern Wisdom. Logos means the divine Word.

It is this divine current, wave or stream going forth

from God himself and flowing throughout the universe.

It is not only an emanation from God but it is God

himself. When any man speaks in this world, he

simply sets in motion atmospheric vibrations. But

when God speaks, he not only sets in motion etheric

vibrations but he himself moves in and through those

vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all

through infinite space. God is not static, latent : He is

superlatively dynamic. When he speaks, everything

in existence vibrates, and that is the Sound, the Shabd;

and it can be heard by the inner ear, which has been

trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of

manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is in fact the

only way in which the Supreme One can be seen and

heard-----this mighty, luminous and musical wave,

creating and enchanting.

Now, this great fact of Nature, so little known to

either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substance

of the Science of the Masters. It is cardinal and central

in all their teachings. It is the one thing which distinguishes

Santon ki Shiksha from all other sciences or

systems. It is the very foundation of their system of

yoga. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding

their spiritual powers and controlling their minds.

It is the one sign by which a real Master may be known

and recognized from all others. No one is or can be a

genuine Master unless he teaches and practices the

Audible Life Stream; because it is impossible for any

one to become a spiritual Master of the highest order

unless he consciously utilizes the Life Stream to gain his



It is commonly called Sound Current in India,

among those who speak English. But the best translation

which we have been able to discover is: Audible

Life Stream. This appears to carry its deeper meaning

and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is, in

fact, a stream, a life-giving, creative stream and it

can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely

important and that idea must be conveyed, if possible,

in any name that is applied to it. This current or wave

contains the sum of all teaching emanating from God.

It is his own Word. It includes everything that God

has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression.

It is the method of God in making himself known.

It is his language. It is his Word.

This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit

or Hindi, NAM. But in English, we are not accustomed

to put so much meaning in the word 'name'. It is

only correct if we understand that 'name' or Nam

stands for all that the Supreme Being is. It is just

another way of saying Word and Word is what God

says. It is equally what he does. It is the whole of the

divine being in action. To distinguish God in action

from God as divine Essence, we call him Shabd or living

Word. The name of anything or anybody is the sound

symbol which stands for the reality itself. The name

conveys to thought everything which belongs to the

reality for which it stands. When the Master is said to

give "NAM" it means that he gives the Current, the

Reality for which Nam stands. He literally gives the

Audible Life Stream itself. (Just how the Master can

give it is discussed in Chap. XII : 4).

This divine NAM, or Sound, or Word, stands for

all that God is or has ever said or done. It includes

all of his qualities. As said before, it is the only way in

which the universal Spirit can manifest itself to human

consciousness. So when the Supreme Being manifests

himself as Sat Nam in Sack Khand he there becomes

fully personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation

all of the qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he

becomes personal Creator, Lord, God, and Father.

There he becomes the Fountain out of which the

Audible Life Stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived

and heard by all who participate in it throughout

all worlds. It may be seen and heard by such as

attain an awakened consciousness under the training of

a Master. When a man hears it, he hears God. When

he feels it, he feels the power of God. This Shabd is,

therefore, the Divine Being expressing himself in something

that is both audible and visible. This current

must not be understood to be like a river running in

one course. It is more like a radio wave flowing out

in every direction from the grand central broadcasting

station. In fact, it comes from the Supreme Creative

center of the universe of universes.

This wave has two aspects, a centrifugal flow and a

centripetal flow. It moves outward from the central

dynamo of all creation, and it flows back toward that

dynamo. Moving upon that current, all power and

all life appear to flow outward to the uttermost bounds

of creation, and again upon it all life appears to be

returning toward its source. It is the latter aspect of

it with which we have to deal mostly.

Upon that wave we have to depend for our return to our

original home. When the Master makes the connection

or as we say in radio, "tunes us in," it is then that we

begin our homeward journey leaving all perishable

worlds behind us.

This Word is called Nada (pronounced Nad) in

the Vedas. In Vedanta, sound is always spoken of as

creative. Sound or anything that sounds is the creative

energy. It is referred to as the Nada Brahma meaning

the primal word of Brahm. By this Nada Brahma all

creation was brought into existence. The whole of the

visible and invisible universe is the manifestation of this Primal Nada.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Love is My Religion: Quotes from Gita and Narada Bhakti Sutras

Love is My Religion: Quotes from Gita and Narada Bhakti Sutras
Meditation Sangat:
{"Do not live even a single day without inner
-- Baba Devi Sahab}

Devotion to God as Form (Sarguna), and Formless (Nirguna) Devotion
Note: Sant Mat is a school of spirituality in the "Formless" category or Nirguna Bhakti, meaning, love and devotion for a Formless God. One may notice an esoteric dimension in the Gita mentioning the possibility of Nirguna Bhakti. Sant Tulsi Sahib of Hathras in one place said that Krishna knew of Sants in his day. Sant Mat is a combination of Bhakti along with Surat Shabd Yoga (union of the attention-faculty of the soul during meditation with the Divine Light and Sound). The book, Satsang Yoga, Volume One, by Maharishi Mehi, published by Maharishi Mehi Ashram, has a nice compilation of passages from various Hindu scriptures including the Gita and Upanishads, from an esoteric or mystical Sant Mat perspective.

The Way of Love, Bhagavad Gita, from the Love Chapter (12) (Also see YouTube Video with translation and music below.)

Of those steadfast devotees who love you and those who seek you as the eternal formless Reality, who are the more established in yoga?


Those who set their hearts on me and worship me with unfailing devotion and faith are more established in yoga.

As for those who seek the transcendental Reality, without name, without form, contemplating the Unmanifested, beyond the reach of thought and of feeling, with their senses subdued and mind serene and striving for the good of all beings, they too will verily come unto me.

Yet hazardous and slow is the path to the Unrevealed, difficult for physical man to tread. But they for whom I am the supreme goal, who do all work renouncing self for me and meditate on me with single-hearted devotion, these I will swiftly rescue from the fragment's cycle of birth and death, for their consciousness has entered into me. (chapter 12:1-7)

Chapter 12, verses 13 and 14:

That one I love who is incapable of ill-will, who is friendly and compassionate. Living beyond the reach of 'I' and 'mine' and of pleasure and pain, patient, contented, self-controlled, firm in faith, with all his heart and all his mind given to me----with such a one I am in love.

From the Narada Bhakti Sutras on the Way of Love (Bhakti):

Chapter 2

1. Bhakti is greater than Karma, greater than Jnana, greater than Yoga (Raja Yoga), because Bhakti itself is its result, because Bhakti is both the means and the end (fruit).

2. As a man cannot satisfy his hunger by simple knowledge or sight of food, so a man cannot be satisfied by the knowledge or even the perception of God until love comes; therefore love is the highest.

from Chapter 4:

9. Bhakti is the easiest way of worship.

10. It is its own proof and does not require any other.

11. Its nature is peace and perfect bliss.

12. Bhakti never seeks to injure anyone or anything, not even the popular modes of worship.

13. Conversation about lust, or doubt of God, or about one's enemies must not be listened to.

14. Egotism, pride, etc must be given up.

15. If those passions cannot be controlled, place them upon God, and place all your actions on Him.

16. Merging the trinity of Love, Lover, and Beloved, worship God as His eternal servant, His eternal bride -- thus love is to be made unto God.

Whosoever amongst us believes in this auspicious Gospel of Narada and has faith in it, becomes a lover of God, and attains the highest Beatitude and Goal of life. (Narada Bhakti Sutras)
Chapter 12, Gita, on Bhakti -- Music along with Text in Sanskrit and English -- YouTube Video:

Ziggy Marley---Love is My Religion (Scenic Route -- Nice Video):