Silence is a state that weaves itself through a spiritual practitioner’s being. It’s mentioned quite a bit on this blog, and if you use the search function in the toolbar at the bottom, those posts will come up. They mostly relate to meditation. This post continues a series specifically on silence. The two previous entries can be found here and here.

In Sanskrit Anahata Nada refers to the “Unstruck Sound.” It literally means, “the sound that is not made by two things striking together.” Two physical things that is.

… the ancients say that the audible sound which most resembles this unstruck sound is the syllable OM. Tradition has it that this ancient mantra is composed of four elements: the first three are vocal sounds: A, U, and M. The fourth sound, unheard, is the silence which begins and ends the audible sound, the silence which surrounds it… The lovliest explanation of OM is found within the ancient Vedic and Sanskrit traditions. We can read about AUM in the marvelous Manduka Upanishad, which explains the four elements of AUM as an allegory of the four planes of consciousness.

“A” (pronounced “AH” as in “father”) resonates in the center of the mouth. It represents normal waking consciousness, in which subject and object exist as separate entities. This is the level of mechanics, science, logical reason, the lower three chakras. Matter exists on a gross level, is stable and slow to change.

Then the sound “U” (pronounced as in “who”) transfers the sense of vibration to the back of the mouth, and shifts the allegory to the level of dream consciousness. Here, object and subject become intertwined in awareness. Both are contained within us. Matter becomes subtle, more fluid, rapidly changing. This is the realm of dreams, divinities, imagination, the inner world.

“M” is the third element, humming with lips gently closed. This sound resonates forward in the mouth and buzzes throughout the head. (Try it.) This sound represents the realm of deep, dreamless sleep. There is neither observing subject nor observed object. All are one, and nothing. Only pure consciousness exists, unseen, pristine, latent, covered with darkness. This is the cosmic night, the interval between cycles of creation, the womb of the divine Mother…

Which brings us to the fourth sound of AUM, the primal “unstruck” sound within the silence at the end of the sacred syllable. In fact, the word “silence” itself can be understood only in reference to “sound.” We hear this silence best when listening to sound, any sound at all, without interpreting or judging the sound. Listening fully, openly, without preconceptions or expectations. The sound of music, the sound of the city, the sound of the wind in the forest. All can give us the opportunity to follow the path of sound into the awareness of the sound behind the sound.

— David Gordon

It’s very important for us to find a foundational level of reality in our daily lives. We’re living in an age of hyperconnectivity, made possible by Internet and gadget technology. Ancient wounds are also surfacing globally.

Here’s me chanting Om Shanti Om Shanti Om 54 times, with 3 AUMs at the end. Shanti means peace. Mantras are best intoned 108 times; 54 is half that. This is not a professional recording.

Om Shanti Om

After chanting, sit for a good while in silence and feel the vibrational blessings of the mantra permeating you and your environment. There are many available.

The source of the mystical sounds of the universe is vast silence. In yogic terms, silence is known as thoughtless reality.  By immersing in this rich silence, the sages of the east, discovered divine echos of sacred sound.  It is from this communion that Sanskrit mantras revealed themselves to the wise seers.

In the practice of the Yoga of Sound, the master advises the student to chant a certain Sanskrit mantra.  He will select a mantra that is particularly beneficial to the student.  After chanting the verse, the student is advised to sit quietly and feel the energetic waves that emanate from the chant.  Further, the teacher will say, “Watch the thought waves as if you are watching a passing show but do not became identified with the thoughts that ticker across the field of the mind.”  When you pull out of identity with the thought waves you begin to feel space between You and your mind.  In that space, you will feel the vibrations of silence.  These vibrations become sounds that often morph and shape, manifesting into different sounds, melodies and rhythms.  The experience of pure vibration beyond thought is profoundly healing.

— Manorama

Related:

Noise Pollution


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Unstruck Sound

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