Gurudev, can you please talk a little more about the sound/alphabet meditation?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
That is the meditation that we did today, where you can’t go to Ka without Aa. So, you went to the very source where the sound arose, right? What happened at that time? Stillness! The mind became totally still at that moment. Thus, we went to the source from where thought came, we found 25 minutes passed in no time. When you know all this, you can go deep inside.
These things are not found in any books; it has to come from experience, which is very important.
There is a beautiful ancient saying by a rishi (seer) about how sound is generated; atma budhya samethyukta.
When the soul connects with the intellect, and conjoins with the mind, then heat or energy is produced in the body. This energy moves the air through the voice box, and slowly, sound gets generated. To understand how this mechanism works requires a lot of introspection, and stillness, to go to the source of the sound, to find out how it is generated. It is fascinating.
There was a yogi who lived to the age of 103 or 104, and passed away about seven or eight years ago. He was given the title of Nada Brahman, because he could make a sound from any part of his body. Even, I visited him once. He could make particular sounds from different parts of his body.
He also went to USA, and the scientists were so amazed, they put electrodes and did a lot of experiments on him. He lived in Rishikesh, in the Himalayas, and practiced this for a very long time. He had a hefty, muscular body, and could make sounds like Ka, Cha, Pa from different parts of the body. It was interesting.
He was a very nice gentleman, but I don’t think he taught this knowledge to anybody; it left with him.
This world is full of wonders. At one point, when I was about 22 or 25, I thought maybe I should learn this from him, but then I had many other things to do.
Knowledge is endless on this planet, especially mystic knowledge.
I was invited to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. The scientists there received me, and showed me the God particle, and how they found it.
One of the senior scientists there said that he had been working on matter for the last 40 years, only to find that it doesn’t exist. He had been working on sub-atomic particles, neutrons, electrons, protons, etc., only to realize that they simply don’t exist!
This is very akin to what the ancient philosophers used to say, i.e., all this is Nothing. Everything is Nothing and Nothing is Everything. All that you see as form is nothing, and what you see as nothing, is what is making everything.
It is a beautiful thing when science and spirituality realize that they are not different. Those who think they are different, are fools; they are living a hundred years back, but in today’s age, they are the same thing.
I spoke to the scientists about the three types of space:
1. Chittakasha, the intermediate space or inner space, where all thoughts and emotions float.
2. Chidakasha, the space of pure consciousness or energy, which here and there appears to have consolidated and appears to be matter.
3. Bhootakasha, the outer space, in which we see all the matter that exists.
What appears to be matter is really not matter, it is all One energy, and that One field is called Brahman, and that is what everybody is, that is what everything is.
The scientists were so intrigued. It is so beautiful that this knowledge is available to us in this generation. It is as good as having a laptop.
Just imagine, a few generations back, there was no Google. If you had to learn something, you had to go to a library and look through the Index and the pages. It would take two hours to search in the index in a library. Today, at the press of a button, you can get anything in the world on your laptop.
It is such a fortunate thing for this generation that all the knowledge in the world is available in no time. You don’t have to order books from across continents and wait for months to receive it. If you had been in America back then and you wanted Narada Bhakti Sutras, you would need to order the book from India and wait for months to receive it, but today, everything pops up at the tip of your fingers.
Similarly, we are so fortunate that in this age, science is speaking the same language as spirituality. It is authenticating spirituality, which means that no generation is deprived of this highest spiritual knowledge.
Dearest Gurudev, today you said that truth is hidden between the consonant and the vowel, which is so beautiful. Can you please speak a little more about it?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Different letters affect different parts of the body. Our body is like a garland of letters, it is called akshara maalika (garland of letters). You are a mala or rosary yourself; different letters affect different centers.
Sanskrit, the oldest of languages, is organized in such a way that it fits Darwin’s theory of Evolution.
The first letter of Sanskrit language is A, which is what every child says. The last of the vowels is Aha. What is the sound that comes when you laugh? Aha ha ha! So, in laughter, the entire language is present, from A to Aha.
In Sanskrit, Aha is used for wonder and for laughter. You cannot laugh without Aa and Ha in it, even if you try.
If you observe the Sanskrit vowels, which are A, Aa, E, Eee, Oo, Oou; observe how the sound is generated. The sound A comes at the root of the throat, Aa comes more outward. E comes from the palate, and Eee is more outward. Oo comes to the lips, and Ruu, the tongue rolls. The rest of the letters are I, Ai, O, Au, An, Am, Aha.
If you move to consonants, they start with Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha, Na and they start from the throat.
Then Ca, Cha, Ja, Jha, Nna, the sound move towards the mouth.
Then come Ta, Tha, Da, Dha, Na, these come with the help of the dental movement.
The last few come from the lips Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha, Ma.
If you observe, all these sounds move from the base of the throat outwards.
Even the animal kingdom is taken into consideration here. All birds emit the Ka and Ca sound. Only two birds, i.e., parrot and mynah can use the sound Ma also. All other birds only use Ka and Ca.
Amphibians like frogs, make sounds that sound like Ta, Tha or Tra.
Mammals like cows, sheep, goats, horses, etc., use Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha, Ma, or the next set of consonants.
Lastly come all the other alphabets like Ya, Ra, La, Va, She, Sha.
Therefore, the alphabets and sounds are arranged in the same order as the theory of evolution, i.e., birds, animals, mammals and humans. Isn’t that interesting? It is absolutely fascinating.
There was some research done in England; scientists found that Sanskrit language is very suitable for neurolinguistic functions. For about ten years, scientists were trying to understand why people with a base in Sanskrit are very sharp at mathematics and calculations.
Do you know about 60% of the English language follows Sanskrit? If you see the roots of the English words, most of them are Sanskrit based. Svasa is sister, Brata is brother, Pitha is father and Mata is Mother. If you draw parallels like these, you will realize that the base of English is Sanskrit language.
As we saw this morning, there are four levels of speech -
1. Vaikhari is the level of speech that we are all using now to communicate.
2. Madhyama is subtler than Vaikhari, where you don’t need language to communicate, but just intentions or feelings help to communicate.
It is like you would communicate with people who don’t understand your language or with babies who throw tantrums to tell you that they are hungry or sleepy, or communicate through different signs. Madhyama is subtler than speech, even animals and trees use Madhyama to communicate.
3. Pashyanti is where you simply recognize the knowledge without words or language. It is like deep intuition. Sometimes, when you go deep into meditation, you may hear some chanting or words, or you might get some ideas. When ideas come without language, it is called Pashyanti. A seer would recognize a little bit of that, from somewhere deep. All scientific discoveries happen from the Pashyanti level.
4. Para, beyond Pashyanti, is the universal language or the source of all expressions. In deep Samadhi or total stillness, you are connected with Para. No verbal communication is needed. Actually, real communication happens from Para, it is just the vibration that communicates.
All the other talking that we do, from the Vaikhari level, is only to keep the mind engaged. The mind cannot capture communication from the level of Para, only the soul understands it. Para is the language of the soul. The mind needs some entertainment; the entertainment of the mind is Vaikhari, the language that we speak.
Gurudev, it looks like corruption in India is doing lasting damage to society and the environment. Is it reversible? If yes, then how can expats like me living in the US help in the endeavor to reverse the damage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
If you are interested in doing something back home in India, and want to know how to create awareness, how to use your talents to save the largest democracy on the planet, then you should definitely meet with the Art of Living (AOL) volunteers here, they can guide you.
You can do lots of things; create awareness in your hometown, in the villages with the people around you, and make them understand. India is now moving between scams and slums, and the Government wants to retain poverty; so they simply dish out sops to people and buy votes from them.
In the last few months, AOL volunteers have rejuvenated four rivers that were dead; one in Karnataka and three in Maharashtra. The rivers had dried out, and our volunteers worked hard, de-silted, removed all the debris and made these rivers flow again. What the Government couldn't do with millions of dollars, AOL volunteers did as seva with a few thousand dollars. Now, there is water in all these places, and the villagers are so happy.
In Karnataka, we have covered about 230 villages, and in Maharashtra about 300-400 villages with these rivers.
On rediff.com, there was an article on how six Yes!+ teachers brought a transformation when the floods hit the Himalayan region. These girls removed the debris, made roads and gave food and other materials to the people who were affected by the worst ever floods.
A lot of things are being done there. The Art of Living is quite active.
In life you will have 101 reasons to get frustrated. However it is up to you keep the enthusiasm alive without allowing the frustration to seep in. Here are some pointers to help you keep frustration at bay.