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Acoustic Roots

Acoustic Roots

On January 18, 2023, Posted by , In Blog,Philosophy, By , With No Comments

Do you know what a saying is? It is a collection of words. And what is a word? A collection of syllables. And what is a syllable? A collection of letters. And what is a letter? A [sound having a] particular wavelength, or a particular acoustic expression. Everything comes out of the Supreme Entity, so many waves of light, sound, so many waves of tactual vibration… Ssh! – hot! Tssh! – very cold! These are all tactual variations having different wavelengths. Similarly, the acoustic wave, which means the expression of sound, also comes from the very source, from the very nucleus, from the very controlling point of the universe – who, we say, is Parama Puruśa.

Sounds are innumerable. Say, the English letter “a”. In the English language this sound “a” has twenty-two types of pronunciation. A-N-T, “ant”. But E-L-E-P-H-A-N-T “eleph-ent”, not “eleph-ant”. Here, A-N-T is not “ant” but “ent”. The same A-N-T will be pronounced ant [“ahn”] in French, elephant [“elephahn”]. The same vowel or same consonant may have so many sounds. Even in the case of the pictorial expression of sound, a particular figure may be pronounced in a particular way in Mandarin, in a particular way in Shanghailese, in a particular way in Cantonese, in a particular way in North Japan, in a particular way in South Japan. So many expressions, innumerable expressions, of human vocality. “Acoustic” means “pertaining to –” – what? The Latin term for “concerning sound” is “acoustic”, and for “concerning ear”, “auricular”; “concerning eye”, “ocular”; “concerning seeing”, “optical”. All these are Latin words.

These many expressions are all sacred. All sounds are sacred, no sound can be bad, because all come from that Entity. All human expressions are certainly sacred. All languages are certainly sacred. That is why I pay respect, I pay reverence, to all languages of the world. All have the same dignity.

Now if we try to bring those expressions – so many expressions – together, it will be beyond human capacity, but we may try. And as a result of human endeavour, those expressions have been brought within the range of fifty main sounds. Those fifty main sounds are controlled by fifty main glands and sub-glands of the human body.

In the morning span I was saying something regarding the pancreas. There are ten sub-glands; each and every sub-gland has a particular sound. Amongst the fifty sounds, ten are controlled by the pancreas – d́a, d́ha, ńa, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, and pha. Each and every sound has something to do with the physical world and with the mental world. These ten sounds control ten propensities of the human mind – shyness, fear, etc.

Suppose all those sounds are expressed at one time. What will happen? Suppose you go to a market. Somebody will say, “What’s the rate of potato?” Somebody else will say, “What’s the rate of brinjal [eggplant]? What’s the rate of meat?” – like this. And the shopkeeper will say, “I want this much;” and the customer will say, “No, no, no, I won’t give more than that.” So many sounds. But if you go, say, about one hundred yards from the market, what will be the sound? Something like “hawawawawa”. All the sounds together will create a peculiar collective sound, is it not a fact? Will you hear “potato” or “beans” or “cauliflower” from a distance? No, you hear the collective sound “hawawawawa”. Is it not a fact? Similarly, all those sounds, innumerable sounds, brought under the broad category of fifty, will create a collective sound in the universe. That collective sound is aum, A-U-M.

Now listen to these three sounds of aum: a, u, ma. They represent the creation, the retention [or preservation], and the destruction. The first sound, a, represents creation; the second sound, u, represents retention; the third sound, ma, represents destruction. So all those innumerable sounds, all those fifty sounds, are represented by these supreme sounds, a, u and ma; and collectively a-u-ma becomes aum. For each and every action there is a supporting sound in this universe. That supporting sound is called the acoustic root of that action.

You are moving. The sound khat́-khat́-khat́-khat́ is created. That sound, khat́-khat́-khat́, is the acoustic root of the action of moving.

You are laughing. The sound há-há-há-há is created. The sound há-há-há is the acoustic root of the action of laughing. Each and every action has its acoustic root.

The portion of the tree that remains under the earth is the root; the acoustic root is the sound which may be treated as the rudimental portion of an action. The Latin adjective of “root” is “rudimental”. For each and every action of this world there is an acoustic root.

You see, tantra. The root tan means “to expand”, and tra means “liberator”. The science that liberates you from all bondages, physical, mental and spiritual, is Tantra. Tan means “expansion” and tra means “liberator”. The science that expands your mind and spirit and thus liberates you is Tantra. The metamorphosed form of tantra about seven thousand years ago became taota. The Sanskrit dhyána became c’han [in Chinese], c’han became chen [in Korean], chen became zen [in Japanese]. It is a very interesting science. Now, tantra became taota; taota after further distortion, further metamorphosis, became taoa – in modern language [Chinese], tao. Taoism, don’t you know? Its root is tantra. Do you relish this topic? Do you like what I am saying? But I must be paid for it! [Everybody laughs.]

So then for all the universe, the acoustic side is aum – A-U-M. It includes all the spheres of work also. It is the collective sound of all the work of the universe.

The earth moves around the sun; certainly a sound is created. It may or may not be audible to you, you may or may not hear it, but certainly a sound is created. The moon moves around the [earth]; certainly waves are created, and certainly due to those waves, sounds are also created. It may or may not be audible to you. Everywhere there is sound. If you move stealthily, as the cat moves while catching a mouse, even then there is sound. Everywhere there is wave; everywhere there is light also. That light may or may not be visible to you.

In the night you cannot see, but owls can see, moles can see – Moles, you know? Rat-like creatures of small size… for example, “to make a mountain out of a molehill”. Moles can see in the night. Owls can see in the night. Bats can see in the night. The bat is neither bird nor animal, it is a mammal. It lays no eggs; it is a mammal. It can see in the night, so there is light. Aum is the collection of all sounds, so within the scope of aum come all the activities of the world. For each and every work there is sound; aum is the collection of all sounds. So within the scope of aum comes all the work of the world. Aum represents the mundane expression of Parama Puruśa; aum represents the worldly expression of Parama Puruśa.

In each and every human being there is sleeping divinity, divinity in latent form, divinity in dormant form. When that sleeping divinity is aroused, stops sleeping, is in a wakeful stage, what happens? A person will acquire immense power. He or she may become omniscient, all-knowing – will know everything, without going through any book, without going to any library – will know everything of this universe, because that person will be one with Parama Puruśa. The person is Parama Puruśa, because the sleeping divinity has been aroused.

The sleeping divinity in the human body lies in the lowermost portion of your backbone. That lowermost bone is called kula in Sanskrit. That sleeping divinity is called kulakuńd́alinii. Kuńd́alinii means “in coiled form”. It is sleeping, and when it is aroused, is elevated, by dint of your sádhaná, by dint of your dhyána, c’han, chen, zen, it will go upwards. When it comes up, that is, touches the controlling point of the pineal gland, one will become one with Parama Puruśa. One will become Parama Puruśa.

Now the spot, the kula, where divinity is in sleeping form, is found in each and every human being. When by Tantra and yoga it is aroused and brought upwards by applying a special force, that special force is called diipanii. Raising it, elevating it, it finally becomes one with Parama Puruśa when it comes here [crown of the head].

Now the seat where the kula is, the seat where the kulakuńd́alinii is, has got existence, and wherever there is any action or there is any existence, there is acoustic root. There is a sound for it. (Because of your presence, air, light, everything – every expression’s flow – is barred, the flow is checked. You are standing here; air comes; because of your existence, it will refract or reflect; so your existence also has got a certain sound.) The existence of the seat of that kula, where that kulakuńd́alinii, that coiled serpent, sleeps, also has an acoustic root, and there is a certain psychic place allotted for it.

That psychic spot is called in old Sanskrit mańipadma, or mahámańipadma, or munipadmá or mahámunipadmá. (Mahámuni is a name of Lord Buddha. Mahámuni means “great sage”.) So, “Using aum, I remember Parama Puruśa; and mańipadma is the seat of that coiled serpentine, that sleeping divinity, in the human body. I remember that entity also.”(1)

There are so many sounds. Each and every thing has got some sound. Suppose you want to learn. A particular vibration is created, “I want to learn, I want to learn.” A vibration is created. The meaning of the vibration is, “I want to learn.” The vibration of this desire is a mental flow. “I want to do something.” “I want to eat jackfruit.” “I want to eat – ” – what? “Passion fruit.” [laughter] There are several different flows. “I want to eat mango” and “I want to eat pineapple” are not the same flow. In the case of “mango” there is a picture of a mango in your mind. In the case of “pineapple” there is another picture in your mind, a picture of a pineapple with small thorns. In “mango” there are no thorns. You prepare different pictures in your mind, so the waves will also be different.

You want to fight against so many weaknesses. The human mind has so many weaknesses. The doctor says, “You see, you are suffering from liver disease, you must not take oil. You must not take butter.” It is human weakness. There are so many human weaknesses. “Bábá(2) says I should fast on Ekádashii day, so I am fasting on Ekádashii and secretly taking chocolate.” Bábá knows this, but Bábá won’t say anything. Simply, when you come before Bábá during P.C., then in Personal Contact Bábá will say, “O my little boy, can you explain to me what’s the actual taste of chocolate?” And if that person has intellect he will understand. Do you follow everything? [Laughter. One Márgii, in particular, becomes red-faced.] According to mental desire, there are acoustic roots, there are sounds. Each and every man has certain weaknesses; one is always moving after name, one is always moving after fame, or after money, always money so many weaknesses. One wants to fight against internal and external enemies. You have enemies in your mind, you have enemies outside your mind. There are so many depraving forces, they are all your enemies. When you want to fight against the mind, a particular flow is created in your mind, a particular flow. The acoustic root of that flow is hummm. [Makes fighting gesture.] The hum sound is created. The hum sound is the acoustic root of fight.

When you are to raise your sleeping divinity, elevate the sleeping divinity from the lowermost bone of your body, the mańipadma, the lowermost seat, you will also fight against so many adversities and pass through the entire cord, the entire backbone of your body. After so many fights, you will be able to elevate the sleeping divinity in your body to the status, or to the stance, of Parama Puruśa. Parama Puruśa touches the human body through this point [crown of the head]. It is called Brahmarandhra.

Brahma means Parama Puruśa and randhra means “cord”, the cord through which Parama Puruśa touches the body. It is the pineal gland controlling all fifty – that is, fifty times two times ten – one thousand – propensities. One thousand propensities of the human mind are controlled by this pineal gland. By the pituitary gland only the conscious, subconscious and unconscious portions of your mind [are controlled]. Now, just to raise the coiled serpentine, your sleeping divinity, you have to fight against many fetters, so many fetters of animality, so there is a fight, and this should be represented by the sound hum.

So the old Maháyániis used this incantation, Oṋḿ mańipadme hum. Now it is clear. I think perhaps the monks do not know, though they should know, the inner meaning of what they say. I think it is very interesting and very pleasing, although it has been a bit terse.

-Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (aka Shrii Shrii Anandamurtii)
25 August 1979, Taipei

Published in:
Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 14
Bábá in Taiwan
Discourses on Tantra Volume One [a compilation]

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