The Mother Divine
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(The Sound Principle (Part – II)
By Sant Kirpal Singh
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

In all religious books we find references to Shabd or the Creative Sound Current; Hindu scriptures speak of It as Shabd Brahm and Ashabd Brahm or Nad that is responsible for the creation of the world. The ancient sages and seers sang of It in their songs, and called It Shruti, meaning "that which is heard." The esoteric teachings were passed on from Master to disciple and the Word was made to manifest individually after years of spiritual discipline. In the Upanishadic Age, it came to be known as Udgit or Song of the Beyond, meaning at once of the other world (spiritual) and beyond the senses, for senses could not comprehend It and one had to transcend them to catch Its strains.
Other words that also came in to use for It are Pranav and Aum, for It could be heard in the mental ears alone and could be sung with the pranic vibrations without any outer aid of tongue or lips. In Chapter 6 of the Maitreya Upanishad it is stated that there are two Brahms, one Shabd Brahm and the other Ashabd Brahm and to reach Ashabd Brahm, one has to meditate, in the first instance, on the Shabd Brahm which has different kinds of Sounds that can be heard within by stop-cocking the ears with the thumbs; and by this means one can cross over to the Ashabd or Gupt Brahm, a state beyond the three Gunas and the three mental conditions, and called Turiya Pad or super-sensual plane.

In Yog-Sandhya, it is enjoined that a yogin, practicing yogic disciplines, ought to close his ears with the thumbs and listen within him to the musical strains of the Chidakash or mental horizon and thereby still the mind and attain the Turiya state and merge in the Avyakat.

In Chhandogya Upanishad it is mentioned that Nad (heavenly music) springs from the Universal Sun (of Brahmand) and that this secret was given by Ingris Rishi to Krishna, the darling son of Devki.

Guru Amar Das tells us, in Rag Bhairon, that Bhakt Prahlad was saved by Shabd:

It (Shabd) has been the saving lifeline in all the ages, 
Prahlad, the son of the demon-king, knew neither Gayatri nor any rituals, 
He became one with God through contact with the Shabd. 
                                                                                      GURU AMAR DAS
In Gita it is said,
Though under the sway of the senses, one feels drawn toward God 
  by force of the habit acquired in previous births; nay, even the seeker 
  of enlightenment transcends the Shabd Brahm. 
The yogi, however, who diligently takes up this practice, 
  attains perfection in this very life with the help of latencies of many births 
  and being thoroughly purged of sin, forthwith reaches the supreme goal. 

    In the Nad-bind Upanishad, we find,

A yogin ought to sit in Sidha Asan (a yogic posture), and adopting 
  Vaishnavi Mudra, should hear within him the "Sound" coming 
  from the right side.

In Yog Sandhya, an elaborate account is given of the practice of "hearing the Shabd."

In the Rig Veda and the Atharv Veda there are hymns in praise of Shabd. In Hans Upanishad of the latter it is given that one who does japa of the Hans Mantra, millions of times, comes to the realization of Nad. It is also stated that Nad consists of ten different types of melodies, nine of which are to be passed over, and the tenth, which resembles the sound of the thunder of distant clouds, is to be meditated upon and practiced, for It takes one to Par-Brahm.

In Hath Yog Pradipka, there are many Shlokas in praise of Shabd. In the Vedas, It is spoken of as Nad and Akash Bani (Voice of Heaven). In the Buddhist scriptures, It is referred to as Sonorous Light or Flaming Sound.

The ancient Greeks also spoke of Shabd. In the writings of Socrates, we read that he heard within him a peculiar Sound which pulled him irresistibly to higher spiritual realms. Pythagoras also talked of Shabd. Plato spoke of It as the "Music of the Spheres." In the Greek language we have the term Logos, from "logo," to speak, which stands for the "Word" or Second Person of the Trinity.

This term Logos also figures in both Hebrew and Christian philosophy and theology and in its mystic sense is used both by the Hellenistic and Neo-platonist philosophies. St. John has used the term "Word." It is a Sound Principle (Shabd) emanating from the Great Silence (Ashabd). In Chinese scriptures, it is known as Tao. Lao Tze, in the fourth century B. C., used the word Tao meaning "Road" or "Way" to denote the Hidden Principle of the Universe.

In the Avestic writings of Zoroaster, the Persian prophet of life, we come across the word Sraosha, which stands for the angel of inspiration that inspires the Universe. It is a Power apart from the six spiritual Powers of which Zoroaster speaks. It is the cult of Eternal Life and is from the Sanskrit root "Shru" (to hear) and means that Power of God which can be heard. In the Zend Avesta, we have an invocation to Mazda praying for the gift of Sraosha for those whom He loves. It is the same as Shabd in the terminology of the saints.

In our own times from Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak down to Guru Gobind Singh, the ten Sikh Gurus, Dadu, Jagjiwan, Tulsi, Darya Sahib, Baba Lal Das, Paltu and many others preached of Shabd.

Many of the references to this subject in the Judaeo-Christian tradition have been given above, in Book One.

Madam Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, has described It as the "Voice of God." In the Masonic Order we hear of It as the "Lost Word" in search of which the Mason Masters set up their Order.

In Koran, there is an Ayat, "God commanded and it was done," Kun-feu-Kun. This, in fact, is the Kalma of the Muslims.

The Sufis, an Order of Muslim mystics, call it Vadan. It is said:

If the Anaam (Nameless) had not wished to manifest Himself and become Naam, there would have been no "Sound" and no Universe.

Hazrat Inayat Khan, a modern Sufi mystic, tells us that this creation is nothing but the "Music of God" for It is the outcome or manifestation of His Power. He calls it Saute Sarmadi or the intoxicating vintage from the Garden of Allah (God) and has given an elaborate description of It, as appears from the following account:

All space is filled with Saute Sarmad or the "Abstract Sound." The vibrations of this Sound are too fine to be either audible or visible to the material ears or eyes, since it is even difficult for the eyes to see the form and colour of the ethereal vibrations on the external plane. It was the Saute Sarmad, the Sound of the abstract, which Mohammed heard in the cave, Ghar-e-Hira, when he became lost in his ideal. The Koran refers to this Sound in the words: "Be and all became" (Kun-feu-Kun).  Moses heard this very Sound on Mount Sinai (Koh-i-Toor), when in communion with God. The same Word was audible to the Christ when absorbed in his Heavenly Father in the wilderness. Shiva heard the same Anahad Naad during his Samadhi in the Himalayas.  The flute of Krishna is symbolic of the same Sound allegorically explained. This Sound is the source of all revelation to the Masters to whom It is revealed from within and it is, therefore, that they know and teach the one and the same Truth.
The knower of the mystery of the Sound knows the mystery of the whole Universe. Whosoever has followed the strains of this Sound has forgotten all earthly distinctions and differences; and has reached the same goal of Truth in which all the Blessed Ones of God unite. Space is within the body as well as around it; in other words the body is in space and space is in the body.

This being the case, the Sound of the Abstract is always going on within, around and about man. Man does not hear It as a rule, because his consciousness is entirely centered in his material existence. Man becomes so absorbed in his experiences in the external world through the medium of the physical body that space, with all its wonders of Light and Sound, appears to him blank . . . The limited volume of earthly sound is so concrete, that it dims the effect of the Sound of the Abstract to the sense of hearing; although in comparison to It the sounds of the earth are like that of a whistle to a drum. When the Abstract Sound is audible, all other sounds become indistinct to the mystic.

The Sound of the Abstract is called Anhad in the Vedas, meaning unlimited sound. The Sufis name It Sarmad, which suggests the idea of intoxication. The word intoxication is here used to signify upliftment, the freedom of the soul from Its earthly bondage. Those who are able to hear the Saute Sarmad and meditate on It are relieved from all worries, anxieties, fears and diseases; and the soul is freed from captivity in the senses and in the physical body. The soul of the listener becomes All-pervading Consciousness; and his spirit becomes the battery which keeps the whole Universe in motion. . . . This Sound develops through ten different aspects because of Its manifestation through the different tubes of the body (Nadis); it sounds like thunder, the roaring of the sea, the jingling of bells, running water, the buzzing of bees, the twittering of sparrows, the Vina, the whistle, or the sound of Shankha (Conch) until it finally becomes Hu the most sacred of all sounds. This Sound Hu is the beginning and end of all sounds, be they from man, bird, beast, or thing. 

In the Muslim scriptures, It is variously described as Kalam-i-Ilahi (The Voice of God), Nida-i-Asmani (the Sound from Heaven), Ism-i-Azam  (the Great Name), Saut-i-Sarmadi  (the Intoxicating Sound), Saut-i-Nasira (the Sound Melodious), Kalam-i-Majid (the Great Commandment) and Kalam-i-Haq (the Voice of Truth) which can be heard inside, and It was taught as Sultan-ul-Azkar or the King of prayers. We have innumerable references to this Sound in the teachings of the Mohammedan fakirs:

Rise above thy mental horizon, O brave soul, 
And listen to the call of Music coming from above. 
                                                                 MAULANA RUMI

The whole world is reverberating with Sound, 
To listen to It thou must unseal thine inner ears, 
Then shalt thou hear an Unending Music, 
And that shall lead thee beyond the confines of death. 
                                                                                     SHAH NIAZ 
An unceasing Sound is floating down from the heaven, 
I wonder how ye are engaged in pursuits of no avail. 

Drive away all skepticism from thy mind, 
And listen to the strains of heavenly music, 
And receive within thee the messages of God, 
For these come only by holy communion with the self. 
The Prophet declared that he heard the Voice of God, 
And it fell on his ears as clearly as any other sound, 
But God has sealed thy ears, 
And so ye listen not to His Voice. 
                               MAULANA RUMI

About the Prophet Mohammed it is said that at the age of forty he began receiving messages from God, after he had for fifteen years practiced communion with Awaz-Mustqim (Anhad Shabd or the Ceaseless Word), and had seen the glimpses of Truth (flashes of heavenly light) for seven years. At one time he remained for two years in the cave of Hira in meditation.

It is further stated that the prophet practiced in the cave of Hira, for six years, the Sultan-ul-Azkar (Surat Shabd Yoga) and that Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jillani, did the same for twelve years in that sacred cave. 

All the Sikh Gurus and other saints, time and again, taught this very thing in very clear terms. Guru Nanak spoke thus: 

With stone-deaf ears thou hast lost all thy wits, 
For thou hast not got contact with the Shabd, 
And by slavery to the Mind thou hast forfeited thy human birth; 
Without the Master-soul, one remains blind to the Reality.
                                                                           GURU NANAK

Hundreds of moons and thousands of suns may illumine the world, 
But without a Master-soul, they fail miserably to dispel the darkness 
  of the human mind. 
Without contact with Shabd, one remains stark blind and deaf, 
Of what avail is their life in this world 
They get not the Water of Life and escape not the endless cycle of births. 
                                                                                      GURU AMAR DAS

Practice ye the Word of the Master, 
For one knows the Reality through the Word. 
                                            GURU RAM DAS

Without the Master, there is no holy congregation, 
Without the Word one cannot know the Reality. 
                                            GURU AMAR DAS

From the above it is sufficiently clear that all Master-souls, whether Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and countless others, were conversant with the practice of the Word, though they did not necessarily expound it as a regular science. Most of them tell of Anhad Shabd only, leading up to Und and Brahmand or the subtle and cosmic regions. But perfect saints, irrespective of whether they belonged to one religion or the other, have gone even beyond this and have spoken of Sar Shabd and Sat Shabd as well, and of regions beyond Brahmand (Par-Brahmand, i.e., Sach Khand, Alakh and Agam Deshas).