Saturday, 24 January 2015

Inner Music for harmony and well being ~

ॐ , Om is the first sound hence it is also called as primordial sound ;it has a very deep understanding about our true Self. ॐ represents three stages of appearance and the fourth one our real identity Freedom is our reality. Only bondage is our attachments with any of them. We are at rhythm when are not confined or attached to any one. Just by being witness devoid of any joy or pain we simply watch in full awareness. By practicing we can be tuned at all levels.This music resonates and activates endorphins i.e  neuropeptides at gross body level which keeps at peace and in harmony.

ॐ is the ‘primordial sound’. When the  materialistic world was not in existence even than there was only the natural humming energy which was sound of ॐ.
 Einstein stated that  one form of energy can be converted to another form – electricity to sound, electricity to heat, heat to electricity etc. According to equation E=mc2, all matter is nothing but waves of energy. So, creation of this material universe, was from this ever-present humming sound vibration of ॐ to manifest this creation. This same vibration continues to exist in all,around us and even inside us. The inner sound is given the name "अंतर नाद " (the inner sound). 
The ॐ mantra has been mentioned in many of the ancient texts related to yoga. In many of the Upanishads, it is revered as representing everything that is manifest and yet has its roots in the unmanifest. The Mandukya Upanishad , in particular, is fully devoted to the discussion of ॐ. In the Upanishads, is mentioned as being the same as Brahman (the supreme consciousness).

Meaning of ॐ

The Sanskrit word ॐ (also written as AUM) is a composite of three letters "A" (? - like the first sound in ‘aware’ , "U" (? -as in ‘foot’ and "M" (?? - as the last sound in ‘mum’). According to Mandukya Upanishad, the three letters A, U and M represent the waking, dream and deep sleep states. The silence between successive repetitions of the mantra represents the fourth state called ‘turiya’ (literally the ‘fourth’ in Sanskrit), a state that transcends these three states. These three states correspond to the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious states of the mind. A few other commonly mentioned interpretations of the letters A, U and M are given below:
  • According to yoga, Samkhya and many other scriptures, the whole material creation, including human mind and body are a manifestation of the ‘moola prakriti’ (primordial nature) which is composed of the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. The three letters of thus correspond to the three gunas as follows:
    • A = tamas (darkness, inertia, ignorance)
    • U = rajas (passion, activity, dynamism)
    • M = Sattva (purity, truth, light)
    The silence between the two AUM sounds represents the pure consciousness, a state which transcends the three gunas (called ‘trigunaatit’ – beyond gunas)
  • A = Brahma (the creator), U = Vishnu (the sustainer) and M = Shiva (the destroyer); the silence between two sounds = the substratum or the reality that lies beyond the trinity
  • A = Present, U = Past, M = future; silence between sounds = the reality beyond time and space

    Other names for OM

    In some of the Upanishads, OM is referred to as ‘udgita’ (the uplifting chant) or ‘Omkara’. In Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and in some Upanishads it is mentioned as ‘Pranava’. Patanjali mentions it as a ‘vachaka’ or the representative symbol for Ishvara (the Lord). Other words used for OM include ‘taraka’ (the one that helps us cross the ocean of this perishable life), ‘akshara’ (indestructible or imperishable), and the Brahman (supreme consciousness) in sound form called ‘Shabda Brahman.

    OM in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

    In chapter 1 (Samadhi Pada) of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali gives us the concept of Ishvara as "Ishvara is the supreme Purusha, unaffected by any afflictions, actions, fruits of actions or by any inner impressions of desires." (sutra 1.24). The following sutras provide us an insight into the sacred symbol :
    • sutra 1.27: "The word expressive of Ishvara is the mystic sound (pranava)"
    • sutra 1.28: "To repeat it with reflection upon its meaning is an aid."
    • sutra 1.29: "From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self."
    • sutra 1.30: "Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from ground gained – these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles."
    • sutra 1.31: "Accompaniments to the mental distractions include distress, despair, trembling of the body, and disturbed breathing."
    As we can see from these sutras by Patanjali, chanting of  can make us free from obstacles (defined in sutra 1.30) and provide us a glimpse of the inner self.
    Even though chanting of as a mantra by itself is advised in the above sutras, it is common to use in conjunction with other mantras. In some cases, it is added at the beginning of a shloka ; for example – " namo shivaya, bhur, bhuvah, svaha" etc. In other cases it is also added at the end of a phrase – e.g., Hari . Most of the mantras in the vedas also start with . In the spiritual tradition, those who wish to meditate on a regular basis get a personal mantra from their spiritual teacher. This personal mantra may or may not include as a part of the mantra.

    How to chant

    As Patanjali states in sutra 1.28, should be chanted keeping its meaning and significance in mind. Since is the representative sound and symbol for Ishvara, it is important to keep the essence of Ishvara (sutra 1.24) in mind while chanting . The technique for chanting is given below:
    Sit in a comfortable cross-legged seated posture with the spine upright, head, neck and spine in a vertical (if comfortable) alignment. Close the eyes and take a deep inhalation. While exhaling start uttering the sound. Begin by feeling the vibration of the "O" sound building up in the navel area and traveling upward. As you continue the chant, feel the vibration moving upward toward the base of the throat. When the vibration reaches the throat area, convert the sound to a deep humming sound of "M". Continue to feel the vibration moving upward until it reaches the crown of the head (called Sahasrara Chakra). You may repeat this process two or more times. At the end of the final chant, continue to sit still and feel the vibration of the OM sound permeating the whole body – every single cell of the body.

    Benefits of chanting

    The continued recitation of (called Udgita Pranayama) fills one with peace, calmness, tranquility and serenity. When we recite it with the understanding that is nothing but a representation of Supreme within us, it brings us closer to our true nature, our own pure self. As mentioned above, is the primordial sound and this entire creation is a manifestation of this mystic sound. It represents the cosmic prana (the vital energy) and the air we breathe. Meditating on these thoughts can bring oneness (original state) and lift the veil of separateness. 

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