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Yogi rides the Sound Waves of
OM. Destination: Silence
When we pray to God, we use the
sound-syllable OM ओं, ओम् in written and ॐ in symbolic form. OM is the
first sound, first thought, Brahman and God. OM consists of three letters:
A U M, the beginning, the middle and the end. AUM includes /
contains the past, the present and the future and also is beyond time
itself. When Prajapathi was meditating on the three worlds,
three Vedas originated; earth, atmosphere and sky came into existence; and the
syllable AUM came about. "Just like the leaves are held together by its
stalk, so is the speech held together by AUM." - Chandyogya Upanishad.
AUM is the basis of any thought, spoken or written word and more. AUM also
represents the Hindu Holy Trinity, A: Brahma, U: Vishnu, and M: Siva.
Vaishnvas say that A is Bhagavan, U is Sri and M is Chetanam (embodied soul).
AUM knows neither fear nor death. Men, gods and asuras take refuge in AUM.
Sing it sotto voce and have no fear of anything. In Sanskrit A and U
combine to form O sound and M gives that resonance. OM is the syllable,
the utterance of which helps a soul to penetrate Brahman proportionate to the
degree of belief in It, detachment, abrogation of desires and contact with sense
objects, and awareness. Its power is diluted by exegesis - critical
evaluations. Tirumular says in Tantra Four, Verse 885, that A became the world,
A and U became Sakti and Siva and AUM became the Light (Jnana = Wisdom). M
became the Maya, which makes the building blocks of the universe. AUM is used by
all sects including Buddhists and Jains, and lately by the west. In Vaishnava
tradition AUM stands for Vishnu, Sri and devotee. In Saiva tradition, Linga is
marked by Om. AUM_OM2.gif
Page 615 The Principal
Upanisads By Dr. Radhakrishnan October 24, 2013
Aum is the praṇava, which, by the time of the Upaniṣads, is charged
with the significance of the entire universe. Deussen is certainly
incorrect when he observes: 'essentially it was the unknowableness of the
first principle of the universe, the Brahman, and the impossibility
of expressing it by word or illustration, which compelled the choice of
something so entirely meaningless as the symbol Aum as a symbol of
Brahman.' The word first occurs m the Taittirīya Saṁhitā of the
Black Yajur Veda, 22.214.171.124, where it is called the praṇava and
indicates, according to Keith, the prolongation of the last syllable of
the offering verse uttered by the hotṛ, In the Brāhmaṇas, It occurs
more frequently as a response by the Adhvaryu to each Ṛg Vedic verse
uttered by the hotṛ meaning, 'yes,' so be it, answering to the
In the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa V. 32, aum is treated as a mystic syllable
representing the essence of the Vedas and the universe.
Dr. Radhakrishnan page 535 the Principal upanisads
does the Brahma
With aum, one assents
to the offering
does he obtain.
Aum like the idol is insentient. It is the Supreme taking notes and
which is a mere sound, is, no doubt, insentient in Itself and cannot
therefore be conscious of the worship offered to it: still, as in the case
of the worship offered to an image, it is the Supreme (Īśvara) who,
in all cases, takes note of the act and dispenses the fruits thereof.'
is the symbol of both Brahman and Īśvara. December 10,
December 6, 2013. Maitri
Upanisad. Translation by Dr. Radhakrishnan.
And then It has been said elsewhere, 'This
sound form of this (the self). Feminine, masculine and neuter (this) is
the sex form. Fire, wind and sun, this is his light
Rudra and Viṣṇu, this is his lordship form. The
sacrificial fires-this is his mouth-form. Ṛg, Yajus and Sāman
(Vedas) this is his knowledge-form. Earth, atmosphere and sky, this is
his world-form. Past, present and future, this is his time-form. Breath,
fire and Sun, this is his heat-form. Food, water and moon, this is his
growth form. Understanding, mind and self sense, this is his
this is his breath form. Therefore, by the utterance of the syllable
these (forms) are praised, worshipped and ascribed. For thus it is said,
'This syllable aum, verily, is the higher and the lower
December 8, 2013
And thus it has been said elsewhere: 'There are, verily, two
meditated upon, sound and non-sound. By sound alone is the non-sound
revealed. Now here the sound is aum. Moving upward by it one comes
to ascend in the non- sound. So (one says) this is the way, this is
immortality, this is complete union and also tranquility. And now as the
spider moves upward by the thread, obtains free space, thus assuredly,
indeed the meditator moving upward by the syllable
independence.' Other expounders of the sound (as
otherwise. By closing the ears with the thumbs they hear the sound of the
space within the heart. There is the sevenfold comparison of it, like
rivers, a bell, a brass vessel, a wheel, the croaking of frogs, rain, as
when one speaks in a still place. Having passed beyond this variously
characterized (sound), they disappear (become merged) in the supreme, the
non-sound, the unmanifest
they are unchar acterized and indistinguishable like the various juices
that have reached the condition of honey. For thus has it been said,
'There are two
known, the sound
what is higher. Those who know the sound Brahman get to the higher
And thus It has been said elsewhere 'The body is the bow.
The arrow is
mind is its point, darkness is the mark. Having pierced through the
darkness, one goes to what is not enveloped In darkness. Then having
pierced through what is thus enveloped one sees
sparkles like a wheel of fire, of the color of the Sun, full of vigour,
beyond darkness, that which shines in yonder sun, also in the moon, in the
fire, in the lightning. And having seen Him assuredly, one goes to
immortality. For thus has it been said: 'Meditation is directed to the
highest being within and to the (outer) objects. Hence the unqualified
understanding becomes qualified. But when the mind is dissolved and there
is the bliss of which the witness is the self, that is
Immortal, the radiant, that is the way. That indeed is the (true) world.'
It is a common practice to pierce
the ears of both girls and boys in their childhood. The ear has the form and
shape of Om (ஓம்). Tamil Professor A.M. Saravana
Mudaliar compared the pieced ear to Om, the dot representing the Ma-karam part
of the AUM.
There are four curves in the AUM Graphical iconic symbol:
The fifteen entities as listed below form the aggregate, the nature of which the
(A) directs Ahamkaram
(U) directs Buddhi
(M) directs Mind
Mahesvara, another form of Siva who
obscures Siva Jananam.
A form of Siva who confers Anugraha or Grace so the
soul is liberated from birth and rebirth.
under aegis of Ayan
or Brahma. The rest follows.
AUM has five components as depicted in the table and the
Components of AUM
The directed Entities
The Presiding entities
(Brahma) = 1C in image
(Vishnu) = 2C in image
(Siva) =3C in image
(Siva-Obscurant) = 4C
These curves and trunk remind us of
the pot-bellied elephant-faced Lord Ganesa, who thus carries the moniker Om-KAra-SvarUpa,
the One with the form of Om.
Lord Ganesa is AUM. He is the A, the base sound of the universe; He is the U,
the sound of the galaxies; and He is the M, the sound of the planets and the
little stars. --Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, Himalayan Academy.
The first curve of Bhija-Akshara
(Seed letter) is A, the second
U, the third M, and
the fourth Chandrabindu (crescent with a dot) the after-sound. The third
curve compared to the elephant's trunk emits the sound M.
A is Bhur loka (gross world), U Bhuvar Loka (the subtle world) and M Suvar loka,
the causal world.
AUM is Pranava (Prana
+ Va = Life breath + Sakti or energy)
because it sustains breath or life (Prana = breath) and flows with the expelled
A is waking state, U the dream sleep, and M deep sleep. The silent
interval between two AUMs is Turiya state, the fourth state.
Turiya is Spiritual
Transcendental consciousness. Visva, Taijasa, and Prajna merge and fuse
sequentially. Turiya is without any attributes. It is santam, sivam, and
advaitam (peace, goodness, and nondual), for didactic purposes.
It or He is the Self. Objective consciousness is absent and its seed is
absent. Ramana Maharishi calls this “Wakeful Sleep.” Turiya is present and
functional in the perfected ones, even when they are awake. In Turiya, there is
an irreversible union with Brahman: There is Oneness with Brahman. There is a
permanent Metaphysical Unity. There are four progressive Turiya states, one
deeper and subtler than the earlier one. The silence that follows the Sound AUM
corresponds to this state. (See Below, compared to level one.) The presiding
deity is the Supreme Vāsudeva Himself; He is Vāsu and Deva, meaning an
If an aspirant meditates on Brahman in all his four
parts (AUM-Silence) he becomes non-dual with Brahman.
Ramalinga Swamigal of Madras (1823-1874 C.E.)
explains Turiya as follows: 'I became it; It became me.'
Here is the view of Joseph
Campbell on Turiya. (Page 71-72, Myths of Light.)
The goal of the various forms of yoga is to go into
that realm of undifferentiated consciousness while remaining awake. We
don't have a counterpart to this concept in our Western vocabularies. It doesn't
even have a name in India; it is called simply the fourth
state, and that is the fourth letter of the syllable (AUM),
the level of silence. Because all the words that we
speak refer either to waking images and logic, dream images and logic, or
ignorance. We do not have words for this, and so it is the ultimate silence, but
it is that which we are....
The Indian word for this form of forms is
Any god can be taken as this lord. The image that you
have held in your mind as that image of God is what will there be experienced,
be it Yahweh, Siva, Vishnu, or the Goddess, be it Christ or the
Trinity or the highest image of the Buddha. Any will be all right. And what
beholds it is that jiva that has
gone through many incarnations and is the soul of your own existence.
Here, the subject beholds its proper object. At this
level the erotic principle or the second cakra finds its goal: the true beloved,
the beloved that our soul intends, is God. And anything short of
that is simply an inkling of what the experience of God would be.
End Campbell quote.
(4A) Jiva Turiya: Jiva (individual self) realizes
its pristine spiritual nature and its organic relationship with God or Self.
Duality still exists: self and Self
(4B) Para Turiya: Jiva realizes Brahman; union,
absorption, or merger takes place; they are still “NOT” united in essence.
Duality is still apparent between object and Subject, Jiva and Brahman. It is
worthwhile to remember that Brahman, the all-knowing Subject, can never become
(4C) Brahman Turiya: Jiva unites with Brahman, and
is fully absorbed and integrated into One Being.
Turiya: Jiva and Brahman become ONE as butter is poured into butter, and water
is mixed with water. It is an undifferentiated and homogenized state of
Siddhantists say that this Turiya state is experiencing of Suddha Vidya of
Suddha Tattvas through Samadhi yoga. Turiyatita
[the fifth state] is experiencing higher states of Consciousness as follows.)
Here is another variation of the above.
Avastha or state of consciousness
for Sahasrara is Turiya-Turiya, 7th higher level of consciousness.
Turiya-jagrat = awakening to higher consciousness --the fourth state;
= the fifth state
of mystical visions;
is the 6th higher state
of Consciousness of Sa-Vikalpa Samadhi-Duality between yogi and Brahman present;
= Nir-Vikalpa Samadhi-7th state,
No duality, merger between yogi and Brahman.
points to another state beyond Turiya called Turiyatita,
[End of Turiya--which is consolidation of
Turiya], which has two phases: Un-mesham
Consciousness, the opening of the eyes (Isvara
Tattva is attained) and
Nimesha Consciousness, the
closing of the eyelids (Sadasiva Tattva
is attained). Un-mesham is opening of the eyes;
Nimesha is closing of the eyes. Sadasiva Tattva (Nimesha)
experience and Consciousness are deeper and purer than the Isvara Tattva (Un-mesham)
Consciousness, and the yogi enjoys equality with Siva, when Siva reveals his
Grace to the Yogi. For more information on Suddha Tattvas, refer to
TATTVAS-36.htm. Sadasiva Tattva is hierarchically and
ontologically higher and purer Consciousness than Isvara Tattva.
conceals, veils or obscures Spiritual Knowledge from the aspirant, while
Sadasiva Tattva reveals Knowledge and confers Grace. Why is it so? The soul with
the body is afflicted with impurities. The human soul cannot merge with Siva
unless it is free of impurities. In that impure state, Isvara does not reveal
the knowledge. Once the impurities (malas) are removed Sadasiva reveals the
knowledge. Let me give you an example. A professor of mathematics has a
pre-school son. He lets his son struggle with simple additions, while he
actively conceals (veiling) higher mathematics from his son. It is obvious why
he does so. Once the son is mature, he teaches (reveals) him higher math. That
is veiling and revealing.) Here the concealer and revealer are the professor of
maths and the Lord; they are one and the same respectively. When the Lord
conceals, we call Him Isvara ; when He reveals we call Him Sadasiva.
Unmesam and Nimesa are two aspects of one Sakti (power).
Srsti or creation and unfolding of Tattvas (building blocks of the universe) are
opening of eyes, while Pralaya or dissolution is Nimesa or closing of eyes. It
is like the opening and closing of the bud. When the bud is closed, there is no
fragrance; when it is open, there is fragrance.
AUM: A is Virat, Agni and Visva; U is Hiranyagarbha, Vayu
and Taijasa; M is Isvara, Aditya, and Prajna.
In Kashmir Saivism, A is Cit Sakti,
the power of Consciousness of Siva; U is Jnana Sakti,
the power of Knowledge and momentum or the centrifugal force of Siva, by which
the universe is created; this expending power or energy, Siva uses, does not
diminish Him in any way; this Knowledge, this expenditure, this expansion are
preludes to Unmesa which means uncovering, opening of eyes, or the stage
that is about to begin unfolding of the universe; Siva is in a state of
apprehension (ūnatā = deficiency); Siva feels the
foreboding that His Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti (Power of Consciousness and
Bliss) may diminish in this process of forward movement (centrifugal force of
creation); Siva freezes and comes to a standstill. In this imminent expansion,
Siva wants to remain in Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti; He separates and rejects the
universe from His own pristine nature. Yet the Universe is not formed; there is
no manifestation. This is Amrita, meaning
that he stays in His own Bliss (Ananda). He is frozen still; He does not budge;
there is no thought of creative fervor; Siva does not accept the existence of
the Universe in His nature (Anāsrita Siva = Siva in isolation or seclusion).
Siva says, "My Iccha Sakti (Will, Desire) is the cause of apprehension,
agitation." While His Will is in shambles, His Cit Sakti and Ananda Sakti
exhibit a smugness by saying, "Why should there be any agitation; there should
not be any problem in this going-out or coming-in (Unmesa and Nimesa)." Cit
Sakti and Ananda Sakti get in touch with His Iccha Sakti (Will Power) and Jnana
Sakti (Knowledge Power) and give them a fillip and bring out His Kriya Sakti
(Action Power), which He is unwilling to initiate. His Action power is in a
resting state; it has not blossomed out (Asphuta = not open). The next stage is
for the Kriya Sakti to blossom out or manifest (Sphuta); Lo and behold there is
brightness or vividness (Sphutatara); there is something happening; the Action
Energy is flexing its muscles and getting ready to explode; Sphutatama
happens--explosions, bursting, Lights and Action--and the universe is created.
Siva's fears are unfounded: there is no diminution of Cit and Ananda Saktis;
Siva kept His nature, though things are happening around Him. This is the
culmination of Kriya Sakti which is M.
Now we have AUM resulting in the creation of
Siva has five energies according to
Kashmir Saivism: Cit Sakti, Ananda Sakti, Iccha Sakri,
Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti (Consciousness, Bliss, Will, Knowledge and Action).
Svatantriya is His state denoting Absolute
Freedom (of Will) and Total Independence. These powers or Saktis are reflection
of Svatantriya. All 36 Tattvas are a reflection of
His five powers and thus a reflection of reflection. Cit Sakti is an aggregate
of all five Saktis (that includes Cit Sakti). All these Saktis are integral with
the Sanskrit letters.
5 Saktis of Siva: Cit Sakti, Ananda
Sakti, Iccha Sakri, Jnana Sakti, and Kriya Sakti. (Consciousness, Bliss, Will,
Knowledge and Action). They reside in the 16 vowels: a,aa, i,ii, u,uu,
ri,rii, li,lii, e, ai, o, au, m, h.
The Way of
'a' is the First Step of Siva in creation and 'h' is the last resting state of
Siva. All letters between a and h abide and exist in The First letter and the
Last letter, a-ha. The universe of all letters exist within these two letters.
a,aa, i,ii, u,uu, ri,rii, li,lii, e, ai, o, au, m, h
Take a-ha and add the m terminator: This is the Mantra of Siva, Aham (I). Siva
says, 'Aham', meaning 'I'.
Aham in one syllable is the world of all letters and this comprehension of all
letters in AHAM is called Pratyahara, which produced 118 worlds, 36 Tattvas, and
5 KalAs and is a point. m is anusvara.
The Way of Sakti according to Kashmir
Sakti is Power on Her own merits. She produces this world on Her own. It is
divine parthenogenesis. She takes Herself away from Siva. Sakti makes Sakti and
this combination creates the world of matter. This is compared to bees which
produce more bees without fertilization.
Honey bees from fertilized eggs of the queen have diploid cells--full complement
of 16+16 = 32 chromosomes.
The ones from unfertilized eggs have haploid chromosomes--16 chromosomes from
the diploid queen-mother.
These haploids are the hemizygous drones with big eyes. The fertilized eggs
become the female worker bees with 32
chromosomes and diploid cells. The 16-chromosome haploid egg
from the queen giving rise to hemizygous drones is called parthinogenesis.
The egg-laying worker female bee produces hemizygous haploid (16 chromosome)
male Drones, who hang out with other drones drifting from one hive to another
hive for a nuptial flight with
queen from other nest and die in the process
because the penis and associated abdominal tissues are ripped from the drone's
body at sexual intercourse.
As you see the female worker bees without the benefit of fertilization produces
drones. In like manner Sakti produces the
world of matter and beings without the help of Siva.
Kashmir Saivism advocates a variant of this Unmesa and
Nimesa aspects of Siva. He creates this universe for His own joy. Closing of His
eyes (Nimesa), it advocates, is losing His Supreme Pure Consciousness at His own
Will and hiding it in His creation. Unmesa is the opposite: regaining the lost
Consciousness. How does Siva lose such an enormous Pure Consciousness in His
manifested world? Simply by His Tirodhana Sakti, the power of Veiling.
Saiva Siddhantist may have a problem with this theory: Siva
has no connection with the world of matter; He does His business through Sakti.
Siva closes His eyes meaning that He withdraws his Supreme
Consciousness (hides His Supreme Consciousness from the material
universe) and His intrinsic nature and dissipates Himself through Sakti in His
creation. Siva opens His eyes, gathers His Supreme Pure Consciousness, and
finds His own nature. This is Nimesa and Unmesa states of Siva, present
in Him at the same time. You may call it
the Deliberate Divine Descent, Stoop and Recoup,
all in a Wink.
Let me explain this phenomenon in the following manner. In India, king was known
to make rounds among his subjects incognito to feel the pulse of the people. In
the performance of such an act, he withdraws and hides his kingship for the
duration of his cruise around the city as a sleuth; when he is back in the
palace by the rear door or over the wall away from the sight of the guards, he
gathers and assumes his kingship back again and finds his own nature. In truth,
he never looses his kingship and finds back again what he never lost. This is
the Great Mystery and the Supreme Act of Siva.
More on Unmesa and Nimesa : Open Sesame and Close
Unmesa is the creative aspect of Siva when all Tattvas make
a centrifugal march and the universe and beings blossom out. Nimesa aspect is
centripetal march when the universe and beings subside in Siva-Sakti. This
blinking or opening and closing of the eyes likened to those of the buds is a
cyclical event. Let me give you an example. Let us take the toy shop. The
merchant (Siva) opens the shop, brings out all his toys and stuff to the front
of the shop; he winds up some toys, in some he turns the power-pack on and let
them do their thing all day long. When it is time to close the shop, he turns
off all toys, puts them back in the shop and goes home for the night. That is
Unmesa and Nimesa.
Yogi ascends the
Tattvas from the Muladhara plane to Sahasrara plane where the Yogi enters
Turiyatitta for onward journey to the source of SuperConsciousness or Pure
Consciousness; it is a retrograde involutional process (as opposed to
evolutional descent of Consciousness from Superconsciousness to mere human
consciousness to sub-consciousness and instinct in animals), which is Jiva's
homecoming to the source where creative cascade starts. As the Yogi ascends the
Suddha Tattvas from Vidya Tattva through Isvara, Sadasiva, Sakti to Siva Tattva,
the Consciousness becomes purer and purer, when it is the Purest at Siva Tattva.
Ramprasad, devotee of Kali, though
he attained Turiyatitta by becoming one with Brahman, says that he would rather
be enjoying sugar (Brahman) than becoming Sugar himself. He liked to be separate
from Kali so that he could worship Her, because Oneness with Her does not permit
The following tells us the distinction
between the Absolute and God; Brahman and Isvara; Turiya and Prajna.
Level one to four is evolutionary, a centrifugal movement from the
Level One: The Absolute, Brahman, Turiya, and the
Silence after AUM have a horizontal relationship with one another. All are
Imperishable Brahman. It is all thought, all Bliss, no dream, no activity, no
name, no form, all light and all absolute repose.
Level Two: God, Isvara, Prajna, and AUM belong to
the category of the Unmanifest becoming the manifest universe of beings and
matter. He is the Sutratman (Thread-Soul) running
through all the souls of the universe. These are derivatives of the
imperishable immeasurable Brahman. Brahman BECOMES ISVARA OR PERSONAL GOD with
pure wisdom or Prajna. Brahman does not diminish or cease to be, by becoming
Isvara. Brahman-Isvara is the Principle behind the Mula-Prakrti or the
unmanifested, the inner guide (controller) of all souls. This is compared to
Level Three: Isvara is the immediate cause of
Hiranyagarbha, which is the embryo of the world.
When this embryo (an internalized state compared to the
dream state, ideas, and possibilities) projects into space and time, we
get Virāt or manifestations. Ramanuja, a Tamil Brahmana says that Isvara is the
inner controller of Cit and Acit (Beings and universe, sentient and insentient).
Level Four: When the embryo stage matures and is
exteriorized, the manifest world is like the waking state.
This corresponds to Vaisvanara. Vaisvanara
= Visva + Nara =
Whole, universal, entire, all +
Men = relating to all men.
Turiyatitia, Turiya, Susupti, Svapna, Jagrat have
concordance with Avyakta, Brahman, Isvara, Hiranyagarbha, and Virat.
|Three states of consciousness
|3 individual Jiva
|3 collective Jiva
|three functions of the Lord
OM is Bija
Manta or Seed mantra and thus, the progenitor of all other mantras. All sounds
(Phonemes) of all languages, alphabets, morphemes, words, and sentence take
their origin from OM. OM vibrates in all sounds, syllables and words. The
transcendental sound of OM is audible only to Yogis. Utterance of OM proceeds
from the navel, vibrates and ends in the nostrils, where the final intonation (Anusvaara
/ after-sound (M), the nasal sound, which is marked by a dot above the line, and
which always belongs to a preceding vowel) takes place, which is represented by
Chandrabindu ( a dot over a line or crescent). Bindu and Nada find their repose
in Chandrabindu. Bija mantra, on the surface does not carry any outward meaning
but it is mystic and the body of a devata or god.
Another explanation: Aum (Om) is the mystic syllable intonated audibly, sotto
voce, or mentally; It is the fusion of three sounds beginning with
(as in paw)
originating in Muladhara Chakra, vibrating as
(as in coo)
in the Anahata and Visuddha Chakras and resonating as
(as in mm,
that is good) in Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras. It is Primal Mula Mantra and thus a
non-secular Mantra. Ām (ஆம்--variation of Aum) in Tamil means "Yes, expressing assent.")
Wind, Water, Fire, Earth, and Sky
as the five elements, Na Ma Si Va Ya as the five-letter Mantra, and Yam, Vam,
Ram, Lam, Ham as the Bija (seed) Mantras have three- way concordance.
||Air / Wind / Vayu
||Sky / Akasa
In the plane of Muladhara
(Kundalini, fist plane), Siva stands as Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya--Na for earth and Brahma,
for water and Vishnu,
Si for fire and
for Vayu and Rudra, Ya for Akasa and
Sadasiva. NaMaSiVaYa has contextual meanings.
In a Mantra,
Om is the prologue; the second part, the name of
the Deity; and the third, Namah. There are
some variations in the placement of Namah.
||Name of Deity
|Om Sri Maha Gaapataye Namah
|| Sri Maha Ganapati
|Om Sivaya Namah
|Om Namah Sivaya
|Om Namo Narayanaya
|Om Sri Durgayai Namah
|Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah
|Om Aim Sarasvatyai Namah
|Om Sri Maha Kalikayai namah
|Om Sri Hanumate Namah
= Salutation, adoration, homage, worship, bowing.
In Prasna Upanishad, there is a
two-way conversation between Guru and disciples. Questions are asked and
answered. The sound AUM is equated to the Higher and Lower Brahman, aka
nameless or unqualified Brahman, and personal Brahman, Isvara. Meditation
on each and all component(s) of AUM brings benefits to the meditator.
Component A guarantees a quick rebirth soon after death among men of high
caliber, and greatness associated with austerity, abstinence and faith.
Meditation on the two components, A and U, guarantees a sojourn on the moon in
all its greatness with a return to earth. Meditation on all three
components, AUM, guarantees oneness with the light of the sun, shedding of all
sins, compared to the shedding of the skin by the snake, and an entry in to the
world of Brahma greeted by saama chants. (The world of Brahman, equated to
Hiranyagarbha, is a collection of individual souls, who at one time or another
are sent back to the earth in embodied forms, after their terms in satya loka
expire.) From the world of Brahma, he goes one step above, gets vision of
Isvara, qualified Personal Brahman and thereby attains eternal liberation from
the world of samsara. Meditation on the three components are better than
meditating on individual components because AUM as one triad guarantees
liberation and immortality in the world of Isvara, and A,U,M individually
guarantees only rebirth in this phenomenal world.
In Maitri Upanishad Chapter six,
the Brahman is depicted as three-footed, and three-lettered according to
the three letters of the syllable AUM. The three-footed Brahman is rooted above
and the branches are the ether, wind, fire, water, earth etc. This
upside-down tree is Asvattha or fig tree. The import is that Brahman is
rooted in heaven and the material world draws sustenance from Brahman. One
has to cut asunder all attachments to the material world in order to attain
Brahman. AUM depicts Brahman in terms of gender,
light, the holy triad, mouth, knowledge, physical elements, time elements,
physical sustenance and growth, thought, and breath.
||Masculine, Feminine, and
||Fire, Wind, and Sun
||Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva
||Three sacrificial fires
||Three vedas, Rg, Yajus and
||Earth, ether and sky
||Past, Present and Future
|Physical Sustenance and
||Food, Water and Moon
||Buddhi ( Intellect), mind,
and Self-sense / Ego
||Praana, Apaana and Vyaana -
Breath, Downward breath, Pervading Breath
The origin of good and evil
There was a rivalry between the
Devas and Asuras - the gods and the demons - born of Prajapati. The devas
took refuge in and possession of OM and used it as breath via the nose. The
demons vitiated the breath with evil and so the breath has become sweet and foul
for the nose. The Devas meditated on OM as the speech, the eyes, the ears, the
mind, and the breath by mouth, but they were all vitiated by the asuras
with the result that we speak truth and falsehood, see beauty and ugliness,
hear what should be heard and what should not be heard, entertain good and bad
thoughts, and experience dissipation of life breath just like a clod of
earth shatters on impact on a stone wall. ( Khandogya Upanishad1.2.1-8)
This not only tells us the importance of chanting OM, but brings into
focus the sattva (divine) and tamas (asuric) gunas / modes of behavior of
Upanishads mention that OM is the
bow, the jivatman is the arrow and the Brahman is the target. A bow
must be strong and tensile in that the faith is strong, one has
depth and breadth in Vedic wisdom and life lived by
sattva sharpens the arrow with devotion. The mind is the tip of the
arrow. Silence and stillness are the goals, that are Param-Brahman
Yogi goes from
sound to silence. He rides on the sound waves of OM and his goal is silence.
Sabda-Brahman and Param-Brahman
There are two kinds of knowledge:
1: Sabda-Brahman 2: Param-Brahman. Param-Brahman is superior and
Sabda-Brahman is only a means to Param-Brahman. Knowledge of Upanishads
and Vedas, sacrifices, rituals etc are essential for growth and
development of the soul or atman to a finite stage. After that stage, they
have to be given up in the same spirit of detachment from desires at early
stages of development. Here you stand alone by your own self. No
props and no support. Self stands alone. You are dead to the world,
figuratively. You are divested of everything that you owned, be it
material or knowledge. Names and forms do not matter anymore. You
ride the OM sound waves of Sabda-Brahman until you reach the Param-Brahman, when
the sound-syllable OM falls into silence. Sabda-Brahman or Brahman of
Sounds consists of all book knowledge including rituals, sacrifices and
Vedas. (Soundless Brahman is superior to Sound Brahman.) But the
latter is the preliminary step before attainment of Soundless Brahman.
When Soundless Brahman is attained, the names, forms, books, rituals,
sacrifices, prayers, hymns etc fall / should be abandoned . It is like
saying that the raft should be abandoned once you reach the shore. It is
like saying that the chaff should be abandoned or thrown away, and that one
should try to get to the rice. It is said that the learned man, after acquiring
jnana and vijnana (knowlege and intuitive wisdom) through the study of sacred
scriptures, throws away the scriptural books just like a farmer (grain
collector) throws away the straw after collecting the grain. Ramana
Maharishi says it as follows: You remove the thorn from the sole of the foot by
another thorn and when done, throw away both thorns. At this stage
of development, rituals, Vedas, sacrifices have to be abandoned at the dawn of
higher realization of Param-Brahman or Soundless Brahman.
There is stillness. There is silence. That is the goal, that is
absorption, that is Bliss. It is like the spider climbing on its own
thread to reach the higher space; so also the yogi
goes up on the sound thread of OM and reaches his destination,
silence - Param Brahman. He rides on the sound
waves of OM and his goal is silence. He goes
from sound to silence. He attained Vijnana -divine, intuitive, realized
wisdom. He sheds names and forms. Speech is nothing for him. Books
are for the birds. There are no hymns and no prayers. Where he is, there
is no fear, there is no sorrow, there is tranquility, there is silence,
there is bliss.
This Vijnana, by its virtue, is a
nondual state, where there is a fusion of self with the Param Brahman.
This is also known as Turiya, the fourth state. There are four levels of
consciousness. The four states are:
Waking state - perception mode (Gross Body)
sleep - mode of images and imagination (Subtle
Dreamless Sleep / Deep Sleep - Mode of Self or conceptualization - (Causal
Beyond-Deep-Sleep State- Transcendent, spiritual, pure consciousness.
Another way of saying 1:
Wakefulness 2: REM Sleep, Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
4: NREM Sleep -Non Rapid Eye Movement Sleep 4: TURIYA.
In all these states, ego and
consciousness seem to be the main factors by their presence or absence.. Ego or
ahankaara is the dominant mode in the wakeful state. Consciousness in all three
states is homogenous. In deep sleep, there is no perception; that negative
perception indicates that there must have been prior experience of events, which
were missed during sleep; that knowing of negative perception in deep sleep
indicates active consciousness.
State: A of the A U M. The
1st Sound, A. In the wakeful state, the Indriyas, prana, manas, buddhi,
ahankaaara (Ego) - Citta are all operative. This state is what we know as
life and biological functions. Accordingly, the consciousness is projected
outwards. The Self (1st part) enjoys the gross matter.
Dream Sleep: U of A U M.
the 2nd Sound, U. The consciousness is turned inside. The ego is
still operative as per Ramana.. The Self (2nd part) is dreaming and
enjoys subtle objects.
Deep Sleep: M of A U M.
The 3rd sound, M. No ego play here.
The sleeper desires nothing that he usually desires
during the waking state. No dreams occur. The Self (the 3rd part)
is undifferentiated consciousness, and enjoys bliss, being bliss itself.
The lower self is absorbed in the Highest Self . Buddhi is in a
potential state, and in a state of suspended animation.
following A U M. The 4th part of the Self. It is
undifferentiated. It is without attributes. No ego play here.
There is quietness (Santam), Peace and Bliss (Sivam),
without-a-second (advaitam). This is the realization. This is absorption.
This is beyond Kaivalya - Splendid isolation - and more. This
is Samadhi. This is oneness. This is SatChitAnanda. It is beyond time, space and
form. It is beyond consciousness. It is the source. The four parts of the
Self are compared to the cow's feet. And as
said earlier Self is OM.
components of Self is the same four components of A U M and Silence.
Silence that comes after AUM is the fourth component / Turiya. Now we
arrived at soundless Brahman. To reiterate: A
is the waking state. U is the Dream State. M is Deep Sleep.
Turiya is the fourth state.
All four components form a unit or syllable or a sound byte of
Atman-Brahman - Sound Brahman / Soundless Brahman. AUM-Silence =
AUM-Turiya = Dual to Non-dual state. AUM state is a dual state for the
self, and Turiya, the fourth dimension inducts the self into a non-dual state.
You become one with Brahman.
To paraphrase Ramana Maha Rishi:
When ego is extinguished, the sage is freed from waking, dreaming and deep
sleep. All that remains is Turiya, a noble state, first, last and
all- transcendent. Ramana says that the first three states are grounded in
the self, but the
Turiya is Being-Awareness and non-dual.
When in Turiya, you know that the first three states are false. Know thou
that Turiya is Waking Sleep. Know thou that
Turiya is Grand
Sleep, that knows no waking. Know thou
that Turiya is Eternal Wakefulness (to the Spirit) untouched by slippery sleep.
In the dream sleep and waking , it is the ego and
not the atman that sees a world of fancy, but that ego sees nothing in
Brahma Sutra (3.2.10) In a
swoon it is half attainment ( ardha: half; sampattih: attainment) meaning that
it is half deep sleep and half death.
It gives an idea of the
state of swoon, as in a person who is whacked on the head with a club. He
is neither in deep sleep nor dead. He is not in deep sleep, because he
cannot be awakened like a sleeping person. He is not awake, he is not
dreaming, he is not in deep sleep 100%, and he is not dead 100 %.
This state is between deep sleep and death and that is half attainment so far
bliss or death is concerned . He has one foot in death and one foot in half
bliss. His karma dictates as to which way he is going to take. This is
declared not as a fifth state, since the factors pertaining to swoon are not
clearly compartmentalized. For Ramanujah, it is a half-way meeting
with death. For Nimbarka, it is death by half measure.
Sleep, and dreams
according to Upanishads. The thoughts expressed here are from the
consciousness: In this world of names, forms and images, it is all
perception, whether it is true or false. This consciousness, is
wakefulness - Gross
Body. Ego is in the dominant mode. It
is I against you and the world. Perceptions are distorted and images are
falsified. Reality and Truth are submerged and ignorance and ego are in full
display. The three gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas oscillate. One
time you are sattvic, next moment rajasic and the next tamasic. Your mind,
thoughts, speech and deeds are caught in the rise and fall of these three gunas.
The pristine Self is the chronicler, and a spectator. The lower self enjoys
matter just like the bird eating sweet and sour fruits, while the Higher Self is
simply watching and waiting.
the dream sleep.
The Self (2nd part) is dreaming and enjoys (experiences) subtle objects.
Still the ego is operative, never taking rest or repose.
The mind dreams impossible dreams. It is said that the dream sleep is
microcosm of heaven and hell. The ego is the director of all these moving
images. The hopes and the fears, the pleasures and the pains come to surface in
the form of images. The world of images are real to him. He cries;
he laughs; he writhes; he rolls; he enjoys and he suffers. They are unreal, but
they are real to him. He talks like a learned Brahmana, and he acts
like a powerful king. He is high and he is low. He thinks he
controls. He dreams of blindness, lameness, defects but the atman is not
dreaming. But he knows not. He suffers, according to Upanishads. Self is
not killed when body is killed. His fears during wakefulness translate into
images during his dream sleep. That is ignorance.
Causal Body. The Self
(the 3rd part) is undifferentiated consciousness, and enjoys bliss,
being bliss itself. It comes close to a state of splendid aloofness
and isolation of kaivalya. Finally the ego has taken leave. The self
asserts itself. It shines. The sleeper is absorbed in the self which is
communing. He is serene; he is calm. This is atman, this is Brahman.
This is immortal, this is fearless Brahman. The speech is on hold; the
names and forms are on hold; the sound is on hold; and the mind and its
thoughts are on hold. What a repose? What a tryst with Self. Then
suddenly there is fire. The sparks fly. He is awake. The juices start
flowing. From atman, all the vital breaths flow to their destinations. His
consciousness returns; he rises; and he now knows life as he knew before
he went into deep sleep. A simple example of this phenomenon is the computer in
deep sleep mode. When you move the mouse, the computer wakes up from sleep.
Likewise it is the self in you that wakes you up.
Transcendental consciousness Turiya is without any attributes. It or He is
the Self. Objective consciousness is absent and its seed also is absent. That is
what is meant by Wakeful Sleep by Ramana MahaRishi.
Turiya is present and functional in the perfected ones, even when they are
awake. In Turiya, there is an irreversible union with Brahman. There is Oneness
with Brahman. There is a permanent Metaphysical Unity.
More on Aum
Om radiates five rays:
A, U, M, NAda, Bindu; SAnta is beyond all
these. JAgrat (waking state and the A of AUM) is Bija; Svapna (dream state and
the U of AUM) is Bindu; Suspti (deep sleep and M of AUM) is NAda; Turiya (the
silence following AUM) is Sakti and the Laya beyond all these is SAnta.
view of AUM
AkArO Vishnu vAsakah: The A in OmkAra (AUM) is Vishnu.
OmkAra is unique in that it exists as one syllable in Om, three letters in AUM
and three sentences. When the Vedas are
distilled, each Veda offers an essence of eight syllables; three of them offer a
total of 24 syllables: the Gayatri Mantra. When Gayatri Mantra is further
condensed, AUM comes into being.
AUM has two forms:
Samhithai = put together, connected, joined. It means to say AUM as
one-syllable sound, Om.
Asamhithai is to disjoin and present it as A,U,M.
Veda's seed is Pranavam (Om), which on
particularization yields Vyahrti.
Utterance, speech, declaration, statement. The mystical mantras or utterance of
the names of the upper seven worlds (viz.
Bhur, bhuvar [or bhuvah], svar,
mahar, janar, tapar, satya , the first
three of which, called ‘the great Vyahrtis,’
are pronounced after Om
by every Brahmana in commencing his daily prayers and are personified as the
daughters of Savitri and Prisni).
Om, world, atmosphere and heaven (Vyahrtis)
tat savitur varenyam
= THAT Light (sun)
bhargo devasya dhimahi
= Splendor divine meditate
dhiyo yo nah prachodayAt
= Intelligence who
(Om) is the head of Srutis (Vedas). Sruthi Sirasi VithIrththE. He
(Vishnu) abides on the head of the Vedas; thus, Pranavam is Vishnu.
A of Aum is Vishnu;
U is Mahalakshmi;
M is the JIva, the
individual soul. A («)
is the standard-bearer for Vishnu's creation, maintenance and destruction.
The syllable stands for protection offered to His slaves (the Prapannans who
declared surrender and received Raksa--refuge from Bhagavan). It is a common
theme that all human beings can relate to Vishnu effectively as slaves (¾¡Ð
- slave or servitude) of Vishnu. Servitude serves the devotee well among
all other ways one can relate to Vishnu. He abides in Om. A connotes
Vishnu's eternal and irreversible ownership of the Jivatma (the individual
U of Aum refers to Mahalakshmi as his consort, His eternal
proximity to Her and exclusive one to one relationship between the two.
M is the individual soul, who is the property of Vishnu.
AUM essentially means that
the individual soul exists for Vishnu only or Jivatma belongs to Sri-associated
Vishnu. Once Jiva is accepted as Prapannan (a devotee declared as having
surrendered and been accepted by Vishnu as His slave), Vishnu offers him
protection. AUM is like a parade of individuals one behind the other.
A is the leader, U is
the consort and M is the Jiva. This
configuration is a common theme in Ramayana in that Rama (A) is Bhagavan leading
U Sita and M Lakshmana, who is there to do Kainkaryam
(devoted service) to Rama and Sita. The trio is the Omkara or Pranavam
walking, talking, and breathing.
Likewise Jiva is there to do
Kainkaryam to Vishnu. The same theme is sung
in verses in Mahabharata. Krishna sits in the forefront of Pranavam (the
chariot is of Pranava form) offering protection to Arjuna in the Mahabharata
war. Offering of protection means eradication of all undesirable qualities
and inculcation of desirable qualities.
Krishna in Bhagavad Gita (16.2-3) gives a list of good qualities:
truthfulness, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, abstaining from
slander, compassion to all creatures, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty,
absence of fickleness (absence of
agitation), vigor, forgiveness,
fortitude, cleanliness, absence of malice, and absence of pride: These
are the qualities of the one born of divine nature.
The West gives a list of
seven deadly sins:
the seven sins cause spiritual death.
Atma (soul) exists for Vishnu Bhagavan. One
should perform Atma Samarpanam (votive
offering of one's soul) at the feet of Bhagavan, who shines in AUM.
Kainkaryam is the loving devoted service a votary does at the feet of Bhagavan
waiting on Him with folded hands and awaiting His orders. Jivatma does not
have bliss of his own. It is Bhagavat Kainkaryam that brings bliss and Moksa.
Serving the devotees of Bhagavan is one of the greatest Kainkaryams one can do.
Your object is His feet. Take the bow of AUM; engage the Atma as the arrow in
the bow; take aim at Bhagavan's feet and shoot Atma of an arrow at his foot so
that it embeds in it. Keep thinking of His feet and nothing else. He will
shower His blessings on you in due course of time. This is the surrender
of your soul at the feet of Atma and holding on to It fast.
sivagn14.jpg sivagn07262011.jpg ( =
AUM.jpg) depict Anatomy and physiology of AUM in detail.