Tag Archives: OM

The Eternal Sound ‘OM’ is beyond reducing physical fatigue… It is the Underlying Fabric of Cosmos

14 Year Old Anwesha Discovers the Magic of “OM”Times of India
When I read the news of Anwesha’s discovery about the power of Pranava Naad ‘Om’, I felt that all is still not lost in India in context of our ancient culture and heritage. In my earlier post on Creation: The Big Bang and the eternal sound ‘OM’, I had signed off with the following words…
The young India does not like to read these amazing books… We ourselves have turned the immensely practical treasure trove of our rich heritage of culture and knowledge into a straightjacketed ritualistic customs and practices, hidden behind the closed and crumbling temple walls across the country, through our fanatic religious shortsightedness.” – Click here to read the full article 


But young girl like Anwesha, Mathematicians like Manjul Bhargava, Rap Singers like Blaaze are still out there, reaching out to our ancient literature and cultural heritage, studying it and coming out with innovative ways and experiments to put the ancient knowledge across the world with new and modern perspective.

Manjul Bhargava, Maths Nobel winner, was inspired by a shloka, which his grand father gave him to read, to write his PhD thesis.  Blaaze, famous MTV Idol, Rap Singer of ‘Baba Rap’, ‘Hosanna Rap’ Bunty Aur Bubbly, Slum Dog Millionaire etc. was inspired enough by a priest to create rap shloka like Dandakam Shloka, Gita Dhyaanam etc. and it gives me an immense pleasure to see that Anwesha, a 14-year-old has wowed city scientists with her discovery of the impact of the ‘Om’ sound in reducing fatigue. 

But OM is beyond reducing physical fatigue; it’s the eternal vibration through which the whole universe is manifested. As more and more experiments being conducted, trying to find the God Particle, scientists will read a stage where they will come to conclude that “Eternal Sound” is all that is underlying the fabric of cosmos. This is what our ancient sages has said almost 5000 years ago as well.
Māndūkya Upanishad starts with solemn proposition with the following… 
“OM! This imperishable word is the whole of this visible universe.”
Chandogya Upanishad explains the origin of the universe as…
“Space, said he. Verily, all things here arise out of space. They disappear back into space, for space alone is greater than these, space is the final goal. This is the most excellent Udgitha. This is endless. The most excellent is his, the most excellent worlds does he win, who, knowing it thus, reveres the most excellent Udgitha [Om, ].” – Verse 1.9.1-1.9.2
Many people say that if ‘Om’ is such powerful word then why it is not mentioned in Veda. To understand this omission, you have to have the proper context. In ancient Vedic times, the “OM” was considered too sacred to be written down. It was given to the disciple by the guru in secret manner, mostly by being whispered into his ear, since it was such potent sound, to be even heard an un-prepared disciple through study and deep reflection, to receive it.
The Key to Unlocking Our Brain
If we consider our brain as a computer, scientists are increasingly calling it a ‘Wetware’, then the software which runs it are of two types. – One is logic and the other is language. If we take our ancient literature like Kalidasa’s Meghdoot, Bhagwat Gita, Purana, Veda etc. you will realise that it not only comprise of deep thoughts, ideas or way of life but it was written in beautiful and lyrical language.

As we read more and more of our ancient literature, it slowly unlocks the obscurity of our subconscious mind and firms up certain synaptic connections, that makes one more conducive to receiving deeper knowledge. That the sage writers of these work of art and science some how knew how our consciousness works and gave us keys to explore hidden areas within our selves.

And I believe that the key to unlocking our hidden purpose and strength is the sound ‘Om’.
We can all debate, till the cows come home, whether ancient Vedic philosophy was a scientific study or just incoherent musings of village mendicant or local sadhu. But I firmly believe if you dig deeper into these ancient resources of knowledge, you will find something that will connect with you. That is the only spark you need to become what you are destined to be. That alone will give you, your purpose of life and will make you what you are.
And as I keep asking the young generation at my workshops and my book “Songs of the Mist” talks, please don’t go by what you have heard or read some one say, you read it yourself. Go back to our ancient culture and heritage, if nothing else, the language alone will change you.

“Now that light which shines above this heaven, higher than all, higher than everything, in the highest world, beyond which there are no other worlds, that is the same light which is within man” —Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7


Flames of devotion
Sculpts darkness of mind into
Beauty of our souls

The Big Bang and eternal sound ‘OM’

THE CREATION OF UNIVERSE: TWO STORIES
In the first one, Roman Catholic priest and physicist- Georges Lemaître was following the recession of Nebulae in the night sky. After long and lengthy vigil over time, he came up with the idea that the recession was due to the expansion of the universe. In 1931 Lemaître took another bold step and inferred since the universe is expanding, it is quite possible that if we retrace universe back in time, at some specific moment all the mass of the universe would be concentrated into a single point, which he termed as a “primeval atom“. That particular moment and the place where the fabric of time and space came into existence, he believed to be the beginning of our Universe, as we know it now.

He then proposed a theory, which was later developed by George Gamow as the point when the universe started with a big bang. However it was Hoyle who coined “The Big Bang” as a popular phrase in March 1949 BBC Radio broadcast. In the year 1965, the discovery and confirmation of the cosmic microwave background radiation finally made the Big Bang as the best theory for the origin and evolution of the universe, which was confirmed in 1968 and 1970, by Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and George F. R. Ellis by showing that mathematical singularities were an inevitable initial condition of general relativistic models of the Big Bang.

Stephen Hawking holding a public lecture at the Stockholm Waterfront
congress center, 24 August 2015.(IMG:Curtsy Wikipedia)
Now here is the second story. Sages (read priests) and scholars (read astronomers, cosmologists, mathematicians etc.) who wrote Vedas, Upanishads, Purana’s etc. who for centuries wondered about the Universe, Stars, heavenly bodies and searching answers for eternal questions like ‘what is the purpose of life, Who am I and what is the cosmos and who is the creator etc.’ Over many generations, they pondered over the questions and revealed their thoughts about it all, in their teachings, in their compositions of Sanskrit Shlokas which were handed down the generation by verbal memory – by way of shurtis etc. These were later collated in the form of numerous ancient manuscripts of Vedic culture.

Shankaracharya by Raja Ravi Varma
(Curtsy Wikipedia)
Here are some of those inferences and ancient ideas which talk about the process of creation.

MāndūkyaUpanishad starts with solemn proposition with the following…  
 
“OM! This imperishable word is the whole of this visible universe.”

It was probably for the first time, the sacred Primordial sound ‘OM’ (Read Pranava Naad, which literally means deep sound or The Big Bang!) was referred to as it is. It is believed that in the early Vedas, the word was omitted since it was considered too sacred a sound of immense power and potency to be mentioned by itself.

ChandogyaUpanishad explains the origin of the universe as…

“Space, said he. Verily, all things here arise out of space. They disappear back into space, for space alone is greater than these, space is the final goal. This is the most excellent Udgitha. This is endless. The most excellent is his, the most excellent worlds does he win, who, knowing it thus, reveres the most excellent Udgitha [Om, ].”Verse 1.9.1-1.9.2


“There was nothing whatsoever here in the beginning. It was covered only by Death (read dark space) or Hirayagarbha – A golden womb”Verse 1.2.1

Now if you compare these two stories, our sages have said almost the same thing as the Roman Catholic Priest Lemaitre did in early 20th century, 4000 to 5000 years ago. The insightful verses above and many more were based on pure thought experiments. Generation upon generation Vedic scholars, pundits and Gurus meditated upon the cosmos, developed theories about how the Universe was created, who we are, what is the purpose of life etc. But now these thoughts of ancient sages are branded as something obscure and unintelligent mythological babble of primitive idlers. Though here I would like to remind the readers that they were the same people who gave the world, numerical “0”, trigonometry, calculus, Pythagoras theorem etc.
This kind of belittling of our ancient philosophy and thoughts started with the infiltration of Indian culture and heritage by ancient as well as modern invaders. The final nail in the coffin of obscurity for Indian philosophy happened with Aryan invasion theories as well as biased opinions of some European writers and thinkers, who translated these ancient text out of context. Some, in the absence of written history or documentation, even went beyond the usual rhetoric and dismissed it all as heresy, myths or bizarre fairy tales.

Now we all know that Vedic teachers, philosophers did not write their thoughts down on some kind of primitive tablets or on the walls of obscure caves, because they relied on the most enduring tool of the mankind – the mind and the cultivated discipline of Guru – Shishya parampara (Teacher and disciple custom) relationship based Gurukul system of Vedic culture. Vedic culture believed in shruti i.e. learning sholokas and its meaning by heart through listening, through out the ancient time.

Yes, there is no mention of the sacred eternal sound OM (which was later mentioned in the Upanishads) in the early Rg Vedas. But to understand this absence of the pranava naad ‘Om’, we must put it in the proper context. In Vedic culture of ancient India, the primordial sound ‘OM’ was considered the most sacred and holy sound with immense potential energy to be mentioned by itself anywhere. The teacher alone passed it on to the disciple by way of whispering it into his ear. Even today this custom of transferring sacred knowledge is found in many current Vedic rituals like the sacred thread ceremony, or in the ritual of becoming a shishya (disciple) through Guru Mantra, whispered into the disciple’s ear by the Guru.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer,
impressed by the Upanishads, called the texts
“the production of the highest human wisdom”.
(IMG: Curtsy Wikipedia)
It can be argued whether the ancient Vedic philosophy was a scientific endeavor or just a flight of fancy of ancient Indian student or teacher? But in my opinion, during the times of Vedic culture the young scholar of the gurukul system of learning, learned everything under the sun and continued learning their whole life, thinking and practicing what he / she had learned, refining and consolidating it with every step of knowledge gained. And they shared this knowledge with their disciples through their teachings in various forms of Shruti and slowly it grew to be the Vedic tree of knowledge with the branches of Upanishads, Puranas, and its root firmly planted in ancient Vedas.

Over a period of time, our great sages also realised that the reality of the whole universe is also an interaction between Purush (man) and the Prakriti (Nature) and in this interaction, the duality of the universal consciousness is manifested through spandan (vibration) or prana (light) which act as the eternal energy within every single particle existing the universe.
And this is exactly what the modern world, scientific community as of now, is fighting hard to come to terms with. It was all right for the scientists till the time, Newtonian mechanics had its hold over the progressive world. But as the mankind slowly dug deeper into the depths of elements, quantum particles stared back with its weird quantum phenomenon and stumped the scientific community.

But this duality never had any problems for the Vedic thinkers of 5000 years ago…
Science Vs Spirituality in 
Songs of the Mist…
“Now that light which shines above this heaven, higher than all, higher than everything, in the highest world, beyond which there are no other worlds, that is the same light which is within man”Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7

“The soul cannot be created or destroyed,” says Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita and this is exactly what most of the scientists of the world say about ‘energy’ too” says Ayan the scientist in my book – Songs of the Mist (Page – 25)

In the end, I would like to say that for a very long time, we have denied the rightful place of our rich heritage, culture and ancient knowledge base. The books like Bhagwad Gita have provided the perfect road map to live the prefect life, even in modern times – A life which is meaningful and is in equilibrium with the nature all around us as well as within our own intrinsic nature. But it is unfortunate that not only others, we ourselves don’t take them seriously, specifically the young Indian generation. The young India does not like to read these amazing books, as they are considered to be archaic, impractical and ancient in thoughts, a position for which we have ourselves to blame. We ourselves have turned the immensely practical treasure trove of our rich heritage of culture and knowledge into a straightjacketed ritualistic customs and practices, hidden behind the closed and crumbling temple walls across the country, through our fanatic religious shortsightedness.