Inner Sound Meditation: Nada-Bindu Upanishad, Audible Life Stream
"Who else is Christ but the Sound of God." (Gnostic Acts of John)
"In the beginning was the Word" (Logos--AUM--Tao--Shabda--Nada--Sound Current--Song of the Creator--Holy Stream of Sound--Audible Life Stream--Music of the Spheres--Akash Bani--Bang-I-Asmani--Anhad Shabad--Naam--Vadan--Saut-e Sarmad--Kalma or Kalam-i-
Ilahi--Sarosha--Harmony of All Harmonies--The Voice of God that vibrated: "Let there BE, and all all became"]).
Excerpt from the Ancient Nada-Bindu Upanishad on Inner Sound Meditation
31. The Yogin being in the Siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavi-Mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.
32. The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Turya state within fifteen days.
33. In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.
34. At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the ocean, clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts; in the middle (stage) those proceeding from Mardala (a musical instrument), bell and horn.
35. At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, Vina (a musical instrument) and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.
36. When he comes to that stage when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.
37. He may change his concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.
38. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.
39. It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails).
40. Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.
41. Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his attention on the sound and (then) his Chitta becomes absorbed in it.
42-43(a). Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, so the Chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature.
43(b)-44(a). The serpent Chitta through listening to the Nada is entirely absorbed in it and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.
44(b)-45(a). The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant – Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects.
45(b)-46(a). It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer – Chitta. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean waves of Chitta.
46(b)-47(a). The sound proceeding from Pranava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu.
47(b)-48(a). The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) Soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman.
48(b). The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound's cessation) there is the state called Unmani of Manas (viz., the state of being above the mind).
49(a). This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (Indestructible) and the Soundless State is the Supreme Seat.
THE AUDIBLE STREAM: THE SOURCE OF ALL BEING
By Julian P. Johnson, in, Path of the Masters
1. THE CENTRAL FACT IN SANTON KI SHIKSHA
THE Audible Life Stream is the cardinal, central fact in
the Science of the Masters. It is the keystone of the
arch. It is the cornerstone of the structure. It is the
structure itself. And it is the Path of the Masters.
One might say that the Master and the Life Stream
constitute the Path of the Masters. The great spiritual
Current is not only the central fact in the Science of the
Masters but it is the supreme fact and factor of the
entire universe. It is the very essence and life of all
things. It is perhaps less known than any other important
fact of Nature, yet it is the one determining factor
of all Nature. That is indeed a pity. This great
truth or fact is significantly spoken of in the first chapter
of the Gospel of John:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. All things were made by him and
without him was not anything made that was made."
Here it is definitely stated that something which is
called "Word" is identical with God, the Creator.
Although not at all understood by the Christian
church, this statement is an important announcement
of the stupendous fact of the Audible Life Stream.
It is often called the Sound Current. But that is not a
good name for it because it is not sufficiently definitive.
The Indian name is simple shabd, meaning sound.
But that is not definitely clear. There are many
sounds. Logos was the Greek term used by the Neoplatonic
school, whose masters were familiar with portions
of the Eastern Wisdom. Logos means the divine Word.
It is this divine current, wave or stream going forth
from God himself and flowing throughout the universe.
It is not only an emanation from God but it is God
himself. When any man speaks in this world, he
simply sets in motion atmospheric vibrations. But
when God speaks, he not only sets in motion etheric
vibrations but he himself moves in and through those
vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all
through infinite space. God is not static, latent : He is
superlatively dynamic. When he speaks, everything
in existence vibrates, and that is the Sound, the Shabd;
and it can be heard by the inner ear, which has been
trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of
manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is in fact the
only way in which the Supreme One can be seen and
heard-----this mighty, luminous and musical wave,
creating and enchanting.
Now, this great fact of Nature, so little known to
either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substance
of the Science of the Masters. It is cardinal and central
in all their teachings. It is the one thing which distinguishes
Santon ki Shiksha from all other sciences or
systems. It is the very foundation of their system of
yoga. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding
their spiritual powers and controlling their minds.
It is the one sign by which a real Master may be known
and recognized from all others. No one is or can be a
genuine Master unless he teaches and practices the
Audible Life Stream; because it is impossible for any
one to become a spiritual Master of the highest order
unless he consciously utilizes the Life Stream to gain his
2. NAMES OF THE SUPREME LOGOS
It is commonly called Sound Current in India,
among those who speak English. But the best translation
which we have been able to discover is: Audible
Life Stream. This appears to carry its deeper meaning
and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is, in
fact, a stream, a life-giving, creative stream and it
can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely
important and that idea must be conveyed, if possible,
in any name that is applied to it. This current or wave
contains the sum of all teaching emanating from God.
It is his own Word. It includes everything that God
has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression.
It is the method of God in making himself known.
It is his language. It is his Word.
This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit
or Hindi, NAM. But in English, we are not accustomed
to put so much meaning in the word 'name'. It is
only correct if we understand that 'name' or Nam
stands for all that the Supreme Being is. It is just
another way of saying Word and Word is what God
says. It is equally what he does. It is the whole of the
divine being in action. To distinguish God in action
from God as divine Essence, we call him Shabd or living
Word. The name of anything or anybody is the sound
symbol which stands for the reality itself. The name
conveys to thought everything which belongs to the
reality for which it stands. When the Master is said to
give "NAM" it means that he gives the Current, the
Reality for which Nam stands. He literally gives the
Audible Life Stream itself. (Just how the Master can
give it is discussed in Chap. XII : 4).
This divine NAM, or Sound, or Word, stands for
all that God is or has ever said or done. It includes
all of his qualities. As said before, it is the only way in
which the universal Spirit can manifest itself to human
consciousness. So when the Supreme Being manifests
himself as Sat Nam in Sack Khand he there becomes
fully personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation
all of the qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he
becomes personal Creator, Lord, God, and Father.
There he becomes the Fountain out of which the
Audible Life Stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived
and heard by all who participate in it throughout
all worlds. It may be seen and heard by such as
attain an awakened consciousness under the training of
a Master. When a man hears it, he hears God. When
he feels it, he feels the power of God. This Shabd is,
therefore, the Divine Being expressing himself in something
that is both audible and visible. This current
must not be understood to be like a river running in
one course. It is more like a radio wave flowing out
in every direction from the grand central broadcasting
station. In fact, it comes from the Supreme Creative
center of the universe of universes.
This wave has two aspects, a centrifugal flow and a
centripetal flow. It moves outward from the central
dynamo of all creation, and it flows back toward that
dynamo. Moving upon that current, all power and
all life appear to flow outward to the uttermost bounds
of creation, and again upon it all life appears to be
returning toward its source. It is the latter aspect of
it with which we have to deal mostly.
Upon that wave we have to depend for our return to our
original home. When the Master makes the connection
or as we say in radio, "tunes us in," it is then that we
begin our homeward journey leaving all perishable
worlds behind us.
This Word is called Nada (pronounced Nad) in
the Vedas. In Vedanta, sound is always spoken of as
creative. Sound or anything that sounds is the creative
energy. It is referred to as the Nada Brahma meaning
the primal word of Brahm. By this Nada Brahma all
creation was brought into existence. The whole of the
visible and invisible universe is the manifestation of this Primal Nada.