WHAT IS THE MEANING OF NAAD - BINDU—JYOTI - AAKAASH?
The melodic notes of the enchanting Raag Kedar wafted over the hills. A singer apparently possessed of high talent and mastery over the art of music, ensconced somewhere in the jungles at the peak of a hill, hidden from the eye of the wayfarer, poured out his heart in strains of this Raag. The notes entranced the peaks of the hills, wafting over the trees. Every single leaf thrilled at the notes. The breeze carried the dancing ripples of the melodies and cast them over into the sky! Raag Kedar had materialized on the spot and stood listening! The very singer himself, every tree and creeper on the verdant peaks, every bird and beast and indeed, the Cosmos itself, seemed to be caught in a spell.
At the base of the hill, a wayfarer caught these strains and stood rooted to the spot. In a series, the notes transited through the three octaves, beginning with the lowest, the middle and then the higher. The beats (maatraa), set in a cycle of rhythm (taal) set to a given speed (laya), formed a framework within which, the melody gyrated with heart-rending beauty. Our passer-by, entranced as he was, intuitively gauged the outstanding merit of the as yet invisible one rendering the melody.
The identity of the singer was distinct from the melody which the singer rendered. The music he rendered represented the unparalleled musical capabilities relating to merely one Raag, namely Raag Kedar. Notably and undoubtedly, our invisible singer possessed mastery over all other Raagas and Raaginis too. The Raag he rendered gave the singer’s credentials; however, the melody originated from the singer and it was completely encompassed by him. If he were to pause, the melody would pause at the very instant! No trace of the melody would remain.
The wayfarer climbed up the hill, looking hither and thither, trying to locate the singer. After some searching, he saw a beam of light. Following this beam of light, he went searching ahead. And he came upon a spot where what his eyes beheld, held him in complete awe! Beams of light radiated from the singer’s body which was a body, a mass, of sheer light. The ray of light which he had followed was one such. The singer continued his soulful rendering; the listener stood, unmoving, spellbound and in a state of awe.
Who was this great musician? This great musician was none other than the Cosmic actor-director of the Cosmic theatre, none other than the Purusha. Srisri Thakur, in His book “Pranavapiyush” says that it was this Purusha who, enveloped in the darkness of Non-Existence, brought into creation the first ever morning of Existence, singing the first-ever strains of the trance-creating Raag Bhairav as Aum! Aum! Aum! ... This very sound of Aum, i.e. the Aumkar, thrilled through the seven metres (chhandas), the seven mantras renowned among the populace, the seven planes of existence, the seven seas, the seven islands, the seven peaks, the seven mountains, the seven metals, the seven air currents, the seven mighty rivers and the seven seers. The vibrations of Aumkar gave shape to the fourteen worlds and brought forth the deities, the sub-human creatures, the human beings, the mammals, those born of egg, those brought forth of sweat, of the earth, etc. Trillions of entities and creatures were brought forth and began their play – lila -- dancing to the sound and rhythm of Aumkar!
The Aumkar has neither a beginning nor an end. It knows no pause, no rest. It is timeless, being unaffected by hour, season, year, century and the like. The sound current, Aum, Aum, Aum, which is the precedent of all, sings of its own… A single subtle sub-atomic particle – paramanu -- of this primal sound current – Aumkar -- may bring forth trillions of Universes; these will dissolve sometime into the paramanu. Kata chaturanan marimarijavat nahi tuya adi avasaanaa; Tuye janami punaha tuye samayat saagar lahari samana. The singer, the source of the incessant song – Aum – is the Satchitanandaghan, i.e. Cosmic Truth, Cosmic Mind and Cosmic Bliss, namely the Purusha, the Aumkar. The song is Mahashakti, the very form of the Aumkar Purusha. The identity of Purusha does not depend on the sound current of Aumkar; however, the sound current, as an emanation from Purusha, depends completely on the Purusha. Among the three octaves, the lowest, mandra saptak, is Creation, the middle one, madhya saptak, Preservation and the higher, taar saptak, Dissolution. The grandeur of the Universe that we see before us is merely one wave on the edge of this ocean of the song of the Purusha, Aumkar. We are nothing but an infinitesimally small vibration playing on the edge of the magnificent Aumkar.
This AumkarPurush is both transcendental and non-transcendental in nature. The transcendental one is Absolute, i.e. without attributes and hence eternal. The non-transcendental Purusha is the transcendental Purusha endowed with an attribute, and is thus non-eternal. The Universe is nothing but a play of the non-transcendental Purusha in the form of Aumkar known as Pranavanaad. The transcendental Purusha is composed of four steps of realization: nescience or ignorance, knowledge, bliss and pure consciousness. Among these four steps or levels, the first one of nescience has countless Universes floating it. The Naadbrahma i.e. Aumkar, is the sole active cause which plays taking the form of the Universe. The Universe arises in, subsists in and dissolves in Naad i.e. Aumkar.
In the Shruti (Layayog Samhita) there is a reference to ‘Naad’ Naadaha eva mahad brahma paramatma paraha puman; naadaha parampurushaha. That is to say, Naad itself is the Mahadbrahma, the Paramatma Parampurusha. The Yogshikha Upanishad says: The supreme yogis meditate on the sound current which is without vrittis i.e. without any differentiation and is invariant. Our wayfarer at the foothills diligently followed the music, reaching first the beam of light and then, the very source in the form of the Great Musician whose vision he saw as a mass of sheer light; and he entered Samadhi or an enlightening trance. In the same manner, the practitioner who follows the practice relating to Naad-sadhana i.e. meditation on the Naad, is bound to see light sooner or later, finally attaining to the knowledge of the Supreme One. The incessant sound current which is primal in nature is known variously as Naadbrahma, Shabdabrahma, Anahata Naad, Anahata Dhun, Anhad Dhun, Anhad Tankar, Arav Rav and so on. There are two sorts of Naad: Ahata Naad and Anahat Naad.
In the science of Physics, we study the phenomenon ‘sound’ as resulting necessarily from friction. Such sound is known as ‘ahata naad’. ‘Ahata’ signifies friction. In the spiritual life, frictionless sound arises from various subtle centres such as the lotuses of the heart chakra and the crown chakra; such is known as ‘anahata naad’. Prabodh Sudhakar (verse 144) says:
Bheri mridang shankhaadyaahat – naade manaha kshanam ramate; Kim punarnaahate….smin madhumadhure…..khandite swacche. Meaning: When the ahata naad of the bheri, mridang (percussion instruments) and shankha (conch shell)give rise to joy, that the incessant and pure Naad sweeter than honey would give rise to extreme bliss, is beyond doubt.
Purity of diet and conduct combined with a regimen of practice – upasana –meditation along the lines advised by the auspicious Guru or the great compassion of a siddhayogi i.e. a yogi who is self-realised, become favourable factors for the unstruck sound or ‘anahata naad’ to emanate from some of the lotuses or chakras (wheels) of the heart (anahata chakra) the crown (sahasrara chakra) or the eyebrow centre (ajna chakra) in the subtle body. At the outset, there is Naad which is discontinuous and differentiated. Gradually, such Naad transforms into the incessant and undifferentiated Naad. Again, the Anahata Naad may be classified into two sorts: the ones that resemble certain sounds heard in the external world, and the one that sounds unlike anything heard in the external world. The former are known as ‘vyakta naad’ and the latter as ‘avyakta naad’. The term ‘vyakta’ means expressed or expressible; ’avyakta’ means that which is not expressed or is inexpressible.
The verse 44 – 45 of Naadbindu Upanishad states:
Manomattagajendrasya vishayodyanacharinaha; niyamansamartho...yam ninado nishitankushaha.
The above verse means: The mind which resembles a rogue elephant bumbling about in a garden or glade replete with distractions, i.e. differentiated subjects and objects (the world), can be tamed and brought under control only by using the sharp weapon of Naam. The Shiva Samhita says: ‘Na Naadsadrisho layaha’. The Yogshikha Upanishad says: ‘Na hi naadaat paro mantraha’.
Naad sadhana is a simple practice, one easy to master. To combat mental stress, there is no method better than Naad sadhana. One need not undertake even the most ordinary effort to utter or concentrate the mind on a mantra; mere listening and mentation on that which is heard is required. Secondly, the mind is effortlessly concentrated on the honeyed sound current that proceeds from within. There is no method that grants peace as does the practice of Naad sadhana. Thirdly, Naad sadhana increases manifold the practitioner’s control over his mental processes, his patience and staying power, as also his stability of mind. In his doha, Kabir has very interestingly put forth his praise of Naad sadhana:
Jahvaan se aayo amar vah desavaa; Pani na pan dharati akasava, chand na sur na rai..na divasavaa; Bahaman chhatri na sudra baisavaa, mughal, pathan na saiyyad sekhavaa; Adi jyoti nahin, gaur ganesavaa, brahma bisnu Mahesh na sesavaa; Jog na jangam muni durbesavaa, adi na ant na kaal kalesavaa; Daas kabir ley aaye sandesavaa, saar sabda gahi chalau vahi desavaa.
Meaning: You have arrived from the Land of Immortality; earth, water, air currents and sky do not belong here. Here there is no light of the sun or the moon; neither day nor night. There is no brahman, kshahtriya, vaishya, nor mughal, pathan and sheikh. There is no primal light, Ganesh, Brahma, Vishnu nor Maheshwar. There are no yogis, nor common creatures nor saints. Kabir brings the news, the message that you may proceed to this Land by means of drowning yourself in the incessant Naad.
ELABORATIONS ON NAAD IN ANCIENT TEXTS:
Myriad texts contain emphatic references to and elaborations on the Anahata Naadbrahma. The Hamsa Upanishad refers to and explains the ten types of Naad, their characteristics and the signs they are accompanied by: The Naad is of ten types: 1. Chini – there is a burning sensation in the body; 2. Chinchini – laziness is rid by stretching and yawning; 3. Ghanta i.e. ringing of a big bell – the body is feverish with perspiration; 4. Shankhanaad i.e. sound of conch being blown – there is tremulousness in the head; 5. Tantrinaad i.e. sound of instruments playing – there is a sensation of water dripping from centre of the head’s crown; 6. Playing of kartaal (a type of bell, used in a pair, to keep rhythm) – amrit (nectar of immortality) drips from the centre of the head’s crown; 7. Venunaad i.e. playing of a flute – confers knowledge of secret matters; 8. Mridangnaad i.e. sound of mridang (a percussion instrument) – sounds that ordinarily may not be heard by anyone, may be heard; 9. Bherinaad i.e. sound of (bheri is a loud percussion instrument) – the invisible subtle body is filled with light and the eyes are cleansed; 10. Meghnaad i.e. sound of thundering clouds – the Parambrahma is known. The mind is completely dissolved in the Parambrahma. The Hamsa Upanishad regards Meghnaad as the last of the sounds heard by the evolving practitioner.
The Naadbindu Upanishad is regarded as a particularly authoritative treatise dealing with the subject ‘Naadbrahma’. A large number of Mahatmas and enlightened souls, including Srisri Thakur have quoted examples from this Upanishad. The writerhere provides a translation of some passages along with valuable and basic insights: in the earlier part of the period of sadhana, various sorts of unstruck sounds are heard by the practitioner. With progress in practice, these become more and more subtle. In the beginning, when the pranvayu or subtle inner air current passes over the brahmarandhra, i.e. the subtle cavity at the centre of the crown of the head, the sounds heard are those of: waves of the sea, bheri or drum, and a stream. With further progress, i.e. when the inner current of shaktior subtle energy stabilizes in the brahmarandhra, the sounds heard are: madal, a percussion instrument with mellow sound, ghanta, or the big bell, and dhol, a large and loud percussion instrument. When the inner air current fully stabilizes in the brahmarandhra, very subtle sounds such as kinkini (small bell), ghungroo (string of tiny bells worn as anklet), flute, and humming bee are heard. When the Pranavnaad i.e. Aumkar or Naadbrahma is heard, if and when the mind dissolves in it the state of Vishnu is known. So long as it is heard, Aakaash or ether is cognized. When the Aumkar dissolves into silence, the state of Parambrahma or Paramatma is attained. So long as Naad exists, the mind too exists; when the Naad dissolves, there is no-mind. When the Shabd is no more, the silent highest state of realization is attained. Naad may arise in a thousand crore ways, while Bindu i.e. Jyoti, in a hundred crore ways. All the different Naad dissolves into the Brahmapranav Naad namely Aumkar. The Sanskrit shlokas are given below:
Brahma pranav samlagna naado jyotiryatmakaha; Manastra layam yati tadwishnoha param padam. Tavadaakaashasamkalpo yavatshabdam pravartate; Nishabdam tat param brahma aramatma samiyate. Naad yavanmanastavannaadaante..pi manonmani; Sashabdashchakshare ksheene nishabdam param padam. Naadakoti sahastraani bindu koti shataani cha; Sarve traya layam yanti brahmapranavanaadake. (Naadbindu Upanishad Fundamental Utterance 46 – 51)
Two renowned verses (shlokas) from the Dhyaanbindu Upanishad are given here. Sri Bhagwan Ramkrishna Dev has hinted at these. Sri Bhagwan Omkarnathdev has made utterances with elaborate explanations of these: Tailadhaaraamivaacchinnam deergaghantaninaadvat; Avaachyapranavasyaagram yastam veda sa vedavit. Tailadhaaraamivaacchinnam deergaghantaninaadvat; Bindunakalaateetam yastam ved sa vedavit. (Dhyaanbindu Upanishad verses 18 and 37)
Translation: The one who knows the Naad which is unbroken like flowing oil, incessant like the deerghaghanta (a percussion instrument that produces continuous sound), the indescribable pranavnaad which subsists before and after, is the true knower of the Vedas.
The one who knows the Naad which is unbroken like flowing oil, incessant like the deerghaghanta (a percussion instrument that produces continuous sound), and which transcends Bindu and Kala chakras, is the true knower of the Vedas.
The verse: ‘Tailadhaaraamivaacchinnam deergaghantaninaadvat…..’ may be read also in the Brahmaand Puranas, specifically in the Uttargita.
In the ‘Tripuraasaar Samucchaya’ we find the following description: The sound of the enlightening pranav is like that of a humming bee to start with, then like the melodious flute; further it is like the bell, then like the roaring sea and finally like thundering clouds.
In the ‘Shiva Samhita’ it says: At first like an intoxicated bee, then like a flute and veena; with more practice like the bell, which destroys all darkness, and finally l.ike thundering clouds.
Srisri Thakur has presented his thoughts on the theme in ‘Srisri Naadleelamritlahiri’ using the device of a conversation between Guru and disciple:
Disciple: Many Shrutis and Puranas state Meghnaad, thunder of clouds, as the final Naad.
Guru: Meghnaad is not necessarily the last one for every disciple. In some Shrutis, the Veena Naad (sound of lute) is said to be the final Naad. All the different Naad dissolve into Aum (Srisri Naadleelamritlahiri page 178). Srisri Thakur has said elsewhere: “…none are wrong; each authority describes the sequence as obtained by him personally”.
In the ‘Yogatattvavaaridhi” it says: At first the intoxicated bee, flute and veena. With more practice, the bell, that destroys darkness, and then thundering clouds. And then further on Pranavdhvani i.e. sound of Aum is heard.
The Yogavidya states: At the end of Pranavnaad the practitioners are blessed with the vision, in the unconditioned mind, or rather attain to, the Aumkar Paramatma, which is the panacea for all evils and misfortunes of the world. Explaining the phrase ‘at the end of Naad or Pranavnaad…’ Srisri Thakur has said as follows: What else can happen after the Naad dissolves? The greater the stability of the Pranvayu, i.e. the inner current of shaktior subtle energy, the more subtle the Naad or unstruck sounds. Both mind and the subtle inner energy dissolve. The all-pervading Aumkarnaad, which creates, sustains and dissolves the Universe, does not come to an end, for it has neither a beginning nor an end , ,. It is the yogi’s mental currents which come to an end. In the concentrated field of mind, bliss that transcends sensory experience is known; in the state wherein all impressions are completely withdrawn from the mind, through Naad the mind becomes one with the Supreme. (Sri Sri Naadleelamritlahiri section 7)
Describing the various methods to attain samadhi, the Hathayogpradipika finally praises the Naadanusandhana method stating: Sri Bhagawan Shankar (another name for Lord Shiva) has told of 1.25 crore methods of attaining samadhi. Among those, the one of par excellence is Naadanusandhana. Every yoga unfolds in four stages: primary stage, stabilization, cognition and understanding, and final attainment. The Hathayogpradipika gives a discriminating exposition on the four stages of Naadanusandhana:
When the brahmagranthi, the psychic knot at the mooladhara chakra, is pierced, enchanting and embellished sounds (which are unstruck), emanate from the space in the heart. The Aakaash pervading the psychic spaces corresponding to the heart, throat and centre of eyebrows is known as Shunya, Atishunya and Mahaashunya respectively. When the Naad begins in the space of the heart, the practitioner is full of cheer, is heroic, and acquires divine beauty of appearance, as also a body rid of disease with exudation of a fine perfume.
In the second stage of stabilization, the pranvayu reaches the spaces of the throat chakra, conferring the qualities of stern determination, aupiciousness like that associated with the gods, and, a sharper intellect. At the piercing of the vishnugranthi, i.e. the psychic knot at the vishuddhi chakra at the centre of the throat, several signs of impending brahmananda appear, such as bherinaad (bheri, the reader is reminded refers to a large and loud drum) or sounds of other big drums being played.
In the third stage of cognition and recognition, in the spaces in the centre of the eyebrows where the psychic knot namely rudragranthi exists, the sound of maadal, a mellow percussion instrument is heard. On piercing the rudragranthi the practitioner the siddhis of anima (making oneself invisible at will) etc are conferred. The practitioner, in this centre which is the seat of the Supreme, enjoys the blissful Naad and experiences the blessing of knowing a deep peace and joy in his soul. He enjoys freedom from faults, sorrows, old age, disease, hunger, sleep etc.
In the fourth stage, the pranvayu or the air current of subtle energy enters the brahmarandhra, that is the centre of the crown of the head. Sounds resembling the flute and veena are heard and render the mind concentrated. So long as the Naad is heard, the mentation happens. When the Naad ceases, there is a no-mind state. When the Naad peters out, the silent mind that has acquired the highest possible state dissolves into the Brahma without attributes: Naado yavanmanostaavannaadaante..pi manonmani; Sashabdashchakshare ksheene nishabdam param padam. The yogi who practices the Naad in the above described manner is vested with capabilities similar to those enjoyed by the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer of the Universe. The unspeakable bliss enjoyed by the discriminating yogis who practice such Naad Yoga, is known only to the Guru.
The Shiv Purana has given elaborate guidance on Naad sadhana. Such will be discussed in the fourth section under the subject of Layayoga.
Significant references and discussion on the subject of Naadbrahma, are found in a variety of ancient shastras (authoritative texts), Srimadbhagvat, Panini Darshan, Sangit Damodar, Maitraayani Shruti, Paashupat Brahmashruti, Annapurnopanishad, Rudra-Hridaya Shruti, Saubhaagya Laxmishruti, Yog Shikshashruti, Layayog Samhita and many others. Mahatma Kabir, Ramdas Swami, Guru Nanakji, Sant Radhasaomi and tradition, Sankhya Yogacharya Srimad Hariharaananda Aarannya, Srisrishankar Purushottam Tirth, Maharshi Satyadev, Srimat Pranavaanada Swami, Yogivar Bhupendranaath Sanyaal, Guptyogi Ramdayaal Mazumdaar, Hathayogi Panchanan Bhattacharya, and many other saints and mahatmas have elaborated, in very appealing terms, on Naamtattwa, i.e. the essence of Naam, as being Naad.
Srisri Omkarnath has captured in writing His own rare (to others) experiences as well as quotations from such aforementioned texts in the book ‘Srisrinaadleelamritlahiri’ and gifted it to the world of spiritual seekers. This writer has drawn mainly from this text itself. The seekers who are intensely seeking will certainly benefit by learning this text by heart. In the sequel to this text, the fourth (and last) section entitled ‘Light on the Path’ will once again discourse on Naadbrahma sadhana and Layayog. Thus will the holy offering of Srisri Omkarnath be distributed! Now, we shall discuss the topic, ‘Light’.
VISIONS OF JYOTI (LIGHT)
Atma, Aumkar, Jyoti, Naad, Bindu…are all, in truth, identical. However, as Naad increases in subtlety, Jyoti becomes brighter and its presence increasingly stable. Finally, at the culmination of this process, the witness or the seer disappears, that is to say, there is no awareness of the witnessing self. Some practitioners at first attain Jyoti and later Naad, while it is the other way round for some others. It is an intriguing phenomenon! Jyoti manifests in the form of Shiv, Vishnu, Kaali, Kundalini, Ishwar, Atma, Aumkar, Brahma…any one or more of these. The texts / scriptures mention these forms of Jyoti. The self-effulgent forms appear to the practitioner in forms that appeal, and grant much peace and bliss. With such visions, the mind attains the power of effortless concentration. Under these conducive conditions, an attitude of detachment, from worldly concerns, develops slowly and steadily. With increasing purity of the inner state, visions of the Ishta devatas manifest in the mirror of consciousness. Ishta devata refers to a deity whose form and attributes have special appeal to, or are greatly favoured, by the practitioner. Such appeal generally has a strong emotional content known or unknown to the practitioner. An infinite number of such forms exist on the plane of light or Jyoti. Srisri Thakur has said that the hundred crore types of Jyoti are nothing but Jyoti of Aumkar. The one and only Aumkar appears and performs lila (play) as a hundred crore types of Jyoti and as a thousand crore types of Naad…..the red and yellow light represents Akaar (pronunciation of ‘a’), black light Ukaar (pronunciation of ‘u’) and white light Makaar (pronunciation of ‘m’). At the outset, the black light manifests, which converts finally into the white one. (Sri Omkaarnath Rachnaavali, Srisrinaadleelamritlahiri, pages 106 – 107)
Annapurna Shruti, Pashupat Brahmashruti and Rudrahridaya Shruti…all three contain a shloka or verse (numbered 4 / 36, 33 and 49 in the respective treatises) which explains in particular the significance of Jyoti: Svasharire svayam jyotiswarupam sarvasakshinnam; Ksheenadoshaha prapashyanti netare mayayaavritaha. Meaning: The yogis whose defects of nature have been minimized may see the self-effulgent form of the all-witnessing seer in their own body. The ones who are deep under the influence of Maya may not see such light. The Rudra – Hridaya Shruti specifically states: Sa yo ha vai tat paramam brahma yo ved vai muniha; Brahmaiva bhavati svashthaha sacchidanandamatrikaha. (shloka – 52) The saints who attain the much-sought after and renowned Parambrahma, do so by becoming one with Brahma. Brahmavid brahmaiva bhavati – the one who experiences Brahma, oneself becomes Brahma – this phrase from the renowned ancient Indian texts is famous. In the context of ‘tattwasadhana’, i.e. certain practices to do with the subtle elements of earth, fire, air, water and ether, the Ramgita pronounces: Jyotirev parambrahma jyotirev param sukham; Jyotirev paraa shantirjyotirev param padam. Meaning: Jyoti is the Supreme Brahma, the Supreme Bliss, the Supreme Peace and the Supreme Attainment.
Srisri Thakur, with the wisdom garnered from his experiences, both secular and spiritual, his deep knowledge of the ancient scriptural texts and also His unparalleled Yog-sadhana , gives an interpretation that synthesizes all these observations – 1. Jyoti and Naad are one; compact Naad is Jyoti. 2. The description of the type of Naad / Jyoti and the sequence in which they appear, corresponds to the experience of the practitioner. Practitioners do not have identical experiences / sequence of such. 3. Pranav, Naad and Jyoti are one and the same.
(Sri Sri Naadleelamrit section 7, page 176)
REFLECTIONS ON JYOTI (LIGHT) IN MYRIAD AUTHORITATIVE TEXTS
Atmamantrasadaabhyaasaat paratattwam prakaashate; Tadbhivyaktichinhaani siddhidvaaraanni me shrunnu. 18 Deepajavaalendukhdyotvidyunnakshatrabhaasvaraaha; Drishyante sukshmarupenna sadayuktasya yoginaha. 19 Animaadikamaishwaryamachirayaktasya jaayate (Yogashikhopnishad chapter 2)
Meaning: The incessant practice of the atmamantra (Aumkar) is encouraged by the dawning of the most subtle transcendental manifestations as visions. At the entrance to the plane of siddhi (attainment), such manifestations are: a peaked flame (like a candle flame), the moon, lightning, the stars and other such visions that are filled with light, which are seen at all times or every now and then by the yogis. Wealth in the form of siddhis exemplified by anima (the ability to become the size of an atom, and hence invisible), is soon acquired by such yogis.
Nihaardhoomaarkaanilaanalaanaa khadyot vidyut sphatikshashinaam; Etaani rupaanni purahasaraanni brahmanyabhivyaktikaraanni yoge. (Shwetaashwatar Upanishad – 2 / 11)
Meaning: When it is time for the yogi, steeped in yoga practice, to witness the Brahma, he knows through visions and touch, fine dewdrops suspended, fog or smoke, sun, breeze, flame, fireflies and the like.
Satyen labhyastapasaa hayesh atmaa samyag jnaanen brahmacharenn niyatm; Antaha shareere jyotirmayo hi shubhro yam pashyanti yatayaha ksheenadoshaha.
(Mundaka Upanishad 3 / 1 / 5)
Meaning: The Atma can be addressed only through truth, penance, perfect concentration and celibacy. The Atma lives within the being in the form of a fine white light. Only the saints whose karmas have been totally repaid or cleared (through the recommended practice) are privileged to see this particular light. Hirannyamaye pare koshe virajam brahma nishkalam; Tacchubrahm jyotishaam jyotistad yadaatmavido viduha. (Mundaka Upanishad, 2 / 2 / 9)
Meaning: The supreme self-effulgent Brahma seated in the heart, who is beyond Kaal (Time) and whom the ignorance of Maya cannot touch, is like a flame – so say the ones who have known the Brahma.
Angushthamaatraha purusho jyotirivaadhuumakaha; Ishaano bhootabhavyasya sa evaadya sa u shva. (Katha Upanishad 2 / 1 / 13)
Meaning: The one who determines the three-fold divisions of Time is the Atma, who appears as a smokeless flame. The Atma is eternally present in all living beings.
The tiny seed of the mighty banyan tree, a tiny particle of grain, a one-hundredth division of a hair, planet Jupiter, sun, moon, transcendental sub-atomic particles, fireflies, alum, pearl – such light, or, blue, red or white lights – are seen together. ….Atman is the Jyoti i.e. the light by which these lights shine. (Tantra Saraayann antargat Raamgita 11 – 14)
Agnihi kalaa, surya kalaaha, chandra kalaaha, vidyut kalaa esh vai saumya, chatushphalaha paado, brahmanno jyotishmaan naama.
(Chaandyog Upanishad 4 / 7 / 3)
Meaning: Fire, sun, moon and lightning, are all four differentiations of Brahma; these may be described as Brahma in the form of light.
Antahakaranna maddhye tu jyotiratma pravartate; lingadeham tu tam prahuryoginastatvavedinaha; Tatpratito bhaven muktirnaanyato janmakotibhihi; (Gandharva and Gautamiya Tantra)
Meaning: The Atma may be seen as the internal light by the practitioner. Yogis know of this light as lingadeha, that is the subtle body of light, which is the symbol of Brahma. The practical and experiential knowledge is needed for liberation which is otherwise unattainable even in crores of births.
Paratparataram ddhyeyam nityamaanandakaarakam; Hridayaakaashamadhyastham shuddhsfatikasannibham. Angushtamaatrapurusham ddhyaayatechimayam hridi; Tatra sfurati yo bhaavaha shrunnutvam kathayaamyaham.
(Sri Sri Gurugita verses 68, 69)
Tapasaiva paramjyotirbhagavantamadhokshajam; sarvabhootaguhaavaasamanjasaa vidante puman. (Srimad Bhagvat 3 / 12)
Hridayapadmakarnnikaamaddhye sthiradeepanibhakrutim; Angusthamaatramamalam ddhyaayedonkaarameeshwaram. (Dhyaanbindu Upanishad)
BINDU The renowned treatise, ‘Naad – Bindu – Shruti’ says – there are a thousand crore types of Naad and a hundred crore types of Bindu. Bindu here signifies Jyoti i.e. Light. While Bindu and Jyoti have the same meaning, Bindu is distinct in that it signifies light as its most subtle and transcendental essence. The Yogashikha Upanishad says:
Bhrumaddhyanilayo bindu shuddhsphatikasannibhamaha; Mahavishnnoscha devasya tat sukshmam rupamucchyate. Naade manolayam brahman doordarshanakaarannam; Bindyo manolayam krutva doorashravannamaapnuyaat. (Yogashikhopnishad, chapter 5, verses, 34 and 47)
Meaning: The white pearl resembling the alum crystal, seen in the centre of the eyebrows, is the transcendental form of the effulgent Mahavishnu. Absorption in the Naad endows clairvoyance, and in the Bindu, clairaudience. The following verses reflect the in-depth elaboration on this theme:
Sadaanaadanusandhaanaat sanksheenaa vaasanaa bhavet; Niranjane vileeyate marunnmanasi padmajna. Yo vai naadaha sa vai bindustadvai chittam prakirttitam; Naado binduscha chittamcha tribhiraikyam prasaadayet. Mana eva hi binduscha utpattisthitikaaranam; Manasotpadyate binduryatha ksheeram ghrutatmakam. (Yogashikhopanishad chapter 6, verses 71, 72 , 73)
Meaning: The incessant listening to the Naad destroys desires such as lust etc. O, one born of the lotus! The subtle inner energy currents and the mind dissolve into Brahma. This Naad itself is Bindu, which is the subtle Mind. These three are to be meditated upon to attain singularity in a manner that excels. It is certain that mind and bindu are the cause of creation and preservation. Just as clarified butter exists invisibly but naturally in milk, bindu exists in the mind. The mind that is being compared in this analogy with milk is the pure mind. The Supreme in the form of bindu, pervades in and arises from such purified mind. The Gheranda Samhita and the Brahmavidyopanishad too have waxed on the significance of the bindu:
Bindu brahma sukrud drishta manastatra niyojayet; (meaning: after seeing the bindu, concentrate the mind on it and on no other). Svayamev tu sampashyed dehe bindumcha nishkalam – (meaning: the practitioner can see the infinite bindu in his own body. Srisri Thakur has said: the extremely subtle and transcendental particle of the subtle mind, i.e. bindu, may be seen both within and without the body. Even when seen, its subtlety is indescribable.
(Sri Sri Naadleelamritlahiri, section 7)
The Jivatma, i.e., the soul resides in the centre of the forehead in subtle form, in the lotus of the heart in gross form, and in a state which is in-between subtle and gross, it resides as Naad or transcendental sound. (Sri Sri Naadleelamritlahiri, section 6) AAKAASH Aakaash is sky in subtle form i.e. void; aakaash is nothing but the transformation of Naad. The supreme void dawns when the transcendental sound dissolves. The little sound that remains, after the Naad falls silent, is called the Supreme Void -- shbdaha tanmaatrabhutaha, aakaashasya mithyabhutaakaashasya, gunnaha parinnaamyupaadaanaam. – (Gaudpaad Uttargita)
There are five types of void, which are sensed internally and externally: aakaash, paraakaash, mahaakaash, suryaakaash and paramaakaash. Aakaash is the dark void, paraakaash is the void of total dissolution, mahaakaash is the infinite void, and suryaakaash is the void permeated by light like sunlight. Omnipresent and indescribable light is the harbinger of the infinitely blissful, transcendental void or paramaakaash– (Mandal Brahman Sruti).
Dhvanerantargat jyotirjyotirantargatam manaha; … Tanmano vilayam yaati tad vishnnoha paramam padam. – (Uttargita)
Anaahat Dhvani or Unstruck Sound is the vehicle of Jyoti or light. Jyoti or Light is the vehicle of Mind. Where the Mind dissolves the highest state of the Supreme Vishnu is realised. Vishnu or Narayan resides in the form of self-effulgent light, in the lotus of the devotee’s heart. Narayan (one of the thousand names of Vishnu) pervades the lotus of the heart, the entire body as well as the infinite space exterior to Man. In other words, Vishnu is all pervading.
Sitaram who is both Yogiraj (Adept)and Rasraj (Master of the aesthetic devices used in the literary and performing arts) has dramatized the mahaamilan i.e. union ofNaad, Bindu, Jyoti and Aakaash in his own inimitable style, based on His own divine experiences:
Kshepa (a saint): Sitaram! Sitaram! A crazy girl (Kundalini Mahashakti) lay asleep down there, coiled like a serpent in the mooladhara chakra. Awakened from her sleep, she roused with great speed from her sleeping posture and she began dancing…’theyi, theyi , theyi…’. (Yoginam Hridayambhoje Nrityanti Nityamanjasa) But did she merely dance? Singing – at innumerable different pitches, accompanying herself by playing the dhol (an Indian percussion instrument). The song is endless…. But is it only singing -- playing the instrument -- dancing? And she is giving birth! She is dancing and giving birth! There…one may find light and more light, Jai Jai Sitaram (Victory to Sitaram)!
Haldhar: What is she giving birth to?
Kshepa: Sitaram, Sitaram! Her dust particles (thrown up by her dance) are minute and white – and even tinier are the white Bindu, those transcendental points of light! Heaps upon heaps of Bindus – and she is giving birth to a countless number of Aakaash i.e. illimitable transcendental voids, and, she continues with her dance. Sitaram!
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