Sound, the origin of creation

[original posted Sep 28, 2008]

Sound Waves

Ovablastic – Sep 26, 2008
salt sound vibrations

Salt sound waves video. Fascinating, but watch out if you have pets around. By mid-point, my cats were looking around frantically and a moment later, they took off like bottle rockets. Then the sound gets so high that it hurts my ears. But it’s neat to watch the salt. And the cats. Quite possibly the most awesome thing involving salt ever. Go to story


The power of sound vibration to generate patterns, form, reality

Sound is the representation of matter and spirit

Sound effects

Potency of Sound
It is stated also in the Vedanta-sutra that sound is the origin of all objects of material possession and that by sound one can also dissolve this material existence. Anavrittih shabdat means “liberation by sound.” The entire material manifestation began from sound, and sound can also end material entanglement, if it has a particular potency. The particular sound capable of doing this is the transcendental vibration Hare Krishna. Our entanglement in material affairs has begun from material sound. Now we must purify that sound in spiritual understanding. There is sound in the spiritual world also. If we approach that sound, then our spiritual life begins, and the other requirements for spiritual advancement can be supplied. We have to understand very clearly that sound is the beginning of the creation of all material objects for our sense gratification. Similarly, if sound is purified, our spiritual necessities also are produced from sound.

excerpt from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.5.25, text & purport:

TEXT 25
tamasad api bhutader
vikurvanad abhun nabhah
tasya matra gunah shabdo
lingam yad drashtri-drishyayoh

TRANSLATION
From the darkness of false ego, the first of the five elements, namely the sky, is generated. Its subtle form is the quality of sound, exactly as the seer is in relationship with the seen.

PURPORT
… It is said that first the tan-matra [subtle element] sound is created and then the sky, and in this verse it is confirmed that actually it is so, but sound is the subtle form of the sky, and the distinction is like that between the seer and the seen. The sound is the representation of the actual object, as the sound produced speaking of the object gives an idea of the description of the object. Therefore sound is the subtle characteristic of the object.

Similarly, sound representation of the Lord, in terms of His characteristics, is the complete form of the Lord, as was seen by Vasudeva and Maharaja Dasharatha, the fathers of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. The sound representation of the Lord is nondifferent from the Lord Himself because the Lord and His representation in sound are absolute knowledge. Lord Chaitanya has instructed us that in the holy name of the Lord, as sound representation of the Lord, all the potencies of the Lord are invested. Thus one can immediately enjoy the association of the Lord by the pure vibration of the sound representation of His holy name, and the concept of the Lord is immediately manifested before the pure devotee. A pure devotee, therefore, is not aloof from the Lord even for a moment. The holy name of the Lord, as recommended in the shastras—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—may therefore be constantly chanted by the devotee aspiring to be constantly in touch with the Supreme Lord. One who is thus able to associate with the Lord is sure to be delivered from the darkness of the created world, which is a product of false ego (tamasi ma jyotir gama).

Everything begins with sound

excerpt from lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.47, Bombay, January 22, 1975:

So ether, the sky, we cannot see, we cannot touch, we cannot smell. But we can hear the sound. As soon as there is sound, that, we know that there is ether or sky. The sound vibration… As we have got experience of this material sound and therefore the material sky, similarly, there is spiritual sound and there is spiritual sky. Without sky, there is no sound. So there is spiritual sky. We get information from shastra: paravyoma. Vyoma is called sky, and there is another sky. This is material sky, what we have experience. There is spiritual sky. And about that spiritual realization, as this creation begins from the sky-ether, then air, then fire, and then water, then land, similarly, the spiritual world also begins from the spiritual sky. After this sky ends, then the spiritual sky begins.

That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavad-gita, paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah: [Bg. 8.20] “There is another bhava,” means nature, “that is sanatana nature, eternal nature.” This nature, this sky, is temporary. It has got a duration of life, maybe millions and trillions of years, but it is not permanent. It is emanating from the Supreme Lord’s breathing period. So after this sky, there is another sky, and the sound produced from that sky is omkara [Om, or AUM] and Hare Krishna mantra [Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare]. This is the sound vibration from the spiritual sky. Therefore it is effective immediately. Just like you contact thousands of miles away—somebody is speaking, and you can contact by the sound vibration you catch up with your machine, radio machine—similarly, the sound vibration from the spiritual sky you can also receive. That is Hare Krishna mantra.

Therefore Narottama das Thakur has described this Hare Krishna mantra, “not of this material sky.” Golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana. Hari-nama-sankirtana, this is not a material sound. And in the Vedanta it is stated, shabdad anavritti. By chanting the spiritual sound… The impersonalists, they chant omkara. Pranavah sarva-vedeshu. All Vedic mantras are preceded by the spiritual omkara. That omkara… Krishna says, aksharanam akaro ‘smi. Vedeshu, pranavah sarva-vedeshu, A, U, M, These are described in the Bhagavad-gita. So either you vibrate omkara or Hare Krishna mantra, they belong to the spiritual world. This sound does not belong to this material world.

Material sound, if you chant once, twice, thrice, you will feel disgusted. But spiritual sound, if you chant twenty-four hours, you will never feel disgusted, but you will feel more and more spiritual bliss. That is the difference. Actually, you see these boys and girls and others, they are chanting Hare Krishna practically from early in the morning, 5:00 till 10:00, daily, but nobody is feeling any disgust. They like to chant. That is the difference between material sound and spiritual sound.

So we can enter into the spiritual world, the spiritual sky. The spiritual sky is there. That is eternal. Sanatana. Everything eternal there. In the material world they are, everything, temporary, asat. And everything in the spiritual world, that is called sat. Om tat sat. That is spiritual world. So the Vedic injunction is asato ma sad gama: “Try to transcend from this asat, material world, to go to the spiritual world, sat.” Om tat sat. That is actually our business. In the human form of life this is the only business: “How to transfer me to the spiritual world.” Sanatana. “Because I am sanatana.” The jiva [living being] is sanatana, eternal. Na hanyate hanyamane sharire [Bg. 2.20]. The jiva is never destroyed after the destruction or annihilation of this body. He is eternal. So this is our business, that “I am eternal. As Krishna, God, is sach-chid-ananda-vigraha [Brahma-samhita 5.1], and I am part and parcel of sach-chid-ananda-vigraha, so as Krishna is eternal, so I am also eternal.” The Vedic mantra says that Krishna is nitya, eternal, and we are plural number, nityanam. The difference is: Krishna is the maintainer, Vishnu is the maintainer, and we are maintained. We are not maintainer.

There are millions and trillions of living entities, not only in this universe. There are millions and trillions of universes, and there are millions and trillions of planets. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-kotishv ashesha-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam [Bs. 5.40]. There are innumerable universes, and as you see, experience, within this universe, within this ball-like sky, in the night at least, we can see so many twinkling stars. Similarly, there are innumerable universes. And in each and every universe there are innumerable planets. This is called material world. You cannot estimate how many universes are there and how many planets are there. But this is only one-fourth manifestation of God’s creation. All these universes taken together—this is only one-fourth manifestation. Therefore the Vaikuntha, spiritual world, is called tripada-vibhuti, three-fourth. This is one fourth. So just imagine. We cannot have any estimation even the one-fourth manifestation of the one-fourth energy of God, and what to speak of the three-fourth energy manifestation, opulence, everything. In the spiritual world the number of living entities are far greater than the number of living entities here in this material world. And there are also spiritual planets.

goloka-namni nija-dhamni tale cha tasya
devi-mahesha-hari-dhamasu teshu teshu
te te prabhava-nichaya vihitash cha yena
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

Lowest of all is located Devi-dhama [mundane world], next above it is Mahesha-dhama [abode of Mahesha, Shiva]; above Mahesha-dhama is placed Hari-dhama [abode of Hari], and above them all is located Krishna’s own realm named Goloka. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who has allotted their respective authorities to the rulers of those graded realms. [Brahma-samhita 5.43]

This is Govinda. Govinda is one, and He has become so many. Just like from the seed, one seed, a small seed, when it is grown up, fructified, you will find big banyan tree and so many big, big branches, twigs, so many fruits. And each fruit contains again the seed, and each seed contains again millions of trees. This is creation. But the origin is one. Origin is one. Sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1: Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.”], Krishna. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti shabdyate [SB 1.2.11: “Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.”]. The Bhagavan is the origin of everything. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me.”]. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1: “He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him.”]. These are the shastric vachana [sound vibration given by Vedic instructions].

So here is also sound. Here is also sky. So as the beginning of this material world is from the sound vibration… I think the scientists also agree, the materialistic scientists, that from sound everything emanates. So similarly, the same sound, you can enter into the spiritual world by taking shelter of sound. That sound vibration is Hare Krishna maha-mantra. If you chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra, by chanting this transcendental, eternal sound, you can approach. Just like by telephone… That is also sound: “Kring, kring, kring.” Immediately you’re in touch with your friend thousands and thousands miles away. So sound is so important thing. So by spiritual sound, you can become immediately in touch with the spiritual world, and gradually you become in touch with the Supreme Lord. Kirtanad eva krishnasya [Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51: “Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.”].

Krishna has got so many expansions. Rama, Nrisimha, Varaha, Kurma, Vamana, so many, hundreds of thousands. But Krishna is the original person, the Supreme Lord. Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28: “Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.”]—He also comes. Rama, Nrisimha, Varaha—that is Krishna’s expansion, incarnation. They also come, and Krishna also comes. He is the Supreme Person, puman. Puman means the purusha, the enjoyer, the proprietor. That is Krishna.

So immediately you can be in touch with Krishna by vibrating this sound, Hare Krishna. It is so potent. Nama chintamanih krishnash chaitanya-rasa-vigrahah [Chaitanya-charitamrita Madhya 17.133]. The name of Krishna is chintamani, transcendental. It is not this material sound, material name. Nama chintamanih krishnash chaitanya. Living force, chaitanya. It is not dead sound. If you want water, if you chant only “Water, water, water, water,” you will not get water, because it is material sound. The water substance is different from the word water. Therefore, simply by chanting “water, water,” you cannot quench your thirst. You must have the substance water. That is material sound. Anything you take, simply by chanting the name, you will not get the thing. That is material. But in the spiritual world, the name and the person or the substance is the same. There is no difference. Krishna and Krishna’s name is the same. There is no difference. Therefore, those who are chanting “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna,” they are becoming more and more engladdened, enthusiastic to chant.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “By chanting Hare Krishna, the first installment of benefit is cheto-darpana-marjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] you become cleansed of your heart, cleansed of the contamination of your heart.” There are many verses. Srinvatam sva-kathah krishnah punya-shravana-kirtanah [SB 1.2.17: “Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”]. If you don’t get anything, it is because there is nama-aparadha, offenses in chanting. There are ten kinds of offenses. So if you can avoid the offenses… The name is pure, “Krishna.” But even though it is chanted offensively, by chanting, chanting, you become cleansed. Cheto-darpana-marjanam. It may take little time, but be sure that your consciousness will be cleansed, clear, transparent, and that is Krishna consciousness.

At the present moment we have got consciousness, but that is contaminated. “I am American conscious,” “I am Indian conscious.” Somebody is dog conscious, cat conscious, so many consciousness. But by chanting this Hare Krishna mantra, this contamination of the consciousness will be cleansed, crystalized. It will be. Then you come to Krishna consciousness.

And as soon as you come to Krishna consciousness, then you are in direct touch. We are direct in touch with Krishna, but it is covered by some cloud of ignorance. Otherwise, nothing can exist without Krishna’s touch. That is not possible. Maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina [Bhagavad-gita 9.4: “By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded.”]. One Krishna is expanded all over the creation. Ishavasyam idam sarvam [Ishopanishad mantra 1: “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord.”]. Krishna is everywhere, but due to the contamination of material modes of nature, we are thinking we are apart from Krishna, separate from Krishna, or we do not know Krishna, although we are in touch. So that is to be cleansed. The via media impediment has to be cleansed. That is called cheto-darpana-marjanam [Chaitanya-charitamrita Antya 20.12]. By chanting this transcendental vibration, your heart will be cleansed. Punya-shravana-kirtanah [SB 1.2.17: “Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”]. The more you chant and hear, shravana-kirtanah, then it becomes pious activities. Pious activities means becoming free from the impious, sinful reaction. That is the result. By chanting Hare Krishna vibration, the sound, you gradually become cleansed. Cheto-darpana. Darpana means mirror. Just like in the mirror there are dust covering. You cannot see your face clearly. But if it is very nicely cleansed, then you can see how beautiful is your face. So similarly, as soon as you begin chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra, you gradually become self-realized, aham brahmasmi, simply by chanting. Aham brahmasmi, you can understand “I am spirit soul.” … So cheto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] means you will be freed from this ignorance, that “I am something of this material world.” This is wanted.

So long we are not realized, self-realized, then we are no better than these cats and dogs, because they do not know that he is not the body. So if we think that “I am this body,” then we are no better than the cats and dogs. So if you want to become happy, first of all we must get this knowledge, that “I am not this body.” Now we are busy with the bodily demands of life. We are not busy for spiritual demand of life. That is the business of the human being, that “I am not this material body. I am spirit soul. So my business is different from the business at the present moment we are engaged in.” Everyone is engaged for satisfying the bodily necessities of life, everyone. The cats and dogs, animals, they are also busy how to fulfill the demands of the body. The demands of the body are four: ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam cha. Ahara means eating, and nidra means sleeping, bhaya means to become fearful, to become anxious, full of anxieties, and maithuna, and sexual intercourse. So these are the demands of the body. They are called vishaya. Vishaya means so-called enjoyable. But the Vaishnava says that the transcendental sound Hari, Hare Krishna, should be chanted, vishaya chadiya, without any attraction for this vishaya. Then it will be perfect. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau [conquering over eating and sleeping]. The Gosvamis, they conquered over these things. Nidrahara-vihara. That is required. That is spiritual life. If you are embarrassed with these four things, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam cha, then we are not making progress in spiritual life. It should be reduced. Just like Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did. All the Gosvamis—they had no business. But that is very difficult. If one has to imitate the behavior of Rupa Gosvami and all the Gosvamis, it is very difficult. Therefore yukta-vairagya. We must eat Krishna prasadam as much as it is needed for maintaining my body. In this way, spiritual progress of life… But it will be very easy if we chant this transcendental vibration, Hare Krishna mantra, offenselessly, niraparadhe. Then immediately you become advanced. Not only advanced, actually spiritual situated.

So the sound is very important thing. The sound is the cause of our bondage in this material world. Just like in big, big cities they are attached to the sound vibrated by the cinema artist. And not only that, so many other things we are hearing through the radio message. Attachment for the sound. And because it is material sound, we are becoming materially entangled, entangled more and more. Some actress, some cinema artist, singing, and people are so fond of hearing that singing that the artist is paid fifteen thousand rupees for one song. There are many here in Bombay. So just see how much attraction we have got for the material sound vibration. Similarly, the same attachment, if we turn to hear about Hare Krishna maha-mantra, then we become liberated, the same sound. One is material; one is spiritual. So you practice to be attached by this spiritual sound vibration. Then your life will be successful.


cheto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
shreyah-kairava-chandrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtanam

‘Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’ [Cc. Antya 20.12]

So this Krishna consciousness movement is meant for this purpose, that “You have already attachment for sound. Now just transfer this attachment for spiritual sound. Then your life will be successful.” This is Hare Krishna movement, teaching people how to transfer the attachment from material sound to the spiritual sound. Narottama das Thakur therefore sings, golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana, rati na janmilo kene tay. This sound coming from the spiritual world, golokera prema-dhana, by chanting, by hearing this sound, we shall develop our original dormant love for God. That is wanted. Prema pum-artho mahan. In the material world we are accepting dharmartha-kama-moksha [SB 4.8.41: “religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and finally liberation”] as very important. Dharma, to become religious, and by becoming religious, we develop our economic development. Now, kama, to fulfill our desires, lusty desires. Dharmartha-kama and when we are disgusted or unable to fulfill desires, then we want moksha, to become one with God. This is the four kinds of material business. But spiritual business is prema pum-artho mahan. To achieve love of Godhead, that is the highest perfection.

So to achieve this goal of life, prema pum-artho mahan, in this age especially, in Kali-yuga, because we cannot do any other thing, it is very, very difficult. The time is full of obstacles. Therefore this is the method: harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam [Cc. Adi 17.21]. “Chant Hare Krishna mantra,” kevalam, “only.” Kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha.

In the Kali-yuga [the present age], because main business is how to get relief from this material bondage… People do not understand even that what is really our distress. Krishna says, the Supreme Personality of Godhead says personally, “These are your miseries.” What? Janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi: [Bg. 13.9] “repetition of birth and death. This is your real misery of life.” What you are thinking of this misery or that misery? They are all temporary. They are all under the laws of material nature. You cannot get out of it. Prakriti [nature] will force you to do something because you are contaminated by the material modes of nature. Therefore you have to act under the direction of this material nature. And so long you are under this material nature, you have to accept this birth, death, old age and disease. This is your real misery. We are thinking temporary miserable condition. Shastra says that “You don’t require to adjust temporary material misery or happiness, because they will come and go. You are destined to certain type of miserable condition of life, certain type of so-called happy life. That will automatically come and go just like seasonal changes.” We are very much happy when we are in a very good condition of life. But that will also not stay. That will also go away. Then miserable condition. Sometimes happy, sometimes miserable. So if you are actually interested to get out of miserable condition, then try to get out of these four miserable conditions of life: janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9]. That is intelligence. Don’t be bothered with the temporary, miserable or happy. They will come and go. If you cannot bear, then try to tolerate. That is the qualification of brahmana: satyam shamo damas titiksha, tolerance. We should not be disturbed, “Now I am in miserable condition.” Tolerate. The miserable condition will come this material world. Don’t be very much happy when you are in happy condition of life; neither you become mad in miserable condition of life. Chant Hare Krishna and make your life success. That is required. This is the propaganda of this Hare Krishna movement, or Krishna consciousness.

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