All Religions teach the Practice of the Shabd
There is mention of the Shabd in all the religious scriptures. The Hindus describe this Divine Sound as Shabd (Audible God) and as Ashabd (Silent God), or Nad, sound which created the entire universe.
The ancient Rishis or sages sang its praises. They called the practice of its melody Shruti, which means that which was heard or is heard. This practice was taught by the Master to his disciple and was then passed on from heart to heart.
The Rishis whose teachings are recorded in the Chhandogya and Mundak Upanishads called it 'Udgit' (the song of the Heavenly Regions) or Pranav (OM). This means that Udgit is not a song heard by the senses, but is the Celestial Song heard with the ears of the soul in singing which the tongue, lips and palate are not used.
In the Sixth Chapter of the Maitri Upanishad, it is mentioned that for contemplation there are two Brahms, one Shabd Brahm (Audible God) and the second, Ashabd Brahm (Silent God). Ashabd Brahm becomes manifest by contemplating on the Shabd Brahm.
It is again said.
Close the ears with your thumbs and hear the seven kinds of sounds within you. Beyond these sounds the seeker merges in the Silent Brahm or the Unmanifested Brahm. Those who have. tasted this honey have passed beyond the differences of castes and creeds.
In the Hindu scripture named 'Yogsandhya', it is said that a Yogi should close his ears with his thumbs and should hear the eternal melody, concentrating his mind on it until he permanently gains the state of Turyapad (the Second Region). This Shabd is of ten kinds. After passing through and beyond it, the Yogis merge in the Unmanifest Sound.
Mention is made of the Emanation of Nad or the Divine Sound from the void of Brahm in the sixth verse of the seventeenth Chapter and the third verse of the nineteenth Chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad. It is mentioned therein that Rishi Angras revealed this secret to Krishna, the son of Devki.
Guru Amar Das says in the Adi Granth that Prahlad was redeemed through the Shabd.
He looks after His devotees throughout the ages, Prahlad the devotee knew no prayer or oblation, and, yet he was united with the Lord through Shabd.
Bhairon M3, 1133-14
In spite of his being in the power of others, a seeker is attached to this yoga Because of practice during his previous birth, and he crosses the Shabd Brahm.
Gita 6: 44
A Yogi with a truly pure mind, by means of practice through various births, gains perfection and a high state.
In verse 31 of the Nad Bindu Upanishad, it is written.
He should sit in Sidhasan and do the Vaishanavi Yoga Practice. He should then hear the Sound from the right side.
A detailed account of how Shabd should be heard is also given in the Yogsandhya. There is an inimitable song of praise for the Shabd in the Rig Veda, in the Vakambarni Sukt and in the 30th Sukt of the Atharva Veda. In the Hanso Upanishad of the Atharva Veda, it is said that Nad or the Divine Sound is experienced by a person who does millions of repetitions. Ten kinds of sounds are mentioned, and it is said that nine of these should be given up and the tenth, which is akin to the thundering of the clouds, should be practised because Par Brahm, the Ruler of the Third Region, is realised through it. In the Hatha Yoga Pradeepka the Anhat Shabd or Unstruck Music is highly praised in a large number of verses.
In the Vedas, the Divine Sound is called Nad (Inner Music) or Akashvani (sound from the sky). In Buddhist scriptures it is referred to as sonorous Light.
The ancient Greek philosophers also mention this Shabd. Socrates states that he heard within him a sound which took him to indescribable spiritual regions. Plato also mentions it. Pythagoras called it the "Music of the Spheres." It is called Logos (the Word) in Greek.
The Sound which emanates from the Silence is called the Word. All things manifested from It. In the Chinese scriptures, it is called "Tao", meaning the Way or the Word.
The Prophet Zoroaster of Ancient Persia while mentioning six spiritual powers referred to one other power called Sharosha. This word comes from the Sanskrit root "Sh" which means the power of the Lord which can be heard. It is like the word 'Shabd' which is used by the Saints of India.
In the Zend Avesta, the book of Zoroaster, there is a prayer which says:
Oh Mazda (Lord)! Send Sharosha to him whom you love.
Kabir, all the ten Gurus from Guru Nanak onwards, Dadu Sahib, Jagjiwan Sahib, Tulsi Sahib, Darya Sahib, Baba Lal Das, Paltu Sahib and many other Indian Saints or True Masters have taught the practice of listening to the Shabd. The Christian Bible calls it the Word.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
St. John 1:1
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.
St. Luke 8:11
Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, described the Divine Sound as the Voice of the Silence. In the Masonic Order this Logos is described as the Lost Word, which is sought after by every Masonic Master. But it can be had only from the Saints or True Masters of the Word.
It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that God said,
Be, and it was.
In other words the Shabd appeared and the whole of the Universe came into being. The Persian Sufis have called it Wadan, the Divine Sound.
If he had not thought of manifesting; there would have been no Sound or world.
In other words, if the unmanifest had not desired to manifest Himself, there would have been no creative Sound or Power and the world would not have come into being.
The Sufi Saint, Hazrat Inayat Khan, who had access to the spiritual regions, describes the Sound as the Divine Music. He says everything manifested from It and is Its manifestation. In the writings of the Indian Saints it is also clear that all Universes and Regions were created by the Shabd. The Udgit or Celestial Song is resounding in all. Hazrat Sahib clearly called it "Sot-e-Sarmadi", or the Voice of God.
Muslim Saints have called the Inner Music – Kalma-e-Illahi, Voice of God, and Nada-e-Asmani, Celestial Sound. Its practice is known as 'Sultan-ul-Azkar, King of Repetitions, Sot-e-Sarmadi, Voice of God, Sot-e-Nasira, Voice of the Lord, Kalma-e-Illahi, Voice of God, Ism-e-Azam, Greatest Name, Kalma-e-Majid, Holy Word, and Kalma-e-Haq, Voice of Truth, or that which is heard within.
Its practice has been known to a number of sects of the Persian Sufis. There are many references in this context in the writings of Muslim Saints.
Oh brave one, bring down the skies to your feet. Listen to the Voice of Silence from the skies.
The world is filled with the Divine Sound, open the portals of your ears; listen to the Eternal Sound; It is beyond the reach of dissolution.
The Sound is coming from the Divine Home. Why are you entangled in the snares of the world?
Take the cotton of doubt out of your ears, so that you may hear the Celestial Sound. This is a Divine Message, what is the Divine Message except hearing the Heavenly Sound within.
The Prophet said about the Voice of God, It comes to my ears as do the ordinary sounds. But God has placed a seal on your ears, You hear not the Voice of God.
It is said of Prophet Mohammed that he heard the Eternal Sound, Awaz-i-Mustaqim, or Anhad Shabd for fifteen years.
When Mohammed reached the age of 40 years, the signs of his having received the revelation began to appear. According to tradition, he used to hear the Celestial Sound for fifteen years before he received the revelation. He often had divine dreams, and he saw different lights seven years before the revelation. Two years before, he went to the cave at Hara and practised there for a month.
Iktabas-ul-Anwar by Hazrat
Maulvi Sheikh Mohamed
Akram Sabri P. 106
It is again stated on page 106 of the same book that the Prophet practised listening to the Sound for six years and that Abdul Qadir Jilani practised listening to the Sound for twelve years in the cave at Hara.
According to tradition, Hazrat Shah Mir Lahori said that it had been stated by Abdul Qadir Jilani that the Prophet spent six years in the cave of Hara in listening to the Sound and that he had himself spent twelve years in that sacred cave doing the same thing.
Guru Nanak, his successors and other Saints clearly mention the Shabd, Sound.
Guru Nanak Sahib says:
Your ears hear not, your mind is devoid of wisdom, and you know not Shabd nor poise. The egotistical man loses the merit of human birth; and knows naught without the Master.
Bhairon M1, 1126-4
Guru Amar Das has stated:
They who know not the Shabd are blind and deaf. Oh! why did they come in to the world? They taste not the divine essence, and thus waste their lives. They are cast into the womb again and again.
Sorath M3, 601-7
Cherish the Guru's Shabd, oh ignorant one, for Redemption and Wisdom both come from it.
Bihagra Var M4, 550-4
There is no company except that of the Master. Without Shabd no one can cross the ocean.
Maru M3, 1068-14
It is clear from the above references that Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others knew of the Shabd, or Divine Sound, although they did not describe it in detail. Hindu sages and others have given some description of the Eternal Sound pervading in 'Anda' Astral Region and Brahmand the Causal Region.
The Saints of all religions, however, have described the Sound or Shabd of higher regions also.