The Principle of the Divine Sound
What is this Sound or Melody? What is its nature? Some say that when two things strike against each other, sound is created. Others say that where there is motion, there is sound. Of course, sound is generated by collision and by motion, but the melody referred to by Saints is superior. This melody sustains the Universe and is the distinguishing mark of spirituality.
Saints say that the entire universe was created by means of Sound. Muslims say that the word 'Kun' brought the whole world into being. Christians also maintain that the world was created by the Word.
This Sound or Melody is conscious. It is the very essence of consciousness. The melody is knowledge and is also the medium for the manifestation of real knowledge.
Know knowledge and contemplation to be the melody which is indescribable.
Sri Rag M1, 59-8
This Sound or Melody pervades all. It is even inside stones and wood, as these are made up of atoms and motion is inherent in them. Because of this motion everything constantly undergoes change. The motion itself is the cause of change. In reality, everything is changing. This world changes every hour, every minute and every second. Every moment, every hour and every day This world changes its condition.
Whether we know it or not, a stone continues to change. There is motion in it. Sound is a necessary corollary of motion and, therefore, a stone is not free from the sound. Both the bodies that we see and those we do not see are in motion. There is, therefore, Sound in all, and the Sound is the essence of all. Whether full or empty, all are full of His divine Melody. Look at the drum and see how sound emanates from it.
The divine Sound fills both the full and the empty. Look at the drum and see how its skin cries out.
This Melody pervades all and is the life and sustenance of all. This current of consciousness is very subtle. It requires equally subtle ears to hear it.
A Sufi Saint has very appropriately said:
Wire is dead, wood is dead, and skin is dead, whence comes this Sound of the friend (God)?
In fact, the Shabd or Divine Sound is the Creator of the Universe. All this manifestation is created by this Sound.
If he had not thought of manifesting, there would have been no Sound or world.
The Beloved is always speaking to you. Alas! you do not listen to Him.
My Beloved is always addressing you. Alas! you listen not to the words of the Ancient One.
The Prophet says,
The Voice of God is resounding in my ears as do ordinary sounds. But God has sealed your ears, so that you may not hear it.
The Prophet said about the Voice of God,
It comes to my ears like ordinary sounds. But God has placed a seal on your ears You hear not the Voice of God.
This Sound, described as the Voice of God, or the Beloved, or the Friend, is resounding everywhere in the world.
Hafiz Sahib says:
All the seven regions are resounding with this Sound. But fools do not hear It, for the Sound is subtle.
This Sound is resounding in the seven regions but the unwise cannot understand It. This Sound is pure and independent. It is not sustained by anything else. Here in this material region, Maya and mind predominate and the Sound is intermixed with them. The Sound can be realised in the forehead in the Sushmana, the Royal Vein, under the direction of a Guru. The practice of hearing the heavenly Sound is necessary to gain knowledge of the soul.
One should listen to the Divine Sound, which is called by the Muslims Saints, Sout-e-Sarmadi, Eternal Sound or Naghma-e-Yazdani, Song of God, and thus reach the region where the never-ending Sound of the Beloved is resounding, having descended from the higher regions.
Maulana Rumi says:
Seek the Sound that never ceases. Seek the Sun that never sets.
Worldly people do not know of this Sound. When one goes within after receiving instructions from a Master, who is adept in the practice of the Sound, one hears hundreds of sounds, while those sitting near him hear nothing.
He hears within him hundreds of sounds; those sitting near him do not hear any.
These melodies are not imaginary. Those who have practised the path of the Sound Current, in any Age, have described the Melody in similar terms. Even today the ignorant children and new seekers who keep the company of Saints, hear It and bear witness to its existence as an experienced fact.
There is mention of the melodies of the Shabd in the Upanishads.
In the beginning of the practice there are loud sounds. They go on increasing and are heard in a subtle form. The sounds in the beginning are those of the sea, thunder clouds, drums, running-water brooks, the bell or the conch-shell horn.
Nad Bindu Upanishad of Rig Veda – P. 33-34
In the book called Bhakti-Sagar, Saint Charandas has mentioned ten different kinds of sounds, such as the chirping of sparrows and the cricket, the tinkling of small bells, the ringing of big bells, the conch shell, the bagpipe, the cymbals, the reed, the small drum, the flute and the roaring of lions. In the Hathyog Pradeepika, there is also mention of ten similar sounds such as, those of the humming of bees, anklet bells, the conch shell, the bell, the cymbals, the flute, the kettle drum, the small drum, the reed and the roaring of lions. On page ninety-eight of the Sar Bachan, also there is mention of ten sounds heard in Sahasdal Kanwal, the Thousand-Petalled Lotus:
The sounds of conch shells and bells come aloud.The wonderful music of the vina and the reed resounds.The sounds of cymbals, drums and kingri are heard.The sounds of drums and tambourine rattle. The nectar rains in thousands of showers;The skies revolve like a wheel.
Madam Blavatsky writes in "The Voice of the Silence" as under:
The first (sound) is like the nightingale's sweet voice, chanting a song of parting to its mate. The second comes as the sound of the silver cymbals of the Dhyanis awaking the twinkling stars. The next is as the plaintive melodies of the ocean spirit imprisoned in its shell. And this is followed by the chant of the Vina. The fifth like the sound of the bamboo flute, shrills in their ears. It changes into a trumpet blast. The last vibrates like the dull rumbling of thunder clouds.
Amir Khusro has also mentioned these sounds, describing them as follows:
The first is the humming of bees, The second is the ringing of bells, The third is the sound of the conch shell. The fourth that of a big bell. The fifth is the sound of the bell (tall), The sixth is the sound of the flute. The seventh is the sound of the kettle drum, The eighth the sound of the small drum. The ninth is the sound of the clarionet, The tenth is the sound of the roaring of a lion.
The ceaseless music is of ten kinds,
The Yogi becomes engrossed in them, and the mind and senses fall away. When the ceaseless music begins to ring, the thieves from the body slink away. The Grace of the Master is upon him. Khusro has merged in the Divine Music.
These are the sounds at the preliminary stages. The real sounds are those of the bell and conch shell, which are related to the higher regions.
Nobody knows where the home of the Beloved is; but from that region comes the Sound of bells.
There is Divine Music and Melody in the Shabd:
The melody of bliss and balance, comes from the true Inner Sound, the mind is attuned to the truth. And the devotee enshrines in his mind the unfathomable invisible Naam.
Sarang M3, 1234-8
Why do we not hear this Sound? This Sound is resounding all the time. Why then do we not hear it? The reason is that waves are constantly arising in our minds and we are full of selfhood and pride. We cannot, therefore/enjoy the Sound nor do we love the Name of God.
The mind is entrapped in a whirlpool, the ego is greatly inflated. Such a one is not attuned to the Shabd. Nor does he cherish the Lord's Name.
Sarang Var M3, 1247-14
Maulana Rumi also says that your ears cannot hear the Divine Melody because sins have deadened and defiled the sensitivity of your ears.
You do not hear the melodies with your ears. The sensitivity of your ears has been defiled by the sins.
This Inner Melody is the Name of the Lord. It is the form of the Lord which pervades the Universe.
The Guru's Word or the Lord's Name Is the Panacea for all ills.
Basant M1, 1189-7
This melody is also called the Bani, Voice of God, which has existed throughout all the four Ages.
Truth rings throughout the four Ages, and Truth is what it proclaims.
Sri Rag M2, 35-9
The Voice is present everywhere and has been described as Shabd or Nam. It is very sweet and loving.
Through the Word, the Name tastes sweet. This is how the Word is known age after age.
Sorath M2, 602-13
Alas! man remains always in the bondage of the body and its entanglements. Being trapped in gross matter, he does not hear the most subtle Sound of the Lord.
Alas! you remain imprisoned in the body and do not listen to the sacred Divine Music. It is always calling the soul to return to its True Home. A Sound is coming from the eternal abode to call you back.
This Sound is not within the reach of the physical ears. But everyone has the faculty of hearing it within. For this it is necessary to open the inner ears and this can be done by following the directions of the Master.
Those who have not gone within and who are still engrossed in the worldly sciences are ignorant of this Divine Melody. The physical sciences may not be able to prove it, but whatever has been stated above is a fact and can be actually experienced by practice behind the eyes by a seeker by going within the laboratory of the Saints.