Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation
For the next stage of our investigation on meditation, we are going to study - and practice! - japa as a means to tame the mind and we shall investigate the Gayatri Mantra.
The relevance of OM to the entire world was indicated last week. It is such a basic principle to the state of existence that it has no boundaries of culture or creed. The Maitraayana Upanishad, after stating that there is only one Brahman without words says that there came the 'word-Brahman' and that word is OM. Thus it is made clear that OM is a manifestation from the unmanifest. It is also called as 'pranava', that which pervades in the way that breathing pervades life. Another, more widely known upanishad, the Maanduukya makes its entire statement upon the syllable of OM. It is in this text that we find the OM explored in terms of the triavastaaH - waking, dream and deep sleep states, then moving onto the fourth state of 'turiiya'… this is done by noting that the sound syllable is made up of A, U and M then some characters which are not so much letter, but accents. We have explored this in an earlier post.
We can utilise the OM for meditation purposes by visualising the states as discussed previously. Our focus in the current series of explorations, though, is the sound quality - the 'mantra element' - of the symbol.
In every piece of music we have to take under consideration firstly its sound, secondly the laws of music and thirdly the meaning to be gained from it. We all do this when listening to any form of music, however unfocused we are! This is the magic of music. It reaches us and affects us even when we are not consciously listening to it. It is this very thing which makes the use of music in public places, in advertising and so on so very powerful.
Do not underestimate the power of sound as given out in musical tone!
With OM there is the sound - the pronunciation via the mouth; the technical - application of 'laws' upon one's character; and the meaning - the essence beyond the sound which affects one emotionally. OM is the representative of that which is beyond sound, the Eternal Self - that Self is indicated by the turiiya - the silence which surrounds the sound. Where A, U and M, as individual maatraas (sound elements) clearly represent the waking, dream and deep-sleep ego-self, OM as a complete symbol also contains that representation of that which is witness to all. Memory can only pertain to the individual. A brother cannot have the memories of his sister, nor she his. They may have similar memories around a shared event, but each will have only their own memories and these may have variations according to their own subjective natures. The law of memory is that the rememberer and the experiencer must be one and the same. This is the entity which knows what happens to the self in each of the different states and each of those states can only reflect the experiences of that individual, not of anyone else. That observer entity which is referred to as 'sakshii' in general usage, is here, in the OM, referred to as 'turiiya'. This is because there is a 'sound' a vibration, albeit "silence".
The A, U, M are as essential to the sound as the silence upon which they are imposed. Thus we can surmise that silence is ever-abiding and sound, representing the three states of living, is transient. Yet, by the very fact that sound can arise, we must say that sound has the potential to be ever-present in its naked form of silence. It is a part of silence. Without the presence of silence, sound would not be possible.
Without the presence of Brahman, we would not be possible…
Review the 'AUM Explorer' posts. … review more! Constantly reinforce understanding, correct understanding, discover new understanding. This is the process.