Thursday, April 2, 2009
Song of Life
It seems counter intuitive that "some sound" can have profound meaning and revelatory capabilities. After all, there are about 300 billion star systems in this galaxy, with this galaxy being one of the hundreds of billions galaxies, and scientists seem to more and more suggest that this vast Universe may be one of many. Add to this vastness of space the mind boggling lengths of Time, and it can seem like an indulgence to think that repeating some syllables while stationed on a "tiny blue dot" can have much meaning. It is interesting that people often, when presented with the notions of the vastness of time and space, say that it makes one feel "small". If they took this "smallness" to heart (and to its extreme), then this same principle can make "one" feel vast. But this is a bit of a tangent, as what all this is setting up is the question of why Mantra contains true power and the resonance of primal reality.
It can be instructive to view the "individual" (and life itself) as a song. The Being itself is a kind of humming tune, which if looked into can provide insight into the various "notes" and "cords" of that particular "Hum". This vibration of Being is at a more fundamental level then the personality and its components (para ahamkara). There is both a "natural" vibration of the being, as well as the vibration of various aspects of the universe at large. It is nearly impossible to tell the inherent vibrational elements from those that "act upon" the individual, and this is because there (in Truth) is not any individual and that Being is not separate from the universal vibration (cosmic Being). This is why Vedic Astrology can be predictive. The vibrations of the planets play their "tune" into the person and add their flavor to the overall "song" of the life expression. Realization means seeing through all this manifest expression to the fundamental core, and Tantra means that if one is going to "be a song", then why not make that song be in accord with the highest realizations.
The seeds of these vibrations of Being represent "pure" manifestations of the deepest aspects of the Ultimate nature. All the expressive qualities of life and living come from these bijas, but as they travel through the various tattvas (or vibrate through), the "notes" become distorted. Most are probably aware of the seed sound of "OM" (and if you are a grubby hippie than you probably have a t-shirt with the Sanskrit syllable). This seed represents the primordial vibration, which is the substratum of Being, but there are other seeds of manifestation that the Tantric sadhak may make use of. The sadhak brings these seeds and there vibrational elements directly into contact (an to bear) with the Tattvas. I often say that Tantra represents a "top- down" approach, and this process would be a good illustration of this. These seeds are often associated with certain forms, as form follows seed (this is why the bija is "prior" to rupa, so with a Yantra one will have only the seeds within the pattern). With the song being the life, and the life being the universe, the manifestation of the pure song of one's life is the same as the purest song of the cosmic Being. But first, it is good that one "feels so small", as one should not use the Tantric process in a way that creates "another head" or in a way the "places the crown on the turd". This means first see through the song and then "sing" a true one. First bring death to the path, then bring Life.
Since we began with Science, let us end with it. It is of interest to note that the theories of astrophysics are becoming more and more wild. If some mystic were to suggest as many dimensions as "string theory", they would be called a complete nutter. For the purpose of this post, it is of interest to note that string theory gets its name from the idea that all manifest existence (at its manifest base) can be boiled down to tiny vibrating "strings" that "play the song of life". The debates in String Theory led also to what is called "M theory" which has as it main hypothesis that all manifest existence (although apparently separate) is in reality one giant "membrane" of Being. To me it makes no difference if some scientist says these things, as they are many thousands of years behind the Sadhus who grasped these things from the heart of there being. In fact, the scientists say certain things but have not really processed the implications in their own "subjective" microcosms. That means that they may see the song, but deep within, they still see it as somehow separate from their lives and themselves. But there is also the difference of seeing the song and singing it (being the pure song), and this illustrates the difference between the Tantric marga and other paths.
May your life be a good song and may the ultimate aspect of your being and heart sing it.