Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Language of the Soul

“Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God.
We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high.”
…….. Bahá'u'lláh

The quote at the beginning of this post is from the Kitab-I-Aqdas, which is more of a set of instructions for a life rooted in spiritual consciousness for followers of the Bahai faith.

One day during my recent visit to my daughter’s home in Norwich, England, I had a unique experience. I strolled into the rear end of her garden and there in a small flower a bee was hovering with a typical buzz. It was extremely quiet, a total silence and no ambient noise polluted this divine sound of nature. Without realizing what I was doing I stood there and closed my eyes. As the visual distraction was removed from my perception, the buzz took on a new character. I could distinguish the modulation as the bee was flying around the flower and soon the concept of the bee being there also disappeared and the pure sound filled all my senses. It was no different from enjoying a symphony or being transported to a new level of consciousness through some Vedic chanting.

My thoughts, in the Norwich garden, later transported me to the Spielberg 1977 movie “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” where the medium of communication when the aliens arrive, is through musical notation because the scientists believe that the cosmic language must be based on vibrations of the energy field. The predominant energy present on earth for us humans is the air and vibrations in air are perceived by the human senses as sound.

Last week there was an article in Times of India in the ‘Speaking Tree’ column “In the Beginning was Sound”. Shri Shri Anandamurti, the author, says: “In the beginning, there was sound. The manifestation of sound is the subtlest; even more so than light. That is why the karnendriya, the ear, is considered as the subtlest organ. Acoustic expressions are of two kinds: one is the divine, or spiritual acoustic expression and the other is the physical. The sound you hear is the physical acoustic expression. The ordinary ear does not perceive the vaster spiritual acoustic expression in the divine realm, in the cosmic domain”. The ringing of chimes during meditation is to link and elevate perception from the physical to the spiritual level.

We are able to hear only a very narrow bandwidth of frequencies but the divine sound operates in the subtlest of planes with a vast array of frequencies in many dimensions (This is the basic tenet of Superstring theory in Physics). This is the reason that science is hitting a brick wall in trying to unravel the nature of reality as through our consciousness we cannot perceive these subtleties. It is only through an inner journey by going beyond waking and dream consciousness that one can attempt to savour the music of the atma. But the path can be initiated through melodic music as Bahá'u'lláh says:
“We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high”

Love to you all


  1. Sometimes your choice of subject seems a bit intuitive.
    Of late I had been thinking a lot about this.
    The children in the school have begun their classes in music.
    A lady who has completed her B.A in music teaches them new songs.
    It was amazing to observe the impact of this medium has
    on all the children, despite their ability to sing.
    Somewhere there seemed to be a search to be part of a deeper sound
    than the one which is normally heard.
    I also have a feeling that the words tone and texture of your voice are determined not by your knowledge in the subject, but by your commitment to be the receiver and your conviction to disseminate the information.
    I think this is very true in any type of teaching.

  2. Thank you Christy for your insightful comment.
    What we percieve through our senses is only the tip of the iceberg and that too is amplified a myopic vision.

  3. In this context I would like to share my experience which I think is very apt for this blog and it is the one which stays in my mind.

    In the year 2000 I was travelling with my friends in Paris. After doing the tourist circuit we made a visit to one of the churches, not a famous one I think;I don't even remember the name. As per the locale it was closer to a court. It was evening time and the sun was glorious.As I entered in I was mesmorised by the the spectacle in front of me!The place with plenty of stained glass windows reflected the sun's rays in many hues creating a magic show! Added to this beauty, the piped music of Latin vespers vibrated that single winged church! For a few moment I was stuck in my place not knowing what to do or how to react. Slowly I reached for a chair and my heart soaked unto the depth!!

  4. Thank you Magi!
    Yes! all the Gothic cathedrals were constructed to resonate the deep vibrations of the Gregorian music. When the matins, compline or vespers were sung through Gregorian chant the effect was magnified by the acoustics of the cathedrals.
    This is true in all temples and Mosques. The high vaulted ceilings and the architecture were the main amplifiers and resonators that provided the right ambience for the faithful.
    It is narrated that when the enemies of the prophet came to kill him, they stood mesmerized and rooted to the ground when the Surahs were being chanted by the prophet and converted to his Umma.
    We have forgotten the purpose of musical worship and treat it as mere ritual aid.
    Music is the ladder through which the soul ascends to the higher realms.

  5. This has a ring of truth in every individual's experience, only that we are not very attentive or sensitive to the music of the Cosmos, the naadabrahma. The music of our own heartbeats goes on but rarely are we consciously receptive to its musical note. The language of the soul is that of pure exctasy. A most brilliant write, TIBS.

  6. Thank you Bhaskar,
    Your comment is a pearl of wisdom.

  7. Dear TIB,

    The audible range of frequencies invoke the deepest instincts of our brain more directly unlike even the higher visible frequencies.

    As Bhaskar says while naadhabrahma is omnipresent, we are receptive only to a part of it. And very few of us really cherish it.

    You and your friends over here seem to be one of them.

    On a different note, soul is perceived in different ways by different people.

    Here was my take on it, two years back.


  8. Dear TBT,

    Thanks for the comment and the sharing of your take on the soul.
    Your stories and how it is not erudite scholars and pundits who realize the living presence of the divine but simple people who lead us by their example are the first experience in our daily lives. Mother Theresa was another shinning example.

    Thanks aagin