Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rhythms of the Universe

“O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.”……..Bhagavad-Gita 7:8

“Rhythms of the Universe”, a musical project to "sonify" the universe by renowned contemporary percussionist and Grammy award-winning artist Mickey Hart caught the attention of Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist George Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Hart presented his composition using supernova (an exploding star from which all the heavier elements of our body and the earth are made) and other astrophysics data during the Cosmology at the Beach Conference held Jan. 11-15, 2010 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The conference is cosponsored by Smoot after he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2006.
When a star goes out with a bang as a supernova, scientists on earth gather the electromagnetic waves from these stellar explosions to learn more about the universe, from understanding its birth 13 billion years ago, to determining what the universe is of made of, to predicting how it may eventually end. Light and Gamma ray from the exploding star are electromagnetic data, but with a very high frequency. What the project did is turn it into sound by slowing down the frequency and 'stretching' it into an audio form. Both light and sound are all wave forms -- just at different frequencies. Our goal was to turn the electromagnetic data into audio data while still preserving the correlation to the original data. The sound that was produced was a deep vibrational rumble, punctuated with deeper, louder sounds -- almost what one would think an earthquake sounds like.

When I read this news in ScienceDaily my thoughts immediately went to Rig Veda, where the worship of Agni, the primordial energy, is the main theme. In
Rig Veda Book X chapter 71 verse 4 it says:

“Yet certain ones, though seeing, may not see her,
and other ones, though hearing, may not hear her.
But to some the Word reveals herself quite freely,
like fair-robed bride surrendering to her husband.”

The word is the manifestation of the divine in the created universe and to scientist though they might see an occurrence such as the death of a star for them it is nothing but a bright star which has suddenly lost all its mass and even they can not fathom the true nature of its current energy state. To common men who hear of this event we do not comprehend the meaning of this occurrence both at the macro as well as at the micro level. But to a true seeker the permanence of the Divine consciousness, as Agni, which inhabits every atom in the universe and which reveals itself in the innermost depth of one’s consciousness there is a glorious revelation of unchanging permanence.

Atharva Veda Book IV Hymn 1, dealing with Cosmological and mystico-theological doctrine, the saying is:

Abiding by Cosmic Order, he fixed as his seat
the mighty firmaments of Heaven and Earth. ………………..
Just as the luminous day is born from light,
so may the radiant singers shine far and wide!

These words very aptly capture the essence of what Cosmologists, Musicians and ancient seers understand; namely the revelation of cosmic order in the cosmos and its manifestation through light and sound. Every object in the cosmos shines and sings the glory of the innate Divine energy that sustains them.

Love to you all!


  1. Whenever I came across the the term,'cosmos', I used to shut down my mind saying I may not be able to cognize the concept.Now that I regularly read the blog, I have grown to the level of reading further inspite of 'cosmos'.But today's blog is quite understandble even from a laywoman's point of view.It also brings to light how the same process of light and sound receives different interpretation from different groups of people as per their 'search tool'.

  2. I am happy for you that you have made the transition to opening up to the Cosmos. 'Kosmos' is a Greek word meaning 'order'. Though there appears to be chaos in the universe there is an underlying order which can only be seen by a true seeker. Your comments are special and deep as you are using a very universal search tool that is given to every human being namely; the prompting of the soul.