What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

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What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Harmanpreet singhh » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:59 am

Sangat ji please help what " are five primal sounds " in the following shabad of Gurbani !!


ਸਲੋਕ ਮਃ ੧ ॥
Shalok, First Mehl:

ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਘਰੁ ਦੇਖਾਇ ਦੇਇ; ਸੋ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਸੁਜਾਣੁ ॥
The True Guru is the All-knowing Primal Being; He shows us our true home within the home of the self.

ਪੰਚ ਸਬਦ ਧੁਨਿਕਾਰ ਧੁਨਿ; ਤਹ ਬਾਜੈ, ਸਬਦੁ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ॥
The Panch Shabad, the Five Primal Sounds, resonate and resound within; the insignia of the Shabad is revealed there, vibrating gloriously.

ਦੀਪ ਲੋਅ ਪਾਤਾਲ ਤਹ; ਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਹੈਰਾਨੁ ॥
Worlds and realms, nether regions, solar systems and galaxies are wondrously revealed.

ਤਾਰ ਘੋਰ ਬਾਜਿੰਤ੍ਰ ਤਹ; ਸਾਚਿ ਤਖਤਿ ਸੁਲਤਾਨੁ ॥
The strings and the harps vibrate and resound; the true throne of the Lord is there.

ਸੁਖਮਨ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਰਾਗੁ ਸੁਨਿ; ਸੁੰਨਿ ਮੰਡਲਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥
Listen to the music of the home of the heart - Sukhmani, peace of mind. Lovingly tune in to His state of celestial ecstasy.

ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਬੀਚਾਰੀਐ; ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
Contemplate the Unspoken Speech, and the desires of the mind are dissolved.

ਉਲਟਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਭਰਿਆ; ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਕਤਹੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
The heart-lotus is turned upside-down, and is filled with Ambrosial Nectar. This mind does not go out; it does not get distracted.

ਅਜਪਾ ਜਾਪੁ ਨ ਵੀਸਰੈ; ਆਦਿ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
It does not forget the Chant which is chanted without chanting; it is immersed in the Primal Lord God of the ages.

ਸਭਿ ਸਖੀਆ ਪੰਚੇ ਮਿਲੇ; ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਜ ਘਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥
All the sister-companions are blessed with the five virtues. The Gurmukhs dwell in the home of the self deep within.

ਸਬਦੁ ਖੋਜਿ ਇਹੁ ਘਰੁ ਲਹੈ; ਨਾਨਕੁ ਤਾ ਕਾ ਦਾਸੁ ॥੧॥
Nanak is the slave of that one who seeks the Shabad and finds this home within. ||1||






I also feel ,in the following translation


ਸੁਖਮਨ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਰਾਗੁ ਸੁਨਿ; ਸੁੰਨਿ ਮੰਡਲਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥
Listen to the music of the home of the heart - Sukhmani, peace of mind. Lovingly tune in to His state of celestial ecstasy.



ਸੁਖਮਨ ( Sukhman ) is not " Sukhmani ie peace of mind " as translated in srigranth.com , Sukhman is one of the three viens IRA , PINGLA and SUKHMANA



sat nam shri Wahe Guru ji
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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby himmat_singh » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:28 pm

Sat Sri Akal

Dear Harmanpreet Singh ji, just as you also mention in your footnote the ida, and pingala, there is a connection of this shabd to yoga practices; the heart lotus is one of the lotuses mentioned in yoga; when one meditates intensely one can hear the Panch Shabd, in the Court of the Lord - and quite critically, within . The Court of the Lord where the Panch Shabd is to be heard, is to be found within, this is what Guru Nanak Dev ji is trying to get across to his followers; people look outside for God, but He is within and that is where Sachkhand is:

The Panch Shabd , or Anhad Shabd is to do with the celestial sound.

Here are some different takes on it :

With respect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji:

The whole creation has a primal sound to which it vibrates. This celestial music (called dhun or naad) or sound (dhun) gives rise to “LETTERS” and letters combine to form “WORDS” and words lead to the formation of language. This is why “KIRTAN” is given the status of a supreme one in Gurbani and is equivalent to an invaluable diamond.


( Guru Granth Sahib Darshan - Sewa Singh (Sant) Gurdwara Rampur Khera)

Sewa Singh ji continues in his book with an explanation of the 31 Raags and how kirtan performed correctly can take one to higher spiritual levels.

Also:
Naam Simran (continuous remembrance of God’s Name) is the preparation for Gurbani. You plow the ground, make the earth ready, and then you do Simran. Simran is Gurmantra (mantra given by the Guru). Khalsa is to recite "Wahe Guru", and a Sikh is to recite "Sat Naam". Sat Naam can elevate the consciousness of any person to Infinity, and Wahe Guru can bring the experience of that Infinity. Wa means Infinite, He means Thou, and Guru means Self. When chanted, it brings you very near to God. Sat Naam is a Panch Shabad (mantra containing five sounds). Saa means Infinity, Taa means birth, Naa means death and Maa means resurrection. Sat Naam is the Shabad in which you have superiority over God. God is a slave in the hands of the devotees. Sat Naam purifies the entire time and space, when you speak it once, it does not matter when. It is a superior self-power of God. God is re-membered by His actions. Naam Simran is a must to prepare for Gurbani to have its effect. It is the complete science of the Word and sound. It changes a human’s biological and psychological metabolism of his body, mind and soul.


(The above is as explained by Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji)
and the full text can be found on:
[url]
http://fateh.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/sikhis ... enDocument [/url]

And: You can also read about the five primal sounds of the “The Panch Shabd” in this blog

http://neo-sikhism.blogspot.com/2008/11/rag-mala-panch-shabad.html

and also in this article from the Radha Soami organisation:

http://www.satnaam.info/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=165

Finally my own opinion:

If you bear in mind the Shabd Guru is written when certain practices were prevalent in India at the time, you will see how it can be linked to the significance of primal sounds in other S Asian religious philosophy, in particular Yogi philosophy. The repeated repetition of particular sounds (which don’t necessarily have any literal meaning at all, although some do), cause the bones of the skull to resonate in a particular fashion, which can cause one to enter a trance like state. This is what mantras are about. If you do it after meditation ( Naam Simran), without distractions, you will find it easier, as your mind is already thinking about God, ie about spiritual matters. Some achieve this with mantras, some with certain types of music, some with qwallis, and kirtan sung “correctly” to the Raags can also cause this to happen. Moving ones upper body, especially the head, to and fro, in a gentle rocking motion to rhythmical music can also cause this, and can supplement any of the other methods. You will see some people doing this rocking motion when they are listening to qwallis. They are almost intoxicated, but without having taken any intoxicants at all.

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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Punjabi G » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:40 pm

In my understanding, Panch Shabad in Gurbani is used to describe Anhad Naad (Primal Sound) or Eternal Bliss or. It is also described little differently by some others such as awakening of Kundalini, Primal sound which was there from the beginning, very essence of Naam, a melodious sound which comes from the use of 5 types of instruments etc. I guess it’s vague in nature because this is something to be experienced by individuals and not just described.

The word comes at various parts in Gurbani and most familiar one from Daily prayer Anand Sahib:
ਵਾਜੇ ਪੰਚ ਸਬਦ ਤਿਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਸਭਾਗੈ ॥
The Panch Shabad, the five primal sounds, vibrate in that blessed house.
ਘਰਿ ਸਭਾਗੈ ਸਬਦ ਵਾਜੇ ਕਲਾ ਜਿਤੁ ਘਰਿ ਧਾਰੀਆ ॥
In that blessed house, the Shabad vibrates; He infuses His almighty power into it.

Few more places where Panch Shabad is used in Gurbani:

ਪੰਚ ਸਬਦ ਤਹ ਪੂਰਨ ਨਾਦ ॥ Ang.888
pa(n)ch sabadh theh pooran naadh ||
The Panch Shabad, the five primal sounds, echo the perfect sound current of the Naad.

ਅਨਹਦ ਬਾਜੇ ਅਚਰਜ ਬਿਸਮਾਦ
anehadh baajae acharaj bisamaadh ||
The wondrous, amazing unstruck melody vibrates.


You are absolutely correct that Sukhman or Sukhmana is not the same as Sukhmani. Sukhman or Sukhmana comes in the same context as Dasam dwar and Kundalini and is believed to be a nerve alongside with Ida and Pingula (between left and right nostril between the two eyebrows).

ਇੜਾ ਪਿੰਗੁਲਾ ਅਉਰ ਸੁਖਮਨਾ ਤੀਨਿ ਬਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਈ Ang. 974

Some Sikhs also call 24 ashtpadi’s of bani of Guru Ramdas Ji as Sukhmana bani.

But what’s derived from all these examples is that various methods and tools are used by different people to attain Eternal bliss but Gurbani once again stresses upon the remembrance of God as the most useful way.
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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Kuldip S. Virdi » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:57 pm

Prof Sahib Singh Jee translates 'panch shabad' (five primal sounds) as sounds of five type of musical instruments i.e. wire instruments(sarangi, violin etc.), metal instrumnet (khadtaal, chimta etc.), earthen pot( ghatam, ghadda), leather(tabla, dhol etc.) and wind (flute, trombon, harmonica etc.) instruments in Guru Granth Sahib Darpan.

Please see referene below:
http://www.gurugranthdarpan.com/darpan2/1291.html

Guru fateh.

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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Harmanpreet singhh » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:20 am

Harmanpreet singhh wrote:Sangat ji please help what " are five primal sounds " in the following shabad of Gurbani !!

I also feel ,in the following translation

ਸੁਖਮਨ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਰਾਗੁ ਸੁਨਿ; ਸੁੰਨਿ ਮੰਡਲਿ ਲਿਵ ਲਾਇ ॥
Listen to the music of the home of the heart - Sukhmani, peace of mind. Lovingly tune in to His state of celestial ecstasy.

ਸੁਖਮਨ ( Sukhman ) is not " Sukhmani ie peace of mind " as translated in srigranth.com , Sukhman is one of the three viens IRA , PINGLA and SUKHMANA
sat nam shri Wahe Guru ji
HIMMAT SINGH JI Dear Harmanpreet Singh ji, just as you also mention in your footnote the ida, and pingala, there is a connection of this shabd to yoga practices;

PUNJABI JIYou are absolutely correct that Sukhman or Sukhmana is not the same as Sukhmani. Sukhman or Sukhmana comes in the same context as Dasam dwar and Kundalini and is believed to be a nerve alongside with Ida and Pingula (between left and right nostril between the two eyebrows).

ਇੜਾ ਪਿੰਗੁਲਾ ਅਉਰ ਸੁਖਮਨਾ ਤੀਨਿ ਬਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਈ Ang. 974


MEHARBANI , respected members ,for confirmation , infact all present english translations of GURU SAHIB JI translate SUKHMAN as SUKHMANI ,we should do something about this ,so that correction can be made in translation .

NOW BACK to main question about PANCH SHABAD " FIVE PRIMAL SOUNDS "

I am still unsatisfied by the answers of HIMMAT JI , PUNJABI JI , KULDIPJI ,


with my little understanding, i feel that again there is a problem in translation


ਪੰਚ ਸਬਦ ਧੁਨਿਕਾਰ ਧੁਨਿ; ਤਹ ਬਾਜੈ, ਸਬਦੁ ਨੀਸਾਣੁ ॥
Pancẖ sabaḏ ḏẖunikār ḏẖun ṯah bājai sabaḏ nīsāṇ.
The Panch Shabad, the Five Primal Sounds, resonate and resound within; the insignia of the Shabad is revealed there, vibrating gloriously.


no doubt that litrally panch means five ,

but consider the following from JAPJI SAHIB ,

ਪੰਚ ਪਰਵਾਣ ਪੰਚ ਪਰਧਾਨੁ ॥
Pancẖ parvāṇ pancẖ parḏẖān.
The chosen ones, the self-elect, are accepted and approved.

ਪੰਚੇ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਦਰਗਹਿ ਮਾਨੁ ॥
Pancẖe pāvahi ḏargahi mān.
The chosen ones are honored in the Court of the Lord.

ਪੰਚੇ ਸੋਹਹਿ ਦਰਿ ਰਾਜਾਨੁ ॥
Pancẖe sohahi ḏar rājān.
The chosen ones look beautiful in the courts of kings.

ਪੰਚਾ ਕਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ॥
Pancẖā kā gur ek ḏẖi▫ān.
The chosen ones meditate single-mindedly on the Guru.


here panch donot means five , in Indian villages there is panchayat system , where panchs are elected ,when we generally say that " he is a Panch of village " ,it means he is among SUPEREME/SELECTED person in village ,

Simply i wanna say that " PANCH SHABAD " means the " SUPEREME WORD " which is think is "ONKAAR"( First word of Guru Granth Sahib ji and each shabad in Gurbani starts fron EK ONKAAR )
and it is ONE not FIVE as translated , GURU SAHIB PLACED EK ie numerical letter 1 before ONKAAR ,and it becomes IK ONKAAR ie not FIVE .


hope it makes sense


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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Gurcharan S Walia » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:49 pm

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh:

I read all the responds regarding abovesaid matter. I will not write long long matter many times I wrote on this forum long time ago. Anyway The five primal sounds are:

1. Flute
2. Drum
3. Rabab
4. Ghungroo
5. Narsinghe

plus Sankh, Toor, Singhi etc etc.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh:
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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby himmat_singh » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:19 pm

Sat Sri Akal

Dear Harmanpreet ji,

If you really want to sort this out, and get a real understanding of why "Panch" Shabd appears, and why "panch" is recurrent in India, in things like the Panchyat, Panj Piarey, Panj (Nitmen) Banis, Panj Ks, and even Panj Takhts, you will have to link the compositions in SGGS ji to the various other South Indian religious philosophies. Some people even recite the Mool Mantar 5 times. There are also 5 pillars to Islam and muslims recite 5 times day.

My opinion: The compositions are essentially a development of Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga. There are some references to Jain and Islamic practises as well, and some other practices as well, such as Sufi methods and those of mystics, but the main elements are Hinduism, Bhuddism and Yoga. If you research Hinduism and Yoga you will find repeated references to "Panch" this and "Panch" that, and Yoga and Buddhism together give the basis of awareness and mind control in Sikhi (Naam Jaap, and Naam Simran) . Sufism/Qwallis have lead to the kirtan side.


I will put another separate post together (probably tomorrow now) but it may not be allowed as it might break guidelines, so you may have to just go on the above and research it yourself if you want to understand why "panch" is recurrent.

God Bless

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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby himmat_singh » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:09 pm

Sat Sri Akal

Dear Harmanpreet ji,

Guru Nanak Dev ji grew up in a Hindu society that had taken over from Buddhism, and Yoga was still valued highly in the Gurus' era, especially up to and including Guru Arjan Dev ji. Yoga is now making a comeback, especially in the West, as is Buddhism. Without necessarily having to believe in a God residing in heaven or the clouds, they are appealing to more scientific minds. I would contend Sikhi, especially up to the end of the Fifth Guru’s time did not focus on an external God, but only on reaching the Court of the Lord, within oneself, and to be one with Him, in this life. This would have been achieved through very methodical processes to discipline the mind to raise inner awareness and to reduce distractions from external sources.

There are different types of yoga, like Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Raja Yoga, but they are all quite scientific and the practitioners have a goal of disciplining and controlling the body and/or the mind. By mastering it enables one to bear pain, and also not get carried away be pleasure. This is an essential component of Sikhi, especially early Sikhi, I would contend that at least the first five Gurus were masters of Yoga.

With respect to “Panch” the following three extracts from Mind, its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivanananda also show how 5 was significant:

Mind is made up of subtle, Sattvic, Apanchikrita (non-quintuplicated) Tanmatric matter.


Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana (veiling) and Anugraha (blessing) are the five kinds of action (Panchakrityas) of God.


When you concentrate on a Chakra, a thread-like connection is formed in the beginning between the mind and the Chakra (centre of spiritual energy). Then the Yogi ascends along the Sushumna from Chakra to Chakra. The ascent is made gradually by patient efforts. Even a mere shaking of the opening of Sushumna causes a great deal of Ananda (bliss). You become intoxicated. You will entirely forget the world. When the opening of Sushumna is shaken a bit, the Kula-Kundalini Sakti tries to enter Sushumna. Great Vairagya comes in. You will become fearless. You will behold various visions. You will witness the splendid .Antarjyotis.. This is termed Unmani Avastha. You will get different Siddhis, different types of Ananda and you will get different kinds of knowledge by controlling and operating on different Chakras. If you have conquered the Muladhara Chakra, you have conquered the earth-plane already. If you have conquered the Manipura Chakra, you have already conquered fire. Fire will not burn you. Panchadharana (five kinds of Dharana) will help you to conquer the five elements. Learn them under a Guru who is a
developed Yogi



The following goes into detail of the significance of the primal sound.

Extracted from “Om Yoga – Its Theory and Practice – Swami Nirmalananda Giri”

[b]Appendix One: The Yoga of Sound[/b]
Why sound?
“By sound one becomes liberated [Anavrittih shabdai],” is the concluding verse of the Brahma Sutras (4.4.22).

Why do we use sound in meditation? Why not use one of the other senses or faculties,since touch, sight, taste, and smell must also possess increasingly subtler forms until they reach the point of their emerging? It is true that these four faculties do have subtle forms, but only sound reaches to the ultimate point of emergence.The five senses correspond to the five elements of which all things consist. Those elements are ether [akasha], air [vayu], fire [agni], water [apah], and earth [prithvi]. That is, their grossest forms are those of sound [shabda], sight [drishti], touch [sparsha], taste [rasa], and smell [gandha] as perceived by the bodily senses. Because of this we use these terms to refer to them. But the water element is not just the liquid we call “water.” It is much more, having roots in the astral and causal planes. The same is true of the other elements. When relative existence, individual or cosmic, begins, there is a chain of manifestation. First there is the out-turning of the consciousness itself. This modification on the cosmic level is the emerging of the Mahat Tattwa, the Great Element, that is the Personal or Saguna Brahman, spoken of in Christianity as “the Only-begotten of the Father” or “Son” of God. In the individual this is the sense of asmita: I-am-ness. Then the Pradhana [Prakriti] modifies itself into the five elements, beginning with ether, and each succeeding element contains within itself some of the preceding elements. That is, air is not “pure” but is air mixed with some ether. Fire possesses some of the ether and air element. Water has some fire, air, and ether. Earth has some water, fire, air, and ether. So only ether is unmixed, and only ether is “touching” the principle of Consciousness. In other words, only ether is in direct contact with the spirit. Yet ether (akasha) pervades all the other elements as their prime constituent–actually as their source and core element. Sound is the quality (or faculty) of ether; touch is the quality of air; sight is the quality of fire; taste is the quality of water; and smell is the quality of earth.

Sound, then, is the only thing that reaches back to the principle of consciousness. The other elements stop somewhere along the way. Sound, then, can affect all the elements. There is more. The other four elements have only one faculty or power, but akasha has two faculties or powers: Vak and Shabda–Speaking and Hearing. The faculties of the four other elements are all passive. The faculty of smell cannot generate smells, the faculty of taste cannot generate tastes, etc., though the memory or imagination of them is possible. Ether, on the other hand, has the capacity to both generate and hear sound on the mental levels. The etheric faculty both speaks and hears what it speaks, is both active and passive. This is unique among the elements. Akasha alone possesses the creative power, the power of sound. When we inwardly intone Om and become absorbed in that sound, by centering our awareness in the act of intoning Om and listening to It, we become thoroughly centered in the Chidakasha, the Infinite Consciousness that is our only Self. The five elements also correspond to the five levels or bodies known as koshas: the anandamaya, jnanamaya, manomaya, pranamaya, and annamaya bodies. These are the intelligence, intellectual, mental (sensory), biomagnetic, and physical bodies. The highest (most subtle) body is the etheric body (anandamaya kosha) which is the seat of sound or speech. Sound, then, is the direct means to return our awareness to the inmost level of our being and put us into touch with consciousness itself. In fact, consciousness is innate in sound. At the same time, sound rules all the levels of our being and has the ability to infuse all those levels with the highest spiritual consciousness. Sound has the power to “spiritualize” every bit of us. And the essence, the root, of all sound is Om.

A special form of sound
We say that we use sound in Om Yoga–in meditation especially. But it is not just any form of sound. Rather, it is sound that is produced (generated) in the mind–not sound that is passively heard either through the ears or through the memory of auditory sound. This generation of sound is the process known as thinking. So yoga is accomplished by the generation and observation of a thought in the mind. This is why Shankara, commenting on Yoga Sutra 2:20, says that the activity of pure consciousness in the individual is “observation of thoughts in the mind.…Purusha, looking on at thought in the mind alone, sees only that, and never fails to see thought which is his object.…To witness is natural to him, in the sense that his essence is awareness of the mind’s ideas.” (“Mind is by definition the object of purusha.” Vyasa) Now this is extremely profound. The only thing we ever do in our real nature as pure consciousness is to observe thoughts in the intellect (buddhi). Sense impressions are perceived a step away from that in the lower mind (manas). Perceiving thought is the sole activity of the spirit-consciousness. Perception of thought is also a perpetual–truly an inescapable–activity of the purusha. It is only reasonable then to conclude that to discover the true self or to cause the self to become established in its real nature we must employ the faculty of thought. Yet it is thought that is tangling us up all the time in false identities. So it is not just thought in general that we need, but a special kind of thought–one that turns the awareness back upon itself and eventually merges itself into the pure consciousness that is spirit. That unique thought is Om. “Its japa and meditation is the way.” Our eternal nature ensures our success.

The “genealogy” of sound
The cosmos and the individual are manifested by the same process: ever-expanding soundvibration, Spanda. First there comes the most subtle expansion-movement or vibration on the causal level where rather than an objective sound it is a bhava, the slightest differentiation of primal consciousness. This is known as dhvani. Dhvani then expands and mutates into nada, which is sound, but in such a subtle form that it is more an idea of sound rather than actual sound. Nada develops into nirodhika, a kind of focussing of the energy so it becomes potential sound. This expands and becomes ardha-indu (ardhendu), the “half-moon” which is the crescent shape seen on the Om symbol and on the head of Shiva. This is both thought and sound, but sound that can only be heard as the faintest of inner mental sounds. Ardhendu then expands and becomes bindu, the vibratory source-point that is depicted in the Om symbol as a point or dot.
The bindu is composed of three parts or aspects: nada, bindu, and bija (seed). Nada is predominantly consciousness, and corresponds to Shiva or God the Father. Bindu is predominantly energy, and corresponds to Parvati or God the Holy Spirit, the Mother. Bija is both consciousness and energy, and corresponds to Ganesha, or God the Son. According to the yoga scriptures there are three basic forms of sound or speech: 1) pashyanti, that which can only be intuited or felt rather than heard–even within; 2) madhyama, that which can be heard in the mind as thought; and 3) vaikhari, that which is physically spoken and heard outwardly by the ear through the vibration of the air. But beyond even these is the transcendental sound, para-vak or “supreme speech” which is soundless sound, consciousness itself. This bindu is fully sound, but on the interior level only. It cannot be spoken aloud. It cannot be spoken at all, but only perceived and entered into as the first step back to the source consciousness that is Spirit. Yet, from bindu comes all the permutations that are the various sounds which are combined to form words–including mantras. As we enter into relative consciousness through the expansion of sound, just so can we enter back into transcendent Consciousness through the intentional contraction of sound that occurs in meditation.
“When men sent out Vak’s [Speech’s] first and earliest utterances, all that was excellent and spotless, treasured within them, was disclosed.…the trace of Vak they followed, and found her harboring within.” (Rig Veda 10.71.1, 2)
This hymn of the Rig Veda speaks of Vak, the creative Sound from which all things came. This Sound both manifested all things and revealed them–that is, produced the consciousness capable of perceiving them. The sages, the hymn tells us, traced Vak (Om) back to the source and discovered It was within themselves as both Power and Consciousness.
Meditation is the process of tracing discovered by the sages, the procedure by which the yogi enters into the inner levels of Om, tracing it to its very source which is consciousness. As he does so, he experiences within the depths of his awareness the subtle states of consciousness, or bhava, inherent in Om. For this reason the word frequently translated “meditation” in texts relating to Om Yoga is bhavanam–the experiencing of the inner states of consciousness called “bhavas.” Meditation leads us right into the heart of Om as we trace the “thread” of Its sound back through Its many permutations to Its original bhava or impulse of consciousness that expanded outward to manifest as Its outermost form of the spoken Om.
Inner psychic sounds
It may be that sometimes you will hear various inner sounds such as a gong, bell, harp, flute, bee, waterfall, vina, bagpipes, and suchlike. These are often mistaken for genuinely spiritual phenomena when in reality they are only the astral sounds of the bodily functions.
For example, the bee sound is the astral sound of cellular division, the flute sound is the astral sound of the lymphatic circulation, the bell sound is the astral sound of the cardio-pulmonary functions, and so forth. They are–in the astral sense–purely physical and have no yogic value whatsoever. In short, all such astral sounds should be ignored. Stay with your intonations of Om.

Out of the labyrinth
Theseus, an ancient epic hero, was condemned to die in a Cretan labyrinth. He survived because he had a thread which was anchored at the entrance of the maze. By following the thread he escaped. Sound is the thread, the following of which in meditation will lead us out of the deadly labyrinth of samsara. Specifically, Om is the sound-thread that leads us out since It is the first Sound that arises in Eternity. Thus It leads back to the Origin of all things: Divine Consciousness.
Or we could put is this way: The subtle thread of Om is extending from the Center of Reality outward into/as all things. Through Om Yoga meditation we ascend back to the center with every breath. This ascent also evolves us. So we sit, ascend, and evolve. This being so, it is crucial for us to continually remember throughout our meditation that the sound of Om should be the object of our attention. Throughout meditation keep hold of the thread of the Pranava and you will be led to freedom from all bonds.

I. K. Taimni on japa and meditation
In The Science of Yoga I. K. Taimni says this regarding japa and meditation:
“Japa begins in a mechanical repetition but it should pass by stages into a form of meditation and unfoldment of the deeper layers of consciousness.
“The efficacy of japa is based upon the fact that every jivatma is a microcosm thus having within himself the potentialities of developing all states of consciousness and all powers which are present in the active form in the macrocosm. All the forces which can help this Divine spark within each human heart to become a roaring fire are to be applied. And the unfoldment of consciousness takes place as a result of the combined action of all these forces.…A mantra is a sound combination and thus represents a physical vibration which is perceptible to the physical ear. But this physical vibration is its outermost expression, and hidden behind the physical vibration and connected with it are subtler vibrations much in the same way as the dense physical body of man is his outermost expression and is connected with his subtler vehicles. These different aspects of Vak or ‘speech’ are called Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti and Para. Vaikhari is the audible sound which can lead through the intermediate stages to the subtlest form of Para Vak. It is really through the agency of these subtler forms of ‘sound’ that the unfoldment of consciousness takes place and the hidden potentialities become active powers. This release of powers takes a definite course according to the specific nature of the mantra just as a seed grows into a tree, but into a particular kind of tree according to the nature of the seed.”


And Om being the seed of the Totality of Consciousness, of Brahman Itself, the Om Yogi grows into Perfect Divinity by means of Its japa and meditation.


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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby himmat_singh » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:47 pm

Sat Sri Akal

Dear Harmanpreet ji,

The following goes into detail of the significance of the “Word” and “Om” and how Word progresses into Shabda Brahman , as you also say, the Supreme Shabad

Also Extracted from “Om Yoga – Its Theory and Practice – Swami Nirmalananda Giri”

The Word That Is God
Writing about Ishwara, the Lord, Patanjali says: “His spoken form [vachaka] is Om.” (Yoga Sutras 1:27) Swami Vivekananda translates it: “His manifesting word is Om.”
In Chapter One it is said, “To enable the spirits to enter into this process, God breathes forth His own Self as the Power from which is manifested all the realms of relative existence, from the most subtle worlds of nearly-perfected beings to the most objective worlds of atomic matter.” Om is both the Consciousness and the Power that is God. It is His manifesting Word
because It makes God manifest to us and is Itself the Power by which God manifests His will–especially through His creation.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)

The first “act” of God is the projection of Himself as Cosmic Vibration: Om. He “speaks” Himself and becomes all things. Then we enter Om Itself to come into manifestation. The bodies which we take on are all formed of variations on the fundamental energy or keynote that is Om. We come into relative existence through Om, we evolve within relative existence through Om, and we transcend relative existence and return to God’s perfect Being through
Om. It is no wonder, then, that Om is also called the Pranava, the Word of Life, the Living Word.

Word-God

“I am Om, the Word that is God.” (Bhagavad Gita 7:8) So declared the infinite Satchidananda through the lips of the avatar Krishna. Also: “I am Om.” (Bhagavad Gita 9:17) And: “Among words I am the sacred syllable Om.” (Bhagavad Gita 10:25) Long, long before that the Vedic Seers had declared: “In the beginning was Prajapati [God the Creator], with Him was the Word, and the Word was truly the Supreme Brahman.” (Prajapati vai idam agra asit. Tasya vak dvitiya asit. Vag vai paramam Brahman. Krishna Yajurveda, Kathaka Samhita, 12.5, 27.1; Krishna Yajurveda, Kathakapisthala Samhita, 42.1; Jaiminiya Brahmana II, Samaveda, 2244)

How can a Word be God? How can God be a Word?

All things–the entire cosmos itself–are formed of vibrating energy. This cosmic energy possesses the dual nature of light and sound, both of which are essentially consciousness. The totality of that Consciousness is contained and summed up in the Divine Word, Om, known as the Shabda Brahman, the Sound God. Om is spoken, yet It is beyond speech in Its essence because It is the source of speech. Its spoken form is the final step in the objectification of the primal creative stream arising from the inmost depths of Being Itself, that “point of light within the mind of God” from which has issued all manifested being, all that IS. It is the original movement outward from the Omnipresent Center which took place when the Supreme Consciousness willed, “I am One; let Me become Many.” (Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:3; Taittiriya Upanishad 2:6)

The Word that is God

The Upanishads tells us that Om is Brahman: “Om is Brahman, the Primeval Being. Through It one knows what is to be known.” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 5.1.1)
“I will tell you briefly of that Goal which all the Vedas with one voice propound, which all the austerities speak of, and wishing for Which people practice discipline: It is Om.” (Katha Upanishad 1. 2.15-17)
Om is the Supreme Brahman.” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 1:7)
“The real nature of Brahman is identical with the Pranava.” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 2:8)
God is the Syllable Om.” (Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:17)
Om is Brahman. Om is all this. He who utters Om with the intention ‘I shall attain Brahman’ does verily attain Brahman.” (Taittiriya Upanishad 1.8.1)

The Word that is me!
They also tell us that Om is our own self, as well:
The self [atman] is of the nature of the Syllable Om. Thus the Syllable Om is the very self. He who knows It thus enters the Self [Supreme Spirit] with his self [individual spirit].” (Mandukya Upanishad 1.8.12)
“Meditate on Om as the self.” (Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.3)


Om the mantra
Om is the original Word of Power, a mantra. A mantra is a series of verbal sounds whose effect lies not in an assigned intellectual meaning, but in an inherent sound-power that can produce a specific effect, physically or psychologically. The word mantra itself comes from the Sanskrit expression manat trayate which means “a transforming thought;” literally, “that which when thought carries across”–which produces an objective, perceptible change. It also literally means “a liberating thought.”

In the Yoga tradition, Om is the supreme mantra, the most sacred of holy words. Although it is first found in the spiritual writings of Hinduism, Om is used by Buddhists and Jains in their rituals and meditation, and has also passed over into the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religions in the form of Amin (Amen), which is intoned at the end of all prayers, and in Christianity is even a title of Christ. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14)

Tibetan Buddhism particularly emphasizes the power and value of Om. In Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, Amida Buddha is invoked by saying “Omitofo” [Amida Buddha].


Ik-On Kaar ( Ik-OM Kaar) - SatNaam

Guru Nanak Dev Ji is invoking his followers, his sikhs, to self-realise the God within by means of the True Word, OM, (Ong), the Supreme Shabd, the Shabd which leads the mind to oneness with the Divine, the supreme primal sound itself, OM. ( the sounds are explained in the previous post along with the sublevels. )

I hope this helped in some small way. Very tired now, must go to bed :)

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh
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Re: What are " the Five Primal Sounds,"?

Postby Punjabi G » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:33 am

Harmanpreet Ji,

I am not sure if Panch Shabad can be translated into Ik Oankar. Where ever in Gurbani, Panch shabad is used, it's used in the context of giving bliss to inner self. Oankar is supreme in Gurbani. Since, I am more familiar with Anand Sahib, I keep going back to it for understanding. Consider again the next line after Panch Shabad tit ghar sabhaagai. Guru ji further states that Panch doot tudhh vass kitte, kaal kantak mariya! Here Panch doot would certainly be five vices not supreme or Panch.

In other words, I think that Panch shabad or shabad is what resonates inside us and gives eternal bliss when we attune ourselves to Naam simran.
Naam jin ke man vasiya, vaaje shabad ghanere.>Anand Sahib


vaajae pa(n)ch sabadh thith ghar sabhaagai ||
The Panch Shabad, the five primal sounds, vibrate in that blessed house.

ghar sabhaagai sabadh vaajae kalaa jith ghar dhhaareeaa ||
In that blessed house, the Shabad vibrates; He infuses His almighty power into it.

pa(n)ch dhooth thudhh vas keethae kaal ka(n)ttak maariaa ||
Through You, we subdue the five demons of desire, and slay Death, the torturer.
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