‘SOUND – MEANING – FORM – QUALITY (GUNA) – EXPERIENCE (FEEL / BHAVA)’
In the 5 stage process of perception which we discussed last week, one important factor we need to consider is “Ego/Mind” which interprets the Guna to an experience. For example when we say Dog, the ‘Mind’ interprets Dog to a loyal friend or a bike chaser or a rabies generator. Essentially what is the quality of dog mean to you? If you understand this process this explains the uniqueness between individuals or the root cause of differences in a society. Also remember the fact that the inputs are never limited to sound and when see a picture the process of perception starts with step 3.
What is the importance of Word?
On of the great poet named ‘Kalidas’ said
“Vaak artha viva samprakthov vaakartha prathipathaye
Jagadha: pitharov vandhe parvathe parameswarow”
Here he compares Lord Shiva (Consciousness) and Shakti (Energy) like Sound (Shakti) and Meaning (Shiva). Both sound and meaning are inseparable. You would now understand the wisdom behind this poem since there is no sound without a meaning. Also Sabda Brahman (Sound) merges with the Artha Brahman (Light) and both are inseparable. Here Artha Brahman is the light and the meaning of the word. Remember we say that ‘Throw some light” when we don’t understand something.
In Tamil ெபாருள் (porul) means “a thing” and it also means “meaning”. We will see how பரம்ெபாருள் (Paramporul) is the Lord Shiva as a God’s particle and how he is referred to as the meaning too. The same applies to Sanskrit where “artha” means wealth / things – remember Arthasastra? And it also refers to “meaning” as in the above poem. How rich these languages are?
A word is made up of letters called Akshara in Sanskrit. The meaning of Akshara is that which cannot be broken down further i.e., Word can be broken down to letters but it cannot be broken down further. A letter has a form like “A” and has a sound associated with it. This means the light and sound are merged in a letter. As per the principle stated above in the process of perception, the primordial state is one where light and sound is merged into each other.
If you don’t dispute the philosophy that everything merges into god at the primordial state and at this state, sound and light are inseparable, and then you would agree that an Akshara is God / Brahman. Each letter has significance and meaning in Indian languages especially Tamil and Sanskrit. A word is a combination of Form (Light), Sound and meaning and these are first 3 aspects of perception which takes us from a gross state to a formless subtle un‐manifest state. The statement from New Testament “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” reflects the same principle.
As per ancient scriptures, Veda is the breath of god or the aural vibration of consciousness cannot take you to the state of moksha. Words don’t take you to God, it can help you in the process but has its limit, since the sound and meaning merges into something else as we move towards more subtle space.
Every word or Akshara has four states Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikari. Vaikari is the fourth state where the sound is audible to us. If we recite something mentally then the sound has 3 states only and these 4 states signify as to how a feeling (bhava) becomes thought and thought becomes form and then a sound. So it is feeling or Bhava or subtle desires (vasanas) which is registered in our subconscious mind drive our thoughts.
Time = Space by Raguram Gopalan, http://ragsgopalan.blogspot.com