‘SOUND – MEANING – FORM – QUALITY (GUNA) – EXPERIENCE (FEELING / BHAVA)’
In the 5 stage process of perception, one important factor which I missed is the “Self / EGO” which interprets the Guna to an experience. For example when I say Dog, the ‘Self’ interprets Dog to a loyal friend or a bike chaser or a rabbies generator.. Essentially what is the quality of dog mean to me? If you understand this process this explains the uniqueness between individuals or the root cause of differences in a society.
I am also going to add but not going to focus on the fact that the inputs are never limited to sound and when see a picture the process of perception starts with step 3. Just to poke the individuals who think “Sound is the only god – Sabda Brahman, please tell me - when you are a picture and when there is no sound associated with it, where is God as Sabda Brahman?
Does that mean that the very important Hindu belief that the Sound “Om is sabda Brahman or god” does not hold any meaning? It certainly does and I shall share my thoughts on it – continue reading.
What is the importance of Word?
The greatest of Indian poet ‘Kalidas’ said
"Vaak artha viva samprakthov vaakartha prathipathaye
Jagadha: pitharov vandhe parvathe parameswarow"
he compared Lord Shiva and Shakti like sound (Shakti) and meaning (Shiva). Both sound and meaning are inseparable. You would now understand the wisdom behind this sloka since there is no sound without a meaning. Also Sabda Brahman merges with the Artha Brahman 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.
And in Abhirami Andadi, Bhattar sees devi as "Arthanareswara" and confirms us that the grace of devi will brings us both richness and mukthi. "Sollum porulum ena nadamadum"…
A word is made up of letters called Akshara in Sanskrit. The meaning of Akshara is that which cannot be broken down further. ie. Word can be broken down to letters (Aksharas) 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, 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 state.
Hence 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.
But as per Hindu scriptures Veda which is the word 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.
This is what my friend Kambar said in Kambaramayanam as “வேதமும் முடிவு காணா மெய்ப்பொருள் வெளிவந்தெய்தி மா துயர் துடைத்த வார்த்தை மறுப்பரோ!!
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 I 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. Just note here that as per Frank outlaw, it’s the thoughts which are primordial but as per our scriptures it is feeling or Bhava or deep rooted desire or also known as vasanas which drive your thoughts.
In a work called Tarka Samgraha, we have classified 9 different physical attributes (substances / dhravyas) and 24 different qualities / GUNA in all. If you are interested reading more about this, please read these blogs or the original work.
http://ragsgopalan.blogspot.com/2010/09/vedic-perspective-matter-and-its_14.html This is a 3 part series.
http://ragsgopalan.blogspot.com/2008/11/part-1-perception-art-of-seeing-things.html This is a 2 part series.
To summarize this topic:
· Broadly consciousness exists in 3 states.
· The process of perception if understood well would throw a lot of secrets about nature.
· The 5 stage process of perception “Sound – meaning - Form – Guna – Bhava” is a simplistic way of portraying this.
· Sound merges into light and light is worshipped as God in most of the religions and belief. We can explore little more of this in the future sections.
· A word is a unique combination where Light, Sound and meaning merges and hence it is considered as god. This word represents Arthenareeswara or yinyang or Star of David.
In the future sections let us explore as to what is the relationship between Maths and God and some of the critical numbers and its philosophical and scientific significance.