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Peter: Hi, Julia. Please forgive my forthrightness! I’m coming to Tiruvannamalai this winter with my family. I have not met Ramji (my wife did a retreat with him this summer), but have recently read his book. I noticed that he suggests folks with questions approach you. I realize this particular question comes without much context, but I’m curious about a persistent, deep hum I “hear” (not with my ears?) whenever other noises do not obscure it. I realize this is probably an experiential glitch or side effect, yet its persistence returns my attention to it. As it is an unchanging “sound” within me, I associate it with what Ramji refers to as the “substrate” (the self). Do you have any guidance regarding this phenomenon? Thank you for your time and attention
Julia: Hi, Peter. I am in India and have only limited access to my emails because I am travelling. When the mind becomes purified and subtle it may hear “inner” sounds. If the sound is persistent, sometimes high-pitched or sometime low-pitched, it is probably what scripture refers to as nada brahman, a vibration created in the most subtle part of the mind by the presence of awareness. You will not hear it when the mind is extroverted, because your attention is outward. When it is turned within, sometimes you hear it.
Anyway, from the perspective of Vedanta it is just another spiritual experience. The self, awareness, exists in every sound and at the same time is free of every sound. It serves no purpose to pay attention to it – it is just sound – or to allow the ego to make a story about how wonderful and advanced it is because it hears this sound.