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Nada Brahman, or Musica Universalis
Seeker: Hello, Sundari and Ramji.
I’ve been experiencing what I believe is nada brahman for about 16 months now. In the beginning, I had no idea what it was, I was searching high and low for a transformer or a machine, but there was nothing. I even started to wonder if I’d have to pay a visit to the funny farm. ☺ Also, at one point, I thought it might have been caused by ley lines, as they are correlated with certain areas. However, correlation doesn’t imply causation, as it is not isolated to any one area. In fact there are no defining correlator variables, except one, that I am here to bear witness to the hum. It’s pure Isvara, it just appears and disappears like the gentle stroke of an angelic dream. All I can say is that it definitely appears above the jiva rather than below. I’m not sure if a dream I had about Ramji recently might be related, as it was the day after the dream I discovered your satsangs (to my delight) on the topic of nada brahman and read Symbols of the Self (what a joyous read that is). Since then, that is, the past three days, I’ve been experimenting with Ramji’s meditation, giving attention to the field in which the sound appears, the knowing, that which is satya or reflected awareness. While I know and understand with my head, heart and soul that this is what I am, still there are some doubts. With karma, upasana and jana yogas going strong, please God, I can bedevil those doubts and enjoy my nature as limitless, ordinary, blissful, self-luminous awareness more and more.
It’s difficult to even to define the guna nature of the hum. Is it always present in the silence in the form of sat, churns out rajas in the form of the hum and melts back into sat through tamas possibly, no? Furthermore, even when I’m experiencing the hum, thoughts can also be known to me. Even now as I’m writing this email, the hum appears intermittently. Thankfully I find it quite soothing and balmy. Anyway, I know you said not to make a story out of it, but I think this is a healthy, honest inquiry into the phenomenon. My ego could run riot with it but thankfully it’s under the watchful eye of Isvara most of the time. Still, Maya is always lurking. I guess I just continue to treat the hum as any other object appearing in me?
Sundari: There is not much to say about the hum, or as it is referred to in Sanskrit, the nada brahman, you hear. James is right that you should not make a big deal of it. I have heard it most of my life. So what? Creation is vibration. All objects are in constant flux, changing and moving, subject to certain constant laws of physics, meaning Isvara. Anything that moves makes a sound. In the Bible it says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.” The Word was sound. In the Hindu culture, the word Om represents the sound of the atman, the self. Many indigenous cultures believe the earth and its creatures are sung into existence. Sound is as integral to life as is silence.
On a scientific basis, the earth vibrates at a resonance of 7.83 Hz, better known as the “Schumann resonance.” The Schumann resonances (SR) are a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low-frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth’s electromagnetic field spectrum. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, generated and excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. You can google it and find out all kinds of theories about it.
All planetary bodies vibrate or hum – it’s been called the “music of the spheres,” or “musica universalis” (literally, universal music), also called the “harmony of the spheres.” It is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies – the sun, moon and planets – as a form of musica (the mediaeval Latin term for music). This “music” is not usually thought to be literally audible (although sensitive minds can hear it clearly, sometimes it keeps me awake at night), but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept. Further scientific exploration has determined specific proportions in some orbital motion, described as orbital resonance.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you being able to hear the sound is special or significant. It isn’t. Isvara’s creation is so beautiful, intelligent and mysterious, but never forget, it is all mithya. Freedom is the ability to discriminate you, awareness, from the objects that arise in you 24/7 – and the earth resonance or music is an object known to you like any other.
~ Much love, Sundari