When the Yoga enters into deeper states of trance, the heat of the Kundalini begins to course through the body, the subtle body is activated and the brain experiences a reverberating natural silence. The Yogin experiences a sense of purity, rejuvenation and alertness within. At this point, one may hear subtle sounds in the ear, smell burning incense or floral fragrances (which have non-worldly origin) and gain sight into the occult worlds. The sounds which the Yogin hears tend to vary depending on the inner plane of consciousness to which one is currently attuned. This post is a collection of these subtle sounds as noted in various ancient scriptures. As we see, there is lot of similarity in these descriptions.
The Yoga Upanishads
The Yoga Upanishads are a subset of the Upanishads which contain various techniques and experiences of Yoga. The following passage is from the Hamsa-Upanishad :
It (Nada, sound) is (begun to be heard as) of ten kinds. The first is Chini (like the sound of that word); the second is Chini-Chini; the third is the sound of bell; the fourth is that of conch; the fifth is that of Tantiri (lute); the sixth is that sound of Tala (cymbals); the seventh is that of flute; the eighth is that of Bheri (drum); the ninth is that of Mridanga (double drum); and the tenth is that of clouds (viz., thunder). He may experience the tenth without the first nine sounds (through the initiation of a Guru).
And this is from the Nadabindu-Upanishad (verses 31-41)
The Yogi should always listen to the sound (nada) in the interior of his right ear. This sound, when constantly practiced, will drown every sound (dhvani from outside …. By persisting … the sound will be heard subtler and subtler. At first, it will be like what is produced by the ocean (jaladhi), the cloud (jimuta), the kettle-drum (bheri), and the water-fall (nirjhara) . … A little later it will be like the sound produced by a tabor (mardala, or small drum), a big bell (ghanta), and a military drum (kahala); and finally like the sound of the tinkling bell (kinkin), the bamboo-flute (vamsa), the harp (vina) and the bee (bhramara).
(Guy Beck, Sonic Theology, pp 93-103)
The Darsana-Upanishad (6.36.-38) describes the sounds heard when the consciousness becomes centered in the Brahmarandhra (anterior fontanelle), located in the top-center region of the head:
When air (prana) enters the Brahmarandhra, nada (sound) is also produced there. resembling at first the sound of a conchblast (sankha-dhvani) and like the thunder-clap (megha-dhvani) in the middle; and when the air has reached the middle of the head, like the roaring of a mountain cataract (giri-prasravana) Thereafter, 0 great wise one! the Atman, mightily pleased, will actually appear in front of thee. Then there will be the ripeness of the knowledge of Atman(Divine) from Yoga and the disowning by the Yogi of worldly existence.
(Guy Beck, Sonic Theology, pp 93-103)
This revelation comes from the Shiva-Samhita
Let him close the ears with his thumbs …. This is my most beloved Yoga. From practicing this gradually, the Yogi begins to hear mystic sounds (nadas). The first sound is like the hum of the honey-intoxicated bee (matta-bhrnga), next that of a flute (venu), then of a harp (vina); after this, by the gradual practice of Yoga, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, he hears the sounds of ringing bells (ghanta) then sounds like roar of thunder (megha).
(Guy Beck, Sonic Theology, pp 93-103)
In her book The Voice of the Silence, H.P.Blavatksy elucidates on the sounds perceived during increasing absorption in trance. This is an excerpt:
Before thou set’st thy foot upon the ladder’s upper rung, the ladder of the mystic sounds, thou hast to hear the voice of thy inner GOD* in seven manners.
- The first is like the nightingale’s sweet voice chanting a song of parting to its mate.
- The second comes as the sound of a silver cymbal of the Dhyanis, awakening the twinkling stars.
- The next is as the plaint melodious of the ocean-sprite imprisoned in its shell.
- And this is followed by the chant of the Vina.
- The fifth like sound of bamboo-flute shrills in thine ear.
- It changes next into a trumpet-blast.
- The last vibrates like the dull rumbling of a thunder-cloud.
- The seventh swallows all the other sounds. They die, and then are heard no more.
(H.P. Blavatsky, Voice of the Silence, Chapter 1 – online)
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the following verses (verse number is indicated in parentheses) detail the subtle sounds which are heard.
- (69) When the Brahma knot (in the heart) is pierced through by Pranayama, then a sort of happiness is experienced in the vacuum of the heart, and the anahat sounds, like various tinkling sounds of ornaments, are heard in the body.
- (72) By this means the Vishnu knot (in the throat) is pierced which is indicated by highest pleasure experienced, And then the Bheri sound (like the beating of a kettle drain) is evolved in the vacuum in the throat.
- (73) In the third stage, the sound of a drum is known to arise in the Sunya(space) between the eyebrows, and then the Vayu goes to the Mahasunya, which is the home of all the siddhis.
- (75) When the Rudra knot is pierced and the air enters the seat of the Lord (the space between the eyebrows), then the perfect sound like that of a flute is produced.
- (84) In the first stage, the sounds are surging, thundering like the beating of kettle drums and jingling ones. In the intermediate stage, they are like those produced by conch, Mridanga, bells, &c.
- (85) In the last stage, the sounds resemble those from tinklets, flute, Veena, bee, &c. These various kinds of sounds are heard as being produced in the body.
(Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Vol 4)
Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri
Sri Aurobindo discusses these subtle sounds in his poem Savitri. The first excerpt alludes to a “cosmic murmur” which the Yogi hears. This is traditionally known as the Anahata sound. See the next passage in which Ramakrishna discusses the cosmic murmur or Anahata sound. The second excerpt is a list of sounds (flute, cricket’s rash, anklet bells, temple gong, bee’s croon) which are heard in increasing states of absorption.
As one drawn to his lost spiritual home
Feels now the closeness of a waiting love,
Into a passage dim and tremulous
That clasped him in from day and night’s pursuit,
He travelled led by a mysterious sound.
A murmur multitudinous and lone,
All sounds it was in turn, yet still the same.
A hidden call to unforeseen delight
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri – I: The World-Soul
In the summoning voice of one long-known and loved,
But nameless to the unremembering mind,
It led to rapture back the truant heart.
The immortal cry ravished the captive ear.
Then, lowering its imperious mystery,
It sank to a whisper circling round the soul.
It seemed the yearning of a lonely flute
That roamed along the shores of memory
And filled the eyes with tears of longing joy.
A cricket’s rash and fiery single note,
It marked with shrill melody night’s moonless hush
And beat upon a nerve of mystic sleep
Its high insistent magical reveille.
A jingling silver laugh of anklet bells
Travelled the roads of a solitary heart;
Its dance solaced an eternal loneliness:
An old forgotten sweetness sobbing came.
Or from a far harmonious distance heard
The tinkling pace of a long caravan
It seemed at times, or a vast forest’s hymn,
The solemn reminder of a temple gong,
A bee-croon honey-drunk in summer isles
Ardent with ecstasy in a slumbrous noon,
Or the far anthem of a pilgrim sea.
An incense floated in the quivering air,
A mystic happiness trembled in the breast
As if the invisible Beloved had come
Assuming the sudden loveliness of a face
And close glad hands could seize his fugitive feet
And the world change with the beauty of a smile.
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri – I: The World-Soul
This dialogue is from The Gospel of Ramakrishna, where Ramakrishna Paramahansa describes the mellifluous Anahata sound which reverberates through the Universe. This is analogous but not the same as the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation.
Prankrishna (to the Master): “Sir, what is the Anahata sound?”
Master: “It is a spontaneous sound constantly going on by itself. It is the sound of the Pranava, Om. It originates in the Supreme Brahman and is heard by yogis. People immersed in worldliness do not hear it. A yogi alone knows that this sound originates both from his navel and from the Supreme Brahman resting on the Ocean of Milk
(The Gospel of Ramakrishna – online)
Guy Beck’s Sonic Theology: Hinduism and sacred sound (amaz0n) (google books) is an extensive study of the conception of sound across various scriptures. He traces the history of sound from the Vak found in the Vedas, the Sabda-Brahman of the Upanishads to the Nada-Brahmana found in classical contemporary Indian music.
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The Indian mystic Kabir composed a song “Sunata Hai Guru Gyani” describing the Anahata sound which is heard in meditation.
Tagore’s translation of this song is as follows:
Is there any wise man who will listen
to that solemn music which arises
in the sky ?
For He, the Source of all music,
makes all vessels full fraught, and
rests in fullness Himself.
He who is in the body is ever athirst,
for he pursues that which is in
But ever there wells forth deeper and
deeper the sound ” He is this, this is He ” ;
fusing love and renunciation into one.
Kabir says : ” O brother ! that is the Primal Word.”
Another English translation: O awake disciple of the Guru, listen to the celestial sounds coming subtly from celestial. You are listening to the supreme fully awake. I know of the source. Do not leave this nectar and entangle in the worldly subjects. The Divine has given the curd. The saint is one who eats the butter while the world is happy with butter milk. See the celestial region beyond earth and lake without water where the sky is full of light. Listen the musical instruments of soham at trikuti. O awake listen to the celestial sound.
This translation has been extracted from a comment on the youtube video of the song
At this point, one may hear subtle sounds in the ear, smell burning incense or floral fragrances (which have non-worldly origin) and gain sight into the occult worlds.
Regarding the fragrances I alluded to above, these are Sri Aurobindo’s remarks from a letter to a disciple:
“The perfumes you felt were true perfumes but not of the physical world. This body of flesh and blood is not the whole of ourselves; there is unseen by the eyes a subtle body also and one becomes aware of it when the inner consciousness opens. It was from deep within there that the perfumes came, perfumes of purity, of love and surrender (rose) etc. It is there deep within that the psychic being dwells and it is there that you are trying to go when the inward-going impulse or pressure comes; it was why you felt more and more peaceful, because you were going deeper and deeper into the psychic from which these perfumes came.”
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – III: The Triple Transformation: Psychic – Spiritual – Supramental – I
I hear thunder and can hold the sound for minutes. No other 9th sound and no guru been able to do so since I was young
You should be proud of yourself !
Sri Aurobindo has written about these subtle sounds in a couple of other places
In his commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad :
and in the Record of Yoga
There may be other references…
Other references to subtle sounds in the Record of Yoga:
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I have sounds like this in my right ear. I have the constant vibration sound of a bell and what sounds like a high pitch flute varying in tone, which strangely seems to be played by someone because it’s not constant like tones heard in tinnitus. I have been in deep devotion to god in meditation and enquire into my true self. What do these sounds mean, should I focus on them and inquire into the source or continue my love of om japa and enquiry? just curious.
Chris: What do these sounds mean, should I focus on them and inquire into the source or continue my love of om japa and enquiry?
They indicate that your consciousness is entering and becoming established in the subtle worlds. Dont let them become a distraction by focusing on them. Merely see them as an indicator of progress.
Thank you very much. I have since moved past these things, and given myself up fully to self inquiry. To whom do these sounds occur? To me, but who am I? This is the teaching that was meant for me. Thank you for you help previously. The inner guru let me experience the subtle sounds to see that it still occurs to the I. abide in the I and follow it to its source. Om shanti shanti shanti.
Yes, the first path l was initiated into used the sound or ‘shabd’ method. We had to stick our thumbs in our ears and listen to the sound current. This was with a sikh guru. A few fake guru’s have latched onto this system, like that kid guru maharaj ji, that so many hippy types loved so much. Apparently, according to Udar Pinto at the ashram, this guru’s father had something but his son was a fraud.
Also, the eckankar founder, paul twitchell [who was one of kirpal singh’s disciples, but denied it later], used this sound method. Another fake; even his wife said so.
But, l believe the method has validity and concentrating on the different sounds can take one within to the higher planes.
Only the Guru’s Grace can transport you to higher planes, either you concentrate your attention or not! Pray to Him to open the Inner Treasure. Nothing else.
“Only the Guru’s Grace can transport you to higher planes, either you concentrate your attention or not! Pray to Him to open the Inner Treasure. Nothing else.”
lt’s true, l think. Although, plenty can leave their bodies and go into the astral planes [and perhaps mental planes] without the help of a Guru, l believe, but for the Highest [overmind and Supermind] a Guru is probably essential. All the people that l’ve read about, who claim to leave their bodies say they need Guides to help them enter the Higher levels.
l don’t know if it’s always the case though. l never read of Madam Theon having a Guru – but She was exceptional.
Mike: I found this information from Pandit very insightful – this was particularly insightful to me – my case – since I have not the gift of these occult insights (rather, they do not come easily):
“The manifestation of these latent powers is not something that is unnatural, un-divine. In fact it is natural, as natural at that level, as our hearing and seeing with our physical senses are in our present state of consciousness. The point is that as soon as the physical consciousness exerts its influence or touch upon the subliminal or inner levels of the being, these latent powers begin to come into operation. We begin to hear what we normally would not hear with the physical ear, to see beyond the physical sight and so on. They are not something extraordinary, these do not require any degree of spirituality. All that is required is that there should be a predisposition in the person towards these occult manifestations. There are many yogis, seekers, who have not had these experiences at all. They go ahead deepening their consciousness, purifying themselves, arriving at an increasing identity with the Divine without having a single occult experience of this type. They do not see a single vision, hear a single mystical sound, but on that account you cannot say they are not progressing. The progress is a progress of consciousness. All these may be likened to fire-works. And it is this zone, what Sri Aurobindo calls elsewhere the intermediate zone, where the seeker has to be doubly careful to see that the working of these powers is not deflected, that things are kept in their proper perspective. One does not become great spiritually by the fact of the occult powers.” The Yoga of Self-Perfection, M.P. Pandit, p.293
*I did not post this as a means of correction nor warning. Simply a share. 🙂
Interestingly enough…being able to perceive the Naad sound (Om, Pranava) is indeed a sign of progress in the spiritual path and/or yoga.
I want to add about the importance of Naad in meditation, for the meditation I engage in is based on the solace of Naad.
At first, and in order to ward off thoughts and their harassing influence, attention is brought, once and again, away from the buddhi organ/orb and its adjuncts in the center of the subtle head, and towards the back of the head. It is there where, in a band from ear to ear, Naad manifests in manifold fashion. Most people hear a node(s) on the right side, others on the left. If the attention moves away from the back, the buddhi organ gets energized again, and harassing thoughts resume, so the student must be patient, and bring it back once again into the Naad zone. Naad must finally become the lover and the all. When this occurs, things start happening. As on anything else, Samyama can be effected on Naad (I am referring to Patanjali’s triad of Dharana-Dhyana-Samadhi). Concentration and absorption on Naad at the back of the head can contribute to opening the 3rd eye, up and into the target of opening to the chitta kash (the Sky of Consciousness).
“They are not something extraordinary, these do not require any degree of spirituality. All that is required is that there should be a predisposition in the person towards these occult manifestations. There are many yogis, seekers, who have not had these experiences at all. They go ahead deepening their consciousness, purifying themselves, arriving at an increasing identity with the Divine without having a single occult experience of this type. They do not see a single vision, hear a single mystical sound, but on that account you cannot say they are not progressing. The progress is a progress of consciousness”
Yes mark, l agree. lt’s like Swani Vivekanda saying He wanted God-Realisation first, and then he would see if the siddhi’s were worth having.
l’ve read that some even say we don’t need a kundalini or chakra awakening in order to have High Realisations – it’s difficult to understand what the purpose of kundalini is in that case.
lt appears that only those who have an ‘Occult Capacity’ would develop these ‘siddhi’s’ anyway, according to what SA and M say below:
“This talk is based upon Sri Aurobindo’s Elements of Yoga, Chapter 14, “Some Explanations”.
“Q: What is the place of occult power in Yoga?
“A: To know and use the subtle forces of the supraphysical planes is part of the Yoga.
“Q: What is the meaning of occult endeavour and power?
“A: It depends on the context. Usually it would mean power to use the secret forces of Nature and an endeavour by means of these forces. But `occult’ may mean something else in another context.
“Q: Has every Yogi to pass through occult endeavour?
“A: No, everyone has not the capacity. Those who do not have it, must wait till it is given to them.”
Sweet Mother, Sri Aurobindo is speaking about occult endeavour here and says that those who don’t have the capacity must wait till it is given to them. Can’t they get it through practice?
No. That is, if it is latent in someone, it can be developed by practice. But if one doesn’t have occult power, he may try for fifty years, he won’t get anywhere. Everybody cannot have occult power. It is as though you were asking whether everybody could be a musician, everybody could be a painter, everybody could… Some can, some can’t. It is a question of temperament”.
l always assumed that the ‘Siddhi’s’ would be part of a natural and necessary development in this Yoga – in that they would manifest through kundalini and the awakening of the Chakras, but l might be wrong, because the implication is that we still need the capacity – and also we have to be given ‘occult power’ as well.
This might be what Pandit is implying – Spiritual Realisation is seperate from ‘Occult Power/s’, although it might be given after Realisation as in the case of great Souls.
Mike: I found what you mentioned on this link:
Please read it full(the part after the text you posted here). It seems to indicate that by lack of “capacity”..some sort of weakness in incoherence of the outer being is meant, and not the real absence of occult powers.
For in Adventure of Consciousness Satprem mentions in Chapter 4 that the Yogic consciousness and it’s powers are not gained from outside but are already within you. He also quoted Aurobindo’s reply, in that book, to a disciple who says in a despirited manner that duch powers and achievements are all very well for great souls like SA , abd not wiyhin the reach of common people like him, that if his(SA’s ) achievements have nothing to with earthly human conditions then his life is a mistake, he is a freak of nature. He was not a philosopher he developed his undrstanding of metaphysics via yoga. He had no eye for painting, he developed it via yoga . He did all by a special process, nd it can be done by all who take up the task.(i paraphrased SA’s words)
SA also mentions somewhere that these powers are a natural result of the opening of the Vijnanapadma in us.
Outside IY, Jains, Buddhists and Swami Vivekanand hold these things to be “natural powers of the soul”.
Also in Essays Divine and Human , on the chapter on Siddhis, SA lucidly exolains the concept(similar to Swamu Vivekanand) that “siddhis” are nithing but powers of a consciousness beyond the range of our “normal” range of consciousness. It depends on what us normal for us: For animals the powers of Rational mind will be Supernormal Siddhis.
As for something being Latent: Sorry for digressing a little from the topic, but SA has mentioned in several places in Life Divine and Synthesis of Yoga that Causal Body is not formed well or unformed in most humans. he says it is as yet Superconscient to us. Whereas, he indicates that the Subliminal in us holds what is latent in our consciousness i.e. powers/capacities that may not be evident in frontal consciousness, the latter is an amalgam of the influence of the former. This seems more clear in chapter 8 and 9 of SoY.
Collecting various references to Causal body/superconscient/subliminal/latent capacities..it seems thst SA indicates that Superconscient refers to possibilities higher to the Human level of existence(in the vertical system), planes whose corresponding sheaths/substrata have not yet evolved in most humanity(horizontal system). Eg. Evolution of Man implied a development of Mental Sheath in terrestrial conditions so that Manu(mental being) could manifest itself here. Earlier Mental plane was Superconscient wrt to Earth-life, and the higher determinants of nental plane descended to create a mental body here(So Subliminal o f pre-human life-forms on earth lacked a mental body and hence Mental powers were not Latent in them in this sense). Likewise the Causal(Supramental) plane is yet to actuate itself here on Terrestrial level, thus it’s powers can be called not being latent in us.
My point is that in absolute sense, all powers in the Creation are in us(if we include Superconscient in the concept of our Being and by appealing to Omnipotence of Spirit which is a undamental tenet if Vedant), but what was meant by SA and M by occult powers not being Latent in us might be in limited sense of our Individual existence extending in Subliminal depths but not in Superconscient heights. For aren’t pwrceptions of thoughts of others, and some astral experience inevitable with development of consciousness ? how can development of conciousness be divorced from development of powers of consciousness. What do you think ?
Also, I wanna ask what you think abt the view of Causal body tht I expounded ?
Sorry, the lnk I intended to pos is :
Very insightful. Thanks you for this information!
I do have some occult experiences which tell me they may be latent. Time will tell. I will not rush things.
Yes arpanrox, l didn’t post the whole article because l wasn’t sure how relevant it was, but l should have posted the link to it, l suppose. Thanks for that.
Really, l think what ‘Capacity’ means in the Mother’s sense is what has been developed in an individual through countless lifetimes – Mother was practicing these things way back in ancient egypt; and probably before that. l think She was referring to those people who have never had any interest and thus never made any effort to develop ‘occult ability’ in previous lives. And so, in this life would have no inherent capacity for it. She seems to be implying that it can take many, many lifetimes to build up this capacity in ourselves. Everything that we’ve worked on in previous lives is carried forward in our subconscious [probably subliminal too] and if that capacity hasn’t been created by us no amount of practice [as M says] in one life will give us that power. lt’s like genius isn’t just down to how much we practice in one life.
Here’s SA’s description of the parts of the being [subliminal etc]:
“The subconscient, the subliminal, the waking consciousness and the superconscient
We might say then that there are three elements in the totality of our being: there is the submental and the subconscient which appears to us as if it were inconscient, comprising the material basis and a good part of our life and body; there is the subliminal, which comprises the inner being, taken in its entirety of inner mind, inner life, inner physical with the soul or psychic entity supporting them; there is this waking consciousness which the subliminal and the subconscient throw up on the surface, a wave of their secret surge. But even this is not an adequate account of what we are; for there is not only something deep within behind our normal self-awareness, but something also high above it: that too is ourselves, other than our surface mental personality, but not outside our true self; that too is a country of our spirit. For the subliminal proper is no more than the inner being on the level of the Knowledge-Ignorance luminous, powerful and extended indeed beyond the poor conception of our waking mind, but still not the supreme or the whole sense of our being, not its ultimate mystery. We become aware, in a certain experience, of a range of being superconscient to all these three, aware too of something, a supreme highest Reality sustaining and exceeding them all, which humanity speaks of vaguely as Spirit, God, the Oversoul: from these superconscient ranges we have visitations and in our highest being we tend towards them and to that supreme Spirit. There is then in our total range of existence a superconscience as well as a subconscience and inconscience, overarching and perhaps enveloping our subliminal and our waking selves, but unknown to us, seemingly unattainable and incommunicable.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine – I: The Boundaries of the Ignorance
” But this subconscient must be clearly distinguished from the subliminal parts of our being such as the inner or subtle physical consciousness, the inner vital or inner mental; for these are not at all obscure or incoherent or ill-organized, but only veiled from our surface consciousness. Our surface constantly receives something, inner touches, communications or influences, from these sources but does not know for the most part whence they come.”
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – I: Planes and Parts of the Being – XII
From what M is saying in my original post, Occult Power is not latent in everyone. lt’s something that has to be ‘GIVEN’. Although, SA does say there that it is part of this Yoga…l’m not sure how this works, but it seems to be that something isn’t latent aka subliminal consciousness, unless it been worked on or developed through numerous lifetimes. ln an Absolute sense, as you say, it must be there in everything, but at the individual aka evolutionary Psychic level, it has to be earned by each individual and is only given by an Act of Grace – or so l imagine.
SA only understood the principles of painting through Yoga as you say. This was probably due to His remembrance of His past life experience as Leonardo Da Vinci [and philosophy perhaps from His time as socrates]. l know of another Master [Daskalos] who spoke many languages because he could remember them from his past lives.
l’m not quite sure what SA and M mean by Occult Power. Millions of people have experienced astral projection, but not all seem to have a capacity for it – so l assume they must be lacking in Occult Power. Further in that article, M states that those who have the ‘gift’ for leaving their bodies will have no fear of it, unlike others. This would indicate that they’ve worked on it in many other lifetimes, l think – perhaps their vital being is older and more experienced in these occult things. Not all souls are at the same stage, as we know. So, it appears that ‘occult power’ isn’t in everyone, because not everyone has developed the ‘capacity’ for it. lt’s difficult to be clear about this without a Higher vision of things.
l think M explains somewhere that in most people the subtle bodies or sheaths are undeveloped.. We have to be free [liberated] beings, l think, before their subtle bodies become permanently resident in those planes beyond this one. According to MP Pandit and G Van Wrekham both SA and M had to create their new supramental bodies of Light which never existed before, so your premise is probably right about that.
Also, what you say about the ‘Causal Body’ sounds correct according to what SA say’s below:
“…this causal body is, as we say, little developed in the majority of men and to live in it or to ascend to the supramental planes, as distinguished from corresponding sub-planes in the mental being, or still more to dwell consciously upon them is the most difficult thing of all for the human being. It can be done in the trance of Samadhi, but otherwise only by a new evolution of the capacities of the individual Purusha of which few are even willing to conceive.
(Sri Aurobindo. Synthesis of Yoga , The Planes of our Existence)”
Sandeed explains a lot of this on his blog at link below:
I insisted upon the link cz if we just take the part you posted it seems that M said tht some ppl can never undergo supernormal experiences.
I think that, for the most part, we are saying the same thing.
I too said that Subliminal(horizontal categorization) represents what us “latent” in us aa per are present level of evolution(though might be hidden by our frontal personality/consciousness) and contributes to our frontal personality, while Superconscient(vertical categorization) represents our “higher” possibilities which have as yet not descended in our terrestrial existence.
I also saud that in ppl who donot have occult “capacity” acc to SA and M, it might be that it’s absent in their Subliminal/latent being.
I also indicated that as what is subliminal need only be unveiled while what’s Superconscient beeds to “descend”(eg. powers of causal sphere), the latter does become a “remote” possibility. I just meant to indicate that it is “possible” for everyone, I did not claim that it would be possible in a single lifetime(I think I agree with you that it might take many lives in such a case).
As for the use of the term “given”/grace. I guess might slightly differ here if you take it in it’s strict dictionary meaning becz SA (and many other yogis who are not exclusive adherents of Bhakti maarg) use it in a varying forms. It’s like describing the same thing from 2 points of view: Many a times all aspects of life are atributed to Divine Will with no Individual say in them and from another point of view Individual effort is hailed as omnipotent(particularly among Jains and Buddhists). SA, in SoY Part 1(Yoga of Divine Works)Chapter 1 and 2 indicates a synthesis of this dichotomy by emphasising the importance of Individual effort as well as saying tht our Egoistic selves are slaves to various impulses and subconscious desires. Thus our fulfillment is in considering God to be our Highest Self and striving according to it’s diktats( I paraphrased it from memory cz my laptop is out of order and I have no way to copy that text from my phone.) He also mentions this dichotomy(between the 2 attitudes ) more explicitly in Action of the Divine Shakti(SoY) and reconciles it by saying that we must realize that it is in realizing more and more our oneness with the Divine that we attain power.
……(I agree that it’s not clear here what SA and M categorized as occult powers in those quotes)…….
As for my question about Causal Being: Yes, I already went through Sandeep’s post and also SA’s quotes wrt it. Sorry for not mentioning the reference: I had a doubt as to how we can experience our Psychic Being(the inmost soul in the horizontal syayem of sheaths) before accessing the Causal sheath(it should be encountered before the Soul according to Panchkoshik system of the upanishads as it’s the “Pancham Kosh” or 5th sheath). The doubt was strengtgened by the fact that according to what SA mentions in Ascending Series of Substance (The Life Divine) pure soul is the substance of finest grade, beyond the physical, vital,mental and causal grades of our being.I posted this doubt on the very same article you mentioned(Constitution of Man). Maybe I was judging SA’s conception of soul in too simolistic terms of other masters eg. in Autobiography of Yogi, Paramhans Yoganand mentions how the soul is trapped in 3 bodies(physical, astral and causal) and when ut is free of physical karma it gains pernanent residence in astral planes(in an astral body with a causal body situated deeper) ad when it is free of astral karma it gains permanent residence in Causal plane with just Causal body encapsulating it-here it realizes the power of Ideating entire universes into existence(btw does SA envisagecsuch spectacular power in Gnostic Being ?)
The view of Causal Body that I enunciated in my last post is what I could finally reach to make some sense out of all this dichotomy between views of SA and traditional systems wrt Causal Body.
On this link too, while expounding Upanishadic view of 5 sheaths the author mentiins SA’s view on Causal a.k.a. Supramental sheath.
Also does the following aphorism by Patanjali refer to Psychic Being mentionrd by SA ?(All World Gayatri Parivar claims it does):
“by Samyam on the heart knowledge of Chitta arises”.
They say “chittasamvit”is same as SA’s psychic being. The effects of this samyam(mentioned by them) too are strkingly similar to Psychic Transformation.
My name is yogeshwer. I sometimes back, read a book in which Anahat Naad was described. I tried hard to understand what it is. Then suddendly I started to hear sound endlessly whenever I used to be silent or say away from wordly activity. Some says, it is a disease called tinnitus while other says it is anahat naad and I must pracice it.
If somebody can guide me, i will be very greateful.
The sounds in the ear must be accompanied by a blossoming joy deep in the heart, otherwise its tinnitus.
Hi i practiced nada yoga. 1 month back for 3-4 times till now i am hearing a roaring sound in my both ears pitch is very high. i becom helpless. i consulted to ENT specialist they said that this is tinnitus there is no cure of it. i am on medications. can you suggest how can i stop this roaring or rinnging in the ear.
Ask the teacher who taught you Nada Yoga. Its difficult to give advice on such topics over a blog !
There should be some Mantra to dissolve those activated vibrations.
Ya Sandeep this is what I am experiencing for the past 20 years my head. I could hear suble sounds to that of bee. Not just closing ear with thumb, if I concentrate I could hear subtle sounds. Please provide further Guidance on this or further reading on this.
I am not a Guru so I can’t ascertain the state of your consciousness.
It is not possible to provide guidance on such occult matters over the Internet.
Two experiences i would like to know about:
One: hearing either roaring winds or a tempestuous ocean. These sounds are unnerving to me (and in the right ear), but recently I was able to calm myself and allow myself to listen without aborting.
Two: Not a sound, but let me describe the experience. This is while I lay before falling asleep. My conscious center becomes the size of a grain of sand and my body an enormous cavern.
*I’m only observing these. The first one I have seen described before, but not the second. Thx!
The second could be the experience of the psychic being. Here is a reading of a passage from the Catholic mystic Thomas Merton which refers to it.
Sorry, that was the wrong URL. Here is the right one:
The first could be the opening of one of the centers in the head, due to the descent experiences that you have been having.
Thank you Eswar. BTW I used to read Thomas Merton many years ago. Have not thought of him lately and was nice to be reminded.
Could be as Eswar says, but could also be the beginning of an out-of-body experience. All sorts of loud sounds can occur in the early stages of astral projection. l’ve experienced a lot of these – like the ‘roaring’ sound you describe. Together with ‘sleep paralysis’ the sounds are very common and just mean your on the verge of leaving your body. Normally, these sounds etc. will disppear when you become more advanced in leaving the body. They CAN be disturbing when you don’t know what they are – l just roll out of my body and the sounds or whatever, disappear. So, they’re harmless really, and also actually good indicators..
As it happens l was reading about this today lol, synchronicity eh!
The site below has good descriptions of what happens in most exteriorisations.
The second experience might be related to this in the sense that your separating from the body, or what Eswar says..
“Q/ Inner vibrations (sometimes intense) accompanied by loud buzzing, humming or roaring sounds. Any sound, vibration or energy event that is out of the norm during sleep.
A/ You are experiencing the vibrational state. A normal prelude to an OBE. Surrender to the vibrations and allow them to expand or spread throughout your entire being. When the vibrations have reached their peak immediately direct your full attention away from your physical body by saying – “Door Now!” (All commands are thought.) Refer to pages 164-168, Adventures Beyond the Body”
“They CAN be disturbing when you don’t know what they are”
Yes. They started a few years ago. Back then I did not know what it was and was frightened by them. It started up again two nights ago. What I don’t understand is how this is developing, because I am doing nothing to promote this. So it is the force behind the veil and the subliminal working.
“As it happens l was reading about this today lol, synchronicity eh!”
Very nice! … I have yet to experience OOB. Before I used to have that falling out of the body sensation immediately after falling asleep. And I could never get used to that – always abort.
*I will usually have an experience and then I begin to try to understand it. First time I heard the sounds I did not know what they were and accidentally came across material about them a couple years later. … That is the slow means of my progress. 🙂
What Eswar indicated will take me time to evaluate. It may be happening, but it is only a psycho-physical and/or subtle sensation at this point. All in all, I am happy to know that these are good indications and I will just let that be.
Your second experience reminds me of “He is my self within the heart, smaller than a corn of rice, smaller than a corn of barley, smaller than a mustard seed, smaller than a canary seed or the kernel of a canary seed. He also is my self within the heart, greater than the earth, greater than the sky, greater than heaven, greater than all these worlds.” Chandogya Upanishad
If so it one of the primary spiritual experiences one can have. But, to quote Sri Aurobindo
“It is the first step. The next is to live in the psychic. The third is to make the psychic the ruler of the being. The fourth is to rise beyond the mind. The fifth is to bring what is beyond mind into the lower nature. I don’t say it is always done in that order. But all that has to be done.”[19.1.35] Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, pp 100 – 114, passim.
Thank you again Eswar! Very interesting. I will print this and keep it close at hand and meditate upon it.
The sounds had caused fear. As for the second, although a very unusual experience, it was not frightening at all. Also, I was left with no sense of it being a sign or indication. Just an unusual experience. This leaves me a little confused since I had not attempted to attain this experience, nor had I any knowledge of it. … Thank You Again!
You are welcome! However, as per my understanding, this “smaller than a mustard seed” is just a description of the “first view” of the psychic being. I believe that perception changes as it emerges from deep within (“no larger than a man’s thumb”, says the Katha Upanishad) and the aspirant moves along the process mentioned by SA (when at an advanced stage, as in the case of Rijuta, the Mother’s American disciple , it may stand taller than the body!).
Eswar: I believe that perception changes as it emerges from deep within (“no larger than a man’s thumb”, says the Katha Upanishad) and the aspirant moves along the process mentioned by SA (when at an advanced stage, as in the case of Rijuta, the Mother’s American disciple , it may stand taller than the body!).
True. Sri Aurobindo wrote in the “Synthesis of Yoga” as well : ” Now we come to realise with a very living force of reality, normal and continuous, what the sages meant when they spoke of the soul carrying the body or when they said that the soul is not in the body, but the body in the soul.” See the chapter on “The Conditions of Attainment to the Gnosis”
Eswar, Sandeep, Mike. Thank you. All of this is very helpful information. For many years I had floundered on the path and only recently I am beginning to see the Yoga clearly.
Yes, Rijuta apparrently had a fully developed Psychic Being. lt’s strange that the Mother had never noticed it before – which She claims in The Agenda, l believe..
As sandeep says, l believe the Psychic Being [when developed or ‘Grown’] must be vast compared to the body. Although, SA does say [as mentioned on this blog] that the Psychic Being doesn’t actually evolve – it’s the externalised personalities that do the growing.. l’m still a bit conflicted over that lol..
There can also be a loud ‘CRY’ as descibed in SA’s Letters:
“The cry you heard was not in the physical heart, but in the emotional
centre. The breaking of the wall meant the breaking of the obstacle or at
least of some obstacle there between your inner and your outer being.
Most people live in their ordinary outer ignorant personality which does
not easily open to the Divine; but there is an inner being within them of
which they do not know, which can easily open to the Truth and the Light.
But there is a wall which divides them from it, a wall of obscurity and un-
consciousness. When it breaks down, then there is a release; the feelings of
calm, Ananda, joy which you had immediately afterwards were due to that
release. The cry you heard was the cry of the vital part in you overcome by
the suddenness of the breaking of the wall and the opening.”
Also in quite a long Letter He describes the ‘going within’ process that you mention, mark. He also mention the Ascent experience where the opposite happens – the body feels like a ‘Point’ inside a vast consciousness above the head. You experienced the start of ‘going within’, l think, and if you’d gone deeper you probably would have seen a Light or had visions etc..
Sorry this is quite a long Letter, but l feel it’s important to read it ‘in toto’.
“Experiences of the Inner and
the Cosmic Consciousness
THE piercing of the veil between the outer consciousness and the inner
being is one of the crucial movements in yoga. For yoga means union with
the Divine, but it also means awaking first to your inner self and then to
your higher self, — a movement inward and a movement upward. It is, in
fact, only through the awakening and coming to the front of the inner be-
ing that you can get into union with the Divine. The outer physical man is
only an instrumental personality and by himself he cannot arrive at this
union, — he can only get occasional touches, religious feelings, imperfect
intimations. And even these come not from the outer consciousness but
from what is within us.
There are two mutually complementary movements; in one the inner
being comes to the front and impresses its own normal motions on the out-
er consciousness to which they are unusual and abnormal; the other is to
draw back from the outer consciousness, to go inside into the inner planes,
enter the world of your inner self and wake in the hidden parts of your be-
ing. When that plunge has once been taken, you are marked for the yogic,
the spiritual life and nothing can efface the seal that has been put upon
This inward movement takes place in many different ways and there is
sometimes a complex experience combining all the signs of the complete
plunge. There is a sense of going in or deep down, a feeling of the move-
ment towards inner depths; there is often a stillness, a pleasant numbness,
a stiffness of the limbs. This is the sign of the consciousness retiring from
the body inwards under the pressure of a force from above, — that pres-
sure stabilising the body into an immobile support of the inner life, in a
kind of strong and still spontaneous āsana. There is a feeling of waves sur-
ging up, mounting to the head, which brings an outer unconsciousness and
an inner waking. It is the ascending of the lower consciousness in the
Adhara to meet the greater consciousness above. It is a movement analog-
ous to that on which so much stress is laid in the Tantric process, the
awakening of the Kundalini, the Energy coiled up and latent in the body
and its mounting through the spinal cord and the centres (cakras) and the
Brahmarandhra to meet the Divine above. In our yoga it is not a special-
ised process, but a spontaneous uprush of the whole lower consciousness
sometimes in currents or waves, sometimes in a less concrete motion, and
on the other side a descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force into
the body. This descent is felt as a pouring in of calm and peace, of force
and power, of light, of joy and ecstasy, of wideness and freedom and
knowledge, of a Divine Being or a Presence — sometimes one of these,
sometimes several of them or all together. The movement of ascension has
different results; it may liberate the consciousness so that one feels no
longer in the body, but above it or else spread in wideness with the body
either almost non-existent or only a point in one’s free expanse. It may en-
able the being or some part of the being to go out from the body and move
elsewhere, and this action is usually accompanied by some kind of partial
samādhi or else a complete trance. Or, it may result in empowering the
consciousness, no longer limited by the body and the habits of the external
nature, to go within, to enter the inner mental depths, the inner vital, the
inner (subtle) physical, the psychic, to become aware of its inmost psychic
self or its inner mental, vital and subtle physical being and, it may be, to
move and live in the domains, the planes, the worlds that correspond to
these parts of the nature. It is the repeated and constant ascent of the lower
consciousness that enables the mind, the vital, the physical to come into
touch with the higher planes up to the supramental and get impregnated
with their light and power and influence. And it is the repeated and con-
stant descent of the Divine Consciousness and its Force that is the means
for the transformation of the whole being and the whole nature. Once this
descent becomes habitual, the Divine Force, the Power of the Mother, be-
gins to work, no longer from above only or from behind the veil, but con-
sciously in the Adhara itself, and deals with its difficulties and possibilities
and carries on the yoga.
Last comes the crossing of the border. It is not a falling asleep or a loss
of consciousness, for the consciousness is there all the time; only it shifts
from the outer and physical, becomes closed to external things and recedes
into the inner psychic and vital part of the being. There it passes through
many experiences and of these some can and should be felt in the waking
state also; for both movements are necessary, the coming out of the inner
being to the front as well as the going in of the consciousness to become
aware of the inner self and nature. But for many purposes the ingoing
movement is indispensable. Its effect is to break or at least to open and
pass the barrier between this outer instrumental consciousness and that in-
ner being which it very partially strives to express, and to make possible in
future a conscious awareness of all the endless riches of possibility and ex-
perience and new being and new life that lie untapped behind the veil of
this small and very blind and limited material personality which men erro-
neously think to be the whole of themselves. It is the beginning and con-
stant enlarging of this deeper and fuller and richer awareness that is ac-
complished between the inward plunge and the return from this inner
world to the waking state.
The sadhak must understand that these experiences are not mere ima-
ginations or dreams but actual happenings, for even when, as often occurs,
they are formations only of a wrong or misleading or adverse kind, they
have still their power as formations and must be understood before they
can be rejected and abolished. Each inner experience is perfectly real in its
own way, although the values of different experiences differ greatly, but it
is real with the reality of the inner self and the inner planes. It is a mistake
to think that we live physically only, with the outer mind and life. We are
all the time living and acting on other planes of consciousness, meeting
others there and acting upon them, and what we do and feel and think
there, the forces we gather, the results we prepare have an incalculable im-
portance and effect, unknown to us, upon our outer life. Not all of it comes
through, and what comes through takes another form in the physical —
though sometimes there is an exact correspondence; but this little is at the
basis of our outward existence. All that we become and do and bear in the
physical life is prepared behind the veil within us. It is therefore of im-
mense importance for a yoga which aims at the transformation of life to
grow conscious of what goes on within these domains, to be master there
and be able to feel, know and deal with the secret forces that determine our
destiny and our internal and external growth or decline.
It is equally important for those who want that union with the Divine
without which the transformation is impossible. The aspiration could not
be realised if you remained bound by your external self, tied to the physic-
al mind and its petty movements. It is not the outer being which is the
source of the spiritual urge; the outer being only undergoes the inner drive
from behind the veil. It is the inner psychic being in you that is the bhakta,
the seeker after the union and the Ananda, and what is impossible for the
outer nature left to itself becomes perfectly possible when the barrier is
down and the inner self in the front. For, the moment this comes strongly
to the front or draws the consciousness powerfully into itself, peace, ec-
stasy, freedom, wideness, the opening to light and a higher knowledge be-
gin to become natural, spontaneous, often immediate in their emergence.
Once the barrier breaks by the one movement or the other, you begin to
find that all the processes and movements necessary to the yoga are within
your reach and not, as it seems in the outer mind, difficult or impossible.
The inmost psychic self in you has already in it the yogin and the bhakta
and if it can fully emerge and take the lead, the spiritual turn of your out-
ward life is predestined and inevitable. In the initially successful sadhak it
has already built a deep inner life, yogic and spiritual, which is veiled only
because of some strong outward turn the education and past activities have
given to the thinking mind and lower vital parts. It is precisely to correct
this outward orientation and take away the veil that he has to practise more
strenuously the yoga. Once the inner being has manifested strongly wheth-
er by the inward-going or the outward-coming movement, it is bound to
renew its pressure, to clear the passage and finally come by its kingdom. A
beginning of this kind is the indication of what is to happen on a greater
“You experienced the start of ‘going within’, l think, and if you’d gone deeper you probably would have seen a Light or had visions etc..”
The veil came down during the Summer in August last year. and since then there has been a stabilization and a pointed development and growth. So far no visions and symbols, but I can recognize the outer changes, for instance as Sri Aurobindo states here:
“What you feel as a new life is the growth of the inner being in you; the inner being is the true being and as it grows the whole consciousness begins to change. This feeling and your new attitude towards people are signs of the change.” LOY II, p.1000
In August I heard no ‘cry’ but definitely felt the ‘wall’ coming down:
“The breaking of the wall meant the breaking of the obstacle or at
least of some obstacle there between your inner and your outer being.”
The image in this video shows calving in an arctic setting and it is similar to the interior sensation I experienced in August – [the ‘calving’ sensation went on for several days intermixed with feelings of euphoria]:
*In August I had no frame of reference regarding the experience and was inclined to believe it was the Psychic Transformation. Not quite.
The soul, representative of the central being, is a spark of the Divine supporting all individual existence in Nature; the psychic being is a conscious form of that soul growing in the evolution – in the persistent process that develops first life in Matter, mind in life, until finally mind can develop into overmind and overmind into the supramental Truth. The soul supports the nature in its evolution through these grades, but is itself not any of these things.
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – I: Planes and Parts of the Being – IV
The psychic being is the spark growing into a Fire, evolving with the growth of the consciousness. The psychic being is therefore evolutionary, not like the Jivatman prior to the evolution.
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – I: Planes and Parts of the Being – IV
A distinction has to be made between the soul in its essence and the psychic being. Behind each and all there is the soul which is the spark of the Divine – none could exist without that. But it is quite possible to have a vital and physical being supported by such a soul essence but without a clearly evolved psychic being behind it.
Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga – I: Planes and Parts of the Being – V
Thank You Amsha!
Sivananda, je pense, dit que les sons subtils se sont l’indication d’une purification des nadis ou canaux subtils. Quand les nadis sont purifiés, ils raisonnent sur certaines fréquences et certains timbres. L’association de Krishna avec le son de la flûte, à mon avis, est en rapport avec ce phénomène.
(Sandeep: This is a translation for non-French readers. Yael is saying “Sivananda, I think said that the subtle sounds are an indication of purification on the Nadis. When the Nadis are purified, they resonate certain frequencies and timbres. The association of Krishna with the sound of the flute, in my opinion, is in consonance with this phenomena”)
I came to this page because of the “music” I hear in my right ear (deaf one). Although, it is not perfectly clear at all times it is consistently loudest when I sit in my spot around dark/sunrise. Also when I think of the sound and listen for it, now it is more redily available at anytime. Some times calling my attention during the day. It has dynamics to it, it is like music or rhythmic machines playing and you are listening at the end of a long tube.
Sandeep,, that was a good explanation. I was looking for such explanation of different sounds, constantly heard. Often it,s mistaken as some disease.
Nada Bindu Upanishad says the the nada sound enters the right ear. I locate my bindu as entering into left ear.
31. The Yogin being in the Siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavi-Mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.
Is there any reason why Nada Bindu is coming in left ear, any reference in shastra or words of Sri Aurobindo.
No idea. I am not aware of another reference.
So much to read here. I have tinnitus in the left ear. I believe I have had it for at least 40 years. A very high pitch. Sometimes a bother sometimes I dont notice and sometimes I use it as a focus for meditation. But on other rare occasions during meditation I have heard the faint sound of harps from my right ear. That is the only way I could describe it. Beautiful and light. Probably only a few times in my life. But the tinnitus is constant and they say there is no remedy.
Tinnitus is like a “dial tone” they had on the old phones 🙂
No one picking up on the other end ?
I guess I still need to dial. Hah.
The Nadu sabda is not tinnitus, and it is not a high pitched ringing noise. If one truly has the Nadu Bindu then they are truly blessed and is a result of surrender and dedication to the yoga process. The sound is not high pitched ringing noise in the ears which is only some defect in the hearing faculty. The first stage is more like a humming sound, the closest audible sound I have heard is that of the Tibetan singing bowl.
If one goes to quiet place the vibrational sound is quite distinct from tinnitus, the sound will also have some results, it will clear out the citta and make the mind more clear and less agitated and by constant listening and development one will be able to go deeper into Nadu Brahma and one’s knowledge and understanding will get more profound. I think if one just sits listening to the sound of high ringing in the ears caused by tinnitus there will not really be any substantial spiritual advancement.
Pete, I have tinnitus as well. 25 years ago I had a bicycling accident which caused fractures in my left ear. Yes, the same high pitch whining, non stop. It was easy for me to adapt to. Learned to listen through it 😃
Yes, I sometimes use it as my focus in meditation. Fortunately, the rest of the time I can forget about it.
Nada* ( sorry predictive text )
I have been hearing the internal sound through the right ear for almost one year. I recognized the sound during guided meditation by focusing on the silence or simple awareness in the mind. This sound is constantly present and always there and could be perceived almost effortlessly. This sound that I am talking about is similar to a sound that a normal ocean shell makes when one puts it on the external ear and listens to it. By the way one closet family member experienced the kundalini awakening one year ago at this time and it could support that my sound experience is associated with the Nada-Bindu.
tinnitus is a hogwash by modern medical fraternity as they cannot do anything to correct it physically. can anyone hear a faulty ear sound in sleep also😜 all unstruck sounds are varieties of Naad only. for some it accompany from birth without any spiritual activity.
Very Good detailing..Thanks Sandeepji
Ancient sound propagation theories and their Vedic applications (Guest post by R.Ramanathan)
Only happened maybe twice. Sounded like distant angelic choir or harps. Very subtle. I Loved it.