The Sound of ‘Om’
Understanding and realisation of Sadba is said to be the goal of life itself.
The essence of all beings is itself the Sadba bramhan.
The Sadba bramhan is omnipresent through the sound of ‘Om’.
Sound can describe all the five elements, space, air, fire, water and earth.
Sound is the property or the descriptor of space, which is the subtlest among the five elements.
Although sound can describe all the five elements the space element can only be described by sound.
The order in decreasing subtlety is space, air, fire, water and earth.
The five means of perception corresponding to the five elements are hearing, touch, vision, taste and smell.
Sound and space are inseparably related to each other. The so called sixth sense of perception is related to one’s orientation is space, indicating that the sound is the signal to which one can respond easily.
Sadba is an integral part of our life. The Sadba bramhan is omnipresent through the sound of ‘Om’.
Broadly speaking we can categorise the role of sadba in spirituality, speech, music, and literature.
Sadba as the underlying energy in speech production plays an important role in human life.
Speech sounds, are generated at various chakras located in the human spinal cord, namely the Mooladhara, Swadhistana, Manipoora, Anahata, and Visuddhi. The seed sounds generated at the chakras take the form of vowels and consonants in the mouth with the help of the throat, tongue, jaws, teeth and lips. Hence word is known as sadba.
The complete process of the production of speech, is mysterious. It is said, in the RigVeda that the process has four stages. These are Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama, and Vaikhari. The first three are internal and can be experienced by Yogis. The fourth stage of Vaikhari is the audible speech which is used by human beings.
Music can be described as the universal language of emotions.
Sadba in addition to the well known form of seed sounds and words takes on another important form called nada.
The nada refers to the flowing energy of sound which also refers to the expression of chaitanya or consciousness.
Saranga deva in Sangita Ratnakara says that:
‘We worship Nada-Bramhan, that incomparable bliss, which is intrinsic in all the creatures as consciousness and is manifest in the phenomenon of the universe.’
Thus the nada and sadba direct the same entity, which is consciousness.
However nada relates the emotional expression through music, whereas sadba as sound and word emphasises the philosophical inquiry. In the process of describing origination of nada, Sangith Ratnakara gives:
“It is understood that the syllable ‘na’ represents the vital force and ‘da’ represents the fire. Thus the syllable being produced by the interaction of vital force and fire is called ‘nada‘.
This nada which manifests as seven notes becomes the vehicle of emotional expressions through the nine rasas in the form of music and dance. The nine rasas (sentiments) are love (erotic), heroic, pathetic, marvellous, comic, odious terrible, furious, and peaceful. The words of the song denote the sadba (para) while the singing tune denotes the expression of nada. Thus it is seen that sadba and nada are connected by music. It is true that music and dance are integrally related.
Credited to Dr M. G Prasad.