Shabd Guru – the yoga of sound
Kundalini yoga uses mantras and shabds during meditations and they form an important part of Kundalini yoga classes and teacher training. They are used because shabd guru is a particularly powerful solution to the problems of the times. Sha = the ego. Bd = to cut. It is a special sound that cuts the ego and puts us in touch with the longing of our soul.
The sacred scripture known as the Siri Guru Granth Sahib which is Sikh in origin is where shabd is drawn from. Although all religious traditions have a practice of calling out. In Christianity; hallelujah. In Judaism; Yehovah. In Hinduism; Om Namah Shiva In Buddhism; Om Mani Padme Hum. and for Muslims, Allah. The common theme is chanting the name of god. It is this that awakens spiritual intelligence through vibration at a cellular level to create a feeling of ease/bliss (sahaj).
The anatomy of sound
Phonemes are the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word from another. Shabd Guru uses this atomic level of language.
There are two systems of grammer ~ one normal, the other ‘nirukta’ which means beyond the forms. When a sounds innate vibration corresponds to or in some way reproduces what it refers to, it is a sacred language.
If we take the word Wah He Guru. Wah sounds like wonderful. A eureka moment. Inspiration, opening, expansion. An energising sound. He is a sound of holding, containing. Gu a contraction, a concentration, consolidation and Ru, release, let go. So the mantra takes you on this journey.
The more you more away from the primary, earliest languages the less the connection of the word to the object (look at roots of words – Ra – the sun; the ray, the realisation, the revelation. Ma – the moon; the mother, nourishment) So basic word units were put together according to the energy, emotion and awareness they create. Fundamental vibrations that resonate with universal energies within us.
Use of different sounds
Ordinary language although an efficent way to communicate is highly ineffective vibrationally in that it doesn’t correspond to anything .
Using affirmations is usually a temporary fix and assumes we know what we need. It is also difficult to maintain motivation if the behaviour we are trying to encourage or change does not resonate in the body and mind at a cellular level
Mantras cleanse subconscious.
Shabd awakens spiritual intelligence through vibration at cellular level this resonance creates ease / bliss (sahaj)
It has a neutral content that disassociate from personal. It is not indoctrinating – trying to put something on you rather it is clearing, awakening. It is Primary information that taps into our spiritual DNA. The perfect weave of rhythm, sound, tone, focus and meaning. The raaga or mood it is played in conveys the feeling and the poetry and word convey the meaning. When a shabd is sung in the prescribed raag it gives the words an emotional charge and thereby creates a true understanding of the way the gurus intended the message to be conveyed. Different shabds relate to different common themes. There are 34 different raags which convey the whole range of human emotion.
Know how not just know what. ‘It gives procedural knowledge that is in your cells and subconscious, not just representational knowledge in your ideas. Informs our formative tendencies, to structure our structuring. It is the order behind the order.
We have 2 voices inside the voice of the ego and the voice of the soul. We are often speaking to ourselves and others from the perspective of the ego mind. We need to establish a relationship between the mind (selfish and impatient side) and the soul (honest and sincere side). We can then acknowledge both and get them to work together rather than against each other. We are all working through our patterns and processes, our karma to line up with our core intelligence, to find our integrity. The question is whether this this a joyful journey or a struggle. The teachings are compassionate. Time is brutal.
The technology of the yoga of sound
The ancient yogis considered that there were 2 caves; the bij (seed) gupha is the cave for bringing in new life, using the male & female sexual organs for procreation. The second cave is gian gupha which is the cave of wisdom; tongue and mouth are used as a merger with the divine where the tongue represents the penis and the mouth the vagina – you are making love to yourself! There are 84 points – 32 pairs of points on the hard palate nearer to the teeth and 20 pairs in a ‘U’ shape on the central part of the palate. When stimulated by the tongue these points are like a pressing the right keys on a keyword to access the computer. The computer is the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is connected to the pituitary which is the master endocrine gland and plays a key role in regulating hunger, thirst, sleep, moods, emotional behaviour and sexuality. So Shabd Guru stimulates the hypothalamus to change the chemistry of the brain so that it becomes a more highly receptive instrument. It also helps the mental, emotional and physical bodies to integrate more harmoniously. In fact there are;
4 areas affected by sound and breathe combination via neuro-endocrine link.
- ‘the autonomic nerves, sympathetic and parasympathetic that control states of excitement, relaxation and high performance
- the senses and c.n.s. through the neuro-chemical ocean of the body that connects all the cells
- endocrine system that produces hormones and controls our moods and the feeling of vitality and energy
- the immune system’