Mantra, shabd and the yoga of sound

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.

2 voices

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?



Presence and Power, Attitude and Energy

Attitude and Energy

There are many claims made for healing at an energetic level and many claiming ?everything is just energy?

Thankfully most people don’t expect to be completely healed by visiting a health practitioner and often the most stubborn health issue/s (usually one or two) don’t ever completely resolve however long you have treatment for and however many practitioners you try.

Energy Improves

Despite this because the flow of energy improves so does your overall energy levels, some other symptoms and perhaps there is some shift, however small in the most stubborn complaint (that is manifesting at the soul/genetic level). So, for example you feel less tired, your digestion and sleep improve and you feel better, even though the original complaint, that bugs you the most, does not ever really resolve. These are often issues that run in a family, and so run deep in the genes. Some people therefore conclude that holistic medicine does not work. For others they are happy to enjoy the often unexpected benefits of other things improving.

Blocks to the healing process

When considering blocks to the healing process it is honest for the practitioner and liberating to the client to work towards a change of attitude as well as a change in energy. A change of attitude is a change of perspective and a change of thinking and this is more likely to last in the long run and usually has more chance of persisting to impact us at the deeper levels where the resistance and inherited karmic patterns are deeper.?

Energy and power, consciousness and presence

This corresponds to the elements of water; power. And air; presence. Blocks to healing can arise in relation to both. In this excerpt from his book ‘Let The Numbers Guide You’ Shiv Charan shows that it’s not just about energetic change; ???

‘Different religious and cultural communities tend to emphasize different pairs of numbers. The 2 and 8 are numbers (water element) that have been central too much in the oriental way of thinking. The association of the Tao with the element water, the study of the polarities of yin and yang, the eight trigrams of the I Ching, the eight spokes on the wheel of dharma in the Buddhist tradition…

Generally speaking it is harder, or just more challenging since it calls for more consciousness and responsibility, to negotiate a change of a person’s attitude as opposed to changing the energy flow, whether within the person or in their environment. Therefore, water power or energy flow has tended to become the popular concerns of practices such as Feng Shui since it does not call upon the responsibility of the people to influence their environment and their own lives. Rather it places all the emphasis on external factors in the na?ve hope that people will gain benefit from this without their own contribution of presence. (Note this is contrary to the original spirit of Feng Shui, which concerns itself with both the movement of the wind and the water powers)’ (Shiv Charan Singh p 181 & 144 ? 145 Let the Numbers Guide You)

The Body part 1

The Body

Mostly we want to silence any cries from our bodies that something is amiss as quickly as possible. Symptoms of disease are commonly battled into submission by drug therapy, whether the distress is mental or physical. This doesn?t consider the cause.

To view the body from a truly holistic perspective means to include spirit. If we take that to it?s natural conclusion we except that whatever is manifesting is a result of karma. That we have come here to learn lessons that we need to help us shed old skins and reach new ground. In this we are all in a process of healing.

This means that the body is both a temporary container to maintain the soul on its journey to liberation and a sacred temple ? as it is a container for the soul!

It is the only place in which alchemy can happen.

Crossing the Ocean of Life

Crossing the Ocean of Life

?Happiness is your birthright? (Yogi Bhajan)

“It’s natural to maintain uplifted spirits, whatever we are facing. Every moment of life is to be savoured and enjoyed.”

‘Is it an overstatement to say that every moment is to be enjoyed?’


‘Well when will I start to experience the Promised Land!?’

‘That’s as long as the proverbial piece of string as it depends how much karma you need to burn and on not creating anymore.’

‘Is there a way to burn karma? Is there an assured path to tread to take me there?’


‘It’s called dharma (dhar; a door beyond the ma; maya/illusion). It’s a ship, a 5 star ocean liner to take you across the choppy, burning seas of life…. Come on jump aboard’

‘That’s a strange name for a boat, I don’t know, is it safe? I can’t see what’s inside’

‘I’ve been inside. It’s very beautiful. They have all sorts of fun activities, it’s very comfortable. They serve great food. You will have to take my word for it though. I can’t show you inside and besides you will have a very different experience once on board’

‘What do you mean a different experience?’

‘You will see and feel things differently’

‘Can I trust you?’

‘Do I look like someone who would trick you?’

‘Well what’s the other option?’

‘The luxury cruise liner apart from being so very beautiful will save you from drowning, or burning, or both. Otherwise I can offer you this little wooden 6ft by 2ft boat. It very flimsy and you have to row all the way. You can see inside but just so that you know you’ve very likely to capsize. You may be swallowed by sharks, or if you boat capsizes near an oil slick, be burnt alive. Or the boat may just be battered to smithereens by the relentless waves crashing against it. If you do make it I can’t vouch for the state you’ll be in when you get there.’

‘Sorry but if it’s alright with you I’m choosing the wooden boat’

‘It’s fine with me. Good Luck’

‘If you change your mind we can always come and pick you up’

‘Thanks I’ll manage’