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Sound :A Specific Quality Of  Space.

How a Vedic millenary theory explains the intricate relationships of sounds and vibrations in a space/time continuum.

"The process of evolution of the material Universe is always conceived in relation to space/time and causality. Time is a one dimensional continuum : it distinguishes  between the past  and the present("Then" and "Now").

A moment is an instance in the ultimate irreductible unit of this continuum: it is believed that one day is equal to 60 Ghatika (24 hours comprising 60 units of time). Likewise, one Ghatika = 60 Vig-Ghatika; one Vig-Ghatika=60 Lipta; one lipta= 60 Vilipta; one Vilipta= 60 Para; one Para= 60 Tattpata. Therefore, one day comprises 46.656.000.000 'Tatparas' or 'moments'.

A moment also represents the ultimate moment of change or an instantaneous movement of one atom from one point of space to the next. In the time sequence, only a single moment is real, and the whole Universe evolves in that single moment ; the rest, past and future, are potential or sublatent phenomena.

Time is relative and has no objective reality: it is always conceived in relation to its antecedents and sequence.

Space, like time, is also considered to be relative, as it is constructed on the basis of relation and position. Both these categories are only real in finite terms.

Sound is conceived to be the specific quality of space. The physical basis of sound is traced to an impact which generates vibrations in the molecules of the object strung or struck, which in turn impinge against surrounding air molecules to produce sound...

Indeed, sound expands in space like waves propagating in an Ocean: it increases in successive concentric spherical layers of filaments which emanates from one another.

Sound can be distinguished into decreasing order of subtlety : Nada : the ultimate vibration of the Universe ,coming out of creation itself (supersonic sound); Pashyanti : sounds only heard by the spiritually awakened aspirant); HUM :the root vibration or atomized form of sound (transcendal), PARA : unmanifested sound (i.e transcendal inaudible sound but, much deeper than silence); Vaikhari : the audible sound of the striking together of two surfaces or the plucking of a string ;Mahyama : transition stage between heard sound and inner vibrations.

The basis of the concept of sound is a central doctrine described in numerous Tantras as "Sphotavada": the foundation of tantric mantras which form an independent aspect of Vedic rituals. By repetition of sound syllables ,vibratory rhythms are created in the body to awaken the psychic fields. Everything, from the subtlest idea to gross forms of matter is a product of the coagulation of simple or complex combinations of vibrations. Every object has its norm of sounds as an accompaniment of its energy. Vibration, therefore, is one of the numerous results of sounds and NOT  its cause...

The Sphotavada doctrine postulates the inexplicable notion that there is a transcendal sound, without vibrations, of a supersonic order  (Master Clock): it is inaudible to the normal range of the physiological ear). This non-vibrating sound is variously designated  as 'silent ,'static' or 'unstruck' sound. (Anahata Dhvani). This postulate leads us to the assumption that there is no vacuum anywhere. The Universe is a continuum of unfragmented plena, a stage in the vibratory scale which can be equated with the pre-creative stage of Prakriti . (The primeval sound created by a causal stress(Big Bang) is known as "Para Sabda".

The doctrine also holds, that the ultimate quality of the sound potential is silence. At the finite level it generates different degrees of vibrations that create light and dimensions.. Every vibration has its own volume and structure which vary in accordance with the density of  the sound.

Sound is said to become more and more differentiated in relation to pitch, rhythm, volume, frequency,speed and harmony. Hence, if the right chord of the Octave of an object is struck, it can be animated, remodelled or destroyed!

It is around these concepts that techniques and sound syllables and their visual equivalents are build up in the Mantra and Yantra rituals.

Excerpts from the book 'The Tantric Way' by Ajit Mokerjee & Madhu Khanna (copyright 1977 by New-York Graphic Society, Boston).