So we have been listening now, for the last hour and a half or so, to mantras. Of course, arranged with music to make it very attractive to our material ears. However mantras are attractive in and of themselves. This is been declared by all the great acharyas, or spiritual teachers, so I offer my respects to all our great spiritual masters. Actually, knowledge is a sacred thing. And when I speak of knowledge, I speak of spiritual knowledge. This is what we miss in life, this is what we need.
There’re two categories of sound. We’re surrounded by sound our whole life. We’re bombarded by sound. Some is very attractive, some is not. The sounds of nature by arrangement are very attractive. Even the harsher sounds of nature like thunderstorms; they have a certain attraction. The sound of the sea, the sound of waterfalls, the sound of birds singing. Very attractive, very relaxing, very soothing. You can buy recorded sounds of nature for relaxation purposes. And they work.
And then there’re the man-made sounds. The sound of machinery, traffic, car alarms; all those kinds of sound. Not attractive. The sound of the garbage man at 5 o’clock in the morning. Everywhere in the world the garbage man arrives early. And our alarm-clocks, they are not so exciting, either. Especially when it’s somebody else’s alarm-clock. But nonetheless we are exposed to all those sounds. And that’s in the category of material sound. It comes from material source, it has a material origin.
And, of course, sound is necessary, we communicate with sound, we learn by sound. It’s very unique that the first sense of the body to develop while still in the womb is the sense of hearing. And the last sense to shut down as we leave the body is the sense of hearing. So we have maximum time to hear. This is all by divine arrangement.
But the sound that we hear is going to have a certain effect. Sound can create, sound can destroy. Sound is amazing. Sound can affect our mood so much. One type of music sets a certain mood, a certain emotion, a certain feeling. And another type of sound sets another mood, emotion, feeling. An amazingly powerful medium. So we have our constant contact with material sound. And it has its material effect, whatever it may be.
But there’s another category of sound. And this is known as transcendental sound. Transcendental means transcendent, or beyond, the material realm. Beyond the material realm there’s the spiritual realm, the transcendental realm. And it is also filled with sound, but spiritual sound. And this is pure sound.
Material sound is contaminated. And because of this contaminating condition, it contaminates us in various ways, affects our consciousness. The consciousness is so important: what is our consciousness? Consciousness is a symptom of the soul. Spirit is eternally conscious, aware. But in the material world because of the presence of the material atmosphere and sound, our consciousness becomes materially contaminated. This is unnatural for the soul. This is unnatural for life. But in the material world it’s our reality.
In the spiritual world, as I say, there’s also sound. But it’s pure sound. Uncontaminated. And it has a purifying effect. So when that sound descends from the spiritual realm into the material world, it brings with it that pure potency and makes itself available to us. It comes in the form of mantras. So these mantras are that transcendental sound.
Everything originates from the Supreme Lord. And everything that comes from the Supreme Lord is pure. Transcendental sound originates from the Supreme and brings with it Supreme purity. And at the highest level of understanding, it is known to be non-different than the Supreme. So when we contact that sound, we have contact with the Supreme Lord.
When we hear that sound, that sound enters our ears, because that’s the sense of reception of sound, and it travels by the mechanical arrangement to the brain. But it, certainly, does not stop there. It goes to the subtle level, the mind. But, again, it doesn’t stop there. It continues on to the heart where we, the spirit soul, are located.
And it purifies us, it purifies our heart. It cleanses away the contamination of all of this material pollution. And gradually we become more and more purified as a result of this. Purified of what? Purified of karma, purified of illusion, purified of our rebellious nature, purified of our arrogance, our pride, our greed, our jealousy; all of these pollutants that cover us.
And as they are cleared away, the true nature of the soul begins to manifest itself. The true pure condition of the soul is a condition of humility and respect, tolerance, forgiveness, peacefulness, and love. It’s all there. It’s all underneath the contamination. And the more the contamination is cleared away, the more that begins to radiate.
A diamond is always a diamond in all of its brilliance. But you can cover it with layer after layer of mud and that brilliance disappears. You don’t even know the diamond’s there. But it is. And if you gradually clear away the contamination, the layers of mud, the brilliance begins to reveal itself. It’s not like it came from somewhere else, it was always there. All it needed was a chance to glow.
So it is with an each of us. It’s already there. But all we need is a chance to glow, to shine, to radiate the light of peace, love and harmony. The mantras make this a reality. Transcendental sound. This is the avenue of perfection.
In this age we live in now, known as Kali yuga, this is the recommended process for spiritual perfection. It’s declared in the ancient Vedic scriptures many thousands of years ago. And the latest incarnation of the Supreme Lord, Lord Gauranga, proclaimed it Himself. So it’s fully established by all authorities that this is what we need, this is what we’re missing in life.
We think that we’re missing this material thing and that material thing, this relationship, this opportunity, this business, this education, whatever. But it’s not what we’re missing. What we’re missing is this spiritual connection. And the mantras are that connection.
It’s declared that the mantras are the means of perfection and the end of perfection. On the way to perfection, the mantras are the vehicle. They transport us to the spiritual realm. When we reach the spiritual realm, the mantras are the end. It’s not like you climb a ladder to the top of the roof, “Now I’m here. I don’t need a ladder anymore!” They are the means and the end. They are love personified for those who have the vision and perception to realize it.
And they come to us for our benefit. The Supreme Lord arranges it so we have such easy access. All we have to do is give up our arrogance and accept the gift. We’re arrogant, “I don’t want the gift! I don’t need it!” We need to get rid of that; it’s part of the contamination. Accept the gift: “Thank you very much.”
And how do we accept it? Oral reception. We listen to the sound. We let it go, we let it penetrate our heart, and we give it back. See, it’s not a one way street: we just get it and that’s all. No. We receive, and we give it back. And that completes the circuit. And that completes the relationship. And it transports us to the spiritual realm. This is the reality of mantra. This is the perfection of meditation.
We hear about meditation: sitting in silence, blanking our mind, meditating on our breath, meditating on candle flame, whatever. But there’s no potency. Meditating on the candle flame may be all we want, but there’s no potency here, no purifying effect. See? We can do it. Maybe we can get so good at it that all I am is the candle flame, I become the candle flame. So what have we become? A candle flame. Big deal. Congratulations, you’re a candle! There’s no potency.
You know, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on things in nature like sunrises. And you sit, you’re in a perfect location to greet the sun just as it comes up from the horizon. And it rapidly arises out of the sea and becomes a big red ball and you’re fully focused on it.
But how much happiness is there? How much potency is there? It’s no real spiritual potency. It’s an attractive material phenomenon. It has its material effect, guaranteed it does, you definitely feel the energy, you feel the material potency. But it’s material. We’re spirit, we’re not material. So it only has what it has, it is very limited.
The mantras, transcendental sound, are unlimited, they have spiritual potency. They go to where we are, the heart. So this is the absolute perfection of meditation. As declared in all the Vedic teachings and as declared by the Supreme Lord, and as experienced by all the great sages and saints who have applied this teaching to their life and achieved perfection.