Free Press Journal

The Magic of Sound


Aurobindo Ashram Picture credits:

Japa, like meditation, is a procedure – apparently the most active and effective procedure – forjoining, as much as possible, the Divine Presence to the bodily substance. It is the magic of sound, yousee.Naturally, if there’s also an awareness of the idea behind it, if one does japa as a very active CONSCIOUS invocation, then its effects are greatly multiplied. But the basis is the magic of sound.This is a fact of experience, and it’s absolutely true. The sound OM, for instance, awakens very special vibrations (there are other such sounds as well, but of course that one is the most powerful of all).

It is an attempt to divinize material substance. From another, almost identical point of view, it fills the physical atmosphere with the Divine Presence. So time spent in japa is time consecrated to helping the material substance enter into more intimate rapport with the Divine.And if one adds to this, as I do, a mantric program, that is, a sort of prayer or invocation, a programfor both personal development and helping the collective, then it becomes a truly active work.Now, I think that doing japa with the will and the idea of getting something out of it spoils it a little. You spoil it. I don’t much like it when somebody says, “Do this and you will get that.” It’s true – it’s true, but it’s a bit like baiting a fish.

 I don’t much like it. Let it be your own manner of serving the Divine, of relating to Him, loving Him, of joining Him to your physical life, being close to Him and drawing Him close to you – that way it’s beautiful. Each time you say the Word, let it be an invocation, let it be like the recitation of a word of love; then it’s beautiful. That’s how I see it. And so according to your mission in the world, you have to find for yourself the right proportion between this work and external, intellectual or organizational work.