Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Art installation at India Art Fair 2013


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Our name is our virtue?!

I love my name... 'bani' or ' vani' literally translates to Speech. the term appears in many Hindu vedic texts as well as sikh texts referring to gurbani- that is, guru's speech. one of my earliest reference to my name that was taught to me is with regard to one of Kabir's famous dohas.

एसी बानी  बोलिए, मन का आपा खोय     
औरन को शीतल करे, आपहु शीतल होय
aesi bani boliye, mann ka aapa khoy
auran ko sheetal kare, aapahu sheetal hoy...

Speak such words, sans ego's ploy
Body remains composed, giving the listener joy.

Recently, while studying Kundalini and Chakras, i came across an interesting reference and description of bani, that i feel like sharing. The following is an interaction between Vimalananda and the author that i've extracted from the book Aghora I and Aghora II- Kundalini by Robert Svoboda, wherein the teacher is explaining the disciple, the FOUR LEVELS OF SPEECH:

Mantra is the energy which moves your vehicle (the yantra) according to the road map (tantra).
Mantra is a collection of sounds. When pronounced their vibrations provide energy to yantra. Sound appears on an electromagnetic spectrum as one variety of energy which can be manipulated by the Tantric. There are three main types of Mantra:
a)      Descriptive- usually in Sanskrit, these Mantra describe wither the process undergone, the desired goal, or both.
b)      Meaningless- aggregations of sounds which have no known meaning in any human language.
c)       Bijas- individualized nasal syllables.
Bijas means seed, and these ‘seed-sounds’ produce fruit according to the Bijavrksha Nyaya, or the Law of Seed and Tree. These frequent repetition of these Bijas eventually results in a sort of standing wave, permanently energizing either an external Yantra or some area for the aspirant’s brain, resulting in the continuous production of a specific effect, one which is coherent with the personality invoked. Four types of Vani or speech exist for the pronunciation of Mantra:
a)      Vaikhari- vocal speech
b)      Madhyama- nasalized speech
c)       Pashyanti- purely mental repetition
d)      Para- telepathy is speech, in which only the intention but not the sound is conveyed.
The more subtle the speech, the deeper its effect on both the individual and the surrounding environment. Just as a laser produces coherent light, a human brain can produce coherent energy when a single frequency (Bija) is selected and is amplified appropriately with Yantra and Tantra.

The four levels of speech are, from lowest to highest, Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti and Para.

Vaikhari, vocal speech, is only for mundane things; it is physical speech, which always has an external object. Madhyama, as the name suggests, is midway between the mundane and the spiritual. It is mental speech so its object is internal. Pashyanti is only for spiritual things. Pashyanti means ‘seeing’-seeing with the divine eye, clairvoyance. Actually it is not seeing, it is perception, because the physical organ of sight plays no part or a very minor part in it. The eye acts only as a vehicle for this perception. And para is meant only for Rishis. It is beyond perception; it is telegraphic speech, the highest.

Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti are predominated by Tamas, Rajas and Sattva respectively. Since the world we know it, Maya, is the result of these Three Gunas, the use of these three forms of speech is limited, imperfect because they all exist within Maya. The state beyond the Gunas is the state beyond Maya. That state is perfect because it is absolute, and that is Para.

Look at it with the help of syllable Om. The three and half coils of the Kundalini represent the three and a half letters of the word Om: a, u, m, and anusvara (nasalization) at the end. But Om also has a bindu (orthographic dot) over the anusvara. Anusvara and bindu cannot exist without one another. Bindu is a point: position without dimension, as they define it in mathematics. Anusvara is pronounceable in Vaikhari and Madhyama, but bindu van be pronounced only in Pashyanti and Para. How do you pronounce a dot? You can’t , but the intention to pronounce it can be present. Intentions counts for nothing in Vaikhari. Intentions counts for something in Madhyama, and for a lot in Pashyanti. But intention counts for everything in Para. In fact, para is nothing but intention: the purified intention of a purified ego, a Kundalini Shakti which has been magnified millions of times by intense penance. Bindu is used when the Kundalini moves from the Vishuddha Chakra into the Ajna Chakra, when Shunya begins. That is the very nature of bindu: emptiness, which is the source of all sound, the field from which sound arises.

Here is another way to look at it. What is the word for ‘sweet’ in Sanskrit?
Swadu or madhura”.
“Of all sweet things in the world only honey is madhu, because only honey can offer sweetness to the body without being digested first. This is because honey has already been digested by bees. Madhura has an extra ‘ra’ in it; that refers to the Fire Element. Anything that is madhura must first be digested before its sweetness can be released into the system. Of all forms of speech only Para is truly madhu. Para goes directly to its target and exerts its effect immediately, just as honey does in the body. All other speech must first be digested by the hearer before its effect can be felt. Pashyanti is always madhura, atleast , and Madhyama usually is, which is why they are so useful. But vaikhari is only sometimes sweet, because it is under the control of all Six Tastes. This is why sometimes we speak sweetly, and at other times our words are sharp, or bitter, or sour, or salty, or cold and hard.”

More on Kundalini later... =)

Have you ever thought about your name? does it mean anything? does it hold any significance in your life?