MUSIC AND SOUNDMeher Baba
There are 132 tunes in music. The singing by an expert musician or maestro is wonderful. But they are very rare. There was a blind singer in Delhi who is now dead whose performance was quite superb.
God is infinite naad. Kabir calls it anhad naad or infinite voice. In each Subtle and Mental plane there are seven tunes. Thus there are 43 tunes, 42 in the six planes, and one of God's tune. Even the best and most exquisite true voice of the Gross plane is only the seventh shadow of that voice which is God's, and which Christ, Zarathustra and Kabir have called the word of God. The voice of the best singer, which makes the rain fall, lights play and people weep, is only the seventh shadow of that voice which is God's.
If the tune of the sixth shadow is heard, it will make one completely forget the universe. This happens on the first plane. If the pilgrim keeps listening to that note, which is continuous on the first plane, he cannot go on. On the second plane, when the pilgrim hears the fifth shadow of that eternal voice, he neither eats nor sleeps. The second plane is far more powerful than the first. It is called naad, which means tune.
Do not take the examples cited literally. How can it be explained? The Hindus call the word of God Om. If you close your mouth, you cannot say anything, but you can utter omm... mmm... mmm, the seventh shadow of the voice of God. God is infinite voice, infinite light and infinite love.
On the first plane, they hear with the Subtle ear; on the fourth and fifth planes, with the Mental ear; and on the seventh plane, they become the voice itself. How can you grasp it? Impossible. How can you understand God as voice and your becoming that voice?
What is love? Even if you love, it is very difficult to define that love. Then just imagine how impossible it is to define infinite love. The Vedant says that the sun and the fiery planets are merely the seventh shadow of that light which is God. A shadow itself is nothing. Therefore the seventh shadow of that shadow means not even nothing.
God's voice is not what we use when we speak. Imagine God as this voice. They call it voice merely to try to explain it. Vedantists cannot explain it.
Sufis explain it differently - not as a shadow, but as a veil. They describe it like this: say that you are God. You look into a mirror. What you first see in the mirror is the sixth plane - the first reflection. Then you see the reflection behind a veil in the mirror, and that is on the fifth plane - the second reflection. The reflection behind another veil, behind the first veil, is on the fourth plane - the third reflection. And so on, veil after veil, until the seventh. These are the seven veils.
Take another example. Let's say consciousness is God. You, Elizabeth, are conscious of holding Kippy in your lap. Then you imagine you have a tiger in your lap. This imagination is the first shadow of this consciousness. Then comes the shadow of this shadow, the sixth plane, and so on.
Another example: In India, they make bells by hand, not by machinery. First they mold a bell of earth, then pour melted metal on top and make a metal bell. After the process is over, they remove the earthen bell. Now, this earthen bell is the first shadow of the real bell. Although it is the exact replica of the real bell, it is only earth, and cannot ring. Therefore, if the difference between the bell and its first shadow (earthen bell) is so vast, what must the seventh shadow be? Just nothing. If in the first shadow there is no metal, but earth, what would they find in the seventh shadow?
I explain this more clearly than anyone in the world. Still I cannot explain clearly enough in words.
Once a man who never had a headache went to a hakim (doctor) and asked him, 'What is a headache?' The hakim knew what it was, for he had experienced it. He explained for hours in words and actions, but the man could not imagine what a headache could be like. At last, in exasperation, the hakim picked up a stone and struck the man squarely on the head. The man knew at once what a headache was, and with his question answered in this realistic manner, he left.
About the shadows, I can give you the experience in a second, but cannot explain it to you in words. I said this world is the seventh shadow of God. If God does not exist, the world would not exist. But the voice of God is not sound. Even on the third plane, there is no sound. On the first plane is Subtle sound, very very faint. In the second plane, the sound is more drowning, and you get drowned in it. But that voice which is God, the shadow of that voice, is overpowering in the third plane. Sufis call it 'dumbfounding.'
Nadine Tolstoy: Does the shadow of the voice of God gradually get fainter in every plane?
Baba: You cannot say that God is infinite and gets more and more finite on every plane. Infinite cannot be finite. If you say God's voice becomes weaker, it is not right. God's voice cannot become weaker.
It is like the example of the bells. Let us say the first bell is of gold, and that its first shadow is an iron bell. The second shadow is an earthen bell. The third shadow is a paper bell, and so forth. All have the same shape, but the gold bell and the paper bell are quite different. So in the case of the paper bell, you cannot say the gold bell has become weaker.
19 September 1940,
Q. Can some idea be had of what sound is like from higher planes? Does it in any way differ in intensity or frequency of vibration from the sound of the physical plane?
Baba: This is rather difficult to explain, and still more difficult to understand, as it relates to subjective experience. However, know this, that sound obtains throughout all the seven planes, differing in its expression of feeling and bliss.
The sound, sight or smell of the higher planes can, with no stretch of the imagination, be likened to what we are used to on the physical plane. It is something altogether different in nature, quality and expression. But all the same, for the sake of description and analogy, we can do no better than use the familiar terms, viz., sound, sight and smell.
Our physical organs of hearing, seeing and smelling are useless for experiencing and enjoying the higher planes. Therein it is a different eye that sees, a different ear that hears, and a different nose that smells.
You know already that there are inner senses, a counterpart of the external senses in man, and it is the former that experience the higher planes. Avoiding the mistake of likening the sound of the higher planes as something differing in frequency of vibrations from the sound of the physical plane, know it for certainty that there is actually what may be called sound in the first three planes. The form, beauty, music and bliss of this sound is beyond description. The naad or celestial music (sound) is peculiar to the first plane, and can be experienced or induced by the mantric force. It is on account of this that even an unintelligent repetition or reading of scriptures is encouraged and advocated.
As stated above, although there is sound in all the seven planes, it is smell that is peculiar to the second and third planes, and sight belongs to the fifth and sixth planes. In the fourth plane the bliss of sound, smell and sight are all subdued and repressed. The fourth plane connotes the darkest night of the spiritual journey, wherein even Jesus could not but cry out, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'
It is for this reason the wayfarer traversing the Path all alone, unaided by a Master, finding himself benighted and forlorn in the fourth plane, is very strongly tempted to make wrong use of his psychic powers of the three lower planes, culminating in the fourth as siddhis (kashf-o-karmat). And what a fall this means! It means once again going through the chain of evolution right from the beginning - the stone state.
The seventh plane stands unique. The sound, sight and smell here is divine in essence, and has no comparison to that emanating from the lower planes. In this plane one does not hear, smell or see, but becomes sound, smell and sight simultaneously, and is divinely conscious about it.
The different religious practises and the yogas, after establishing contact with the higher planes, include experiences peculiar to those planes. For instance, contacting the first plane, sound, engenders inspiration; the second and third planes, smell, begets intuition; the fifth and sixth, sight, gives Illumination. The experience of the fifth and sixth, the Sufis term as marefat (gnosis). The seventh plane stands for Realisation, and this, according to Sufis, is Haqiqat (reality).
1938? MJ 1:3 p83-84
Also QM p67-69.
Another version: Tr p185-187
Music and Sound Book Two
Index - Book One