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Distracting Noises

The voices rise in the depth of mind: some clear, some whispers, some distracting and others full of harmony. They touch agreeable or discordant notes and the sounds become laughter of joy, or cry of despair. Further, the sounds identify with ego and moods, converting the noises into praise or insult, anger or smile. The voices are full of joy and sorrow, sweet and harsh. At times pleasing laughter of merriment, at other the painful wail of suffering.

Some respond to these by putting plugs of indifference in the ears, others by blaming the sufferers themselves. The scornful harsh language asks the poor to suffer in silence so that the ego-tranquility of the privileged is not disturbed.

A rare soul feels the agony of the afflicted as his own. He puts the Belur Math at stake and exhorts his associates to respond to their cry of misery by serving them as God in distress.

The universal harmony finds its expression in the sweet music of nature; in the silence of movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars. However, global chaos expresses itself in noises of saber rattling and nuclear-threats; arguments and appeals of law suits; lectures, documentaries, seminars and speeches in the United Nations, parliaments, colleges and schools. The whole life is engulfed in an attempt to extract the meaning of these noises and voices. Some lend deaf ear, others are inquisitive, and a few are happy to avoid the hustle and bustle of this inexplicable life activity by getting drowned in alcohol and drugs.

Some are silent about their inability to fathom the meaning of these noises. A few shut themselves off in the four walls of their home, others try to dull or silence this din by creating louder noises of their own: noises of discos and dance, of self analysis and criticism, of opinions and advice.

A spiritual soul listens to these ear-piercing shouts and smiles at the confusion and chaos created by impatient masses. In his heart arises the all pervading and unifying sweet music of the Flute: the Universal Mantra.

He gives this valuable mantra to the seeker, and soothingly says, 'My dear, do not be afraid of noises. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Original Sound is trying to express Itself through all these distractions and disturbances. Try to understand and rectify the distortions by listening to the sound as mantra. It is the name of God. It is the destiny of every implicit and explicit noise.'

"The mantra begins to expand. When there is a flood, the waters of the river overflow the banks and spread far and wide. In the same manner, the awakened mantra emerges not merely from the lips or tongue or throat, but from all directions and from all things."

It emerges as Upanishads, as science and art. Sometimes it speaks loudly, at other times it silently hints at the subtle bliss all around.

"Expansion of the mantra involves the spiritual transformation of every object that it touches. The sense organs - of hearing, and those of sight, touch, smell, and taste also- become companion of the mantra when enliven by mantra consciousness. Every expression of sound, sight, taste, smell, and touch brings joy and satisfaction."

The sounds and the noises gradually flow and merge in the silence of prayers. Worshipful attitude brings solace to the scorched souls through constant repetition of the mantra. Many do not believe, still others are impatient and lack requisite yearning. Everyone, however, is guaranteed this blessing; the Teacher has promised to give the mantra to one and all at the destined opportune time. The jarring notes of disease and suffering, euphoric shouts of victory and success, all would merge in the subtle oneness of the primordial sound: the peaceful expression and name of God, The OM.
C S Shah

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