In the previous module we have understood the following points:
1) Vāk is the primordial utterance of ONE god which manifests the Universe.
2) Vāk is physical as well as non-physical. The physical perishes but the non-physical does not. When we turn to the meditation of non-physical Vāk, we enter into the immortal domains of experiencing the true self as Parā Vāk.
But, physical Vāk is as important as non-physical. Infact, it is more important when we are in the preliminary stages of discipleship. The reason is, it is only through the physical Vāk (vocal or non-vocal communication) that we are able to start the wheel of mutual actions. That is why, Vaikharī Vāk is often compared to Kalpa Vr̥kṣa – The divine tree that grants all boons.
Language forms the vehicle to transmit anything that is perceptible in audible terms. So, language becomes the body of Vaikharī Vāk. The ancient Sanskrit, in whose tongue many scriptures have been written, is one of the perfect vehicles which conveyed the essence and power of all modes of Vāk to the Sādhaka. So, it is our earnest duty to understand something about this language and see how it can help us further our exploration into the secret domains of Mystic Vāk. This third module is completely based on this aim of introducing the grandeur of ancient Sanskrit to the modern mind.
We can divide the whole module into two parts:
1. Linguistics Perspective
2. Tāntric Perceptive
Linguistically speaking, as mentioned, language forms the vehicle for the meaning to be conveyed from one individualized consciousness to the other. But this language has the ability to break the shell of individualization of consciousness. The goal of ancient Sanskrit was this – using the physically uttered syllables to dissolve the individual self into Universal self. How did they achieve it? They, the seers, found in their deep meditations that the physical sounds we utter do not belong to our mind but the Universal mind. Hence they exist everywhere and in all of us. The seers first captured the root sounds belonging to certain functions of the Universe (and our body). Then they weaved the structure of the language as a garment to enwrap the Infinite source into capsules of digestible sounds. Set of these capsules further enlarged became the many scriptures and teachings of the Seers.
Anyone who contemplates and meditates on the sounds they utter in Sanskrit will very easily know its greatness. But in the modern world we need more evidence than just a personal experience. DOn’t we?! Dr. James Hartzell, a Neuroscientist explored the effects of Sanskrit on brain regions and found that memorizing the mantras increased the size of those regions which are associated with cognitive functions. This he calls, “Sanskrit Effect”. Such evidence only shows that modern science has a very long way to reach the heart of seers. Instead of waiting for it, we can follow the path of the seers and take a dip into the infinite ecstasy of God realization utilizing the prescribed approaches by Gurus.
Sanskrit syllables are very sophisticatedly designed (or discovered). If you see their placement in the vocal regions, you will see how a group of syllables (varga) associate to particular regions of the throat BY practicing this language, any other world language could be easily pronounced because all the vocal and oral muscles get trained under the set of syllables used here (50 in number!). — Here we make students utter the syllables once and let them meditate on which place the sounds originate. This activates the Vāgdēvīs blessings.
In the Tantric perspective, Śiva and Śakti form the Universe and hence also the nature and content of the WORD. In Soundaryalaharī, Śri Śankarācārya says that when Śiva and Śakti are united, lord Śiva is animate whereas when Śiva is deprived of Śakti, he stands inanimate and still like a corpse. What does this mean? It means,
First that there can be no separation if Śiva and Śakti, as Universe can never come to a stand still (unless in absolute Pral̥aya).
Second, Śakti is the energy and Śiva is the source and container of the energy.
Corresponding this to the Sanskrit alphabet, you will see that vowels are the Śakti and consonants are the Śiva. No wonder, there are 16 vowels and the Secret Mantra of Śakti in Śrī Vidya is Ṣoḍaśi = 16 syllabled mantra! Consonants on their own cannot stand and need help of vowels to be uttered forth! Thus, the Universal duo manifests their role even in the physical word that we speak! To symbolize this we often see Tantric goddesses wearing Muṇḍamālās of 50 in number which are pure Varṇamāla encoded in the Vr̥ttīs of Universe.
Correlating the 8 places of utterance of Sanskrit syllables, we have 8 Vāg Devīs that rule the utterance of the WORD in us as well as the Cosmos outside. They are Vasinī, Kāmēśvarī, Mōdinī, etc. The 15 vowels correspond to 15 nityās and the 36 consonants to 36 tattvās in Tantric perspective.
This suggests how intimately Tantric practices are related with our utterance. If someone invented this language, then a correlation of this much depth – numerical, mystical, cosmic, etc., would be very conjectural. But as you can see, different concepts that you learnt in Tantra seem to fall into a fine puzzle piece when you understand the root of the divine language of ancient Sanskrit. You can easily see how a modern linguist approaches the science of language vs how an ancient seer would approach it! The seamless hidden correlations is what makes Tantra so compact and powerful!
A small discussion in terms of Bindu and Visarga is needed to fully capture the power of mantras in future. Bindu is equivalent to Nāda or sublime sound. It is expressed by retaining the breath. Visarga is equivalent to manifested sound. It is expressed by the expiration of the breath. Bindu symbolizes the state of potential creation whereas visarga symbolizes the state of manifestation. These both put together form the three vertices of the primary triangle of Tantra (geometrically). That is why many mantras have Bindus and Visargas based on when to retain a particular energy of devatā or when to release the same. The art is to be known from a guru but the hints exist as the structure of the mantra itself.
This talk serves the purpose if the seeker has understood the scientific mysticism that permeates the belief that Sanskrit, in its ancient form predominantly, is indeed a perfect medium to transfer the code of knowledge of GOD.