Acharya Prashant: You are talking about the sound of the naad and you are wondering whether that can be used as a technique.
What will you use as a technique?
There has to be something to be used. The naad is not the sound at all. What will you use and how will you use? There has to be something to be used. When there is nothing how will you put it to use?
The naad is not at all a sound. And if you are talking of a sound then it is just something that your ears can hear and the moment your ears are not there the sound will be gone.
What then is meant by naad?
Naad means a particular soundlessness even in the middle of the sounds.
Naad means the silent background on which you hear all the sounds.
Now you cannot hear that silence really. All that you can know is that there is something beyond these sounds, that you can hear these sounds only because they have a certain silent background. So hearing itself is a proof of naad which means paradoxically that naad is a soundless sound that you actually hear with your ears.
Because whatever you hear, you hear it only in the backdrop of silence. So hearing itself is a proof of silence. Sound is a proof of silence. Even noise is a proof of silence. That is what is meant by the naad method, that when you hear something you hear it with great attention.
When you hear it with great attention, you hear not only what is being said but also the space in which it is being said.
This world itself is the method. Whatever is happening continuously is the method. These sounds that are falling on your ears continuously are naad.
You cannot go somewhere else to figure out something special called naad. And if you meet people who claim that they have been hearing the naad then you must know that they have just been delude in themselves.
You know man finds it easiest to cheat himself, to live in a make-believe world—“Oh I have been in Samadhi; Oh I have been hearing the anhad naad; Oh I have been in deep silence; Oh yes! I am aware of the truth.”
There is only this. If right now the sound of the ocean is reaching you, this sound itself is naad provided if you can be present to it. That is the naad method, there is nothing more to it. If you take anything else as naad then it is just mental activity. You have either picked up some specific sound or your own imagination and you are calling it as soundlessness.
Are you getting it? Do not fall prey to all these things.
One fellow came and said, “There is a continuous buzzing that keeps on happening in my ears, a certain echoing, a wordless echoing.”
I said, “Go and get you ears cleaned.”
It is not a proof of spiritual advancement rather it is a proof of aural deterioration. Soon you will become deaf.
It is a strange thing—but being fully available to something has a quality that is beyond that something. I repeat that if you are fully available to material then there is a quality in this relationship that is not of the material. If you are fully available to the sound of the waves then there is something there which is not of the waves.
You cannot get that something without the waves. The only way for you, as the body, is to be fully available and present to the material waves. Be fully present to that and then you will go beyond that.
Instead it seems that the spiritual fashion these days is to bypass the wave and try to go to silence. You cannot go to the naad without the sound of the wave. The wave is all that you have, the world is all that you have, material is all that you have. Even to go beyond the material, you’ll have to go to the material and through the material.
In fact, your role is just to be fully with the material.
The beyondness happens on its own, there you cannot do anything and that is Grace.
You go and be fully present to the wave and the naad happens on its own. You do not search for it, you do not expect it, you do not try, you do not say that I have come to listen to the wave so that I may get to hear the naad. If you do that then forget the naad you’ll not be able to listen even to the wave.
To try for the world beyond, is a sure shot way to miss not only the world beyond but also this world.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Hear noise? Both hearing and noise are proofs of Silence
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: To maintain silence is to maintain yourself; your silence is the noise that you are
Article 2: On Upanishad: When you are conscious of Silence, it is noise
Article 3: On Raman Maharishi: Only Silence communicates fully; let words come from Silence
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