Sadhguru looks at the influence of sound on the human system, and speaks on how we can maintain Vak Shuddhi, the utterance of the right sounds, within ourselves.
Questioner: (Speaks in Tamil – not transcribed – question on Vaak Shuddi)
Sadhguru: See, speech is a special gift to a human being. In terms of the complexity of what a human being can utter, no other creature can do this. Well, an elephant can trumpet louder than us; it can have you paralyzed. If it comes and trumpets anywhere near you, it’ll have you paralyzed just with shear sound. A lion can roar. Birds can do so many things, but no creature is capable of coming out with the complexity with which we can utter. If we… The languages were consciously created so that simple utterance of the language will purify the system. Sanskrit language was created like this. Only here our children are fortunate enough to be speaking in Sanskrit language. All of us are duds, who did not pick it up. So most of us probably are speaking in English language most of the time. Of all the… not necessarily of all the languages – compared to the Indian languages, the vernacular languages or compared to Spanish or Latin or even Chinese or whatever, English language has the minimum range of sounds… very minimum. This is why right from your birth if you’re speaking only English language you find it so difficult to utter some other mantra or some other language, because you’re using a very minimum range of expression.
So the more minimalistic the range of sounds that you utter happens, the less Vak Shuddhi you have. So now you have to fix it by a certain active awareness and volition. One is the sound. Another is the intention of the sound. You can say ‘aye’ out of great love or you can say ‘aye’ out of something else – now, both of them will not produce the same impact on the system because the volition of the action is the important or… The major part of the karmic process is in the volition, not in the action. Similarly, major part of the karma is in the volition, not in the sound. But if the sounds were scientifically structured, as in the mantras and in Sanskrit language, then even without much… much awareness if you utter, still you would benefit simply because of the nature of the arrangement of sounds. But now we are speaking languages which are no more made like that, so it is best to handle it with intention. I think many times I’ve told you about this, about this lady who came out of a concentration camp during the World War II and she took a vow… you know? You know this? This incident we’ve been talking about this in the programs. Are you aware or no? Yes. So just took a vow, “If I speak to somebody now, if this happens to be my last…” – it could be – “If this happens to be my last words to this person, how I would utter this, like that I will utter to whoever I speak.” It’s a fantastic way of fixing your Vak Shuddhi.
Vak Shuddhi means cleansing the sounds that you utter. To become conscious of the sounds, the science of sounds or the impact that this has on us and how to come to this, it is a phenomenal thing; it’s not going to happen in a lifetime to understand. This is Nada Yoga; it takes a whole lot of thing. So for that, to do Nada Yoga you have a chant. If you keep it going whenever… I never consciously think about this, but if I sit, stand, you know, Shambho Shiva simply happens to me, not because I intend to utter it, it just… my breath just takes that form. It is not happening just because I sit in a program or I am doing something important or not important. You can just bring it into your life like that. A lot of people have decided to use filthy words (Laughs) in their conversations. Or these days, particularly I’m seeing the youth in United States trying to follow… form a whole sentence with just one word, you know. I see a whole lot of people in India also have picked these things up and when they utter these words, people keep on saying “Shit, Shit…” I keep reminding them “please don’t do it here, please don’t do it here.” (Laughs) Shiva is also a four letter word… (Laughs) Five? Tch… we’ll make it Shiv. (Few laugh)
So (Laughs) this is one way of bringing the right kind of reverberation in the system. Why this is important is if you simply become silent within yourself, there is no better way; it is the ultimate way. If you can just simply become still within yourself, that is the best way. If that’s not happening, the next best and the next best is like this – you can say Shiva, it is the closest thing to stillness; otherwise just one word doesn’t do for you, you can have a little more elaborate… You need a sing-song, you can do Brahmananda Swaroopa, something or whatever mantra you picked among those five, six that are there. Whatever you resonate with, you just do that. Above all, to bring the right intention into every sound that you utter. If you bring the right intention into every single sound that you utter, these sounds will reverberate in a certain way within you. This foundation of the right kind of reverberation is necessary if you want to use this human system as a higher possibility; otherwise it will only drag behind you all the time. If you want this to be a bigger possibility, this must have a foundation of the right kind of reverberation and Vak Shuddhi or cleansing the sounds that you utter is an important part of that. But if you can become utterly still, nothing like it.
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