Doyen of Hindustani classical music, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj, "sounds out" Sadhguru on India's classical arts and their spiritual foundation. They explore the science of Indian classical music, the power of sound, and their role in the spiritual process.

Full Transcript:

Questioner: Sadhguru, I read in the "Mystic's musings" that you clapped at the time of Dhyanalinga consecration and there was a crack on the linga. Can you explain the significance behind that, and is it sound or is it something else?

Sadhguru: You want me to clap now? (Laughter) Now, that is not because of the sound. The power of sound that Panditji was saying is… in the modern science we’re trying to explain it off as resonance. If the shruti is perfect on the two, naturally the string will break. As he was saying the bridge breaking up is a classic example in every text book you know, two soldiers are walking and a bridge will… a bridge which can take tonnes of weight will collapse, just because two men are walking in unison. It’s a classic textbook example.

So just about anything can be cracked with sheer sound, just by something like this (Snaps his finger). If two people just do this, if it’s a perfect match, you can bring the building down. We don’t produce perfect musicians in the school (Laughs), okay? They’ll bring down the building (Laughter), because being in absolute unison can create a certain energy where one plus one is no more two, one plus one is a million. So, classical music, when two people sing jugalbandi is never about two people singing together. They’re always setting a this-thing, because the musicians who crafted this music are aware or if two musicians are absolutely perfect, they could cause damage to the physical structure. People may just attain, their bodies may break, it is possible. The whole process that you see in the Existence is from non-creation to creation - from un-manifest to manifest, but the other process is also happening. Today, cosmologists have recognized a whole galaxy will collapse into itself and become nothing. It’ll become a black hole. It’s nothingness, and nothingness is recognized as the most powerful space in the Existence.

Today they’re beginning to call it dark energy and whatever else. So, essentially sound is a certain kind of… it is the first step into creation from non-creation, but yoga is about uniting that which is creation and that which is non-creation. The word ‘yoga’ means to unite, to uniting that which is creation. Creation means a limited form, it may be a planet, it may be a solar system, it may be a galaxy, but still a limited form. In our perspective it may be large, we may think the universe is unlimited, that’s our perspective. An ant thinks you’re unlimited. So our perspective of what is size is from the size of who we are, you know, we are looking at something is large, something is small; essentially any form is a limited space. So, yoga means to unite that which is limited with that which is unlimited. So what is a form, to make it formless, but at the same time we don’t want to lose our form but we want to connect the limited with the unlimited.

Yoga means… The other word is to yoke, or to unite. So we want to yoke or unite the limited with the unlimited. We want to couple them in such a way that we have the experience of both. That is why we’re teaching you Shambhavi, that means it’s a twilight zone, where creation and non-creation, both happening at the same time within you. The process of creation is moving from un-manifest to manifest, but another dimension which is even more important is moving from manifest to un-manifest. So this is a culture which recognized the significance and importance of that and held that… held that as the foremost process in the Existence. That is why we hold the destroyer as the Mahadeva. Destroyer means he’s moving the manifest into un-manifest. So, he’s held as the highest because here we recognize that is the highest process. Making the un-manifest into manifest is a limited process. Making the manifest into un-manifest is the unlimited process.

So that is the reason, though Shiva is a destroyer, he is held as a Mahadeva. So cracking of the stone is not because of the sound. I don’t even know if it made sound, it made some sound, but it’s not this sound. It’s a different process, because if you… if any energy happens at a certain scale, sound gets produced. Have you seen the air planes sometimes, the fighter jets are going and they… when they break the sound barrier, boom… like a bomb it goes? All that happened is an object moved faster then what it was, within it… from a certain limit it crossed that limit of speed and suddenly there’s an explosive sound; nothing exploded. See, nothing blew - all right, there’s no fire, but there is sound. When a jet crosses the sound limit, there is no fire, there is no explosion happening, nothing great happening in the engines of the jet, but still you hear a boom, because an energy is created.

So the energy is the basis of the sound. Sound is not the basis of the energy. It’s the energy which is the basis of the sound; because there is energy in this body I can make this sounds, isn’t it? At the same time sound is the basis of energy on another level. It is because of sound that energy has happened. When there is no sound there is energy, but it’s un-manifest, it is simply there.So, today, modern nuclear science is explaining this in a certain way, you know, you can see virtual protons and virtual neutrons being created if you just as much as add energy outside, not connected to this chamber; if you just play energy around, you will see virtual protons get created. That means creation is happening in a absolute vacuum space. So in a non-Existence which we refer to as Shiva, Existence is beginning to happen, … the first play of energy. So we say this is Shakti. Energy is Shakti. Once she begins to play, creation begins to happen. The first form of creation is always the sound. The… First there was word and it’s both ways. See, we always try to understand everything logically, logic always moves step-by-step. Creation does not move step-by-step.

There’s no point trying to logically put it in on a note… a black board and say this, this, this, this is how creation happens, it’s a silly way to go. There’s only one way, if you cave into yourself, use whatever, you use a… you use music, sound or a sledge hammer or a bomb, use whatever the hell you want to use (Laughter), but if you just cave in, then you know it.