Brahm Vidya … by Dr. Anil Maheshwari
Total enlightenment is akin to becoming Brahm, the ultimate non-dual reality that is the source of all creation. Brahma is referred to in Vedanta as Aham Brahm-asmi, as the ultimate divine reality of every person. Brahm is unmanifest reality, that includes within itself silence and dynamism, and knowledge and action. Brahm includes within it all the states of consciousness including those represented by the five senses, as well as five basic elements of earth, water, fire, sky, and air.
The Brahm state can be experienced through constantly transcending the surface reality in a consistent and deep manner. Brahm can manifest itself in any number of ways. The descriptions of attaining Brahm state are diverse and infinite. They are described in many kinds of transcendental or sometime fantastic imagery that one see when one is floating in that state. The way to transcend is to ‘paschya’ or see; thus a seer is one that relentlessly tries to ‘see’ the ever-deeper reality, till one directly perceives the transcendent reality. The ancient seers were able to ‘see’ the totality of the universe in their own physiology, and they represented the sounds they saw in abstract but highly structured verses that formed the sacred scriptures.
Brahm is described in the Vedas, which are a structured representation of primordial sounds. The first sound of the first Veda, Rig Veda, is ‘Aa’. This sound contains within itself the totality of Brahm. Thus Brahm is as if coiled into a single primordial sound, like DNA and proteins are. The Aa sound is then elaborated into the first verse of Rig Veda, which is expanded into the mandala, and then into the other Vedas. Thus Vedas could be considered to be written in some sort of a recursive manner.
The literal representation of each sound is scientifically representative of the shape of the mouth when uttering that sound. Thus the vedic alphabet (Sanskrit) is highly phonetic, i.e. every sound is written just as it is spoken. Thus ‘Aa’ is spoken with the mouth wide open, and is represented as such.
There are primordial sounds in every language. The sound ‘Aa’ is found in every language. It is the easiest and the most natural sound. The first sounds coming out of a baby’s mouth as ‘aa’. It is the easiest and the most effortless sound to produce. When one is struck by wonder, the sound that comes out from the mouth is also the primordial sound ‘aah’. Other common primordial sounds are ‘ee’ and ‘oo’, and ‘um’. There are a few other such sounds like Ri and Lri also, but they are composites of these basic sounds: aa, ee, oo, um. Some of these sounds show up as vowels in languages.
The most sacred Vedic sound is ‘Om’. It is a composite of Aa, Oo, and Um. The sound ‘aa’ represents infinity value of reality, and the ‘um’ sounds represents a point value. Thus in chanting the sound of Aum in the right sacred manner, one begins with invoking the infinite unmanifest universe and ends with the collapse of the unmanifest universe to a point value. This point coincides with the beginning of the manifest universe and is represented by the letter ‘Ka’, the first consonant. The consonants are non-primordial sounds that take more effort and a more elaborate physiological arrangement to produce. Every language has vowels and consonants.
It takes wisdom to re-acquire one’s innocence after entanglement in the illusion of the maya-ic concept of external world as real. The most innocent of people, and babies, see wonder in many things, and are thus in divine or Brahm state. With constant practice of transcendence, and living a sattvic healthy life, one can begin to get glimpses of it. The Brahm state is all bliss all the time, and thus worthy of seeking with one’s full heart and mind.