Words of Pujya Shri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati Mahaswami Ji, The Kanchi Paramacharya Some people are at a loss to understand why the sound of the Vedas is given so much importance. How does sound originate or how is it caused ? Where there is vibration, where there is movement or motion, there is sound.This is strictly according to rational science. Speech is constituted of vibrations of many kinds. We hear sounds with our ears. But these are sounds that are converted into electric waves and these we cannot hear. We know this from the working of the radio and the telephone. All that we hear or perceive others are indeed electric waves. Science has come to the point of recognizing all to be electric waves- the man who sees and listens, his brains, all are electric waves. There are countless numbers of inert objects in the world- land masses and mountains, rivers and oceans, and so on. Also there are sentient creatures of many kinds. All of them must have been created out of something. During creation this something must have vibrated in many different ways and given rise to all that we see today. If all movements are sound, there must have existed numerous different kinds of sound before creation. In this creation one is sustained by another. In the process of mutual sustenance, different movements and sounds must be produced. It is not necessary that vibrations should form a part only of gross activities. Science has discovered that even our thinking process is a kind of electric current or energy. Each thought process is a form of electric current or energy and it must produce a vibration and a sound. This kind of sound being very subtle we do not hear it with our ears. Just as there are bacteria which we do not see with our naked eye, there are many sound that our ears do not pick up. According to science any physical or mental movement must produce a sound. The idea that each movement produces its own sound may be put differently thus: to create a particular sound a particular movement must be produced. Take the case of singer singing. If you want to sing like him or creates birquas like him, you will have produce the similar vibrations that he creates in his throat. Sound and vibration(or motion) go together.The vibrations produce either a gross object or a mental state. We come to the conclusion that creation is a product of sound.This ancient concept is substantiated by science itself. Creation, the many things connected with it, thoughts and movements and the sound associated with them fill space. What happens to the sound produced by the clapping of our hands ? It remains in space. Good as well as bad action produce their own sounds as well as movements associated with them. Conversely, the creation of these types of movements will result in good as well as evil. To produce good thoughts in people, good movements must be created: the sounds corresponding to them must be produced. If we can generate such sounds for the good of mankind than such good thoughts ? The mantras of the Vedas are sounds that have the power to inspire good thoughts in people. One more thing. We need food for our sustenance. And to grow food there must be rain. The formation of clouds and their precipitation are dependent on certain vibrations. Rainfall depends on the production of particular sounds which, in turn, create particular vibrations. The same applies to all our needs in life. It is true that unnecessary and evil objects are also produced by sound. But the one and only goal of the sound of the Vedas is the creation of well-being throughout the world. But are sound and vibrations spontaneously produced ? If vibrations arise on their own they will be erratic and confusing and not related to one another. But what do we see in the cosmos ? There is a certain orderliness about it and one thing in it is linked to another. What do we infer form this ? That a Great Intelligence has formulated this scheme that we see, that it has created it from its own vibrations. The Vedas are sounds emanating from the vibrations of this Great Intelligence, the Great Gnosis. That is why we believe that the mantras of the Vedas originate from the Paramatman himself. We must take special care of such sounds too ensure the good of the world. Yes, the Vedic mantras are sequences of sounds that are meant for the good of the world. Doubts are expressed on this point. People argue: "We hear the mantras of the Vedic distinctly. But we do not hear the sounds in space, the sounds of creation. How can the two be the same? " What exists in the cosmos in present in the individual being. The belief that the "microcosm" inherits the "macrocosm" is not in keeping with our commonsense view of things. But all people, including atheists, will agree that there are "instruments" in our body in the form of the senses that we can grasp what exists in the macrocosm. The sun in the macrocosm is felt by our body as heat. We perceive the flower in our garden through its scent. We savour the sweet taste of sugarcane with our tongue. With our eyes we learn that one object is red, that another it yellow. Unless the macrocosm and microcosm are constituted of the same substance the one will not be able to be aware of the other. Indeed the very conduct of life will not be possible otherwise. If we go one step further, the truth will dawn on us that it is not merely that the macrocosm and the microcosm are constituted of the same substance but that it is the same substance that becomes the macrocosm and the microcosm. The yogins know this truth directly from their experience. Whatever is present in space is also present in the individual being. These elements exists in the human body in a form that is accessible to the senses. The sounds a person makes in his throat have their source in space in a form not audible to us. The radio transforms electrical waves into sound waves. If a man can grasp the sounds in space and make them audible, he will be able to create with them what is needed for the good of the world. Yoga is the science that accomplishes such a task. Through yogic practice (perfection) one can become aware of what is in the macrocosm and draw it into the microcosm. I shall not be able to give you proof of this in a form acceptable to human reason. Yoga transcends our limited reason and understanding. The purpose of the Vedas is to speak about matters that are beyond the comprehension of the human mind. When we look at this universe and their complex manner in which it functions, we realise that there must be a Great Wisdom that has created it and sustains it. It is from this Great Wisdom, that is the Paramatman, that all that we see are born and it is from It that all the sounds that we hear have emanated. First came the universe of sound and then the universe that we observe. Most of the former still exists in space. The space that exists outside us exists also in our heart. The yogins have experience of this hrdayakasa, this heart-sky or this heart-space, when they are in samadhi (absorbed in the Infinite). In this state of theirs all differences between the outward and the inward vanish and the two become one. The yogins can now grasp the sounds of space and bestow the same on mankind. These successions of sounds that bring benefits to the world are indeed the mantras of the Vedas. These mantras are not the creation of anyone.Though each of them is in the name of a rshi or seer, in reality it is not his creation. When we say that a certain mantra has a certain sage associated with it, all that we mean is that it was he who first "saw" it existing without a beginning in space and revealed it to the world. The very word "rsi" means "mantra-drasta" (one who saw- discovered- the mantra), not "mantra-karta" (one who created the mantra). Our life is dependent on how our breathing functions. In the same way the cosmos functions in accordance with the vibrations of the Vedic sounds- so the Vedic mantras are the very breath of the Supreme Being. We must thus conclude that, without the Vedas, there is no Brahman: To put it differently, the Vedas are self-existent like the Paramatman. The mantras of the Vedas are remarkable in that they bring blessings to the world in the form of sound- even if their meaning is not understood. Of course, they are pregnant with meaning and represent the lofty principle that it is the One Truth that is manifested as all that we perceive. They also confer blessing on us by taking the form of deities appropriate to the different sounds (of the mantras). Sound does not bring any benefits, any fruits, by itself. Isvara alone is the bestower of benefits. However, instead of making the fruits available to us directly, he appoints deities to distribute them in the same manner as the king or president of a country appoints officials to carry out his dictates. The mantras represent various deities in the form of sound. If we attain perfection (siddhi) by constant chanting and meditation of a mantra, it should be possible for us to see the deity invoked in his physical form. The deities also arise if we make offerings into the sacrificial fire reciting specific mantras. If a sacrifice is conducted in this manner , the deities give us their special blessings. We do not pay taxes directly to the king or president. In the same way, we pay taxes in the form of sacrifices and Vedic chanting to the aides of the Paramatman for the sake of the welfare of the world. The sounds of the mantras constitute their form. CONTD..