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What Is Sruti And How Is It Related To Shabad And Naam?


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I would like to move a discussion about Sruti from the archived Devi Pargat thread.

The question asked was, "What is Sruti?"

Sruti is "apaurusheya" which means, "not authored by any man." So the Vedas which were perceived "heard" by the Rshis are not authored by any man. Sruti relates to the mode of perception of Truth by hearing the Divine Sound.

When creation it self has an origin, how do we justify to the claim that the Vedas are anadi? The Paramatman, being eternal, was present even before creation when there was no Brahma. The Paramatman, the Brahman are the Supreme Godhead, is eternal. The cosmos, all sentient beings and insentient objects, emerge from him. The Paramatman did not create them himself : he did so through the agency of Brahma. Through Visnu he sustains them and through Rudra he destroys them. Later Brahma, Visnu, Rudra are themselves destroyed by him.

The present Brahma, when he became hundred years old, will unite with the Paramatman. Another Brahma will appear and he will start the work of creation all over again. The question arises : Does the Paramatman create the Vedas before he brings into being another Brahma? We learn from the Sastras that the Vedas has existed even before creation. In fact, they say, Brahma performed his function of creation with the aid of Vedic mantras. I shall be speaking to you about this later, how he accomplished the creation with the mantras manifested as sound. Vedas Anadi and Apaurusheya

The Srutis teach us the God Himself is the SOUND vibrating atthe heart of all things, this is the Pranava, AUM/OM. And the God who is Sound is called Shabda Brahman. This is why Shabad is so holy, because it is the God Presnce in the form of Sound and Vaak because it has the power/presence of Spanda which means in Sanskrit, "vibration." The sound current is vibrating from the Primal Naad. Nada means "sound, tone or vibration" and is related to the nadis of the body. The Divine Truth vibrates within the subtle energy channels (nadis) on the surti and praan (consciousness and breath) to open the chakrs.

The word Surti "consciousness" is related to the word Sruti, "intensive concentration on hearing/perceiving the Truth in the Divine Sound." Surti comes from Surya meaning "sun" which represents the illumination of consciousness. The illuminating power of consciousness is chidabhasa, that intelligence which shines as a mirror of our inner Light. Praan is breath which is empowered shakti. So by practice of Naam simran we are uniting Shiva-surti (consciousness) with shakti-praan (breath). So Sruti can also mean conscious perception of Divine Truth which is vibrating in the Sound.

ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਖਟੁ ਭੇਦੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਅਨਰਾਗੀ ॥

oulattath pavan chakr khatt bhaedhae surath sunn anaraagee ||

I turned my breath inwards, and pierced through the six chakras of the body, and my awareness was centered on the Primal Void of the Absolute Lord. ~SGGS Ji ang 333

ਜਹ ਦੇਖਾ ਤਹ ਰਵਿ ਰਹੇ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤੀ ਕਾ ਮੇਲੁ ॥ jeh dhaekhaa theh rav rehae siv sakathee kaa mael || Wherever I look, I see the Lord pervading there, in the union of Shiva and Shakti, of consciousness and matter.

~SGGS Ji ang 21

In the language of yoga, the purpose or the effect of continuous nada sadhana on the human mind is ananda- extreme bliss. Nada, or sound, is divided into two parts - aahada and anhada, heard and unheard. Heard means that which is possible for you to hear'through the physical ears', and unheard means 'felt', which is thecondition of nada before it is musically shaped and regularised. Then come the shrutis, then swaras, notes, which from time to time have been explained by the masters. Peace of Mind: Shunya to Nada Yoga - Journey of Peace

ਆਦਿ ਅਪਾਰ ਅਲੇਖ ਅਨੰਤ ਅਕਾਲ ਅਭੇਖ ਅਲਖ ਅਨਾਸਾ ॥ आदि अपार अलेख अनंत अकाल अभेख अलख अनासा ॥

The Lord is Primal, Infinite, Account less, Boundless, Deathless, Garbless, Incomprehensible and Eternal.

ਕੈ ਸਿਵ ਸਕਤ ਦਏ ਸ੍ਰੁਤਿ ਚਾਰ ਰਜੋ ਤਮ ਸਤ ਤਿਹੂੰ ਪੁਰ ਬਾਸਾ ॥ कै सिव सकत दए स्रुति चार रजो तम सत तिहूं पुर बासा ॥ He created Shiva-Shakti, four Vedas and three modes of maya and Pervades in three worlds. ~Shri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji (SGPC Translation) p. 175

The God's own design was to create the energy and pakriti manifestation of the material universes. The God Himself createdBrahma and the Vedas.

ਬੇਦ ਕਤੇਬ ਕਹਹੁ ਮਤ ਝੂਠੇ ਝੂਠਾ ਜੋ ਨ ਬਿਚਾਰੈ ॥ baedh kathaeb kehahu math jhoothae jhoothaa jo n bichaarai || Do not say that the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran are false.

Those who do not contemplate them are false.

~SGGS Ji ang 1350

Scriptures are not bad, neither are they wrong.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਦੀਸੈ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪਸਾਰੁ ॥

guramukh dheesai breham pasaar ||

The Gurmukh sees God pervading everywhere.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣੀਆਂ ਬਿਸਥਾਰੁ ॥ guramukh thrai guneeaaan bisathhaar ||

The Gurmukh knows that the universe is the extension of the three gunas, the three dispositions.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਾਦ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥

guramukh naadh baedh beechaar ||

The Gurmukh reflects on the Sound-current of the Naad, and the wisdom of the Vedas.

ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਪੂਰੇ ਘੋਰ ਅੰਧਾਰੁ ॥੧॥

bin gur poorae ghor andhhaar ||1||

Without the Perfect Guru, there is only pitch-black darkness.

~SGGS Ji ang 1270

Analyze this vaak: "guramukh naadh baedh beechaar." The Gurmukh is learning/reflecting on the wise teaching/vichaar which is coming from Naad and Vedas. What is the essence of Vedas whose wise vichaar is contemplated by Gurmukh and which resounds out of the Primal Naad? That essence is Sruti, sacred and timeless Truth which is vibrating in the Vedas, and that which vibrates in the Vedas is the NAAM.

ਇਕ ਨਾਮ ਬਿਨਾ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਟ ਬ੍ਰਤੀ ॥ ਇਮ ਬੇਦ ਉਚਾਰਤ ਸਾਰਸੁਤੀ ॥

Ik naam binaa nahoo kot bratoo|| Im Bed uchaarat Saarsutoo||

Without One Lord’s Name, one cannot be saved even by millions of fasts. The Superb Shrutis (of the Vedas) declare thus.

ਜੋਊ ਵਾ ਰਸ ਕੇ ਚਸਕੇ ਰਸ ਹੈਂ ॥ ਤੇਊ ਭੂਲ ਨ ਕਾਲ ਫੰਧਾ ਫਸਿ ਹੈਂ॥੨੦॥੧੬੦॥ Jooo vaa ras ke chaske ras hain|| Teoo bhool na kaal phandhaa phas(i) hain||20||160||

Those, who are absorbed with the ambrosia of the Name even by Mistake, they will not be entrapped in he snare of death.

~Shri Dasam Granth Sahib Ji (SGPC translation) p. 64

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So, what is Sruti?

ਅਖਰ ਮਹਿ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਨ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਧਾਰੇ ॥

akhar mehi thribhavan prabh dhhaarae ||

In the Word, God established the three worlds.

ਅਖਰ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਬੇਦ ਬੀਚਾਰੇ ॥

akhar kar kar baedh beechaarae ||

Created from the Word, the Vedas are contemplated.

ਅਖਰ ਸਾਸਤ੍ਰ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਪੁਰਾਨਾ ॥

akhar saasathr sinmrith puraanaa ||

From the Word, came the Shaastras, Simritees and Puraanas.

ਅਖਰ ਨਾਦ ਕਥਨ ਵਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਾਨਾ ॥

akhar naadh kathhan vakhyaanaa ||

From the Word, came the sound current of the Naad, speeches and explanations.

ਅਖਰ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਭੈ ਭਰਮਾ ॥

akhar mukath jugath bhai bharamaa ||

From the Word, comes the way of liberation from fear and doubt.

ਅਖਰ ਕਰਮ ਕਿਰਤਿ ਸੁਚ ਧਰਮਾ ॥

akhar karam kirath such dhharamaa ||

From the Word, come religious rituals, karma, sacredness and Dharma.

ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿਮਾਨ ਅਖਰ ਹੈ ਜੇਤਾ ॥

dhrisattimaan akhar hai jaethaa || In the visible universe, the Word is seen.

~SGGS Ji ang 241

ਅਖਰAkhar, is derived from the Sanskrit Akshara which means"indestructible." Akshara also means "word-syllable." And hence it isa NAAM of the Supreme as SOUND, Shabda Brahman. It is the singlesyllable Ek Akshara, which is the OM, as can be seen from thetranslation of the Bhagavad-Gita.

oḿ ity ekākṣaraḿ brahma

vyāharan mām anusmaran

yaḥ prayāti tyajan dehaḿ sa

yāti paramāḿ gatim oḿ

—the combination of letters oḿ (oḿkāra); iti — thus; eka-akṣaram —the one syllable; brahma — absolute; vyāharan — vibrating; mām — Me(Kṛṣṇa); anusmaran — remembering; yaḥ — anyone who; prayāti —leaves; tyajan — quitting; deham — this body; saḥ — he; yāti —achieves; paramām — the supreme; gatim — destination.

Afterbeing situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred syllableoḿ, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the SupremePersonality of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach thespiritual planets.

~Bhagavad-Gita 8:13

ਬੇਦ ਪੁਰਾਨ ਸਿੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸੁਧਾਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਰ ॥

baedh puraan sinmrith sudhhaakhyar ||

The Vedas, the Puraanas and the Simritees, the purest of utterances,

ਕੀਨੇ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮ ਇਕ ਆਖ੍ਯ੍ਯਰ ॥

keenae raam naam eik aakhyar ||

were created from the One Word of the Name of the Lord.

~SGGS Ji ang 262

Srutiis intimately related to the Shabda Brahman, which is a Word-Aksharawhich vibrates-Spanda. Sruti is that which is heard vibrating fromhigher dimensional reality of Divine Sound Roop. As such it is theessence of Truth and Gyaan of the Vedas. Sruti is that which has beenperceived directly and transmitted to mankind in a form we canunderstand, language. But carried within the words by vibrationalTruth is the Sound Presence of the Divine and the means to DivinePerception and liberation. Only a Satguru can give us the grace toperceive Divine Truth on this level. It can never be understood simplyby reading or reciting the words.

Śruti: श्रुति,IAST: śrúti, lit. "hearing, listening"), often spelled shruti orshruthi, is a term that describes the sacred texts of Hinduism and isone of the three main sources of dharma and therefore is alsoinfluential within Hindu Law. These sacred works span the entirehistory of Hinduism, beginning with some of the earliest known Hindutexts and ending in the early modern period with the laterUpanishads..[2] This literature differs from other sources of HinduLaw, particularly smṛti or “remembered text”, because of the purelydivine origin of śruti. This belief of divinity is particularlyprominent within the Mimamsa tradition. The initial literature istraditionally believed to be a direct revelation of the “cosmic soundof truth” heard by ancient RishisSruti

Fromthis (Unmeṣa-Appearance), Bindú --divine light, Nādá --divine sound--,Rūpá --divine form-- and Rása --divine taste-- soon appear to anembodied soul as a disturbing factor. ~Spanda Karikas Section 1,aphorism 10.

What is the Bindu? Bindu in Sanskrit means"point." It also means "drop." From the Bindu chakra flows the amritnectar which is tasted on the tongue.

ਜਿਹਵਾ ਰਤੀ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਚੈ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵੈ ਰਸਿ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਇ ॥

jihavaa rathee sabadh sachai anmrith peevai ras gun gaae ||

The tongue imbued with the True Word of the Shabad drinks in the Amrit with delight, singing His Glorious Praises.

~SGGS Ji ang 36

Inmetaphysical terms Bindu is held to be the point at which beginscreation and the point at which the unity becomes the many. It is alsodescribed as "the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifestedstate." Bindu

Thesingle point, "Bindu" is actually where the nirgun becomes thesargun. It is where the 3 states of consciousness can transcendduality and reach the Fourth state.

The Bindu Chakrabestows physical and mental health, vitality andyouthfulness, becauseit produces “the nectar of immortality” (Amrita).This nectar usuallydrops into the Manipura Chakra where it is burnedby the digestive firewithout being fully utilised by the body. Forthis reason the Rishis ofancient times sought a method to collect thisvaluable nectar anddiscovered that the flow of nectar can be arrestedwith the help of thetongue and Vishuddhi Chakra. The tongue containssubtle energy centres,each corresponding to an organ or area of thebody. In the Yogatechniques of Ujjayi Pranayama and Khechari Mudra,the tongue curbs theflow of nectar and stores it in the VishuddhiChakra. Like a homeopathicmedicine it is then redistributed throughoutthe whole body via thesubtle energy channels, where its healingeffects unfold.BinduChakra

Chakras.jpg

ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਸਤਗੁਰੂ ਦਿਖਾਲਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ਅਘਾਏ ॥੩॥

naam nidhhaan sathaguroo dhikhaaliaa har ras peeaa aghaaeae ||3||

TheTrue Guru has revealed to him the Treasure of the Naam, the Name of theLord; he drinks in the Sublime Essence of the Lord, and is satisfied.

~SGGS Ji ang 29

Accordingto Kashmiri Shaiva teachings on Spanda yoga, the Supreme God has theforms of Light, Sound and Taste. That taste being the amrit nectarobtained by NAAM rasna. And the Lord is experienced because of thespiritual practices of Mantra NAAM jap through the unfolding of sehajsamadhi like fruit that ripens on a tree. Sruti are those Divine Truthswhich have been perceived by the Rshis vibrating in theShabad-Word/Sound of NAAM, mantra, and Guru bani as coming directlyfrom the Shabda Brahman swaroop of nirgun God.

ਜਿਨਾ ਸਾਸਿਗਿਰਾਸਿ ਨ ਵਿਸਰੈ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਾਂ ਮਨਿ ਮੰਤੁ ॥ jinaa saas giraas n visarai harnaamaan man manth || Those who do not forget the Lord with each breathand morsel of food whose minds are filled with the Mantra of the Lord'sName

ਧੰਨੁ ਸਿ ਸੇਈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਪੂਰਨੁ ਸੋਈ ਸੰਤੁ ॥੧॥ dhhann s saeee naanakaa pooran soee santh ||1||

- they alone are blessed; O Nanak, they are the perfect Saints.

~SGGS Ji ang 319

ਵਿਚਿ ਆਪੇ ਜੰਤ ਉਪਾਇਅਨੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਆਪੇ ਦੇਇ ਗਿਰਾਸੁ ॥

vich aapae janth oupaaeian mukh aapae dhaee giraas ||

He Himself created the beings there, and He Himself places food in their mouths.

~SGGS Ji ang 302

TheSanskrit root of giraas is "Gir, which means primary meaning: "call,""voice," "speech," "word,"; and secondary meaning "swallowing." So theword is reflective of our calling out to the Almighty with hunger,longing to taste the sweetness of the Lord and our taking Him intoourselves as sustenance. This is the profound meaning behind sas girasNAAM simran. NAAM is not only carried on the "sas" of our praaniclifeforce breath, but it is also nourishment to satisfy our sufferinghunger. So we can see clearly by this descriptor how intimately relatedis the concept that God is our father and our mother.

ਮੇਰਾ ਪਿਆਰਾ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਰਖਵਾਲਾ ॥

maeraa piaaraa preetham sathigur rakhavaalaa ||

My Darling Beloved True Guru is my Protector.

ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਦੀਨ ਕਰਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਤਿਪਾਲਾ ॥

ham baarik dheen karahu prathipaalaa ||

I am a helpless child-please cherish me.

ਮੇਰਾ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਪੂਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਜਲ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਮਲੁ ਵਿਗਸੈ ਜੀਉ ॥੩॥

maeraa maath pithaa gur sathigur pooraa gur jal mil kamal vigasai jeeo ||3||

The Guru, the Perfect True Guru, is my Mother and Father. Obtaining the Water of the Guru, the lotus of my heart blossoms forth.

ਮੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਦੇਖੇ ਨੀਦ ਨ ਆਵੈ ॥

mai bin gur dhaekhae needh n aavai ||

Without seeing my Guru, sleep does not come.

ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਤਨਿ ਵੇਦਨ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਰਹੁ ਲਗਾਵੈ ॥

maerae man than vaedhan gur birahu lagaavai ||

My mind and body are afflicted with the pain of separation from the Guru.

~SGGS Ji ang 94

"Onewhose prabhava i.e., udaya or appearance or manifestation (abhivyakti)comes about from the vibhava i.e. the inner unfoldment of the mass oflight i.e., the divinities of the senses (rasmi punja) (i,e, Sankarawho is manifested by an inner development of the senses). The sense isthat the recognition of the highest Lord is brought about effortlesslyby the practice of perception of the inner nature."TheYoga of Pulsation and Divine Vibration

ਜੋਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥੮॥੩॥

joth niranthar jaaneeai naanak sehaj subhaae ||8||3||

The Divine Light within is revealed, O Nanak, through this intuitive understanding.

~SGGS Ji ang 55

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