Vigyan Bhairav Tantra - Meditation
CENTER ON THE SOUND "AUM" WITHOUT ANY "A" OR "M".
CENTER ON THE SOUND "AUM" -- A-U-M, AUM -- WITHOUT ANY "A" OR "M".
Just the "U" remains. This is a difficult technique, but for some it may
be suitable, particularly for those who work with sound: musicians,
poets, those who have a very sensitive ear, for them this technique can
be helpful. For others, those who have no sensitive ear, this is very
difficult because it is very delicate.
You have to intone Aum, and you have to feel in this Aum three sounds
separately: A-U-M. Intone Aum, and in the sound you have to feel three
sounds -- A-U-M. They are there, infused together. A very delicate ear
can be aware, can hear A-U-M separately while intoning. They are
separate -- very close, but separate. If you cannot hear them
separately, then this technique cannot be done. Your ears will have to
be trained for it.
In Japan, particularly in Zen, they train the ears first. They have a
method of training the ears. The wind is blowing outside -- it has a
sound. The master will say, "Concentrate on it. Feel all the nuances,
the changes: when the sound is angry, when the sound is furious, when
the sound is compassionate, when the sound is loving, when the sound is
strong, when the sound is delicate. Feel the nuances of the sound. The
wind is blowing through the trees -- feel it. The river is running --
feel the nuances."
For months together the seeker, the meditator, will be sitting by the
side of the bank of the river, listening to it. It has different sounds.
Everything is changing. In the rain it will be flooded; it will be very
much alive, overflowing. The sounds will be different. In the summer it
will be reduced to nothingness, sounds will cease. But there will be
inaudible sounds if one is listening, if you listen. All the year round
the river will be changing, and one has to be aware.
In Hermann Hesse's book SIDDHARTHA, Siddhartha lives with a boatman. And
there is no one, just the river, the boatman and Siddhartha. And the
boatman is a very silent man. He has lived all his life with the river.
He has become silent, he rarely speaks. Whenever Siddhartha feels
lonely, he tells Siddhartha to go to the river, to listen to the river.
It is better than listening to human words.
And then by and by, Siddhartha is attuned to the river. Then he begins
to feel its moods -- the river changes moods. Sometimes it is friendly
and sometimes it is not, and sometimes it is singing and sometimes it is
weeping and crying, and sometimes there is laughter and sometimes there
is sadness. And then he begins to feel the slight, delicate differences.
His ear becomes attuned.
So in the beginning you may feel it to be difficult, but try. Intone
Aum, go on intoning it, feeling A-U-M. Three sounds are combined
together in it: Aum is a synthesis of three sounds. Once you start
feeling them differently, then drop "A" and "M". Then you cannot say
Aum: "A" will be dropped, "M" will be dropped. Then "U" will remain.
Why? What will happen? The real thing is not the mantra. It is not A-U-M
or the dropping. The real thing is your sensitivity.
First you become sensitive of three sounds, which is very difficult. And
when you become so sensitive that you can drop the "A" and "M" and only
the middle sound remains, in this effort you will lose your mind. You
will be so much engrossed in it, so deeply attentive to it, so sensitive
to it, that you will forget to think. And if you think, you cannot do
This is just an indirect way to bring you out of your head. So many ways
have been tried, and they look very simple. You wonder, "What can
happen? Nothing will happen by such simple methods." But miracles
happen, because it is just indirect. Your mind is being focused on
something very subtle. If you focus, you cannot go on thinking; mind
will drop. Suddenly one day you will become aware, and you will wonder
what has happened.
In Zen they use koans. One of the famous koans they tell to the beginner
is, "Go and try to hear the sound of one hand. You can create a sound
with two hands. If one hand can create a sound, hear it."
One small boy was serving a Zen master. He would see many people coming.
They would come to the master, put their head at his feet, and then they
would ask the master to tell them something to meditate on. He would
give them a koan. The boy was just doing some work for the master, he
was serving him. He was just nine or ten years of age.
Seeing every day many people coming and going, one day he also came very
seriously, put his head at the master's feet, and then asked him, "Give
me some koan, some object for meditation." The master laughed, but the
boy was very serious, so the master said, "Okay! Try to hear the sound
of one hand. And when you have heard it, then come to me and tell me."
The boy tried and tried. He couldn't sleep the whole night. In the
morning he came and he said, "I have heard. It is the sound of the wind
blowing through the trees." The master said, "But where is the hand
involved in it? Go again and try." So he would come every day. He would
find some sound and then he would come, and the master would say, "This
is also not it. Go on trying, go on trying!"
Then one day the boy didn't come. The master waited and waited, and then
he told his other disciples to go and find out what had happened -- it
seemed the boy had heard. So they went around. He was sitting under a
tree, absorbed -- just a newborn buddha. They came back and they said,
"But we are afraid to disturb the boy. He is looking just like a newborn
buddha. It seems he has heard the sound." So the master came, put his
head at the boy's feet and asked him, "Have you heard? It seems you have
heard." The boy said, "Yes, but it is soundlessness."
How did this boy develop? His sensitivity developed. He tried every
sound, he listened attentively. Attention developed. He would not sleep.
The whole night he would listen for what is the sound of one hand. He
was not so intellectual as you are, so he never thought that there
cannot be any sound of one hand. If the koan is given to you, you are
not going to try. You will say, "What nonsense! There cannot be any
sound with one hand."
But the boy tried. The master had said there must be something in it, so
he tried. He was a simple boy, so whenever he would hear something,
whenever he would feel this was something new, he would come again. But
by this process his sensitivity developed. He became attentive, alert,
aware. He became one-pointed. He was in search, and the mind dropped
because the master said, "If you go on thinking you may miss. Sometimes
there is the sound which is of one hand. Be so alert that you do not
He tried and tried. There is no sound of one hand, but that was just an
indirect method to create sensitivity, awareness. And one day, suddenly,
everything disappeared. He was so attentive that only attention was
there, so sensitive that only sensitivity was there, so aware -- not
aware of something, but simply aware! And then he said, "I have heard
it, but it is soundlessness. It is soundlessness!" But you have to be
trained to be attentive, to be alert.
This is just a method to make you very delicately aware of the subtle
nuances of sound. Just doing this, you will forget Aum. Not only will
"A" drop, not only will "M" drop, but one day suddenly you will also
drop, and there will be soundlessness, and you will be a newborn buddha
sitting under a tree.