Words define our reality.
We use words to translate the split-second images in our minds into describing our experiences for others.
William Shakespeare invented 25,000 words, which are now part of our regular vocabulary, thus broadening our abilities to perceive our world in a unique and much broader way.
For the most part, language has been used as a means of communication between people.
However, it has also been used as a way to converse with God, or the great mystery of causation and origination, the pervasive pure consciousness that informs all experiences.
In some cultures, certain words, like those Sanskrit words used in the Ancient India, were used to connect a person with ultimate reality. This unique language appears in the earliest Upanishads (7th-8th century b.c.e.). But exactly how and when it evolved by the seers of that time remains a mystery.
These sacred words were called mantras and sutras.
A mantra is a sound that does not mean anything but which helps you transcend the limitations of thought and move to a state of ascending awareness. An example is “Om” which is used to represent the sound of creation, the primeval vibration that is believed
to have created all the other vibratory phenomena we call a universe. By sitting still and repeating this word with full attention, you transcend the limitations of the senses, the limitations of your identifications, and the limitations of your sequential thought processes. You attain stillness, poise, and equanimity over time because the word comes to inform your awareness.
A sutra is a sound as well, but it is also a word; it is something that has meaning. The word “sutra” itself means a stitch; it stitches the finite being with its infinite capacity.
The word “suture” that is used in English to describe a stitch by a surgeon comes from this word.
Sutras abound in Sanskrit, and in fact the entire language of Sanskrit can be said to have been invented as a way for a person to communicate with the divine. It is even believed that saying the word has an impact on the chakras, energy vortexes in the each of the subtle bodies, and the nadis, the subtle nerves. Their purpose is to conduct prana or vital force through the subtle bodies.
Many cryptic traditions refer to a number of discrete planes of existence, each with its own parallel “vehicle” of consciousness. Instead of a single physical body housing the soul, we have a series of “bodies” or “vehicles of consciousness”. All these planes and bodies are connected by a pervasive consciousness.
Thus by using a sacred language, we not only connect with divinity, but with our own subtle powers that exist in an invisible way.
Here are a few examples of sutras.
Tat Tvam Asi (that tvam AH-see) which means “I am that.” That, of course, refers to our spiritual essence.
Aham Brahmasmi (a-HUM-brah-MAHS-mee) which means “the core of my being is the ultimate reality and the source of all that exists.”
Namaste (nah-mah-STAY) which means “my divine nature acknowledges the divine in you.”
Sutras, however, are not merely brief statements. They can also be woven into complete dialogues that invoke the potentiality of the non-local mind.
The most famous is the Gayatri Mantra:
Om Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat.
A rough translation might be: “Oh God! Thou art the giver of life, remover of pain and sorrow. The bestower of happiness. Oh! Creator of the universe, may we receive they supreme light. May thou guide our intellect in the right direction.”
The purpose of this invocation is to make the devotee more intelligent, more capable of insight, ingenuity and inspiration. This wisdom will then create a life of balance and harmony, truth and meaning, purpose and fulfillment, and ultimately a life of transcendental joy.
This mantra is said to be so potent that some people consider it their only form of devotion. There are numerous anecdotal reports of people who have miraculously resolved complex situation by using this mantra. They range from resolution of court cases, relief from debt, and escape from life-threatening circumstances, ranging from potential violence to a critical illness.
Over eons, the concept of God has changed to represent the idea of a physical being of sorts, but in the time the language of Sanskrit was evolving to connect with God, divinity was considered more along the lines of Baruch Spinoza, as an intelligence that informed all of creation, an abstract, energetic, and effortless organizing principle.
Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), a Dutch philosopher, was considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. He created a sharp separation from the medieval approach, especially scholasticism, which considered God as a being that was separate and distinct from its creation, an authoratative figure, not unlike the Grecian God, Zeus, or the Nordic God, Odin, that demanded a survile obedience that reflected the relationship between a Medeval lord and his serf.
Today Quantum Mechanics finds that the entire universe is intimately inter-related at a subatomic level. This leads to the speculation that the idea of separation itself may be the ultimate illusion.
Everything may, in fact, be stitched together by consciousness, what has been referred to as “the nonlocal mind.” Thus, through the use of the sacred language, the spiritual aspirant hoped to suture the relationship between individual, conditioned consciousness with universal, pure consciousness, to suture the linear with the synchronistic, and to suture the time-bound and limited with the timeless and infinite. He sought to find the rhythm in the universe that would bless his life with a stream of well-being, and that would heal the schism of separation and seal the wound of fear with the balm of love.
The ultimate purpose of sentience appears to be to embrace the mystery, and for this it has evolved beings capable of creating sounds to penetrate the veils of existence in an attempt to suture the visible and the invisible worlds, the realm of effort with the effortless experience, the algorithmic with the non-algorithmic, and the conscious with the supra-conscious.
Language has been used to connect us with each other, to share our experience with one another, but once upon a time, in a world now almost completely forgotten, language was used to try to connect all the worlds together and to experience the bliss of transcendental harmony.
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