The Crucial Role of Sound in Your Life

Why kirtan? Why the maha mantra? Sound plays such a dominant role in our lives. Think about it. All our conceptions, aspirations, ambitions and goals have been informed by sound. From what we hear we create stories about our lives, about who we are, what the purpose of existence is, consciously or unconsciously. One of the beauties of the maha mantra is it gives us the ability to reflect on our stories and analyse them - how accurate are they? Have I thought about it deeply or just accepted without question? This full length audio unpacks the effects of both material and spiritual sound and how the sound we steep our consciousness in paves out the course of our life.

The Subtle but Deep Conditioning Role Sound plays in Our Lives

From what we hear, we develop stories. Those stories form our worldview, our self perceptions and our future. Hear how sound has the potency to uplift our consciousness to the highest possibilities and also to reinforce our misconceptions and deepen our ignorance. The progressive person is aware of all this and thus chooses to expose themselves to sound vibration that enlightens and enlivens the self.

lost in shallow relationships

Lost in the Cosmos - Drowning in Shallow Relationships

I'm driftin', driftin'
Like a ship out on the sea
You know I’ve got nobody
In the whole world to care for me
If my baby would only take me back again
Yes, I know I'm a good for nothin’
But at least I’d have one friend
Listen to me, honey
I gave you all my money
Now tell me, what more can I do?
You’re such a sugary little girl
But I know you’ll never be true

Old blues songs may go out of style, but they never die. The “Driftin’ Blues,” a classic since 1945, highlights personal loneliness: to have loved and lost.

Tossed aside by the apple of his eye, the crushed male ego agonises over his vanished opportunity for conquest. His constant craving for being babied crashes to ground zero of reality. “Yes, she’s sweet, but like a honey bee, she stung . . . ”   

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

In today’s culture of party hardily and hookup mightily, some men or women decide they can no longer keep up the pace, in the frantic hedonistic race. Burned out, the young woman especially may start longing for “more understanding” and “more of my own space.” Differences magnify, the fork in the road looms just ahead.

She’ll find someone else, more suitable for her current state of ever fluctuating emotions and mind. Meanwhile, the ex-partner, left flesh-hungry and ego devastated, can’t handle the rejection. A predator denied his prey, he sinks into depression—until he can score again, riding high, he thinks.

The wounds from relationship breakdowns are so excruciating, they become a prime cause for suicide. “Look at me—without her, I’m not half the man I used to be. Livin’ life is not worthwhile . . .”

Neuroscientists say that the human brain treats relationship rejection similar to how it processes physical hurts. A broken heart feels the same, to the brain, as a broken arm. That means, to ease the pain of both social repudiation and physical injury, the brain activates the same neurochemical response.

Men are much more likely than women to take their own life—a puzzle intriguing social researchers for generations. In countries with the highest number of suicides, the male rate exceeds the female by as high as six times. But it is equally true that women are around three times more likely than men to attempt taking their own life.

The difference, pyschologists say, is that a female suicide attempt is often a form of SOS, a desperate cry for attention and help. Actually aiming to provoke an immediate response, ladies generally don’t choose the most efficient and sure methods for ending their own life. Their attempt often simply remains just that—an attempt. Men, however, don’t mess around. Sad to say, they generally don’t disclose their decision to anyone. Therefore, undetered by intervention, they follow through.

Let’s look at the United States as an example. Of the 30,000 people who commit suicide each year, 80 percent are men. Overall, males terminate themselves at rates four times higher than females. Yet, certain age groups of men are even more vulnerable. As the elderly years progress, the ratio increases to nearly eighteen times more men killing themselves than women do.

Material Man has a problem, yes. But let’s not dump all the blame on him. Irrespective of our gender and its particular issues, the fundamental problem of material existence dominates us all.

Beyond gender differences, beyond social and romantic relationships, even beyond the cosmos, is the ultimate root of our existential crisis. We are neglecting the original source, the Supreme Complete Whole. No matter the size and type of our physical body, we are tiny spiritual particles, housed within. Regardless of how much we embed ourselves in another person’s temporary body and mind, we cannot solve our underlying problem: ultimate disconnectivity.

The Real Self: Lost and Found

Thanks to the bhakti-yoga wisdom culture, we can go much deeper than ordinary psychological and social knowledge. A graduate bhakti text explains:

“When one deviates from his original spiritual consciousness, he loses the capacity to remember his previous position or recognize his present one. When remembrance is lost, all knowledge acquired is based on a false foundation. When this occurs, learned scholars consider that the soul is lost.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.22.31)

The bhakti sages, since ancient times, teach that “lost soul” means not that our real self has disappeared, but that our essential awareness of our spiritual self has vanished. Although materially expert or awesome, we build our life’s lessons and experiences on quicksand. Indeed, society and cohorts may crown us a veritable mover and shaker—but meanwhile, the havoc of illusion has disrupted the crucial knowledge of our eternal spiritual identity.

Consequently, struggling, battling to function in what we have labelled “the real world,” we can’t recall our original spiritual status and activities, or grasp comprehensively the magnitude of our present slumber.

When we fall asleep, we forget ourselves. Dreams swallow us. In the same way, lost in the material dreamlike mirage, we lose our remembrance of our permanent identity as spiritual parts of Krishna, the Supreme Enjoyer.

Mistaking the incomputable cosmic shadow known as material existence to be the essence, blinded to my identity as pure spiritual soul, part of the Supreme Spiritual Whole, day and night, in effect, I base my life on seeing pink elephants. Really—our predicament is that distorted!

I am hallucinating that I am severed, amputated, functioning on my own. Misconstruing the self both as disconnected and as matter, next I feel artificially empowered to exploit—to varying degrees of refinement or ruthlessness—the earth’s resources and living beings.

We call this futile crusade “progress”—often hailing it as “the advancement of civilisation.”

Sonic Therapy

To counteract the impenetrable fog of individual and mass illusion, the bhakti texts, the pinnacle of the yoga system, prescribe spiritual sound.

As an alarm clock wakes us from the dream world and initiates our daily routine, similarly the Krishna mantra rouses us and impels our breakout from material consciousness.

The highest goal of yoga is to reconnect our spoke to the ultimate hub. All the spokes, the living entities, radiate through that supreme hub, the central point of infinite personal attractiveness known as Krishna. By connecting to other persons via that Supreme Source, then we can flourish in truly fulfilling and meaningful personal relationships.

The same old blues and the brand new blahs disappear in personal bonds based on mutual nonmaterial nourishment. Try it: partners and friends in enlightenment, journeying together for pure consciousness.

A Good Question to Ask Yourself

Do we ever think deeply about what the purpose of our precious human life is? What is special or different about being a human rather than an animal? Such contemplations set us on a path that can make our life successful, a life without regrets.

The Ultimate Yoga Connection

Frustrated love, or feeling stifled in our ability to give and receive love to our hearts content is unfortunately familiar to most of us, if we are honest. How we can transform that frustrated energy into the most sublime and positive connection that will fully satisfy the heart of one and all is the art, science and culture of Bhakti Yoga. This is an insightful Soul Feast presentation on the topic given at Bhakti Lounge Wellington on 16 August 2015.

Success According to the Big Picture

The complete yoga science is a spiritual engineering curriculum that gives us the technology to verify that consciousness indicates the presence of the non-material self. Having that kind of experience takes us beyond ordinary happiness and distress.

Dream State Identity Crisis

The yoga texts explain that in material life everyone is actually in a dream state, thinking themselves to be the body and mind. In our night dreams we watch our dream body do so many things - flying through the sky, being chased by a tiger... and when we wake up, immediately we think I am this body, I am this mind and I have many things I need to do in relation to this body and mind, the superfluous coverings of the real self, the conscious being inside. When do we actually wake up?

The One Stop Solution for Bad Karma

How do you make up for wrong when you know you've done it and you feel bad for that?
Speaking from the wisdom of the yoga texts, that which is right is that which furthers your spiritual development and that which is wrong is that which interferes with your spiritual development. Who decides what is right and what is wrong? In terms of rectifying those wrongs we've done, it's practically impossible to deal with all our 'bad karma' piece by piece. Rather the conclusion of Bhagavad Gita (the timeless yoga text) tells us that we can make a one stop solution to all the bad karma. Such methodology is the essence of the Bhagavad Gita as it is.