Introduction to Gayatri … Continued from the previous issue
The knowledgeable wise man – he who understands the deepest principles of speech, vaktatva – with his alert mind, and pure thoughts, through his very words, can convey the understanding of all hidden meanings to those who are able to listen.
The first and foremost word that came out of the Creator, Brahma, was OM, from which everything else manifested, including matter, the material world, speech (vak), time (kala), etc. Thus, vak has the power to create through sound vibrations.
Vak has the power to communicate with God through mantras. The origin of vak is Paravak, the absolute, eternal silent form of speech, also called the cosmic music. When Paravak enters the consciousness of the seer (rishi), it becomes Pashyanthi vak –the speech of inner vision, the language of institution.
When Pashyanthi vak manifests as the language of thought, it becomes Madhyama vak. When Madhyama vak is expressed as pronounced words, it becomes Vaikhari vak. Thus, human speech is a direct product of divine speech (Paravak).
Vaikhari vak, expressed as verbal communication, is governed by the rules of grammar (vyakarana). Though it is limited by time and space, Vaikhari should not be taken as less significant, as there is a wonderful similarity between sound waves created by the recitation of hymns of Vedas and the cosmic waves of Paravak.
The reason behind the similarity is that there are seven types of speech sounds called swaras. We find these swaras in the recitation of the Vedas leading to gnana (true knowledge). We also find these swaras in sangeetas, mentioned at the top of the mantras along with the names of Rishis. This shows there is a scientific formulation of chants and mantras. The seven swaras represent the seven forms of Gayatri Devi and this is the similarity between swaras and the cosmic waves. Thus, one thing is certain: in order to experience the original divine, eternal, imperishable Paravak (Vedic speech), the recitation of any mantra has to be harmonious with the cosmic sound waves.
One who wants to chant the Vedas should know this form of speech, so that the recitation becomes correct and result-oriented by establishing connection with the cosmic waves. As confirmed in the Chandokya Upanishad, “The Gayatri is Vak speech. Since Gayatri is Vak, she has acquired the name of Saraswathi (also known as Vak Devi) who symbolizes speech”. Thus, interlink between vak (speech) and the Vedas (true knowledge) is clear, and goddess Saraswathi represents both vak and knowledge.
...(to be continued)