Chapter 27: Soundlessness, Soundfulness and Total Awareness
Intoning is also “in-tuning.” Tune yourself with the sound, become the sound. And then, as you feel a deep harmony between you and the sound, and you develop a deep affection for it - and the sound is so beautiful and so musical: Aum - then the more you intone it, the more you will feel yourself filled with a subtle sweetness. There are sounds which are bitter, there are sounds which are very hard. Aum is a very sweet sound, the purest. Intone it and be filled with it.
And when you begin to feel harmonious with it, you can drop intoning loudly. Then close your lips and intone it inwardly, but inwardly also first try it loudly. Intone inwardly, but loudly, so that the sound spreads all over your body, touches every part, every cell of your body. You will feel vitalized by it, you will feel rejuvenated, you will feel a new life entering you - because your body is a musical instrument. It needs harmony, and when the harmony is disturbed you are disturbed.
That is why when you hear music you feel good. Why do you feel good? What is music, but just some harmonious sounds? Why do you feel such a well-being when there is music around you? And when there is chaos, noise, why do you feel so disturbed? You yourself are deeply musical. You are an instrument, and that instrument re-echoes things.
Intone Aum inside, and you will feel that your whole body dances with it. You will feel that your whole body is undergoing a cleansing bath; every pore is being cleansed. But as you feel it more intensely, and as it penetrates you more, go on becoming more and more slow, because the slower the sound, the deeper it can go. It is just like homeopathy. The smaller the dose, the deeper it penetrates - because if you want to go deeper, you have to go more subtly, more subtly, more subtly.
Crude, coarse sounds cannot enter your heart. They can enter your ears, but they cannot enter your heart. The passage is very narrow, and the heart is so delicate that only very slow, very rhythmic, very atomic sounds are allowed to enter it. And unless a sound enters your heart, the mantra is not complete. The mantra is complete only when the sound enters your heart - the deepest, most central core of your being. Then go on being more slow, more slow, more slow.
And there are also other reasons for making these sounds slower and more subtle: the more subtle a sound is, the more intense an awareness you will need to feel it inside. The more coarse the sound, the less need there is of any awareness. A coarse sound will hit you, you will become aware of it; but then it is violent.
If a sound is musical, harmonious, subtle, then you will have to listen to it inside and you will have to be very alert to listen to it. If you are not alert, you will go to sleep and miss the whole point. That is the problem with a mantra, with any chanting, with any use of sound: it can create sleep. It is a subtle tranquilizer. If you continuously repeat any sound without being alert about it, you will fall asleep, because then the repetition becomes mechanical. “Aum, Aum, Aum.” becomes mechanical, and then repetition creates boredom.