Above sounds there are words, thoughts, philosophies; below sounds are feelings. And unless you can get below feelings, you cannot get below mind. The whole world is filled with sounds, only the human world is filled with words. And even a child who cannot use language uses sounds. Really, the whole language developed because of particular sounds that every child is using all over the world.
For example, in any language the word mother is somehow related with “ma.” It may be “mater,” it may be “Mutter,” it may be “mata,” it may be “ma,” – anything – but somewhere it is related with the sound “ma” in all the languages, more or less. The child can utter “ma” most easily. The first sound which the child can utter is “ma.” Then the whole structure is based on this “ma.” A child utters “ma” because it is the first sound which is easy for the child to utter. This is the case anywhere, in any part of the world, in any time. Just because of the structure of the throat and the body, “ma” is the easiest sound to utter.
And the mother is the nearest and the first person who is meaningful. So the first sound becomes associated with the first person who is meaningful, and from this mother, mater, mata, ma, all the other words are derived. But when the child for the first time utters “ma,” he has no linguistic meaning for it, but a feeling is there. And because of that feeling the word becomes associated with the mother. That feeling is more basic than the sound.
So this sutra says first to imagine the Sanskrit letters. Any language will do. Because Shiva was talking to Parvati, that is why he said Sanskrit. You can use English or Latin or Arabic, any language will do. Sanskrit has no significance except in that Shiva was talking to Parvati in Sanskrit. It is not that Sanskrit is something superior to any other language, any language will do. First feel inside, in your consciousness, the honey-filled foci of awareness filled with letters: a, b, c, d… any letters of any language. This can be done, and it is a very beautiful exercise. If you want to do it, close your eyes and just see your consciousness inside being filled with words.
Think of consciousness as a blackboard, then: a, b, c… Visualize all the words, all the letters. Visualize these first as letters. “a”: look at it as “a” as you write it. Write it with consciousness and look at it. Then by and by, forget the letter “a” and just remember the sound of “a” – just the sound. Start with visualization – because eyes are predominant for us. Ears are not so predominant. We are eye-oriented, eye-centered. Again, the reason is the same. Because eyes help us to survive more than anything else, our consciousness is ninety percent in the eyes. Conceive of yourself without eyes, and your whole life goes dead – then a very minor part remains.
So first visualize. Use your eyes inwards and see the letters. Letters are more related to ears than eyes because they are sounds, but for us, because we are reading, reading, reading, they have become associated with eyes. Basically, they are associated with ears – they are sounds. Start with the eyes, then forget the eyes by and by. Then move away from the eyes to the ears. First imagine them as letters, then see them, hear them more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feelings. And this is a very beautiful exercise.