“As long as there is the roar of the waves, there is the ocean. One finds it by following the sound. Similarly, if the Reality symbolized by the primordial sound of Om is followed, one reaches Brahman.”
Om, the “sound Brahman,” is the word of God, a sound symbol that represents Divine Reality. It is the “Unstruck Sound” that is ideally suited for the revelation of Brahman by way of what is transcendent and beyond all modes of manifestation. When a spiritual aspirant perceives this most subtle of vibrations in deep meditation, close attention must be paid, for, as Sri Ramakrishna states above, the vision of Brahman is close at hand.
Imagine it is a peaceful day and you are walking over seemingly endless stretches of sand, heading for the beach which is yet some distance away, beyond the dunes. The vast reaches of sand surrounding you bespeaks of some special presence that is awe-inspiring, so a certain anticipation already fills the air. In addition to this, there is a trace of salt air aroma on the wind and this drives you on toward your desired destination.
As the sand dunes begin to thin out and the sky expands before you, seagulls make their appearance, adding validity to the fact that the ocean is just ahead, possibly over the next rise. Finally, a sound is heard, distant at first, but becoming progressively louder as your steps take you over the few remaining hills of sand. Then, with the sound practically roaring in your ears, you burst upon the scene and there in front of your astonished gaze is the boundless expanse of water in all its glory and beauty. Waves are breaking over miles of sand bars, people are sitting about or swimming and children are playing on the abundant beaches that lay before you. The sound of the ocean surrounds you on all sides and washes over you with wonderful healing effects.
This little imaginative trip to the seashore is a fitting simile for meditation and its antecedent experiences leading to one-pointed absorption in Brahman. For the meditator who is patient and persistent, the subtle vibration of Om, or Aum, heralds the advent of a rare and unusual condition of heightened awareness. It brings in its train a series of other spiritual states culminating eventually in nondual immersion into the Source of all Existence. Nor does the lack of the appearance of this primal sound of pure Awareness mean that no spiritual progress is being made along the path of meditation. Other meditators may perceive visions or internal lights. Some may make their connection into nondual Awareness through the stuff of pure intellect, immersing in profound Wisdom energy. For others, an absolute silence of profound peace may herald a deeper condition of consciousness. In short, there are various signs of awakening and multiple approaches for the different spiritual aspirants and seekers after Ultimate Reality.
For the one who perceives this silent sound, however, emanating at first from the region of the navel and growing more prevalent in the heart, throat, crown of the head and the two minor chakras at the temples near the ears, a well-outlined path to the Source of existence becomes accessible. By focusing the mind’s attention in one-pointed fashion on this subtle emanation from the heart of Brahman, not only does the presence of the Divine Being become obvious, one’s entire life becomes transformed. God’s word, the first principle of creation, contains all the secrets of existence, the principles of origin and dissolution including That which is beyond both.