Nama Article 22nd June 2009
Excerpts from a discourse by our Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji
Power of Sound
In our scriptures, it is said that during the process of creation from the Supreme Brahman, the space ('Akasha') came first and sound is the property of the 'Akasha'. From that came air, and from air came fire, from fire came water and from water, earth.
Sound is an abstraction that is closest to the Supreme Brahman.
We employ different means to worship the Supreme Brahman. We worship It as a deity – a form of earth, in the form of water (in a Kalash), in the form of fire (during havans), in the form of air (through Pranayama etc.) and in the form of sound (through the chanting of the Vedas, and chanting of the Divine Names).
However, in order to render an idol fit for worship, Mantras (the form of sound) have to be chanted. In order to worship the Lord in a 'kalash' (vessel of water), Mantras have to be chanted to install the Lord in the water. In order to worship the Lord as the form of fire through 'Havan', Mantras have to be chanted to install the Lord in 'Agni'. In order to worship the Lord through 'Pranayama', one has to contemplate on and chant the Pranava Mantra.
So all these forms of worship are rendered futile unless accompanied by the 'sound' aspect in the form of Mantras.
However, if we were to worship the Supreme Brahman in the form of sound, mere chanting of the Vedas or chanting the Divine Name of Lord alone is enough. It does not expect any other accessory to make it complete.
That is the greatness of worship by chanting the Divine Names.