To Watch or Flow

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

There is a word in Sanskrit, rasa, which generally means liquid, but rasa also means the best taste, raso vai sah, having the best of the taste.

The best of the taste is engulfing oneself in that experience. When you are engulfed by the experience, you come to a stage of mind which takes you into a state of deep meditation called bhava samadhi. That is being engulfed by the experience. Rasa happens to everyone at different times.

Music also creates a rasa, a feeling, an engulfment, and if you become part of the music and it begins to vibrate in you, then you can actually feel the power of music. The sattwa, rajas and tamasic experience is there, however whatever sattwic, rajasic, tamasic experience there may be, they are happy tamasic, they are happy rajasic, they are happy sattwic. You have to understand that carefully. There is happy sattwic and unhappy sattwic, there is happy rajasic and unhappy rajasic, there is happy tamasic and unhappy tamasic.

Happy tamasic is someone who does everything naughty, enjoys doing all the naughty things and does not regret it. A sad tamasic person regrets doing the bad but cannot control the actions. It is the same way with sattwic and rajasic.

The mood which is evoked by music is that of happiness at sattwic, rajasic and tamasic levels. Even in hard metal you find, you experience that ecstasy. You experience the vibration of your own hairs on your body, all the hairs stand upright and straight. There is a physical reaction to it and you enjoy it. When you come out of that mood, the music will be less pleasing.

The most important point is that we are interacting at the level of vibrations as the sound is creating a spandan, vibration. Sound is not a continuous wave of energy; it is vibratory energy. It is like pellets being fired very fast, so that it looks like one stream but in reality there are thousands of different pellets – that is vibration, that is the imagery of vibration.

Vibrations do have an influence on the body as the body itself is vibration. If you look at your own body with a super microscope, what will you see? You go through the outer layer, the skin, into the muscles, the bones, the bone marrow. If you go deeper into the subatomic level, there you will see the atoms, go deeper and you will see the nucleus. Go deeper and you will feel the pulsation of energy until you realize that what you considered to be solid is nothing but pulsations of energy, vibration.

When there is tuning of our physical vibration with the outer musical vibration, then there is enjoyment. When the tuning of the outer with the individual vibration is not there, you can’t tolerate it. You want to get up and leave. Vibration is what we are interacting with the whole day through speech, which is an interaction of vibration. Music, is an interaction of vibration. Thought is an interaction of vibration. Everything is an interaction of vibration. This vibration can intensify and highlight the mood in which we are, or change it, alter it, pacify it or activate it.

That is known as rasa, something that engulfs you and gives you the total experience. If you can become one with the flow you will experience a higher state of your own mind, a more sensitive, a more transcendental state of your own being. If you become the drashta, there is no individual participation.

So it is better to flow and become part of what is happening.

24 March 2019, Ganga Darshan, Munger