Today a passage from my forthcoming book Samadhi The Great Freedom:
In sutra I.27 Patanjali says that God’s expression is the sacred syllable OM. Some yoga scholars argue that Patanjali does not subscribe to the idea that God created the world. May they be blessed! He actually says much more. He says that there is nothing but God!
When pronouncing the sound OM we are sitting down and hum more or less. That’s why some commentators who read this sutra simply imagine a person (in this case Ishvara), who admittedly is immortal and all-knowing, but still sitting in the corner humming. This is not what OM means. OM means OMnipresnt, OMniscient, OMnipotent. It is the roar the electrons make when circling around atomic nuclei, it is the thunder of Higgs Boson particles crashing into each other in the Large Hadron Collider. It is the first cry of all babies ever born and the sound of the last exhalation that you will release on your deathbed. It is the sound of our sun exploding into a supernova four or five billions years from now when it supposedly will incinerate our beautiful planet Earth. It is the sound of the paradise bird at sunrise and the sound of the Titanic hitting its iceberg. It is the sound of Beethoven’s ninth symphony and of the gunshot that killed Martin Luther King. It is the sound of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima and of Luis Armstrong’s “What a beautiful world”. It’s the song of the lover in rapture and the lie of the politician. It is the cracking of tectonic plates shifting, the sound of all rivers rushing towards the ocean, it is the sound of all your moments of guilt, shame, fame, glory, love and defeat combined with that of all beings that ever existed and ever shall be. It is the sound of wind, fire, water earth and space. It is the silence of the Buddha under the bodhi tree and the voice of Jesus saying, “Lazarus, come forth”. It is the sound of that one humongous intelligence that transforms itself into everything but miraculously even in that process is never changed. It is everything. Our rise and our demise as an entire civilization, everything that we know, that we don’t know yet and what we will never know is OM. Knowledge of all civilizations that have been, scattered through space, and all those that will still come is still OM. All matter and all forms of energy are nothing but vibratory patterns of that one presence that is everywhere in everything and expresses itself through everything as everything. That one presence expresses itself as kinetic energy, as potential energy, as electrical energy and as magnetism. It is the alpha and the omega, the beginning, the middle and the end of all phenomena and beings. It is “Be still and know that I am God”.
Yoga is experiential. OM must be experienced and it’s meaning cannot be inferred from scholars speculating on words. Once OM is experienced the realization dawns that there never was, never is and never will be anything real that is not God. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” That is the true meaning of OM. By means of this primordial vibratory pattern the Divine transforms itself to become the phenomena, the material universe and all beings. With this sutra Patanjali says there’s nothing but God. It is not something that can intellectually be understood. It must be experienced so closely that ones hair stands, ones breath stops and ones heart wants to jump out of ones chest.