When Swami Virato lived in India in the early 1980s, he was embraced by the tradition of Ayurveda, an essential part of Indian culture. It is this Eastern philosophy that has recently become the basis of consciousness exploration in western society. Concepts embodying a holistic approach to existence have long been a tradition in India, dating back some 5,000 years. Much of this knowledge is passed down as myth within their culture. However, within these myths lie nuggets of universal knowledge that come from spiritual evolvement.
While these gems of awareness are rarely interpreted from a western viewpoint, there is one man above all who is presenting us with this awareness, and has demystified this holistic philosophy.
Deepak Chopra, MD, is indeed one of those who needs no introduction. He has become an icon of holistic awareness in this country. Very much in keeping with the Vedic tradition, Dr. Chopra, is also aware of western medicine. While a practicing meditators (he was once associated with the Maharaji Mahesh Yogi and Transcendental Meditation), he was also Chief of Staff at a major Boston hospital. His books, including Quantum Healing, have sold in the millions, and Dr. Chopra is now the most sought after lecturer in the area of transformational, transcendent thought. He is also very attuned to sound, and uses it extensively in his work. We also learned that he has released a new three CD music series called The Magic of Healing.
This is a conversation New Frontier Magazine editor & publisher, Swami Virato, had with Dr. Chopra on sound and its universal application in healing and the transformation of consciousness. Virato found him to be one of those personable bright people with whom one can truly have dialogue.
Swami Nostradamus Virato: You are prominent in discussing sound and its uses in healing the body, as well as leading to a transformation of consciousness. How could a mechanical phenomenon as simple as the vibration of sound be so powerful?
Deepak Chopra: Sound is transformed into information and energy in the body. The more sound replicates, or mirrors, the information and the energy that's part of the essential structure of the universe--the more it's likely to heal. Our bodies are recycled dust, and they contain the same energy and information that is present in all of nature. We call the information mind, and we call the energy body. The human body/mind is actually part of the universal body/mind, and if you don't like those terms, you can say part of the information energy field of the universe.
What sound can do is restore the harmony, the balance of elements and forces of that structure of information and energy field. Healing sounds are usually not found to be merely improvised. They are sounds that happen inside us through meditation, we re-cognize them since we know we've heard them in the deepest reaches of our being...our very soul.
SV: Some people claim that chanting the name of a deity--whether
it be Hare Krishna, or the "Om" sound, or Allah, etc.,
has a greater healing effect with sound than other forms. Why
would one sound work better than another? Herbert Benson, MD,
the Harvard Medical School professor who once challenged the TM
organization, once postulated that repeating, "Coca Cola,
Coca Cola, Coca Cola..." would have the same effect, as the
name of God.
The word God, for example, spelled G-O-D, stands for Generation, Organization and Destruction, which are the three components of existence: creation, maintenance, and disillusion. The names of certain deities come from the same root, they are seeds for processes of consciousness. In the Vedic theory, these seeds contain name and form.
If I say the word "Om" for example, it has a very specific vibration that will transform itself to a very specific structure in the manifest. The word mantra itself has the root of "man" which is the sound for "human" or "man" or "woman." or "mind." "Tra" is the root of instrument. So, a mantra is an instrument of the mind. A mantra is sound with name and form in it. It's the vibration of nature. It is consciousness manifesting into form...the seed for the form, which has the structure contained within it. If you make the sound "Om" in front of a drop of liquid, it will transform itself into a sri yantra which is very specific visual form which is symmetrical and also holographic, in that every bit of it contains all of it.
Every mantra that has been examined is like that, and this is true of all the sounds of divinity. I would therefore say, that those sounds which we say are the sounds of divinity, are actually sounds that contain form within their vibrations, and therefore form the holographic pattern in nature. So, by making the sound we are definitely creating something that is part of the information and energy field of nature's intelligence. Repeating "Coca Cola," or "One," therefore would not do it. Dr. Benson, and others like him are very well intentioned, and they are experts in modern science, but they do not have a basic understanding of the Vedas, from where this knowledge originally came, and which in fact, is the basis of many spiritual traditions.
SV: So then, the healing isn't really healing, as such,
it's more of a homeostasis: a balancing of the normal body.
SV: Well, then, if some sounds can create that, what about
other sounds, such as one's refrigerator or certain music that
takes us away from this balance and make us ill?
The word "enchantment" comes from the root which means one with Divinity, so enchantment is the magic that happens when one connects with God, through chanting. If sound contains stress, the unborn child is far from enchantment.
We are conducting a program at our center called Magical Beginnings, which is looking at how an unborn child's personality can be influenced by the sounds of divinity.
Recently I talked with your musical collaborator,
new age musician Bruce BecVar, and he said, "Save the technical
questions for Deepak" so, how's this music different from
other new age music?
In Ayurveda we call Movement, Vata; structure, Kafa; and transformation, Pitta The same principal, that creates the elements: air symbolizing movement; fire symbolizing transformation; and water symbolizing structure. In Ayurveda they have melodies for different seasons, times, and body types.
What we've done with Bruce is take Western music, look at its rhythm, its beat, and its basic elements, and figure out how different types of music will create these different components of information. It's based on some very good scientific understanding, showing how nature operates through inherent rhythms in its expression. Of course, most Indian music serves that same purpose
SV: I interviewed Ravi Shankar a few years ago, and he
explained how the music he plays is used for healing, not just
entertainment. What other work will you be doing in the way of
sound and healing?
SV: Steven Spielberg, in his film,
of the Third Kind, depicted sound as a universal language.
Do you think that there are other entities ...other forms that
are communicating in that way. Could it be a message?
SV: As a society, certain people seem addicted to certain
kinds of sound. Inner cities of this country seem engulfed in
rap music. Some of the people I've interviewed for this issue
say that there's a positive aspect to rap...that it allows people
to vent their angers and negativity. I don't feel that's right.
I think, somehow, that every time we vent negativity, we put it
into the universe creating negativity. What are your opinions?
Martial music can make people want to go to war. That's why it's used--to create that feeling, not just bravado, but to create a mood for domination and for hostility. Music evolves in a certain culture, context, place, and time, and has to be taken into a certain context with what's really happening in that culture, context, place, and time. Music reflects the consciousness of the collective psyche of a society. Sometimes that collective psyche can be psychotic, as it was in Germany during the second world war.
Well, what could you say about today's music? Country
and Western sound seems to have this sadness to it, and then there's
rap music with its harshness? Where do you see American society
going with sound?
SV: Who is your favorite musician?
SV: Thank you for your continuing work, Dr. Chopra.