Vak - Speech
Also vāc and vac.
|(H1)vā́c [p= 936,1] [L=189809]||f.|
|[L=189810]||a word , saying , phrase , sentence , statement , asseveration|
|[L=189811]||Speech personified (in various manners or forms|
Westergaard Dhatupatha links: 24.55, 34.35
Whitney Roots links: vac
|(H1)vac [p= 912,1] [L=184615]||cl.2 P.|
The Four Levels of Vac (Vak)
In yoga, there is the concept of four levels of speech.
1. Spoken language. That which is heard with the ears. Vaikhari. When you use your tongue and lips.
2. Subvocal speech. That which is heard with the inner ears, in the auditorium of mind and heart. Madhyama.
3. Abstract concepts, seeing and feeling the impact of the mantra, feeling the vibration, beyond what we ordinarily know as sound. Pashyanti.
4. Para. Transcendental sound. Para. The meaning in the resonant silence.
Vaikhari as Rough SpeechIn Kashmir Shaivism, vaikjari is considered “gross, rough” speech.
Kashmir Shaivism: the secret supreme - Page 43
|books.google.comLakshman (Swami.) - 1988 - 137 pages - Google eBook - Preview|
David Frawley came up with the brilliant phrase for pashyanti - “The illumined word.”
Tantric yoga and the wisdom goddesses: spiritual secrets of ayurveda - Page 106
|David Frawley- 1996 - 256 pages - Preview|
|(H1)vaikharī [p= 1020,3] [L=206680]||f.|
|[p=1020,3] [L=206681]||speech in the fourth of its four stages from the first stirring of the air or breath , articulate utterance , that utterance of sounds or words which is complete as consisting of full and intelligible sentences|
|[p=1020,3] [L=206682]||the faculty of speech or the divinity presiding over it|
|[p=1020,3] [L=206683]||speech in general|
वैखरी vaikharii f. speech in the fourth of its four stages from the first stirring of the air or breath
वैखरी vaikharii f. that utterance of sounds or words which is complete as consisting of full and intelligible sentences
वैखरी vaikharii f. articulate utterance
वैखरी vaikharii f. faculty of speech or the divinity presiding over it
वैखरी vaikharii f. speech in general
|(H1)mādhyá [p= 809,1] [L=162690]||mfn.|
|(H2B)mādhyama [L=162705]||m. pl.|
मध्यम madhyama adj. being in the middle
मध्यम madhyama adj. intermediate
माध्यम maadhyama n. media
माध्यम maadhyama n. medium
मध्यम madhyama adj. middle-born
मध्यम madhyama adj. standing between two persons or parties
मध्यम madhyama adj. being or placed in the middle
मध्यम madhyama adj. neutral
मध्यम madhyama adj. mean
मध्यम madhyama adj. middling
मध्यम madhyama adj. central
मध्यम madhyama adj. of a middle kind or size or quality
मध्यम madhyama adj. middle
मध्यम madhyama adj. middlemost
मध्यम madhyama adj. impartial
मध्यम madhyama adj. relating to the meridian
मध्यम madhyama adj. moderate
मध्यम madhyama m. middlemost of the 3 scales
मध्यम madhyama m. class of gods
मध्यम madhyama m. middle finger
Pashyanti-vak - “That which can be seen or visualized”
Westergaard Dhatupatha links: 33.45
Whitney Roots links: paS1, paS2
|(H1)paś 1 [p= 611,2] [L=120516]||only|
|(H2)páś 2 [L=120517]||f.|
|(H1)paś 3 [L=120526]||cl.10 P.|
|(H1)pára 1 [p= 586,1] [L=116005]||mf|
|[L=116006]||previous (in time) , former|
|[L=116007]||ancient , past|
|[L=116008]||later , future , next|
|[L=116009]||following , succeeding , subsequent|
|[L=116010]||final , last|
|[L=116011]||exceeding (in number or degree) , more than|
|[p=586,2] [p= 586,1] [L=116012]||better or worse than , superior or inferior to , best or worst , highest , supreme , chief (in the|
|[L=116013]||strange , foreign , alien , adverse , hostile|
|[L=116014]||other than , different from (|
|[L=116015]||left , remaining|
|[L=116016]||concerned or anxious for (|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116017]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116018]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116019]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116020]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116021]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116022]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116023]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116024]||m.|
|(H1B)pára 1 [L=116030.1]||n.|
|(H2)para 2 [p= 588,1] [L=116437]||in|
|(H2)para [p= 1330,1] [L=335540]||(in|
|(H1B)párā 1 [p= 586,2] [L=116025]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116026]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116027]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116028]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116029]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116030]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116031]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116032]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116033]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116034]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116035]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116036]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116037]||f.|
|(H1B)párā 1 [L=116038]||f.|
|(H2)parā 1 [p= 589,1] [L=116675]||(for 2.|
|(H1)párā 2 [p= 589,2] [L=116743]||(for 1.|
Four Levels of Sound: One Outer, Three Inner
quoted from Vac Magazine : http://www.jnanagnikula.org/vacmagazine/?p=594
Let’s begin by setting out the four levels in a tabular form so you can see a map of where we’re going:
Name Translation Predominance Power Bodily Locus
4 Vaikharī Corporeal Object Action Palate
3 Madhyamā Intermediate Process Knowledge Throat
2 Paśyantī Visionary Subject Will Heart
1 Parā Supreme Trans. subject Freedom Kanda
The first of the four levels, Vaikharī, is the level of ordinary everyday “corporeal” speech. It functions on the level of duality, and in it, object-awareness is predominant. This discourse in which we engage every day is, in this philosophy, just the tip of the iceberg. It is constantly informed by deeper levels of discourse, and can point us towards those deeper realities. In other words, ordinary speech is shaped by how we think; how we think is shaped by our deep unconscious beliefs about reality; and those in turn are expressions of the singular divine consciousness that freely chooses to express itself in a rhythm of contracted and expanded forms. In light of this, the way you speak expresses the pattern of your consciousness. If change is desireable, then, we Tantrikas seek that transformation not in terms of superficial programmatic adjustments of our words to conform more successfully to social sanction. Rather, we seek shifts on the deepest level of our awareness that then express themselves naturally through the dance of our thoughts and words. So words do matter, not in terms of themselves but of what they signify, what they reveal about the way we are encountering and understanding our world. Additionally, they are forms of action, by which we effect or inflict change on the world around us.
The second level, then, is Madhyamā Vāc, the level of thought. Here the process of knowing is predominant. This is the arena in which the mind formulates its thought constructs—the forms of verbal symbolization that we then superimpose on reality, forcing it to fit these predetermined molds. Yet this is also the level of contemplation and imagination, expansive forms of inner discourse that move us closer to our natural state of freedom and presence. Our thought constructs (vikalpas) limit the range of possibilities for how we experience any given reality; yet cultivating purified thought constructs (those aligned with the organic flowing patterns of awakened consciousness) can by the same token expand our range of possibilities.
This is very difficult to do, however, if we are not also working on the third level, the Paśyantī or “Visionary” level of Vāc. This is the level where subjective awareness is dominant, a level beyond ordinary discourse, where the vibrations of thought and feeling are entirely wordless. It is the level of precognitive Will [icchā]. On this level, there is no differentiation of space and time, and sound and light too are synesthetically fused. Yet the Word is active here too, though it is condensed and concealed. For this is the level of our pre-cognitive, deeply held beliefs about reality, woven into our sense of self and all the stronger for being wordless. This level is called Visionary because the pattern held here powerfully shapes our vision of reality, structuring our thought on the Intermediate level and our words on the Corporeal level. This then is the dwelling place of our deepest saṃskāras, or subliminal impressions of past experience, which constantly provide the template for our mental and physical engagement with reality. This is the level of deep healing, where our goal is to create a pattern in awareness that perfectly aligns with the cosmic divine pattern. There are three methods to penetrate to this level.
The first is to repeatedly cultivate purified thought constructs on the Madhyamā level. This method is carefully and beautifully explained by the mahāsiddha Abhinavagupta in “The Essence of Tantra”. The second method is meditation, where by accessing the Witness Consciousness that characterizes this level, we create a healing space of awareness in which old saṃskāras are automatically released. The third method is mantra-japa, which begins on the Vaikharī level where not much benefit is experienced, but if sufficiently practiced, it becomes subtler and subtler until it purifies all three levels of speech, eventually leading us to the highest. When the Paśyantī level is purified, the unobstructed light of divine Will Power directs us to realization of our ultimate nature.
That ultimate nature is the Supreme Word [Parā Vāc]. The foundation of all language, thought, feeling, and perception, Parā is a divine mystery, for despite being the highest principle of reality, we have all experienced Her as our own expanded self-awareness. She is not some mystical state stowed away in a void, but rather the singular all-encompassing vibration by which all things move and sing. Srī Abhinavagupta describes Parā Vāc in this way: “She is the primordial, uncreated Word, the very essence of the highest reality, pervading all things and eternally in creative motion: (she is simply) luminous pure Consciousness, vibrating with the greatest subtlety (as the ground of all Being).” He goes on to say that everything—stones, trees, birds, human beings, gods, demons—is a harmonic vibration of that one supreme Word. Her dominant powers are svā the power of absolute Freedom, and the power of self-awareness. She is most fully expressed in human experience in the state of chamatkāra, the state of fully self-aware ecstasy where consciousness is suffused with the rapture of extreme beauty, vibrating with wonder and awe. This state, absolutely expansive and wordless, transcendent yet completely engaged with the reality present in awareness, reveals to us how the Goddess Parā can be simultaneously the transcendent source of all things, yet completely immanent in all things. She suggests to us, then, that ultimately we can experience exquisite beauty in each aspect of human existence: in stillness and change, in death and birth, in growth and decay, in pain and in happiness.
The Vedic concept of Sound
Vedic Conception of Sound in Four Features by Jahnava Nitai Das
The higher three forms of shabda are described in the Rig Veda as hidden in "guha", or within the self, whereas the forth is the external manifested speech, known as laukika bhasha.
These four levels of sound correspond to four states of consciousness. Para represents the transcendental consciousness. Pashyanti represents the intellectual consciousness. Madhyama represents the mental consciousness. And Vaikhari represents the physical consciousness. These states of consciousness correspond with the four states known technically as jagrat, svapna, susupti, and turiya - or the wakeful state, the dreaming state, the dreamless state, and the transcendental state.
Shabda-brahman in its absolute nature is called para. In manifestation the subtle is always the source of the gross, and thus from para-vak manifests the other three forms of sound.
Though the manifestation of sound takes place from para-vak down to vaikhari-vak (or fine to gross), in explaining these stages we will begin from the external vaikhari-vak, as that is the sound we all have most experience of.
Vaikhari-vak is the grossest level of speech, and it is heard through the external senses. When sound comes out through the mouth as spoken syllables it is called as vaikhari.
Madhyama-vak is the intermediate unexpressed state of sound, whose seat is in the heart. The word Madhyama means "in between" or "the middle". The middle sound is that sound which exists between the states of susupti and jagrat. Madhyama-vak refers to mental speech, as opposed to external audible speech. It is on this level that we normally experience thought. Some hold that wakeful thought is still on the level of vaikhari.
In the manifestation process, after sound has attained the form of pashyanti-vak, it goes further up to the heart and becomes coupled with the assertive intelligence, being charged with the syllables a, ka, cha, tha, ta, etc. At this point it manifests itself in the form of vibratory nada rupa madhyama-vak. Only those who are endowed with discriminative intelligence can feel this.
On the levels of madhyama and vaikhari, there is a distinction between the sound and the object. The object is perceived as something different from the sound, and sound is connected to an object mostly by convention.
Pashyanti-vak is the second level of sound, and is less subtle than para-vak. Pashyanti in Sanskrit means "that which can be seen or visualized".
In the pashyanti stage sound possesses qualities such as color and form. Yogis who have inner vision can perceive these qualities in sound. On this stage the differences between language do not exist, as this sound is intuitive and situated beyond rigidly defined concepts. On the stage of pashyanti-vak, speech is intuitively connected to the object. There is near oneness between the word and the experience described.
Pashyanti-vak is the finest impulse of speech. The seat of pashyanti is in the navel or the Manipura Chakra. When sound goes up to the naval with the bodily air in vibratory form without any particular syllable (varna), yet connected with the mind, it is known as pashyanti-vak.
Para-vak is the transcendent sound. Para means highest or farthest, and in this connection it indicates that sound which is beyond the perception of the senses.
Para-vak is also known as "rava-shabda" - an unvibratory condition of sound beyond the reach of mind and intelligence (avyakta), only to be realized by great souls, parama-jnanis.
On the stage of para-vak there is no distinction between the object and the sound. The sound contains within it all the qualities of the object.
In terms of the universal cosmology, vaikhari, madhyama and pashyanti correspond respectively to bhuh, bhuvah, and svah. The para-shabda ultimately corresponds to the Lord's tri-pada-vibhuti.
Within the pashyanti-vak exists the nature's iccha-shakti, or the power of will. Within the madhyama-vak exists the nature's jnana-shakti, or the power of knowledge. And within the vaikhari-vak exists the nature's kriya-shakti, or power of action.
The pranava, or the syllable "om", is the complete representation of the four stages of sound and their existential counterparts. The existential realities are the physical (sthula) which is connected to the vaikhari-shabda, the subtle (sukshma) which is connected to the madhyama-shabda, the causal (karana) which is connected with the pashyanti-shabda, and the transcendental (para) which is related to the para-shabda. These four existential realities further correspond to the four states of consciousness.
The sthula sarira, or physical body, operates in the state of jagrat (wakeful state). It is in this realm of consciousness, and through this body, that the vaikhari-vak is manifested.
The sukshma-sarira, subtle or psychic body, operates in the state of svapna. It is in this realm of consciousness, and through this body, that the madhyama-vak is manifested.
The karana-sarira, or causal body, operates in the state of susupti, or deep sleep. It is in this realm of consciousness, and through this body, that the pashyanti-vak is manifested.
The para-vak is manifested through the fourth state of consciousness, known as turiya.
The sacred syllable "om" is composed of three matras, namely "a", "u", and "m". These three matras correspond respectively to bhuh, bhuvah and svah; jagrat, svapna and susupti; sukshma, sthula and karana; and vaikhari, madhyama and pashyanti. Besides these three matras, the pranava ("a-u-m") is also composed of a forth constituent, namely the a-matra or anahata-dhvani - the non-syllable or unstruck sound. For our practical understanding, this a-matra corresponds to the humming sound after one recites the "om" syllable. The a-matra represents the transcendence, the turiya, the para-vak.
Thus the syllable om contains all elements of existence. It is the reservoir of all energies of the Supreme Lord, and for this reason Lord Krishna states in the Gita:
om ity ekaksharam brahma
"The single syllable Om is the supreme combination of letters."
Elsewhere the Lord states:
yad aksharam veda-vido vadanti
"Those knowers of the Vedas recite Om (akshara)."
Why do they do this? Because the syllable om is the Supreme Lord and the potency of all Vedic mantras:
pranava sarva vedeshu
"Within all the Vedas, I am the symbol Om."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established the pranava as the maha-vakya of the Vedas, for within it exist all Vedic hymns (and shabda). The world itself is a manifestation of this syllable. It is the sound representation of the Absolute Truth.
The vak is not a manifestation of the material nature, for the Vedanta sutra 2.4.4 states as follows:
This indicates that the vak existed before the pradhana. Pradhana is the root of the material manifestation - the three qualities non-differentiated in absolute equilibrium. Yet prior to this is the vak. Thus the vak is non-material.
For this reason we find in the Vedanta Sutras the following statement:
"Liberation by sound."
Since sound is the non-material source of the material manifestation, it is the key by which we can become free from bondage. It is the thread-like link between the material and spiritual realms.
In describing the four phases of sound, sometimes the descriptions of one will overlap another, or sometimes an aspect of one will seem to be attributed to another. For example sometimes pashyanti is described as "mental sound", whereas madhyama will be described as "intellectual sound". This will require a deeper explanation of the intricacies of these stages of sound and their relationships. Such an explanation is not possible here at this time.
To study these concepts in greater depth one may refer to the Nada-bindu Upanishad, Bhartrihari's Vakyapadadiya, Prashna Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Maitri Upanishad and Katha Upanishad, as well as the concepts of shabda, vak, matrikas, hiranyagarbha, four states of consciousness, etc., as found in the tantras and throughout the upanishads. One should remember that in Vedic study one will not generally find a book on a particular topic (such as "vaikhari", etc.) One must study from numerous sources and assimilate a number of apparently diverse concepts. These concepts must then be harmonized internally. This constitutes the meditation and sacrifice of svadhyaya yajna.
For those who have assimilated these topics, they will find all this information contained in detail within nine technical verses of Srimad Bhagavatam beginning from 11.2.35 and ending at 11.2.43. For example, if one sees verses 38 through 40 one will find a complete explanation of sound in four levels and the process of manifestation. One must be trained to see the inner meaning of words, for these topics are discussed in esoteric and confidential manners:
paroksham mama ca priyam
"The Vedic seers speak about these topics indirectly in esoteric terms, and I am pleased by such confidential descriptions."
When we see such words as pranah, manasa, sparsha-rupinah and chandah-mayah as occurring in verses 38 and 39, we should immediately understand the indirect and esoteric nature of the discussion, and thereby conclude the direct meaning being inferred by these words. We must learn the transcendental code of the Vedas. In reality everything is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam in full, but because we generally lack the proper vision to understand the indirect and esoteric discussions, we therefore need to study and refer to other more direct scriptures. Thus the commentaries of the Acharyas will help us to understand these topics.
The science of sound, shabda-vijnana, as explained in the above mentioned verses of Srimad Bhagavatam, is also summarily explained in the Pancharatrik text known as Lakshmi-tantra as follows:
mulam adharam arabhya dvistkantam upeyusi
udita aneka sahasra surya vahnindu sannibha
cakravat punar adharat santa pasyatha madhyama
vaikhari sthanam asadhya tatrasta sthanavartini
varnanam jananim bhutva bhogya prasnoumi gouriva
"Seated in the area starting from the muladhara to the position of dvistkanta with effulgence equal to the rising of millions of suns, fires and moons. Like a wheel from the adhara becoming the sounds known as santa, pashyati, madhyama. Reaching the position of vaikhari, there situated in eight places, viz., the throat etc. Being the mother of all sounds I bestow enjoyments like a cow."
|(H1)vākya [p= 935,3] [L=189770]||&c|
|(H2)vākya [p= 936,2] [L=189886]||n.|
|[L=189887]||a declaration (in law) , legal evidence|
|[L=189888]||an express declaration or statement (|
|[L=189890]||a sentence , period|
|[L=189891]||a mode of expression|
|[L=189892]||a periphrastic mode of expression|
|[L=189893]||a rule , precept , aphorism|
|[L=189895]||(in logic) an argument , syllogism or member of a syllogism|
|[L=189896]||the singing of birds|
Vāc: the concept of the word in selected Hindu Tantras - Page 220
|André Padoux- 1990 - 460 pages - Google eBook - Preview|
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Parātrīśikā-vivaraṇa: the secret of tantric mysticism
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Para Vak (Vac) Usage
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Other forms of Vac
|(H2)vācika [p= 937,3] [L=190217]||mfn.|
|(H3)vācyā* rtha [p= 938,1] [L=190265]||m.|
|(H3)loká--pravāda [p= 906,3] [L=183347]||m.|
|(H3)vakro* kti [p= 911,1] [L=184453]||f.|
|[L=184454]||a figure of speech consisting in the use of evasive speech or reply (either by means of a pun , or by an affected change of tone|