The morning of December 11th, my wife and I, along with our four and half month old granddaughter, were walking along the shore of Pacific Ocean in San Diego. My wife was ecstatic, enjoying the weather and scenery while holding our granddaughter in a baby carrier. As if by alchemy, my granddaughter had transformed my wife into a child. She had a permanent smile etched on her face, beaming with joy while the waves washed her feet, and asking everyone who passed to take pictures (and they obliged generously). I was enjoying these beautiful playful moments.
The waves were cheerfully playing and rolling over each other. In their play, the waves were magnifying the mysterious humming sound of everything in the cosmos thousands of time. It occurred to me that this beautiful tapestry of sounds has been playing since the creation of this universe. In Indian philosophical texts, the humming of the universe is called Anahat Nad (unstruck sound), and this bell is ringing in every living and non-living object. Our earth is perpetually expanding and contracting with the vibrations caused by this hum, The vast expanse of wonder laying in front of me was creating a labyrinth of joy from which escaping at that moment was unfathomable. The ocean oblivious to the presence of people at the shore was working effortlessly to please everyone and anyone.
This reminded me of the following lines from the movie Color Purple:
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”
Last week an observatory in Chile got a fingerprint of a massive black hole 800 million times more massive than our sun. Its humming signal took 13 billion light years to traverse the realm of space and time. The signal was generated when the universe was only 690 million years old (current estimated age of the universe is 14 billion years, and age of planet earth 4.6 billion years). One cannot help but marvel at the intricacy and beauty of our inter-connectedness. This humming is like a continuous song of praise and gratitude for the mysterious energy and spirit which is behind this magnificent order.
The existence and experience of the rhythm of the unstuck sound as life giving force made Indian Sages say Aham Brahamasmi (I am the force of the Universe). The songs of praise sung by us quench our thirst for the mysterious and wonderful and connect us with this sound (energy). Every religion realized this aspect of our yearning and incorporated hymns of praise and wonder. In fact many religious thinkers of all faiths believe that the purpose of life is to sing praise(s).
We sing praises for providing reset to our mind and resynch it with that mysterious bell which is ringing in all of the cosmos. In Sikh Holy Book, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, there is a hymn which says that the praise of the lord is my prayer:
Gurmat Naam Meraa Praan Sakhaaee, Hari Keerat Hamree Rahraas
May the divine enlightenment obtained through Guru’s teaching be my support of life and the Divine Praises my way of life.
Guru Ram Das, p. 10