The mind begins the quest after Truth. It applies the law of cause and effect to discover the Reality. A little reflection shows that the effect is contained in the cause, and that the cause is superior to the effect. By inference we ascertain the priority of cause to effect. It is a logical error to assume that the relationship of cause and effect extends to infinity. Long before Einstein began to talk of the finiteness of time and space, the Holy Rishis had spoken of their finiteness. The law of cause and effect cannot be applied to the region beyond time and space. It has its birth in the time-spatial region and cannot go beyond it.
The unthinking man often asks the question: “If God is the cause of the world, what is the cause of God?”. The question is illogical and irrational because spirit is beyond the range of the law of cause and effect, abiding above cause and effect, time and space.
Thousands of theories, spiritual and secular, have been formulated to explain the origin of the universe. Each has a grain of truth in it but none is comprehensive enough to give the whole truth. Philosophy takes us up to a certain point in our quest after final Reality, but ultimately deserts us as Virgil deserted Dante in his Paradiso. Philosophy can establish the truth that there must be an ultimate Reality beyond the time-spatial region, but it cannot acquaint us with its nature.
Scepticism, materialism and atheism are similarly incomplete as systems of thought and afford no satisfaction to the intellect. The ultimate Reality cannot be known by the mind as it is constituted, just as an amoeba cannot be observed with the naked eye. The mind can only say: ‘Neti, neti (not this, not this)’.
The ultimate Reality is realizable through the mystic sense which is dormant in every human being. Everybody is not endowed with a geometrical sense; similarly, the spiritual sense is not common. One who wants to develop that refined sense which perceives the ultimate Reality, has to transcend the region of the intellect and enter the mystical principle. Mysticism is a supra-psychological method, and not everyone is competent to apply it. Among the mystic practices which help one to cognize the spiritual Reality, is repetition, in great faith, of the Holy Name of the Supreme Being. Among such Holy Names, OM is the highest. OM is not the word of any particular language.
It is the most natural syllable which every child begins to learn without being taught. It is a symbol of the All-Highest, and its repetition done in faith connects the mind of the yogi with the holy atmosphere of sages and liberated beings. All that is holy and best is summarized in this one word. In the Mandukya Upanishad, in the Gita, in the Vishnu Purana, and in the Yoga Vasishtha, it is called the highest and the holiest Name of God.
As the vibrations of music played anywhere fill the atmosphere everywhere, so the vibrations emanating from the high and holy personalities such as Holy Vyasa and Vasishtha, Holy Abraham and Isaiah, still pervade in the mental as well as in the physical spheres. Though Christ and Shri Dada are no longer physically with us, their holy vibrations are still with us and in us, and a mystic can reconstruct their form by manipulating these vibrations.
By the repetition of the Holy Name OM, the yogi can bring his mind in tune with the holy vibrations of the great sages and saints. Its repetition generates spiritual vibrations and connects the radiations of the yogi with those of the Higher Beings. The Holy Name is being constantly sung in mystic circles all over the world, and so it was in the prehistoric Vedic ages and in remote antiquity in Egypt.
To repeat the Holy Name, you must understand to a certain extent what it means. To a neophyte it means the One Infinite and Eternal Father of the Universe, to the advanced the Lord Immanent and Transcendental, and to the still more advanced his own Self—Sat Chit Ananda (Existence Consciousness Bliss). The Mandukya Upanishad contains an explanation of the Holy Word, and the holy Acharya Shankara calls the Upanishad “the profoundest essence of spiritual wisdom”.
The act of creation, or rather projection, by the Divine Spirit began with the pronouncing of the Holy Word OM. The spheres, as they roll onward in space, produce OM. Brahma at the beginning of creation said: “OM” These original vibrations, undergoing different density and intensity in milhons of variations, have materialized in the form of the world. As a diamond differs from a piece of coal—both are carbon—in the density of their atoms, so the difference between the abstract wisdom and a concrete stone is due to the variations of vibrations of the original OM.
In a soul-stirring poem written in Urdu by the late Saint Rama Tirtha, OM TAT SAT is said to be the seed of wisdom and of all mystic practices. The holy Saint says that he heard the OM resounding from Mount Kailash, and calls it the one soveriegn remedy of all spiritual ills, given by Lord Shiva Himself. For repetition the Holy Word must be given by a Guru (Teacher) in return for dakshina (an offering). Its repetition will convince any sceptic of its great spiritual value.