Shabda Yoga, which can be translated as “word yoga.” Although “shabda” refers to the spoken, “sounded,” or uttered word, it may be worth applying the principles of shabda to the written word as well, since a word is sounded in our minds as we read or write. We may further extend our use of word to include electronic communications such as e-mail, bringing the ancient principles of this stream of Sound Yoga into some of the most important activities of our present lives.
SHABDA YOGA teaches us that we can learn to manifest our own universe if we apply the principles outlined in St. John’s gospel. These principles were well understood and practiced by the ancient Vedic seers and Rishis, who were also great poets. Vedic mantras, which are the classic form of Shabda Yoga, are well-sculpted poetic nuances. Another form of Shabda Yoga is poetry from around the world. Rap music, too, can be a type of Shabda Yoga if it is employed with yogic consciousness and the intention of transforming the world, rather than as an unbridled outlet for negative energy and frustration.
Present-day motivational speakers and self-help authors have drawn attention to this age-old understanding of the power of human speech to manifest our dreams, our desires, and our fears. They teach us to change self-negating thoughts into positive affirmations in order to create more wealth and success in our lives. Much of what we think does, in fact, manifest into reality.
Imagine, then, that we widen the scope of this possibility beyond personal wealth and ambition to include profound matters of the soul. Imagine that we can draw energy from the sound of animals and birds, the stars, the sun, and the moon. Imagine channeling all that energy into our own nervous system. We would be able to build an immense reservoir of power to transform our families, our communities, our planet, and ourselves with the same power we have been seeking outside ourselves. Shabda Yoga is an age-old system that is a spiritual technology of the soul, a system already in use that can be expanded to create a better world for us all.