THE EFFECT OF WORDS on our consciousness and on the material world has been made visible through the amazing work of Japanese scientist Masuro Emoto. In 1992, Dr. Emoto, a quantum physicist from Yokohama, performed a series of experiments on water crystals around the world. These experiments revealed the astonishing fact that water is receptive to external messages communicated through sound. These communications may be spoken through human language, written by means of printed characters, played as music, or even thought in the mind — a testimony to the power of the word as shabda, and also to sound as nada.
Positive messages — kind thoughts or positive words such as “love” and “thank you” — actually purified the water. The effect was visible as beautiful hexagonal patterns formed in the water crystals. The same thing happened when the water was exposed to classical music, such as Bach’s Goldberg variations. In contrast, water exposed to cruel thoughts, heavy-metal music, or negative printed characters (for example, words such as “Hitler” or even “you fool” written and pasted on a bottle of water) formed water crystals of a distorted and chaotic shape.
Emoto’s work provides us with evidence that human energy within the sort of thoughts, words, ideas, and music features a vibrational quality that affects the molecular structure of water. When we reflect on the fact that our physical bodies consist of about 70 percent water, and that an equal percentage of the earth’s surface is water, we begin to get a sense of the magnitude of this discovery. We have tremendous power to affect our health and well-being in positive, powerful ways through our words.
In the language of psychology, water is a symbol of the unconscious mind. In the Bible, water was associated with the Divine body; the first line of Genesis begins with “In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” For thousands of years, water has been the first ritual ingredient for Hindu people; many sorts of mantra using water are employed today. Imagine, then, the power of mantras as words of transformation and their ability to affect our physical and mental consciousness. From Emoto’s research, we realize that our words and sounds not only affect our own bodies, but also the bodies of other living organisms, which also contain water. It is therefore possible for us to consciously transform the world if we believe and trust in the power of our words.
Another key figure is Dr. Larry Dossey, who was instrumental in waking up the medical world to the sound of prayer and its ability to affect health, life, and consciousness. Dr. Dossey found that prayer was effective regardless of whether the subject believed in the process or not and regardless of the distance involved. The fact that our words have the power to affect life so deeply should inspire us to refine our sound, our voice, and our personal vibration field. This is the value of practicing Shabda Yoga.