The tone of a spoken word, the music of a phrase, often
suggest a meaning which is quite different from what these
words and phrases really mean. Simple words such as yes
and no convey different meanings with different tones. The
music of a phrase may convey either a sincere thought or
a sarcasm. Not everyone can explain very well what tone
it is that makes the meaning different, or what music it
is that changes the sense of a phrase. But automatically
one may say an ordinary word or a phrase in a tone which
one normally uses to express deep feeling. When this happens
many plead that it is not their fault if they have been
misunderstood, and that they cannot be blamed for having
only said a few simple words – and indeed, if the same words
had been said in another tone they would have been simple.
When we go deeper into this subject we find that every
vowel is suggestive of a certain feeling, and that therefore
names and words have a certain effect upon the speaker and
the listener apart from their meaning. For instance, it
is interesting to gather from the sound of the word why
the flower should have been called flower and why the stone
should have been called stone. We feel from the sound of
stone that it is hard, solid. And we feel from the
word flower that it is soft and beautiful. Those
who speak without any knowledge of tone and music, those
who have no intuition of how to express their thoughts and
feelings in a proper tone, lose a great deal in life; for
it takes away much of the sense which they wish to express
in their speech, and often it even suggests something quite
different from what they had meant. We very often hear people
say, 'I told him over and over again, but he would not listen.'
But this may be because they were ignorant of the tone and
music of speech. There is a psychological reason why he
would not listen: perhaps the tone was not right or the
music might not have been correct.
Voice has great mystery. The voice of the individual
is suggestive of something, not only of his thought, feeling,
and action, but of his grade of evolution, of his past,
present, and future. If ten people say the same thing, we
will find each of them suggesting a different sense, a sense
which goes further than the words themselves. While the
word reaches as far as the ears, feeling reaches further
into the heart. It is the voice that carries a sense, a
feeling, and it expresses so much that the more one studies
it the more one finds that voice has a very great significance.
When a person says, 'I spoke, but nobody heard me,' he does
not usually know that it was because of his voice that he
was not heard. It was not what was said, but what the voice
conveyed. Not everyone will notice it, but everyone will
feel it automatically. Kind, wise, foolish, weak, or powerful
personalities will all show their character in their voice.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that sometimes a
person's voice expresses quite a different meaning from
what he says in words.
When we trace the secret of language in history we find
that many languages known to us today have come from just
a very few ancient languages. But if we go further than
history takes us we shall find that all languages have come
from one language, a language that the human race knew in
its cradle, a language that man learned from intuition.
The names given to everything were derived from what each
thing suggested. Things were called according to what people
intuitively felt on seeing and feeling them. That is why
the nearer we get to the ancient languages, the more we
find the secret of psychological suggestion; for every word
of the ancient languages has a psychological value, and
is suggestive of its sense in such a profound way that it
is as if the word had come as a reaction to what the actual
thing had suggested to a person. Our minds, corrupted by
the new languages, which have themselves been corrupted
by mixture, cannot conceive or fully appreciate that feeling
which one finds in an ancient language, and which is suggestive
not only of the meaning of the word, but of the nature and
character and mystery of what it is identified with.
It is on this principle that Mantra Yoga was founded.
Words which sprang from the intuition of the Yogis and thinkers,
words which conveyed the meaning in a most profound manner,
such words were collected for the use of the adepts, who
repeated them and who profited by repeating them. Mantra
Yoga means a science of words, words which were sacred and
helpful in one's spiritual evolution. The Yogis have worked
on this principle for many thousands of years, and have
discovered a great mystery in the power of words. Sufis
of all ages have followed this principle of making use of
words which are suggestive of a certain sense, a sense which
one wishes to bring out and make a reality in one's life.
No doubt it is necessary to know the meaning of the sacred
words one repeats; this gives a thousand times greater effect.
And the spoken word has a greater power than silent concentration,
provided there is power of concentration and sincere feeling
at the back of that word.
The suggestion of sacred words first impresses one's
own spirit, helping one to develop that quality, that virtue,
that merit, that power of inspiration which the words suggest.
And the mechanism of one's inner being is such that every
word that one repeats so many times becomes each time more
living, and then this mechanism goes on repeating the same
word automatically. Thus, if a person has repeated a sacred
word for fifteen minutes, throughout the day and night this
word goes on, as the spirit repeats it continually.
Another effect of this repetition is that the word is
reflected upon the universal Spirit, and the universal mechanism
then begins to repeat it automatically. In other words,
what a person repeats, God then begins to repeat, until
it is materialized and has become a reality on all planes
There are also dangerous words. There are actually so
many dangerous words that one cannot warn people against
them. In order to avoid words of bad effect there is a very
amusing custom in India among certain people. Instead of
saying, 'When you were ill I came to see you,' they will
say, 'When your enemies were ill I came to see you.'
The mystics of all ages have attached great importance
to the mystery of the word, and every adept who has persevered
in the path of Mantra Yoga has always arrived at the desired
issue. No doubt perseverance, patience, and faith, all three
are required in accomplishing a mystical work by the power