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Anahata Shabda In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Anahata Shabda is the un-uttered or un-manifest word. It is an object of yogic experience. The word ‘aha’, when compounded by ‘an’, means unbeaten or undivided. In its un-uttered form the word is called ‘ahata’, but when spoken it is beaten or broken and is accordingly taken differently. Anahata is often equated with the mystic syllable Om or Shamkara. It is the para of the Advaitins and pasyanti of Bhartrhari. In Tantra, the language of dvadasadalapadam (a lotus having twelve leaves of the minor part sushumna) of the heart is called anahata shabda.

Thus anahata shabda is not the language we utter, read, hear and write. It is not the object of perception by the senses. It is the object of direct or yogic experience and is only known by implication or inference as the ontological apposition of the cognition accrued through the verbal utterances/noises, which are perceived (anahata shabda).

In the scheme of four levels of speech, according to Bhartrhari – para, pasyanti, madhyama and vaikhari – the differences between language and meanings are obviously there at the madhyama and vaikhari level. Yet the differences are only internalized at the madhyama level while they are also externalized at the vaikhari level. Pasyanti is the level of the non-difference between language and meaning and at the para level speech is equated with indivisible consciousness.

The indivisible inner-sabda which is realized by sabdapurvayoga or by sabdasadhana and is inferred on the basis of cognition in the mind by language which is itself the ontological substratum of sphota (the language of the mind) is called the anahata sabda.