Seek the sound that never ceases. The winds of God’s grace constantly flow into this world through Holy AUM. The Sacred Sound has many names, and mystics of all religions revere it. Just as light is intrinsic to a lighted lamp, the sound of AUM is integral to the presence of Spirit. God’s nature is bliss, and to share His joy, He created the universe through Cosmic Vibration. The sound of the Cosmic Vibration is AUM, and listening to it brings the greatest bliss imaginable. AUM is the Omnipotent Force that propels each soul toward Spirit. It is the sacred, inner fire. As you approach the cosmic blaze, you feel at first its radiant, soothing comfort; then, as you come closer—AUM’s liberating flames consume you—and bring you to God.
We have all heard of the sacred word AUM, and heard it chanted as a mantra by meditators. But what is AUM, and what does it signify? This book takes readers on a journey into the deeper teachings of AUM, and the blissful realizations that await those who access this expansive sound vibration.
Table of Contents
1. The Melody of Love
2. The Pristine Vibration
3. Blessed Is the Man that Heareth Me
4. Listening with Devotion
5. Chanting and Attuning to AUM
6. Expand Your Consciousness
7. Absolute Security and Assurance
8. Your Friend and Liberator
9. What If I Don’t Hear AUM?
10. Seeing AUM in Nature
11. Go Within
12. How the Guru Frees Us
13. Living in the Consciousness of AUM
14. Play Thy Celestial Music Through Me
The Cosmic Fire
Articles from The Daily Meditator by Nayaswami Bharat
• The Joy of Interiorization
• Meditation Centers and Frees You
• How Should We Meet Our Tests?
• Contentment is the Greatest Virtue
• Take a Long-Term View
• The Mysterious Devotee: A True Story
• Why Hong-Sau Works
• Dive into the Sea of Spirit
• Choose the Highest
United in AUM
The Universal Path to Spirit
AUM is God’s consciousness vibrating throughout creation. It is the
bridge that unites Nature and Spirit, human and cosmic consciousness.
Holy AUM is the stream of God’s consciousness into which the soul
merges to discover its own highest nature.
There are many ways to enter this stream, many paths and techniques,
but once one is in the stream of AUM his experience is universal:
knowledge of the Self, knowledge of the Divine within.
No one path defines or confines the experience. Although one naturally
reveres his own path, he shouldn’t mistake the path for the goal, lest he
separate himself from others on different, yet equally valid paths.
We are all children of AUM. In Swami Kriyananda’s words, “AUM is,
essentially, what religion is all about. AUM transcends the conflicting
ways of belief, and offers mankind a universal highway of awakening.”
Absolute Security and Assurance
Communing with AUM makes one fearless. One’s reality shifts from the ego, which can never be secure, to the Cosmic Vibration, which is the essence of all creation. Ego consciousness isolates us from the rest of life. Those who deeply merge with AUM, however, know and say, “I am the whole universe. What can possibly harm me?”
In his book Rays of the One Light, Swami Kriyananda writes, “Human vision beholds individuality and separation everywhere. Divine vision beholds the oneness of cosmic vibration, of which all things, no matter how diverse, are manifestations. Cosmic Sound and Cosmic Light: These are eternal. The world, as revealed to us by our senses, is illusory.”
When one is deeply absorbed in AUM and feels its awesome power, the external world is seen as only a dream-thought. One knows, without a doubt, that only AUM is real.
Swami Rama Tirtha said blissfully, “Nature is my body,” because through deep communion with AUM he felt he was united with the trees and farthest stars. In his chant, “Marching Light,” he expresses the omnipotent confidence native to every soul who knows AUM:
The world turns aside to make room for me;
I come, Blazing Light! And the shadows must flee.
I ride on the Tempests, astride on the Gale,
My gun is the Lightning my shots never fail.
I hitch to my chariot the Fates and the Gods.
With Thunder of cannon proclaim it abroad:
Wake! Wake up! Be free,
Liberty! Liberty! Liberty! AUM
The Cosmic Vibration is beyond duality; therefore, in its reality, there’s no opposite or opposition. In its consciousness, there is no myself against another—but myself as all others.
Swami Sivananda illustrated the universal consciousness of one immersed in AUM with the analogy of a canvas with material objects painted on it: “The canvas is real, but the pictures in the canvas are unreal because the fire [painted] in the canvas cannot burn your fingers, the knife in the canvas cannot cut your fingers, the tiger in the canvas cannot bite you. AUM is the only solid reality.”
Swami Kriyananda has written a marvelous visualization for affirming and experiencing the universal consciousness of AUM. You can use this visualization when you feel in opposition to anything or anyone, or to unite with AUM during meditation.
Imagine a choir composed of every atom in the universe, each one an individual, but all of them singing together in blissful harmony.
In your own mind, join that mighty choir, composed of all life. Determine from today on to sing in harmony with the universe. Don’t impose on the great anthem of life your little wishes for how you want the music to sound. Unite your notes to that Infinite Sound.
The more you do so, the more deeply you will know yourself to be an expression of the soaring anthem of Infinity.
—from Awaken to Superconsciousness
Nothing Can Touch You
“When AUM came,” a lady once said to Paramhansa Yogananda, “all my troubles vanished.” My friend, Mari, told me recently how her troubles had also vanished when she attuned to the consciousness of AUM.
Several years ago she was waiting to make a deposit at her bank when, suddenly, she found herself in the middle of a robbery. It was a highly stressful situation, and Mari said she “lost it” emotionally.
After the robbery, Mari was disappointed in herself for reacting so emotionally. To change this tendency in herself, she began chanting AUM all day long. Whenever there was a tense situation, Mari would silently and lovingly call on the healing power of AUM to calm herself and others.
AUM is the Great Comforter. Paramhansa Yogananda said that when you are in the consciousness of AUM, nothing can touch you.
Three years later, Mari was again at her bank when another robbery occurred. This time it was a much more violent one.
During this bank heist, Mari was knocked to the floor. But her long practice of thinking of and chanting AUM kept her calm and centered.
As Mari began crawling discreetly away from the robbers, a hysterical woman latched on to her; Mari guided the terrified woman out of the robbers’ sight, where they both would be safe.
Later, during an interview with the FBI, Mari was told that the odds of being involved in two bank robberies were incredibly low. She was the only witness who could give an accurate description of the robbers. Mari attributed this ability to the calmness she felt from tuning in to the unifying presence of AUM.
While backpacking in California’s Southern Sierra Nevada mountains, three women from Ananda Village had a dramatic experience of the power of AUM. On the fourth day of their trip, a furious thunderstorm caught them at 10,000 feet. Loud cracks of lightning and massive explosions of thunder crashed around them. Torrential rain fell; then hail began to fall harder and harder. Desperate for shelter, they ran to a couple of small trees, which soon proved inadequate protection against the pounding hailstorm.
Seeing a large tree nearby, they bolted for its sheltering branches. Already wet, they struggled out of their packs and dug for their rain jackets. The temperature, meanwhile, had plummeted, and the hail began to fall even harder.
They knew they were in trouble. In their drenched condition, hypothermia was a real possibility. They badly needed shelter. Yet, standing under the highest tree around wasn’t wise—because tall trees are perfect lightning rods. They wondered aloud, “Do we risk hypothermia or lightning strikes?” Both options were dangerous.
Then one of the women began chanting to all-pervading AUM. The two other ladies quickly joined in. Suddenly, they felt as if a bubble of protection surrounded them. Their fear was gone—a feeling of awe and gratitude filled their hearts. For twenty minutes, they chanted and enjoyed the majestic show of lightning and hail. After the storm, everything was transformed into a white wonderland; they felt blessed beyond measure by the love and protection of AUM.
Being in AUM gives one absolute security. The whole world could go up in flames and it wouldn’t matter to you. Swami Rama Tirtha was a great devotee of AUM. He chanted AUM always—during lectures, conversations, and solitary walks in nature. Before he knew AUM, he said, every whiff of wind threw him off balance. But after constant practice and remembrance of AUM, he became completely free of annoyance, anxiety, and fear. He told his students, “If one man can do this, you can, too.”
Healing Techniques with AUM
If you are troubled before going to sleep, write AUM or Amen on your pillow with your fingers. Mentally visualize light around your body, look into the spiritual eye and say several times, mentally or loudly: I am Light. Darkness fly away.
Standing or sitting, touch both of your palms in front of your body, and then swing them to touch behind your back, and then forward again several times in rapid succession, chanting AUM, and you will be protected.
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Karma and Reincarnation
“AUM: The Melody of Love is a powerful and transformative book. It goes directly to the heart, and brings the reader to the heart of Creation itself.”
—Kathryn Gann, Director, Theosophical Society in America
“In this concise book, Joseph Bharat Cornell skillfully shares engaging insights into AUM and offers a number of meditations that help others experience the profundity of this sacred sound for themselves. This book will be a treasure for all who read it and take its words to heart.”
—Elizabeth McAnally, Doctoral Candidate, California Institute of Integral Studies; Website Manager and Newsletter Editor, Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
“This book will be an inspiration to anyone seeking direct contact with divine love and bliss. Cornell’s AUM: The Melody of Love will join the select list of simple, practical spiritual guides that anyone, anywhere, regardless of faith or persuasion, will find accessible and life-changing.”
—Joseph Selbie, co-author The Yugas
“Every sentence is so deep and meaningful that I paused many times while reading—not just to assimilate what was written—but because, in that moment, I actually could go within and feel a touch of the divine. AUM: The Melody of Love is a precious gift.”
—Vidya Dhote, PhD, microbiologist
“AUM: The Melody of Love is a wonderful gift for those seeking an ecological spirituality. In simple and clear language, Joseph Bharat Cornell tells how to listen to the Song of the Universe and, through meditation, how to merge with the Divine Sound. . . . [A] spiritual gold mine.”
—Rev. Karen MacQueen, Episcopal priest, Founder of Hindu-Episcopal Dialogue, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
“Cornell invites us, through AUM, into the very source of nature, the fount of universal religious experience, and the essential experience of self. This intriguing book could very well change the way you see everything.”
—Garth Gilchrist, nature writer, storyteller, portrayer of John Muir
“AUM: The Melody of Love offers the sincere reader a sacred pathway to an ever-deepening experience of the divine. What one especially feels, reading these pages, is God’s love for all of us, His human children, and how much He yearns for us to reunite with Him through the liberating power of AUM.”
—Naidhruva Rush, Editor, The Essence of Clarity
“This wonderful book . . . illustrates that people who spend time in wilderness and those who meditate have at least one important thing in common: they know the sound of silence. . . . The Bushmen call it ‘the hiss of the stars.’ . . . It is also called AUM.”
—Vance G. Martin, President, The WILD Foundation
“Nayaswami Bharat takes AUM deeper, penetrating beneath the superficial uses of the primal sound and bringing out its true power. Readers will benefit greatly from this wise and practical book.”
—Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West
“AUM: The Melody of Love is an extraordinary guide for those who want to live their lives in a world filled with love, wisdom, and benevolent power. The resonating and elucidating words of this book envelop the reader with a powerful sense of clarity and hope.”
—Kate Akers, Director, Sharing Nature New Zealand
“Cornell has written a virtual guidebook, groundbreaking in its exploration of what is typically a mystical subject. He has made AUM comprehensible and accessible. This is a wonderfully insightful and delightful resource that cannot fail to inspire and enlighten its readers.”
—Nayaswami Nefretete Rasheed, PhD
“This tiny treasure of a book will become an enduring favorite of many devotees and will take its place on the reference shelf of many spiritual teachers.”
—Dana Lynne Andersen, Founder, Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness
“Perfect: beautifully written; clearly inspired. It is easy to read, yet so profound. It is uplifting ‘beyond imagination of expectancy,’ and it carried me right into the center of the experiences the author was describing.”
—Shanti Rubenstone, MD
“Aum: Melody of Love was thrilling to read; and one could feel it was written from a level of clear insight, inspiration, and deep devotion. It gave me a deeper understanding of what AUM is, and intensified my longing to commune with it.”
—Krishnadas LoCicero, teacher and meditation instructor
“This book is wonderfully uplifting. It speaks to me of an ecstatic union with God.”
—Jon Parsons, attorney-at-law, author of A Fight for Religious Freedom
“I was in bliss while reading this book!”
—Dr. Kristy Fessler, Maine
“AUM: The Melody of Love has reinvigorated my spiritual engine. I’ve never realized before how accessible AUM is! This is a jewel of a book.”
— Michael Christian, Eureka, CA
“Immediately upon receiving this much-anticipated book, I opened it to a random page and was greeted by these words: “Every bird and animal is singing AUM. Treat every sound you hear with reverence.” I couldn’t read any more—I had to sit with that transmission. Days later I finished the book and felt as though I had received a personal invitation to infinity. I entreat you to join me and let Joseph Bharat Cornell guide us there.”
—Tamarack Song, author of Song of Trusting the Heart and Entering the Mind of the Tracker
“Astoundingly beautiful, inspiring, and practical. It buzzed with the energy of Love, Wisdom, and Holiness when I first held it in my hand. I have been bathing in its Beauty and Power ever since. A great work. It is now permanently by my bed.”
—Roderic Knowles, author of Gospel of the Living Tree: For Mystics, Lovers, Poets & Warriors and co-founder of University of the Living Tree
“While reading this gem of a book I could hear the humming of Aum in the Trees, Plants, Rocks, Birds, and Mountain around me. Nature became a living orchestra and my body resonated with it. It was humming the Melody of Love. I bathed myself in the Presence of the Divine Mother, feeling nourished and comforted. The book takes you on a journey deeper and deeper in the realm of Love, Joy, and Bliss. It awakens a desire to awaken this Divine Presence in every cell of my body! It inspires me to create our own Garden of Bliss! So healing to read about a God that is Love, Joy, and Bliss, after two thousand years of an image of God as a critical, judging, distant, fearful authority! The heartfelt personal stories bring home the divinely inspired messages. It’s great to read the practical implications!”
—Elly van Veen, author of Cosmic Lovers: A Journey to the Heart of a Soul Mate Relationship
“In his book Aum: The Melody of Love: The Spirit Behind All Creation, Joseph Cornell communicates and exemplifies profound experiences and inner wisdom that he has realized through deep commitment, long practice, and leadership in the spiritual tradition of Paramhansa Yogananda. He offers readers—both ones outside of any spiritual tradition and ones committed to any specific tradition:
-Inspiration to pursue spiritual development;
-Valuable information about sacred sound, its meanings, and its contributions to realization;
-Useful practices to develop the experiences he describes.
With more and more people in the U.S. and elsewhere searching for deeper meaning and more fulfilling lives, this book will find an interested and serious audience ready to learn from this gifted teacher and author.”
—James E. Crowfoot, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Urban and Regional Planning, Dean Emeritus, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, MI, and Former President of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH
“This beautiful offering reveals how to hear, chant, visualize, feel, and live in the consciousness of AUM, the Cosmic Sound, to attain serenity, fearlessness, and deeper intuition.”
—Sita Stuhlmiller, Light of Consciousness magazine
“AUM is the Cosmic Sound from which all creation arises, and for millennia spiritual seekers of all traditions have found their paths to the Divine through direct communion with it. In his new book, Joseph Bharat Cornell brings us all closer to the healing and protective powers of this holy vibration. Even the reading experience itself seems to embody the experience of AUM in a way that is at once comforting, thrilling, and inspiring. Included are numerous visualizations and guided meditations, as well as a selection of other articles he’s written on meditation and on a spiritual approach to life. This is a marvelous book for anyone looking to deepen their meditation, commune with God through Nature, or bring a greater sense of the Divine into their life.”
—Tandava Waldon, Co-manager of East West Bookstore, East West Bookstore Magazine
“The book, AUM: The Melody of Love, provides a shortcut for one to have a personal experience of the AUM vibration through the vivid writing of Joseph Bharat Cornell. Cornell explains and shows that AUM is the pathway back to the Divine. He has created many exercises that help one inwardly access AUM. I’ve used some of these exercises in meditation classes and the students have responded very positively. This subject could easily be approached in a scholarly and abstract way, but Cornell brings the sacred into a very practical and accessible realm. Thank you for this beautiful book! It is unlike any other that I have read.”
—Dharmini Iyer, meditation teacher, Chennai, India
“Cornell includes many . . . ways in this small paperback to practice with AUM, including experimental meditations, visualizations, and creative exercises. He sees it as a way to connect with the emanations of Divine Wisdom and the eight attributes of God—love, peace, joy, power, wisdom, calmness, light, and sound:
‘Living in the consciousness of AUM is the highest way to serve others. Then AUM’s thrilling bliss flows through your inner being and touches the hearts of all creation.’ ‘Meditate on AUM,’ Swami Rama Tirtha said, ‘and be a giver of peace to mankind.'”
—Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, co-hosts of Spirituality & Practice, co-authors of Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life
“AUM is the Cosmic Sound from which all creation arises, and for millennia spiritual seekers of all traditions have found their paths to the Divine through direct communion with it. In his new book, Joseph Cornell (Nayaswami Bharat) brings us all closer to the healing and protective powers of this holy vibration. Even the reading experience itself seems to embody the experience of AUM in a way that is at once comforting, thrilling, and inspiring. Included are numerous visualizations and guided meditations, as well as a selection of other articles he’s written on meditation and on a spiritual approach to life. This is a marvelous book for anyone looking to deepen their meditation, commune with God through Nature, or bring a greater sense of the Divine into their life.”
—East West Bookstore