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Articles: Philosophy
Vedic Science - Shankha
- Ms. usha tipparaju
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The Significance of 'Shankha' in Vedic Sacraments By Pt Sriram Sarma Acharya The shankha (conch-shell) is regarded sacred and auspicious in the Indian system. Like the swastika symbol [c.f. Akhand Jyoti Jan - Feb 2005], it is an integral part of Vedic sacraments. It is blown to initiate religious ceremonies. God Vishnu is shown with a shankha in one hand and a disc (chakra) in the other. In the battlefield (Kurukshetra) of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna is said to have wielded a mighty shankha called the 'Panchajanya'. It is believed that when it is blown it announces the victory of good over evil. Using tremendous lung - power, stamina and sustained breath control the player blows air into the shell to produce a powerful resounding reverberation that is deemed to match with the primal sound of creation. While the shankha has but one note, by controlling the breath, the player can alter the magnitude, timbre and resonance of the note. Though it does not have much application as a musical instrument, the vibrant, sonorous sound of shankha inspires valor, courage, enthusiasm and inner spirit. The holy Gurbani of the Sikhs also recognizes these effects as 'Sankhan ki dhun ghantan ki kar phulan ki barkha barkhavae ...'. (The conch and the bell produce blissful sounds...). An adept yogi is said to subliminally hear the shankhanada (sound of perfect blowing of a shankha), within himself during the higher stages of trance in Nadayoga Sadhana. When the conch is blown with controlled breath, the primordial sound of 'Om' (Oam) emanates from it. This eternal sound is said to be the origin of all Vedas. All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of the omnipresent sublime sound of Om. It was this sound that was chanted by the Lord before manifesting the cosmos. It represents the creation and the Truth behind it. It represents dharma or righteousness that is one of the four noble goals of human life.

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