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Registered User
(8/7/05 11:20 am)
my modification of Hong Sau
To all Walrusites,
I'd like to share with you something that SRF would consider controversial---a slight modification in Hong Sau. The bottom line is, I've found that, for myself at least, if I say, "Hahm Sah" rather than "Hong Sau" I get much better results. That's actually a profound understatement, because it feels like the whole interior world opens up for me when I make this slight modification. Chances are, this is only something that works for me, but since it has benefitted me so much, I thought I'd share it with y'all. I asked Bro. Achalananda what he thought, and he said two things: (1) Daya Mata is the only one who can officially change a technique to suit an individual, and (2) since I was getting so much better results, if it were up to him, he'd go for it. Note that Brother was not recommending this to anyone else, just saying that if such a slight change brought such better results for me, why not go with it?
So, why would I make such a change? Well, after 30+ years of trying to do Hong Sau the "proper" way, I still found my vocal muscles trying to open to make the sounds of Hong and Sau. I know, I know, you're supposed to do them mentally, but my throat still wouldn't cooperate. Then one night at Hidden Valley I was sitting at the fireplace wth some of the guys and someone said that Bro. Dharmananda mentioned in one of his talks that the "correct" way to do Hong Sau is "So Ham", so I started trying it that way. I was encouraged by the fact that if you look up Hong Sau in the index of Master's Gita you only see one reference, and it takes you to p. 1089, where Hong Sau is described as So Ham. Well, after some experimentation, I found this wasn't working for me either. There's something about the "Hong" or Hahm or Ham or however you want to spell it, that allows the mind to "dig in" and concentrate at the beginning of the breath. So I asked Bro. Achalananda about it, and he said that So Ham is the correct way to do it after you're enlightened, because So Ham means "I am He", while Hong Sau actually means "He, I am". It's a subtle difference, but I understood Brother to mean that "I am He" affirms what you already know, that you are one with God, whereas "He I am" affirms what you want to know. Guess I'm not enlightened, because "So Ham" didn't cut it for me. Just a note on pronunciation and spelling here---Master's Gita uses "Ham", but that leaves the pronunciation of the "a" in question. I'm pretty sure you don't pronounce it the same way Americans spell the food derived from the cooked rump of a dead pig. So, I add an extra "h" in there, so the "a" sounds like the noise you make when the doctor opens your mouth and tells you to go "ah". Anyway, armed with the idea that the first part of the mantra was properly pronounced "Hahm" not Hong, I finally realized what my problem was---Master's exaggeration of the proper Sanscrit, turning Hahm in to Hong, was somehow not working for me, I think because of the throat muscle explanation I gave above. Well, if Hong is properly pronounced Hahm, then what about Sau? Maybe Master exaggerated that also, and indeed Sau sounds like an exaggeration of the "So" in the Gita, although I am not sure how "So" should be properly pronounced. All I know is that "Sah" seems most natural to me, and the combination of "Hahm" and "Sah" is pure magic, at least for me. Heaven knows if this works for anyone else. I'd be really interested to hear what others think.

Edited by: Paramadas at: 8/7/05 10:41 pm
Registered User
(8/8/05 8:10 am)
Re: my modification of Hong Sau
(This message was left blank)

Edited by: ranger20 at: 12/14/05 2:42 pm
Registered User
(8/8/05 12:11 pm)
Re: my modification of Hong Sau

That link is suspect in my opinion. It sounds as if the guy is selling sex and making up stories.

Yogananda was simply trying to get a sanskrit pronunciation guide when he came up with hong sau.

In somewhat the same way, the SRF pronunication of the traditional common krishna mantra is also butchered.

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