The Friction Stick Phenomenon

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The sastras state that by chanting Kṛṣṇa’s holy name one will eventually see the Lord’s transcendental form, qualities and pastimes. How does this happen? The Svetasvatara Upanisad 1.13-14 gives a wonderful explanation how transcendental sound reveals the form of God:

“The material form (murti) of fire when latent in its source (i.e. the firewood) is not perceived–but yet remains there in its subtle form. When two sticks of wood are rubbed together with enough force or friction, then that dormant fire manifests.

“Similarly, by making one’s own body the lower friction stick (arani) and the syllable om (pranava) the upper friction stick, and by practicing the friction of meditation (dhyana) one may see the Supreme Personality of Godhead hidden within one’s heart.”

The verse above explains that the form of God is within every body (one friction stick), and the form of God is within the name Om, (the second friction stick). However, without applying the proper process of sadhana, namely chanting and meditation, one will not perceive the Lord either in his heart or in the holy name. One can conclude from this sastric statement that by sincerely chanting and meditating upon the Hare Kṛṣṇa maha-mantra, which contains om, one will perceive the form of Kṛṣṇa within his heart.

Therefore, using the “friction stick” of the maha-mantra is a prerequisite for attaining either internal or external darsana of Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa.

An excerpt from the book Art of Chanting

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