Kirpal Singh, light and sound principle

Kirpal Singh was born on the 6th of February, 1894 in Sayyad Kasrab, a small town in Punjab, India. But just this first sentence could be wrong. Namely, that Kirpal Singh's way to express it is: physical birth is not decisive, but rather the second, 'astro-mental' birth, known in India as a 'spiritual' one. And that this spiritual birth is not represented by a single moment in a lifetime, but is manifested very early and repeatedly in the course of a lifetime.

When explaining his life and his mission he often annotated this to his statements: "I had background." This expression goes to say, that special conditions existed for his life from the beginning on. With that, no extraordinary conditions are meant. In fact, conditions are meant which are valid for each individual in certain ways, but don't necessarily lead to the establishment of such great 'spiritual' acts. Briefly speaking and in accordance with Kirpal Singh's own teachings: we may call such conditions, such background, which also relate to a 'astro-mental' or second birth, a manifestation, or a revelation of the 'Light'- and 'Sound'- principle in human life. After all, Kirpal Singh not only signposted the most substantial cornerstones of his teachings, his Surat Shabd Yoga, with these terms ('Light' and 'Sound' as universal primal forces), but also the cornerstones of his life.1


According to Kirpal Singh, the 'Light' and 'Sound' principal is a universal one, a dualism found in all aspects of life and of matter. This is basically nothing new. Most religious scripts describe an equality of the Divine with 'light' on the one hand and of 'sound', 'tone' or 'word', on the other. The realm of visuality (optic-realism) is contrasted to conceptualization, symbolism and semantics.2 I will be reflecting upon this in particular during the course of this scientific comparison and biography. In any case, this dual principle can not only be applied to Kirpal Singh's life and teachings as a guideline, but to my own remarks as well. And it will become obvious, that this dual principle also exists in psychoanalysis. In psychoanalysis we conceptualize this with the profound duality of 'drives', as in a striving, an instinct - here especially with the scopic- (drive to see) and invocation-drive (drive to speak). This provides us with a firm guideline for our further progress from these first lines on.3

1 Surat means attention, Shabd means Word in the sense of logos, as in a basic symbolism. I will be explaining 'Light and Sound' several times later on.

2 Philosopher, J. Grünfeld, dedicated his book Conceptual Relevance, (Grüner Publishing, 1989) entirely to the dualism of reality (the real) and semantics (the meaningful). He doesn't come to a conclusion on how the two principles are to be combined. The meaningful is always not realistic enough and vice versa. This book will contain a solution to the issue, though.

3 Freud spoke of the dualism of Eros-libido and death-drive, while Lacan gives scopic- and invocation-drive special emphasis. He also adds a third element, the real, to the above mentioned dualism of the symbolic (significant) and the imaginary-realistic (image-like). The scopic-drive then would be more on the side of the imaginary-realistic (Kirpals Light), the invocation-drive on the side of the symbolic (Kirpals Sound), but both would have a part in the real (In Kirpal's Yoga-System the real is called the "causal-plane" - further explications are given later).