The Use and Science of the Gong
The most sublime instrument of the Yogi is the Gong. It is a musical instrument, a healing tool for the nervous system and a cauldron in which you can create alchemical blends of qualities that open and develop the Inner Self. Yogi Bhajan has asked that each ashram and yoga center have a gong and play it regularly. He said it would help repair the ravages of drugs in the nervous system. The sound of the gong creates deep relaxation, releases you from the torrent of thoughts and stimulates the glandular system to a higher level of functioning. Each student of kundalini yoga is encouraged to become familiar with the basic idea, use and experience of the gong.
To begin, look at the physical gong. It is a sheet of metal that is pounded into a variety of shapes. The gong is usually round. The surface is flat, but rounded on the circumference. The center of the gong is either flat, in which case it is just called a gong, or it is raised into a small dome, in which case it is called a muffled gong.
The surface of the gong is divided into three regions. Each region produces a different quality of sound when it is played. Each area is also symbolized differently. Think of the gong as the sun. It is a symbol of the spirit. It represents the initial stillness and potential of creation. The sound it issues forth is the first movement of the Infinite. Its vibrations are the life currents of all forms, beings and thoughts that exist or can exist. With a single stroke of the mallet, the gong radiates life across a spectrum of frequencies. With a rhythmical pulse that world is maintained and transformed with indefatigable creativity.
The gong is also a complete representation of the subtle world. The sun, or center, is the fire energy of awareness and consciousness, purusha. The region of the prakasha is where the mind projects and creates. The outer region of the prakriti is the manifestation in the concrete patterns of the body and nature.
The Inner Approach to the Gong
The gong is a sacred threshold. It is a portal that links the finite and the infinite experience of the self. Whenever our intention is to cross that portal, we must consciously link to the chain of being. The Golden Link should be established before playing the first note of the gong. The Golden Link is the connection with the lineage of teachers of higher consciousness. It is the connection to your own neutral mind. It is the connection that automatically arises when you consciously put your ego aside and choose to obey and be commanded by your highest self.
When asked to explain the effects of gong meditation and its uses, Yogi Bhajan responded:
“The gong is very simple. It is an inter-vibratory system. It is the sound of Creativity itself.”
The gong is nothing more, nothing less. One who plays the gong plays the universe. The gong is not an ordinary thing to play. Out of it came all music, all sounds, and all words. The sound of the gong is the nucleus of the Word.