Listening to the sound of AUM in the right ear


Swami Kriyananda (in some of his books) and others have said that one should only meditate on the AUM sound from the right ear (and not the left ear). What the reason is for this?

Other teachers say it doesn' t matter which side — right or left. I practice Kriya Yoga in another tradition, and we are told to listen to the sound from both the right and left sides.

These differences have created some confusion for me in my meditation practice. I'd greatly appreciate your input.

Thank you.

—S.T., U.S.A.


Before I answer your question is a logical fashion, let me suggest another yoga technique: If anyone says something contrary to what your guru teaches you, place your hands over both ears, smile, and hum loudly. There are differences among yoga traditions on certain subtler points, but your guru is your guide; don’t worry about what others say because it can lead to the confusion you’re experiencing.

Now, in case you’re still interested in an explanation: Paramhansa Yogananda was quite specific about practicing AUM technique while listening inside the right ear. He also, by the way, recommended chanting AUM softly into the right ear of a person who is in the process of leaving the body. In The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda writes:

The reason mantra diksha (initiation) is traditionally given in the right ear is partly because that is the positive side of the body. There is a special correlation also, however, between the inner right ear and superconscious experience. Listening there helps to attune one with AUM, the highest mantra of all, the vibrational sound of the universe or music of the spheres.

Listening to the sound of AUM in the right ear, one should extend that sound gradually to the left ear, then, as I said earlier, to the whole body. As one receives AUM into his whole being, he receives also the guru’s inner blessings and guidance. These things cannot be accomplished by tense striving, but only by deep, upward relaxation into the inner, higher Self.

Swami Kriyananda has also said that, if at first you hear AUM in the left ear (and not the right), it’s a good thing that you’re hearing it at all, but try to move that hearing over to the right ear. As you go deeper, you’ll hear the sound throughout the entire brain, then the entire body.

Blessings on your practice,