Kun fayakoon (كُن فَيَكُونُ) is a Qur’anic term which occurs in the Qur’an in various different places. The word ‘Kun’ means to ‘be’, manifest or exist. ‘Kun fayakoon’ when translated means ‘Be, and it is’. It is used in reference to Allah’s Glorious creation powers. These are not only religious verses; to the mystic or seer the deepest revelation is contained in them. The first phrase conveys that if anything exists that we can express, we can describe it only by what we term ‘Word’. The second phrase explains another aspect of this mystery, which is that to enable the soul, surrounded by the darkness of this world of illusion, to come to light, first the Word was necessary. This means that the original Spirit was concealed in the mystery of the Word, and that in in the mystery of the Word, the mystery of the Spirit was to be found.
Here is a thought, which may be pondered over for years, each time with fresh inspiration. It teaches that the first sign of life manifested was the audible expression or sound: that is the Word. When we compare this interpretation with the Vedanta philosophy, we find that the two are identical. The sacred Name, the sacred Word, were always esteemed in the Jewish religion. Also in Islam, that great religion whose mysticism the West is only beginning to discover, one finds the doctrine of Ism ur-rasm which translated is the ‘doctrine of the mystical word’.
The deeper we dive into the mystery of life, the more we find that its whole secret is hidden in what we call words. All occult science, religious practices and mystical practices are based upon the science of Word or sound. Man is a mystery in all aspects of his being, not only in mind and soul but also in that organism which he calls his body. It is his body, of which the mystics say that it is the temple of God. This is not a mere saying or belief, for if man studies his body from the mystical point of view, he will find it to be much more subtle and far-reaching, and much more capable of doing, understanding and feeling than he believes it to be. There are faculties of the soul which express themselves through certain centers in the body of man. As there are parts of lands to which water never reaches and therefore they never become fertile soil, so it is with these centers when the breath never reaches them. They are intuitive, they are full of peace and balance, they are the centers of illumination, yet never have they been awakened, for man has breathed only in those parts of his body by which he can eat, and live, and perform action. He is only half alive, if his existence is compared with the fullness of life that can be obtained by spiritual development. It may be compared to living in a great town and not knowing that there are many beautiful things that one has never seen. As there are many people who travel to distant lands and do not know their own country, so it is with man. He is interested in all that brings beauty and joy, and yet does not know the source of all such things in himself.
Man breathes, but he does not breathe rightly. As the rain falls on the ground and matures little plants and makes the soil fertile, so the breath, the essence of all energy, falls as a rain on all parts of the body. This also happens in the case of the mind, but man cannot even perceive that part of the breath that quickens the mind; only that felt in the body is perceptible, and to the average man it is not even noticeable in the body. He knows nothing of it, except what appears in the form of inhalation and exhalation through the nostrils. It is this, alone which is generally meant when man speaks of breath.
When we study the science of breath, the first thing we notice is that breath is audible; it is a word in itself, for what we call a word is only a more pronounced utterance of breath fashioned by the mouth and tongue. In the capacity of the mouth breath becomes voice, and therefore the original condition of a word is breath. Therefore if we said: ‘First was the breath’, it would be the same as saying; ‘In the beginning was the word’. The first life that existed was the life of God, and from that all manifestation branched out. It is a manifold expression of one life: one flower blooming as so many petals, one breath expressing itself as so many words.
What is it that makes a word sacred or important? Is not every Word as sacred and important as another? That is true – but for whom is it sacred? For the pure and exalted souls to whom every Word breathes the Name of God, but not for the average man. There are souls who are at that stage of evolution in which every Word is the sacred Name. But when a teacher gives a method, it is not given to the exalted souls but to beginners, and therefore words are selected and given to pupils by the Guru or teacher, as a physician would give a prescription, knowing for which complaint and for what purpose it is given.
Great importance is given by the mystics to the number of repetitions, for numbers are a science and every number of repetitions has a certain value. One repetition means one thing and a few more mean something quite different, as in medicine one grain of a drug may heal and ten may destroy life. In repetition lies the secret of power, therefore it is a great mistake when people take the ways of spiritual culture lightly as an everyday interest, as a little hobby, and learn from a book or from some slight instruction given to them. If they attempt to practice from such knowledge only, they are risking their lives. Imagine a center, which should be awakened at a certain time of evolution being awakened before that time is reached. It would be a disaster!
There are certain words which attract a certain blessing in life. Some attract power, some bring release from difficulties, some give courage and strength. There are words which can heal, others which give comfort and ease, and again others which have greater effects still. Now when a person in need of peace and rest uses words that bring courage and strength, he will become even more restless. It is just like taking medicine which is a tonic to cure a high fever. Then there is another question, namely: what makes a word powerful? Is it the meaning, the vibration, the way it is used, or the knowledge of the teacher who teaches the pupil to repeat it? The answer to such a question is that some words have power because of their meaning, others because of the vibration they produce, others for their influence upon the various centers. And there are some words given by saints, sages and prophets which have come inspirationally from God. In them is all blessing and the mystery of how to acquire all that the soul desires in life. If there exists any phenomenon or miracle it is in the power of words. But those who know of this power and who possess it never show it to others. Spiritual attainment is not a thing to be brought before people to prove that it is real, or as a show. What is real is proof in itself, what is beyond all price or value does not need to be made much of before people. What is real is real, and the precious is precious in itself: it needs no explanation nor pleading.
The greatest lesson of mysticism is to know all, gain all, attain all things and be silent. The more the disciple gains, the more humble he becomes, and when any person makes this gain a means of proving himself in any way superior to others, it is a proof that he does not really possess it. He may have a spark within himself, but the torch is not yet lighted. There is a saying among the Hindus that the tree that bears much fruit bows low. Words have power to vibrate through different parts of man’s body. There are words that echo in the heart, and there are others that do so in the head, and again others that have power over the body. By certain words definite emotions can be quickened or calmed. There is also a science of syllables, which has its own particular effect.