Sound Archetype: RA


The origins of sound archetypes were discussed in an earlier article [1]. The sacred sound archetypes of the Near-Eastern cultures were identified as YA, HU and RA.  In this article we focus on the RA archetype.

RA is the sound archetype symbolizing the light/fire in many languages. In Sanskrit RA is the acoustic root of fire. In the ancient Egyptian lore RA represented an aspect of divinity that can be described as Divine Light. The Sun was only a symbol of this aspect of divinity.

RA in Divine Names

One of the names of God in Sanskrit is Iishvara (Cosmic Consciousness qualified by the Static principle). The word Iishvara contains the words isha and RA. One of the meanings of the word Iishvara is “Controller of the Cosmos”.  Iishvara is the Cosmic Mind, the Manifest Divinity, the Supreme Being.

Ahura Mazda, the name of the Supreme Being in Zoroastrianism contains all three sound archetypes we are examining: YA, HU and RA. The order in which these sounds are combined to form the word Ahura is important.

Islam mentions the 99 names/attributes of Allah. These are the adjectives to express the majesty of the Supreme Being.  The following names/attributes of Allah start with the acoustic root RA: Ar-Rahim (The Merciful), Ar-Rahman (The Gracious), Ar-Razzaq (The Provider), Ar-Rafi (The Exalter), Ar-Rauf (The Compassionate), Ar-Rasheed (The Guide to the Right Path), Ar-Raqib (The Watchful).

The following names/attributes of Allah end with the acoustic root RA: An-Nur (The Light),  Al-Qadir (The Able), Az-Zahir (The Manifest), Al-Basir (The All Seing), Al-Khabir (The Aware), Al-Jabbar (The Compeller), Al-Ghaffar (The Forgiver), Al-Qahhar (The Subduer), Al-Mutakkabir (The Majestic), Ash-Shakur (The Appreciative), Al-Aakhir (The Last), As-Sabur (The Patient One)

Turkish-Egyptian Connection

In Turkish Tanrı means God. In other Turkic languages it is encountered in the forms of Tenrı and Tengere. It is easy to recognize the root sound RA (RE) in Tan-rı or Tenge-re ( the letter “ı”  in Turkish is closer to “a” than it is to “e” or “i”). In Turkish Tan means the dawn, the sky of crimson dawn. The image is the sacred rays of the dawn, sunrise from the east. This image is also present in the ancient Egyptian religion. TAN-RI is very similar to TEN-RA the Egyptian name for the god of the morning sun in Heliopolis cult center. Ten means the sunrise in ancient Egyptian language. Ancient Egyptians made a distinction between the god of the evening sun (TEM-RA) and the god of the morning sun (TEN-RA). It seems that Turkic tribes living in Central Asia had the same conception of the Creator. Considering the distance between the Central Asian locations where Turkic tribes lived and the Nile valley in Egypt, there is a mysterious connection here.

RA in Sanskrit

In Sanskrit RA is the acoustic root of fire. RA also connotes with light or spiritual light. The following Sanskrit words contain the acoustic root RA and their meaning is strongly dependent on this acoustic root and the concept of light.

RA-GA: In classical Indian music Raga is a modal scale, a series of five or more notes. Raga is similar to Makam in Middle-Eastern (Persian, Turkish, Arabic) classical music. Raga invokes a mood and color. Raga literally means color. Color as we know from the scientific theory of light is a property (frequency) of the light.

TANT-RA: Spiritual practices developed originally in South India in prehistoric times. Tantric practices were fist systematized by Shiva. This formulation is also known as Tantric Yoga or Shaeva Tantra. In later periods Buddhist and Jain formulations of Tantra emerged. More recently one can speak of Tantra in the context of the New Age movement but this form of Tantra is quite different from Shiva’s teachings. The modern formulation and reinterpretation of Shiva’s teachings were given by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti who tells us that the spirit of Tantra is “fight”: “Tantra is not only a fight, it is an all-round fight”, “Tantra emphasizes the development of Human vigour, both through meditation and through confrontation of difficult external situations, to overcome all fears and weaknesses” [2].


We recognize the sound archetype RA in many words and names:

The ancient city Ur has the meaning of light. Ur is derived from the acoustic root RA.

Nur in Arabic means divine light

Arabic name Nuri means brilliant, intelligent

Huri in Arabic (derived from HU-RA) an adjective for beauty, also used as a name to describe beautiful angels in Islamic descriptions of paradise

Many Arabic names such as Sumeira (Sume-i-RA), Humeira (HU-mei-RA) contain the root sound RA.

Sanskrit: Mantra (Mant-RA)

Sanskrit: Rama (RA-ma)

Sanskrit: Suresha (Su-RA-Isha)

Sanskrit: Mudra (Mud-RA)

Sanskrit: Yantra (YA-nt-RA )

[1] Suresh Emre, “Sound Archetypes

[2] Books of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar):

About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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