Nada yoga the Yoga of Sound

"Nadam" can be described as sound current, the stream of life and consciousness, cosmic and supracosmic rhythmical vibration. Nada Yoga is about sounds, inner and outer sound vibrations. Sound is energy manifest, all matter is made up of energy, thus all living things have a sound quality to them. The whole world and everything in it has derived from sound.

The Bhagavad Gita says that Universal Energy, God, is the sound of Om. The Bible states,"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Nada Yogi sees the whole macrocosmic and microcosmic world as made up of sound.

Inner music or Nada is cosmic vibration,
the experience of one's own true Self.
The union with the Supreme, the Absolute I AM.
Nada Yoga means union With the Self by means of Nadam,
the inner music, the inner light. Yet we remain ignorant,
in utter phychological darkness of this inner Nadam.

The word Nada comes from the Sanskrit root Nad, which means to flow.
It refers to a process or a stream of consciousness. Nadam is the flow of the inner sound current.
It is said that there are four levels of sound. From the grossest to the subtlest they are as follows:

Listening to these sounds in all of their forms is the practice of Nada Yoga.


Vaikhari, coarse sound :
audible sound or struck sound. It can be heard and
felt through the senses and is produced by hand or by two or more objects
touching each other. The vibrations of these sounds are limited to a certain frequency.

Madhyama, mental sound :
unstruck sound, this sound has more vibrations
then Vaikhari so it is a finer sound which is very soft such as a whisper.

Pashyanti, visual sound :
a subconscious sound like in a dream when you dream
of music or a visualization of the quality of a sound. This sound sometimes
occurs when all outside sounds disappear and you hear a ringing in
your ears or some other internal sound appears.

Para Nada, transcendent sound :
this has the highest frequency of all the rest.
It is beyond the comprehension of the senses.
It is heard in the higher levels of consciousness

Nada Yoga like all other Yoga practices starts with the sensory world as a secure base and from there takes us to more subtle realms. In Hatha Yoga we can practice asanas to know and transcend the body, using pranayama we can gain mastery over the breath and connect with our energy body and through meditation on the breath or a mantra we can rise above the chitta vrittis of the mind. The word mantra derives from manas meaning mind and the root tra which means to protect. Chanting mantras out loud or mentally can protect the mind from its fluctuations.

Para Nada is said to have the highest of sound frequencies, so high, that it has no vibrations. It is still sound. When sound reaches its maximum height and speed, it becomes still. The silent Om is Para Nada, it is pure energy and light. Although the chanted Om is not Para, it has the same quality since it comes from the same source, the unmanifested sound of Om.

All matter is made up of pure energy. A single energy light source traveling upwards at an increasing speed can produce two separate atoms seemingly out of thin air. These atoms will have completely distinct properties even though they came from the same source. With different frequencies, we all come from the same supreme cosmic energy force. "The aim of Nada Yoga is to purify and harmonize the Gross and subtle bodies in alignment with their natural vibration, and to bring the individual to the highest state of awareness, the state of Yoga.

In Nada Yoga practice, we start by just observing the sounds around us

These sounds are coarse and are everywhere but they too are sacred
because they come from the unmanifest sound of pure energy.

Yoga practice is all about cultivating awareness so we start by
just listening at the gross level.

From there we can move beyond the everyday sounds
and listen for the mental sounds.

These sounds are easiest to perceive when we are relaxed.

During savasana after a Yoga class is a good time,
or when we lay down to sleep, or when practicing meditation.

Next we try to hear the finer sounds, to feel the vibration of a visualized sound,
like when we imagine a symbol such as a chakra and we hear
the bija or seed mantra that corresponds to that chakra.

It is only beyond these sounds that we can find the pure essence of sound,
Para Nada, transcendent sound, cosmic pulsation and vibration.

In Nada Yoga, one perceives the Supreme Consciousness or God
in the form of sound. Meditation on this sound is described as pure bliss.

Nada Yoga cannot be complete without acknowledging Lord Krishna.
He represents the highest state of consciousness
and Cosmic Nadam is symbolized by his flute.

Krishna left his home one night and went into the woods. Under a full moon he began to play his flute and out of the stillness of the night the sound traveled all over the land. It was eventually heard by the Gopis, the cowherd girls. When they heard this beautiful sound they dropped what they were doing, left their homes and followed the sound of the flute.

They danced around Krishna in etheral moonlight, each one dancing with Krishna Himself. Symbolically, Krishna is Nada, the Cosmic Sound, and the Gopis represent the senses. With the sound of Nada, our senses become absorbed within. This withdrawl of the senses is called pratyahara, the step in the eightfold path that comes before dharana, intense concentration and dhyana or meditation.

To hear the Beautiful Sound of Para Nada that
surround us everyday and realize that we all come
from the same source, the same Supreme Being,
Unmanifested, pure Cosmic Energy.



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