Nāda yoga is an ancient Indian metaphysical system. It is equally a philosophical system, a medicine, and a form of yoga. The system's theoretical and practical aspects are based on the premise that the entire cosmos and all that exists in the cosmos, including human beings, consists of sound vibrations, called nāda. This concept holds that it is the sound energy in motion rather than of matter and particles which form the building blocks of the cosmos.
Nāda yoga is also a reverential way to approach and respond to sound. In this context, sound [and] music carry a spiritual weight more meaningful, respectively, than what sensory properties normally provide. Sound and music are considered to play a potential medium/intermediary role to achieve a deeper unity with both the outer and inner cosmos.
Nāda yoga's use of sound vibrations and resonances are also used to pursue palliative effects on various problematic psychological and spiritual conditions. It is also employed to raise the level of awareness of the postulated energy centers called chakra.
Music has been used by most Indian saints, prophets as an important and powerful tool in the quest for the achievement of nirvana; notable names to be mentioned here include Kanakadasa, Thyagaraja, Kabir, Meerabai, Namdeo, Purandaradasa and Tukaram.
Nāda yoga system divides music into two categories: internal music, anahata, and external music, ahata. While the external music is conveyed to consciousness via sensory organs in the form of the ears, in which mechanical energy is converted to electrochemical energy and then transformed in the brain to sensations of sound, it is the anahata chakra, which is considered responsible for the reception of the internal music, but not in the way of a normal sensory organ.
The anahata concept refers to one's own personal sound vibrations, which are thought to be so closely associated with one's self and the Self that a person can not share their anahata with another human being. In other words, this inner sound is sacred and once reached will open the practitioner's chakras, which ultimately will unite the body to the divine/cosmos.
With continued sounds, a focused mind and controlled breath, the individual can, according to Nāda yoga, "listen in on" their own anahata, their own "inner sound", which can take up to nine different forms. Such a process of inner awareness and sensitivity leads to increased self-recollectedness and finally to awakening.
To concentrate on this inner sound as a support for meditation is very helpful to tame the mind, and when it has been clearly recognized, used for self-recollectedness in outer life as well. Eventually, it can be experienced as penetrating all matter and indeed vibrates eternally throughout the Creation.
In Nāda yoga, one of the main breathing sounds is ahaṃ, where each part of the word (a ha ṃ) is focused on and spoken individually. The echoes produced by each of these spoken letters is a time where the yogi should immerse himself and rest. Now, because of imbalances within the human body, Nāda yoga begins by removing the ailments and impurities by "awakening the fire in the body (jāṭhara)" (Timalsina 212) with the use of a sound resembling that of a bee. It is important to note that when the yogin is forming sounds, his/her mind should not wander off to other entities.
Our mind easily becomes absorbed in sound. This is why we all - even infants and animals - enjoy listening to music. When the mind is fully concentrated on anything there arises a feeling of inner bliss. In Nada Yoga, we learn that the source of the sound may be external or internal. The sound may be "gross" or "subtle." That is, it may be "struck" out loud (Sanskrit: "ahat"), as from a voice or musical instrument; or "unstruck" and outwardly silent (Sanskrit: "anahat"), arising inwardly as from the subtle currents of energy or prana moving throughout the body.
With practice, concentration on carefully selected outer or "struck" sounds will enable the mind to become calm and transparent. At this point you may begin to become aware of the subtle inner "unstruck" sounds. You might perceive inner sounds that seem like bells, or flutes, or even a hum like an electrical transformer. Some of these sounds are actually just the sounds of your own body: blood pumping, or the electrical energy of nerves and inner ear. Other, deeper, sounds are the "sounds behind the audible sound." It is into this deeper realm that Nada yoga can take you.
Some traditions tell us that this subtle, inner sound originates in the "heart chakra of the subtle body," considered the center of unstruck sound. Yogic tradition connects this inner sound with Kundalini itself.
In Nada yoga you concentrate on these finer and deeper sounds, moving from outer to inner realm, moving awareness from outer to inner sounds (Sanskrit: "nadam"), while all the time gently easing your mind into relaxed concentration and focus. This is a highly enjoyable form of meditation and it's relatively effortless: as you meditate, your entire being, every cell and atom and part of you, is being purified and balanced by the sounds that you are focusing on. Remember, whatever you pay attention to, you become. "Where you put your treasure, there you shall also find your heart." Therefore it is very important that you choose positive and enlightening music and sounds for this meditation.
Please contact “Malyaban” for detailed and elaborate workshops on Nadayoga.
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