Nada Yoga: Hearing the Cosmic Vibrations 

​Nada 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 nada. 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.

Nada 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.

The Nada 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 nada 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.

Food for Health: Ash Gourd Halwa

This halwa is a tasty, sticky treat containing the positive-pranic and healthful ash gourd. Daily consumption of ash gourd greatly enhances one’s intellectual capabilities.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

Ash gourd (white pumpkin), peeled, grated: 300-400 g 

Ghee: 1 cup

Cashews: 10

Sugar: 1 cup

Green Cardamom powder: 1 tsp

Method

  • Squeeze the grated ash gourd pulp by hand to remove excess liquid or, alternatively, allow the pulp to sit in a sieve/colander for some time until the juice runs out.
  • Heat the ghee and sauté the cashews in it until golden brown. Remove the cashews with a slotted spoon and keep aside until needed.
  • To the same ghee, add the grated ash gourd and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the sugar and cardamom powder.
  • Cook, stirring continuously until the halwa begins to leave the sides of the pan and becomes a homogenous mass. Add the fried cashews and mix well.
  • Cool and serve

Accessing Pure Intelligence on the Path of Gnana Yoga

In modern times, the human mind is increasingly seen as a source of torment rather than wonder. Unfortunately, a source of magic has turned into a mess, a miraculous instrument into a misery-manufacturing machine.

 

How did the mind become a circus? Given that gnana yoga – the path of “knowing” – is considered to be a time-honored path to the divine, what went wrong? Is the mind no longer capable of leading us to our ultimate destination?

All human beings are capable of becoming the sole architects of their inner lives, if they knew how to use the mind. The problem is just that their mind is not taking instructions from them. Imagine a caveman punching a computer keyboard: the result would look like a series of obscenities! That sums up the way most people use their minds.

The Essence of Intellect

A gnana yogi begins by using his intellect, but soon realizes the limitations of this faculty. The function of the intellect is essentially to recycle data gathered from the outside world via the sense organs. In short, the intellect is pure information technology. It is a wonderful instrument, and absolutely vital for our survival. It has contributed immeasurably towards human culture and civilization.

However, the problem today is that the intellect has assumed a disproportionately important role. The essence of the intellect is to divide. So humanity has embarked on a journey of wholesale dissection. We have split everything, including the invisible atom.

 

We have forgotten that human logic is necessarily limited because it is based on fragmentary and inaccurate information from our sense organs. It is said that when the first European ships went to North America, the native tribes could see people coming towards them, but they could not see the ship. This was simply because they had never seen a ship before. Whether this story is true or apocryphal, it is a fact that if there is no past information about an object in your mind, you cannot even perceive it. It is not religion that tells us this, but modern neuroscience.

Approaching the Infinite

The gnana yogi begins to realize that when it comes to the mystical dimension, the intellect is of no consequence. He sees that however great the volume, the data gathered by the intellect will always remain finite. It is impossible to approach the infinite through the finite. And so, the gnana yogi learns to use the intellect the way a drunkard uses a lamp post – for support rather than illumination. He does not seek a PhD to validate the knowledge he has amassed. Instead, he understands that the intellect is an instrument of analysis, not perception. To perceive, another faculty is required.

 

At the same time, probably nowhere else in the world has the intellect been used with the devastating precision as it has in India. The Indian subcontinent has seen metaphysical logic at its ultimate. The sophisticated levels of Vedantin philosophizing can leave you dizzy and intoxicated. But gradually, true sadhakas realize all the heady excitement isn’t really getting them anywhere.

Pure Intelligence

Gradually, those on the gnana yoga path learn to access the deepest dimension of human intelligence, which connects them with the very basis of creation. This realm is known as chitta. They realize that if you soak your intellect in chitta – consciousness unsullied by memory – it can grow razor-sharp, turn into a miraculous tool of bliss and liberation, and deliver you effortlessly to the ultimate.
If you look at your body, you realize what an incredibly complex chemical factory it is. There is undeniably a profound intelligence managing this great chemical dance. But do you think you will ever be able to conduct this chemical dance intellectually? You cannot manage a single cell in your body that way!

 

The phenomenal dance of chemistry and neurons within the human system is conducted by none other than chitta or pure intelligence. And this pure intelligence is not different from what we refer to as God or the Creator. If you operate out of the straitjacket of logic, you just remain a clown in the circus of life. But when you operate from the unbounded dimension of chitta, you become a blissful participant in the life process. The mind is no more a circus. Now, life is nothing short of a dance – a superbly choreographed dance between you and the entire cosmos.