In the depths of our being there are innumerable sounds at different levels of vibration and subtlety. These sounds are always present but they are rarely perceived because the mind is continually extroverted, totally attracted and addicted to outside objects and events. The purpose of nada yoga is to perceive these inner sounds so that one is eventually able to hear the ultimate sound.
In this second topic on nada yoga we want to explain the subject a little further and give an alternative technique.
Chapter 4 of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika discusses nada yoga in great detail. We don’t intend to quote all the verses here for this would take too many pages, but it is worthwhile giving a selection. We suggest you read the full text for yourself.
“The great yogis of the past explained many ways of attaining samadhi through their own experience. (63) For those who are unable to understand the subtle essence of things, Gorakhnath taught the method of nada yoga.
(65) The yogi should sit in muktasana (siddhasana) do shambhavi mudra and listen carefully to the inner sound in the right ear.
(67) One should close the ears, eyes, the nostrils and the mouth. Then by listening to the nada one should explore the crystalline passage of the sushumna (the psychic realms). (68)
There are four stages of attainment in the practice: beginning, continuation, ripening and culmination. (69) In the beginning stage the brahmagranthi (psychic block associated with the mooladhara chakra) is pierced and bliss appears from the voidness. A sound like tinkling ornaments can be heard in the anahata chakra. (70) Then the vishnugranthi (psychic block associated with the anahata chakra) is pierced and bliss arises together with the sound of the bheri and vimarda (two kinds of musical instruments). (73) In the last stage the prana enters the ajna chakra and pierces the rudra granthi (the third of the psychic knots) and the sound of a vina (lute) and a flute can be heard.
(76) He who is wise closes his ears with his hands and listens carefully to the inner nada with one-pointed mind and achieves perfect stability. (82)
In the beginning of the practice of nada yoga one hears all types of sounds. In advanced stages these sounds become more and more subtle. (84) No matter what sound, the mind becomes dissolved in it if there is attraction.
(89) The bee removes the honey from the flower without being distracted by the smell. In the same manner, the mind which is attracted to the nada is not distracted by other thoughts.
(90) When the mind becomes fixed on the nada then it becomes unmoveable like a bird without wings. (92) Those people who want to experience samadhi should leave all other thoughts and carefully listen to the inner nada.
(93) The awareness should be fixed on the sound until it becomes soundless. This is the state of superconsciousness.” (101)