How The Music Of Nada Yoga Can Cosmically Uplift You
Did you know that chanting in any language can connect you to higher consciousness?
If you are anything like me, you might have been brought up in a religious household. I was consistently hearing religious songs in my house and my father sang kirtans with approximately 50 to 70 people weekly in our Queens apartment when I was a young child. When he sang, the whole apartment came alive. Each of the participants clapped to the rhythm of the words with him playing the harmonium and others keeping time with hand instruments.
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Music and enlightenment
Needless to say, my head was filled with music: classical, devotional, religious, American pop music, and soul music. As my family grew financially we moved to a larger place and our South Asian Tamil community was scattered so we met in our Hindu Temple in Flushing, NY. In these spaces, music was always at the forefront in the form of pujas, kirtans, music, and dance performances. I took it for granted. I had no idea how this frequency affected me until my dad abruptly died when I was 16. Suddenly my life changed and we did not attend religious community events so frequently.
I enjoyed the time away from social gatherings. I found myself craving sound without the community element. Now, over 30 years later, my children and I traveled to Shankar Prassad Foundation in Bankikodla, Karnataka. We volunteered our time and services to this unique ashram led by Swami Yogaratna. At the ashram, we chanted Sanskrit mantras daily in the morning, afternoon, and evening. We sang kirtans every Saturday evening at the Havan and we did various forms of yoga and meditation, such as Karma Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Hatha Yoga, and Nada Yoga.
The sounds of my father came back to me. It wafted into my life and the life of my children. The kids loved chanting. My youngest daughter began leading the afternoon and evening chants after a few weeks. My son meditated like a sadhu and my eldest daughter found communion with her body in yogic asanas and bodily cleansing techniques. I felt transported to another world and healed the hole that my father left when he departed. Our time spent at the Ashram allowed my children to experience a part of my childhood. I noticed how they benefited greatly from it and they began to incorporate it into their daily routines after we left the ashram. It all made sudden sense to me. My father activated my chakras through bhakti and nada yoga.
Nada yoga is the yoga of sound. There are various elements to it which includes breathing and the use of the Indian musical scale that mirrors the Western musical scale. Through kirtans, chanting and Sanskrit mantras from the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita we were activating, healing and releasing blockages of our chakras. The knowledge I obtained restored gaps in my understanding of my own spiritual journey. It allowed me to fully embrace the divinity within me by unlocking the keys stored in my chakras.
“According to traditional yogic scriptures, nada brahman (transcendental sound) is the seed of the manifested world from the gross to the subtle and from the visual to the invisible. Nada is flowing in the living and the nonliving, in the trees, grass, animals, everywhere. This concept is an integral part of Tantra and Hinduism.” (Yoga and Kriya 514)
Have you allowed yourself to take the journey of your life? To lead you to unknown places in your mind, body, and spirit? To unlock the keys that were planted in your soul before you were born? Allow yourself to use music to lead the way and you might find that what is dear to your heart opens you up in ways that you did not imagine.
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