by C Kali Aitken
The notion of art as a means to express our relationship with the divine is as ancient as the first people that walked the Earth. From cave paintings to Bach, man has always felt moved to express love for the divine through art.
In East Indian yogic traditions, there is a yogic path recognized as a means to attain God-realization through music. It is called Nadopasana, singing, playing and composing music as an expression of the divine. Music is not seen as a form of entertainment, but as a means to attain moksha (liberation).
When a yogi sees music as a meditation, he begins to express a oneness relationship with the sound of the spheres, rather than expressing the noise of his chattering thoughts. To find and express from heartfelt stillness becomes a point of engaged, meditative focus for the Nada yogi. A quote from the Vedas, attributed to Lord Narayana Himself, expresses this succinctly: “I dwell not in Vaikuntha nor in the hearts of yogins, nor in the sun but where my devotees sing, there I will be.”
A Nada yogi understands that the purity of the soul desires to express, speak or sing. This stirs the mind. The mind activates the body. The body creates sound. The aim of Nada Yoga is to realize the essence that shines behind sound. Music is seen as a spiritual practice, which inspiNares us to experience the light of pure consciousness.