Saturday 8 June 2024

Yogopanishads – Nadabindu Upanishad

Transcription of the lecture given by Mananeeya Sri Hanumantaraoji, All India Vice President of VRM & VK

Nada Bindu Upanishad, Nadabindu Upanishad (Nādabindu Upaniṣad) - this Upanishad belongs to the Rig Veda. The Upanishad deals about the practices, the result of the practices, the methodology of the practices, and the various effects of the practices. And the entire practice of all these variations are rooted in the Praṇava that is the Aum.

Basically, Nadabindu Upanishad is about Aum and its philosophy, its chanting, its meaning, and its effects. And the Upanishad begins with beautifully explaining Vairāja Praṇava svarūpam. 'Vairāja' is a derivative from the virāja, the Brahman, the all-pervading energy. And the significance of that, the symbolic of that, the manifestation of that, the expression of that, is the Vairāja.

Vairāja Praṇava Svarūpam is the explanation of the form of the Vairāja. That is, Aum Praṇava symbolically expressed, explained as a Vairāja Pakṣī, Vairāja bird, an imagery. Then, when the Vairāja bird, the Vairāja Vidyā that is the Oṃkārā Vidyā, the Praṇava vidyā, the comparison is the Aum has been compared symbolically with the bird and named as Vairāja. That's why it is called as Vairāja Vidyā, Vairāja Praṇava. And while explaining, the letter 'A' is the right wing of the bird, 'U' is the left wing of the bird, 'M' is the tail, and the ardhamātrā is its head. So its legs and the like are the guṇā, the triguṇā. And its body is the truth, the Satyam. The Dharma is its right eye. Adharma is the left one. And in the feet of it is the Bhoralokaḥ. The hip portion is the Suvaralokaḥ. The navel region is the Maharlokaḥ. The Janalokaḥ is the head region. And the Tapolokaḥ is its throat. The Satyalokaḥ is in the middle of the eyebrows and the forehead. When we meditate and take up Aum as an object of meditation, how we can conceive, focus our mind, concentrate the mind with this beautiful imagery of the Aum as a bird, is beautifully explained.

Then continuing the technique, this Vairāja Praṇava sādhanā, Vairāja Vidyā, the Oṃkāramātrā containing the 'A' has thousands of angās. And the 'A' is composed of thousands and thousands of limbs. And this understanding and experience of all the intricacies of the Akārā is the revelation of the Hamsayogaḥ. And this is how by understanding it, experiencing it, focusing it, the Vairāja Vidyā removes, erases all the sins, Pāpa-karmā. That is how the Upanishads goes deeper into the dimension.

The four Mātrās of the Oṃkārā are further being described beautifully. The Akārā relates to the Agni, the fire. The Ukārā relates to the air, the Vayu. The 'M', Makārā is the sun. Akārā is the Agni, the Virājaḥ. Ukārā relates to the Vayu, the sūtrātmaḥ.  Then the Makārā is the vyātmaḥ, sthūla, sūkṣma and the kārana. And the Ardhamātrā is the Varuna, the Turiyā it is. And this is known as the Oṃkārā. And these four mātrās have different durations. And these durations, focusing on that, contemplating on that, meditating on these durations, the gaps, and that is the dhāraṇā on each mātrā.

Then the Upanishad goes further, explaining the twelve different Mātrās of the Praṇava. The Vairāja Pakṣī, the four Mātrā, then the further details of the twelve Mātrā. The first mātrā is the Ghoṣiṇī. The second is the Vidyut. The third is the Pataṅgiṇī. The fourth is the Vāyuveghinī. The fifth is Namadhyeya. And the sixth is called the Aindrī. The seventh is known as the Vaiṣṇavī. And the eighth one is the Samkārī. The ninth is the Mahātmatī. And the tenth is Dhṛti. And the eleventh is Nāri. And the last is the Brāhmī. The names themselves signifies the importance of the Oṃkārā in Praṇava, and an imaginary and a symbolical representation for the meditation on the śabda and the rūpa, the nāda. And the benefits derived by this is beautifully described by the wonderful Upanishad.

The Upanishad describes how these things are to be achieved, how these things are to be actually practiced. The actual methodology and the practice has been beautifully described in the Upanishad. How it is to be inquired into the existence and the non-existence of the each one. And the Upanishad describes:


It describes the methods of the attainment of Nādānusaṃdhāna the actual technique has been explained. And it explains that one should assume Siddhāsana. It prescribes Siddhāsana. Then in Siddhāsana maintain the Vaiṣṇavī Mudrā.

Siddhāsane sthito yogī mudrāṁ sandhāya vaiṣṇavīm. Śṛṇuyāddakṣiṇe karṇe nādamantargataṁ sadā.

Then he will listen the interior inner sounds in the right ear. And this sound when constantly practiced will draw every sound from outside. Listening to the sounds reaching to the right ear from the far away distance long distance to the closest to the right ear. And to the inner sounds. Similarly after overcoming one side by means of what is inside it reaches the Turiyā state.

Then the various sounds are heard. And then the sounds will be subtler and subtler. And the subtlety of the sounds have been beautifully described how from the gross sounds to the subtle sounds have been mentioned.  Just for an understanding. At first the sounds of the ocean waves. Then the clouds and the thunder. Then the sounds of the waterfalls. The tabor and the big bell. Then the military drum Dundubhi. Then the twinkling of the bells. Then the soft sounds of the flute. And a whispering sound of a brahmara. These are the sounds to be heard on a persistent practice. Only the subtle sounds should be listened to in the presence of a multiple sounds. See the technique given.

In the Vairāja Vidyā, using the nāda, the technique has been explained. Sitting in siddhāsana adopting the Vaiṣṇavī mudrā. Vaiṣṇavī mudrā is just keeping the eyes open without twinkling. And the mind is engrossed in introspection and drawn into the root of the sounds. Then from the grossest to the subtlest the sounds have been heard in a series of continuity, from the largest, from the longest and the grossest sounds. Slowly withdrawing the mind to the nearest closest and the internal sounds. This is the actual technique suggested to be practiced as a Vairāja Vidyā keeping the Aum and praṇava as an important dimension.

Then slowly after internalizing this nāda anusaṃdhāna. "nadasya mano niyama manasamardhyam" That is how the from the withdrawing from the external sounds being aware and engrossed only in the internal sounds even in that the most subtlest of the subtlest sounds.

Makarandaṁ pibanbhṛṅgo gandhānnāpekṣate tathā. Nādāsaktaṁ sadā cittaṁ viṣayaṁ na hi kāṅkṣati.

It beautifully explains Bṛṅga that is a honey bee which drinks the honey and it does not like the sweet scents. It gives that up because it is engrossed in the makarandam the mind always captivated by the inner sounds and relishing in that. It will not relish any other functions because it is engrossed in the most subtle sweet sounds.

Another imagery is given. Another example given is the mind like a snake abiding in the hole of this interior body caught by the snake charmer's sound. Completely forgetting the world. It does not run away anywhere because it is one pointed. These are all the suggestions given to explain, to convince.

Another one: for an infatuated gajarāja, of the mind roaming about pleasures in the garden, a sharp gourd of a sweet sound commands the ability to bring under control, like an Ankusha controls the wavering Gajā, a soft Nāda controls the wavering of the mind, saying that sound plays the part of the net which ensnares the deer in the interior of the body, just like a deer, a Mruga is caught in a net. Similarly, the entire mind gets caught in the soft net of the soft sound.

The Nāda has been given various suggestions and imageries to understand and finally "Nāda Arudha Yoginam Videha Muktilabhah" the real form of that Nāda which is a final end the Nāda, the Pratyagātmā of the Praṇava is very self-luminous. So, the practice is subtlest of the subtlest sounds are heard or the whole mind is getting merged into it and that is the Pratyagātmā it is giving up all the external things. So using the sound itself as a tool as a method. Slowly the mind goes to the root, the origin, the base the bīja of the sound itself, from the externally expressive manifested sound to its root un-manifested level of the sound. This is Nāda Anusaṃdhāna and that is how

 "Sarvavastha Vinirmuktaha Sarvachintha Avivartataha Mrtavatyashthato Yogisamuttonatra Samshayaha Shankha Dundubhinadancha Nashranuti Kadachana Kashta Ignoyate Deha Unmayavasthatha Dhruvam Na Janati Sa Shitoshnam Nadukham Nasukham Tatha Na Manam Na Avamanamsya Satyam Katoatu Samadhinah Avasthatrayam Anvetina Chittam Yoginaha Sada"

This experience of the Sādhaka, Yogi, and the practitioner that affects the result is explained in these "Nadarudha Yoginam Videhamukthih".

By this Nāda Anusaṃdhāna, what is happening? What is the result? What is the experience? He is released from all the states of the cares. He will be like a dead man. śavaḥ. But he is liberated, free from all the disturbances, but engrossed in himself. He will not hear any sound at all. No sounds are heard by him. Because he is like ekashatah, no heat uṣṇa, śītalā, he is a dvandvātītaḥ, nothing will affect him. Because these effects are not perceived by him. Because what is to be perceived the preceptor lost to the external and engrossed and engaged in its own root, self; and this is the videhamukti. This is how Nada Bindu Upanishad explains the technique from the Nāda to the Bindu of the Nāda Bindu, from the manifested sound to the un-manifested sound.

So, Nada Bindu Upanishad has this wonderful explanation practice for all yoga practitioners in its wonderful 56 mantras belonging to the Rigveda. Whenever we chant Oṃkārā or whenever any sound is heard, the ringing of the bird bells, the sounds of the birds, the sounds of the waves of the ocean, the sound of a waterfall or any musical instrument and intensely intently listening to it from the gross to the subtlest reverberations the mind is taken from its wavering state to the unwavering state. That is how Nada Bindu Upanishad teaches proposes suggests a wonderful technique for the quietness of the mind, and that is a state physically alive but mentally dead to the external. That is how the Nada Bindu Upanishad gives the name videha mukti:, videha muktaḥ. Let us try to practice this beautiful technique in our regular yoga practices. Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti:

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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