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Nadopasana In Hinduism – Music Practice For Spiritual Uplift

Nadopasana in Hinduism is the practice of music for spiritual uplift. It literally means worship of the primordial sound ‘aum’. Na represents the life breath and da, agni 9fire). Nada emanates from the combination of prana and agni, as explained by the great musicologist Sarangadeva.

The omnipotent, omniscient God is an embodiment of nada. He is referred to as nada tanuh (sound personified), nadarupi (sound form), nadatmaka (essence of sound), and nadalola (tremulous with sound).

Through nadopasana, great saint composers like Tyagaraja sought to attain paramananda, supreme bliss. There are ample references in the compositions of Tyagaraja to the importance of nadopasana. In one of his compositions, Raga Sudha Rasa, Tyagaraja says ‘Those great souls, who have knowledge of svara, nada and pranava or omkara, are ever free from all worldly bondages”. He also says that the nectar of nada gives the nadopasaka (the devotee of nada) the blessings of yaga (worshiping the deity through the sacred fire), Yoga (the power of concentration and balanced mental and physical health), tyaga (sacrifice or renunciation), and bhoga (joys, mundane and divine).

In yet another composition, Nada Loludai, Tyagaraja describes nadopasana as the path followed even by the Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesha – and the seers and saints for the attainment of supreme bliss (parmananda).