Inner Sound Meditation: The Opening of the Inner Subtle Hearing Faculty

"At first we receive this Teaching through our sense of hearing, but when we are fully able to realize it, it becomes ours through a Transcendental and Intuitive Hearing. This makes the awakening and perfecting of a transcendental faculty of hearing of very great importance to every novice. As the wish to attain Samadhi deepens in the mind of any disciple, he can most surely attain it by means of his Transcendental Organ of Hearing. For many a Kalpa — as numerous as the particles of sand in the river Ganges — Avalokiteshvara Buddha, the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired Transcendental Powers of Boundless Freedom and Fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! It is the pure Brahman Sound. It is the subdued murmur of the seatide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid; it brings a sense of permanency to those who are truly seeking the attainment of Nirvana’s Peace." (Surangama Sutra, Sacred Text of Mystical Buddhism)

“Sants have articulated about the closing of three gates of the body to experience the inner Sound. The three gates are eyes, ears, and mouth. Close these and, only then, can one hear the inner Sounds. According to Sant Kabir: ‘Close your eyes, ears, and mouth, and listen to the anahad (inner Unstruck Divine Sound).’ Sant Nanak Sahab says: ‘Close the three gates and listen to the reverberation of the Divine Sound.’ Sant Maharshi Mehi and also Sufi Sants have used similar vocabulary to describe the process of closing three openings for hearing the inner Sound.

“Someone asked, ‘If the Sound is not heard with the physical ears then with what kind of ear is this subtle Sound heard?’ When the mind becomes concentrated, then the physical sense of hearing becomes quiet and one does not hear. This occurs because the attention withdraws from the senses and one is unable to hear physical sound.

“In response Sant Tulsi Sahab says: ‘A practitioner who is able to focus in the Sushumna or the tenth gate for some time will experience the opening of the inner subtle hearing faculty. That inner sense of hearing is also known as the consciousness Current.’ My Guru Maharshi Mehi said: ‘A practitioner hears the sweet Sound of the flute through the stream of inner consciousness.’ When the outer ear ceases to hear and the mind is fully concentrated within, then the inner hearing opens up and the practitioner can hear the Divine Sound within (through the inner ear)…

“By focusing on the third eye he must attempt to recognize the Central Sound, as instructed by the guru. As soon as the practitioner recognizes the Sound emanating from the center of the light realm, this Sound, like a magnet, will attract the consciousness and will draw it to the center of a higher realm. Once a practitioner grasps the Central Sound, he will continue to ascend upward until the soul reaches the ultimate goal of realization of the Divine. Maharshi Mehi says: ‘It might be possible to separate the magnet from the iron but the consciousness Current which is attracted to the Divine Sound cannot be separated in spite of any outward distractions and dangers.’ Sant Daria Sahab elaborates: ‘My mind is always drawn to the Divine Sound (Shabd) and it has forsaken all worldly distractions. Day and night it is focused on the target and listens to the resounding of the Divine Sounds (Shabd) within.’”

— Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, The Inward Journey of the Soul (Chal Hansa Nij Desh)


zlos gar - emanation [of.], a play, show, drama, theatrical display [R] dance [one of four branches of shabda vidya, science of external expression interval when songs are repeated after dances strictly OR repeating words and dancing hence theater [IW]

yul bzhi - four sense-objects [form {gzugs}. or ru^pa, sound {sgra}. or shabda, smell {dri}. or gandha, and taste {ro} or rasa [IW]

yul bzhi - four sense objects. Form {gzugs} or rupa, sound {sgra} or shabda, smell {dri} or gandhe, and taste {ro} or rasa [RY]

The Unstruck Melody of the Sound Current (Anhad Shabd, Naam, Nada) in the Sikh Scriptures

1. The unstruck Melody that one seeks to hear, hear it thou in the instruction of the Guru’s. (Sri Rag M. 1) 

2. (Within me) rings the unstruck Melody of the Lord’s flute, yea, He in whose presence one’s mind is attuned to the sound (of the inner music). (Sri Rag, Kabir) 

3. Seated in my higher mind, I live in communion with God and within me rings ever the unstruck Music (of Bliss). (Sri Rag Var, Shloka M. 3) 

4. He, the Lord, is immersed in the unstruck Melody of the Word. (Asa, M. 1) 

5. He, our God, is the King of the whole Universe. And there (in His Presence) rings the unstruck Melody (of Bliss). (Sorath M. 5, Chaupadas) 

6. The Lord’s Name has no form, no sigh, and it becomes manifest through the Immaculate God as the unstruck Melody. (Asa M. 1) 

7. In the cave of equipoise do I now have my seat. And the luminous Self of God has burst into me as the unstruck Melody. (Asa M. 5) 

8. At the (tenth) door rings the unstruck Melody. The Lord echoes thus in every heart. (Vadhans M. 5) 

9. The skinless drums produce the Music (of Bliss), And the clouds rumble without the rainy season. And lo, without the clouds, it rains, if one reflects on the quintessence. (Sorath, Namdev) 

10. Now I’ve closed all the nine Doors, and (at the Tenth) now rings the Unstruck Melody. (Sorath, Kabir) 

11. All wisdom, all meditation is in hearing the gospel of the Perfect God and lo, immense is the joy of the Devotees of God, the Destroyer of worldly bonds, for within them rings the unstruck Music of Bliss. (Suhi, M. 5) 

12. Meditating on the Guru’s Word, the wholesome unstruck Strains one hears. (Sri Rag M. 1) 

13. Says Nanak: “Within him Perfect is whose Guru rings the unbeaten Sound.” (Asa, M. 5) 

14. How is one to perform Thy worship, O Thou Destroyer of coming-and-going? The unstruck Melody (within) drums ever Thy glory. (Dhanasri M. 1, Arati) 

15. What, pray, is the sign of the abode of gods? Therein rings the unstruck Melody of the divine Word. (Ramkali Beni)

Nada Yoga (Inner Sound Meditation): Nada is a Word for Divine or Cosmic Sound

Nada is a word for divine or cosmic Sound — hearing heavenly Music or Sounds with an inner spiritual sense of transcendental hearing. Most all religions and schools of mysticism have examples of Saints who reported hearing heavenly music. This is also true in Hinduism. Excerpted below is the essence of the Nada Bindu Upanishad of the Rig-Veda, translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar. At the bottom is a link to the complete Upanishad online. While not identical to inner Light and Sound Meditation practice, also known as Surat Shabd Yoga, it nevertheless can give one a sense of what it might be like to listen to inner Sounds, and how that beyond the Sound there is another level or stage called Ashabda, the Soundless State of the Supreme Spirit, which is the ultimate goal and Reality of the practice, in both Shabda and Nada Yoga traditions.

31. The Yogin being in the Siddhasana (posture) and practising the Vaishnavi-Mudra, should always hear the internal sound through the right ear.

32. The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, he enters the Turya state within fifteen days.

33. In the beginning of his practice, he hears many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly.

34. At first, the sounds are like those proceeding from the ocean, clouds, kettle-drum and cataracts; in the middle (stage) those proceeding from Mardala (a musical instrument), bell and horn.

35. At the last stage, those proceeding from tinkling bells, flute, Vina (a musical instrument) and bees. Thus he hears many such sounds more and more subtle.

36. When he comes to that stage when the sound of the great kettle-drum is being heard, he should try to distinguish only sounds more and more subtle.

37. He may change his concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but he should not allow his mind to be diverted from them towards others.

38. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it.

39. It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails).

40. Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind [distractions of thoughts in Chitta-mind].

41. Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, he should always concentrate his attention on the sound and (then) his Chitta becomes absorbed in it.

42-43(a). Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, so the Chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature.

43(b)-44(a). The serpent Chitta through listening to the Nada is entirely absorbed in it and becoming unconscious of everything concentrates itself on the sound.

44(b)-45(a). The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant — Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects.

45(b)-46(a). It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the deer — Chitta. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean waves of Chitta.

46(b)-47(a). The sound proceeding from Pranava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu.

47(b)-48(a). The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman.

48(b). The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound’s cessation) there is the state called Unmani of Manas (viz., the state of being above the mind).

49(a). This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (indestructible) and the Soundless State is the supreme seat.

The Hindu Upanishad About Inner Sound Meditation: “The Nada-Bindu Upanishad” — Online:

it is remarkable (hence why im remarking on it) to me the level of underlying similarity in our worlds religions- Genesis says God decreed the world into arrangement and creation; the gospel of John says in the beginning was the Word and it was with God and was God- now here is Akasha, a hindu term for the beginning for ether like element that is the basis for all things in the material world, which as I’ve pointed out they say can be characterized by Shabda, sound characterized by utterance or speech! I mean is only my mind blown here? Knowledge is truly never created, just borrowed and exchanged amongst bodies of thought. When they discover the connection between dark energy and sound/speech- just recognize that people have known for millennia!!!



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Buddhist Inner Sound Meditation Practice

“Along with these more well-known methods [of meditation practice] there are many others that can serve a similar function. One of these is known as ‘inner listening’ or ‘meditation on the inner sound’ or, in Sanskrit, ‘nada yoga’. These terms all refer to attending to what has been called ‘the sound of silence’, or ‘the nada-sound’. Nada’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘sound’ as well as being the Spanish word for ‘nothing’ – an interesting and accidentally meaningful coincidence.

“The nada-sound is a high-pitched inner ringing tone. When you turn your attention toward your hearing, if you listen carefully to the sounds around you, you’ll hear a continuous high-pitched sound, like a white noise – beginningless, endless – sparkling there in the background.

“See if you can discern that sound and bring attention to it. For the moment there’s no need to theorize about it or wonder about exactly what it might be, just turn your attention to it. See if you can detect that gentle inner vibration.

“If you are able to hear that inner sound you can use the simple act of listening to it as another form of meditation practice.”

— Selections from “Inner Listening”, by Ajahn Amaro, on Nada/Inner Sound Meditation