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The 4th Limb: Music

Last but definitely not least, we have the fourth limb of Naad yoga: the musical aspect. Music is a whole science in itself. It has a very special place in the range of the human psyche. It is primal and goes to our very core. Very few of us are immune to its magic.

Different music has different effects on people according to many criteria. However, one thing most music has in common is that it is made up of rhythm (taal) and melody (raga). Taal and raga are terms used in the Indian classical music system, which is arguably the most advanced music system in the world.

Rhythm, or taal, is the cycle of time that gives music its form. It has a beginning point and an end point, and it is repeated as a cycle, with endless possible variations. Just so, it is the cycle of birth and death that gives life its form as well. That is why in India life is sometimes referred to as the “dance of Shiva”.

The functional creation model of the Indian tradition is as follows:

Brahma symbolizes the creative but timeless beginning. Vishnu is the Sustainer, the organizer. Shiva is the symbol of death or transition: the end[1]. Shiva creates the rhythm and is the most worshiped entity of the Hindu creation mythology in India. This concept might seem strange to Westerners; however, without an end to the cycle of rhythm, there would be no life as we know it. Imagine an endless existence. Without the end of the cycle there is no rhythm. You wouldn’t be able to dance to it. The end is the circle and play of all life.

Melody, or raga, is the beauty of the whole dance. There are seven notes from the Indian classical music scale:

Sa - Re - Ga - Ma - Pa - Dha - Ni

From these seven major notes (and the thirty micro-tones in between them), all melodies in infinite variations being played and heard simultaneously throughout the world are created. These notes have immediate, powerful and verifiable effects on the human consciousness and states of mind. They are the very frequencies that are responsible for creation itself.

Sound is powerful and travels through all matter. How one can use music to create balance in one’s life is the fourth limb of Naad Yoga.


[1] In the West we use the word GOD for these functions:

G - Generator / Brahma

O - Organizer / Vishnu

D - Destroyer / Shiva