Which question leads you prosperously from one part of experience to the next?
Way back when I did my first level of teacher training, I remember clearly one very early morning. It was time for the sadhana, the spiritual practice of kundalini yoga. There were specific mantras to be played, and I was going to do that. I had come up with these beautiful new melodies that I was sure people were going to love.
So I started playing the guitar and singing and having a jolly time, and I thought it sounded great, and I was pretty sure the others were enjoying it too.
Until in the middle of a mantra, my teacher started bellowing at me from across the room.
“Gurprakash, please stop. I would rather put on a tape than listen to this.”
I was taken aback. I was hurt. No, I was pissed off.
“What,” I demanded to know: “Is better about a tape when you have a live musician in the room?”
But he didn’t react and proceeded to put on a mantra tape. I was steaming.
What is the Naad?
After the meditation, I asked him what was wrong with how I played. “Well,” he said: ”I concede it was beautiful. But the melodies were too complicated, and no one was chanting along. But more than that: it wasn’t in the Naad.”
The sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. What could he possibly mean by this? I knew that the Naad had something to do with the original sound current of the universe. But how and what that had to do with my music I failed to comprehend.
“What is the Naad?” I asked him. But he just smiled mysteriously.
The weekend continued on its way, unfolding like a typical yoga weekend. People got high, they got low, they cried, and they laughed, and while all of that was going on I could only think about one thing.
So when the weekend was almost over, I plucked up all my courage and went to see my teacher in his room upstairs.
I sat down at his feet and said: “I want to ask you two questions.”
“Shoot,” he said.
“My first question is: How do I get into the Naad?”
“And what’s your second question?” he said.
“Well,” I said: “Now that I am getting my life in order, being hard at work with changing my patterns, I also feel I need to leave Amsterdam. It is too bound up with the past for me. And if I want to make serious work of my new life, I feel it could help me to be in a new kind of energy. I was wondering if perhaps you have a suggestion of where I could go?”
He looked past me into the distance for a moment. And then he said: “You could come to me, to Heidelberg. I am opening a new yoga center there.” And then he realized something and smiled broadly. “And the yoga center will be called ‘Naad.’”
We both laughed out loud. Both my questions answered in such a serendipitous way. This must have been a divine conspiracy.
Discovering new life through sonic yoga
But it was also apparent at that moment, that this was the right question, and the answer was to go wherever it would lead me.
It was the start of an entirely new life for me, the beginning also of a personal transformation that I never dreamed possible. I went to Heidelberg and worked under the guidance of my teacher for two years. Scraping wallpaper of the walls and doing whatever was needed. I met my wife there, who is truly a gift in my life and who I love without end.
I also became a teacher and after that a teacher trainer. I have then been pulled to live in France, to work with another teacher whose most exceptional quality was his ability to access the audible life stream, which is what Naad is.
I have played a thousand sadhanas. And by this time I can say that I really understand something about getting in the Naad.
This is my leading question. And now comes the time to share what I have learned with you.
What is the leading question in your life? It will be interesting to exchange.
If you want to dive deep into the contemplation of the lifestream, come listen to one of my concerts.
On 4 May I will be playing a concert In Cologne in the Christuskirche. Come listen. Tickets are here.