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Yoga of Sound

The Life and Teachings of the Celestial Songman, Swami Nada Brahmananda

Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

LIST PRICE ₹798.00


About The Book

A guide to harnessing the vibration that created the universe for healing and spiritual awakening

• Shares profound lessons from Swami Nada Brahmananda, a master of the yoga of sound and vibration

• Centers on three life-enhancing themes: controlling the mind, diet and practices conducive to healing and perfect health, and how music can be used to transform consciousness and enrich our spiritual life

• Also paints a vivid portrait of New York City in the 1970s and its underground arts and music scene

Not long after obtaining his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University in 1971, Michael Grosso had an extraordinary experience in Greenwich Village, New York, that led him to realize he needed to balance his overly intellectual life with music. He met Swami Nada Brahmananda, a former court musician for the King of Mysore, famous throughout India for being a master of Taan music and sound yoga as well as for his supernatural control of his body. Grosso began studying with Swami Nada and found his life profoundly changed.

Sharing the lessons of Swami Nada Brahmananda as well as painting a vivid portrait of New York City in the 1970s—and its vibrant and chaotic underground arts and music scene—Grosso explores Swami Nada’s Indian yoga of sacred sound in depth. He reveals how the tradition centers on the sound or vibration that created the universe, its personal cultivation, and its power to heal, enlighten, and offer insight about how to live in the Kali Yuga, the Age of Conflict. Grosso also examines the siddhis, or extraordinary powers, that can arise from this work, detailing the otherworldly abilities of his master. The lessons that Grosso shares center on three life-enhancing themes: controlling the mind, which provides the very essence of a happy life; diet and practices conducive to healing and perfect health—Swami Nada himself never knew a day of sickness in all of his 97 years; and how music in all its forms can be used to transform consciousness and enrich our spiritual life.

Revealing Swami Nada Brahmananda as the very embodiment of a Celestial Songman, Grosso shows how, by practicing the yoga of sound, we can embody Swami Nada’s greatest lesson of all: that we can all learn to make music from the discordant notes of our lives and sing our way out of the Kali Yuga.

About The Author

Michael Grosso earned his doctorate in philosophy from Columbia University. He has taught at City University of New York, Kennedy University in California, and City University of New Jersey. The author of several books, including most recently Smile of the Universe, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (April 4, 2023)
  • Length: 176 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644116388

Raves and Reviews

“This exciting and liberating book opens with an otherworldly experience involving the late-night intersection of deeply emotional music of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane with an apparition of multiple-witnessed unexplained aerial phenomena above New York City in 1976. Grosso describes his own awakening to the universal and idealistic origins of music, especially of a deeply transcendental nature, through his years of training under Swami Nada Brahmananda (whose name literally means Divine Music Happiness), against the lovely background of cosmic humor and deep wisdom imparted by such an enlightened soul. His sage observations and recollections are a gift to the world, hungry as it is for deeper meaning and purpose accessible to the individual seeker. Music is philosophy—this book is a joy!”

– Eben Alexander, M.D., author of Proof of Heaven

“Michael Grosso has done it again. After his monumental work on the levitating Saint Joseph of Cupertino, who defied the laws of physics with his literal flights of devotion, rising tens of feet into the air, he now brings us images of a modern mystic, Swami Nada Brahmananda, via the ecstatic and transcendental music of the spheres. Part memoir, part biography of the twentieth century ascetic Swami Nada Brahmananda, Grosso’s new work offers a rich vision into a magical world of mysticism, intertwined with his own mystical experiences and tempered by his keen analytic attention to detail.”

– Loriliai Biernacki, Ph.D., professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

“Reading this book was for me a wonderfully joyous experience, something to treasure, especially at the present time of ‘Kali Yuga,’ the age of conflict. The story of Michael Grosso’s encounter with his one- time music teacher Nada Brahmananda—and his rare type of ancient music yoga—is a colourful tapestry of philosophy, extraordinary experiences, and everyday life in 1970s New York, woven together by the spell of music seen as a spiritual practice. In this context, ‘learning by heart’ needs to be taken literally, meaning a great deal more than memorizing: it is a route to transcending one’s everyday self, to expanding awareness to encompass the ‘unstruck’ sound, the unheard melody of the universe. This is indeed a book for music lovers everywhere and also for all those who enjoy exploring different ways of acquiring wisdom and reconnecting with living nature.”

– Zofia Weaver, author of Other Realities?: The Enigma of Franek Kluski’s Mediumship

“Michael Grosso introduces us to one of the most remarkable men of our time, Swami Nada Brahmananda, who lived in perfect health to the age of 97, rarely needing to sleep for more than an hour or two, who didn’t dream (confirmed by scientists), and who, apparently, didn’t have much use for thinking (it makes one dull, he said). This swami, shunning honors or fame, lived to teach others, including the author, the transcendental power of music and made his own body itself a musical instrument and a channel through which the divine could sing. Yoga of Sound is itself a remarkable book and deserves to be included among such classics as Autobiography of a Yogi, Ram Dass’s Be Here Now, and the books of Carlos Castañeda. In short, stunning, mind-blowing, and a marvel of the miraculous.”

– Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., author of Lessons from the Light

“Why do so many people take music either too seriously or not nearly seriously enough? Yoga of Sound conveys an essential truth: pure music is life, lived to the fullest, and that suggests divinity: unlimited and unknown powers. This book may help us understand why George Harrison was fond of the saying: God likes me when I pray, but loves me when I sing.”

– Tobias Churton, author of The Spiritual Meaning of the Sixties

“Michael Grosso is one of those authorial guides whom one can always trust, no matter how weird (or wonderful) the path gets. And this is a book about a path that is too often not taken but is nevertheless often heard: transcendental music. Here we have a series of visions that begin with a UAP over New York City and a precognitive dream before it moves quickly into the strange powers and astonishing art of Nada Brahmananda and his sound yoga. In Grosso and his remarkable subject we have ears that really and truly hear.”

– Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of The Superhumanities: Historical Precedents, Moral Objections, New Reali

Yoga of Sound introduces us to Swami Nada Brahmananda, a ghandarva, a yogi of celestial music. Grosso’s encounters with ‘Nada’ reveal a world of celestial sounds where paranormal phenomena are woven into ordinary life. Although Nada played harmonium and drums, his instrument was himself—every thought, every cell, every muscle. He embodied celestial music in the rhythm of his life. Grosso leads us gently into Nada’s world of divine sounds. Grosso reflects on the history of divine sound, tracing its path from Dionysian ecstasies to the mysticism of Pythagoras’ music of the spheres and Ficino’s recognition of celestial presences in nature. Like Nada, these teachers were animists, seeing and hearing an ensouled world, a world that still speaks to the poet within us. Grosso’s lyrical and penetrating book is itself a spell that awakens us to this presence.”

– Gregory Shaw, Ph.D. author of Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblicus

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