From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Nāda literally means ‘vibration,’ ‘sound’.

Nāda as per Śaivism and the Śāktā tantras[edit]

Though the word ‘nāda’ is generally used in the sense of sound, both unmanifested and manifested, it has been employed more as a technical term in Śaivism and the Śāktā-tantras. Before creation, the Śiva-Śakti principle, the ultimate Reality, is one only, without a second. When this Reality, the equivalent of Brahman of the Advaita Vedānta, starts reflecting on Itself[1] a throb or a stir is created. This stir named as spanda, develops further as ‘nāda’ or vibration and gets concentrated as ‘bindu’.[2] Further creation evolves out of it.

Nāda as per Music[edit]

When the word is taken to mean sound, several varieties of it are described in the technical works related to music and yogic practices. For instance:

  1. Ghaṇtānāda - sound of a bell
  2. Śaṅkhanāda - sound of a conch
  3. Bherīnāda - sound of a kettle-drum
  4. Veṇunāda - sound of a flute
  5. Meghanāda - sound of clouds or thunder
  6. Others


  1. It is called ‘vimarṣa’.
  2. Bindu means the point of tremendous energy.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

Contributors to this article

Explore Other Articles