Thought on Sadhana
What is meditation?
The English meditation is derived from the Latin meditatio, from a verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder, meditate”.
Buddhists and Hindus use the root word dhyaai
Some believe Meditation to be focussed attention.
Rhythmic chants are sometimes prescribed. One of it’s benefits is to stop the chatter of the mind and help to meditate.
There are various meditative techniques
1) One focusses ones attention on a chosen object.
2) One practices complete awareness of the experience from moment to moment.”
3) Follow thoughts as a puppy follows any pair of legs it finds into motion. Also, observe thoughts as a man stationed at his window watches passers by at the street.
4) Become aware and only observe the air as it comes in and goes out through the nostrils without controlling the breathing or attempting to deepen it.
One important Oriental Master said: ‘ Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles and you will find comfort and guidance’
Just because we all know how to breathe it does not mean that we know how to live. Just because most of us get married it does not mean that we know how to be a good spouse. Just because, we have children it does not mean that we know how to be good parents. Living, marrying and Parenting require ‘Sadhana’.
There are no universal answers to the meaning of life. I like to believe that it is a journey to the Source…its ups and downs are a lesson…Yet all journeys start with the first step…the first step towards the philosophic quest is the enquiry: “Athato Brahmn Jignasa”…
Then starts the sadhana, which is the spiritual effort the seeker puts in. The word sadhana is derived from the root word ‘sidh’ which means ‘to be accomplished’ in ‘seeking divinity’ The quest starts ‘out’ (pravritti marg) and must end ‘in’ (nivritti marg) and in the knowing that there is no ‘separation’…
Some time ago, I spent two days on a Spiritual Sadhana Camp. A few youngsters on the camp asked me what ‘Sadhana’ means. I explained that it meant ‘Discipline’ plus ‘Perseverance’.
Whatever path of Spiritual Practice you prefer to belong to, be it ‘Karma’ (The path of Righ Action), ‘Bhakti’ (The path of Devotion), Dhyaan (The path of Meditation) or ‘Gyan’ (The path of Knowledge), ‘Japa’ or chanting to still the mind, fasts, long ritualistic prayers, they are all Sadhanas. They all require discipline and perseverance. The aim of Sadhana is Spiritual uplift.
Swami Niranjananda Saraswati states:
” There are seven ways for the liberation of man. The first way is the Path of Karma. This is the discipline for the man of ordinary mettle. The second is the Vaishnava path in which devotion or Bhakti to the Lord plays a greater role than work, and is meant for a higher competence. The third is the Shaiva Path which is more a path of meditation and gyana (knowledge) …The fourth path is the Dakshina Path where Karma Bhakti Gyan are skilfully harmonised and synthesised…Then we have the Vama path or the reverse path where the natural turn outward (pavritti) is turned inward (nivritti) …Then we have the Siddhanta, the path where things are determined as to the real nature and direction of ones goal…The last is the Kaula path…There is nothing higher than the Kaula which is the essence of all essences…”
Scriptures prescribe five Maha Yajnas (Supreme Spiritual Practices)
which may aid us in our Spiritual Movement.
Brahma or Rishi Yajna: Reflecting on Scriptures, meditation and chanting.
Deva Yajna: Fire ritual in which offerings are made to gods with recitation of mantras.
Atithi Yajna: hospitality towards guests, travelers…
Pitri Yajna: Feeding the poor/priests in honor of, and remembering fore-fathers who have passed on…
Balivaishva Yajna: feeding animals and birds.
Shammi Paranjape says:
Continuity of practice and regularity are important elements of sadhana; sporadic efforts will yield no result. The goal is attained stage by stage. Avoid extremes and keep your sadhana pleasant and moderate. The aim is to enlarge vision and enhance experience, and not mortify the body.
If life essentially is a pilgrimage to return to our own self, then sadhana is our means to get there.
Our worldly works earn us a living and our inner work (sadhana) earns us the bliss of an enlightened life.
According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev:
Meditation is a way of manufacturing what we call ojas (subtler energies)…The quality, intensity and volume of ojas makes the difference between one human being and another. Why one person’s presence seems to be strong and transforming, and another’s weak is simply because of the ojas he carries with him…
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev on Love
Love essentially means somebody else has become more important than yourself…The moment you say: “I love you” you can no more do what you want in your life.
…Yet love is pleasant, sweet, it drags you in…If you do not annihilate yourself, you will never know love. Some part of you must die. If you don’t let this happen, there is no love, only calculation…however if you get very unreasonable, the other person will slowly back off…But devotion, bhakti is unreasonable love. It is one sided madness. That is the beauty of loving God because you don’t have to have a relationship—you can just love. And if you have a relationship. It’s all on your terms…
When people don’t love they are rigid…when they love, they are willing to surrender their likes, dislikes…you could call it annihilation, liberation, destruction, nirvana…the above is a fantastic spiritual process…
…The idea of looking up and loving Krishna, loving Jesus, having something up there or loving a guru is because you need not have any fear of entanglement from the other side. That is the beauty of devotion. Without some sense of love in you, without some sense of self-annihilation you cannot meditate. If you pull down the whole of what you call as : “myself” you will become absolutely still and transcendent.
According to Sathya Sai Baba, Sadhana is:
“Anything that awakens the awareness of the universal, the infinite, the transcendental…and any work which takes you out of your narrow self into the vaster magnificence…Ideals must become higher and grander. Desires must become more and more sublime. Attachment must be transmuted into nobler and subtler emotions…