In this universe, there is only one source of eternal flow of Anand (Bliss) and it is none other than the ‘God Principle’. Hence, as you make efforts to merge with the God Principle, you begin to experience the sweetness of Anand. Making efforts to merge with the God Principle is itself called sadhana. Sadhana bestows one with the strength to endure unhappiness. Besides, it also helps in the development of Divine virtues like faith, sacrifice and courage in a seeker, making his life ideal and complete.
Most people have theoretical knowledge on how to perform sadhana and how to progress to the further stages in sadhana through discourses or reading. Yet, people do not make efforts to persevere with sadhana, because the analysis of the exact changes that take place in an individual after performing sadhana are not mentioned anywhere. This article includes theoretical and analytical knowledge on some components of sadhana, the minimum spiritual level required for obtaining Guru’s grace and its importance.
1. Some components of sadhana, the minimum spiritual
level required for obtaining Guru’s grace and its importance
|Possible for a seeker at what spiritual level||Importance|
|2. Satsang (External)||50||10|
|3. Priti for others||50||10|
|4. Chanting God’s name (Internal satsang)||40||30|
|8. Less ego||50||70|
|10. Guru’s grace||60||10|
Pratyahar means preventing the contact of an organ with an object. For example, when the eyes are closed no scene gets connected with the eyes. When the mind is obsessed with sense pleasure, it deviates from the goal of God-realisation. Pratyahar is beneficial for this.
Faith, less ego and acquiring the Guru’s grace are goals of sadhana; the other aspects are tools to achieve these.
A. The one with intense yearning does not require a Gurumantra
An individual with intense yearning for God-realisation does not require a Gurumantra in the sagun (Materialized) form. This very yearning becomes his internal Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) and functions in the present and inspires him to perform sadhana.
B. Spiritual progress is proportional to the yearning
with which sadhana is performed and not to the type of sadhana
Due to His Holiness Dr Athavale’s resolve and the yearning of seekers, Divine Knowledge which was earlier received by Sages, is now being received by seekers. Does this become seeker’s sadhana so as to achieve the next spiritual level ?
Every seeker is allotted seva as per his or her temperament. Spiritual progress takes place equally with any type of seva; for example, if one conducts analysis based on the subtle knowledge with a yearning of 20% and another lady-seeker performs seva in the kitchen with a yearning of 30%, then on that day her sadhana is more than the first seeker.
3. Importance of coupling own efforts with Divine
strength to reduce sanskars (Subconscious impressions)
Moving away from sanskars and defects means reducing them. When the individual reduces his sanskars and defects on the strength of his sadhana, only then in the true sense he gets separated from the ‘self’. Thus, the subconscious mind detaches the individual from the ‘self’.
A. When the individual reduces his sanskars and defects on the strength of his sadhana, he gets detached from the ‘self’ in the true sense. Here, what is the meaning of ‘getting detached from the self’ in the true sense ?
When efforts are made to reduce sanskars and defects with a bhav (Spiritual emotion) that ‘God is getting everything done’, the ego reduces. Else, thinking that ‘it is with my own efforts that my sanskars and defects have reduced’, the ego increases. Here, the false impression that sanskars and defects have reduced is created. However, in reality this does not happen; on the contrary, the threat of ego increasing is more. To speed up reduction of sanskars and defects, necessary efforts should be coupled with bhav for God. If the individual has a bhav that he cannot reduce sanskars and defects on his own without Divine grace, then these will reduce quickly. Efforts made only with individual strength make the individual selfish, but those made with Divine strength make him selfless.
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy text ‘Sadhana (Spiritual practice) (General information and importance)’