What practices do you do daily?
Our Senses cannot take us to the Truth
Mind is a great tool that helps us experience material reality. Yet this material reality is not all what is to the universe. Mind relies on input from the senses which are imperfect in more ways than one, so claim the Dharma Shastras. Real Knowledge lies beyond the ken of the Senses and the mind. This too is claimed by the Shastras. All that is sensory perception then, is not knowledge becomes a corollary and to this the Shastras agree. The path to perfection lies on the other side of the sensory spectrum. The path to that Real World of Knowledge is to be attained through a set methodology as prescribed by the Shastras. When one prepares oneself to undertake this journey, it becomes binding on him, to contain the senses, with which he has been blessed to perform regular repetitive mundane actives, from interfering with his perception that he prepares to develop. Naturally that perception shall be extra-sensory, connected with Truth and Knowledge which is unavailable to the world of senses and sensory-objects.
What is Sadhana?
Undertaking such a process will be to walk on a tight-rope where the senses have to be curtailed and kept silent. If on this journey, he allows the senses to interfere, he shall only fall from a height, having undertaken a steep climb. The senses are born out of illusion or Maya and hence become impediments as we try to attain higher perception through sadhana which means to follow a strict spiritual discipline. An experience of a mind freed from its dullness and heaviness shall be able to reflect the light from the deeper realms of one’s being, which will convey to one that the external world is simply a projection of thoughts that had settled down on one’s consciousness, a result of previous unresolved commitments and actions, nothing more. Sadhana is all about conscious actions, disciplined actions which are set along the molds of the Dharma Shastras. Sadhana is to lose completely, the tendency to be frivolous, not to be nonchalant towards one’s primal duties of the soul. Above all, spiritual discipline is to be free of conditioned experiences, Thoughts, ideas, concepts and symbols.
Bees are always attracted to honey-laden flowers
Sadhana is about reflecting on one’s experiences in a totally unattached manner and redeem oneself from all that sticks and drags. It is about completely freeing oneself of biased opinions and be totally committed to non-identification. It means stripping oneself of all forms of identification with the world of thoughts and forms. All practices included in the sadhana process should only be done with one intention of being established in Truth, which is beyond all conception. The very intention to be with whatever is “Truth” is sufficient. Even if that Truth is not in one’s experience now, it shall come and reside by one’s side through committed intent and practice of principles alone. The Truth that cannot be described by the senses or expressed through words shall come and reside on our very being just as a bee is attracted to a flower which is overflowing with honey.
The best forms of Sadhana
Sadhana is best done through faith and surrender. In my personal experience, this is the best mood to get in, before one gets into any form of Sadhana. Either being committed to Truth, believing that this commitment is all that matters and then sticking to a process to deepen sincerity is a great form of Sadhana. On the other hand, falling in love with a deity, a mantra, love for the qualities of the deity or even loving the Dharma Shastras and going on reading them just as a lusty man yearns for women, is the according to me the best way to savor the nectar of Truth. Our Dharma Shastras are directly the “Truth Divinity”. There is nothing more to look for. Having simple faith on the Shastras and imbibing the principles of the Shastras, drinking them with our minds, is perhaps, top quality sadhana.
The fight between Sadhana and the mind
Whatever the mind conceives, in its normal way, is pure, unadulterated distortion. All our worldly experiences are raw reinforcements of this adulteration. When we seek and follow the principles of Truth, employing sadhana into our lives, our minds slowly start getting unburdened of it dullness and distortions. Unless one involves Truth, Deity or the Shastras in our life, cleansing of the mind is not possible. Cleansing of the mind shall lead to clear perception, not through the senses but through the inner instruments of the soul which is intelligence born out of intuition. This is also known as realization of the Self. Sadhana is the enthusiasm expressed by the living entity to the Supreme Self. Sadhana is the assertion to ascend continuously on the rungs of awareness. The path of sadhana is full of obstacles and other sensory based impediments which try to grab the attention of the seeker, trying to dissuade him from the path of Sadhana. Sadhana is the attempt to be free from the psychological gimmick that the mind plays before the seeker, constantly coming up with reasons, causes and other side-kicks, so compelling that, at some point the seeker may come up with a “perfect” logic of why he should quit sadhana. That is the might of psychological experience. Once this psychological gimmickry is completely throttled, extinguished, spiritual search shall also come to an end, the fruit of sadhana, having been received. That is the beauty of the fight between sadhana and the mind. Sadhana is to toil continuously because the mind has toiled continuously for endless lifetimes to stay in the reckoning. Unless Sadhana is deep, persistent, sharp and steep, the mind shall only come out as an uncontrollable animal. So one must always beware of the mind. Sadhana will also mean that one may have to be sometimes harsh with the mind and sometimes leeway need to be given. This leeway to the mind is provided so that it can be caught hold by its neck and made to surrender. Sadhana means, it’s a war with another ghost within us, called the mind. Mind fears righteousness, Truth and actions committed under the auspices of Truth alone. So these principles, one should make, as part of one’s daily habit. The more one does a truthful committed act, the more one is enthusiastic to side with what is righteous, irrespective of the outcome of such acts, the faster, the mind shall give up its hypocritical nature. This is one of the greatest secrets of sadhana.
Attaining a state of Alert Rest
The more, the mind succumbs to Truth and sincerity of purpose flowing through every thought, word and action, there shall emerge reinforced clarity in our consciousness and our personality shall abound with the fullness of character. All this shall only take us into a state of intensely alert rest. This rest is not only suitable for our overall emotional and physical well-being but it sets us in a state of long-lasting joy and calm. Nothing can deter us from here, not even death. It will give us a luminosity that will keep the bad vibrations of existence far away from us. Whatever we say or do shall only come from clarity of our soul and whatever we say, shall stay.
Serving People may not be a goal
A life of abundance is a life that is dedicated to Truth, a life dedicated to a Mantra that represents that Truth. A true sadhaka is a practitioner of Truth and Truth alone. The Sadhaka is not bothered about comforts and he is not bothered about any other being, since his love is for Truth alone. Such a lover of Truth does not need the world. He may help others, if Truth commands him to do so and he may leave others in the lurch, if it is the will of God. A True Sadhaka is not bothered about Loka Seva (लोक सेवा serving society). He is only committed to his principles which are given to him by Dharma. Dharma Shastras are many and yet the Sadhaka may be committed to a handful of Dharmic principles which are resonant with his soul. Hence he draws no sin, if someone is morose with the sadhaka because the sadhaka did not do something that the other man thought was Dharma. Dharmic principles do not follow this line. What may be poison to someone maybe the other man’s medicine and vice-versa. The gamut of human mind and consciousness is vast. As long as one is committed to a set of Dharmic principles with Truth as the central theme, no one is qualified to point fingers at such a being because the actions of such an elevated being is to be judged only by the Almighty. A sadhaka need not care for people’s opinions if he is following Dharmic principles.