A homeless man was searching for his food from garbage cans and finds a mirror. He looks in the mirror, scared he shouts:”My God! A corpse! A corpse in the garbage!”
He runs to the police station, to report this cruelty. The policeman hurries to the garbage, looks into the mirror there and scared he says: “My God! It is one of us!”
And he puts the mirror in his pocket, to bring the proof to the police-station. But he forgets all about it, comes home at night, and his daughter checks his pocket for money to steal.
She finds the mirror, looks inside and scared she runs to her Mom: ”Mom! Mom! Daddy has a new girl friend!”
The mother runs to the mirror, looks inside and shouts disgusted: ”UHH!, What an ugly, nasty-nagging old hag!”
Similarly, the world of sadhana has been misunderstood to such a level that every person talks in his own manner and Sadhana itself has lost its true meaning. The world of Sadhana is very complex. The harder you try to solve the puzzle, the deeper you sink in its mystery. Try finding answer to one question and a thousand more will arise instantly; and yes, the original question remains unanswered. Try further and the web will multiply exponentially.
To start with, lets get rid of some widespread misconceptions about sadhana. Sadhana is not a magic wand; it is not for people looking for the unexpected, very miraculous and quick-fix solutions. For example, take a person with all the essential qualifications and knowledge who is looking for a job; he may find it within a short period of time. On the other hand, he may be well prepared for his appointment, but it may take longer time than his expectation. Similarly, in Sadhana expecting results in a short time period depends much on the sadhaka’s preparation and development. If one prepares for it from a young age, then the development would be faster, just like Bheeshma who prepared for his powerful living started from the tender age of five under the tutelege of his mother Ganga.
In Mahabharata, it took many meetings between Lord Krishna and Arjuna to make Arjuna understand the essence of the ultimate truth (Bhagwat Gita). Once Arjuna realized the knowledge, he overcame the fear of loss or gain. He remembered only the present and thus was able to win the war. Interestingly, this never happened with his four brothers who were much more qualified and knowledgeable than Arjuna. The reason for this was due to the level of concentration that Arjuna possessed which others had lacked.
Sadhana cannot be driven by emotions: Sadhana cannot be done by emotions alone. Many books provide details of Sadhana and provide solutions which look very easy and may appear as short route to achieve the state of Sadhana, a state that ancient saints reached after the practice of a few hundred years. If it were so simple then we would find all the people on earth enlightened. But we don’t see this happening
around us. If you were to count in the last 5000 years, there will not be more than 1000 enlightened beings. Why? In the last 5000 years, only those people who were rebels were able to achieve this state of being. The question is what happened to the rest…
The answer is nothing. They struggled all their life for the same level of enlightenment that these few thousands had. The moment you are able to drop all those things that the society has thrust upon you, only then you are able to realize the actual meaning of Mantra, Tantra, Sadhana and Dhyana. The moment you realize the truth, then every utterance of yours becomes a truth and then only you are to realize your own true self. Emotions do play a vital role in Sadhana but they do not comprise everything.
Sadhana won’t make you rich overnight: Many believe that through sadhana one can become the richest person in just about no time. Yes, there are certain techniques that can make you rich beyond reason but to reach that level of success you’ll have to perform sadhana seriously for months or years. Even if you have the blessings of the most powerful Guru, nothing would change overnight and nothing would happen without work on your part.
Sadhana is not a mechanical process: Nowadays, a sort of mad rush for mantras can be witnessed. People often ask me ”I have this problem. Give me a mantra for it.”
”I want to chant this mantra. Please, elaborate on the procedure.” ”How can I perform this sadhana. Please, explain with as much details as possible.” ”I am starter and I am in a hurry. Give me a mantra to succeed in every sphere. But, keep in mind that I can not chant for more than 5-10 minutes.” “I know I am enlightened and I believe you also know by now. Can you tell me a mantra for spiritual advancement beyond enlightenment?”
People feel that they’ll grab a mantra from someone somewhere, chant it for a while and then the most wonderful thing will happen to them. Sadhana does not happen like this. It takes time and the right procedure must be followed to chant the mantra. Only a person who has received siddhi over a mantra can give the mantra to another person, otherwise the effect would be negative. I can give you many examples from Kerala and Bengal where people once were deeply involved in Tantra and Mantra practices. In Kerala, many Namboothiri families have been ruined due to misuse and because of
improper precautions of handling the mantra. This happens because the sounds and rhythms contain the strength of a mantra, not the words and characters. Web, books and scriptures cannot give you those sounds and rhythms. Only an able Guru can and a Guru would give mantra to only that person who can handle the power of the mantra itself. There is another condition and that is when the Mantra Diksha is given then it is crucial to know the energy of the Sadhaka (disciple) and his level of growth that may happen in the future.
Every sadhana is not suitable for you: It is very crucial to know this. I have met people who did Bagula-mukhi sadhana and were suffering from various ailments. The reason being that they were married and they were practicing the methods given in the book without the full knowledge of the process of the sadhana. They were not able to find a person who could guide them and it was sometime before they were made to understand the Sadhana itself. This is main cause for all the problems. They stopped practicing it for about three months for the sake of testing. Their problems vanished. All this happened not because it was a miracle but because of their ignorance. All the ancient rituals and techniques have many complex conditions, so do not delve into them without acquiring full knowledge or else the damages would be very high.
Here, I would like to say that I am not writing this to create fear. Rather it is essential to know the danger of improper performance of Sadhana. If done in the right manner, this would give immense benefits also.
Sadhana is a science: I know many people who feel that Sadhana is mock science.
They feel that it only creates a psychological fear and images in the mind of the person following the path. Definitely, it cannot be proved by mathematics or physics but then you cannot prove many mysteries of the universe with the current knowledge of science we have. Science is an ever growing concept that works on many assumptions to prove them, similarly Sadhana has its own science that does not co-relate with any of the sciences of physical nature. The whole logic of Sadhana is unique and works on a higher plane of consciousness which is way higher than the body or the mind. It is directly related with the soul and the only proof you get is the experience. It is beyond logic.
Sadhana: ‘Sadhana’ the word means ‘training’. Training of the mind. Why? Because, mind is a super computer which cannot be matched by even the best manmade computer. The best that a manmade computer may be able to do is to multiply, add or perform logical activity but it would not be able to distinguish over a million colours, create images and also work on the memory simultaneously like the
Albert Einstein had quoted that even the best knowledgeable human being also never uses more than 5 per cent of the mind’s total potential. Now you can imagine the vastness it covers in itself. What does a normal person do with the 5 per cent potential?
He uses it for wasteful thoughts, thoughts of greed, lust, fear, ego and anger. Worries and miseries too. But in all this, where is the role of divinity or the self….? Nowhere. Imagine if we are able to tap the resources that we normally use for the pure inner development. You would be surprised to find that your whole life has changed drastically for the betterment. The sole goal of a Sadhaka (the one who performs sadhana) should be to train the mind and the body to access as much of the mind’s power as possible; to
lead a complete life. In the end, sadhana is essentially a battle between (imperfect) you and your (perfect) self. ~ Maitreya Rudrabhayananda
Source : Atmasanchaya Dhwani.