What is Sadhna?

What is Sadhna?

The word sadhna comes from the word sadhya, which means to achieve; or to aim or focus. Any intense practice that is done with 100% focus is called sadhna.

Sadhna is a long path. To do sadhna requires great patience. Sadhna can be done of any subject, be it music, yoga, archery or any other practical art. The goal of sadhna is to become one with the subject; to reach a point where there is no distinction between the subject and the practitioner. For this, you have to focus all your energy on the subject that is to be mastered or achieved.

To become one with the subject, one must go to the beej or seed of the subject, from where it emerges.

The beej of the subject is the purest state of the subject, it’s root. For example, in music, the root of any instrument is pure sound or in the language of Vedanta – Aum. From there, everything that is music emerges. This beej of music – pure sound, like the beej of any other subject can be called by many names – Truth, Ultimate Reality, Existence, etc. Thus, if one goes to the root of a subject through sadhna, one experiences ultimate knowledge or Truth. So we can also say that the highest goal of sadhna is to experience Truth. The subject is the medium and gaining mastery over it a practical outcome. The sadhna or intense practice of a subject takes the sadhak or practitioner from the material level to higher spiritual levels, where he can ultimately go to the subject’s root and experience Truth.

Truth is not something that can be taught. It is something that is be experienced or self-realized. Unfortunately, in today’s society, the education practice is such that we are given ready-made information that we have to accept rather than discovering them through our own understanding. It is a system that creates more believers than seekers.

Truth needs no belief, Truth is being. It is eternal – shashwata. Even if Truth itself comes to you and tells you to believe, you must not believe. Because that belief will make that Truth a lie. Truth itself is not a lie, but your belief of it without experience is wrong. Truth never creates beliefs. Truth is Truth. When you have any experience, your belief turns into knowledge and that is Truth.

What are the obstacles that come in the way of experiencing Truth?
The biggest obstacle is your mind. Everything – your beliefs, ideas, concepts, thoughts and information are all the clouds that cover the Truth from you. Until you disconnect from these things, you cannot experience Truth, it can only be experienced in a mindless condition. It is through sadhna that one can reach a mindless condition.

As mentioned before, one can do sadhna of many different topics. But the ultimate goal is one and the same: the experience of Truth, which occurs in a mindless condition. The three most direct paths to reach a mindless condition are yoga, music and tantra. It is important to understand that there is not one single path or sadhna that everyone can do. Each person is unique and so their path is unique, but there are similar experiences that sadhaks share as they move towards a common goal.

Death (Lecture Excerpt)

Death (Lecture Excerpt)

Death is a mystery for human beings. Man always tries his best to understand death. All religions, scriptures and philosophers always struggle to understand death. The failure to understand is the reason we fear death.

The man who believes in rebirth has a fear of death and the man who does not believe in rebirth also has a fear of death.

We have always viewed death with fear. We need to change that attitude. The time you change your attitude towards death is when it will no longer be a feared subject. We fear death because it is not an experience of this life. In fact, it is the beginning of a new life.

The way you end your life is very much connected to the way you begin your new life. If you end this life in fear, your next life will begin with that fear. For death and life are the two banks of the same river.

Until we don’t understand why we have a fear of death, the fear will not go. The topic of death is a very serious topic. Society stands upon the fear of death. Man is always trying to ignore death.

There are four pillars of philosophy: wonder, doubt, criticism and death. Greek philosophers consider wonder as the primary source of philosophy. Decartes considered doubt to be the primary source. Philosophers like Kant consider criticism as the primary source of philosophy. Death is also considered the primary source of a vast number of philosophies.

The Secret for Growth

The Secret for Growth

It is always my wish and prayer that my students and all those that I know grow with each passing year. As we begin 2010, I would like to share a small story about speaks of the secret for growth, whether it be in your spiritual life, professional life or personal life.

Tansen had been appointed as a musician in Akbar’s court. In his times, to become a court musician was a major accomplishment. You were given immense facilities – a palace to live in, an elephant to move around in, etc. It was a musician’s dream. Upon receiving this news, he made the long journey to visit his Guru Swami Haridas deep in the forest. After sharing the news, he bowed at feet of his teacher and sought his blessings.

“I am very happy that you have accomplished so much. Always stay like this,” his Guru said, “if you want to continue to grow.”

Tansen rose and asked him to explain.

“Observe the posture of one seeking to climb a mountain. He is always leaning forward, keeping his head bowed. Observe the posture of one going down a mountain. He stands tall with his chest out. If you want to reach great heights, you must keep your head bowed and keep your ego in check. When you stand tall, you will no longer be able to go higher.”

Tansen got the message.