(Last Updated on : 17/02/2011)
Sadhana is a process of spiritual growth. The word Sadhana literally means realising an end through spiritual practices. Such a practice is prevalent in both Hinduism and Buddhism. The main object of sadhana is primarily to gain control over mind. According spiritual canons, to realise God or to achieve moksha, it is essential to gain control over mind and detach oneself from the material desires. Sadhana enables the sadhaka or the practitioner to move beyond the realms of anger, envy, hatred, lust, grief, greed, egoism, selfishness, etc. Sadhana is one of the instrumental forms of spiritual practices that aids in spiritual growth. It empowers the practitioner with a broad mind and vision.
In Hinduism, Sadhana and abhyasa (practice) are considered similar. In fact Sadhana is a lifelong practice and hence, requires lot of patience. Some people have the notion that they can attain psychic powers by simple yogic practices. However, the truth is that simple yogic practices cannot help one to achieve Siddhis or psychic powers. Inquisitiveness about spirituality is merely a stepping stone for the spiritual progress. One needs to introspect, analyse, pray, practice Japa, meditate and attained Satnangs to quench their curiosity. Religious texts are also considered good means for spiritual guidance. There are different kinds of Sadhana in both Buddhism and Hinduism. It depends on the individual which kind of Sadhana he wants to practice.
One of the prerequisites of Sadhana is the right action. Intention alone is not sufficient. It has to be complemented by right action via right means. This yogic practice is the path to attain Self knowledge and for this purpose it requires best intentions. Ethical clarity and spiritual progress are two sides of the same coin and these form the first step towards attaining spirituality. Sadhana also requires exercise of self discipline, meaning that one needs to stay away from brutality. One of the innate qualities of man is considered to be humaneness and it is important that he practices too.
Precautions for Sadhana:
A person who is practicing Sadhana should not mix much with others
He should not speak much
Eat as is required
Do not sleep for too long
Avoid the company of women
Avoid residing with householders
Do not feel discouraged by failures
Resist all kinds of temptations.
Do not get deluded by initial successes
Practice Sadhana regularly
These precautions are recommended so that the person practicing Sadhana is not affected by external or internal disturbances. For instance, talking would distract the mind and hamper concentration. On the other eating too much leads to drowsiness.
Sadhana is, thus, an elaborated process as it takes time to awaken supra consciousness of Brahman. It must always be remembered that there is no easy way to achieve realise the self. Spiritual development takes place gradually in a slow pace and the sadhaka needs to strive harder each time to attain his end.