Guruji, what exactly is meant by the term ‘Sadhana’? How can I learn to conduct the spiritual practices taught by our ashram, with complete dedication and discipline, despite the busy city life that I am required to live?

‘Sadhana’ means the conduct of any spiritual process with total love and dedication so that it helps you to attain the Divine. Only through ‘sadhana’ will you be able to reach the highest purpose of life: self-realisation. Taking the spiritual path appears difficult when you start upon your spiritual journey. You may feel that many obstacles come in your way, trying to stop you from doing your ‘sadhana’. Many a time, you may feel like quitting your spiritual practices. But the most important thing to note is that no matter how many times you may be stopped from doing your practices, just rise up and continue your ‘sadhana’ with more determination and dedication. Eventually, you will be able to settle down to a spiritual routine that becomes very fulfilling. The ideal way is to start your day with  ‘sadhana’ and also end your day with ‘sadhana’.

You have been taught many spiritual processes at the Ashram. Pick up any of those practices, like Kriya Yoga I/ II/ III/ IV or Kundalini Beeja Mantra chanting, etc. You may find that some specific spiritual process appeals to you very much. Pick on that and make it a routine with yourself. Dedicate a specific convenient period of time for the spiritual practice. The best period of time for any person is early morning, around the Brahma Muhurta period. This is the only time of a 24-hour day, which you can call as your own. This time is favourable for meditation on the Brahman. During this period, the mind is calm and serene, free from all worldly thoughts, or worries and anxieties. This is the period when there is no outside noise or activity, when the serene mind can be moulded, before any worldly distractions enter into it. During this period, the entire atmosphere is charged with high Sattva.

Prepare a schedule such that you may prepare yourself for your ‘sadhana’ by preceding it with prayers, pranayama and yoga, as has been taught to you at the Ashram. Also, before ending your session each day, spend some time in Meditation and Dhyana. Once you choose the time for ‘sadhana’, ensure that you adhere to it, without feeling any sense of burden. Even if you happen to miss your schedule once in a while, just get back to it. Never abandon your spiritual practices. Only those who are blessed by God and Guru, ones are able to engage dedicatedly in ‘sadhana’.

Do not blame yourself for lapses that may happen. Instead, increase your vigour and dedication, and continue with your practices. To remain in this life without doing Sadhana, is the greatest loss one can suffer Do not ever lose touch with your inner self. Just as the physical body needs food for growth, so also the subtle body requires spiritual food for its growth. With regular sadhana, the subtle body become strong, and the power to resist negative thoughts, vasanas and samskaras, increases. Therefore, it is very necessary, especially since you live in the city, to continue your ‘sadhana’ with regularity.

Do not think that you are leading a busy city life. Just carry on with your work in tune with your schedule, because your schedule is your promise to yourself, to continue your dedicated spiritual practices under any circumstance. Eventually, you will find yourself stabilising and progressing well.  Soon, your doubts will be cleared, and answers will be received from within. As you continue, you will experience a complete change from within. The more you participate in the Sadhana, the more will you experience the joy of Self. You will find your entire life aligning with the satvik living style you have adopted, in spite of being in the city.

Any effort in the spiritual path, any kind of spiritual practice, will bring wonderful results. Alternatively, it is a fact that if there is any slackness or irregularity in the one’s ‘sadhana’, there is a high risk that one may get caught up in the futile life of partying, worldliness etc. It will then become very difficult to rise again to the heights of achievement once covered. Therefore, it is advisable to continue to do ‘sadhana’ till one is established in the Divine completely. If you hold on to your ‘sadhana’ and increase it progressively, self-realisation is bound to happen.

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