What is Sadhana?
Sadhana is the daily practice of waking up in the amrit vela time (2 1/2 hours before the sun rises) to meditate and chant God’s Name. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, "Sadhana is nothing but where a disciplined one, the love, talks to one’s own soul. It is nothing but where one cleans his own mind."
What is the purpose of Sadhana? Why do we do it?
"Sadhana is nothing but where one prepares for the day to become kind and compassionate for everyone, including the enemies. We get up early in the morning, we rise, and we do our sadhana so that we can match up with the day, so we can match up with absolute reality. Face the reality with reality. Don’t face the reality with laziness and slowness. If you do so, you will never be successful and then you are your own enemy. You can’t make it. And that’s why sadhana is an act."
How do I experience my Soul?
"Everybody has God’s light and it must be lit by a person’s own discipline. And the glass to keep it lit and shining should be kept by the person’s own courage, strength and grit. I believe it. I believe this is the love. I believe everybody has the chance to love one’s soul and every soul has the right to shine and every shine has to bring light and brightness, beauty and bountifulness to all, generation after generation.
You love your children? You do. They are beautiful. Isn’t that innocent soul in you also your life child? Have you kissed the soul? Have you hugged the soul? Have you communicated with the soul in the morning at the ambrosial hours when there is absolutely no disturbance? Sadhna is nothing but where a disciplined one, the love, talks to one’s own soul. is nothing but where one cleans his own mind. Sadhana is nothing but where one prepares for the day to become kind and compassionate for everyone, including the enemies.
If you think you are poor, you are poor because you do not communicate with your soul, the source of prosperity, the source of reality. If you think you are desperate, you are desperate because you have no Sadhana. Desperation, depression, and a feeling of destitution comes only to those who have no discipline or Sadhana. Only a house which is not cleaned looks dirty and the mind which is not cleaned, stinks. sadhana is the most selfish act of every act, because it is a self-cleansing. Cleanliness is Godliness. It is good to wear good clothes, look good, be bright, beautiful. But when you want to be blissful and bountiful, you have to have a clear mind, a mind through which your soul, your spirit can shine.
When you stand, take a stand, and stand tall. Walk tall and stand by the strength of your soul. Not the strength of your intellect, intelligence and your cowardice. If you want to speak to anybody, to deal with anything, to have any relationship, just have relationship by the strength of your soul. Otherwise you will miss the goal of life." -
Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa
How do I start and keep up a Sadhana?
You start with what you think you can handle. First, try getting up one hour earlier than usual; this may mean going to bed earlier. It is good to start with some simple yoga exercises to stretch your body and get it going, and then practice a meditation/bani of your choosing. Do this routine until you are able to do it easily, daily for a month or 40 days. Then slowly expand it to an hour and a half, then two hours. For some people, all they can manage of a morning sadhana is one 11-minute meditation, but doing that is certainly better than doing nothing!
It is important to understand that yoga and meditation bring light energy into the body, and over time, this replaces the need for that extra hour or two of sleep in a normal routine (not counting illness and late nights!!).
It helps a great deal to have a sadhana partner or community. Then you can support each other to get up and take turns leading the exercises and meditations. Yogi Bhajan used to say that half of sadhana is showing up, so if your local Sikh community has an organized sadhana routine, participate in it whenever you can get there, even if it’s only for the last 20 minutes.
Many of us find that the more we do sadhana, the more we find we need it and the support it gives us. In other words, it grows on you.
Related Blog Posts:
- Sadhana, Aradhana, Prabhupathi
- Getting up Early in the Morning
- Banis and Time of Day
- Cold Shower (Hydrotherapy)
- Doing the Daily Banis
- Daily Sadhana (Discipline) and Children
- Daily Banis (Nitnem Namaa)
- Simple Meditation Using Your Breath
- My Practice of Kundalini Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga & Sikh Dharma
- The Science of Naad & Gurbani