Sai Darshan Home
Date:8 Apr 1996 Occasion:Divine Discourse Place:Kodaikanal

What is Sadhana?

Embodiments of Love!

In order to attain and experience divinity, it is necessary to have divine thoughts and divine actions. Many people pursue various paths to spirituality and expect results. At times they are disappointed due to not attaining the results. They get frustrated and disappointed. What is the reason? Every individual should know what is sadhana. Everyone has to examine whether he is obeying God's command or not. People behave in a wayward way and, therefore, do not get freedom. Everyone should know all things relating to sadhana. We consider sadhana as japa, bhajan, meditation, etc. These are merely worldly physical practices. The body is temporary, mind is wavering. All spiritual practices go by way of body and mind. We should transcend these three. The word sadhana - what does it mean? 'Sa' - identity, proximity. 'Dhana' is not worldly wealth, power, etc. It is divine wealth, truth, oneness with Truth, eternal, ancient, pure, unsullied. Such wealth is called sadhana. Spiritual practices do not consist of sitting with eyes closed, with controlled limbs. We should know environment. Then we get God's grace. We must bear all opposites. We should bear heat and cold equally, rain and sun equally, pleasure and pain equally, profit and loss equally, sin and merit equally. Vyasa taught the essence of vedas in just two sentences: Helping others is meritorious and hurting is demeritorious.

The word Para upakara - is divided into three syllables - 'para' - 'upa' - 'kara', meaning - above, nearness. So one should do good and help in order to go near to God. This is the proper path in spirituality. We need to go near God. This is the essence of the Upanishad. 'Upa' - near, 'shad' - sit. What is the meaning of sitting down? The significance is that a disciple has to sit down at the feet of God (Guru) who is on a higher pedestal. So all the texts teach how to go near God. What is the significance? For example: when it is hot, one goes near an air conditioner to get coolness and comfort. If one goes near God, he develops divine qualities. This is sadhana. Next - paap - or sin. Harming others is sin. What is sin? Para spirit, Atma. To feel that spirit is multiplicity is a sin. Names and forms may vary but spirit is one only. (A song) - "Eka Prabhu, Eka Naam" - "Easwara Surva Bhutanam" - "God is in every being." God and nature are together. God is the cause, nature is the effect. There cannot be a cause without an effect.

You are not one but three. "The one you think your are. The one others think you are. The one you really are". Take for example, the cloth. It is the unity of the cotton, thread and cloth. We too have many desires like threads. If you remove them one by one, none will be left like the cloth (which disappears after removal of all threads). Less luggage, more comfort makes travel a pleasure in the journey of life. Have one desire alone - God. Develop this unique novel desire. Follow the command of God. We should develop faith and the determination. Whatever God says is for our own good. Once there was a king. It was the custom for the king to drink sugar cane juice during a certain festival. The king wanted to cut it himself, but he had no experience. So, by mistake, he cut his finger. The minister said, "Oh king, this is very good for you." The king became very angry and had the minister imprisoned. The minister was put into prison but he said, "Oh, this is good for me." After some time, the king went to the forest. He was resting under a tree. Nearby there was a tribe and the tribal king needed a human sacrifice. They were looking for a good person. They found the king and they were all very happy. They captured him and gave him a bath and made all the preparations for his sacrifice. Suddenly, they spotted his finger which was cut. They decided to release him and the king returned to his kingdom. He mused, "What the minister said was true. Yes, it was for my own good." He went to the prison cell and told the minister that what he said was true and released him. The minister said "Yes, and the prison too was good for me. If I followed you to the forest they would have sacrificed me instead." The king thought that everything is divine command. He said, "Pleasure and pain are good for me." Everyone should have full knowledge of this truth. This is sadhana.

Sadhana is not japa, rituals and bhajans, etc. The essence of all rituals is to obey God's commands. In the treasury of God's, there are many gems. What is His nature? God gives more than we can understand. If you ask, it may not be fulfilled.

"Oh mind, without asking did not Rama fulfill Sabari's wish? Without asking did not He send the bird, Jatayu to heaven?"

"Oh mind, why ask? God gives more than you ask."

God gives more when you follow his command, worship him wholeheartedly and surrender. That is true sadhana.

Once Rama and Lakshmana and Sita were walking towards Chitrakoot. Rama was tired. He asked Lakshmana to build a hut. Lakshmana asked Him where should he build the hut. Lakshmana was very pained, and said, "What sin have I committed that you ask me to choose the place. I have no separate desire than following your command. All is your will." Rama hugged Lakshmana and said, "It is easy to get a wife or mother, but a brother like Lakshmana is not possible to get." Divine love has no limits. The world is ephemeral. The world is full of misery. Today love, worship and other acts are merely put on. True spirituality is not practiced. If you cannot follow the command of God, it is no use. One should not have a dual mind. A man with a dual mind is half blind. So do not have feelings of mine and thine, like a partnership. Always give. The dualistic attitude is one of no wisdom. What is wisdom? Non-dualism is wisdom. The one without second is non-dualism.

Third! Freedom! Nowadays, you are enjoying freedom by doing as you like. You are having numerous desires and they are not fulfilled, so you are not able to know your own nature. Therefore, you are not receiving God's grace. The word for freedom is Swaicha. 'Swa' = Atma, Self (That of the Spirit). 'Icha' = Will.

It is not the freedom of body, mind, intellect. The body is like a water bubble and mind like a mad monkey. By following them, you go the wrong way. Once we know this we get God's grace. So sadhana is no spiritual practices. Know that pleasure and pain are not separate. Without pain, the pleasure has no value. Pleasure is an interval between two pains. All are passing clouds. So sadhana is purificatory, associated acts. The main thing is equanimity. God is totally unselfish. God gifted the body for the devotee. Practice selfless love, as God is selfless. Do not question to whom it should be given. Have determination. As God is full and everything, surrender totally. In Italy there was a certain man who made violins. He took one year to make the violin. When asked why he took so long, he replied that he was not making it for money. The reason is that since God is perfect whatever one does should be perfection. He said he wanted God's grace. A wholesome devotee should offer full love. Poornamadam, Poornamadah, Poornath, Poorna Mudhachayathe. "God is full, you are full" and the nature of the devotee is fullness. All are full. Always have the feeling of fullness. God's command leads to freedom.

Always have good friends. In this Kali yuga, it is difficult to have good friends. So long as you have wealth, all will say, 'hello'. When you lose everything, you friends run away. The greatest friend is God alone. He is above, below, around and inside you. So long as there is water in the tank, there are thousands of frogs. When the tank is empty, there will be no frogs. So worldly friendship is like that. The real friend is God. Enjoy the Real Freedom. When we understand the three we will achieve our goal. We need to surrender. For that we need faith. We need steady faith.

Life Is a Challenge - Meet it
Life Is a Game - Play it
Life Is a Dream - Realize it
Life Is Love - Enjoy it

Do not discriminate in love. Enjoy it! For instance, you go to the market to purchase vegetables. If you start to enquire where it came from, etc., you have doubts and imagine that it was from dirty places or dirty water then you won't enjoy it. Why bother? So enjoy God's love.

Once Ramakrishna took his disciple, Pramanda, to a river and pressed his head into the water. When he pulled him out he asked him, "What name of God did you think of?" Pramanda replied, "I could not think of anything except how to get out. (gasping for breath)." Once you are drowned in divine love you will only think God. That is real concentration. Time waste is life waste. So love God more and more.

[Discourse posted by Tricia Ostrosky on SaiNet - Transcriptions by Madhuri D. Kara]