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Thread: Sadhana

  1. #11

    Re: Sadhana

    Namaste!

    I treat japa with a short period of mindfulness meditation as my basic practice. When my mind is most focused, I think about God's grace, how everything I value is in my life by His grace, and then I offer that back to Him. I try to accompany that with a short puja.

    I think it's also a good habit to read a small portion of a scriptural text prayerfully, write down my understanding of it and how it fits into the larger text, and then read what a few commentaries have to say about that portion. In that way, I can work through a scripture and not just build a knowledge base, but really grow my understanding.

    All the best,

    VB

  2. #12
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    Re: Sadhana

    While doing sadhana, or simply chanting any mantra. Give importance ot only one thing i.e. mantra.

    Let the thoughts come. Do not force them to go away or try to avoid them.

    Do not think, 'why are these thoughts coming'

    Just let them come and go. Do not focus on any thought.

    Always remember, no thought is important. Do not worry about any issues.

    In meditation, things which you gave importance will come out strongly. And mostly the last thoughts will pop up as soon as mind begins to calm down.

    This is the nature of sadhana, Only focus on mantra and then gap between 2 mantras. The silence between mantra is also very important, as much as the mantra itself. This will give you continuity of chanting. i.e. being aware of the mantra, the silence and then the mantra again.

    If thoughts come (which are going to come), just be aware. IF the thought is strong, convince your mind that you do not want to think about the issue. Mentally say, I just want to surrender to my God and chant his name. Nothing is as important as chanting the name of God.

    When a thoughts comes, just let - go

    Remember, Thoughts are not coming, they are going. Your mind is emptying itself. So why stop it from emptying. Just let it empty. Just let-go.

    There is no need to think about the nature of thoughts or issues popping in mind during meditation. There is no rule, no logic. Nobody can tell which thought will pop up in meditation.

    As bhakti increases, the force of thoughts decreases and finally the quality of meditation will increase and with it, the increase in peace and bliss.

    As I have said in earlier post, not giving importance to worldly thoughts is very important. Else these thoughts will definitely come in meditation. Since you have given high importance to this thought, your mind will naturally get pulled into it and mantra will fade away in a moment. After some time, when the effect of thought reduces, you realize that you are meditating, then again you will try to chant the mantra.

    So not giving importance to any every, which can be done if moksha / divine vision of God / Yog is the only Goal is necessary. Else you will keep meditating for years with little progress. As in meditation, which last just an hour or two, you are emptying your mind, and then rest of time (20 hrs) you are dumping thoughts, emotions and issues in mind. So it will be like climbing up one stair and then climbing down one stair. When will you reach 1st floor.

    Yes, we all have desires, some needs to be fulfilled, some can be renounced. If by renunciation, one can becomes calm, nothing like that. Faith and surrender in God is also equally important.

    Though a day in week is associated with a particular deity, it is not said anywhere that on other days, you cannot visit the temple of that deity.

    So do not be a temporary bhakta. Be a permanent bhakta

    Patience is another important virtue / Guna. It is extremely important. If you become restless, you may end up being more restless and may un-necessarily (and shamelessly) get angry on some one.

    Trying to experience the same state of bliss or pleasure, which you once had experienced, is also a reason of getting frustrated.

    So best is to let it happen and concentrate on mantra and silence. Let thoughts come and let them go. DO not give any importance to them.

    In day time, when not meditating, accept situation as it is. Accept any person 'as it is' with +ve and -ve qualities.

    Do not think, 'why is he behaving like this'. It is simply not is nature to work the way you work and think. he/she works and behaves according to his / her nature. Just accept him / her. Most problems will not be there. This will boost sadhana and sadhana will help one stay neutral.

    Sadhana will also make one aware of thoughts, which can extend in day time. So you can be aware of thoughts popping up in your mind and can decide whether to entertain them or not.

    Everything has to be done properly. One cannot progress simply because you are chanting God's name since years. There has to be devotion, faith, surrender, no importance to worldly issues and thoughts, staying neutral or leaving it to God (in case of dvaita worship), having only one goal in life, etc are all important for spiritual progress.

    Again, clarity is important. One should know where to go and for this one has to read, understand and digest scriptures with faith.

    Last, but not the least, one should have confidence in self, that you are not doing anything wrong by chanting God's name and reading scriptures.

    One should also not feel guilty of you have done something wrong in past. Just make sure you do not repeat it again. Forget the past. Have a fresh beginning. Guilt will not allow one to surrender. Guilt will break faith. So do not feel guilty. Just conclude that you had done something wrong and now you are not repeating that mistake.

    When starting to meditate,

    1. Begin with 10 mins or 20 mins, extend it to 4 mins.

    2. extend it to 90 mins

    3. Extend it to 3 hours.

    4. Extend it as much as you can - don't you love to meditate ?

    Listening to devotional songs surrendering all work and it's fruits to God, leaving everything on God, remember God before doing any work or before eating, etc are also very important. These activities keep you connected with God.

    Hope this is helpful

    AUM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  3. #13
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    Re: Sadhana

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaikuntha Bound. View Post
    Namaste!

    I treat japa with a short period of mindfulness meditation as my basic practice. When my mind is most focused, I think about God's grace, how everything I value is in my life by His grace, and then I offer that back to Him. I try to accompany that with a short puja.

    I think it's also a good habit to read a small portion of a scriptural text prayerfully, write down my understanding of it and how it fits into the larger text, and then read what a few commentaries have to say about that portion. In that way, I can work through a scripture and not just build a knowledge base, but really grow my understanding.

    All the best,

    VB
    God's grace will come by itself.

    Puja is more of a karma type, a mixture of karma and bhakti. Japa is pure bhakti

    Puja is easier than Japa.

    Chanting Om namah shivaya for 1 hour is difficult than chanting 1001 names. All you have to is open a book and then keep reading 1001 names. You can easily sit for 1 hour.

    1. Puja is like 3 legged cycle.

    You are chanting mantras, listening to mantra and seeing what you are doing or even offer something.

    It is a kriya (process).

    2. Japa is like 2 legged cycle. You chant mantra and listen it or even aware of mala.

    3. Nidhidhyasana (contemplation) is like one legged cycle. You are just aware of chanting and try to find the source of chanting OM

    If doing self inquiry. The questions arise effortlessly like 'who am I' or 'I am not this' (neti - neti) and then mind goes into the source of thoughts. In case of OM, mind goes into the source of OM and then merges into Atman.

    So each one is difficult than former.

    So Puja can be first, which prepares your mind for Japa and then do Japa and after some time, just be aware. Enjoy the peace and Bliss

    Just a personal opinion

    Aum

    IS
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  4. #14
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    Re: Sadhana

    Namaste IndiaSpirituality

    Lots of good advice, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality View Post
    So not giving importance to any every, which can be done if moksha / divine vision of God / Yog is the only Goal is necessary.
    If this is refered to as the goals of jnana/bhakti respectively, the goal of shuddha-bhakti (pure devotion) is not just 'divine vision of God'.
    The real goal of prema-bhakti is pure Love of God. Although the devotee naturally yearns to associate with BhagavAn face to face (not only in dream or a flash-vision), the goal of prema-bhakti is to live/work/exist for His pleasure only, and for no other reason - irrespective of whether or not He gives them His eternal or momentary or temporary association, irrespective of whether He whisks them off their feet to His abode, irrespective of whether or not He delivers them from saMsAr (birth-death cycles), irrespective of whether or not He reciprocates with them in any other way.

    This alone is the true meaning of Yog with the Supreme Person, God.

    aslishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
    adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va
    yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
    mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah || 8 ||

    I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.




    Shri Chaitanya Shikshashtak verse 8



    In day time, when not meditating, accept situation as it is. Accept any person 'as it is' with +ve and -ve qualities.

    Do not think, 'why is he behaving like this'. It is simply not is nature to work the way you work and think. he/she works and behaves according to his / her nature. Just accept him / her. Most problems will not be there. This will boost sadhana and sadhana will help one stay neutral.
    This is good advice although will seem tough at first.

    When faced with extremely difficult situation, a bhakta's mind turns to the example of Bhakta PrahlAd. At age 5 he stood firm about his unconditional love for Shri NArAyaN. His father HiraNyakashyapU tried so hard to divert him from God, then burn him, throw him from a cliff, but little PrahlAd kept chanting 'Om namo nArAyaNAya' and asked the Lord to forgive his father.

    Shrimad Bhagvat, Canto 5 or 7

    Another is Draupadi's example of initial struggle. It was only when she stopped struggling did Shri KRshNa come to her rescue.

    Shrimad Bhagvat Canto 10, and Mahabharat.


    A bhakta (devotee) may have a choice of leaving the situation in the worldly sense, but it may mean abandonment of duty or putting a third innocent person in an unfavorable situation. So they decide to not leave the situation although being in a position to.
    For example, they may be financially independant to go live somewhere on their own for themselves, but they will not just take that step because they only want to do what Bhagvan will like or which will affect other souls to the minimum.

    This is how a devotee accepts situation as they live for others, since VAsudev lives in all hearts.

    At the same time, depending on their calling, a devotee also acts against injustice when possible.

    The key is they know when to take action because they know they are not independant, but totally dependant on BhagvAn, and at His Lotus Feet.


    om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya~
    om namo nArAyaNAya~

    Hare KRshNa hare kRshNa kRshNa kRshNa hare hare
    hare rAm hare rAm rAm rAm hare hare

    jai shri kRshNa
    Last edited by smaranam; 18 July 2012 at 09:27 AM. Reason: spelling/typo
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  5. #15
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    Re: Sadhana

    Namaste smaranam

    What you say about bhakti is true. I just wanted to give an example.

    What you talk and give example is prem bhakti, as prescribed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

    As per Sri Ramakrishna, bhakti can be done with any one of this bhava

    1. Dasa Bhava like that of Hanuman. A dasa will say, I am your servant, you are my lord. Devotee will do whatever he can for his Swami / Lord

    2. Vatsalya bhava like that of Mata Yashoda towards Krishna. Here the devotee is not afraid of God, or thinks Lord as an almighty, but thinks of God as a small child and takes care of him.

    3. Sakha bhava like that of Arjun and gopals (Krishna's friends) towards a friend. Devotee will do anything for the God, as a friend, but not as an almighty Lord.

    4. Prem Bhava. This is the the most purest and the last stage of Bhakti. This was practiced by Radha, Meera and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his disciples. In this type of bhakti, the intimation is so intense that devotee cannot tolerate any separation from his beloved Lord, just like love between husband and wife.

    In this age, dasa bhava is the safe option. Vatsalya Bhava is very difficult. Prem bhava is the most difficult of all.

    A bhakta (devotee) may have a choice of leaving the situation in the worldly sense, but it may mean abandonment of duty or putting a third innocent person in an unfavorable situation. So they decide to not leave the situation although being in a position to.
    For example, they may be financially independant to go live somewhere on their own for themselves, but they will not just take that step because they only want to do what Bhagvan will like or which will affect other souls to the minimum.

    This is how a devotee accepts situation as they live for others, since VAsudev lives in all hearts.
    This is subjective.

    If the same God exists in everybody, then the same God who is taking care of me will take care of the 3rd person

    Clinging to the world is a kind of weakness. A true devotee is not aware of anything but God. If the actions are done as per God's direction, it's a different issue, else it is weakness.

    Compassion is good, but it also obstructs one from merging with God (please correct if I am wrong).

    One has to loose the individual existance and merge in God. Sri Ramakrishna used to see God in everyone, in every activity, good or bad.

    One day, he saw a prostitute, but by seeing a female, he at once remembered Radha and went into samadhi.

    At another time, he saw an English boy wearing round cap, resting his shoulder on a tree with twisted legs (hope you understand my bad translation ) at once he remembered Shri Krishna and went into samadhi.

    He would even go into samadhi by listening to bad words and slang language, as he could see God flowing through everything. God is everything - good and bad, rich and poor, etc.

    This is the pinnacle of bhakti.

    After the divine vision of God, a devotee wants God to stay with him 24 x 7, and does not want even moksha. But according ot Sri Ramakrishna, this is not the past stage. He said, SAmadhi is the last word in spirituality. Without knowledge there is no mukti. So God instructs his devotee to meet and follow a Guru or himself teaches or lifts him to Samadhi. Devotee has not to do anything.

    Sri Ramakrishna took permission of Maa Kali, when an Advaita SAdhu, Totapuri, approached him after getting attracted to Sri Ramakrishna's purity, and offered him to learn advaita under him.

    Remember, Sri Ramakrishna never went ot anyone, the sadhu came to him. Again, Sri Ramakrishna took permission and Maa Kali granted him the permission !

    His Tantrik Guru Bhairavi Brahmani, was a bhakti margi i.e. following bhakti too and she did not like Jnana marg. She warned Sri Ramakrishna a few times that, 'Not to mix too much with this sadhu. He has nothing but dry Jnana Vichara , you will lose your bhakti rasa, if you stay with him'. since Sri Ramakrishna got orders from Maa Kali to learn under Totapuri ji, he neglected his Tantric Guru's advice and freely interacted with Totapuri and in just three days, he entered into samadhi. This even shocked Totapuri ji as it took him 50 years of intense meditation to experience nirvikalp samadhi.

    Totapuri also had experience of Maa Kali in everything. Both are necessary. Maya is not different from God. Sri Ramarkishna says, even if you neglect Maya, as a follower of Jnana Marg, without the grace of Maa Kali / Adi Shakti, you cannot go beyond Maya.

    He gave an e.g.

    Rama followed by Sit followed by Laxman were once walking in a thin lane, where only one person can walk at a time. So Sita could not walk side by side to Sri Rama. Laxman was param bhakta of Rama. He wanted to have Rama in his sight, but Sita was obstructing his vision. Knowing the Mind of Laxmans, Sita would turn a bit on side, so that Laxman can have vision of Rama.

    Laxman is devotee, Rama the God and Sita represnts Maya / Adi Shakti

    I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.
    Unconditional surrender blossoms unconditional love.

    Thanks for sharing. Honoured talking to a knowledgeable person you like

    Thanks

    Aum

    IS
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  6. #16
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    Re: Sadhana

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality View Post
    Clinging to the world is a kind of weakness. A true devotee is not aware of anything but God. If the actions are done as per God's direction, it's a different issue, else it is weakness.
    Yes, this is what i meant (the underlined). Otherwise the above will imply PrahlAd was weak or Haridas Thakur was weak. On the contrary they are the strongest and most surrendered of bhakta.

    I also wrote:
    At the same time, depending on their calling, a devotee also acts against injustice when possible.
    The key is they know when to take action because they know they are not independant, but totally dependant on BhagvAn, and at His Lotus Feet.
    ----------

    Compassion is good, but it also obstructs one from merging with God (please correct if I am wrong).
    One has to loose the individual existance and merge in God.
    One most certainly does not, and pure devotees most certainly do not.
    Ramkrishna was originally a Devi bhakta and Devi asked Him to merge, and all ShAktas are taught that they have to merge.

    Thanks for your input.

    It was nice talking to you too.

    om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya
    Last edited by smaranam; 18 July 2012 at 12:57 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  7. #17
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    Re: Sadhana

    Bhaktas do not run away from situation. That's one thing I understand from Prahlad.

    I agree with what you say

    Aum
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  8. #18
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    Re: Sadhana

    Namaste,

    I loved your advice Indiaspirituality. It is very matter of fact and straight to practical usefulness.

    Om Namah Shivaya



  9. #19
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    Re: Sadhana

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritualseeker View Post
    Namaste,

    I loved your advice Indiaspirituality. It is very matter of fact and straight to practical usefulness.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    Om Namah Shivaya @Spiritualseeker

    these are words of Sri Ramakrishna not mine

    I know nothing
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

  10. #20
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    Re: Sadhana

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality View Post
    these are words of Sri Ramakrishna not mine

    I know nothing

    Vanakkam,

    You know so much about the Guru, you end up being the Guru for others.
    I bow to your knowledge of Sri sri Ramakrishna


    Aum Namah Shivaya
    ~Aum Namah Shivaya~

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