Knowledge & Practice – Two Aspects of Saadhana

September 5, 2013 Comments Off on Knowledge & Practice – Two Aspects of Saadhana

Harih Om Tat Sat. Mind is the one thing to be constantly touched, improved upon and purified by saadhana. It is one thing to know what exactly the saadhana to be done is. It is altogether a different proposition to practice it.

When you take to this mind-sublimating or mind-purifying saadhana, you will find that there exist opportunity and compulsion for it at all times. When you are alone, when you are with others, when you are interacting, when you are emotionally involved with your own thoughts and reactions, or when you are enquiring about the world – in all these there is opportunity as well as compulsion.

The mind gets into trouble and torment during the course of its interaction with persons, places and circumstances. The torments or afflictions or disturbances become predominant, whereas the pleasant outcomes of interactions generally do not get noticed. But understand that the mind which is getting tormented by worldly interactions has got the art and the potential to reverse the whole picture. It is possible to get enriched by these very torments and adversities.

To effect the change, what is needed is a change in your attitude. When the change is there, I think all the adversities will also start changing their colour and value. They will have lesser harmful impact. I have quoted these words many times:

shunyam-aakIrNataam-eti mrutyur-apy-utsavaayate ?

aapad-sampad-ivabhaati vidwajjana-samaagame ??

Under the guidance of the Wise, an event that looks to be a severe stroke of misfortune gets transformed into blessings. Even death can become a festivity. Danger or calamity will become strokes of fortune. All these are possible when you heed the advice of the Wise.

So our mind has got a potential to change the nature of imbalance and transform them into a constantly enriching note. As the mind becomes pure and placid, you may undertake the next part of saadhana. Sit in a place and get absorbed into your own within, whereby you will get to know what is within the body animating, empowering and enlivening it.

Don’t think that you are going to reach a state where there is no memory at all. As long as memory is there, naturally that memory will be of things around you. So, in your memory, the wide world with which you constantly interact has a full place. As long as the world consists of good and bad, your memory will also be reflecting both. This is not something we can or should get rid of. But we can choose to make it less and less tormenting and reach a state where the world does not torment at all. No thought therefore, is a disturbance in meditation; no memory is a hindrance.

When you start looking at the world this way, that world which was tormenting you earlier, now becomes a source of enlightenment and delight. For this transformation to take place, this one verse or one line of devotion is all that you need:

preeyate amalayaa bhaktyaa hari: anyad-vidambanam

The Lord Hari is pleased only by pure devotion. All the other things are mere display, mere ostentation. When I read this line for the first time from Sreemad Bhaagavatam, it became my possession, and it continues to be so even today. What is the focus here? “The supreme Lord is pleased only by guileless devotion. All the other things are mere ostentation, display”. This guileless devotion is a trait or quality of your mind.

The emphasis is to make your devotion guileless. Your devotion. That is why I say that in the whole picture, in the whole devotional development, you, the devotee, alone count. I don’t think God has any place in devotion. He doesn’t have to do anything. You don’t have to beg anything from him.

The whole devotion rests upon your mind, your heart, your intelligence. Make them such that, they will start expressing uncorrupted, wholesome, devotion. As long as you have the mind, and also you have the vision and will to cultivate devotion, what else do you look for? Nothing else is needed. This is how the focus develops, and a constant effort as saadhana also takes place.

So first of all you should know what the right saadhana is. There after you should practice it assiduously. The first question is answered by “mind is the focus”. Secondly recognize that, the mind has got the potential and possibility to be improved, sublimated and purified throughout your life. In whatever you speak, think or do, have this change of attitude, view. After you change the point of view, your new outlook should become wholesome. Nothing should stand excluded from your devotion. In this new view of devotion and spirituality everything should stand included.

The mind is the focus, and every day is an opportunity. The crying day, the laughing day, the smiling day, the disappointed day, the tormented day – every day is an opportunity for touching and improving the mind. If only this lesson is learnt, I think the saadhana is almost begun as well as complete. These two items – tell me, my dear saadhakas – to master them, is it so very difficult?

Harih Om Tat Sat
– Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[An excerpt from Poojya Swamiji’s morning message – Prabhaata-rashmih, that was published in the April 2004 issue of Vicharasethu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012

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