Sadhana for a Yogini

From Taming the Kundalini, Swami Satyananda Saraswati - 15 February 1961, Bombay

Intensity and absorption are very valuable and a spiritual aspirant should possess them. It is never possible that a sadhaka is totally free from ignorance. Ignorance persists in some measure, however small, until the final fulfilment is reached. But please remember, in spite of obstacles, you are progressing. If you do not give up this task you will attain perfection. Maya is mental illusion. Maya assumes the form of thought processes and enters the mind, disturbing the inner urge of the sadhaka. Whatever the circumstances, therefore, do not lose your grip on the sadhana. The mind will continue to give good or bad indications.

—1 March 1961, Ahmedabad

It is indeed a hopeful sign that in spite of the responsibilities of family life, you have commenced practices. Can one fulfil the mission of life rightly by remaining a professor, a principal or a member of an institution? All these are just expressions of gross desires. You should never believe that you are carrying the burden of the family or the society. Like the sparrow wishing to measure the heavens, there are people, not wanting, who suffer from such delusions. Sadhana will suffer as long as this disease is not cured.

This path of sadhana appears to be difficult at the outset, but later on it suddenly becomes easy. Sadhana becomes easy for those who have come to know its mysteries through a guru. People are told that a guru is not necessary, but great souls have considered a guru to be indispensable on the path of yoga. You should, therefore, test your self -imagined conclusions on the touchstone of truth. It will not be proper to alter the technique of yoga to suit society’s interests.

A sadhaka must always remember his sankalpa (determination). The test does not lie in how much sadhana you have practised but how alive you are to your sankalpa. Therefore, go on revising all your good resolutions. Take a bird’s eye view of your last year’s progress.

If difficulties distract the sadhana at times, let them come. Do not leave your efforts. If it is not possible to practise sadhana in one fixed posture, intensify the practice of inner silence or indwelling in any position. Intense concentration is at times achieved by doing sadhana at any odd hour. But endeavour to keep the time for sadhana fixed and steady.

Whatever your domestic and social responsibilities, let them be. Once again I awaken you to the supreme goal. To the exclusion of all social duty, realize your birth right and serve people by your attainments.

If you have faith in what I say, your family affairs will be settled satisfactorily. I say this to you in full confidence. I am leading you towards the study of yoga because I know what I am doing.

—12 March 1961 Rajnandgaon

Sincerity and surrender are the greatest assets in sadhana. It will take some time before you go above the plane of sense consciousness. Incessant practice will be necessary. During the stage of suspension of sense consciousness sometimes one falls asleep. It is sometimes sleep resulting from tamas that troubles the seeker. A novice, however, finds it difficult to distinguish between the two. If, therefore, during meditation the form of the ishta becomes clear, then the path is correct. If the form begins to disappear, know that you are falling asleep.

Sometimes visions other than those of the ishta will come. This is the result of the predominance of impurities in the mind. Absence of a balanced mind in worldly life makes meditation difficult for the sadhaka. The mind suffers from distractions. It be gins to wander during meditation and tries to keep away from the object of meditation. Meditation is comparatively easy if the mind is balanced. One’s goal should always be kept in view, then even if your mind wanders, it will soon revert to meditation.

It is no use accepting defeat on the path of meditation. Those who travel this path certainly experience fatigue on the way, but the journey’s end can only be reached by continuous motion. Constant practice in sadhana is necessary; so also is patience. If one does not miss his objective and dedicates himself completely to the fulfilment of his aim, he surely succeeds. A sadhaka should have love and obsessional desire.

Close the doors of the senses. Look within. Listen not to the promptings of the mind, and then see for yourself if the ishta manifests or not.

Form the habit of practising japa constantly. Do not forget the mantra even for a moment. Sit for meditation whenever you feel like doing so. Close the eyes. Submerge the mind in experiencing the presence of your ishta deep within you. Make yourself alive to the divine spiritual waves and vibrations in the atmosphere ready to envelop you. Continue to lift up your aspirations until you lose all external awareness. When your mind is totally filled with these divine vibrations, fix your consciousness firmly on the form of your ishta. Meditate in this manner as often as you can during the day. However, the morning and evening meditation practices must go on as before, in accordance with the schedule.

Go forth with confidence within that your path is correct. Keep your battery always charged. It is necessary to begin the sadhana with a new direction and renewed enthusiasm. The time is now ripe. Divine spirits are helping you. You are being led on the path of sadhana. A new direction is being given to your life. Be you a yogini!