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Archive for June 30th, 2012

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 20:44:59 -0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net
From: Gaurishankar Deva
Subject: Why Sadhana Is Difficult

Baba

== WHY SADHANA IS DIFFICULT ==

Namaskar,
When a sadhaka sits for meditation then sometimes they find it hard to concentrate. The reason is very simple. When the mind is preoccupied with something else, then those thoughts disturb the mind and divert it away from sadhana. In that case, the repetition of one’s mantra becomes difficult and / or the mind goes somewhere else.

Think of it this way:

(a) If someone thinks, “I want to become a doctor”, “I will become a king”, “I will start a business”, “I will become a film hero”, “I will become a dancer”, then they will not be able to achieve anything. They cannot aim to be a doctor one week and then the next week aim for becoming a movie star and still expect to gain success. If one thinks in this fickle-minded fashion, always changing their goal, then they will never progress.

(b) Similarly if one student thinks, “I will become a football champion”, “I will score the highest on my university exam”, “I will be a farmer”, “I like fishing”, “I will go hunting”, “I will become a gang leader”, then again that person will not do anything. One cannot change their plan every week or every month and still expect to attain success. It will not happen.

Here the point is that the mind is one.

Human beings can only do one work at a time. If you want to be successful in life you have to focus on one endeavour at a time – in a sustained fashion. This theorem applies to sadhana as well.

HOW TO APPROACH SADHANA

Before starting sadhana one has to be fully convinced in their own mind that, “I do not have any other work. I only have to do my sadhana – without entertaining any other thoughts. Above all, one’s conviction should be: “I want to realise Parama Purusa – I do not have any other longing in my life.” If this idea is firm in the mind, then success is sure. Then one’s sadhana will be proper.

This type of firmness of mind develops slowly – and may even fluctuate along the way. For beginners, this firm determination may at first seem a bit elusive. Slowly then – with steadfast sincerity – you have to train your mind to think about the Goal. Then in due course, this firm feeling will develop and the mind will become pin-pointed towards Parama Purusa. When there is only 1% conviction, then one will achieve 1% success; and when there is 100% conviction, then there is 100% success.

We are all aware about how Lord Buddha got realization. When he had only one single desire, then his mind became focused and he reached his goal. More about this is noted below.

The central idea is that in order to do proper sadhana pointedness of mind is needed. And pointedness comes when your mind is focused: Focused on one occupation. Doing one thing at one time – not entertaining other ideas.

Those individuals with dual or multiple personalities cannot focus their mind and hence cannot get success. That is why only simple, honest, truthful and straightforward people can achieve their goal easily. Those who are fickle-minded, unfocused, hypocritical and those with multiple personalities never reach their goal.

That is what Baba has described in His teaching: To get success in sadhana, satyas’hreyii is a must. What is satya’shrayii? Satya means benevolent truthfulness; ashreya means shelter; and the suffix ii means the one who. Thus satya’sharyii is the one who takes shelter in satya. Only such person gain true success.

So one must give up all hypocrisy. Then iccha shakti (will power) will develop and the mind will easily become concentrated. Then one will have a new life start where sadhana happens in a very natural way.

STORY OF LORD BUDDHA

So only those who are strict in dharma and take shelter in satya, i.e. satya’shrayii, can develop iccha shakti (will power) and by that way attain the goal of life. The classic story of this is Buddha.

Baba says, “When Lord Buddha first sat in contemplation, his goal was not fixed. There was doubt and confusion in his mind. He was not certain of what he wanted. And so, whatever he wanted, he was not certain of getting it. But later, when Buddha sat in contemplation, he took a complete sam’kalpa. He fixed his goal and made a firm determination to achieve it. He resolved that he would not get up from his meditation until he attained spiritual realization, even if his body perished. Then he succeeded in attaining his goal.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 1)

Similarly, the more we are firm in our 16 Points etc, the more iccha shakti (will power) we will develop and the greater resolve we will have in sadhana. We will think, ‘I must get Parama Purusa’, and that will be supported by an internal flow of mind.

Conversely, if we just view sadhana as something that is done in order to eat food or go to sleep etc, then that sadhana will never lead one to the Goal. It is not that by doing sadhana like this for 25 or 50 years then magically one day Baba will come and grant salvation. That is not the way it works.

Our sadhana progresses according to our own internal commitment to it. The more we adhere to His guidelines of dharma and satya etc, the more iccha shakti we develop. And then with that force of mind, our sadhana becomes fruitful, otherwise not. That is Baba’s distinct teaching.

Thus if one is constantly delinquent in following Sixteen Points, or if one is irregular in fasting, skips over sadhana lessons, eats poorly, or does not do kaoshikii, tandava, and asanas etc, then one will suffer from a distinct weakness of mind, and that will hamper one’s sadhana.

So all of Baba’s teachings are connected to developing the requisite iccha shakti (will power or psychic stamina & determination) in order to advance on the path of sadhana and attain Him.

MAKING SADHANA A VITAL FORCE

At one time or another, we have all experienced difficulty in doing sadhana, either due to lack of desire, poor concentration, lethargy, or time management issues like procrastination, etc.

Yet sadhana is the key to our success. Without sadhana our lives just become a myriad of useless engagements. Whereas with sadhana, our each and every breath is meaningful and we advance towards the Goal of life.

To keep sadhana a vital force and at the forefront of our lives, we should pay strict attention to Baba’s ideals of satya’shrayii and iccha shakti.

This will help fuel our journey towards Him.

BEING ESTABLISHED IN SATYA’SHRAYII IS EASY FOR ANANDA MARGIIS

As we all know, satya is the second principle of yama sadhana and means ‘benevolent truthfulness’, or always acting in the spirit of welfare. And a’shreya means ‘shelter’. And the suffix ii means the one who. So satya’shrayii means ‘the one who takes shelter in satya’, or is always true to dharma.

Baba has graciously given us the right interpretation of dharma as clear-cut injunctions like Sixteen Points, conduct rules, and 15 Shiilas etc.

We know what to eat, when to drink, how to act, what sadhana is, when to do kiirtan etc. Every possible direction Baba has graciously given us so that we may pointedly follow the path of dharma.

By this way, we can easily be established in satya’shrayii, the path of benevolence.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT:

THE GROWTH OF ICCHA SHAKTI

By being true to dharma and being established in or taking shelter satya, one other wonderful development occurs. We develop iccha shakti or will power, by His grace.

In sadhana one begins to think, more and more, that, ‘I must get Him’. A strength of mind or firm determination results. Because one’s base of life is grounded in truth and dharma. That brings conviction, integrity of mind, and iccha shakti, i.e. will power.

We all know that following Baba’s mandates and adhering to dharma is integral for any sadhaka. By this way we will be able to heighten our sadhana, reach our Supreme Goal, and manifest many great works on this earth, by His grace.

In the Acarya Diary, Baba explains in greater detail how this works – within the mind as well as externally. In His explanation Baba uses terms like satya’shreyii and iccha shakti. By understanding the inner essence of these concepts, we can be more pointed in our pursuit of attaining Him in sadhana and be a dharmic force in society.

Here again we should remember:

The central idea is that in order to do proper sadhana pointedness is needed. The requisite pointedness comes when the mind is focused on a single aim. Doing one thing at one time; other ideas should not be allowed to bifurcate the mind.

In that situation will power or iccha shakti will develop and the mind will become concentrated. That will make one’s life totally new wherein sadhana will happen in a very natural way. i.e. the mind will easily become concentrated.

BABA’S BLESSING

Baba has graciously given us one special way to develop more and more iccha shakti. When we think of Him in all our activities and dealings, then naturally our thoughts, words, and actions will be according to His desire. And that will bring great strength and ultimately victory in life. Then we are sure to attain Him.

Baba says, “You should always remember one thing: that your spiritual practice, your mundane activities, your worldly ideology, your social, economic, and moral ideals in every sphere of your existence must be suffused with the ideation that you love your Lord, and you should love Him for only one reason – to please Him.” (Subhasita Samgraha-11)

Baba says, “To attain Him you will have to think of Him, to ideate and meditate on Him. There is no other way to become one with Him.” (Ananda Marga Ideology and Way of Life – 6)

Baba’s teaching guides us that while doing sadhana there should not be all kinds of worldly desires. Rather there should only be one desire. The mind should be wholly focused on the Divine Entity.

The final conclusion is that before sadhana one should think that I have no other engagement “I have to do sadhana”. So one should allot the time and start sadhana. If any stray thoughts come, then those thoughts will not be entertained. Rather using auto suggestion, one should remind oneself again and again that “I do not have any other work. I have to realise Parama Purusa.” If on a regular basis one sadhaka practices like this, then sadhana will be natural, easy and blissful.

Namaskar,
Gaurishankar Deva

Note 1: A COLLECTIVE EFFORT

This above letter is written collectively between myself and two of my friends, so it may not be smooth to read. Please bear with me. Thank you for taking this letter as being a mere tool for understanding Baba’s ideas which He has described in Senior Acarya Diary.

PRABHAT SAMGIITA

“A’sha’r a’loke ele, bha’s’a’r atiit tumi, a’ma’r duhkh-klesh bhula’ite…” (PS 1754)

Purport:

Baba, You are the embodiment of hope, inspiration, and bliss. Language is wholly incapable of expressing Your greatness. Baba, in this poignant moment, You have come here to remove my agony and sufferings, and to wipe away my tears in these dark days. In the blink of an eye, You graciously removed all the degnerating and negative thoughts that had accumulated in my mind. Baba, this is Your grace.

Baba, nobody except You is mine – to whom else I can relate my pain. You are the only Entity in this universe who is mine, to whom I open my heart and express everything. Indeed there is no one else in this entire universe except You to whom I can tell the inner feelings of my heart within these three worlds, tribhuvan.

O’ my dearmost Baba, You are the nucleus of all effulgence. Please grace me by singing the song of divinity in my ears. Baba, please come close to me. I have prepared one freshly blossomed flower garland for You which is full of fragrance. And I am waiting for that auspicious moment when You will come, and then in a lonely place I will offer that garland to You. Baba, You are my everything. With Your divine arrival all my sufferings have gone, because I have gotten You. This is exclusively Your grace…

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