Sadhana: Practices for Spiritual Liberation

The saying, practice makes perfect, holds true in many instances in our modern world. Spiritual practice or Sadhana aligns with this saying. To fulfill our highest purpose and realize inner Truth, Sadhana is needed. A person undertaking a spiritual practice is known as a sadhaka.

The goal of sadhana may vary, it may be spiritual-realization, enlightenment, the pure love of God (Prema), liberation from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), or the blessings of a specific deity. It is essential to perform any practice from a state of bhakti or devotion while holding pure, Dharmic intentions. The importance of spiritual practice cannot be emphasized enough; Sadhana is essential to a spiritual seeker because it plants the seed of the fruit which will eventually sprout and ripen in later stages. It is essential, for without the seed, the fruit will not grow.

Sadhana may involve yoga, meditation, pranayama, chanting of mantra (sometimes with the help of a Japa mala), puja to a deity, among many others. A practice given to a student from a teacher should be received with respect and intently practiced as it aligns with our highest purpose. A spiritual teacher tailors an individual’s practice, as well as their experience of the sadhana, specifically for their unique path towards realization. Under the guidance of a teacher, a practice can open one to levels of Grace and blessings that are tremendous at any stage of our lives. It is a real blessing to have a practice bestowed by a realized teacher.

Sadhana helps to focus one’s mind and soul, and realize the harmonious relationship between the two. Sadhana is both an art and a science. It requires discipline by the sadhaka at each step, to practice with pure devotion from one’s heart and also deep observant contemplation. Developing a sharp focus, while maintaining a pure heart, enables us to evolve into the highest levels of consciousness through our spiritual practices. A student on the path must be ever diligent. One must be self-aware of their practice and their intentions. A student is part-yogi, part-scientist, remaining astute and observant of their actions and reactions. The ultimate key to an advanced spiritual practice is diligently performing one’s sadhana, with a sense of detachment from the results, while maintaining a deep sense of love or devotion.

The maturation of the sadhaka pinnacles at the point when one’s whole life is a spiritual practice. The highest form of practice is when one’s daily life becomes the state of sadhana – when every step and every breath is in unity-consciousness. To illustrate, a practice might begin in the form of a prayer; eventually, this practice permeates the actions that we perform, that is, the prayer becomes present in our day-to-day lives. We incorporate this prayer in our work, our errands, while we cook and clean, etc. Eventually, the actions we perform and the prayer become one, and there is no difference. Ultimately, you realize that you are the prayer. Becoming the practice is the goal of a true sadhaka. Living the Truth is the ultimate sadhana.

About the authors

Swami Shanmuga and Amma Adi Sakthi are a Yogi and Yogini couple. They are Adiyargal (ardent devotees and servants) of the Divine Mother Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi. They manifest and personify the pristine energies of Pratyangira Devi and are in Ekatvam, in Oneness with Her. At the current time, Amma and Swami are in Mangala Tapasya in the Himalayas, to usher auspiciousness and Satya Loka energies in the world and serving the Divine by serving humanity. Read More...