As we begin to experience the benefits of sadhana, done by meditation or chanting, we will fall in love with God but that will only happen gradually, says AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI
I am using the word sadhana because I did not find a suitable word for it in English. This Sanskrit word means worshipping an idol or an image of God like a photo. It also means wanting to please God by our sincere efforts. Sadhana can be done in many ways, like meditation, chanting, just feeling the presence of God, looking at a murti of God or even a photo. There are no restrictions placed on how you do it as long as it helps in becoming God-conscious. Some people regularly read spiritual texts.
Such sadhana has enormous benefits. I am detailing many of them herein, some of them I have experienced; these benefits accrue only gradually. What is our experience? That superior benefit takes time in coming. Once we get started, momentum will build slowly. As we begin to experience the benefits of doing sadhana, we will fall in love with God but that will take time. Life will become smoother. Not that one will be freed from all troubles, because that never happens in this impermanent place of miseries. (Gita 8.15) Most importantly, one will begin to enjoy life in various ways. God helps us realise that ultimately life is meant to be enjoyed only.
Initially, sadhana may appear difficult to do but it doesn’t have to be. One should customise for self because doing sadhana is important, not how it is done. God has given us multiple options. We can choose our posture, sitting down or even lying down. The idea is to be able to do sadhana not how, because being able to do regular sadhana qualifies us for God’s grace.
I begin with the great benefit of being freed from negative emotions. Of course, this happens gradually only but one can never underestimate this boon. One is freed from debilitating fears related to one’s body, near and dear ones, material possessions, etc. Even a habitual worrier can hope to be rid of this painful habit. One can sleep better as anxiety will not affect that much. Living in the material world in material bodies, it is impossible to be completely rid of anxiety, but it becomes manageable. And the mental faculty of such practitioners remains sound till the end of life. What a boon this is when mental health is becoming a very serious problem worldwide.
One realises spiritual truths. Personally, I have been very fortunate in this regard. The cosmic design begins to be revealed to us. This is a great boon; we know how we are placed vis-à-vis the creation. We learn about what we need to do to get all that God has to offer like guidance, help, shakti/bala, security, peace, happiness, support, etc. All we need to do is take God’s shelter in all respects. Not only is the next birth guaranteed to be superior but the possibility of the present life ending badly is also eliminated. (6.40)
Connected with God, physical health becomes a beneficiary, because one comes under Lord’s care. Even family members, ie the near and dear ones, get the ripple effect. One tolerates better. Remember no one is exempt from suffering. One must tolerate what cannot be avoided. (2.14) If someone comes to God consciousness, somehow, anyhow, God will give the strength to be able to continue to do so. Steady sadhana will ensure it. I can vouch for it. Faith will become stronger steadily.
In conclusion, I will state that we, small souls, are programmed to be highly self-centered, but most people don’t realise where their self-interest lies. It is in Vasudeva, who is everything. (7.19) We must realise that we are small and, in the ultimate sense, quite helpless, and it is in our best interest to surrender to God. Regular sadhana will take us there.
Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org