Sadhana Is a Test of Self-Grit
Sadhana is a test of self-grit. If your Sadhana is more important than your neurosis, you are fine. If your neurosis is more important than your Sadhana you are not. Doesn’t matter how saintly you are, nobody wants to get up in the ambrosial hours. Why you still do it is a mystery. At that time, between 3 and 6 o’clock, the rays of the sun pass at 60 degrees and you want to feel relaxed. You take a cold shower, wake up and meditate. Why do you repeat the mantra hundreds of times? To create a stamina, an absolute mental stamina. Without that there is no chance for the life to be smooth. If somebody refuses to exercise, nobody can force him. But at that one moment in life when that person needs physical stamina, it won’t be there. Sadhana is what your mental stamina requires. Love is what your spiritual stamina requires. (See The 7 Habits of Exceedingly Healthy People.)
Everybody has God’s light and it must be lit by a person’s own discipline. And the glass to keep it lit and shining should be kept by the person’s own courage, strength and grit. I believe it. I believe this is the love. I believe everybody has the chance to love one’s soul and every soul has the right to shine and every shine has to bring light and brightness, beauty and bountifulness to all, generation after generation.
The very thought of getting up at the ambrosial hour is dreadful. Now, we feel guilty if we don’t. All right, if we have not achieved anything in fifteen years, at least we have this conscious feeling…Guru has guided us early in the morning to stand before that cold shower and we all get exalted and resurrected...Then we do our Sadhana. It’s a conscious living. We discipline ourselves for the day…Guru has promised if you walk unto him with one step he walks thousands of steps unto you.
Sadhana means spiritual practice. It is the ten percent of our time that we give to God in the ambrosial hours of the morning. The radiance of your spirit can be measured according to how the name of God vibrates within you and around you. If your Sadhana is perfect, your spirit will be high. If you have forgotten to chant the name of God, you will be in the doldrums. If you become low and depressed, it is only because you have not warmed up your machine in the morning, you have not done your spiritual practice.
Sadhana will definitely change you. It will correct your emotional imbalances in spite of what they are. You have a sweeper; if you sweep the whole house, it will be clean. That’s automatic.
That is the highest Sadhana, that your presence should remind people of God. What bigger and more powerful miracle than that can there be, that by your very presence you can invoke Godhood in people?
If you think you are poor, you are poor because you do not communicate with your soul, the source of prosperity, the source of reality. If you think you are desperate, you are desperate because you have no Sadhana. Desperation, depression, and a feeling of destitution comes only to those who have no discipline or Sadhana. Only a house, which is not cleaned looks dirty and the mind which is not cleaned stinks. Sadhana is the most selfish act, because it is a self-cleansing. Cleanliness is Godliness. It is good to wear good clothes, look good, be bright, beautiful. But when you want to be blissful and bountiful, you have to have a clear mind, a mind through which your soul, your spirit can shine.
The greatest reward of doing Sadhana is that the person becomes incapable of being defeated. Sadhana is a self-victory, and it is a victory over time and space. When you get up for Sadhana, you defeat a part of yourself because you don’t want to get up. Getting up is a victory over time, and doing it is a victory over space. That is what Sadhana is. Sadhana is only for you -- it is a self-victory…Sadhana is an answer to every misfortune, and who wants to see you in misfortune? Sadhana is not a matter of advantages and miseries, misfortunes and handicaps. It is a very personal thing, which does not relate to anybody except yourself.
Meditation is for your self. Meditation is not for somebody else. When you come for Sadhana, you come for yourself. When you pray, you pray for yourself. Therefore, it is useless asking in prayer, ‘Get me a car.’ That’s not prayer. That is projecting a desire. ‘God, give me a car.’ Don’t ask it. Just say ‘God, God, God.’ And if God appears, then say, ‘What kind of God are you? Don’t you know what I am asking for?’ I mean, if God doesn’t know what you need, who knows?
What is Sadhana? Sadhana is to get up at 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock, take a cold shower. That’s a first condition of Sadhana. Why cold shower? Because your capillaries get clogged up, and disease can start, and when we put cold shower, right out of the bed you go before the firing squad of the cold shower, it opens your entire capillaries, because the entire blood has got to run out to protect the temperature, and thus all capillaries get opened up. Therefore, when the capillaries get opened up there cannot be any clogging, and all the impurities come to the lungs. Lungs get loaded, fine. You start meditating, you start breath of fire, and you clean out the lungs. Thus, you take your disease off that day, forever!
Sadhana gives fearlessness and a sense of self, as well as denomination, domination, projection, polarity combination, equilibrium, respectability, totality, internal and external knowledge, purity, dignity, divinity, and grace. In addition, it gives you radiance, pranic and auric Shakti. Finally, it gives you a quality of metal which is ever shining and you become a metallically living grace. This quality is embodied in “loh”, iron, which can absorb all the heat. “Sarab loh” means that log which absorbs the entire heat and cold of all the Universe, and still remains neutral. That is what Sadhana gives you. When you want to be beautiful and bountiful, do Sadhana.
The radiance of your spirit can be measured according to how the name of God vibrates within you and around you. If your Sadhana is perfect, your spirit will be high. If you have forgotten to chant the name of God, you will be in the doldrums. If you become low and depressed, it is only because you have not warmed up your machine in the morning; you have not done your spiritual practice…In the Western world where there is such a criss-cross of mental thought patterns, you must find a way to bring your mind under control. You must learn to bring the level of yourself to zero, whenever you like. This is practiced in Sadhana. Remember, you are you and you are not you. You are you in the frame of the defined finite, but you are not you, in the frame of the infinite.
Three Virtues of Sadhana
When you have your own mind under your control, intuition will give you all the knowledge of the world. When you have control of your mind through your social and structural facets, you have the answer to everything. When you have control of your own mind, you can see the soul and God right within you.
The problem at this moment is the majority of us do not want to do Sadhana. These unfortunate people are really cursed. With all the teachings and all the knowledge, isn't it a curse? It is. Sometimes you use the children as an excuse, sometimes the husband. One way or the other, there is an excuse. To be realistic with you, an excuse is an excuse, and Sadhana is Sadhana. I know on some days, I am dead tired. I feel I can't do my Sadhana. Then what do I do? I go to the bathroom, I take cold water, and I wash my face again and again, and again and again, until I understand that I am fully awake. When I am doing my Sadhana, sleep sometimes wants to overtake me; I get tired. Sometimes I get home late and I have to get up very early. Then I do pranayam and I apply some yogic locks. I do a lot of things that I have learned and I go through it as gracefully as a humble human being should.
I don't care what your circumstances and environments are, if you can change your daily average pressure by balancing it in the morning with Sadhana, and once a week, come to Gurdwara in a meditative, graceful, beautiful and pleasant fashion, then I don't think there is any possibility that you can be destroyed.
Don't forget one very simple thing: all that you are today is because of Sadhana. You all started with Sadhana, and you did it very well. Sadhana is what nourishes you and makes you a human being, shapes you into a powerful, meditative, constructive human being. It is what you need most in life, and you drop it.
The whole world may give you support...but if your own mind does not support you, you will not be in a position to do anything in life. Your own mind cannot be controlled and guided and give you the support until it is brought to a discipline. That word which brings a mind to a discipline to support you is called "Mantra". Man-Tra...to bring discipline to the mind. That is why we do Japa (Repitition of Mantra/Bani). Japa creates the heat.
That is called Tapa; Tapa, that heat burns the karma. Out of the karma grows the kindness and it becomes Dharma. Out of that it grows the compassion. That is called "Sidhi", that is called "power". From that comes the word, "Sadhu"...he who has controlled himself through all the aspects of life and that is what we call, "Sadhana". Which you do not normally want to do. How many of you are doing regular Sadhana?"
What is Sadhana? It is a process which you do every day to grow, to be. There is a fight in this lifetime: to be or not to be. Nobody can destroy you...You destroy yourself by not being yourself.
A person once said about Sadhana: “Once Sadhana is done, nothing should happen to you.” I said, “No, when Sadhana happens, everything should happen to you, and you should come out as a winner, you should come out victorious!” That is what Sadhana gives you. It doesn’t give you a written guarantee from God. The one who does Sadhana builds himself such a powerful personality, he can conquer anything! That is why I do my own Sadhana. I have been doing it for years. I do it even now. Some people ask me, “You are a Master, why do you do Sadhana?” I say, “To remain a Master!”
Why do we get up for morning Sadhana? Because we have to face the whole day, and we cannot face the day without a constant level of energy. People love you for three things only: Wisdom, Commitment, and Consistency.
Wisdom is the intuitive nature that allows you to give the right answer by listening within the question that is asked. For every question there is an answer in it.
Commitment is the ability for your whole self to sustain its status in projected reality of action. Then people can trust you. Otherwise, it is like building a cozy bungalow on the top of a volcano. If you act like an earthquake or volcano, who will build upon you?
Consistency is steadiness through time. Sadhana gives us sensitivity to know, to feel, and to touch. It gives us intuition to touch reality. The methods are three-fold: Jappa, Tappa, Sanjam. Jappa is repetition. Tappa is the heat of central impulsation. Sanjam is merger through simran - meditation on a very slow, conscious breath.
When I tell you to get up and meditate in the ambrosial hours, it seems odd. Why should you get up at 3:30 A.M.? Because you require those two hours to work out your own mind, so that the rest of the day you can work out your life. Amrit vela naam jaap. Rise in the ambrosial hours and meditate. Be with God. Whenever your mind will be in duality, you will be in trouble. There is no way you can function.
‘Should I go North? Should I go South?’ If you can’t decide which way you are going to go, you are going to sit right there. You’ll neither go North nor South. That’s called duality. Life is a gift of God, and duality is a waste of that life. It doesn’t matter who you are. You may be the President of the United States, or a beggar in the street. Whenever you have duality, you will be in trouble. That’s the law. Nobody can change it. To have no duality and to have oneness and clarity of mind, you have to keep your mind clean, smart, and healthy.
In Sadhana the Sadhu lives. In Sadhana, the nectar of God’s Love rains down. In Sadhana, come the blessings of Simran, Awareness, and Divine Understanding. In Sadhana, is the meditation of Raj Yoga. In Sadhana, see God’s glory. In Sadhana, experience Infinity. Sadhana is the daily meditation of the Sadhu. Oh Yogi, become one with God!
Yogi Bhajan on Group Sadhana
“All for One, and One for All” YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD, and your soul is the Divine Guru within. So, you get up in the morning, meditate, chant the mantras, do the exercises, call on your spirit, regulate the breath, and you get together in group consciousness. In that way you help each other. Group consciousness in morning Sadhana is to help each other. If I am trying to sleep, another one person opens up to God just once, we will all be blessed in his openness. That is what matters. If one has walked into Sadhana with heart and soul in a prayerful mind, we will all benefit. That is the power of the group Sadhana. All should participate.
But, we still have something of the past in us. We bring up worries about who should lead. “Oh, that leader has brought a very good Sadhana! That one has freaked out the Sadhana.” The truth is that nobody freaked out the Sadhana, and nobody made it beautiful. It is the Will of God which prevails through the soul. When you are a servant, and act as a channel, it prevails through you. Curtail the barriers and get to Oneness, I don’t think there is any other time it can happen. All for one, and one for all. That is the principle.
All these changes that you are seeing in your personality did not happen because you got counseled, or your teacher was great. You all changed because you wanted to change and you did Sadhana. Sadhana changed you. All this other stuff is being done to keep you going. This is a rational approach, not an ultimate approach. The ultimate approach is when you want to change, and you do Sadhana. Then you shall change.
The connection between your power and your projection is the clean, classified, qualified mind -- a clean mind -- that’s why you do Sadhana. It’s a consciousness.
It is a human tendency to like to sleep between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. It’s natural. But if you can be alert enough to work on your mind, to confront the day, then you are alert enough to take care of your life. The reason you don’t get up early is not because you are lazy, tired or overworked -- that’s all wrong. You do not get up early in the morning because the relationship between you and your mind is not established. Period.
God; it is to please your own self, to clean your own self, to cleanse your own mind. You’ll find the brightness of the earth.
Why repeat the Name of God? So that it enters our subconscious memory. Why do Sadhana? So that our conscious memory can subconsciously relate to the Supreme Consciousness. These are acts for the Self; they are extremely selfish acts.
We call the time we spend on our maintenance Sadhana. It is an essential part of life. If you do your Sadhana, your mind can take the pressure. It will guide you and groom you properly.
Getting up for Sadhana in the morning is totally a selfish act -- for personal strength, for personal intuition, for personal sharpness, for personal discipline.
You must understand one thing: karma cannot be wiped out; the sequence must lead to consequences. The only way through is Sadhana (Spiritual Practice). I can tell you that without Sadhana, you are as useless for positive change as a junk car is. You can talk for hours and hours and I can teach for years and years; but without Sadhana, you have no chance. Sadhana is a self-victory; and one who cannot have self-victory cannot have this Earth at all. I can bluntly tell you.
When you make your soul hungry, it corrupts your mind. A hungry soul will corrupt the mind and a corrupt mind will pollute your body. The food for the soul is Sadhana.
It is your birthright to be happy and happiness only comes to a disciple with a discipline. Those who do not seek discipline can never be happy.
Your spiritual strength has no meaning for you except that it gives you a mental control. Self mental control. Self mental control cannot be achieved by anything outside. Therefore it is true: Sadhana, Aradhana and Prabhupati. It is true. It always shall be true. And those who do not do Sadhana shall never be happy! No promise with them stands, and no virtues can be, and even if they become rich and prosperous, they will be stupid...unhappy stupids. Whether they are religious or they are unreligious, I don't care! I talked to a human today, any human who has no Sadhana is not worth trust. They are a useless fraud, a living fraud!
People who do not do Sadhana, they do not do Sadhana, and nobody can tell them to do it. When they want to reduce their unhappiness or their unhappiness becomes so unbearable...then they may do it. Otherwise they will find millions of excuses.
I am asking you to go in the world and find the richest, most influential and most powerful person. You will find three things:
These are the three virtues of Sadhana:
Those who have reached a state of mind of service for others, you'll find that they leave their body between 3 to 6 A.M. You can watch their dead body between that time. That proves that all men of God, and servants of God, and part of God at that time, is active. Therefore, we who are small in number should not be small in our attitude. We who are small in our resources should not be small in our prosperity. We who are small in body should not be small in our grace. And all this that is required to come out, is going to come out of the mind...and the mind doesn't follow any rules. Once the cork is out, genie is out, and it is going to do what it is going to do.
Therefore, please understand, Sadhana is essential! Daily bath is essential that you may not smell bad. Food is essential that you may not feel weak. Smiles are essential that you may not drown into sorrow. Money is essential that you have to move, and pay, and buy, and get. Money is a medium of services and energy. Everything is essential...but if Sadhana is not essentially done, your everything will fall apart. Let me put it in that way. And those of you who feel that by doing no Sadhana, you are going to make it, no, I tell you what it is! You did Sadhana for a while and you made it. Now that you are not doing it you are actually falling apart. That's why those who are not with us are not with us because they are not with us...they didn't want to. They fell out, they went away, because they had no juice, no energy left. They couldn't grow. They didn't have the answer. A Mukhia Singh Sahib is not a Mukhia Singh Sahib, who does not have the answer. A leader is not a leader, who doesn't lead.
I came to this country with you and I told you three words are the greatest words of God: Sadhana, Aradhana and Prabhupati. And I also told you, you will never hear them in any book or from any holy man. And I also told you this is the beginning and end and solution of ALL what you are going through! And today, on this full moon day when your minds are open, in 1988, when the calamity on the Sikh nation is going to go away...when the birth of the Panth Khalsa will be bright, shining and beautiful...when future will be remembered and life will be joyful and peaceful for all mankind...I tell you today through you to the entire mankind -- there are only three words to live by: Sadhana, Aradhana and Prabhupati! It was true in the beginning, it is true today and it shall ever be true!
If you want health, happiness and to be holy, then you'll do Sadhana, Aradhana and Prabhupati. Everything else is bogus, you are all bogus and you will die as bogus! Everything is painful, you are in pain, and you will die in pain, whether you get college degrees, tons of money, lots of power, great ego maniac Americans, or as very humble bag person, it doesn't make any difference.
Those who have no gift of Sadhana with them, shall have no gift of happiness. Let us talk in a direct mathematical proportion.
Your Sadhana is a proportionate source of happiness in your life. Neither your marriage, nor your wife, nor your children, nor your future, nor your promises, nor your teacher can do it. He can only tell you what Sadhana is. He can tell you to do Sadhana. He can remind you. Postman never writes the letter. Letter is only delivered by the postman. And my virtue in your life is only that your destiny has to achieve that highest promise which your soul made to God...and God gave you the Word. And my promise is to remind you that these three words decide EVERYTHING: Sadhana, Aradhana and Prabhupati!
Meaning: Sadhana (the practice)...Aradhana means do the Sadhana as prescribed. Prabhupati means you become master of the God. Pati means husband. Prabhu means the God. The creative unknown means Prabhu. I'm just telling you in a very simple English so nobody can feel confused. And this is a realism, and that is what Nanak, the man, said. That is what Nanak, the Guru, said.
And that is what the Nanak God said. "Amrit Velaa sach naao, vadiaaee veechaar. Karamee aavai kaparaa nadaree mokh duaar. Kiv sachiaaraa hoeeai kiv koorai tuutai paal."
How we can become truthful, elegant, sophisticated, divine, graceful and how can this false wall be broken up? And how can we see the freedom and how we'll be covered? How we'll have a shield? And to that, Nanak answers...Nanak the man, Nanak the Guru, and Nanak the God answers: "Amrit Velaa sach naao, vadiaaee veechaar. Karamee aavai kaparaa nadaree mokh duaar," and then under the seal of my office, under the hand of my jurisdiction, "Nanak evai jaaneeai sabh aape sachiaar." Thus, under the command of that One who knows all Truth, Nanak says so, and vouches it!
Those who are Sikhs, who are miserable, they should be miserable and they will be miserable, because they are not doing Sadhana. They are not doing Aradhana and God is not with them. Those who are non-Sikhs, and they are not doing Sadhana, they are not doing Aradhana and God is not with them. Your soul...the source of your life...cannot look at the life of Creative God without that clarity and control of the mind. You can get a very high priced camera. If the lens is broken and it is foggy you are not going to get any picture...doesn't matter what. Don't you understand that that law applies?
When I see somebody with a camera, I see them taking care of it. I see them taking a very fine, beautiful kind of a paper to clean the lens of the camera so that it may not get scratched and rubbed. I'm asking that idiot...super idiot...how can you not use that same technology with your own mind? Why can't you use that sophisticated subtle touch of divinity to clean the clumsiness and the fog of the mind, and see through your soul the divinity, and God in every living aspect, and be happy and joyful? Why you are enjoying your stupidity so much, and in your mud clinging to the pole of death? Why you are dying a useless life? Why not you are willing to live in that height and see the vastness of the Creative God? Why this smallness? I hope you will understand that there is no power in the world, which God can bestow on you, but the opportunity of Sadhana. When you do Sadhana, and your mind is controlled, your life is together, then you can be "niaaraa" (uniquely you).
"What is Sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It is something which you want to do, have to do, and which is being done by you. Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody, or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best."
You love your children? You do. They are beautiful. Isn't that innocent soul in you also your life child? Have you kissed your soul? Have you hugged your soul? Have you communicated with the soul in the morning at the ambrosial hours when there is absolutely no disturbance? Sadhana is nothing but where a disciplined one, the lover, talks to our own soul. It is nothing but where one cleans his (or her) own mind. Sadhana is nothing but where one prepares for the day to become kind and compassionate for everyone, including the enemies.
It seems that on a daily basis, when you do Sadhana, nothing happens. But you don’t do it out of greed. You do it to conquer your laziness, your ego, your stupidity, with your essence of commitment. That’s all Sadhana is. We don’t do it to get anything.
Try to engage your mind in Sadhana. Try to get up in the early morning. Try to understand that the time is now and now is the time. Those who feel they love God are fine, but those who get up in the morning for Sadhana, God loves them. God created this whole Universe just to love. God has a special time available to each of us -- when you rise in the 2 ½ hours before the rise of the sun, the ambrosial hours, and synchronize your mind and heart to praise God, God listens. God feels it so much and falls in love with you so much, that it seems unbelievable. In return that Creator touches you with vastness and cleanses your mind. You become fearless, innocent, and pure.
What is sin? Sin is a fluctuation in the flow of Spirit like the high and low tide. When a person is in very low spirits, he cannot represent the low of his Spirit. The tide is out and, nobody can come into dock. This is the biggest sin of all. When the tlde is in, you are bright, beautiful and wonderful. You have the Spirit to match up to everything. How can you keep the tide in? How can you maintain your depth? I can tell you the answer in one word: Sadhana. I can lecture without end. But I have already told you the Truth. There is no other Truth. All situations can totally be taken care of if a person decides to do Sadhana every morning.
Don't do Sadhana for your husband, and don't do Sadhana for anything else. Do Sadhana for yourself. If you cannot get up in the morning at 3 o'clock, if you don't take your cold shower, if you don't massage your body, if you don't do all those things, you pay during the day. Everything is in balance. If you don't sharpen the knife, what do you think you can cut with it? If you don't sharpen your mind, if you do not shine your soul, what are you going to do during the day?
Jot Singh Khalsa grew up Medford, MA, USA. He studied art and metalsmithing at SUNY, New Paltz, NY and also began practicing Kundalini Yoga and meditation there in 1972. Since that time he has dedicated himself to learning, through a steady morning Sadhana practice. Yogi Bhajan wrote him Jot Singh a letter circa 1975, encouraging him to "use your artistic gifts to create things that uplift and inspire people." Jot Singh founded Khalsa Kirpans, the Khalsa Raj Collection, and Life Knives, which all do as the Master suggested. His work has been featured on book covers, magazine covers, in museum exhibitions, and in print media published in eight languages. He has managed the Summer and Winter Solstice Sadhana Kitchens for over 30 years, which are great opportunities to learn the importance of serving others. Jot Singh enjoys teaching about prosperity, the spiritual warrior, and how to get the most out of a daily Kundalini Yoga practice, as well as skiing, swimming and the martial arts. Jot Singh lives with his wife, Harbhajan Kaur, at Guru Ram Das Ashram, in Millis, MA, USA. See A Conversation With Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh. See Jot Singh's Early 3HO History.
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