Thursday, May 22, 2014

What is the goal of sadhana or spiritual practices? ~ Atman Nityananda

What is the goal of sadhana or spiritual practices?
Sadhana has two goals.

First: The purification of mind from rajas  and tamas qualities and the increase of sattva. The destruction of the lower or impure mind (desires, lust, greed, anger, fear, jealousy, attachments, etc.) and the ego itself (the sense ‘I am the body’ and its consequences: ‘I-ness’, ‘mineness’, I am the doer, and I am the enjoyer).

‘Since purity of mind is indispensable for any kind of spiritual practice, it possesses an eminence of the highest order.’  
‘The greatness of 
chitta shuddhi (purity of mind) is that it is the mother of all virtuous conduct. Realizing this, examine your mind every day.’  
~ Ramana Maharshi
Second: The self-inquiry in order to realize the nature of your real Self (awareness) and the permanent abidance as ‘That’ after the realization. First it is necessary to recognize what is our true Self and then by repeated self-enquiry and meditaion to establish our mind on it. By doing so in a moment we never expect awakening will happen and we will realize that we are not the mind-body entity or the body-me but the silent witness of the body, the mind and the ego. We have to continue our practice until all samskaras vasanas, desires, likes, dilikes, emotions will be burned in toto. Then only Self-realization or liberation will be complete.
‘Letting go of the external objects, turn your back on them, and realize through keen inquiry the effulgent truth that shines in the heart.’ 
~ Ramana Maharshi
These two aspects of sadhana go together but the first one has precedence, because it makes the mind pure, one-pointed, steady, introverted, discriminative, a capable instrument to do Self-inquiry and meditation effectively. Then through meditation or Self-inquiry the mind becomes finer and finer and finally dissolves in the Self.
‘Only to such a mind which has gained the inner strength of one-pointedness, Self-inquiry will be successful.’ 
~ Ramana Maharshi

Two important notes:

1. Realization is not something you can attain by effort. This does not mean that sadhana is not necessary. You have to prepare yourself for realization. You must eliminate all those things that prevent realization. Realization will happen by itself when the right time will come. Purification, intense longing to find the truth, sincerity, faith, steady determination, vigilance are very important to succeed in this endeavour.

‘You are the Self. You are already That. The fact is that you are ignorant of your blissful state. Ignorance supervenes and draws a veil over pure bliss. Attempts are directed only to remove this ignorance.’  
~ Ramana Maharshi

2. Be careful because spirituality also can be a nice field for the egoic mind to play its roles. Beware always! Be alert, because ego always tries its best to delude you. But if you are sincere and unceasingly vigilant, you will find out the fancies of ego and you will dissolve them.
‘The spiritual practice adopted by the jiva becomes complete upon the destruction of the ego at its source.’ 
 ~ Ramana Maharshi