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SPIRITUAL PATH-Sadhna Spotlight by a Saint

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    SADHANA - SPOTLIGHTSBY A SAINT

    M.M. VAKMA

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    Published byMANAV SEWA SANGHVRINDAVAN (U.P.)

    Price :Rs.25.00Edition :2002, 1000 copies

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    PREFACE

    A few years ago, it was my privilege to offer t othe English reading public a free rendering inEnglish of selections from some of the illuminatingdiscourses and observations of a saint. (He doesnot like his name t o be displayed in publications;though he freely moves about in the country, onhis spiritual mission, and is well known amongspiritual seekers). The compilation was publishedin a book entitled "A Saint's call t o Mankind", witha Foreword by Dr. S.Radhakrishnan. It was chieflybased on the Hindi publications of his teachingsth at had appeared by tha t. t ime, u i z . S a n tSam agam , Manav Ki Mang and Jiw an Darshan;and covered the Saint's utterances on various topicsof spiritual interest. The book was very wellreceived by the readers, both in India and abroad.

    A number of other publications have sincebeen brought out by M a n a v S e v a S a n g h (anassociation of sadhakas founded by the said saint).Some of these v i z . , Sadhana Ta t tawa , Chi t taShuddhi , Sa t sang Aur Sadhana and S a d h a n aN i d h i contain the saint's discourses relatingpointedly t o certain fundamental elements of

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    I SADHANA-SPOTLIGHTS BY A SAINTsadhana , clearing the ground and enlightening thepath of the aspirant, who is often confused andfrustrated by following certain traditional routinewithout a clear vision of his goal and a properinsight into his own life &d propensities.

    In this small book, an attempt has been madet o summarize and bring together some of theessential thoughts given in the said treatises onthis all-important subject of s a d h a n a by thisprofound thinker. The reader is requested t ooverlook a certain amount of repetition o roverlapping which it has been difficult t o avoid onaccount of the universality of the saint's centralthought running through diverse ways andcontexts. Such repetition may, in fact, help thereader t o catch the saint's thought more clearly.

    I solicit the reader's indulgence for theshortcomings in my rendering which is like bathingon the shores of the Ganges with the help of atumbler. Nevertheless it is hoped that the profoundand thought-stirring lights t h r ow n on the essenceof sadhana by the saint will be found of much helpby all earnest sadhakas. Some of them may findthis small hand-book on s a d h a n a an usefulcompanion on their path; and some others who canread Hindi may follow up by reading the originalworks.

    + + +There is a classic story.A ki n g invited the bestartists to paint frescoes i n h is palace. Tw o painters

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    PREFACE I Iwere working in the same hall on opposite walls,with a curtain between the m , so th at neither of the mcould see w ha t th e other w as doing. One o f th emcreated a mar vello us picture w hich evoked theadm iration o f every on-looker. Th e other artist h adnot painted an yth ing a t all. He had spent all histim e polishing th e wall-had polished it so perfectlythat when the cu rtain w as removed, thepicture ofthe other painter w as reflected in a way t ha t mad eit appear even more bea utiful th a n the original.

    Even so , a mind wholly purified-the egopolished off, so t o say-mirrors Yoga, Gnan a andLove.

    It is this lesson that the Swami would appeart o want t o drive into our minds and hearts byconstantly dinning into our ears the sadhaka's firstand last responsibility of discarding once for all,all that is non-true and non-essential and ofhunting out every trace of impurity from one'smind. True sadhana blazes up spontaneously in apurified mind. Unless the mind is purified, moreaccumulation of knowledge of the scriptures is buta burden; worship, a soulless routine or an escape;religion only a smoke, not fire; even service, aninflation of the ego !JAIPUR MADANMOHAN V mJuly 1,1967

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    LIST OF CONTENTS

    ChapterPreface

    1. The Rases of Sadhana2. Purification of the Mind3. Purification of the Mind (Contd.)4. Satsang and Sadhana5. Satsang and Sadhana (Contd.)6. The Essence of Sadhana7. Some Maxims of the Saint

    Pagei

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    SADHANA-SPOTLIGHTS BY A SAINTThe most important thing for such awakened,

    purposeful sadhaka is t o detach himself from theinfatuation of the ephemeral, i.e. t o take a firmdecision t o renounce all that is non-true. By suchfirm resolve all clingings resulting from age-longhabits would drop away like dry clay; and the questof the sadhaka would be set ablaze. Such pure quest

    #

    and longing always find their fulfilment in theEternal.Even after a firm resolve t o renounce the non-

    true, however, for some time the s an s ka ra s(impressions) of the past may linger, and confrontthe sadhaka with temptation o r fear throughmemory. The sadhaka should look upon these aspast sanskaras emerging from the subconsciousrecesses of the mind only t o clear out. If he simplynon-cooperates with them, they would be starvedout. They are not fresh k a r m a s calling forcounteraction, but mere shadows of the past-a sortof a diary of what has passed off.

    A sadhaka, thus, isa man who has learnt fromhis experience, in the light of viveka, that t o lookout for Life in external things, the body, individuals,outer circumstances etc. is a will-o'-the-wisp. Thesecan at best be of use as instruments of sadhana for

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    THE BASES OF SADHANA 3

    attaining true Life. From this point of view, theworld and the body may be likened t o a TrainingSchool and training apparatus for realization oftrue life. But man is not the body, a t any rate; andall his (so-called) relationships with the worldpertain t o the body.

    Every human being has an innate tendencyto do, t o know and t o believe. To act according toDivine Law is dharma, duty; and the performanceof duty with a pure heart, being prompted by aninner sense of unity and directed t o service offellow-beings, washes off attachment t o action anddestroys the sense of doership. Thereby, after everyaction, his mind relaxes in the Eternal. This isspontaneously followed by a burning quest ofReality, which devours all other attachments andleads t o self-realization. Or, t o one on the path ofdevotion, one's faiths dissipated in the many fuseinto a single-pointed faith in the One, and thesadhaka becomes one with the Sadhya , the Goal,the Beloved.

    The quintessence of s a d h a n a is deep,unshakable and ever-fresh yearning for therealization of one's Sadhya .

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    THE BASES OF SADHANA 5circle. The sadhaka must beware of this foe in theguise of a friend-desire-and keep his gaze fixedon the goal.

    Another obstacle is the delusion that agreeablethings or circumstances are essential for oursuccessful advance t o the goal. Let the sadhakaknow once for all that no set of things andcircumstances can be perfect, by their very nature;and that , whatever things and circumstances aregiven t o one by Providence are the ones that aremost conducive t o his progress on the path, if onehe m ak es the best use of them. Therefore, thesadhaka should not fret over this tools, but should

    a make the best use of the same. Providence is neverniggardly in giving more, and all that is wanted, t oone who makes good use of what is given t o him.

    To run after what is not possible toachieve isan obstacle t o sadhana. So also, t o cogitate overwhat has passed; and t o develop attachment withthings, personalities and surroundings, which areever-changing and bound t o vanish. The sadhakamust beware of being lured by any fleetingpleasures appearing in asadhana. Desire is themother of fear.

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    6 SADHANA-SPOTLIGHTS BY A SAINTAssumed relationships and 'at tachments

    demand service of those with whom we haveestablished relationships and attachments. Toaccept relationships and not t o redeem them byservice is t o forge chains that bind, and hampersad hana .

    Any happiness or gain which is born of theunhappiness of another is bound to end in sufferingand sorrow, and is detrimental t o the enjoyer ofsuch temporary pleasure or gain. This is theimmutable law of Providence.

    Lack of faith is another obstacle in sadhana.A fundamental obstacle t o sadhana is that our livesdo not bear the stamp of what we know, i.e. thegulf between knowledge and conduct.

    Above all, one should always remember thathe is a sadhaka first and sadhaka last. Therebyone would not develop attachment with externalthings which are but instruments of sadhana; andwith his gaze fixed on this Sadhy a , the attainmentof the S a d h y a becomes easy and certain for him.We create obstacles and difficulties by not breakingoff our false attachment with external things.

    A sadhaka should have spontaneous taste inhis sadhana. It is when he undertakes a sadhana

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