Recently Yogi Arwind had a chat with Cristoforo about his Sadhana experiences and related queries. The questions were impressive. The questions and answers are useful for all sadhaks at various stages of spiritual evolution. Here are the excerpts with little editing:
Do you think its important to practice pranayama and meditation and asanas every day - or is sadhana something else? Can just getting on with the day be a deep form of sadhana - istead of forcing my self to squeez in some practice
Last sentense is beautiful. Sadhana is a flow. Sadhana is means to reach the spiritual goal which is connecting with the supreme and remaining in constant integrity with the supreme. Ultimate spiritual experience is enjoying heavens within us.
So means like pranayama, asan are significant if they help us reach the goal. Ultimately its our psychological being that has to enjoy and experience the integrity with the supreme being. Our bodily being has to be supportive to our other beings like emotional, mental etc. So means like aasan, pranayam are important to provide the stable base for further spiritual journey.
In fact, every thought, performing every action in a day as meditation is the ultimate phase of spiritual experience. Living the presence!
My communication with the supreme is weak in words nowadays - but strong in action and presence. I feel present in the kingdom of god living to learn, serve and cleanse my self - but my prayer is weak - sometimes I pray to an external form or idea - sometimes to my higher inner state - but I feel like I am just following other peoples ideas - I love to serve, purify my will and keep growing and fulfilling the will of the supreme - but my verbal or linguistic communication and understanding is weak - I feel worth in serving - but I want to deepen my communication - I used to chant mantras - but now I speak to the cosmos - not sure if I am speaking within or without - how important is it to speak and communicate with the divine with words.
I am impressed with the precise description of your state of spiritual evolution. Well, when we say we are in tune with the supreme, the difference of inner and outer does not remain any more. Its an ultimate oneness - 'Shunya' awastha - which is all encompassing. Nothing is left beyond it. All sounds, feel the same, as part of wider being - the divine. Getting used to this sate of being or experiencing this being constantly is a challenge and hence Sadhana is required.
Sadhana can be any form - from listening music to chanting mantra to meditating on some thought or object. For every person, different trigger works. I guess for you the mantra works.
Awareness has no language. It is just there. Its comprehensive experience. So trying to limit it with spoken words or understandable language is not advisable. We shall not enslave ourselves to the means of words. They are important means but not the end in itself. When we travel to New York from London, reaching to New York and enjoying the surrounding, places there is the goal. We shall achieve that by reaching there by boat, plane or whatever means. It is not true that only British Airways takes us to new York. There are other airlines and other means of travel.
Similarly, we shall not limit our experience of 'union with supreme' to some means of mantra or any specific techniques of meditation. We must acknowledge its importance as well as significance 'limited' to take us there.
In nutshell, keep chanting mantras as they are the tool to take to the higher experience. Use them as a tool and not the goal
Please don't judge on the basis of - whether you chant regular for x number of times etc
Just use it as a trigger. Bullet should hit the spot!
Thank you for your words and energy
You are welcome.
I used to chant the Mritunjaya, the Dhyana Sloka and an other guru mantra that I forgot the name - "om sahan vavatu, sahana bunktu, saha viryam, karavavahai etc". But then I stoped because it lost power.
I was questioning what I was singing - I thought I was just blindly following what someone had suggested.
Now I will chant with grace and love, devotion and totality again.
Mantra gains more power with
1. More recitation
2. Meaningful recitation
3. Recitation with focus / concentration ( one's all beings viz, body, mind and soul should be totally involved)
4. Recitation with the firm feeling that gods are actually going to listen it (Conviction, Belief, Faith)
5. Not disclosing it with arrogance to others
This is my big question.That my rationality is stumbling upon. Should I be humble in the presence of external gods - chant and pray to them. or are they all part of my inner true self. When I pray to Saraswati, should I bow and give thanks and blessings to her grace and wisdom or am I resonating that state within me.
Well, I understand where it comes from. Its a phase through which every sadhak goes. Let me try to explain.
Brahman is one. the truth. The divine which creates, sustains and destroys.
The universe which we see and experience and beyond is his creation and representation.
Hence every universal being is the part of this ultimate truth
You, me, trees, rivers, animals, mountains... every seen and unseen. Every matter and live beings.
In the process of making these things simple to understand for a common man, sages started using examples, symbols etc for thousands of years.
So came in form the various gods. These gods are nothing but various permutations and combinations of energy fields. So for someone who understands symbolism behind Saraswati, her worship is means of Sadhana.
For someone who understands 'divine sound of OM (AUM),' chanting of OM is sadhana
For someone who understands tree, or river as a representation of divine being, praying them or taking care of them is Sadhana.
What we need to understand is, ultimate goal is to achieve the state where we recognize ourselves as a part of supreme being and experience so. Imagery of gods are an attempt by sages, wise men to simplify things.
The supreme (Brahman) is with no attributes. Or with all attributes.
Most importantly, spirituality starts where rationality or logic ends.
Hope this helps you to develop perspective...
Mr, Master, friend and Lover. Divine light and blessed existence. Thank you for your messages. I will print it and stick it in my diary. Your words have helped me a lot - to overcome the paradox of linguistics and to live love with devotion and joy. My prospective is definitely been developed.
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