“What is sadhana? It’s a committed prayer. It 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.” —Yogi Bhajan
I remember the first time I ever heard the word “Sadhana.” It sounded mystical and somewhat unattainable—a spiritual practice that has the potential to align the practitioner with his or her destiny. I wondered how this worked and I questioned whether or not I would have the discipline to undertake such a practice.
It was my beloved, Adi Bachan Kaur, who brought the idea of Sadhana to the forefront of my consciousness. She mysteriously discovered these ancient chants on of all things a Spodify list and began mysteriously rising at 3:30 a.m. to sing them each morning while she took a bath. Each morning she would rise to “sing her songs” while I sleepily took notice of her much too early morning concerts in her bath.
“What are you doing in the early mornings?” I would ask her on occasion.
“I’m just signing my songs,” she would reply innocently. “It’s called the Aquarian Sadhana.”
My blank stare back at her revealed my complete ignorance of the concept of Sadhana. In fact, when I first encountered the idea of Sadhana I would even mispronounce it when I spoke about it. “Sad-hana,” I would say until someone in the know would gently correct me—”Saad-NA.” At the early stages I couldn’t even say the word correctly let alone develop a practice. I was a novice of monumental proportions, but the beauty of Sadhana is that it is always waiting for us, patiently, until we have the courage to undertake the practice. Sadhana is there, waiting with an outstretched hand, inviting us to reclaim our destiny. It allows a person to grow to heights of unimagined potential. We need only two ingredients—discipline and devotion.
Adi convinced me to join her in the mornings nearly three years ago, albeit very reluctantly on my part. I had no interest in yoga and the thought of chanting and meditation in the early morning hours didn’t rank in the top thousand things on my list of important things to do.
So, what is Sadhana? Sadhana means daily spiritual practice. It is the foundation and framework of all spiritual endeavor. Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort that is undertaken to align once again with the Divine and to remember that we are One With God. We use the tool of Sadhana to work on ourselves to achieve the purpose of our lives.
We were all sent here for a purpose and that purpose can and will be revealed when we rise in the morning before beginning our day as we undertake our spiritual practice. We become God. We (G)enerate through yogic asanas and mantras, (O)rganize the energy through the rest periods following the physical practice and then we (D)eliver our practice to the world. GOD—Generate, Organize, Deliver. We do the work in the morning before we leave our homes and then we deliver the work to those making their way through the darkness towards the light.
By undertaking this practice, we expand our aura and our magnetic field and create a radiance that can be subconsciously felt by those around us. Sadhana is whatever you do to consistently clear your own consciousness so you can relate to the infinity within you. Before you face the world each day, we rise to tune up our nervous and glandular systems and attune ourselves to our highest inner self. For the most comprehensive tune up we include exercise, meditation, and prayer. We work on ourselves by aligning ourselves with our destiny and then we are able to give those around the experience of the Divine through our personal practice.
Yogi Bhajan once said, “Consciousness is caught, not taught.” It is not our words that have an impact on people but instead the radiance that we emit. By being in the very presence of someone who has elevated their radiant light body we are able to experience the effects of a dedicated daily practice. In essence, for a moment, we draft on the elevated work of the advanced Sadhana practitioner. This is why we are often drawn towards people who have a consistent daily spiritual practice. We are drinking up their radiance like a dehydrated person in the desert. We long to have this level of radiance and we can by simply beginning the journey of Sadhana.
Sadhana can be done alone or in a group and with the group energy comes the power to elevate our field even faster. When doing Sadhana in a group the entire group is elevated to the level of the person who is operating with the most radiance. Once again, we get the opportunity to draft on other people’s Sadhana and if you happen to be the person with the brightest radiant body you have the ability to elevate those around you to their highest potential.
Sadhana is a commitment to self-care. Sadhana, by its very nature, is a clarion call to our highest self to realign with our fundamental essence—it aligns us with our own personal truth. Our mind and body aligns with our spiritual essence creating a harmony in our life. The Universe begins working in concert with us and our lives begin to take on an ease of purpose that every human being deeply desires.
Will it be challenging? Without question. Will you consider quitting? Count on it. Will you quit? It’s very likely. After you have quit and formulated the perfect excuse for why you did so you will be left with a choice: Do I take responsibility for everything that is occurring in my life and am I willing to change my life for the better? How you answer this question will forever determine your radiance. How you answer that question will become the litmus test for how you lived this precious life.
Yogi Bhajan once said, “Your excuses are you own self-abuses.” When we decide to stop abusing ourselves with our own excuses, we offer ourselves the sliver of light that is necessary to fundamentally change how we live. That little sliver of light illuminates within us the possibility of a better way. We become patient. We become compassionate. We become the love that elevates the world to its greatest potential. We become the very light that we once sought in the pages of ancient spiritual texts or from the teachings of the master sages. We become Sadhana—Sadhana become us.
Saying “yes” to Sadhana is saying “yes” to your destiny. You must have grit. You must be a warrior—a spiritual warrior. Rising each morning, or any time of the day for that matter, to give back to yourself is most selfish thing you can do because it is a level of self-care that everyone of us needs. This is exactly the kind selfishness the world needs. The selfishness to heal ourselves. When we heal ourselves we heal the world around us. Sadhana will heal us and by its very nature it will heal the world.
Sending you love and light on this glorious day. May you inspire those around you with your grace and the radiance shining deep within your soul.