Question: What is the greatest reward of doing
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. Getting up is a victory over time, and doing it is a
victory over space. That is what sadhana is. And when you do a
sadhana in the sangat, you enrich yourself in multiple ways. First, the
isolation which can hit anybody and make them go totally crazy is
defeated. Secondly, when all of you meditate on God, the total effect
of your sadhana becomes multiplied by the number of people
participating. Sadhana is not a matter of advantages and disadvantages.
It is simply a means through which you can defeat all your miseries,
misfortunes, and handicaps. It is a very personal thing which does not
relate to anybody except yourself.
You are supposed to go through
self-evaluation every day. That is what sadhana is. On one side is God,
the superiority of you; on one side is you; and on one side is the
devil or the inferiority of you. Between the three you have to
A sadhu is a being who has disciplined
himself. Sadhana is the technique to discipline yourself. It is a
scientific way to live.
Question: I have been having a problem with
sadhana. I fall asleep in the same posture every morning.
Whenever you have a problem with sadhana, you
are very fortunate, because it indicates you are working on
something. That is the time to conquer it, and get it out of your
Question: How can I find out what it is?
Answer: There is nothing to find
out. Just go through it. Whenever you have a problem with sadhana, luck
is smiling on you. That is what you have been waiting for. There is a
challenge-you can challenge it, and go through it.
Question: How do you challenge it?
Answer: Challenge it by doing it.
Sadhana gives fearlessness and a sense of self, as well as projection,
polarity combination, equilibrium, respectability, totality,
internal and external self-knowledge, purity, dignity, divinity,
and grace. In addition, it gives you radiance, pranic and auric shakti.
Finally, it gives you the quality of metal which is ever shining. You
become a shining, living grace. This quality is embodied in
loh-iron-which can absorb all the heat. Sarab loh means that 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 bountiful,
Question: Is leading the yoga exercises in
sadhana the same as teaching a yoga class?
No. There are differences. One difference is
the amount of talking that should be done. In an outside class, there
is more need for inspiring, coaxing, and explaining. Sadhana occurs in
the quiet ambrosial hours. At this time, mostly we should listen to the
Question: Should I change the exercises and
kriyas every day?
One part of the sadhana should stay constant long enough for you to
master, or at least experience, the changes evoked by a single
technique. Each kriya and mantra has its individual effects,
although they all elevate you toward a cosmic consciousness. Learn
to value the pricelessness of one kriya, and all others will be
understood in a clearer light.
There is a natural 40-day rhythm to
habits in the body and mind. It takes about 40 days of consistent
practice to break a habit. It takes about 90 days to establish a new
habit in action and in the subconscious. It is good to take these
biorhythms into account when designing your practice.
important to wear a head covering during sadhana?
sadhana, be sure to cover your head with a nonstatic, natural cloth
like cotton, and keep the hair up. The hair regulates the inflow of sun
energy into the body system. To let the solar energy flow without
obstruction, let the hair grow to its full natural length, and take
good care of it. If this is done, the amount of energy that goes
downward from the Seventh Chakra increases tremendously. The kundalini
energy is activated by the radiant force of the solar plexus and moves
upward in response to the solar energy coming down. This balances the
body energy and maintains the total equilibrium. If the hair is down,
unkept, or uncovered so that it is electrically imbalanced, this
natural process of raising the Kundalini energy will be impeded.
Question: If I have to leave sadhana, what is
the best way?
The same way you entered. Be aware of the
presence of the teacher by bowing in your consciousness. Be quiet so
nothing is disturbed. Choose a time to leave that is between kriyas and
meditations. A sharp noise during a deep meditation is a shock to the
total system. Do not come and go as you please, but to please the
Question: Should I wake someone up who is
sleeping in sadhana?
No. God should wake him. The experience of sadhana is between the
individual and God. Do not interfere. You can inspire beforehand. If
sleeping is a chronic habit, discuss it with the person at a convenient
time, but do not abruptly wake someone. He may be at a different
level of experience than you think.
It is our intention, of course, to stay
alert and awake during sadhana. If you are leading the sadhana, you can
lead exercises which can stimulate the brain and supply blood to the
brain to help people to stay awake.
Sadhana is to bring physical and mental
awareness. Some people pretend to be tired. They are not fortunate
enough to catch up with that gap. But it is very unfortunate on the
spiritual path when, instead of inspiring people, we start
criticizing them. That is projecting your hatred.
feel that in the morning when you go for sadhana, you are going to be
sadhus. What does it matter if somebody just gets up to say, "hmmmmmm?"
That person is still doing something. At least he is not sleeping. It is far
better than a person who is snoring at home in bed. Do you understand? Sadhana is a willful effort to prove you are
not lazy about your own Infinity. When the sun rises early in the day,
even idiots rise. But blessed are those who rise before the sun and
prove that they are the children of the Almighty. Does it sound
clear to you? Those who have guts will open the gates of the heart at
Question: As the leader of sadhana, should I
participate in all the exercises?
Answer: As a leader, your responsibility is to
set a good example and to give clear instructions for each step of the
sadhana. You should do as many exercises as you can without becoming
unaware of the group. You must check to make sure that everyone
understands the exercise before beginning yourself. Sometimes it will
be better not to participate at all. Always join in during chanting,
though. When teaching a class outside of sadhana, you should
participate as little as possible in the physical exercise. Concentrate
only on inspiring and serving the students.
Question: Is it mandatory for the same person to
lead sadhana every morning?
Answer: In all Kundalini Yoga sadhanas, the
same teacher teaches every sadhana - Guru Ram Das. Anyone who is
qualified to teach can lead a good Sadhana. It can be very beneficial
for the group to experience the effects of slightly different styles of
Question: When chanting in the morning, the pitch
often gets low. What, if anything, should be done to change the pitch?
Answer: Chant at a constant, mid-range pitch as
much as possible. If your breath rhythm is not correct, your spine
is not kept straight, or you do not take complete breaths in the Adi
Shakti Mantra, the chant will lose energy and drop in pitch. If you
project the sound of the mantra from the back of the mouth in a
full and roundish way, the power of the chant will increase as you
continue, and the pitch will stay constant.
If you are constant and listen to the
sound of your chant, you will hear different pitches. These are
actually overtones of the basic sound you are creating. The overtones
will be high-pitched, subtle, and seem to float around the room. You
cannot identify that tone with one person since it is formed by the
combination of group sounds. The overtone is a good sign that the sadhana group is tuned in to each other and
beyond each other. As you listen to the first overtone and become very
calm, you may begin to hear higher and more subtle overtones. This
awareness aids meditation on the etheric echo of your chanting, as you
sit silently after chanting aloud.
Question: Is it alright to harmonize with the main
Answer: Chanting is not singing. It
is vibrating all the cells of the - body, all the thoughts of the mind,
and the core crystal of the soul to the same shabd. Chanting in
meditation is beyond personality. Chanting like a choir with many
harmonies turns the group consciousness, which is striving for
universality, into individual consciousness responding to social
consciousness. Leave vocal harmonizing for kirtan and group songfests.
Learn to harmonize the body, mind, and soul while chanting.
Question: When I am sick, should I attend
If you are going to be in bed all day with an
extreme sickness, then no. If it is not extreme (this includes most
menstrual periods), then attend sadhana and do what you can. If
you cannot exercise or meditate well, then at least attempt to
meditate. Afterwards, lie down and rest in sadhana while mentally
listening to the shabd. This way you will get well faster, and
maintain the rhythm of a regular sadhana. It also eliminates the
tendency to have minor morning illnesses to escape the
self-discipline of a constant sadhana. In other words,
participation in a group effort and regularity of discipline are
paramount. But do not be a fanatic to the point of aggravating a
I am a
beginner and can only spare one hour on sadhana. Will one hour have any
Answer: Always do some sadhana no
matter how short, because every effort of the individual mind to meet
the Universal Self is reciprocated a thousand-fold. The ideal is a
perfect two-and-a-half hour sadhana. But if we are to run, we must
first learn to walk. An hour is excellent. As you grow into sadhana,
you will find time to extend it if you really want to do so. It is good
for some people to start slowly. If you try to climb Mt. Everest
without climbing even a foothill beforehand, failure could discourage
you from all other attempts. Build slowly and constantly at a pace you
can maintain, but definitely do something.
need a special place for sadhana?
Answer: A special place or altar is ideal. The
care you give the external environment is a sign and symbol to the mind
of your intention. The outer reflects the inner. If the place of
meditation is sloppy, it usually means you do not value relating to
that Infinite Self, or you value it, but do not believe in it or
yourself. When traveling, you do your best to bring a sense of
specialness with you to wherever you meditate.
I bring my children to sadhana?
Answer: Your children are the
future. The future will only be as secure as the foundation that is
built into the young generation. It is very inspirational to see the
radiance from young children who attend sadhana. There is no
restriction. These hours of soothing sleep for them are the best, but
they are in good vibrations, and subconsciously they have experienced
the sadhana. So you can just bring them with you so they can live in
those vibrations. Whether or not your particular child should attend is
an individual determination. If he has been raised in the yogic
tradition where chanting and exercise are a natural part of his
environment, then bring him. If he is disruptive during sadhana, then
his attendance should be discussed with the rest of the group.
Question: Is right after sadhana a good time to
take a nap?
Answer: Right after sadhana is a time to do anything -
even have ice cream. Once right after saadhanaa I ate
pizza--double cheese and triple mushrooms, and I ate it
all and never gave any to anybody. I still worry about
it, but I did it. Right after saadhana do whatever you
want. Saadhana is saadhanaa. Right after saadhanaa it
is your day. What is God's, give to God through saadhanaa.
Take what you take during the day, but remember, when
you have to go to God, the next day you should go with
a clear heart and clean face. Naanak te mukh oojale. Mukh
oojale--mukh means face, oojale means radiant. (The Oriental
Woman, KWTC VI, 1981, pp. 90-91) .