Yogi Bhajan Answers Questions about Sadhana
Question: What is the greatest reward of doing sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: The 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 assess yourself.
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.
Yogi Bhajan: 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 system. 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.
Challenge it by doing it. Sadhana gives fearlessness and a sense of self, as well as projection, 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 Ioh—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, do sadhana.
Question: Is leading the yoga exercises in sadhana the same as teaching a yoga class?
Yogi Bhajan: 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 Infinite.
Question: Should I change the exercises and kriyas every day?
Yogi Bhajan: 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.
Question: Should I wake someone up who is sleeping in sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: 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 far better than a person who is snoring at home in bed.
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. Those who have guts will open the gates of the heart at 3:30 am.
Question: When I am sick, should I attend sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: 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 shabad.
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 serious illness.
Question: I am a beginner and can only spare one hour on sadhana. Will one hour have any effect?
Yogi Bhajan: 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.
Question: Do we need a special place for sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: 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, do your best to bring a sense of specialness with you to wherever you meditate.
Question: Should I bring my children to sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: 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 it important to wear a head covering during sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: During sadhana, be sure to cover your head with a non-static, 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, unkempt, or uncovered so that it is electrically imbalanced, this natural process of raising the kundalini energy will be impeded.
Question: Is right after sadhana a good time to take a nap?
Yogi Bhajan: Right after sadhana is a time to do anything—even to eat ice cream. Right after sadhana do whatever you want. What is God’s, give to God through sadhana. Take what you take during the rest of the day—it is your day.
© 2003 The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Source: Aquarian Teacher Teacher Training Manual Level 1