How to Keep Sadhana Going Through the “Lows”?
Q: When we started doing our sadhana, we experienced high energy levels, which we wish to carry on, but outside influences come into our lives and we get anxieties, fears and worries that we get stuck into. Should we increase our sadhana each day to help us overcome these aberrations?Sadhguru: The standard sadhana – whether it is Shambhavi Mahamudra or Shakti Chalana Kriya – you cannot increase that. You could increase your kapalabhati but not anything else. It is not necessary to increase either because that is all your system can take. If you want something to hang on to during the course of the day, it is best that you chant a mantra or something, which is simple, like a song. Mantra is a reverberation which can reorganize your system in a certain way.
If you have been in the Samyama program, if you slowly bring this into your life that you start meditating with your eyes open – if you practice it regularly it will become such that even if your eyes are open you are just the same way – then no other extra sadhana is needed because that is the way you are. If you are not able to keep it up, we have told you how to bring that into your life – every hour, take a break and do the process.
If you have not done the Samyama program, you can chant a mantra. If you cannot keep it going all the time, every hour take a break and do three minutes of chanting. If your awareness is such, then anytime you are not talking to people or doing something else, just keep chanting.
I want you to try this out: Sounds of Isha has released a CD called Vairagya, which has five mantras: Nirvana Shatakam, Guru Paduka Stotram, Brahmananda Swarupa, Aum Namah Shivaya, and Shambho (“the auspicious one”). This was released with a specific purpose. Listen to the CD over and over a few times, listening to each one of the mantras – each one runs for ten minutes. Figure out which mantra really draws you. This isn’t about choosing a mantra like: “Oh, I enjoy this mantra. What have you chosen? Okay, let me also choose that.” It is not done like that. Just listen and listen. When you feel that one of them is really grabbing you, you just go by that. Keep it going all the time – in your car, in your home, on your iPad, iPod, phone, everywhere. There are one-hour versions of each of these also. Simply keep them going on and on for some time.
Initially you will chant loudly like a song. Slowly, see if you can close your mouth and still keep the same reverberation up. Unless you chant it sufficiently in the louder form with some volume, you cannot take it inward. You must create that memory of the reverberation substantially in your system, where even if you close your mouth, after some time, if you just remind yourself it flows because you have created memory of that reverberation. Just the reminder will keep the chanting going.
It happened with Ram Das. Ram Das was at the time an unrecognized sadhak. He was wandering and one night, he slept in somebody’s home. In the middle of the night, the owner of the house realized that somebody’s doing, “Ram, Ram, Ram”. The owner was annoyed as he wanted to sleep. So he went to check on Ram Das, but he found that the saint was fast asleep. But he could still hear the sound of “Ram, Ram”. Then he slowly went towards Ram Das and the sound was coming out of his body. Ram Das’s whole life had been into this so much, even when he slept, the body was just reverberating “Ram, Ram, Ram”. You can make a chant like that, but it takes a lot.
This is like you have a recorded tape in you. You don’t have to sing yourself. If you turn it on it is going on. But to reach that point you need a certain amount of loud chanting. If you do that in your day-to-day life you could bring that support for yourself when situations are not going the way you want them.
Editor’s Note: The Vairagya album is available as an app and as mp3s.