When Sadhana Becomes Successful
Sadhguru explores the true purpose of sadhana, and how the idea of doing sadhana “is not to go somewhere.”
Question: After years of doing sadhana, I still feel I might not be getting anywhere. What to do?
Sadhguru: It doesn't matter how many years of sadhana you do, you will not get anywhere. Not that you might not, you will not. Because the idea of doing sadhana is not to go somewhere. The idea of doing sadhana is to come to a state where you can simply be here - to understand and know that what is here is everywhere, what is not here is nowhere. Getting beyond the need to go somewhere, that is sadhana, because in fact, there is nowhere to go. There is only here, and there is only now. The rest is all in your head. Sadhana is to bring you to a state where at least for some period of time in the day, just sitting is good enough. If you live, you are here and now, if you die, you are still here and now. You cannot go anywhere. There is nowhere to go.
Sadhana is a device
Sadhana is a device. It is a method to bring you to a certain level of maturity where the need to go somewhere is gone. That is why people who are steeped in sadhana are not moving anywhere. If you travel around the world, you will still not know whether the world is round or flat, forget about knowing the intricacies of life. But if you are truly here, everything that is worth knowing is right here, because you cannot perceive anything on the outside. It doesn’t matter if you sit here or in the Himalayas or Africa or the United States or South Pole or North Pole. Maybe certain atmospheres are supportive, certain atmospheres are not supportive, that is a different thing – but essentially, you can only experience what happens within you.
So, wherever you go, only this is there. You know, these mountains here are called Velliangiri. That means “White Mountain.” You can make them the Himalayas - that is what it means. We also call them “Kailash of the South.” If you sit here long enough or involved enough, they will become the Kailash; you don't need to make the journey. You can only experience what happens within you. You cannot experience what happens in the mountain, you cannot experience what happens in the sky, you cannot experience what happens anywhere.
You can sit here, look at someone, and experience love. You can close your eyes, just think about someone, and experience love, isn’t it? You can either stimulate it from outside or simulate it from inside, both are possible. Either you are on “push-start” or “self-start.” Either you are a current machine or a past machine. You look at the moon, you look at the earth, you close your eyes, you open your eyes – still what is happening within you is all that is happening to you – nothing more, nothing less.
Sadhana is to bring yourself to that level of maturity to simply see, it does not matter what you do, it does not matter whether you climb a peak or sit in the valley, it does not matter if you are successful or not in the world, it does not matter if you are well-known or not, it does not matter if you are eating whatever you dream of or not, it is just the way you experience it. This is not a trap, that is the beauty of life. There is really nowhere to go. You can sit here and be blissful, ecstatic; you can sit here and be miserable. You have a whole range of choice. You can sit here and think, “This is the most blessed moment in my life.” You can sit here and think, “This is the most torturous moment in my life.” Life has not put any bondage upon you. Bondage is all your making. Existence has left you free, absolutely free. You can sit here and that's it. Nothing needs to happen, and yet you can go through life in a most wondrous way because of what you do within yourself. Or you can go all over the place and do all kinds of things, and still go through life in an utterly miserable way. Both are your making.
Getting rid of the itch
Sadhana is that blessed process through which you realize this, that there is nowhere to go. When the need to go stops, your sadhana is successful. Then you just sit. Sitting need not necessarily mean you are physically sitting in one place. It is just that the itch to go into this and that is gone. If you sit, you are fine, if you run, you are fine, if you fly, you are fine, if you walk also you are fine. Wherever you are, you are just fine. Once the itch is gone, you are at ease. Once you are at ease, you don’t have to do anything. Just a little bit of waiting, that’s all. Only if you are in love, you can wait, because when you are in love with somebody, you are feeling emotionally pleasant. Love creates a lot of mental anxiety because that is your idea of concern. So your mind is getting unpleasant, but your emotion is pleasant – and still it is worthwhile.
If you are irritated, agitated, frustrated or angry, you cannot wait because you are unpleasant. Depending upon the type of karmic substance you carry and the kind of active and dynamic help that you get from outside, the period of waiting may alter. It may be a few moments, a few years… just sitting and waiting. When your insides are pleasant, waiting for a few years is not a big deal. You just wait.
Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Sadhguru’s discourse at the Isha Hatha Yoga School’s 21-week Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system and the proficiency to teach Hatha Yoga. The next 21-week session begins on July 16 to Dec 11, 2019. For more information, visit www.ishahathayoga.com or mail firstname.lastname@example.org