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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: What is the Purpose of Sadhana?

Excerpts of questions and answers from a lecture given to Teens on November 29, 1991 in Espanola, NM

Student: Sir, what is the purpose of Sadhana?

Yogi Bhajan:

Sadhana means a discipline which you must do; otherwise you will end up as a dodo. Aradhana means doing it exactly. Prabhupathi means you will master the Creator and His creation. Sadhana is for you to be healthy, happy and holy. Sadhana means sadhu, one who has control of the seven chakras, three gunas, and five tattvas. You can't get it by any other means but by sadhana.

You have to be you. To find you as you, you have to do sadhana. Your power is not in the body or the muscles. Your power is in your mind—the intuitive mind, the neutral mind. And you cannot have a neutral mind unless you do your sadhana and clean your subconscious and unconscious. Sadhana is a housecleaning, a chore which you must do.

Let us talk cold showers. Who wants to do it? Nobody, it hurts. But you know what that hurt means? This is the only way to open capillaries. You see these Indians go in the cold, cold water of the Ganga. They go twenty-five times and they massage their body. For what? To let the capillaries live.

Capillaries supply the blood. If your capillaries are clogged up and die, you are on the verge of death and there is no scientific way to open them, except that. It's hydrotherapy—go under cold shower, massage your body, go again, massage, massage, until it doesn't hurt. Your body will be just like a red apple. I did it this morning. When winter comes, I especially take a very long cold shower so that I may not catch colds.

Student: Sir, what can we substitute for sadhana, if we don't have enough time to do it?

Yogi Bhajan:

There is no substitution for sadhana. Sadhana is your strength, your elemental power. It's the power of your seven chakras, five tattvas and three gunas. It is the only habit you have to develop to master your life and master your future. It's the only thing you can do for yourself—nobody will do it for you. We can only share with you the technology and let you know what it is.

Student: Sir, can you have like, any discipline as sadhana?

Yogi Bhajan:

That's what sadhana is. Life is the discipline. Sadhana is to clean your mind and put your whole body in existence to face the day, that's what sadhana is designated for. Sadhana is not to make you Sikh or non-Sikh. Sadhana has no purpose for that. Sadhana has only one purpose: you face the day with strength and victory.

Try it this way, do sadhana one week absolutely doesn't matter what, and then don't do it for one week. You will find the difference. Not only that, take a wooden comb, comb your hair forward and backward three times and then braid it at night and in the morning do the same way and put your hair in a rishi knot—you will see the difference. What we do is harness and create our own energy.

When you go in the military you have to get up early in the morning. I was trained. The reason I excelled is because I didn't let my sadhana go. It doesn't make much difference in the military to give about thirty minutes to yourself. Don't do a long sadhana of two and a half hours, but just get to two or three things. We'll send you your sadhana in writing. I have to know exactly how much time you can spare. It'll be enough.

But if you don't like sadhana, please don't do it. Have fun. It will catch up with you. All the faults, the weakness, the depression, “I don't know,” “I can't do it,” and all that is when your inside vitality is not there and you cannot enjoy outside virtues. Sadhana is creating self-vitality to enjoy one's own virtues.

Student: Sir, how do you keep yourself awake and responsive during the day when you only get six hours of sleep at night?

Yogi Bhajan:

Breath of fire. Cold water splash. Cool your hands in water and massage your ears, it is a total acupuncture. Your whole body will be alert.

Listen kids, there is nothing but you, there was nothing but you, there is not going to be anything but you. Just conquer you and learn the words of Nanak,

"Mann jeetay jag jeet." —If you conquer your mind, you shall conquer the whole world.

Student: Sir, how do you keep your mind from wandering while meditating?

Yogi Bhajan:

Put the eyes on the tip of the nose, mind won't wander. If you can control the optical nerve and the taste nerve, mind won't move. Taste nerve—turn the tip of the tongue up on the upper palate and press it, mind won't move. If you do not lock it, your mind won't be under your control—it shall wander. These are the only two physical ways to lock your mind.

And if it wanders, let it go, who cares, just don't go with it.

All those who say, “I meditated, it was beautiful” are first-rate liars. They don't know anything about meditation. Meditation is when you start cleaning under the carpet. Every dirty thought starts floating and s*** hits the fan. When s*** hits the fan, meditation has started. That's what meditation is, it's housecleaning, nothing else. If you think meditation is, “Oh, I was in bliss,” no, you must be dreaming. That is not meditation—nothing to do with it.

The idea here is not to force you; the idea is to give you a fair chance so that you can make your life worthwhile. Don't become a dependent human being. You will be cheap, you will be taken advantage of, you will be abused, and you will have no future. Become dependable human beings—you will never lose the game of life.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan