Sadhana means dissolution of mind, intellect and ego for attaining the Supreme Being

Indriyani mano buddhirasyadhishthanmuchyate
Aitayeervimohayatyesh dnyanmavrutya dehinam
– (Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, 3:40)
Meaning : The senses, mind and intellect are said to be its seat; through these it deludes the embodied by veiling his wisdom
.Implied meaning: Sadhana means dissolution of mind, intellect and ego. Once that is attained, one gets totally tuned to the universal principle and attains the Supreme Being. A Jivatma (embodied soul) thinks of itself as different from God because there is a veil of mind, intellect and ego on the soul. This veil keeps one away from realisation of Self, giving one the impression that one is a physical body. Till the time, these three veils are there on the soul, a living being does not acquire liberation and has to take birth again and again. The senses get actions performed through the medium of mind and intellect and keep a living being trapped in the web of Maya (illusion). Kaam (desire) are a major hindrance in the realisation of Self. Acquiring control over the senses destroys the intensity of desires and this is known as Sadhana. As we start reducing satiating the desires, the senses come under control and the dissolution of mind and intellect starts taking place. Just as when the hand gets fractured, it is put up in a plaster for two months and left in a particular position and even after the plaster gets cut, the hand continues to remain in the same position and physiotherapy (exercise) has to be done to bring the hand back to normal. Similarly, by utilising the mind and intellect merely for obedience, the process of dissolution starts soon and we make progress in the direction of self-control. Hence, the Samsakaras of obeying Tapovruddh (those elder to us in penance), Ayurvruddh (those elder to us in terms of age) and Dnyanvruddh (those possessing more knowledge) was intrinsic to Indian culture.The eldest son would obey the father, the younger brother would obey the elder brother, the wife would obey the husband and a disciple would obey the directives of the Guru. Actually, doing so resulted in their spiritual progress and as most of the beings were engaged in Sadhana, thus those giving commands actually gave justified commands.
Subsequently with the passage of time, in the absence of Dharmaacharan (abiding the code of conduct as per Vedic Dharma), the intensity of Sadhana kept denigrating and the evidence of Chaitanya (divine consciousness) in those giving the command kept diminishing and because those who were obeying too did not have a perspective on Sadhana, they kept busy in making endeavours to preserve their ego and it was from there that unrest and conflict in Vyashti ( individual) and Samashti (societal) life started. Remember, dissolution of one’s subtle existence is called Sadhana and this becomes easily attainable through obeying commands; what is important is merely whose command are we obeying and with what kind of Bhav (spiritual emotion). Obeying the saints yield highest spiritual benefits and after that the orders of a being, who abides by the tenets of Dharma and possesses more Sadhakatva (seeker hood) , or the one who has a propensity to sacrifice and is constantly engaged in Sadhana, or the one who is performing routine acts for the protection of the nation and Dharma (righteousness), results in spiritual progress. By obeying Adharmi (sinful) and sinners, we only move towards destruction. Tanuja Thakur

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