Part 1: I’m not sure how deep the waters go
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” — Lao Tzu
I resigned from my job
In February 2019, I went to the Gayatri Sadhana workshop in Bangalore with the intention of seeing Om Swamiji rather than engaging in any sadhana. However, I met several sadhaks who practised their sadhana (such as Ganesh sadhana and Guru sadhana) during the course, and I was happy to hear their testimonies. It risen a desire in me to practice Ganesh Sadhana. So, I had planned to do Ganesh Sadhana in the coming month. In order to dedicate the entire following month to Ganesh Sadhana, I purposefully resigned from my job at Honeywell.
My director, Chandra, as well as the rest of the team, were astonished to learn this, and they questioned why I had resigned while things were going so well at work. They all held me in high regard. However, I decided to devote a portion of my life to serious sadhana.
I felt I had lots of time to accomplish anything after quitting my work. There were only a few days left for me to start my sadhana. I made plans to prepare accordingly. After reading through the “The Ancient Science of Mantra” book quickly (Ganesh Sadhana portion), I was sure that I could complete the sadhana perfectly.
I got everything ready, including four pots, a saucer, lamps, ghee, six yellow lungis, an asana mat, and many other things. Even I took measures to ensure that the food would not contain garlic or onions.
I had not been pursuing this sadhana up until that point, but suddenly I find myself immersed in its thoughts, and I’m not sure how deep the waters go.
Finally, the day came. I got everything ready, sat down for the sadhana at around nine the night before the actual day of the Shri Ganesha sadhana, to invoke Maa Gayatri with the Gayatri Mantra to obtain permission to perform the Ganesha Sadhana. The Sadhana book was sitting beside me for reference. When I started my sadhana, I started looking for the steps to follow (I got fed up with trying to find steps in the book because it was lengthy and I was getting confused) until I reached the section where I was using a Japa mala to chant the Gayatri Mantra.
My mind was incredibly peaceful and focused when I started reciting the Gayatri mantra. But as the minutes went by, I started to experience pain and exhaustion in my legs. But I remained seated and continued my sadhana. But it was a nightmare. It took me around 5 hours. And I was really worn out.
I failed – I’m am bad at Sadhana
With the intention of beginning my first day of Ganesha Sadhana around five in the morning, I went to bed at three with the plan of waking up at four AM after an hour of sleep to begin my preparation. As planned, I woke up at four, but I couldn’t fight the urge to go back to sleep. I then decided to sleep for another 20 minutes and prepare for the Sadhana until five o’clock. However, I awoke later than expected — around 7:30 in the morning, in contrast to 4:20. Already, the sun has risen. I was upset and mad as hell. My legs continued to scream in agony. What should I do right now? I don’t know the answer, but I was sad.
I left my well-paying position in a respectable company for Sadhana, but my first try was unsuccessful. I was quite dissatisfied. My body was having trouble handling my intention. I was worn out and had discomfort throughout my entire body. After engaging in the sadhana for one hour, I was becoming fatigued. I felt guilty for quitting my job and for deviating from my plan. I was ashamed of my failure. I had the impression that I am bad at Sadhana.
Suresh Ji, my companion on my sadhana journey
I thought to call Suresh ji, as I wanted to share the suffering i was going through
I met Suresh Ji at the Gayatri Sadhana camp. Suresh Ji traveled all over from Singapore to Bangalore to participate in the Gayatri Sadhana which demonstrates his dedication to the practice. He is intelligent and friendly. Within a short period of time, we were good friends.
I eventually phoned Suresh ji. He paid close attention to what I had to say and informed me that I may perform the Sadhana in the evening as well, which I had not known. In order to minimize confusion, he also advised me to take some notes before beginning the sadhana.
After our conversation, I felt at ease. After some time, I went out and ordered a plain dosa with chutney instead of sambar since I reasoned that it might have garlic and onions, which are not recommended during the sadhana.
The Cook and his lecture
As Swami instructed in the course, it is best to avoid eating garlic and onions during the sadhana period, I made some preparations. I asked a chef at a restaurant to prepare meals for me that were free of garlic and onions. And I stated that I am willing to compensate him for his additional labor and time. He happily agreed. I gave him some money in advance. I assumed the problem had been resolved.
My lunch in the afternoon on the day i was supposed to start the sadhana was prepared with garlic and onions, which was a polar opposite of what i had requested.
I assumed he was perplexed and wanted to clarify if he was. But, to my surprise, he cooked this way on purpose. He then proceeded to lecture me on the health benefits of eating onions and garlic. Oh my goodness. What should I do now? I ate my lunch with curd in silence before returning to my room to begin the sadhana.
Around 2:30 PM, I began preparing my sadhana notes. It was perplexing and complicated. Even though it was already evening, I hadn’t finished preparing my notes. I was tense and running out of time. Finally, I gave up because I was completely perplexed and stressed. My sadhana preparation was inadequate. And I wasn’t physically prepared to sit for long periods of time. So I had to cancel my Sadhana plans.
I was dwelling on my self-criticism for many days. I was feeling guilt for leaving the job and i was feeling guilty for not doing the sadhana.
I kept having the same notion again and over. How come a lot of others can complete their sadhana successfully but not me? I discovered that I was underprepared for the situation. I then made the decision that I must do it to any cast.
I started to prepare for the Sadhana at last. For the first week, I intended to sit down and chant the beads for an hour each day. The next week, I would increase the duration to 90 minutes, and finally, three hours.
I could watch or do something for hours, but I was never very good at just sitting there and doing nothing for hours or even minutes at a time. Even I had trouble sitting still for 20 minutes of meditation. I’ve been practicing for a while, but most of the time I end up fantasizing about the entire meditation session. I frequently left the cushion unsure of whether what I just accomplished qualified as meditation at all. But at least I continued to do it.
I am ready
I gradually developed the ability to sit still and chant on beads for lengths of time more than two hours. Additionally, I jotted down some notes about sadhana.
I called Suresh Ji once more and informed him that I want to start my sadhana and questioned about the best day to begin my sadhana. He grinned and encouraged me to try it once more. He gave me the personal notes he had written down for his sadhana. He was incredibly kind, and I mentally thanked him countless times for his generosity. I also won’t soon forget his kind consideration for me. I had been desiring to practice sadhana since from many weeks and the time has finally arrived, and I was ready.
Part 2: The fire of Sadhana
“No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.” — Buddha
And this time I was well prepared for the upcoming Sadhana. And I decide to eat rice, bread (Pulka/Roti/Chapati), ghee, and curd throughout the sadhana.
One crucial detail that I want to draw attention to is the fact that “I gathered 30 banknotes of Rs. 50, one note every day, for charity over the course of 30 days. I kept them in a wooden box after meticulously counting them numerous times. I used to pick one banknote from the box after my daily Sadhana and set it aside in a separate plastic box.”
Finally, i was ready.
I planned my Ganesh sadhana to start at 4:30 AM. I structured my schedule and lifestyle around that.
Like before, I had no issue sitting still for an extended period of time this time. Although my body was slightly under strain, it was okay. My body adapted to the process over time.
The lovely morning
the contented mind
I had become one with the god
I had nothing more to wish for
I had become one with the god.
Up until my 18th day, I was doing great. However, on the 19th day, things changed.
That’s OK. Start again
A friend of mine called me in the evening of the nineteenth day and invited me to go shopping with him. I tried to convince him to let me go, but he wouldn’t listen, so I met him in the shopping mall. After his shopping, we watched a movie and then rode our bikes through the nighttime streets of Bangalore. Although I had a great time, I wasn’t at comfortable internally. I went to my room at a little after three in the morning. I thought I would wake up in an hour when I went to bed, but I actually woke up at nine in the morning. I was miserable. I then decided to practise some meditation before reflecting on my blunder.
Now I understand why sadhaks(seekers) travel to remote areas where there are no people to do their sadhana.
After my meditation, I made the decision to keep doing the sadhana every day at 4:30 AM starting tomorrow and firmly decided to forgo everything for the sake of sadhana for the following 10 days
An Unusual Miracle
On the 28th day of my sadhana, I was astonished to see that there were only two banknotes remaining when I reached into the wooden box to select one. I had anticipated finding three banknotes. However, I specifically preserved 30 banknotes in the wooden box when I first began my sadhana. To prevent counting errors, I repeatedly counted at least five times. However, one note has now inexplicably disappeared from the box.
My family was 600 kilometers away, I was the only person in the room, and I never let my friends into my room during the sadhana. I was perplexed.
What did that mean? Do I have to finish my sadhana the following day? I had the impression that since I had missed the 19th day of the sadhana, the amount of charity for that day had decreased.
At the end of my precise 29-day sadhana, the box had exactly 29 banknotes. I acknowledged it as a Leela of Lord Shri Ganesh Ji, but I’m still perplexed about what happened.
After completing my Sadhana, I boarded a train from Bangalore to Kukke Subramanyam, which is 274 kilometres away. I had a holy bath in the gorgeous Kumadvati river, disposed of my sadhana items there, and then gave the priest of the goddess Hosaligamma — whose temple is south of the Subramanya temple — the money I had amassed as a donation throughout the sadhana.
It was a wonderful experience. I do urge everyone to practice sadhana in order to feel the different realm.
Image Credits: https: