In this series of posts, we’re going through the Sadhana Panchakam chant, one verse at a time. You can read the previous verse here: Verse 1.
Before you read further,
– Deep breathe for a few minutes.
– Then, try to keep a calm mind.
– Offer obeisance to Adi Shankara Acharya.
– Thank him soulfully for the wisdom he imparted.
– Absorb this verse with that attitude.
सङ्गः सत्सु विधीयतां भगवतो भक्तिर्दृढाऽऽधीयतां
शान्त्यादिः परिचीयतां दृढतरं कर्माशु सन्त्यज्यताम् ।
सद्विद्वानुपसृप्यतां प्रतिदिनं तत्पादुका सेव्यतां
ब्रह्मैकाक्षरमर्थ्यतां श्रुतिशिरोवाक्यं समाकर्ण्यताम् ॥२॥
saṅgaḥ satsu vidhīyatāṃ
dṛḍhataraṃ karmāśu santyajyatām
pratidinaṃ tatpādukā sevyatāṃ
śrutiśirovākyaṃ samākarṇyatām ॥2॥
9: Associate with the seekers of Truth.
10: Be firmly established in the Divine’s devotion.
11: Gain peacefulness and other such virtues.
12: Abstain from purely materialistic actions.
13: Approach a Scholar of Truth (Guru).
14: Do service at their feet daily.
15: Contemplate the Brahma Eka Akshara (Om).
16: Constantly listen to the wisdom of the Shruti Shira (Upanishad).
- The first verse gave us the eight foundation steps of spiritual life. Only those who work towards those are considered genuine seekers.
- The second verse presents the eight beginner-level steps to Sadhana. The spiritual austerities get a bit more intense here.
- The term used in Step 9 for the ‘Seekers of Truth’ is Satsanga. Befriending like-minded people can motivate us towards our spiritual progress.
- In Step 12, abstaining from purely materialistic action doesn’t mean quitting work or ignoring our finances. We can’t sustain ourselves in this world without money. That can hinder our Sadhana. In today’s world, this step means not going on an online shopping spree for things we don’t need!
- Regarding Step 13, a few of us are fortunate to access a Scholar of Truth in Om Swami. If Nature hasn’t provided us with that luxury, it helps to exercise caution while seeking any Guru. Now, there appear to be more conmen than real Gurus out there. In general, Swami strongly recommends against seeking any human Guru. He suggests accepting the Divine as our Guru and working on the Sadhana prescribed in his books.
- As noted in Step 14, if we can’t directly serve a Guru, serving society can bring similar benefits. Keeping an attitude of service while taking care of our family and performing all actions can also bestow the same merits.
- In Step 15, Brahma Eka Akshara means the single syllable that represents the Divine. Scriptures refer to Om as that syllable.
- In Step 16, Shruti Shira means the pinnacle of the Shruti (the Vedas and their associated texts). Scholars consider the Upanishad or Vedanta, the end part of the Vedas, as Shruti Shira.
You can read the next verse here: Verse 3.