**Warning: Those who are performing the Sri Suktam Sadhana may get disheartened/discouraged after reading this post because this is not a success story or a miracle story. If you still want to continue reading, you are most welcome 🙂 **

Towards the ending of last year’s Nav Durga Sadhana, Swamiji had said that he would conduct the Sri Suktam Sadhana starting on Diwali this year. I was very excited for this Sadhana and waited in anticipation for the instructions to arrive from Swami ji in the form of a post. It finally did and I was so happy to see that the Sadhana had been simplified so much! The announcement of live yagna on the sadhana app was a cherry on the top! But little did I know, I would give up on this Sadhana on the first night itself.

Yesterday in the evening I made all the arrangements and I sat for the evening japa. Having done a few sadhanas by now, I knew that I took more time to chant than others because I like to chant the mantra slowly. It helps me to connect with the mantra more. So I decided to chant 3 rounds for the Sri Suktam Sadhana which would take me atleast 3 hours. After the purification I started my japa. I had assumed that after about 20-30 chants I would be able to chant the mantra for the day with my eyes closed, because looking at the mantra and chanting hampers my concentration. But the mantra was wayy too long and there were too many beejas which I was mispronouncing from time to time. Even after the first 20 times, I had to look at my phone every time I chanted the mantra. I could not concentrate, I was not in a meditative state and to top it all off I did not feel even an ounce of devotion towards Goddess Lakshmi.

I knew previously that I did not feel any devotion towards the deity of the mantra. To be honest, out of all the popular forms of Devi, I probably liked Goddess Lakshmi the least. But I thought if I chanted the mantra with concentration I would be able to pull through but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Also, I sort of liked the black vigraha of Maa Lakshmi on the sadhana app so I thought it would aid me in my sadhana but in the Sri Suktam Sadhana, the vigraha was a different one. After the first 21 times I stopped the chanting because I knew it was not working. Since I had already taken the sankalpa, I thought of powering through but then I calmed down and began thinking. Even if I powered through the 1st night, I wouldn’t be able to do so for 16 consecutive nights. Also, doing a sadhana just for the sake of doing it, with 0 meditativeness and 0 emotion was not appealing for me. After much deliberation, crying and what not I finally decided to abandon the Sadhana. That is how my Sri Suktam Sadhana came to an end. After leaving my asana I was distraught and helpless and did not know where I had gone wrong for not being able to do this sadhana. I started crying and just then my mom called me (since I was upstairs in my room) and told me that she was going next door and asked if I wanted to accompany her. This year Kali puja was on the same night as Diwali and our next door neighbours are a family of devotees who were doing Kali Puja ceremoniously in their home and only a handful of people were invited. I instantly agreed and left. The puja was very lively and heartwarming. I was more meditative sitting in that puja room than while doing my sadhana earlier. I gave Pushpanjali to Maa Kali and received prasadam. The puja got over at around 10.15 pm. and then we returned home. 

I realised I wasn’t ready for this sadhana yet. Devi being ever gracious allowed me to be in the presence of one of her other forms when I couldn’t emotionally connect with the form of Maa Lakshmi.

If you have completed Day 1 of sadhana successfully know that you are blessed and ready for this. May you abound in Devi’s grace and complete your sadhana. Pranaam.