Why Do Sadhana? - 3.

3. How Many Can Realise?

Even those people who believe in God and religion, when they hear a discourse on the need for Sadhana and God-realisation, begin to express grave doubts and ask, "After all, how many can realise God? Perhaps one in billions. Who knows if I will be that one?". The same persons who talk in this fashion take on a totally different attitude in respect of worldly pursuits.

When a person buys a raffle ticket, he always hopes to win the first prize. Every one of the thousand and odd applicants for a single job applies in the hope that he might be selected. The participants in the annual Wimbledon or the Davis Cup round is encouraged by the thought that some day he might win the crown. When King Janaka announced the Svayamvara of Sita, every king and vassal who came to Janaka’s court was surely hoping to win the hands of the pretty princess.

Man is moved by hope. It is hope which sustains life and aids human effort.

Ideals are many and different. The effort needed to attain different ideals also differs. The time and energy and skill needed to climb a small hillock is not comparable to the large-scale preparation and gigantic effort required to scale the summit of Everest or Kanchen Junga. The reward is always in proportion to the effort involved. The greater the effort, the larger the reward. God-realisation is the greatest goal and the highest attainment. There is nothing higher than that. Quite naturally, the highest attainment demands the greatest effort. The difficulty of the task should always be viewed and judged against the richness of the reward. Seen in perspective, even a lifetime of Sadhana is no high price to pay for the priceless reward of God-realisation. The person whose mind is set on the highest will not be deterred by the difficulty of the task.

And then, in Sadhana, the slightest effort is not wasted. All men may not realise God, but all true Sadhaks will certainly register progress on the spiritual scale, commensurate with the individual effort put in by them. The participant in the Davis Cup round is no loser even if he does not win the singles final. He may win many matches on the way. Similarly, the struggling Sadhak can scale many spiritual heights even if he does not succeed in realising God. Each little effort brings its own reward.

An hour of meditation brings in its own mental quiescence. A round or two of Pranayama practice effects its own purification of the Nadis or astral tubes. Listening to an hour’s Sunday spiritual discourse will keep the mind occupied with elevating thoughts for the rest of the week. Even a few Malas of Japa adds to one’s inner spiritual strength.

Next : 4. The Excuse of Difficulty-

Sri N. Ananthanarayanan