Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sadhana

A Sadhana is a ritualistic meditation practice from Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions which is followed in order to achieve a form of spiritual purification or enlightenment. The word is also used in the same connection within Sikhism.

The Path


The term sadhana means spiritual exertion towards an intended goal. A person undertaking such a practice is known as a Sadhu or a Sadhaka . The goal of sadhana is to attain some level of spiritual realization, which can be either enlightenment, pure love of God (prema), liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), or a particular goal such as the blessings of a deity as in the Bhakti traditions. Sadhana can involve meditation, chanting of mantras (sometimes with the help of a japa mala), puja to a deity, and in rare cases mortification of the flesh or unorthodox practices such as performing one's particular sadhana on a cremation ground. Each type of Yoga or Buddhist tradition entails its own type of sadhana.