Sadhana or the Spiritual Practice

joejo's picture

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
G. I Gurdjieff.jpg

Some say that since advaita says that your Self is the Absolute or you are That there is no need for Spiritual Practice. Having a sound intellectual understanding of the concepts is enough.

On the other hand most of the authentic Gurus have maintained that some sort of sadhana is indispensable. They also say that a Guru is necessary to show the way.

Shankara the great Advatic sage maintained that Spiritual Practice could only lead to the purification of mind and is not the direct cause of realisation. He maintained that a person with right Qualification and thats important qualification, can have realisation or Enlightenment merely by hearing the sayings of ancient advaitic(Upnishads) called the great utterances proclaiming the identity of Atman(Self) with the Absolute(Brahmn).

While others maintain that this gives only indirect realisation. Besides in these sacred texts there is mention of repeated Hearing Reflecting and Meditation.

There are also these Zen schools of sudden and gradual realisation. What then is the place of Spiritual Practice in the scheme of things?

Some say that through effort we can reach effortlessness. Well this does not seem very logical because what is not in the cause cannot be in effect. Yet we know in our guts that those who propagate that Spiritual Practice in not important only say so because of laziness or lack of complete knowledge.

I would stick my neck out and suggest that while the final act of insight or enlightenment may be a sudden event,it nevertheless requires long and hard preparation.

It is in this light that many sages not the least, Maharshi Ramana who maintained the necessity of Sadhana or Spiritual Practice and a Guru.

sharonk's picture

Pseudo Advaita as an excuse to justify laziness

First, those who dismiss practice in the name of Advaita are not pure Advaitans but Pseudo/Neo Advaitans - this is one of their unfortunate errors and it leads to them remaining stuck in their intellectual minds. When you meet them in satsangs and of known Neo Advaita American teachers you notice that immediately.

They will also denounce meditation in the name of Advaita to hide their great fear of meditation.

On the other hand, there are those who are addicted to practice, those whose minds use the practice as a great entertainment and a block to progress spiritually.

As in all things - it seems that the right path is in the middle.

sharonk | Sat, 02/06/2010 - 09:33
silencio's picture

Terrible harm caused by Pseudo Advaita teachers

Pseudo Advaita teachers cause a terrible harm to followers in their "non-doing" half-baked interpretation of Advaita. Irresponsible ignorants lead other ignorants. These American mambo jambo teachers include Gangaji, Adyashanti, Nirmala and all the many other self-appointed popular teachers who picked new cool names.

In that sense, I liked two articles here (including the debates in the comments) that discuss this matter:

and especially the marvelous masterpiece about sane and productive balance between effort and non-effort:

silencio | Sat, 02/06/2010 - 09:49
B-friend's picture

Advaita Vs. Neo Advaita

What a war...Let them blow each other up then so Life can be the teacher.

B-friend | Sat, 02/06/2010 - 18:42
Johnnyinsearch's picture

beautiful :)

gangaji and adyashanti :) deeply awakened and beautiful pointers to the truth :)

Johnnyinsearch | Thu, 08/12/2010 - 21:42