A householder devotee asked Sri Ramakrishna, “How does one make acquaintance with the Lord?” The sage replied, “If you merely sit on the shore of a lake and say there are nice fish in the lake, will you catch any? You will have to go and get the things necessary for fishing — a rod and line, and bait — and throw some lure into the water and wait. Then from the deep water the fish will rise and you will be able to see and catch them. You wish me to show you God while you sit quietly without making the least effort. Make the effort.” In spiritual terms the effort we put into seeking divinity becomes our sadhana, our spiritual discipline.
Sadhana is essentially a code of self-imposed discipline and practice that the sadhak (practitioner) willingly undergoes for spiritual uplift. A healthy desire to grow spiritually fuels the sadhak’s journey. The tapas involved purifies and burns the dross. Sadhana raises your consciousness from the physical to the metaphysical, conferring sweetness and grace. A life without spiritual awakening is incomplete, however successful it may be in worldly terms.
Sadhana leads one to the nivritti marg, inward path, as distinct from pravitti marg, which leads to the outside, objective world. All scriptures say that right living is built primarily on the pillars of eternal values like sathya, dharma, shanti, prema and ahimsa. These values have to be brought to the fore by sadhana.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.