In vedic philosophy there is a concept known as Sadhana. Sadhana is a Sanskrit word whose root, sadh, means to reclaim that which is divine in us, our power to heal, serve, rejoice, and uplift the spirit. Sadhana practices encompass all our daily activities, from the simple to the sublime. The goal of sadhana is to enable you to recover your natural rhythms and realign your inner life and daily habits with the cycles of the universe. When you begin to live and move with the rhythms of nature, your mind becomes more fluid and more peaceful and your health can improve. Your entire life can become easier.
So as you begin your journey with yoga and Ayurveda along the path of practice, you firstmust make the promise to your practice that you are willing to take a very clear look at yourself. Allow yourself to recognize the various disguises and false faces that you have assumed over the years. As you come to acknowledge and know each one, you will also come to see beyond them to your truest self. As you find out more about yourself and your strengths and weakness, you will also learn about your body, mind, and spirit and their innate power. You will awaken to your own self-healing abilities. In Ayurveda, there is a belief that disease happens from within, and so must any cure. In this we can decide that any lack of peace or disease or illness becomes an occasion to go deeper into ourselves, to examine where we must make changes in order to heal our bodies, feeling or lives.
Each of us has a unique purpose on this earth for which we have been born. The vedas call this our dharma and by following the path of sadhana, you will be in harmony with this purpose. Harmony already exists at the core of every human life. Once we become conscious, we are able to recognize it. We become aware of the blessedness that surrounds us, the serenity in our living space after a long days work, the beauty of dusk glimpsed through the windows and the sweetness of sparrows singing their songs, and the warmth of the colors of the autumn leaves.
When we are aware of our inner harmony, our power of intuition becomes active. We become more expressive, more fully alive, and more in tune with our bodies and all our healing energies. This intuition, together with our rational mind, will help us heal and get our lives more in balanced.
Aum represents pure consciousness, through the practice of vedic chants known as mantras, each one beginning and ending with Aum, we harness the inner power of our intuition. Similarly the Biblical word 'AMEN' and Koranic word 'Amin' mirror the Aum sound. Thus the sound Aum is not a religious or ritual word. It's the highest vibrational sound of the Universe, for the Universe and from the Universe. The vedic seers tell us that the universe’s most sacred sound, Aum resonates within in the space of the sixth chakra, located mid-brow, between the eyes, in the area known as the “third eye." In modern science this is known as the connection to the pineal gland, that which regulates the hormone and glands in the body.
These words of Aum, and Amen should always be used very reverently as though one were handling or touching one of the most sacred symbols of Divinity. They are not magic words nor are they curative or therapeutic words to be used in pain and suffering; but purely Divine words to bring about atunement, and at-onement with God in the highest spiritual sense.
Chanting Aum is used as a practice to encourage Sadhana. The purpose is well stated in the Upanishads: “What world does he who meditates on Aum until the end of his life, win by That? If he meditates on the Supreme Being with the syllable Aum, he becomes one with the Light, he is led to the world of Brahman [the Absolute Being] Who is higher than the highest life, That Which is tranquil, unaging, immortal, fearless, and supreme.” – Prashna Upanishad 5:1,5,7
In the yoga tradition, Aum is the most sacred of holy words, the supreme mantra. Aum is also called the Pranava, a Sanskrit word which means both controller of life force (prana) and life-giver (infuser of prana). Each of us has the capacity to enter the vast universe within ourselves and become conscious of the Divine spirit that is beyond the material reality we understand through the five senses. The chanting of Aum daily in your mundane practices such as cooking, cleaning, taking a shower etc will help you learn to shift your perspective and enter a meditative state of mind many times though out your day. In this you will come to see all obstacles and challenges in your everyday life as opportunities to learn more about yourself and your individual inner strengths. This simple practice of Sadhana can have profound impact on yourinner harmony and path to health and happiness.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.