Making Sense of Our Sadhana

 
 Painting by Fidus

Painting by Fidus

We sometimes get confused about what we are supposed to do in our spiritual life. We have ideas about what actions are spiritual and what actions are worldly. This causes confusion and guilt when we do not live up to our self-defined standards. But it is not what we do that is spiritual life, it is what we want. It is what we aim at. If loving and serving God is our aim, then this is the beginning of bhakti. Then we will try naturally to adjust our actions to attain our goal. Then our “work” will not be seen as material but as part of our spiritual lives, and any lapse in discipline will not be seen as failures but part of the struggle to obtain our lofty goal. The details of life become steps upon the path itself. The scriptural rules and regulations and our guru-guided disciplines are vitally important, but are not our spiritual goal—they are in service of our spiritual goal. Love is the goal. God is the goal. Pure love of God is the goal. The heart can never truly rest until this is attained. Only by keeping our focus on this can we make sense of our sadhana, justify our austerities and digest our shortcomings.