We have heard of famous Gurus performing Sadhana, spiritual discipline, for huge lengths of time. I remember reading of some Gurus saying that advanced spiritual aspirants could perform sadhana for eight hours a day.
Shree Maa has suggested the same thing before, each day be divided up into three parts, eight for sadhana, eight for work, and eight for rest.
At first it seems undoable, something beyond reach, something for only a special class of highly evolved spiritual beings and sadhus, of which we fall short.
We are so fortunate to have Gurus who show us otherwise. They explain to us how to perform this kind of lengthy sadhana, why we would want to perform it, what it means, as well as the various techniques and details that will help empower us to perform it ourselves.
Even greater, they show us the examples themselves, and invite us to join them. By showing us the example, and letting us participate with them, this seemingly impossible task becomes achievable.
With time and practice, by following the Guru’s example and guidance, it becomes not only achievable, it becomes our very own practice. We become confident that we know we have the power to perform this sadhana and we know it will bring us the same realization that it brought the Guru too, just as it did for the Rishis of old.
As Swamiji often says, God isn’t biased, if he gave realization to the saints of old who did this sadhana, then he will also give it to us. Swamiji followed the same practices of the Rishis to attain the realization himself, and now he is inviting us to follow the same path as well. Incredible!
I have sat for this kind of eight to ten hour asana before with Swamiji in Gangotri and Yamunotri, in India. Chanting again in long asanas this Navaratri with Swamiji, I was ready and unafraid of sitting for ten hours, but there was still so much for me to gain, by sitting with the Guru.
While in India, my knees had begun to hurt a lot when I sat for this long Sadhana with Swamiji.
To avoid this, during Navaratri, I observed Swamiji’s asana and noticed I was sitting ever so slightly differently. I adjusted my asana to match his and just like that the knee pain went away!
The example of the Guru shows us so many subtleties that make us more and more proficient and capable to perform this kind of worship for hours and hours.
Now I don’t even imagine ten hours to be the end! I am sure by following Shree Maa and Swamiji’s grace we can make our entire day filled with worship!