The Bhagavad Gita speaks of controlling the indiryas, the organs of action and the organs of knowledge. Swamiji has explained that by sitting in the asana, we automatically control the organs of action. They have no where to go and nothing to do but worship God!
By focusing on the meaning of the text and reciting the mantras, we focus and control the senses, which are the organs of knowledge.
To that end, in Gangotri we have continued expanding our Sadhana, but Swamiji never does it in a haphazard way. He always starts with an amount of Sadhana we are accustom to, say the cover to cover Chandi, and grows it day by day.
Maybe the next day we would chant the Pancharatna Gita and the day after a shortened Chandi and Bhagavad Gita together.
Then again we would expand the Chandi to its full length and then add the Pancharatna to the Bhagavad Gita, chanting them both together. From there we could add something more each day, systematically growing the Sadhana.
The body and mind both need time to adjust and get into the rhythm of longer sadhana.
Swamiji explains that if we just jump into a long sadhana we haven’t built up to, we aren’t likely to succeed, and even if we do, we may not be able to maintain it into the future.
On the contrary, if you suddenly sit for eight hours of chanting when you have only ever sat for three, then your body may not be ready for it. You may end up with sore knees, hips or a hurt back.
Even the number of days for which we are engaged in this expanded sadhana is something we slowly grow. Swamiji builds to the desired length of sadhana, maintains it for some days and then again takes a respite and reduces the amount of sadhana.
By taking a break, we have a chance to rehydrate and rest the body. Each time after taking a break, we again build the asana day by day, rather than just jumping back to the full length sadhana.
Each time we build our way back to the longer practice, it becomes more natural to us and less of a strain and we are able to maintain it sustainably for a longer period of time before resting again.
It is more likely that if you don’t build the asana systematically, you won’t be able to sit for eight hours continuously. There are a lot of factors to being able to sit for that long, and not least among them is how much food you eat and water you drink.
In slowly building the asana, you can get a feel for how much you can eat and drink the day or night before without causing yourself a problem. Nothing could be more disruptive to trying to sit for eight hours than having drank too much water the night before.
When Swamiji is engaged in this kind of sadhana, he likes to eat one major meal a day, and then a small snack in the evening. How much water to drink is something you get a feel for by building the asana step by step.
Too much water and you will have to get up; too little water and you may feel too parched while chanting. Too much and too little, I guess it always goes back to the Chandi.
If we follow the example of the Gurus, and build our worship and sadhana in a systematic step by step way, then we too will be able to do the sadhana they did and attain the same result they attained!