A Seeker’s Query:
I will be grateful if you please explain the non-interactional saadhana. When you say that we must make time for it daily, do you mean that we should sit for meditation and dhyaana everyday? Does guru-mantra japa fall under this? What else do we need to do under non-interactional saadhana? And what falls under the interactional sadhana? Reading scriptures, sadhu sanga, bhajan, kirtan?
Nutan Swamiji’s Response:
12 August 2012
Harih OM Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
Non-interactional Saadhana means meditating or contemplating on the Soul or Brahman, with or without japa. It can also include reading, listening, and ruminating over the Truth. Basically, it is a process of introspection (vichaara) to get absorbed into our real identity, the Soul. Naturally, it is done when we are not engaged in any other activity – preferably when we are alone in a place free of all kinds of interactive distractions.
In general, for most of the seekers, non-interactional saadhana is practicable only a few hours of the day. What about the major part of the day when we are interacting with the infinite variety of the world, which constantly reinforces our fragmented existence, our desires and dislikes, the constricted nature of our ‘I’?
Interactional Saadhana is to transform all our interactive moments also into saadhana, which will be complementary to the non-interactive Saadhana. It is to keep the awareness of the Truth, our goal, while we are engaged in any activity throughout the day. It is a wholesome process of divinizing all our activities, divinizing every moment of our life.
In practice, interactional saadhana consists in watching our actions, thoughts, emotions, and freeing them of all impurities – egotism, selfish desires, greed, partiality, undue attraction & hatred. This purificatory process works by constantly reminding ourselves about our real universal undivided identity. In truth, it is establishing Brahman in everything, so that the whole world, including my own body-mind personality, becomes a display in Brahman alone. When this is fulfilled, we really do not need to get absorbed in meditation any more. Till then, both are necessary; they are complementary.
Through non-interactive saadhana, we try to discover our real identity that is One and Universal. Through interactive saadhana, we try to remain anchored to our real identity even when interacting with the plural world.
Bhagavadgeeta mainly discusses interactional saadhana. It points out that our bondage is not because of the world variety, but because of the raaga-dvesha we foster towards the world objects and objective situations. The way to freedom from the bondages, as presented in Bhagavadgeeta, is through the pursuit of
- Samatva attitude towards likes and dislikes;
- Yajna bhaavana towards all activities;
- Gunaateeta bhaava, i.e. absence of doership & enjoyership (kartr-bhoktr-bhaava); and
- Surrender, i.e. absolute non-expectation or total acceptance.
It is very good that you understand that the scriptural knowledge is not intellectual; it is something to be lived.
With love and blessings,
Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha