Abhyasa: The First Phase Of Sadhana
By Swami Sivananda
Abhyasa or practice is the effort to secure steadiness of the modifications of the mind. The effort to restrain all the Vrittis of the mind and to make the mind steady like the jet of a lamp in a windless place is called Abhyasa. To drive back the mind to its source-Hridaya Guha and get it absorbed in Atman is Abhyasa. To make the mind inward and to destroy all its outgoing tendencies is Abhyasa. And this practice should be done for a long time without any break and with perfect devotion.
Through Abhyasa you will have to change the outgoing Vishaya Vrittis of the mind. Without the Vrittis of the mind you cannot enjoy sensual objects, and if the Vrittis along with Samskaras are controlled Manonasa or the annihilation of the mind follows.
Abhyasa becomes fixed and steady when practised for a long time without any break and with perfect devotion. Constant, steady application is indispensable for perfect control of the mind and attainment of Asamprajnata Samadhi which alone can fry all the seeds of Samskaras. Therefore, constant and intense practice is needed for a long time. Then alone the wandering mind will come under your perfect control. Then alone wherever it is directed it will be ever at rest. Without practice nothing can be achieved. The practice should be accompanied by perfect faith and devotion. If there is no faith and regularity, success is impossible. Abhyasa should be continued till you get perfection.
FOUR POINTS FOR MEMORY IN SADHANA
REMEMBER THE PAINS OF SAMSARA.
REMEMBER THE SAINTS.
1 and 2 will produce Vairagya. 3 will bring inspiration. 4 will cause attainment of God-consciousness. Every aspirant should constantly bear these most important four points in memory.