Aug 2020


 Part II

In the previous article meaning of the first sloka of Sadhana panckam was given in detail.  In the present Part 2 of the article, the second sloka of Sadhana Pancakam meaning is given in detail.  Each sloka has four padas and each pada has two simple phrases of dos and don’ts.

Second Sloka:

sangah satsu vidhiyatam bhagavato bhaktirdrḍha dhiyatam
santyadih pariciyatam drḍhataram karmasu santyajyatam |
sadvidvanupasrpyatam pratidinam tatpaduka sevyatam
brahmaikaksaramarthyatam srutisirovakyam samakarnyatam || 2 ||

सङ्गः सत्सु विधीयतां भगवतो भक्तिर्दृढाऽऽधीयतां
शान्त्यादिः परिचीयतां दृढतरं कर्माशु सन्त्यज्यताम्‌।
सद्विद्वानुपसृप्यतां प्रतिदिनं तत्पादुका सेव्यतां
ब्रह्मैकाक्षरमर्थ्यतां श्रुतिशिरोवाक्यं समाकर्ण्यताम्‌ ॥ २ ॥


B-1 sangah satsu vidhiyatam: “सङ्गः सत्सु विधीयतां”

Always keep companionship with wise people. Adi Shankaracharya expresses that in his sloka from Bhaja-Govindam:

satsaṅgatve nissaṅgatvaṃ nissaṅgatve nirmohatvam |

nirmohatve niśchalatattvaṃ niśchalatattve jīvanmuktiḥ ‖


सत्सङ्गत्वे निस्सङ्गत्वं  निस्सङ्गत्वे निर्मोहत्वम् ।

निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः ॥


Companionship with wise people leads to detachment (to worldly attachments). With detachment comes freedom from delusion. Thus, detachment leads to a steady mind; without mind wavering with various thoughts and desires. This Nischala tatvam leads to mukthi here and now itself.

B-2 bhagavato bhaktirdrḍha dhiyatam भगवतो भक्तिर्दृढाऽऽधीयतां

This companionship with wise people will lead to a deep devotion to God. Attachment to material objects is the foremost obstacle for sadhana. The moment one gets material detachment it immediately leads to devotion and attachment to God. Thus, it is the easiest path to God.

B-3 santyadih pariciyatam शान्त्यादिः परिचीयतां

The next step is to develop good virtues like santhi etc. Patanjali in his Ashtanga yoga has very well defined in eight steps (with sub-steps) to develop these virtues.

These eight with sub-steps are listed below:

  1. Yama: Yama is a code of conduct and there are 5 Yama (rules for ethical living) defined
    1. Ahimsa or nonviolence, non-harming other living beings
    2. Satyam (truth), truthfulness, non-falsehood
    3. Asteya (non-stealing), not doing sinful acts
    4. Brahmacarya (chastity, marital fidelity, sexual restraint or celibacy- for Grihastha or householder, leading a family life with marital fidelity is considered as celibacy as for Bhagavatam),
    5. Aparigraha not aspiring for others’ things, non-possessiveness
  2. Niyama: Niyama is more generalized principles – sacrosanct more generalized type and there are 5 Niyama defined:
    1. Shaucha or purity, purity here refers to mind, speech, and body
    2. Santosha or bliss, contentment
    3. Tapas here means persistence
    4. Svadhayaya self-study, self-reflection, learning, reciting, teaching, and supporting above Niyama
    5. Ishvara pranidhana or belief in God, keeping with theories of God, Japam, Homam
  3. Asana: Sitting or posture that is steady and comfortable. Asana should not be performed directly on the ground (i.e. need a mat or blanket). The following are allowed for Puja: Padma asana, Bhadra asana, Vajra asana, Veera asana. Even though there are these modern and partially western adaptations of asana as per Patanjali – keeping mind immersed in Atma is real asana.
  4. Pranayama: consists of controlled breath. All body actions are supported by the antahkarana (inner cause) of citta. Control of breathings will lead to citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ (or stoppage of activity in citta). By controlling the breathing that consists of three parts, viz.: Poorakam, Kumbhakam, and Rechakam the wavering of manas and buddhi will be calmed to concentrate on Paramaatma.
  5. Pratyahara: Pratyahara means control of sensual organs or Indriyas. Indriyas follow external activities and therefore are always roaming. To control this roaming of indriyas and antahkarana and to concentrate on inner self is pratyahara.
  6. Dharana: Dharana literally means concentration or one-pointedness of the mind. Here, Dharana means holding Paramaatma in one’s heart. Ramana Maharshi explains this very well in his Upadesa Saram by saying:

kartur ājñyayā prāpyate phalaṃ
karma kiṃ paraṃ karma tajjaḍam

कर्तुराज्ञया प्राप्यते फलम् ।

कर्म किं परं कर्म तज्जडम् ॥ १॥


The essence of these slokas can be succinctly explained as good results will come only if one thinks that God is the real doer. This finally leads to “Aham Brahmasmi” state.

  1. Dhyana: Dhyana here means contemplation. Contemplating on the targeted object (GOD) is Dhyana.
  2. Samadhi: Reaching that state finally is the Samadhi, where the contemplation, contemplator, and the object of contemplation are one and the same.

B-4 drḍhataram karmasu santyajyatam दृढतरं कर्माशु सन्त्यज्यताम्‌

Give up karma and Upasana when they are not required any longer for spiritual growth. A stage may come in sadhana when routine karmas may come in the way of one’s growth – so one may have to leave “mano vak karma” – mano like dhyana, vak  like mantra Japam, and karma like puja, yagna, vratam etc.

B-5 sadvidvanupasrpyatam सद्विद्वानुपसृप्यतां

But before reaching that stage it is essential one finds his essential target of getting a good GURU. Guru is greater than parents who gave birth to the body and even GOD – as Guru makes one get rid of the cycle of birth and death.

B-6 pratidinam tatpaduka sevyatam प्रतिदिनं तत्पादुका सेव्यतां

Once one is lucky enough to find such a guru; one should submit to Guru’s feet. Guru paduka mantra is the highest of all mantras. In that, three forms of Guru are worshipped. Guru who is in human form is nearest to the disciple and guides him daily in all affairs of learning. Guru’s Guru is called “Parma Guru” who is a siddha purusha. Parma Guru teaches us to see God in all living things. In the final stage, Parma Guru’s Guru (Guru’s Guru’s Guru) called Parameshthi Guru is seen in everything living / or nonliving and takes the disciple to the final stage of “AHAM BRAHMAASMI.” It is said in Guru Gita that:

shive kruddhe guru straataa

gurau kruddhe shivo na hi

tasmaat sarva prayatnena

shri gurum sharanam vrajet


If Shiva is angry Guru can save the disciple, but if Guru is angry even Shiva cannot save the disciple. Therefore, take refuge at Guru’s feet.

B-7 brahmaikaksaramarthyatam ब्रह्मैकाक्षरमर्थ्यतां

If one is lucky enough to get such a Guru devote all the time to learn Brahma vidya from him. Simply serving Guru is sufficient to get that Brahma vidya.

B-8 srutisirovakyam samakarnyatam श्रुतिशिरोवाक्यं समाकर्ण्यताम्‌

Following all the above steps of sadhana will make one learn shruti and smriti and finally to Jivanmukthi.