In its basic form, the Sanskrit word sadhana is “the means of accomplishing something.” To be more specific, it refers to a spiritual practice prescribed by ancient Indian religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. In short, sadhana is a spiritual discipline which is essential for all seekers of truth. But, as we may appreciate, every seeker after truth is different in temperament, in personality, in mental and in spiritual strength. Therefore, there are several sadhanas or techniques available to the seeker on the path of spiritual growth.
There are literally hundreds of sadhanas or means that one can undertake in pursuit of spiritual growth: we can take to prayer, which is one of the simplest and easiest; we can take to puja or organised ritual worship; we can choose dhyana or meditation, which is nothing but a journey inward in pursuit of truth; we can choose japa yoga, which is intensely focused chanting of a sacred mantra; naam smaran (naam simran as it is known in Sikhism) is one of the simplest and most effective; there are tougher austerities too, like fasting, penance, tapasya and so on.
Why should we practice sadhana? What will it achieve for us? What will we get out of it? These are questions that many people ask themselves when they hear about sadhana and its necessity for the seeker.
God helps those who help themselves, is not just a commonplace statement; it is the proven truth.