Seekers questioned Swami Chinmayananda on Sadhana during satsang at Shidhbari.  He always began by making us laugh, “Never ask a sanyasi what he thinks of this or that, you are giving him a full chit to bluff you.  Ask only what does the shastra say?”

Then he said “Bahya Sadhana (External Sadhana) is service to the society. Without outer Sadhana inner Sadhana is not possible. First do the outer sadhana then slowly slowly go to the inner Sadhana of contemplation and study.”

Q.1 “How can one give up attachment to our home and relations?”

A. “Home is your ‘Body’ where your Atma resides. Give up attachment to the body and turn your attention to your permanent home, the Lord.”

On “attachment to relations” he said, “Have relations but not ‘identifications’. Dwelling on ourselves builds a wall between ourselves and others. The simple and effective technique I recommend is to learn to put other people first (their needs and wants etc.) beginning within the circle of your family and friends.”

Q.2 “It is said that the companionship of sadhus should be sought. How do we benefit from it?”

A. “It is not the company of the sadhus but the company of their thoughts. They unconsciously affect us, even if we don’t want them to! It helps us to tune our mind, through meditation, to the Divine.  The highest satsang is to tune up your mind to the ultimate truth (sat) all the time. The company of sadhus helps to make the mind quiet and remove the extrovertedness from it.

Q.3 “How does one atone for a sin?”

A. “By ‘At-one-ment’ with Paramatman you do atonement. So read the word properly and you will know what to do. When you write ‘God is nowhere.’ It can also read ‘God is now here’. So read properly!”

Prarthna Saran, President, Chinmaya Mission, Delhi.