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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Sadhana is a Test of Self-Grit

Excerpts from a lecture given on January 22, 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

The secret of success is not what you are, it’s how you deliver it. When you want to be consciously successful, then you have to work it out. Enjoyment in life is your conscious success—not the money. Conscious success is a self-worked fulfillment which you do, and which you live for, and that is what God is in you. I am not saying emotions are not right. Emotions are part of us, feelings are part of us, drama and trauma are part of us, neuroses are part of us.

And if your Sadhana is more important to you than your neuroses, you are fine. If your neuroses are more important to you than your Sadhana, you are not.

Now what is this Sadhana? Sadhana is a test of self-grit. No one, no matter how saintly you are and how much you practice, wants to get up in the ambrosial hours—take it from me. Why you do it is still a mystery. It has been a mystery since the Earth was formed, and it will be a mystery when the Earth ends.

Nobody wants to get up at 3:00 am. We want to be relaxed in our life; we want to be comfortable; and it is a very comfortable time when sun’s rays hit the planet at a longitude and latitude of sixty degrees. Everybody wants to sleep or lazy around.

And then over and above that, to get up and take a cold shower—God, what a hell that is! And what for? Nobody is appreciating, nobody is watching, nobody knows, nobody is affected by it. Why on this Earth does one have to get up from the warm, beautiful quilt bed, sleeping with their partner, and drag around to a cold shower, and then sit down and meditate at 3:00 am? Sleeping is not bad.

These are rational thoughts: “I was sleeping peacefully. I was not disturbing anybody. I had to do nothing. Why the hell am I sitting now and calming myself down? And then over and above that, why am I repeating the damn mantra again and again and again? Am I crazy? To say something once is enough, twice is enough, three times is the maximum. Saying it one hundred and eight times? There is something wrong with me.”

In your life, Sadhana gives you aim, absolute mental stamina. Physical stamina is okay, but everybody who needs physical stamina, needs mental stamina. Without mental stamina there is no chance of life to be smooth, to be happy, to be successful, to be enjoyable, to be fulfilling. Sadhana is what your mental stamina requires.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan