Sadhana is a private affair between you and your Guru. No one can interfere in this relationship.
There are two kinds of sadhana. The first is performed for show and emotional satisfaction. Here you are taken to beautiful places, you meet nice people who shower praises upon you, you are repeatedly told how good you are and, a fee is charged to pay for the services you are getting.
The other kind of sadhana is where you have complete desire to achieve in the spiritual world.
You are told of your shortcomings. What you pay here is your dedication and sacrifice of physical things.
In the former, you have teachers and masters. In the latter, you have a Guru. The former takes you in circles and the latter evolves you out of the human body.
In the former, you sing and dance and enjoy the beauty of the world. The praises that are showered upon you are directly proportional to your position in the society. In the latter, you are shown the mirror and your shortcomings are pointed out.
Former is unreal; latter is real. Yoga is the experience of the real journey, not the unreal. Some of the symptoms of yoga include interactions with divine energies, disease-free body, the manifestation of thought and speech.
In my early years of sadhana, I had gone for the Mahakumbh in Haridwar. The hotel I was staying at, was also housing some Italian photographers who had come to cover the event.
In the morning, the group left for the procession with their cameras and equipment. Looking at them, I smiled to myself. I knew what they were in for.
When they returned in the evening, some of them had bandages on their body, one had a swollen eye and the other had a plastered arm. Concealing my smile, I asked them what happened. They said the sadhus hit them. They were surprised for they had clicked many masters and teachers before and never faced such resistance. They just could not understand.
I told them that I would get them a picture. The next morning, as the procession of sadhus approached our hotel, I went up to them and adjusted my camera. One click, two clicks, three… and then I saw a sadhu turn his head to look at me straight. I ran from there. Just the look in the eyes of the sadhu, told me what would have followed had I stayed even a second longer. Those sadhus belonged to the latter category of sadhana.
Real sadhus do not like people around them. They drive them away and do not want any disturbance in their sadhana. They only interact with serious sadhaks.
The article was published in newindianexpress.