Sadhna is performed for Creation, and the basis of sadhna is sacrifice or selfless service. Sacrifice here refers not to sacrificing animals or others, but, giving away a part of your own self for larger good. Only when you are willing to look beyond yourself are you entitled to siddhis(spiritual powers) and revelations of subtler worlds. If you trace the lives of Tridevs, you will notice, all their actions were for the benefit of the Creation, nothing for their own self. That is their sadhna, hence their state.
Sometimes, even the sadhaks who have been on the path for many years miss this basic underlying principle of sadhna…
A baby cuckoo barely 7-8 days old, was residing in a nest with her mother at an ashram. Every evening the parents would leave the babies in the nest and perch on the trees through the night and everyday in the morning the parents would come back and feed the babies all day. The cat, which too dwells in the ashram, along with other animals – dogs, cows, bulls, peacocks, squirrels, snakes and more, had set its eyes on the babies and made several attempts to catch them in the parent’s absence.
Seeing this, the sadhaks and sadhikas at the ashram, decided to keep the baby indoors till the time mother returned. So every evening after sunset, the babies would be brought inside and every morning, before sunrise, before their parents arrived they would be returned to the nest.
One day, the sadhak who would usually shift the baby cuckoo was out for some work. There was a sadhika in the ashram, but it was the time for her sandhya practices. If she would have gone to help out the cuckoo, she would have been late for her practice and if she would have gone after completing her practice, there was a chance of parents returning and not finding the babies in the nest and abandoning the nest. That would result in babies left unfed and at risk of their lives, for they were too young to be fed by others.
What choice should she have made?
If she helped the bird, the niyam (discipline) she had followed for years together would have been broken…but then, of what use would have been the sadhna, if performing it meant risking the life of helpless babies dependent on her…after all, sadhna is not for self, but for Creation. It is giving back to the Creation, nurturing the various elements of Creation, the same way it nurtures us. If that sensitivity is not developing inside us, if we think the energies, which run the Creation, could punish us for helping those dependent on us, if we are in two minds about saving another life, then perhaps, we have forgotten the basics…or we are yet to start our journey.