Sadhana vs Education


I am doing my masters in Engineering in Germany since last 4 months. I am from Pune, India. I’m 23 years old. Spirituality is highest love in my life. I am finding my course burdensome due to various reasons. It is not really my passion. I want to go back to India to do Sadhana, which is my passion!! People are advising, I should (years) complete the course first (2) Should I complete my masters course or go back to India and do Sadhana there?

—Ashraf, Germany


Dear Ashraf,

Your question is an important one. Anyone who would dare to answer for you must either be a true guru or a fool! I don’t believe I am either of those. Instead, may I suggest you do the following exercise on at least 3 different occasions:

1. At the conclusion of a GOOD meditation calmly ask of your higher self and inner guru the following questions:

2. Behind closed eyes, lift your gaze, peering through the point between the eyebrows; at the same time, feel the softness or openness of your heart center.

3. “If it is your will that I do so, will I complete my masters in engineering with joy, faith and calmness?” Ask 3 times: pause after asking and feel in the heart. Are you calm and open? Is your question a true statement? Or, are you displeased at this thought?

4. “If I complete my education, can I conduct my daily sadhana with joy, devotion, and depth of concentration?” Again, do this 3 x, pausing after each time to feel in your heart.

Now, let me ask you a few questions: If you return to India…………..

1. Where will you live? Will you be dependent on your parents or others for your support?

2. Won’t you need a job or source of income?

3. How many hours a day can you meditate deeply?

4. How will you serve others?

5. Do you see yourself living as a sadhu? Marrying?

If you complete your masters in engineer………….Is it likely you will find work in India as an engineer?

In our line of gurus, Lahiri Mahasaya was a humble accountant and found God. Swami Sri Yukteswar managed his rental properties and supported himself.

In this modern day and age and in developing countries like India where there is much to be done, a young man should ordinarily take advantage of the opportunity to have a good education and good prospects for work. Modern life is expensive and demanding. If you intend to marry you will possibly have a wife and children to support. While it is true that the Ananda communities worldwide are creating ways for families to live a life of inner renunciation and sadhana, it is not an easy life and the opportunities for this in India are still quite limited.

I feel that if you make the effort to take care of your own support and to look forward to a serviceful and productive life, given to God through sadhana, devotion and service, you will be properly guided. As I do not know you, I cannot venture to suggest you drop your education all for sadhana. There could be too easily a hidden desire not to be complete the work of your education. One must be very careful. You are still young. You can meditate every day even in school. Do not view your duties as being at odds with sadhana. Simplify your life and the time spent on unnecessary activities, such as social media and internet, or movies and games.

I hope you will meditate and think upon these things carefully, calmly and with openness to the will of God and guru.

May the Light of Wisdom be your guide!

Nayaswami Hriman