Sadhana Sheets for Encouraging Better Sadhana

By Niranjana Swami

I would like to briefly share my impression of the way the “Daily Sadhana Sheet” has been used since it was first made available about five months ago.

Currently, thirty-three devotees have their own “Daily Sadhana Sheet” online. Of those thirty-three devotees, twenty-seven of them are providing daily statistics, two of them started to fill out statistics but stopped completely shortly after they started, four of them never started at all for reasons unknown, and fortunately, only one of them seems to be using it for reasons other than keeping records of one’s daily sadhana practices.

In addition, approximately ten devotees had an account but their account was removed because it was not being used.

My purpose for providing this facility was manifold:

1) to give devotees struggling with sadhana the opportunity to become more accountable for their sadhana practices,

2) to give devotees struggling with sadhana the opportunity to keep a record of their own performance in order to better see for themselves where they are lacking and where they need to improve,

3) to encourage devotees who either were or currently are struggling to come up to the prescribed standards, to maintain steadiness… even if it’s to a lesser standard,

4) to encourage devotees to increase whenever they feel they have the strength and commitment to do so,

5) to encourage devotees with their sadhana in general, simply by providing this extra facility for accountability,

6) to give initiated devotees a private venue to disclose that they are not able to maintain his/her vow to chant sixteen rounds daily,

7) to help initiated devotees better deal with any possible guilt they may have for their inability to maintain their sixteen rounds,

8) to help devotees feel a closer connection between their sadhana and their service to their spiritual master(s),

9) and to show that I understand the struggles devotees encounter with their japa, especially devotees who are not living either in, or near to a temple.

There are probably, even more, reasons I could give, but for now, these are the ones which seem most important to me.

Since I regularly review all of these sadhana sheets and because I plan to continue to do so, then naturally I cannot open this facility up to hundreds of devotees. To do so would create the risk of being unable to monitor everyone’s sheet.

However, I am encouraged by the fact that devotees are taking advantage of this facility and naturally I am also encouraged when I get reports of how this facility has encouraged them as well.

Therefore, I am now ready to open this facility up to more devotees.

Without knowing how many new accounts will be requested, I will not set a limit yet. But everyone who signs up should know that it’s unlikely that all requests will be promptly fulfilled. It may take time before there is an opening for all who have requested.

Previously the following were the five conditions which had to be met before requesting a daily sadhana sheet:

1) Struggling with sadhana (unable to maintain vow of 16 rounds/daily)
2) There must be a strong desire to gradually improve.
3) Must be honest with his/her entries
4) Must make entries every day
5) Must not use the daily sadhana sheet for anything other than reporting daily sadhana

All of the above still apply, especially #5. If anyone is found to be using their daily sadhana sheet for anything other than for reporting one’s daily sadhana, the administrator has been instructed to close their account without notice.

However, I am ready to adjust the first condition (#1) and will now also allow devotees who are chanting 16 rounds daily, to request a sadhana sheet if it encourages them to do so.

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