Question: What kind of Sadhana one should follow for a spiritual quest?
What Sri Krishna says is you can starts with either quest philosophically…even when your spiritual quest your starting point can be philosophical; or you expand your capacities of experience: that is the real method of Jnanayoga. Philosophical study, there is one part of Jnanayoga and expansion of your capacities, psychological capacities.
When you can begin to see ‘śrotrasya śrotraṁ’ what is behind your ears; there is a śrotra, capacity of hear which is not this physical hearing; so, when you begin to develop this faculty of hearing. When you begin to have the faculty of seeing, not the physical sight but there is a sight ‘behind’ the sight, the ordinary experience of it, is in dreams: you eyes are closed and yet you see in your dreams so there is some other eye than the eyes to which you are accustomed. So, develop that faculty, which you can see, which you can use in dream experience, even in your awaking experience you can have that kind of perception; so, develop these psychological faculties in you, until you develop what is called the power of revelation, power of discrimination, power of inspiration, the power of intuition and the power of becoming as vast as possible: to become as universal as possible, to be able to sympathise with everybody directly. These are the capacities, which are called psychological capacities, expand them, develop them: this is the path of Jnana. If you are accustomed to this path, if that path suits you, take this path.
Question: What about the path of Bhakti?
…Also, but you cannot have Para Bhakti, avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti unless you include also the process of knowledge in that Bhakti movement. In the pure Bhakti movement, methods are prayer, asking from the Divine what you really want, instead of asking here and there and everywhere, you just turn to the Divine and say: ‘I will only ask you to give you what I will need’.
Now your need may be because you really need something where there is a physical want; you need something because you are seek, you are ill, you want to be cured, you are miserable psychologically, then you demand from the Divine: all these are accepted by the supreme Divine as a part of Bhaktiyoga, but more than that you relate yourself with the Divine even without all these demands. So, prayer is one, then worship of the Divine, adoration of the Divine, loving of the Divine, that is also part of Bhaktiyoga: it is that which leads you to this pure Bhakti, avyabhicāriṇī Bhakti.
By the time you do this, some knowledge will also expand in you, so Jnana and Bhakti will become united, and when you become more and more devoted to the Divine, you begin to perceive the Divine everywhere: that is the result of Jnana, perceiving the Divine everywhere. Perceiving the Divine everywhere you perceive the Divine is in all actions also, all actions are in the Divine and if you are a Bhakta of the Divine, how can you be away of the Divine in Bhakti? You will also perceive the actions; so, your motivations of action are greatly strengthen by Bhakti. So, by the time you become even great Bhakta, you become also great Karmayogi. So, this is one way of approach, but you may start also with the Karma yoga.
Question: What about Mantra–Japa?
It is a part of Bhakti, part of it. It is also recognised as a separate part of movement because even without Bhakti, you can have ‘Japa’. You just take a word and you go on repeating and mere word has got an effect upon your psychological consciousness, your powers begin to develop. So Mantra–Japa is also not necessarily connected with Bhakti, but is also connected with Jnana Yoga.
You can have Mantra–Japa even without Bhakti and it is a part of Jnana Yoga: you can have Mantra–Japa with Bhakti; that is part of Bhakti– Yoga. Both are perfectly possible and recommended depending upon what is your immediate need and your capacity.
Comment: The need just to know the Divine.
If you want to know the Divine, Mantra is also a starting point, it is a good one, it takes a long time; it is a very long process.
If you really want to know the Divine with all your might, all your vigour, ‘utsaḥ’, then Jnana Yoga is much better.
Comment: You can combine.
You can combine both, you can combine all in fact, even Bhakti Yoga you can start, you can have Karma Yoga also. Either you can start on a chariot which has three wheels at the same time, or you can start with a cycle on which there are only two wheels, or uni–cycle on which there is only one wheel, all of them are possible…but Sri Krishna recommends all the three wheels, that is His final recommendation, that you start with all the three wheels and you move on your path on all the three wheels. But you can begin with any one of them and then gradually combine all the others that also you can do. All right?