Shakta Sadhana- (The Ordinary Ritual) -1by Sir John Woodroffe
Sadhana is that, which produces Siddhi or the result sought, be it material or spiritual advancement. It is the means or practice by which the desired end may be attained and consists in the training and exercise of the body and psychic faculties, upon the gradual perfection of which Siddhi follows. The nature or degree of spiritual Siddhi depends upon the progress made towards the realization of the Atma whose veiling vesture the body is. The means employed are numerous and elaborate, such as worship (Puja) exterior or mental, Shastric learning, austerities (Tapas), Japa or recitation of Mantra, Hymns, meditation, and so forth. The Sadhana is necessarily of a nature and character appropriate to the end sought. Thus Sadhana for spiritual knowledge (Brahmajñana) which consists of external control (Dama) over the ten senses (Indriya), internal control (Sama) over the mind (Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas), discrimination between the transitory and eternal, renunciation of both the world and heaven (Svarga), differs from the lower Sadhana of the ordinary householder, and both are obviously of a kind different from that prescribed and followed by the practitioners of malevolent magic (Abhicara). Sadhakas again vary in their physical, mental and moral qualities and are thus divided into four classes, Mridu, Madhya, Adhimatraka, and the highest Adhimatrama who is qualified (Adhikari) for all forms of Yoga. In a similar way, the Shakta Kaulas are divided into the Prakrita or common Kaula following Viracara with the Pancatattvas described in the following Chapter; the middling (Madhyama) Kaula who (may be) follows the same or other Sadhana but who is of a higher type, and the highest Kaula (Kaulikottama) who, having surpassed all ritualism, meditates upon the Universal Self.