SĀDHANĀ PAÑCAKAM साधना पञ्चकम्
Sādhanā Pañcakam (Sadhana Panchakam) by Śaṃkarācārya (Shankaracharya) is one of the shortest treatises on Advaita Philosophy. Pañcaka means five. Sādhana has several interpretations and in general, it means leading straight to the goal. In other words, Sādhanā Pañcakam (Sadhana Panchakam) means five verses that lead to the path of perfection. Sādhana also means perfection. What is perfection in spiritual path? “Knowing the One which is soundless, touchless, formless and odourless, that which is eternal, un-decaying, without beginning and end (eternal) will free anyone from death.” Death does not mean death to physical body; it means liberation or cessation of transmigration. Sādhana is different from upāsana, which involves several ritualistic processes such as approach, preparation, oblation, recitation and devotion. Therefore, in upāsana, there are five different activities. But in sādhana, there is only one thing, which is perfection that leads straight to the goal. If we worship various gods with different mantras and multifarious rituals, it is known as upāsana, which involves time, physical strain and money. In sādhana only perfection is involved, perfection of knowledge of the highest order. What is the goal of sādhana? “This is its supreme attainment, this its supreme glory, this is the highest world, this is its supreme bliss, which is infinite. On a miniscule of this very bliss, other beings live. This is infinite and the source of happiness. Bliss is That and from this Bliss all these things are born, they are supported by Bliss and when they die, they go back to Bliss and disappear.” This is how perfect destination is explained. If one practices perfect sādhana, he or she surely reaches the perfect destination, which is also known as Brahman. But, this is to be practiced under a perfect Teacher.
Now, Sādhanā Pañcakam (Sadhana Panchakam) is being taken up for discussion.