Difference between Mantra Sadhana and a Mantra Prayog:
Most of the people who don't have a Guru know this difference very well. But unfortunately not everyone knows about it. Whenever we read on the internet about various ways to cure diseases or destroy enemies and Mantras related to it, we assume it to be a Sadhana. But in reality, it is a Mantra Prayog. Mantra Prayog is not very strict.
Any normal person who follows a worldly life can do a Prayog because it's much easier. But a Mantra Sadhana is not easy. Mantra "Prayog" is done for fulfillment of wishes but Mantra Sadhana is like a तप(Tapa). It is definitely more beneficial than a Mantra Prayog. Because a Mantra Sadhana gives Siddhi over that particular Mantra while in a Mantra Prayog, we only do the Japa and get our wishes fulfilled.
The Sadhana rules that I had mentioned in the Sanatan Dharma rules article were the non-removable part of a Sadhana. There is no escape from them. Simply put, if someone doesn't has the power and time to do a Mantra Sadhana, he should only do a Prayoga. This is because a Sadhana is not a joke. Our Puranas and Vedas say that doing Sadhana is like walking in a dark and dangerous room where one wrong step and you won't know what trouble you will end up in.
For people who might ask about what to do if they cannot follow those 20-30 rules, for them there is no solution. Because as I mentioned they are an indispensable part of the Sadhana. There is no option but to follow them. In fact, during the Sadhana days, if you skip the rules even for one instance or moment, your entire Sadhana will get Khandit. This is a true and experienced fact.
Secondly, due to worldly life, people do not like to work hard towards the Sadhana and follow all those rules because of maybe out of habit or laziness, etc.
Sadhana is tough and not as easy as a Mantra Prayog. If someone takes Mantra Sadhana lightly and does the Sadhana as per his comfort and ease then even if someone does Sadhana a thousand times, he won't get success. In fact, his life condition will worsen.
For those who claim about doing multiple Mantra Sadhanas at once, firstly, it is simply not possible. All you are doing is Japa.
Only and only doing Japa is not a Sadhana. It is impossible for a person to multiple Sadhana at once because one Sadhana alone requires so much mental as well as physical energy that the it becomes impossible for human to even think about beginning another Sadhana.
One single Mantra Sadhana requires so much energy that when one sits for a Sadhana, he should sit on an Aasan atleast 2 inches thick so as to avoid loss of energy.
And, firstly it requires discipline in life. If one person cannot control his emotions and senses he will never ever be able to get success in Sadhana.
Other incorrect things might get forgiven by god due according to a person's devotion but if he don't have control over his emotions and senses then he will definitely fail and there is no doubt in it.
Following is the kind of rules of lifestyle one must follow during sadhana days:
1] 5 Yam-
c) Stopping Lies
d) BRAHMACHARYA- According to Daksh Sanhita, Maithun(love) is of 10 types-
---->Smaran- remembering or recalling some beautiful girl
--->Kirtan-- describing your beloved or talking about her in front of someone else
---> Laughter- cracking jokes or laughing with a female
---->Raag Darshan-- seeing a girl in a sexual way
---> Talking with a girl in privacy or isolation is also prohibited
---->Sankalp--- demanding sexual activities like kiss or hug
---->Maithun or Maithun Prayatna- trying to have sex or requesting sex or actually having sex.
All these are 10 different ways through which Brahamcharya gets Khandit. One must avoid them during the Sadhana days. Other than this, semen loss also breaks Brahamcharya. Then it doesn't matter whether it happened accidentally or during sleep.
Giving up on all types of pleasures like wealth, watching movies, going to meet friends,etc. Is called Aparigraha. This too needs to be maintained.
2. 5 Niyam
A) Shauch- maintaining hygiene and cleanliness is called Shauch Niyama. It also includes performing Achaman after eating food, going to toilet, etc.
B) Santosh- being satisfied and contended with whatever you have in life.
C) Tapa- doing fasting, controlling hunger, bearing cold,heatness,etc is Tapa
D) Swaadhyaay- having know how about your Isht Dev's Dharmashaastra, his life story,etc is called स्वाध्याय.
E) surrendering to God- this means to complete surrender oneself to god.
Yog Aasan Gyaan-
In Vishnu Sadhanas, one must only sit in Sukhaasan.
In Shiv Upasana, one must sit in Sukhaasan if Satvik Sadhana, Padmaasan if Tantrik Sadhana.
In Lakshmi Sadhanas, one must sit in Padmaasan or Sukhaasan depending upon the Mantra.
In Das Mahavidya Upasana, Yog Aasan for every Shakti is different and of many types.
These are the different parts of a Mantra Sadhana. They are only parts and not the procedure of doing Sadhana. They need to be followed during the Sadhana days as an irreplaceable part.
1.Navnaath Bhakti- worshipping god through 9 ways
2.Shuddhi- direction,location,body,mind and Aasan. These 5 things need to be keep pure during the Sadhana. Direction is made pure by doing Disha Bandhan, Location is made pure by sprinkling Gangajal or by applying cow dung around, body can by purified in many ways, mind purification is done by doing Pranayam and Aasan is made pure using Aasan Shuddhi Mantra which I will share in procedure of doing a Sadhana.
3. Yog Aasan+- deciding which Yog Aasan to maintain
4. Panchang Sevan- doing Deva Seva, Sahasranaam Paath, reciting Stava, Kavach and doing Nyasa. These are 5 kinds of Sevan which one must do during Sadhana.
5. Aachar- meaning discipline and dedication towards the Sadhana.
6. Dhaarna- dedication towards the goal
7. Divyadesh Saadhan- our body has 16 different parts where God is invoked by performing Nyasa. Without Nyasa and invoking god in body, it is impossible to get success in Sadhana.
8.Praankriya- performing Yoga and meditation daily
9. Mudras- making Mudras of your Isht Dev
13. Yoga- performing Yoga and meditation, Kundalini meditation,etc.
15. Dhyaana- closing your eyes and dedicated in a specific form of God is called as Dhyaan
16. Samaadhi- deep and continuous Dhyaan of Isht Dev.
This a different way of counting as compared to using a rosary.
Following is the procedure of Varna Mala:
Varna Mala means to do counting using Hindi letters.
For doing counting, one must start from first letter of Hindi language ( I.e. अ), add a Bindu(ं) to it and then recite the first letter of the Mantra with the Bindu (ं) and then recite the second letter of Hindi language with Bindu (ं) and so on.
अ to क - 16 counts
क to प letters- 25 counts
य to ह letters- 8 counts
Again, ल letter once- 1 count
Total 50 counts
Then, one must go in reverse direction, I.e. from ल to अ using the way mentioned by me above.
क्ष is considered sumeru hence one must not do japa over that letter.
त्र and ज्ञ letters are not considered.
Then one must go reverse from क्ष.
This will complete 100 chants.
The rest 8 chants have to done using following letters "अं कं चं टं तं पं यं शं".
This Mala is usually used in Atma Siddhi Sadhana or self realization Sadhanas or in Kundalini Sadhana.