In terms of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Sadhana represents attaining the position of the hand-maid of Srimati Radharani. Sadhana includes the connecting of the living entity to the process or Bhajana through which one becomes eligible to attain eternal service. This eligibility can only be provided by the Sadhguru. In exclusive sadhana, this is the only position that is given to Sadhguru. The Sadhguru takes full responsibility of a sadhaka or a full-fledged practitioner.
It becomes the duty of a Sadhaka to get involved in the process of Sadhana without going overboard in giving undue following to Sadhguru. Although Sadhguru makes the major connection of the Sadhaka to the process, after such connection being made it is unnecessary for a Sadhaka to hover around the Guru. After the connection is established it is the involvement of the Sadhaka to the process which will decide the destination of the Sadhaka or the course of attainment of the “Sadhya”, the final goal. Especially in Bhakti we see that a major population goes door to door meeting saints and other realized masters in the name of Sadhu Sanga. Even after a Sadhaka attains Deeksha from a Sadhaka, it is seen that this person visits other saints to hear Hari-Katha or to take instructions. This goes against the mood of Bhakti. A Sadhaka may go to an instructing spiritual master if his initiating spiritual master has instructed him so due to his own physical disabilities or a sadhaka visits an instructing master after the disappearance of his initiating spiritual master. This is valid, because in the absence of the Deeksha guru for the sake of spiritual strength one may go to a suitable instructing spiritual master to learn the aspects of Sadhana. The aspects of Shravanam and Kirtanam should be performed so that it may aid Smaranam. Smaranam actually represents the very root of Braja Sadhana. Smaranam of the Pastimes of the Lord or the Smaranam of the Beeja Mantras given at the time of Deeksha overall decides the course of the entire Sadhana Spectrum.
Once a Sadhaka is connected to the Parivaras through Deeksha, he undertakes rigid Sadhana. People who are in business or serve organizations should attune oneself slowly to the rigidity of Sadhana maybe on weekends. The Nama can be chanted limited in numbers maybe about 2 to 3 rounds. The major practice undertaken should be that of the Sri Radhika Mantra and the Sri Gopala Mantra. Chanting 32 rounds of each of Sri Radhika Mantra and Sri Gopala Mantra is a beautiful way of qualifying oneself as a serious Sadhaka. The Gopala Mantra when chanted in large numbers with a sankalpa of one being the hand-maid of Srimati Radhika in the heart is a wonderful way in unravelling the mysteries of sadhana. One has to slowly transcend the state of Waking, dreaming and sleeping through the process of Sadhana. In the initial stages one will be dragged to heavy sleepy states through intense chanting. However if the sadhakas apply themselves and start chanting deeply one will be transported to lucid conscious states. The continuous laborious application of the routine will enable one to get rid of the compulsive habits of the mind and establish oneself in the purified states of the chitta or the sub-conscious. The rendering of the Gopala mantra will weed out even deep-rooted Karmic debris in the unconscious mind, which will emerge in the chitta, sometimes during chanting or sometimes during sleep. Events have their origin in the recesses of the unconscious. Thus a simple activity like chanting can even weed out events that might be unnecessary, yet slated to happen in the future. Through intense chanting all these layers of chitta will be slowly peeled out and the one hidden behind these layers of consciousness, the Paramatma will be revealed. One may be able to have a clear vision of Paramatma if one is steadily practising the chanting of the Gopala Mantra process. Once the chitta is actively cleansed thus, one will directly attain one’s siddha sarira from the deities.