By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Sahajiyas, SahajiyAs, Sahajiyaas
The Sahajiyās is a sect that had its origin in the Sahajayāna school of Buddhism. It is closely associated with the Caitanya sect of Vaiṣṇavism. Sahaja literally means that which is born along with birth. It stands for the original basic nature or quality of a thing at its birth or origination and persists throughout, unchanged. It may be considered an equivalent of Brahman of Advaita Vedānta or the Śūnya of Nihilistic Buddhism.
The love of Rādhā towards Kṛṣṇa is the mode of sādhana recommended. The Sahajiyās reject all the kinds of vidhis or rules and regulations normally followed by the society. They are against vegetarianism and austerities as recommended by the gosvāmis of Vaiṣṇavism. Another important feature of this system is the highest place and honor given to the guru. It is interesting to note that some techniques of calming the mind have been adopted by them from the Yogasūtras of Patañjali.
- Sādhana means spiritual discipline.
- Patañjali lived in 200 B. C.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore