The aim of all practice is to silence the mind, to introvert the consciousness which is directed externally giving rise to the phenomenal world. The practice of breath-control, meditation and visualization, repetition of mantras, and restriction on diet, are temporary aids for making the mind one pointed and ultimately dissolving the mind. Since certain states of mind and its sentiments are more conducive for realisation of self to dawn, all these practices serve the purpose of setting up the stage for that to happen.
Till the point one reaches sufficient maturity and develops the ability to surrender the mind in its source, one can practice a few techniques to open the subtle system to the influence and influx of Shakti. All the different energy circulation tools and Techniques are simply ways to read the Map of the inner territory.
There are various types of maps with different views, although none can replace the territory itself. This implies, the practices should not become something you need to ‘perfect’ in order to progress or become enlightened.
This also highlights the rampant search for a “better and more powerful” technique in an experience seeking spiritual consumer. This is often a pitfall as mind fixates on techniques and gets entangled and attached to them, forming an ego identity around them. The practice then becomes noise rather that a tool for liberation.
“You imposed limits to your true nature of infinite being, then, you get displeased to be only a limited creature, then you begin spiritual practices to transcend these nonexistent limits. But if your practice itself implies the existence of these limits, how could they allow you to transcend them?”
– Ramana Maharishi
All practices are preliminary tools and not the ultimate attainment, they merely create a basis, and should eventually be let go. The whole idea is to surrender to shakti through the medium of these practices and eventually allow shakti to take over the process as we sit back and witness the play of consciousness.
The doer of the practice never gets enlightened, only when the one doing the practice dissolves in choiceless awareness, enlightenment is revealed, yet no one is left to own it or claim it.