Sadhana is a form of Hindu blood sorcery which predates the prominent Hermetic Thaumaturgy of the Tremere clan by thousands of years. It is practiced by the Hindu Brahmin Cainites of India, who are known as rakta-sadhus or even Blood Brahmin.
The Blood Brahmins of India see themselves as demons, who seek to overthrow the gods and rule the universe in their stead by transcending the maya of the temporal world to achieve moksha. According to those Cainites Prana is the life energy which vampires steal from the living via their blood, and via the methods of vampiric Sadhana the practitioner uses the stolen prana to enable him/her to alter reality according to mystical formulae learned from grimoires – the seminal thaumaturgic grimoires among Hindu Cainites are the unabridged versions of the Atharva-Veda and the Yajur-Veda.
The Cainite bloodlines with the deepest roots in India are the Daitya, Danava, Nagaraja, Ravnos, and to a slightly lesser extent the Salubri. The Brahmin Castes are the only ones who are permissioned to learn Sadhana and as such, they have the greatest store of knowledge about this peculiar art of blood magic. Despite their low numbers, the Daitya and Danava have assumed rulership over the lesser Castes within India, after the number of Ravnos was extremely diminished because of the events of the Week of Nightmares.
Undead rakta-sadhus often deliberately break the taboos of mortal Sadhana, to show their disrespect to the Gods and their acceptance of their role as demons.
Just like a mortal Hindu mystic, a rakta-sadhu must engage in long meditation and grueling austerities to unlock the mystic power of the Blood. Typical exercises include: fasting nearly to the point of torpor; yoga exercises; breathing exercises called pranayama, such as breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose at the same time; and exposure to heat, cold and other unpleasantness.
Rakta-Sadhus revere Shiva and Shakti above most other Hindu gods, in their incarnations as Bhairava/Mahakala and Kali. Others pay respect to Vishnu and Lakshmi and a host of lesser gods, like Agni, the god of the flame.
Their rituals incorporate mystic symbols called yantras; mystic syllables or phrases called mantras; complex drawings called mandalas; mudras, or gestures with a variety of ritual implements; and elaborate sacrifices of blood, butter and the intoxicating plant-derived liquid called soma. Sadhana rituals demand great courage from a vampire, for the sacrifice is always by fire. These rituals generate tapas, spiritual heat that, when amassed in great quantities, can force the gods to work the brahmins will. The more austere the hardships of their meditation, the more intense is their tapas.
The following paths are unique to Sadhana:
Path of the Blood Nectar
- By brewing a potion out of his own vitae, the rakta-sadhu can imbue the drinker with one level of a discipline or path
- By brewing a potion out of his own vitae, the rakta-sadhu can imbue the drinker with two level of a discipline or path
- By brewing a potion out of his own vitae, the rakta-sadhu can imbue the drinker with three level of a discipline or path
- By brewing a potion out of his own vitae, the rakta-sadhu can imbue the drinker with four level of a discipline or path
- By brewing a potion out of his own vitae, the rakta-sadhu can imbue the drinker with five level of a discipline or path
Path of Karma
- Threads of the Past: Receive a vision from the past of the target
- Weave of the Future: Receive omens of events to come
- Certain Fate: Receive a certain vision of an event in the future
- Past Lives: Receive a moderately detailed biography of your previous incarnation
- Master of Samsara: Gain limited power over the future incarnation of a target
In addition to the above, rakta-sadhus know many paths also used by Thaumaturgy, though they are known by different names and practiced in the Sadhana style. The paths have nothing in common but their effects, and in some cases, the Sadhana path is actually older than the Tremere one. Where names differ, the Thaumaturgical name is listed along with the reference.
- Path of Praapti (Path of Mercury)
- Rasayana (Alchemy)
- Brahma-Vidya (Path of Conjuring)
- Echo of Nirvana (Path of the Focused Mind)
- Hand of Mahakala (Hands of Destruction)
- Path of Yama (Path of Duat)
- Lakshmi's Wishes (Oneiromancy)
- Yaksha-Vidya (Elemental Mastery)
- Temptations of Mara (The Snake Inside)
- Rishi's Hand (Movement of the Mind)
- Asura-Raja (Spirit Manipulation)
Sadhana is a Hindi word which literally translates as "[the] working", and is the analogous Hindi word for thaumaturgy (which itself means "working of miracles").
^ Path of the Blood Nectar
|Path of the Blood Nectar||Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion||Pg. 62-63|
^ Path of Karma
|Path of Karma||Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion||Pg. 63-64|
|Vampire: The Masquerade Disciplines pre-V5:|
|Abombwe · Animalism · Auspex · Bardo · Celerity · Chimerstry · Daimonion · Dementation · Dominate · Flight · Fortitude · Melpominee · Mytherceria · Obeah · Obfuscate · Obtenebration · Potence · Presence · Protean · Quietus · Sanguinus · Serpentis · Spiritus · Temporis · Thanatosis · Valeren · Vicissitude · Visceratika|
|Blood Sorcery pre-V5:||Abyss Mysticism · Akhu · Countermagic, Thaumaturgical · Dur-An-Ki · Mortis · Nahuallotl · Voudoun Necromancy · Western Necromancy · Ogham · Sadhana · Sihr · Thaumaturgy · Dark Thaumaturgy · Sielanic Thaumaturgy · Assamite Sorcery · Anarch Sorcery · Koldunic Sorcery · Setite Sorcery · Wanga|
|V5||Animalism · Auspex · Blood Sorcery · Celerity · Dominate · Fortitude · Obfuscate · Oblivion · Potence · Presence · Protean · Thin-Blood Alchemy|
|V5 Amalgams:||Chimerstry · Dementation · Obeah · Serpentis · Valeren · Vicissitude|
|Defunct:||Deimos · Kai · Kineticism · Maleficia · Nihilistics · Rift · Striga|