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The Four Qualifications for Non-duality

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The Four Qualifications (Sadhana Chatustaya) 
Extract from Swami Sivananda book Sadhana Chatustaya.pdf

The fourfold means for salvation (Sadhana Chatushtaya)
is a pre-requisite to the aspirants in the path
of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta)

Brahma Vidya or the Science of the Self is not a subject that can be understood and realised by mere intellectual study, reasoning or ratiocination or even by discussions or arguments. It is the most difficult of all sciences. Mere scholarly erudition and vast study with a high degree of intelligence alone cannot help one in the practical realisation of the Ti.uth inculcated by this Science. 

It demands perfect discipline, a discipline that is not to be found in our universities and colleges, and solid Sadhana for the achievement of the goal that is indicated by this Para-Vidya (Highest Science or knoeledge). One has to reach a realm where there is neither light nor darkness, neither East nor West, neither gain nor loss-a realm which can never be reached by either the mind or the senses.

Sadhana Chatushtaya or the fourfold means for salvation or the four kinds of spiritual practices, is a pre-requisite to the aspirantj in the path of Jnana Yoga (Vedanta), or, for that matter, in any system of evolution towards Godhead. The four means are:

1. Viveka-discrimination between Sat (real) and Asat (unreal).

2. Vairagya-dispassion or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter.

3. Shad Sampat (6 virtues):
(a) Sama-peace of mind through eradication of Vasanas.
(b) Dana-control of sense organs.
(c) Uparati-satiety, renunciation of all works (Sannyasa).
(d) Titiksha – forbearance.
(e) Sraddha-faith in scriptures and the Guru’s words.
(f) Samadhana-concentration of mind, balance of mind.

4. Mumukshutva-Intense longing for liberation.

The importance of the fourfold qualifications

A student who treads the path of Truth must equip himself with these four means. OnIy then can he march quite fearlessly on the path. Not an iota of spiritual progress is ever polsible unless one is really endowed with these fourfold qualifications. These four means are as old as the Vedas or even this world itself. Every religion prescribed these four essential requisites for the aspirant. Only ignorant people resort to lingual warfare and raise unnecessary questions. This has become an ignobie habit in them. You should not mind this. It is your duty to try to eat the fruit instead of wasting time in counting the leaves of the tree. Try now to know what these four means are.

 Analysis of  the fourfold qualifications

1. Viveka-discrimination between Sat (real) and Asat (unreal)

Read on Viveka (Discerment) in the following essays

The art of discrimination (viveka)
Discrimination with dispassion
The importance of discrimination (Viveka)
Be Firm in Wisdom (Discrimination)
Discriminating between the Self and the nonself
Atman is Distinct from the Pancha Koshas
Superimposition and discrimination of Atman
Superimposition and discrimination II
Τhe fourfold sadhana of Advaita Vendata 
Book – Drik Drisya Viveka of Shankaracharya

2. Vairagya -dispassion or indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter.

 Read on Vairagya -dispassion on the following essays

Dispassion (Vairagya)
Dispassion & Renunciation (Vairagya and Tyaga
Pearls for Vairagya (dispassion)
Τhe fourfold sadhana of Advaita Vendata
Book – How to Get Vairagya

3. Shad Sampat (6 virtues):
(a) Sama-peace of mind through eradication of Vasanas.
(b) Dana-control of sense organs.
(c) Uparati-satiety, renunciation of all works (Sannyasa).
(d) Titiksha – forbearance.
(e) Sraddha-faith in scriptures and the Guru’s words.
(f) Samadhana-concentration of mind, balance of mind.

Read on Vairagya -dispassion on the following essays

Shad Sampat (6 virtues)

4. Mumukshutva-Intense longing for liberation. 

Lastly, we come to the fourth of the main qualifications, Mumukshutva. Mumukshutva is aspiration or burning desire to attain God-realisation or Self-realisation. God is the one true aim of all human aspirations. Aspiration is earnest longing or an earnest wish for that which is above one’s present reach or attainment, especially for what is noble, pure and spiritual. To aspire is to rise or reach upward. To aspire is to have an earnest desire, wish or longing for something high and good not yet attained, and is usually accompanied by endeavor to attain it. 

 Mumukshutva is intense desire for liberation or deliverance from the wheel of birth and death with its concomitant evils of old age, disease, delusion and sorrow.

If one is equipped with the previous three qualifications, -Viveka, Vairagya and Shad Sampat-, Mumukshutva will come by itself. The mind moves towards the source of its own accord, because it has lost its hold on external objects. It has no resting place in this objective universe.

Purification of the mind and mental discipline is the rock-bottom foundation of yoga. When this is effected, the longing for liberation dawns by itselt.

Mumukshutva must be of a burning type. If burning Mumukshutva is coupled with burning Vairagya , Self-realization will come within the twinkling of an eye.

Generally the vast majority of people have got a dull type of Vairagya and Mumukshutva so they do not succeed in their attempts.

If one finds that he has not got burning Mumukshutva he must practice the other three Sadhanas vigorously till he acquires intense longing for attaining salvation or immortality.

To cite an analogy: suppose some dust falls in one’s eyes, he will hurry up to wash his eyes and get rid of the dust. He will feel great unrest till the dust is removed, forgetting everything of this world. His sole concern will be the removal of the dust from his eyes. Similarly should one’s aspiration be to attain God-realization. He should forget everything else. He should feel extremely restless and should pine for God-realization. 

Another analogy for Mumulshutva is that of the man under water. Suppose you keep the head of a person immersed in water. He will be struggling for breath. He will intensely desire to get out of the water, so that he can breathe. Such intense desire for God-realisation is called Mumukshutva.

The practice of the four means

The aspirant should practice all the four means to a maximum degree. Proficiency in one Sadhana alone will not make you perfect. That aspirant who is endowed with these four qualifications should hear the scriptures from a Guru who is a knower of Brahman and then reflect and meditate on the inner Self. He will soon get Self-realisation.

There is a definite significance in the sequence of the four means. If you have Viveka Vairagya will come by itself. If you possess Viveka and Vairagya, Sama will dawn by itself. If you are endowed with Viveka, Vairagya and Sama, Dama will come by itself. If you have Sama and Dama Uparati will come by itself. If you have all these qualifications, Titiksha, Sraddha and Samadhana will come by themselves. If you possess Viveka, Vairagya, Sama, Dama, (Uparati, Sraddha, Titiksha and Samadhana, Mumukshutva or burning desire for liberation will manifest by itself.

Some students ask: “Shall we practise Viveka, Vairagya, etc., in order, one by one, after mastering each limb, or shall we practise all the limbs simultaneously? If we practise one by one, perhaps we will not be able to get mastery over even one or two limbs in this life. We may require several births for perfect mastery over all limbs. Life is very short. What shall we do?” Ir depends upon the temperament, taste and capacity of the students. Some like to get perfect mastery over each stage and then proceed to the next step. Some like to practise all the limbs at the same time. For six months concentrate your mind in cultivating Viveka, Vairagya and Sama. For the next six months try to acquire Sraddha, Samadhana and Mumukshutva. Devote more time in developing that virtue which you are seriously
lacking. If you are earnest and sincere in your attempt, you can develop the four means and attain Self-realisation in this very birth.

  The first-class student

Another vedanta student says:
“Swamiji there is no necessity for acquiring these four means of salvation-Viveka, YVairagya. etc. It is a long, tedious process. I will not be able to acquire them even in several births. The shortest way is to think of Brahman always. I will acquire all the virtues automatically. Then t will be able to practise deep meditation.” He is right. A first-class student can adopt this method, because he had cultivated the four means in his previous births.

The mediocre student

A mediocre student will not be able to think of Brahman at the very outset. How can one think of Brahman when the mind is filled with impurities, when it is turbulent and the senses are jumping and revolting? Absolutely impossible. He may sit for thinking on the Selt but he will be building castles in the air and thinking of other objects. He will foolishly imagine that he entered into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He will mistake deep sleep for Samadhi. 

Many are deluded in this manner. They do not have any spiritual progress. They can have no idea of Brahman. It is only the mind that is rendered pure by the practice of Viveka, Vairagya, Sama, Dama, etc., that can have definite conception of Brahman. Ideas of Brahman cannot be lodged in a restless, impure mind.

May you all live in an illumined state through the practice of these four qualifications!