This article is based almost entirely on the teachings of Paramanand Bharati Ji.
The Four-Fold Spiritual Wealth: A Prerequisite for Vedaant
(1) He should have the desire to perform
the Vaidik Karm (in order to obtain the desired fruits).
Going further, the science of "Moksh", or liberation, better known as Vedaant too requires a qualified seeker to attain full benefit from it. Only the one who is qualified for it can attain Moksh. However, only a very few people are interested in Moksh, because the majority of us live under the illusion that happiness is the result of fulfilling worldly desires, while Moksh is something which has no trace of "wordliness" in it, and this is what frightens us, making us believe that Moksh is not our cup of tea at all.
What is needed for preparing the requisite ground entitling us to the study of Vedaant? Is it necessary to have performed Vaidik rituals, or to have made an enquiry into the nature of Dharm (Dharm Jigyaasaa)? To all these questions Shankaraachaarya answers an unequivocal "No". However, another set of qualifications is emphasized by him, which is both sufficient and necessary. This is known as "Saadhanaa Chatushtaya", or the four-fold wealth of Saadhanaa (spiritual practice). It must be remembered here that acquiring this four-fold wealth is extremely difficult because it depends upon the continuity of purifying Karm performed by the seeker in his past lives. The Bhagavad Geetaa says: "One cannot transcend Karm, without performing Karm (Geetaa, 3.4).
The Four-Food Spiritual Wealth consists of the following:
(1) The Ability to Discriminate:
Indeed Moksh is a state of permanent, untainted, and unparalleled Aanand - Happiness. But the happiness derived from this world is not so. It is in fact the exact opposite, being momentary, tainted with many faults, meager and limited. This is obvious because this happiness is dependent on worldly objects which are by nature non-permanent. How can a permanent state of happiness be derived from a non-permanent object? Not only this, we all know that to derive pleasure, there needs to be a contact between the sense organs and the object in question. Therefore, there is an amount of effort required in this engagement which eventually leads to exhaustion and hence the joy gained is not long lasting.
Further, the pleasure does not persist all the time even when such a contact is in place. Only God knows His own Leelaa that the pleasure gained from the contact between a sense organ and an object sustains only for a limited period of time. Indeed, desire for an object seems to disappear when it is fulfilled and the fulfillment also disappears before long. Even then, the fulfilled desire does not reappear for a long time. Therefore, the seeker of Moksh comes to the firm conclusion that everything in this world is non-permanent. Keeping this always in mind, the seeker drops the craving for anything which is fleeting. The Ved state that only Brahman is permanent. One should always remember this. Gradually then there takes place a detachment from the impermanent and attachment towards that which is permanent. This is the discriminative understanding known as Nitya-Anitya- Vastu-Vivek. Such a discrimination can never surface in one who is sinful in thought and deed. The Geetaa says: "Only those whose sins have been terminated by virtuous deeds are able to worship and pursue me firmly." (Geetaa, 7.28). This is Krishn's own voice. Hence it is clear that such a discriminating faculty is found only in those who have obtained the grace (Kripaa) of God through virtuous deeds (Punya Karm). Therefore, an aspirant should invoke the grace of God through Punya Karm and through direct contact with saints and sages, Mahaatmaa who are already blessed with such a grace.
(2) Non Attachment to the Fruits of Action:
Each of these creatures gets into a death trap due to attachment to a single sense object. What then can be said about humans who hanker after not one but five sense objects? Without the ability to discriminate between what is permanent and what is transient, believing sensory pleasures to be paramount, man has become a beast. Compared to these extremely short-lived worldly physical pleasures, the heavens gained by performing Vaidik Yagya (sacrifices) are indeed lavish and lasting. However, they too are time-bound and hence impermanent.
The Geetaa says: "After the Punya is exhausted they fall again from the heavens into the world of mortals." (Geetaa, 9.21). Therefore, the seeker of Moksh should not strive for more than what is sufficient to sustain his life. Vairaagya matures to this state only when one lives with minimum possessions. This is the true meaning of detachment, which is defined as the mental state of giving up everything by one's own choice.
(4) Owing The Six Virtues (Shat Sampatti) are:
(2) Controlling the Mind (Sham):
(3) Satiety in the Enjoyment of
(4) Endurance (Titikshaa):
(5). Faith (Shraddhaa): To understand this we need to keep two things in mind. Firstly, the nature of Moksh cannot be inferred using our own minds because it is beyond our mental faculties, therefore it has to be known through the Ved only. Secondly, no one, no matter how talented or qualified he or she may be, it is impossible to study the Ved on one's own. The Ved can be understood only with the help of a Guru. Hence, for the seeker of Moksh, there is no way other than the Guru and the Ved. Keeping this in mind, we should have complete faith in the words of both the Ved and our Guru. This faith is known as Shraddhaa. The word itself is made of two components: "Shrad" means truth, and "Dhaa" means bearing it. Therefore, the faith necessary for bearing the truth is known as Shraddhaa. The Geetaa says: "shraddhaavaan labhate Gyaanam" (Geetaa, 4.39) - A man of faith can attain knowledge.
(6) Proper Concentration (Samaadhaan):
(4) An Intense Desire for Salvation (Mumukshutwa)
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 01/17/12