It is too much to try and learn by heart the list of qualifications (sadhana chatustaya) before one can be considered an aspirant to liberation (moksha), unless it is learnt at an early age (which would be useless).  Anyone could think of a way to reduce the number of items in the list (3 + 6 = 19) to something practical. If ten people would try to do that, none of them surely would come up with the same list, or the same number. Which ones of the qualifications have priority, and in what order?

For Sri Atmananda -Krishna Menon, the primary qualifications are sincerity and an intense desire to know the truth – these two are sufficient. Elsewhere he made a list (“roughly”) of four requirements:

1. The aspirant should know for certain that there is ‘something’ beyond the appearance of the world of objects.

2. The aspirant should steadfastly keep away from all personal predilections, notions and information about the object of his enquiry.

3. The aspirant should be free from all kinds of religious hankering.

4. The aspirant should have a firm determination to overcome all obstacles to the Truth. (‘Notes on Spiritual Discourses ‘-1426)

That also is difficult to retain, though easy to understand.

Another alternative: To do karma yoga for an undetermined period of time. This is from Sri Atmachaitanya.

2 thoughts on “Sadhana-Chatustaya

  1. Hi Martin,
    I have to admit that I do not understand the first paragraph of this quote. What does he actually mean to say? Could you comment?

  2. Sorry, I must say that that first paragraph is not a quotation, but something that came out of my own… brain, or creative imagination, if you will. May be it was said with something of a tongue-in-cheek, but I trust that it makes some sense.

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