Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!


Each Tuesday we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

साधन चतुष्टय

The saadhana chatushtaya/four-fold practices.

  • विवेक /viveka - discrimination; discerning the Real from the unreal
  • वैराग्य /vairaagya - detachment; understanding fully one's relationship with the Real and unreal
  • श्मादिष्ट्कसंपत्ति /shamaadhishatkasampatti - the six essential steps
  • मुमुक्षत्वं /mumukshatvam - the 'burning desire for liberation'; having the passion to rise

We will be looking at these in depth and there will be 'homework'...what use are words without the experience to match them? There are many disciplines involved when one takes up the life of a sadhu/ spiritual being (monk or nun).  However, not so many choose such a path. Whilst one remains in transactional life, it is still possible to maintain a disciplined core which can inform how one acts/reacts to that life yet remain, as much as possible, unaffected by it. The saadhana chatushtaya is a structure to which we can hitch our safety lines; they are as a harbour for the seafarer, the blueprints of the architect.

All who seek to live a philosophical existence will recognise these items.  It will be easy to say "Oh yes I know that, I do this..."

Beware the ego of 'knowing'.  What may look so slight, so simple, so...'normal' on the written page becomes as a mountain when it is taken into the intellect and attempts made to apply the words through action.  For example, let us say you are reading an article on how to waltz.  It may go like this:

  • lead steps forward, partner follows with backward steps
  • first step is with right/left feet respectively, the lead travelling forward
  • second step is with left/right feet respectively, the lead travelling to the left
  • third step is with the right/left feet respectively, on the spot
  • at this point there are six other moves which will be described shortly
  • weight is now shifted so pattern is repeated in reverse order and, through repetition, one can seek to complete the dance.

Already there will be those who have thought 'I know how to dance' and brushed aside reading the instruction fully.  There will be others who dance, but have read out of curiosity as to how this particular teacher has presented the moves. Others again, who perhaps have never attempted the dance, will now try it out; in doing so they will find that without the teacher being there to demonstrate, they are at risk of falling in a heap on the floor!

The first group (the 'knowers') are now asked to demonstrate. They complete a routine based on that existing knowledge.  It is satisfactory. Now they are asked, but what about the additional steps?  The six moves contained in this instruction. They may look confused.  Nobody likes to be challenged on their knowledge.  If they are seekers of perfection in dance, however, they will stop and rethink, begin to ask questions. Or they will believe they have advanced enough and nothing more can be shown them; they will turn and leave.

The second group will perhaps have thought, 'yes I have the basics, but what is this about six other moves?' They know they have much improvement to make before becoming 'competition standard' and being offered the chance to do this, will inquire further.

The third group have seen the beauty of the dance as performed by others.  They want to flow and glide in the same manner but in having made this initial attempt might feel that they have two left feet between them and no right to balance! If they have strong hearts they will now decide that a live teacher must be found; they will look about for an instructor who can get their feet working in unison and advancing towards the ultimate goal. Perfection of the dance.

It is only by following in the proven 'footsteps' of those who danced the dance that we can hope to recreate a thing of beauty. Thus it is with the 4-fold practices.

Dear reader, do not for one moment think that this is some esoteric Eastern magical thing!  In this formula we have the essence of living rightly.  There is nothing mysterious about it.  Look deeply at the revered practitioners of spirit and philosophy in your own traditions; you will find these very same steps and applications.  Perhaps not with the same names, or identified as 'scientifically', but they are present in all who seek truly.

Will you choose to dance?

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Hari OM
If what you have read has made you think, tell me why. If you are wondering, others are too, so ask that question. If you have a doubt, let it out.

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