From Sadhaka to Siddha
FROM SĀDHAKA TO SIDDHA:
I would like to briefly discuss the path of a mumukśu leading his way up to mokśa with the firm assimilation of Self knowledge (aham sat chit ānanda svarūpaḥ sarva antaryāmi chit ākāsha rūpaḥ asmi iti dr̥ḍha niśchaya ). This is a summary for quick recollection for those who have already studied an introductory text- especially Tattva Bodha.
1) Cultivating the sādhanam chatuśtayaḥ
a) nitya anitya vastu vivekaḥ (discrimination between what eternal- the Self; and non eternal- the apparent jagat)
b) vairāgya (dispassion toward sense objects here or in the hereafter)
c) The six-fold discipline consisting of:
i. śama (control of the mind),
ii. dama (control of one’s expressions),
iii. uparama (commitment to aligning with dharma),
iv. titikśa (patience/forebearance),
v. śraddhā (faith pending understanding in the words of veda and guru),
vi. samādhān (focus, steadfastness) and
d) mumukśutvam (a desire for mokśa- freedom).
Swāmi Paramārthānanda ji maps these onto the 4 ‘D’s (discrimination (a), dispassion (b), discipline (c), desire (d) )
Now, vivekaḥ itself comes in two flavors, so to speak:
i) nityānitya vastu vivekaḥ, knowing the difference between eternal and non eternal, and
ii) dharmādharma vivekaḥ- knowing the difference between dharma and adharma (swāmiji mentions this as greatly elaborated in the gitā, though only hinted in tattva bodha), which is again a pre-requisite to gaining Self knowledge. Our tradition makes clear that a dhārmika person may/may not be a jñāni, but in order to be a jñāni one MUST first be dhārmika.
2) After having known ātmā from anātmā through vivekaḥ the next step is to subsume anātmā into its cause, being ātmā. This resolves the first rung of duality between tat (‘that brahman’) and idam (this), by merging them into one, in our understanding.
3) The distance between ‘tatpadārtha’ and ahampadārtha is merely notional, one needs to eradicate the 3 malams afflicting the antaḥkaraṇa through the 3 practices described by Swāmi Paramārthānanda ji in his Gitā lectures
a) The grossest : Malam Layer or impure layer, removed by karma yoga
b) The subtle : Vikśepaḥ – disturbance caused by unwanted projections of the mind, removed by upāsana yoga
c) The subtlest final layer : Āvaranam or ignorance or ajñānam, removed by jñāna yoga (which leads to the next step)
4) Now, finally, through sufficient amount of śrvanam, manaṇam and nidhidhyāsanan, one starts identifying tat-padārtha (‘that’ brahman) with aham (‘I’/ātmā) AT ALL TIMES. This is the final resolution taking place in the mind. It comes in the form of akhanḍākāra vr̥tti (‘thought modification taking the form of “I am the whole”) and it leaves behind a fullness that is independent of all vr̥ttis, but by which all other vr̥ttis are sustained