Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 2

Notes on Tattvabodha
Dr. Vishnu Bapat

Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.




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1. Eligibility for self-enquiry

अधिकारी - Four-fold qualification

1. Nature of reality

तत्वविवेकप्रकारम्   tattva viveka prakāram

१. साधनचतुष्टयसम्पन्नाधिकारिणां मॊक्षसाधनभूतं तत्वविवेकप्रकारं वक्ष्यामः ।। १ ।।
साधनचतुष्टय-सम्पन्नाधिकारिणाम् – for those who are endowed with the four-fold qualifications  मोक्ष्साधनभूतम् – the means of liberation तत्वविवेक-प्रकारम् – the mode of enquiry into the nature of reality वक्ष्यामः –we shall expound.

We shall explain to those who are endowed with four-fold qualifications, the mode of enquiry into reality which is the means of liberation.

साधनचतुष्टय-सम्पन्न-अधिकारिणाम् – for those who are endowed with the four-fold qualifications. What are these four qualifications? This is explained in the next paragraph.
मोक्षसाधनभूतम् – the means of liberation. The author is going to discuss here the means or tools for getting free from shackles of the world and thereby realizing God.
तत्वविवेक-प्रकारम् – the mode of enquiry into the nature of reality. विवेक means the faculty of deciding the right from the wrong - discretion. तत्वविवेक refers to the faculty of mind of deciding atma and anatma vichara.
वक्ष्यामः – we shall expound.

2. Four-fold spiritual practice

साधनचतुष्टयम् किम् ?नित्यानित्यवस्तुविवेकः ।
इहामुत्रार्थफलभॊगविरागः ।  शमादि षट्कसम्पत्तिः ।
मुमुक्षुत्वं चेति ।। २. ।।
साधनचतुष्टयम् – four-fold qualifications or disciplines किम् – what, which are they  नित्यानित्यवस्तुविवेकः – discretion between the permanent and impermanent इहम्-अमुत्र- फल–भोग-विरागः - dispassion towards enjoyment of fruits of action here (इहम्) and hereafter (अमुत्र) शमादि-षट्कसम्पत्तिः – six treasures like Shama etc.  मुमुक्षुत्वं – yearning for liberation च इति – and thus

What is the four-fold qualification? The capacity to discriminate between the permanent and impermanent, dispassion towards enjoyment of fruits of action either in this life or thereafter, the six treasures (inner wealth) beginning with ‘Shama’ and desire for liberation,  is the four-fold qualification.

साधनचतुष्टयम् किम्? –Which are the four-fold qualifications? Sadhana means discipline. Chatushtaya means four–fold. The qualifications are four in number. This is a prerequisite for study of Tatvabodha.
Now a question arises. Is it necessary to become eligible with the four qualifications for study of this book? What about a novice who wants to start anyway? The answer is an uninitiated person interested to learn wisdom can also study the book and gradually try to practice its principles. Unless he practices, the knowledge will remain as an academic interest. It will not benefit him unless he acquires the four fold qualifications mentioned below:

    • नित्यानित्यवस्तुविवेकः - the discretion to differentiate the lasting and fleeting nature of things. (Discrimination)
    • इहामुत्रार्थफलभॊगविरागः - dispassion towards enjoyment of fruits of action here and hereafter (Dispassion)
    • मुमुक्षुत्वम् – yearning or passionate desire for  liberation (desire)
    • शमादि-षट्कसम्पत्तिः – Six-fold disciplines, mental virtues. सम्पत्ति Sampatti means wealth, treasure.  Shatka means six-fold. The wealth of six inner disciplines or personal disciplines. These are शमः, दमः, उपरमः, तितीक्षा, श्रद्धा, and समाधानम्. Now let us study their meaning.
        • शम - Control of mind
        • दम -Sense control or restraint of sense organs.
        • उपरम - Introspection –withdrawal from worldly pursuits to find quality time for spiritual progress.
        • तितीक्षा - Forbearance – Endurance to bear difficulties in life
        • श्रद्धा - Trust –faith in scriptures and Guru. It is not a blind faith, but belief in what Guru teaches, being non-critical, open minded approach until full meaning is learnt.  It involves humility and absence of arrogance.
        • समाधानम् - Concentration –Focussing capacity.

The author has listed four disciplines as a prerequisite for the study of Tattvabodha. This includes विवेकः discrimination, विरागः dispassion, मुमुक्षुत्वम् desire for liberation and शमादि षट्कसम्पत्ति - the six fold qualifications starting with shama.  These first three - discrimination, dispassion and desire for liberation - are acquired by hard work and field practice, or in other words by karma yoga. The last one, namely the six fold qualifications, come by Upasana yoga. So these two disciplines of Karma Yoga and Upasana Yoga together give us the four-fold qualifications, or साधनचतुष्टयम्. With these Sadhanas, the devotee becomes eligible to receive knowledge of Brahman.


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Page last updated: 19-May-2015