4.H.1a Vedanta texts, presented by Swami Atmapriyananda

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a. Culled from standard Vedanta texts like Vedanta Sara, Vivekachudamani, Shankaracharya’s commentaries on the Upanishads etc.


The essential qualifications of a Shishya (disciple) and a Guru (spiritual teacher) coming together in their spiritual quest:


Four essential qualifications of a Sishya (disciple) seeking spirituality from an illumined Guru (teacher):

(1)  Discrimination between the permanent (unchanging) and the evanescent (ephemeral), between the real and the unreal. (Sanskrit phrase: nityaaanitya vastu-viveka) 

(2)  Dispassion for (renunciation of) the enjoyments here and hereafter (in this world and in the higher worlds or heavens), or dispassion for the enjoyments seen and heard (unseen), tangible and intangible. (Sanskrit phrase: ihaamutra phala bhoga virago or drishtaanusravika vishaya vitrishna)

(3)  Six treasures: (i) control of the inner senses, (ii) control of the outer senses, (iii) calmness, (iv) forbearance, (v) faith or conviction, (vi) absorption in higher truths. [Sanskrit phrases: (i) shama, (ii) dama, (iii) uparati, (iv) titiksha, (v) shraddha, (vi) samadhana].

(4)  Intense aspiration or yearning or longing for liberation. (Sanskrit phrase: mumukshutva).


Five essential qualifications of a spiritual teacher (Guru):

A spiritual teacher or Guru should be

(1)  Well versed in the scriptures and aware of the inner, subtle meanings, born of his own realization. (Sanskrit phrase: shrotriya)

(2)  Devoted to constant cultivation of higher knowledge. (Sanskrit: brahma-nishtha).

(3)  Sinless (that is, without any commercial or selfish motive). (Sanskrit: avrijina, apaapaviddha).

(4)  Free from petty, demeaning desires. (Sanskrit: akamahata).

(5)  Supremely compassionate and loving towards the disciple and eager to impart knowledge with infinite patience, overlooking the limitations of the disciple, (Sanskrit: parama karunika).


Please proceed to 4.H.1b