7 – Tattva Bodha: Trust in Vedanta & Guru, Burning Desire for Liberation


Discourse 7 finishes the 6-fold virtues, which are faith (shraddha), single pointedness (samadhanam). And points out the final 4th qualification of adhikari, which is a burning desire for liberation (mumukshu). 

Source: Tattva Bodha

Adhikārī qualification 3 — 6-fold-wealth:

śamādi sādhana saṃpattiḥ kā? (What are [6-fold] sādhana wealth, starting with śama?)
They are, (1) śamaḥ: management of mind. (2) damaḥ: control of senses. (3) uparama: observance of duties. (4) tititikṣā: endurance. (5) śraddhā: faith/trust. (6) samādhānaṃ ca iti: and single pointedness.

shama / dama / uparama / titiksha

  • Covered in previous session.


śraddhā kīdṛśī?  guruvedānta-vākyādiṣu viśvāsaḥ śraddhā
Of what nature is faith? Trust in the words of the teacher and Vedanta is faith. 

  • Guru: Trust in teacher/guru who may use different words to scriptures to adapt to each person and modern times. But they are always keeping with scriptures.
  • Vedanta:
    • Guru should be teaching Vedanta (reconciling apparent differences).
    • Guru does not teach devanta (presenting you with an assortment of Gods/devas to worship, or loading you with belief systems which can't be proven here-and-now — thereby creating further division in one's perception).
  • Viśvāsaḥ:
    • Student has BELIEF in words of Vedanta (in this case, “Tattva Bodha” text).
    • How to believe the words when I am yet to arrive to the truth of what Vedanta is saying? 
      • Firstly take reassurance that Vedanta statements are uncontradictable. They've already been attacked from countless angles, by countless opposing schools of thought, for thousands of years, by brilliant minds — and it's knowledge still stands equally non-negatable.
      • Secondly, to believe any words, they should not contradict your experience, and must be provable here and NOW in your experience.  Meaning, it's not blind belief, but belief backed by logic.
        • EG:
          • If I show you a cup and use words “This is an orange”, but your eyes reveal it's a cup, and your experience of the object is consistent with a cup — then belief isn't possible.
          • We can't prove or disprove heaven, thus Vedanta isn't concerned with such matters.
    • In conclusion:
      • Faith or trust in the words of “Tattva Bodha” is what makes this text work. So it needs an open mind; a beginners mind, at least until we complete the text.
      • Why have faith/trust in Tattva Bodha text? Because Tattva-Bodha is a pramāṇa.
        • Word “pramana” means, “means of knowledge”, or that by which knowledge takes place. 
          • EG: Physical eye is a pramana for shapes/colors. Ear is pramana for sounds. Tattva Bodha is a  pramana for Nitya (the eternal reality).


samādhānaṃ kim? citta-eka agratā
What is single-pointedness-of-mind? (It is) focusing the mind on one thing.  

  • Mind's capacity to absorb itself in a single pursuit, for length of time.  One pointedness. Only possible when there is relative contentment, meaning you've relatively settled accounts with the world, or least for the time-being in which you can comfortably and deliberately be immersed in inquiry of these Vedantic statements. 
  • Single-pointedness or concentration isn’t necessarily something we CREATE (like with concentration exercises, meditation, etc) — but something we DISCOVER by knowing that something is important enough to you, that you're willing to sacrifice other things. 

Adhikārī qualification 4 — Desire for Liberation:

mumukṣutvaṃ kim? mokṣaḥ me bhūyād iti icchā
What is a mumukṣu? “Let me attain Liberation”. This intense desire.  

  • Moksha means 2 things: (a) Freedom from what you are NOT (pride, anger, joy, sorrow, etc), and (b) Freedom from rebirth.
  • One who is desirous of moksha is called a mumukshu. A mumukshu has a burning desire, and thinks, “May mokṣa be for me!”.  There is an intense longing for freedom in THIS LIFETIME. For him/her, there's no question of future lifetimes. There is enough confidence in oneself that one believes it's possible in THIS lifetime and SHALL be in this lifetime.
    • To have an intense longing for moksha implies mind is mature enough to recognize limitations of pursuing infinite limited anityam's, over one limitless nityam.

Conclusion of 4-Fold Qualifications:

etat sādhana-catuṣṭayam | tataḥ-tattvavivekasya adhikāriṇaḥ bhavanti
This is the fourfold qualification. Thereafter, they become fit for the enquiry into the Truth.

  • What makes up an adhikārī (person ready to hear and assimilate the truth)?
    • One who is endowed with 4-fold qualifications.
      1. Nitya-Anitya-Viveka: Engaging the intellect for discriminative enquiry related to the Eternal and Impermanent
      2. Virāga: Enveloping your emotional attachments to objects with OBJECTIVITY. Meaning, one takes time to recognize the object's intrinsic value (what it actually can and cannot do for me), thereby reducing your own projected subjective value.  EG: Gold's intrinsic value is rare/yellow/malleable. Projected value is status symbol.
        • Absence of dispassion (viraga) leads to emotional pain as we end up giving the object status or reality which it doesn't have. For example, expecting partner/children to meet our expectations (should's and shouldn'ts) — when in reality, they're incapable as it's not in their nature.
      3. 6-fold virtues
      4. Mumukshu: One who is longing for liberation.
  • After having suffice 4-fold qualifications, what is adhikari capable of doing?
    • Discerning the Permanent from the Impermanent (tattva-viveka).
  • What will discerning Permanent & Impermanent give?
    • Mokṣa.
  • What happens if don’t have sufficient 4-fold-qualifications?
    • Knowledge will be intellectually assimilated, but won't have an emotional impact. Meaning, how one directly feels about oneself, world, others, total reality… won't be any different then before entry into Vedanta.  In this case, adhikārī needs additional sādhana-catuṣṭayam.


  1. Which ONE of the 6-fold virtues (seen in verse above) do you feel would make the most positive difference for you, and why? In other words, which virtue attracts you most and why?
  2. Imagine yourself 5 years from now, having decently integrated the 6 virtues. Take 2 minutes to imagine this possibility, noticing favorable differences that have occurred.  


Credit for help in Tattva Bodha to Chinmaya Mission's Swami Advayananda, and Arsha Vidya's Swami Dayananda.

Recorded 2 July, 2023


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