WHAT ARE THE SEVEN STAGES OF JNANA ?-THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA-11
WHAT IS JNANA ?
1-"jnana" is a Sanskrit word for knowledge i.e.Jnana is knowledge. To know Brahman as one's own Self is Jnana. To say, "I am Brahman, the pure, all-pervading Consciousness, the non-enjoyer, non-doer and silent witness," is Jnana.
2-To behold the one Self everywhere is Jnana.The seven stages of yoga refer to seven levels of spiritual enlightenment that the dedicated yogi is meant to achieve through regular yoga practice and deep meditation.
3-These seven stages of development are holistic, emphasizing physical, mental, and psychological well-being through transcendence of everyday desires and biases. This journey is also known as jnana yoga;
4-The names of the seven stages come from ancient philosophical writings , which are meant to provide a spiritual road map to living a meaningful and positive life.
WHAT IS IGNORANCE ?--07 FACTS;--
1-Ajnana is ignorance. To identify oneself with the illusory vehicles of body, mind, Prana and the senses is Ajnana. To say, " I am the doer, the enjoyer, I am a Brahmin, a Brahmachari, this is mine, he is my son," is Ajnana. Jnana alone can destroy Ajnana, even as light alone can remove darkness.
2-Brahman, the Supreme Self, is neither the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruits of actions. The creation, preservation and destruction of the world are not due to Him. They are due to the action of Maya, the Lord's energy manifesting itself as the world-process.
3-NAME THREE TYPE OF SPACE & INTELLIGENCE
Just as space appears to be of three kinds -
2-Space limited by a jar
3-Space reflected in the water of a jar So also there are three kinds of intelligence.
2- Intelligence reflected in Maya,
3- Intelligence reflected in the Jiva (the individual soul). 4-The notion of the doer is the function of intelligence as reflected in the intellect. This, together with the notion of Jiva, is superimposed by the ignorant on the pure and limitless Brahman, the silent witness.
5-The illustration of space absolute, space limited by a jar and space reflected in water of a jar, is given to convey the idea that in reality Brahman alone is. Because of Maya, however, It appears as three.
6-The notion that the reflection of intelligence is real, is erroneous, and is due to ignorance. Brahman is without limitation; limitation is a superimposition on Brahman.
7-The identity of the Supreme Self and the Jiva or reflected self is established through the statement of the Upanishad 'Tat Tvam Asi' - 'That Thou Art'. When the knowledge of the identity of the two arises, then world problems and ignorance, with all their offshoots, are destroyed and all doubts disappear.
HOW CAN WE REMOVE IGNORANCE ?--
1-Self-realization or direct intuitive perception of the Supreme Self is necessary for attaining freedom and perfection.
2-This Jnana Yoga or the path of Wisdom is, however, not meant for the masses whose hearts are not pure enough and whose intellects are not sharp enough to understand and practice this razor-edge path.
3-Hence, Karma Yoga and Upasana (Bhakti) are to be practiced first, which will render the heart pure and make it fit for the reception of Knowledge.Remaining in the certitude (something that someone firmly believes is true)of Atma, without desires, and with an equal vision over all, having completely eradicated all complications of differentiations of 'I' or 'he', existence or non-existence, is Turiya.
IS THERE THE SEVEN STAGES OF JNANA ?---
1-The Varaha Upanishad lists seven stages of wisdom. These stages mark the journey from striving for truth until the final state of self realization. These seven stages belong to the realm of jnana yoga (the yoga of knowledge).
2-The general outline of the process is easily seen, and this is quite useful to understand in a general way. It shows the way in which there is an unfolding process of stages in enlightenment. 3-Note that the first aspect of realization of the Self is in stage four, after which that stage is stabilized and expanded. In practical terms, this means the sadhaka (seeker) first seeks and attains a glimpse of Self-Realization, and only later becomes firmly implanted in that Realization.
4-For many people this can bring comfort, as the path of Self-Realization can otherwise seem almost impossible. Knowing that the direct experience is a step along the way can make it seen as much more accessible. Also note that the seven stages are correlated to the stages of Om Mantra. NAME SEVEN STAGES OF WISDOM ----
1-Subheccha (yearning for truth)
2-Vicharana (enquiry, investigation)
3-Tanumanasi (the mind becomes like a thread)
4-Sattvapatti (attaining purity)
6-Padartha (continuous awareness of the self)
7-Turiya (the superconscious state)
1-MEANING of Subheccha (Yearning for Truth)-----In this state, there is a strong will to study scriptures and to practise them. The spiritual aspirant longs to mingle with gurus and teachers. He/she has a strong yearning to realize the self.First, Jnana should be developed through a deep study of Atma Jnana Sastras and association with the wise and the performance of virtuous actions without any expectation of fruits.
1-1-This is Subheccha or good desire, which forms the first Bhumika or stage of Jnana. This will irrigate the mind with the waters of discrimination and protect it. There will be non-attraction or indifference to sensual objects in this stage. The first stage is the substratum of the other stages. From it the next two stages, viz., Vicharana and Tanumanasi will be reached.
2-MEANING of Vicharana (Enquiry, Investigation)---This stage is marked by deep inquiry. The aspirant puts the teachings into practice through self-inquiry and meditation.
3-MEANING of Tanumanasi (Thread-like Mind)---The practice of meditation and inquiry transforms the aspirant’s mind. He/she slowly loses interest in worldly affairs and passions, and starts to concentrate more on spiritual practice. The mind slowly moves away from desires and emotions, and longs to pursue selfless spirituality.This is attained through the cultivation of special indifference to objects. The mind becomes thin like a thread. Hence the name Tanumanasi. Tanu means thread - threadlike state of mind. The third stage is also known by the name Asanga Bhavana. In the third stage, the aspirant is free from all attractions. If any one dies in the third stage, he will remain in heaven for a long time and will reincarnate on earth again as a Jnani. The above three stages can be included under the Jagrat state.
4-MEANING of Sattvapatti (Attaining Purity)---In this stage, the mind becomes pure. The lower qualities of passion (rajas) and dullness (tamas) are transformed into purity (sattva) and awareness. A pure mind is akin to a lake’s calm surface. It is able to directly perceive the Absolute Self. Deep rooted tendencies in the mind are destroyed and the aspirant breaks frees from the clutches of maya (illusion) and sees the world as a dream.This stage will destroy all Vasanas to the root. This can be included under the Svapana state. The world appears like a dream. Those who have reached the fourth stage will look upon all things of the universe with an equal eye.
5-MEANING of Asamshakti (Detachment)----In this stage, the aspirant becomes completely detached. He/she becomes utterly selfless and inwardly experiences complete bliss. He/she is not affected by external circumstances, but still performs voluntary actions, when the need arises. The aspirant becomes a jivanmukta (liberated while alive).There is perfect non-attachment to the objects of the world. There is no Upadhi or waking or sleeping in this stage. This is the Jivanmukti stage in which there is the experience of Ananda Svaroopa (the Eternal Bliss of Brahman) replete with spotless Jnana. This will come under Sushupti.
6--MEANING of Padartha (Continuous Awareness of the Self)----In this stage, the person is continuously immersed in the Absolute Self and acts only when impelled by others.There is knowledge of Truth.
7-MEANING of Turiya (The Superconscious State)----In this final stage, the aspirant sees the world and the Absolute Self as one. Turiya is natural and real state of one’s self or the state of superconsciousness. This is Moksha. This is also known by the name Turiyatita. There are no Sankalpas. All the Gunas disappear. This is above the reach of mind and speech. Disembodied salvation (Videhamukti) is attained in the seventh stage.
NOTE-These seven stages can be used as a guide to gauge ( measures size, or capacity of something) spiritual progress. If you are a spiritual aspirant, check which stage you currently in, and strive to improve further.WHAT IS PRACTICAL GUIDELINE ?----
1-Purify the Chitta by doing Nishkama Karma for twelve years. The effect of Chitta Suddhi is the attainment of Viveka and Vairagya.
2-Acquire the four qualifications (Sadhana Chatushtaya), - Viveka, Vairagya, Shad Sampat and Mumukshuttva. Then approach a Guide /Guru. Have Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana.
3-Study carefully and constantly the twelve classical Upanishads and Yoga Vasishtha. Have a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the indicative (real) meaning of the Maha-Vakya 'Tat Tvam Asi'.
4-Then, constantly reflect over this real meaning throughout the twenty-four hours. This is Brahma-Chintana or Brahma-Vichara. Do not allow any worldly thoughts to enter the mind.
5-Vedantic realization comes not through mere reasoning but through constant Nididhyasana, like the analogy of Brahmarakita Nyaya (caterpillar and wasp). You get Tadakara, Tadrupa, Tanmaya, Tadiyata, Talleenata (Oneness, identity).
6-Generate the Brahmakara Vritti from your Sattvic Antahkarana through the influence of reflection on the real meaning of the Maha-Vakyas, 'Aham Brahma Asmi' or 'Tat Tvam Asi'.
7-When you try to feel that you are infinity, this Brahmakara Vritti is produced. This Vritti destroys Avidya, induces Brahma Jnana and dies by itself eventually, like Nirmal seed which removes sediment in the water and itself settles down along with the mud and other dirty matter.
8-Retire into your meditation chamber. Sit on Padma, Siddha, Svastika or Sukha Asana to begin with. Relax the muscles. Close the eyes. Concentrate on or gaze at the Trikute, the space between the two eyebrows. Repeat 'Om' mentally with Brahma-Bhavana. This Bhavana is a sine qua non, very very important. Silence the conscious mind. Repeat mentally, feel constantly:
9-All Upadhis (limiting adjuncts such as body, mind, etc.,) will be sublated. All Granthis (knots of heart, viz. , ignorance, desire and action) will be cut asunder. The thin veil, Avarana, will be pierced. The Pancha Kosha Adhyasa (superimposition) will be removed. You will rest doubtless in Satchidananda state. You will get highest Knowledge, highest Bliss, highest Realization and highest end of life, there is no doubt of that.
10-There is no difficulty at all in Atma-Darshan, in Self-Realization. You can have this within the twinkling of an eye as Raja Janaka had, before you can squeeze a flower with fingers, within the time taken for a grain to fall when rolled over a pot. You must do earnest, constant and intense practice. You are bound to succeed in two or three years.
11-Now-a-days there are plenty of 'Talking Brahman'. No flowery talk or verbosity can make a man Brahman. It is constant, intense, earnest Sadhana and Sadhana alone can give a man direct Brahmic realization i.e.SELF-REALIZATION.