Path to Joyful Living - Sadhana Panchakam

Step 4 - Spiritual Enquiry - Theory

28. Commencement of spiritual enquiry

Our ultimate destination is Joyful Living. Gaining Self-Knowledge or Knowledge of God is the means to reach the destination. For gaining this ultimate knowledge, we need to conduct the enquiry with an eligible mind.

Eligible mind is one, which is matured by completing the steps described so far.

If a person with eligible mind completes the process of enquiry, he will surely reach the destination. Even if he does not want to reach the destination, he will have no choice.

Example: If you buy the right ticket and board the right train, reaching the destination is automatic and unavoidable.

Similarly, with the eligible mind if one commences the enquiry with the guidance of a right teacher, one is sure to reach the destination.

The problem with the enquiry on God is it is unknown. We need to reach the unknown only through the known. Therefore, either we need to start with the SELF or with the world to conduct our enquiry on God.

The problem with the enquiry of SELF is not that it is unknown, but it is partly known. Moreover, what is known is not the truth. Therefore, it is impossible to conduct an enquiry on our self without external guidance.

We know that we are not an inert object. We are conscious unlike a table or chair. However, we wrongly assume that this consciousness is a part, property or product of our physical body/ mind.

Example: We are seeing a snake in a rope in the twilight.

Now so long we are under the impression we are seeing a snake, we can never reach the truth. All our thoughts, words and actions will be based on the illusion of snake. We need another person to tell us the truth of the snake, which is rope. Once we hear this, there is a strong possibility of us identifying the true nature of the object through enquiry and analysis.

All the Holy Scriptures contain the knowledge on the ultimate truth. However, since our mind is clouded with wrong notions, we will never be able to read the scriptures and gain the knowledge of the ultimate by our own effort. We need the guidance of a competent teacher who can give us the right interpretation of the truth.

29. Enquiry on the Holy Scripture

The path to the Joyful Living is available only in the Holy Scripture of any religion. However, since we are not capable to decode them, we need a competent teacher who is already librated, to guide us. He needs to validate the teaching with the scripture and with his personal experiences. Logic is used for this purpose.

A matured mind alone can use the scripture and services of the teacher and gain the knowledge. If a person attempts to skip the previous steps and start with enquiry, he will not reach the truth. Mental maturity is an essential to comprehend the truth. In the absence of it, one will accumulate information and not gain knowledge.

Example: A high-school-drop-out attends a PG course on math.

Although both the teacher and the textbooks are perfect, the student would not have gained any knowledge since he is not yet ready for the high level of the subject.

Knowing the answers to the question "Who is God or who am I" is enough to lead a joyful living. No further action is required apart from the actions to gain the knowledge.

There are two stages in reaching the Joyful Living. The first part is to make the mind mature. This requires us to gain the knowledge on the method followed by action. The second stage is to work for getting the ultimate knowledge (the answer to the question "Who am I"), such action will result in gaining the ultimate knowledge. There is nothing to be done after this stage. There is nothing to put into practice. Mere knowing the truth will turn the life joyful.

Example: We are searching for our specs while wearing it. No action is required to find the specs. All we need is to know that we are wearing it. However, for knowing, we might have been engaged in action and often we require the help of someone else to point out the fact that we are wearing it. After realizing the truth our actions will stop.

Thus in the final stage, knowledge need not followed up with action. Until one gets there, action based on knowledge is important. Infact if the action does not follow the knowledge, in the first stage, such knowledge causes more harm than good. People, who are ignorant, will enjoy life depending on how good the environment is to them. Once we get the knowledge that we are attached and such attachment is leading us to misery, we need to act on the knowledge. If we do not, we cannot even enjoy the good things in life. Thus, one is better off without the knowledge. Ignorance is bliss.

30. Learning from the teacher

Finding a competent teacher is a difficult task. One should make himself an eligible student and the teacher will be automatically found due to the positive results of the past actions. When one finds the teacher, it is necessary to ask for his blessing for knowledge.

It is essential to fall on the feet of the teacher to enable effective learning. The ego is the big obstacle in the path of learning. One should surrender the ego and falling at the feet signifies such surrender. Losing ego is more difficult than losing life. Nevertheless, we do surrender our ego if we want to gain something very seriously.

Example: In the political arena, it is common to fall in the feet of the leader in a public platform. One expresses the seriousness of the intention by surrendering the ego completely.

It is to true in the spiritual arena as well. One should surrender the ego and fall on the feet of the teacher. He should seek the absolute knowledge from the teacher. Prior to the arrival at the teacher's place, one would have been holding very high positions in the society. Falling at the feet of the teacher removes all the inhibitions from the mind and makes one as a serious student.

Complete trust on the teacher combined with inquisitive mind is the prerequisite for learning. Both are essential. When the teacher imparts knowledge, it should not be blindly accepted. At the same time, there should not be an iota of doubt whether the teacher is teaching correctly.

Example: A seven year old cannot believe that 5+1 could be equal to 8-2. At the same time, he should not reject the teacher's words. He should trust that the teacher would show how 5+1 and 8-2 are equal. He is puzzled and not blindly accepting the statement. Nor he dismisses that the statement is impossible since the teacher has told the statement.

Similarly, when the teacher teaches YOU ARE THAT, one should not blindly accept or reject such possibility. Apparently, we know that we are not God but the teacher is saying so. He should be right. We need to trust him fully and then ask the relationship to be explained with lots of curiosity. The curiosity in the relationship arises from the fact that we are personally involved in the equation unlike the example in the math equation.

One should continue to learn from the teacher until the central message of the Holy Scripture is clearly understood. There is only one central message in all the Holy Scriptures of the world. All religions convey the very same message because every scripture is talking about the same God. It is highly illogical to assume that there are multiple gods, one or more for each religion.

31. Reflecting on the teaching

While learning from the teacher one should depend on the teacher 100%. After crossing that step, one should start reflecting on the central theme of all the religions as taught by the teacher. Reflection involves validating the teaching with logic and personal experience. It is also essential to negate all other schools of thoughts and hold on to one central message. One should know why others are misled and remain at a lower level of truth.

During this step, one should depend on the teacher 50%. The remaining 50% of the effort should come from the personal understanding. Once we complete this step, we should not depend on the teacher at all. We should own up the knowledge and it belongs to us 100%

The very first logic one should use to validate the teaching from Holy Scripture is to question the reason for its existence. Suppose the scripture wants to teach that we are mortal and limited, we do not need the scriptures at all. We know it by our own experience. Only if the scriptures say something opposite, like we are immortal and complete, we have some learning to do.

Our experiences in the world have shaped our views on our true nature. When we hear that, our views are incorrect from an authority (our teacher) we should understand and correct our earlier conclusion.

Example: Based on our past knowledge of the sound, we assume an auto rickshaw has just arrived at our gate. However, when we open the gate we find an old scooter had arrived. On seeing it, we realize that it was sounding like an auto rickshaw. If we find it hard to believe, we can ask the person in the scooter to drive it (and verify the sound) to confirm that our earlier judgment is wrong.

Similarly, we are having a wrong view of ourselves. We need to enquire seriously and learn from the teacher our true nature. After learning, we should verify the truth from our own experience.

Logic is required to validate the knowledge from the scripture. Logic should not be applied to invent a concept. Worldly knowledge that is based on the five sense organs is insufficient to validate the truth revealed in the scriptures. We need to accept the scriptures as the only source for giving us the ultimate knowledge.

Firstly, one should listen to the teaching of scripture for a considerable length of time, from a competent teacher in systematic way. Then one should reflect on the teaching and assimilate the knowledge without any doubt in the mind.

The time taken for the whole process of listening and assimilating the knowledge will vary individual to individual depending on the mental maturity gained prior to the arrival at the teacher's place.

32. Inner transformation

The final step towards Joyful Living is called Inner Transformation. Once the knowledge is acquired, it should be made steady. Knowledge should be converted as emotional strength. This is the most difficult step since we have lived with the wrong notion for a length of time; it will take long practice to make the knowledge steady.

Following are some tips to make the process faster.

One should not talk/ listen anything concerning worldly affairs.
One should eat what is available without any concern on the taste.
One should not attempt to teach anything to anyone.
One should not argue with anyone on any topic.
One should drop the ego in all the words and deeds.
One should never take sides when caught up between two extreme views.
One should take the midpoint and not make a judgment on anyone.
One should not enjoy the love and affection shown by others
One should learn to live alone and be happy.
One should spend time on meditating on God and reflecting on Vedanta
In addition, one should engage in two type of meditation.

Generic Meditation: This involves allocating specific time to contemplate our essential nature of Ever Witnessing Joy and negating the world as illusion.
Specific Meditation: This varies person to person depending on the personal preferences. Our past actions determine our preferences, which influence our actions. Since these are based on the wrong knowledge, we will be driven to act on them involuntarily. We need to force ourselves to act on our new knowledge consciously. This requires our intelligence to guard our words and actions all the time. One should be aware of what one thinks, says and does all the time. This is living in meditation.

Both the types of meditation can be stopped once the Inner Transformation is completed. At this stage, one no longer has any doubt on the real nature.

Example: Even if we are called as donkey by everyone, we never get doubt that we are human being. We do not check in the mirror whether we are infact look like a donkey because we know for sure that we are not a donkey.

Such a sure knowledge is required to complete the process of Inner Transformation. Although everyone around treats us as human being all the time, we should be sure of our divine nature. Not for a moment, we should think that we are an ordinary mortal.

However, after sufficient practice it is possible to reach Joyful Living.

Destination

33. Glimpse of Joyful Living

The desires that arise in a person prior to reaching the destination arise out of a sense of incompleteness. A person is under the wrong impression that the fulfillment of the desire will make him complete. Fulfillment of such desires will invariably lead to another desire. Like cancerous cells, desires keep multiplying. The person loses his identity in the mass of such desires.

Even after reaching the destination, due to the inbuilt imprints/ preferences, one continues to get desires. However, such desires come along with a sense of completeness. Such desires do not have a selfish end. The objective of such desires will only be to serve the humanity/ world. It is an expression of healthy mind.

Desires of a person, who is living joyfully, can be called as the wish of God. God influence and guide the world through the wishes of the enlightened persons.

Even after gaining the ultimate knowledge, the fructification of the past results will continue to happen. This means the pairs of opposites will continue to swing in the life of an enlightened person as it does for others. However, since the ego is no longer present, there is no one to enjoy or suffer.

Example: The harrowing dream experience does not affect the waker. It can affect only the dreamer. Since the dreamer is no longer available, the experience has no locus.

Similarly, after enlightenment, a person knows that he is independent of his mind and body. Therefore, the suffering of the body and mind does not affect him.

34. Summary

This universe has come about merely for the sake of enjoyment. The only destination of all the human beings is Joyful Living, enjoying the pleasures offered by the universe without any sufferings/ sorrow. Every living being is destined to reach this destination. However, the Path to Joyful Living consists of many steps. All the human beings on the earth are progressing in the path at various stages. In the meanwhile, they helplessly oscillate between pleasure and pain as dictated by their environment.

The path can be divided broadly in four stages. Everyone will go through all these four stages. The journey is not affected by death. The progress report is carried along with us on death, and we continue our journey in a new body.

In every life, we go through all these four stages, however, our progress will be faster and in the right direction based on the progress made in the previous birth.

Stage 1: Learning to live (Plan) - This stage consists of understanding the destination and the path. Everyone will select Joyful Living as the destination, but the clarity in the destination and path will largely depend on the progress already made in the previous births. Depending on the mental maturity, one may decide to work for name, fame, wealth, power, position, people, love, friendship or work for god or society.

Stage 2: Working for Mental maturity (Progress) - This stage consists of implementing the plan. One starts a business or engages in a profession, gets married, start a family in line with the plan. However, the goal (unknown to the traveler) of this stage is to gain the mental maturity. The perceived progress in the path depends on the accumulated results of the past actions (carried out in this birth or during the countless previous births)

Stage 3: Withdrawing for Mental focus (Review/ feedback) - After progressing for sufficiently long distance, one realizes the futility of the travel in reaching the ultimate goal. While traveling in a forest, the moment we realize that we are lost, the first thing we do is to stop. Similarly, at this stage one stops and review the progress made. After the review, one may decide to continue the journey in the same path or choose alternative paths depending on the level of mental maturity gained in the stage 2. During this stage, the mind develops deeper insights on life. Eventfully, one finds the right path.

Stage 4: Learning the ultimate knowledge (On the right path) - This is the only path to Joyful Living. Nevertheless, one has to cross the previous three stages (by traveling in 'wrong' paths) for gaining the required mental maturity and focus to receive the ultimate knowledge.

Once this learning is complete, the destination, Joyful Living is reached.

35. Summary - Stage I

Joyful Living comes through correcting the mind and not by correcting the world. Without this knowledge, we spend all our effort and time in changing the world around us.

We do not see any difference between the position of a cave man that lived thousands of years back and our position. He went out for hunting (to fulfill his hunger) and when he caught a pry, he came back to the cave with full satisfaction. Soon he will have to come out of the cave again looking for food. Similarly, we spend enormous time and effort to earn money. However, just like the cave man whatever we earn does not seem to last long. We are continuously on a wild goose chase. Infact our position is worse than that of the cave dwellers because relatively we are poorer than our distant cousin is. In his time, there were two classes of people. Who ate and who did not eat. Now our yardstick does not have an end. Comparing the ever growing economic status of the rich and famous, most of us are nowhere in the scale. Therefore, our level of dissatisfaction is much higher.

If we do not extrapolate the future, based on this history, we will continue to hope that science and technology will bring us the solution. A child is fed with such thoughts. Without the conscious decision of the child, it is pushed into the economic rat race. There are two sides to this education/ learning. One is to make the child competent to contribute to the science and technology (which will make the world a place for Joyful Living) and the second is to make the child eligible to earn enough money to pay for Joyful Living.

Since most of the world's population is engaged in such a struggle, one does not generally pass to think, whether it is the right thing to do. However, based on the experience gained in the previous births, eventually, one starts thinking about the fruitfulness of such effort. One wonders if the riches and power can ever lead to Joyful Living.

If one still thinks that economic progress is very important for Joyful Living, one should continue to work for it. One should not abandon the work. Since the success made so far in life has not taken us closer to Joyful Living, one should bring a change in the attitude. While the time and effort spent is towards earning name, fame, wealth, power, position, people etc, one should keep the goal as 'mental maturity'.

If we are able to do this, then slowly we will reduce our likes and dislikes, which will make our mind more matured.

Eventually we will see the inadequacy of material progress in leading us to Joyful Living and take appropriate steps towards the next stage.

36. Summary - Stage II

At some point of our life, we will realize a vacuum inside us. Inspite of all the time and effort spent in working at different capacities, with all the money, power and position we have gained, there seems to be a feeling of inadequacy lingering somewhere deep in our heart.

Therefore, we continuously collect data (by reading books, discuss with friends, attend discourses etc) and process the information to gain more knowledge. After gaining the knowledge, we should reflect on the knowledge and come to specific conclusion. It is essential that we put our knowledge into action.

For example, we collect enough data and we conclude that will do many good to us if we rise from the bed early in the morning. This is new knowledge should be put into practice. We should start getting up early in the morning. It may be difficult to start with. We need strong will power to continue the practice. If we are convinced about our knowledge, we can make this as our habit. It will be a pleasure to rise early in the morning. This is only an example. Everyone should progress as a better human being according to his or her own learning/ understanding of the world. Such growth will reflect in the growth in the professional environment and one will grow in social stature.

If we do not have a joyful living even now, then it should be due to the inadequacy of our mind. We need to work on our mind to gain joyful living. The work we have done in the external world is more than sufficient in giving comforts to us. If we are not satisfied with the level of comforts, we can always work for more comforts. Our priority at this moment lies in correcting our mind.

This can come about doing our work with a different attitude.

We need to dedicate all the work to God as offering. Whatever work one is doing regularly should be done as a service to God. If one has to do this way, obviously it should be done perfectly to one's complete satisfaction. There cannot be any deficiency in the quality of our offerings to God. Thus, doing every work perfectly is the worship to God and such worship is highly required to make the mind fit.

Businesspersons shall do the business as if the business is done for the sake of God. This does not mean profit is not important. Profit is not sole objective.

Piety means trusting God that he is just and will somehow grant us the results that are due to us. What type of work we do is not important but the attitude is important. If we could successfully carry our daily duties to the best of our abilities, without having any anxiety on the results, then our mind will be matured enough to progress to the next stage.

Proficiency is the gift God has given us. Productivity is the return gift to God.

37. Summary - Stage III

The mind feels occasional fulfillment, which is of temporary nature. After enjoying such temporary fulfillment, we work for repetition of the same experience. We think it is possible to enhance this temporary fulfillment into a permanent one. This will not work. All object dependent fulfillment is transitory and temporary.

Therefore, one should stop working on the environment and start working on the mind. However, we can do this only when we complete the first two stages. Like in any journey, the steps are to be followed logically. One cannot juggle the steps according to their convenience.

Example: Skiing blades can be worn just before one steps on the ice and not when boarding the plane.

Thus in the initial part of the journey one should work hard for material prosperity. Only when the mind is sufficiently matured it can see the inadequacy of the material progress as a fact. When this happens, one should progressively quit working in the external environment. One should be ready to lose any material possession without a tinge of sorrow, since it is not required for Joyful Living.

One should put all the effort and time in focusing the matured mind. Proper alignment of the personality is the purpose of the goal of this stage. One should maintain the hierarchy with respect to the human personality.

Step 1: Discipline the thoughts: The wavering thoughts in the mind should be trained to be under the control of intelligence.

Step 2: Discipline the senses: The pull by the sense organs towards sense pleasures should be controlled by the mind.

Step 3: Withdraw the mind: The mind should be withdrawn from the world. It should not be distracted with the events, places, and people. Instead, it should focus on aligning the internal personality.

Step 4: Develop forbearance and fortitude: One should learn to live under any external conditions. This is the result of putting the knowledge (that the external environment does not affect our happiness in any way) into practice.

Step 5: Develop faith in the scripture and the teacher: The ultimate knowledge can come from the Holy Scripture and one needs the guidance of the right teacher to gain the knowledge.

Step 6: Attain non-wavering mind: When the personality is fully aligned through the above steps, it fill be ready to receive the knowledge. One will have complete dedication and confidence to move into the final stage.

38. Summary - Stage IV

Majority of the people are striving towards changing the environment so that one can live happily. After gaining experience in the first three stages, one is fully convinced that the solution lies in gaining self-knowledge or knowledge about the God or knowledge about this world. Such knowledge cannot be gained either through our five sense perceptions or through logic.

The only source of such knowledge is Holy Scripture. In addition, it is not possible to understand the Holy Scripture without the appropriate guidance of a competent teacher. This is true for any knowledge. Without the guidance, any knowledge is difficult and time consuming to achieve.

Example: If we want to locate a place in Anna Nagar, one can spend hours going around the place OR one can choose to ask for guidance and reach the location with less time and energy.

Similarly, one will need to surrender to a teacher to gain self-knowledge. It will be an exception to gain this independently

Example: Ramanuja has learnt math on his own. Therefore, we can stop teaching math in school so that every one can learn on their own.

This does not work. One has to have a teacher to gain knowledge. The trust in the teacher should be absolute. However, it is essential to employ logic and the personal experience to validate the truth revealed by the teacher. If there is a mismatch, one should work harder to understand the truth and not doubt either the teacher or the scripture.

Step 1: Inquiry (Understanding the central message of the Holy Scriptures)

This comes only by studying systematically and consistently for a long period under the guidance of a live teacher. Student depends on the teacher completely

Step 2: Introspection (Validating the central message with logic and experience)

In this step, the responsibility shifts partly from the teacher to the student. Student should do self-study, apply logic, discuss, debate and validate the central message with the experience in life. This step lasts until there is perfect clarity on what the central message conveys.

Step 3: Introspection (Making the knowledge steady)

For a long time one has lived under the spell of wrong knowledge. It will take a while to make the knowledge steady. In this step, one becomes completely independent of the teacher and it ends with Joyful Living.

39. Conclusion

The entire life is a journey that takes us to our ultimate destination, namely, Joyful Living. This is possible only when we know our real nature is consciousness, eternal and happiness. However, we are under the spell of wrong knowledge thinking that we are a body-mind complex.

Initial stages of the journey, prepares our mind to receive this ultimate teaching. During these stages, it is suggested that we work for material gain. We accept this suggestion since it is in line with our wrong knowledge. It is also suggested that we earn name, fame, wealth, power, position, people etc in the RIGHT way.

Example: Sugar coated pill will work even if we do not disclose the ingredients

A child takes the sugarcoated pill for tasting sugar; the ingredients will cure the illness. Similarly, even if we start working for material prosperity, we will automatically develop discretion (to know the real from the false) which will also give us dispassion (moving away from material progress) and deep desire (to gain the ultimate knowledge).

Such a matured mind is eligible to receive the ultimate knowledge that our real nature is Ever Witnessing Joy.

We do not have to wait for any great good news to arrive to make our day wonderful. The mere sunrise will feed our mind it will be fulfilled all the time.

Surely bad things will continue to happen in the world. It is the nature of the world to be oscillating between the pairs of opposites. Nevertheless, since our mind is fulfilled all the time, the external pain and pleasure will not have any impact on us.

Example: It is like riding a vehicle two feet above the ground. The smoothness or the vicissitudes of the road will have no impact on our movement.

Once the knowledge gained become steady we will lead a Joyful Living.

Exercise:

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Life
1. Why should we take a bird's eye view of our life?
2. Name atleast four pairs of opposites.
3. Is it possible for us to influence the oscillation of the pairs?
4. What is described by the cow tied to the pole example?
5. Why do we require a course correction in life?

Chapter 2 - Introduction to Joyful Living
1. What is Joyful Living?
2. Is it possible to live a Joyful/ Sorrowless life forever?
3. Why Joyful Living cannot be brought about science and technology?
4. Enlightenment is known as Joyful Living. True or False
5. What is the central theme of all religions?

Chapter 3 - Introduction to Path to Joyful Living
1. Is it required to understand this book to live joyfully?
2. Is it enough to understand this book to live joyfully?
3. What is the advantage of reaching the destination quickly?
4. Who will find this book interesting to read?
5. What is your ultimate destination?

Chapter 4 - Introduction to the Role of our mind
1. Why is it not possible to make the world perfect?
2. How will you become happy (forever?)
3. Can we lead a joyful living without attempting to change the world?
4. Explain the relationship between comforts and happiness in life.
5. Why do people are chasing their goals?

Chapter 5 - Introduction to the nature of our mind
1. Explain the similarities between the mind and our stomach.
2. Explain the difference between the words Gross and Subtle.
3. Explain how (and why) to earn the love of others.
4. Explain the process of converting an information into knowledge
5. What is compared to a bottomless pot and why?

Chapter 6 - Introduction to the solution
1. How to make the life Joyful?
2. What does right knowledge means?
3. What is the process of converting a information into knowledge?
4. We need to get _______, conduct an _______, gain the _______ and then live a _________.
5. What is the immediate next step for you?

Chapter 7 - Understanding Desires.
1. Desire is the driving force behind the power to _____ and power to _____
2. What are the limitations to your power to desire?
3. What does the chocolate-currency example signify?
4. Why we do not desire for gaining self-knowledge?
5. What is the problem with the desire for worldly objects?

Chapter 8 - Understanding the role of God
1. Why should we believe in God?
2. Can we say both believers and non-believers are same?
3. Can we know God now?
4. Divide these names in two equal groups. Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Brhama, Jesus and Allah. Give your logic for such grouping.
5. Give your personal comments and believes on God.

Chapter 9 - Understanding the cause and effect relationship
1. More effort will yield proportionately more results. True or False?
2. Who alone is responsible for putting the effort?
3. Who alone is responsible for getting the result?
4. What are all the causes for differences among the human beings?
5. What is meant by transparency in this context?

Chapter 10 - Understanding the purpose of doing work
1. Why should we go to work?
2. ______ is the gift from God. ______ is the return gift by us.
3. Explain the recommended attitude while doing the work.
4. List the advantages of doing the work with the recommended attitude.
5. How to make the mind matured?

Chapter 11 - Understanding the rights and duties relationship
1. What sort of attitude is recommended with respect to rights and duties?
2. Why do some people not do their duties properly?
3. What is the immediate advantage of not emphasizing on the rights?
4. What does God do about the inadequate compensation for our duties?
5. Why should we do our duties without emphasizing on the rights?

Chapter 12 - Dynamic starting point
1. Is it possible for you to reach Joyful Living in this birth?
2. How will you ascertain your starting point, in the path?
3. Why there are different starting points in the path?
4. How will you estimate the steps that are already crossed by you?
5. Name few, who are going in circle and not making any progress.

Chapter 13 - Overview of the path
1. Does everyone know what is good and bad?
2. What will happen if we are not righteous?
3. Should we earn money to reach Joyful Living?
4. Describe the objectives in the journey in the first three phases.
5. What is the final requirement to reach Joyful Living?
6. Explain the feeling of inadequacy and the reason for its occurance.

Chapter 14 - Physical fitness
1. What are the two requirements for physical fitness?
2. Why physical fitness is important?
3. What is the right age for starting the physical exercise?
4. The tenant of the house is compared with which body and why?
5. We need to protect the health of our physical body using our _____ and _____ _____.

Chapter 15 - Mental fitness
1. Name few mental diseases mentioned in the chapter.
2. Is it possible to live completely free of such mental diseases?
3. Why should we avoid going to clubs and pubs?
4. What are the suggestions made to improve the mental fitness?
5. Mental fitness is normally judged by _______ and ______

Chapter 16 - Minimum qualification
1. What is the minimum qualification required to progress towards Joyful Living?
2. Action includes ______, _______ and ________
3. List few of the Good Actions
4. List few of the Bad Actions
5. Why we should not do bad actions even if it leads to good results?

Chapter 17 - Initial Enquiry
1. Entire human race is working for ____ ____, _____ _____ and ____ ___
2. Why do we make the mistake of following the majority?
3. The reason for not making enquiry is we are ____ of our path.
4. Being with the majority or being on the right path - Which is more important to YOU?
5. Do you like to question everything or accept whatever is told to you? (Have you ever asked anyone who created the earth and got the answer that is convincing to you?)

Chapter 18 - Initial action
1. We will start the enquiry when we are ______ of the path.
2. To follow spiritual path we need to do ____ action but with different ____.
3. Explain the example of the man rowing boat without removing the anchor.
4. How can one work for mental maturity?
5. Explain the concept of "Levels of truth"

Chapter 19 - Earning and spending money
1. Which is more important, earning or spending?
2. List the five benefits that come from spending money.
3. Why should we not donate money to God as a self-punishment for sins?
4. What is the meaning of accumulation of wealth?
5. The money should be spent on self, family, _____._____, _____ in that order.

Chapter 20 - Self-restriction / Penance
1. What are the purposes of religious penances?
2. What are the two types of penances?
3. Explain the bee example.
4. When joyful living is impossible?
5. Is it necessary to do penances in the name of God? Explain

Chapter 21 - Developing discrimination
1. What is the meaning of discrimination?
2. What are the two parts / offshoots of discrimination?
3. What is the basic requirement to gain discrimination?
4. Which object will give us complete ever-lasting satisfaction?
5. What are the two problems associated with the objects?

Chapter 22 - Developing dispassion
1. What is the meaning of the word 'dispassion'?
2. When we will develop dispassion?
3. What are the limitations of the external objects?
4. External objects are source of happiness. True or false
5. What is the training given to our mind so far?

Chapter 23 - Developing deep desire
1. What are the three pursuits listed in this chapter?
2. When will we turn our attention to know about the truth?
3. What is the meaning of deep desire in this context?
4. What is the purpose of developing deep desire?
5. Is it possible to know why and how the world came into existence?

Chapter 24 - Shift the focus from material to spiritual life
1. Expand PORT.
2. Why should we reduce PORT?
3. Explain PORT.

Chapter 25 - Restraining sense organs
1. What are the sources from which we gain knowledge?
2. We think of these as sources of happiness due to our _______.
3. What are the three distinct factors on which any experience depends?
4. Is it possible to derive happiness by denying an experience?
5. What is the upper limit before which we should give up sense pleasures?
6. What will happen if we do not give up sense pleasures?
7. What is the benefit of giving up sense pleasures?

Chapter 26 - Restraining Organs of Actions
1. What are the five organs of action?
2. In general, for what purpose we use the organs of action.
3. Explain the relationship between deeds, thoughts and words.
4. What is the concept of bunching up of good or bad actions?
5. We should use our ____ and ____ to restrain our organs of action from doing bad actions.
6. What are the two reasons to avoid bad actions?
7. Why should we replace a good action in place of a bad action?

Chapter 27 - Farewell to material pursuit
1. When will one be ready to bid farewell to material pursuit?
2. What is the necessity of bidding farewell to material pursuit?
3. Will one come back to material pursuit after reaching Joyful Living?
4. Explain the pony journey example.
5. Is it possible to gain experience by listening to other's experience?

Chapter 28 - Commencement of spiritual enquiry
1. What are the three steps required to reach Joyful Living?
2. How does one gain mental maturity/
3. Which is better and why? Self-Knowledge or Knowledge about God
4. Why do we need external help to know about ourselves?
5. What is the difference between an inert object and a living being?

Chapter 29 - Enquiry on the Holy Scripture
1. Explain the process of conducting an enquiry on the Holy Scripture.
2. What is the purpose of conducting an enquiry on the Holy Scripture?
3. Explain the lost spectacle example.
4. What are the two stages in reaching Joyful Living?
5. What is the basic requirement before attempting the enquiry?

Chapter 30 - Learning from a teacher
1. Why should one fall in the feet of the teacher?
2. _________ and _______ are required to learn from a teacher.
3. Explain why the 5+1 example is given
4. How long should one learn from a teacher?
5. What is the biggest obstacle for learning from a teacher?

Chapter 31 - Reflecting on the teaching
1. What is the purpose of doing the reflection?
2. Validation of the teaching should be done through ______ and ______
3. What is the process of doing reflection?
4. How knowledge can be erased?
5. Why we should not use logic to invent a concept?

Chapter 32 - Inner Transformation
1. What is the purpose of doing Inner Transformation?
2. List few tips given for Inner Transformation. Explain with reasons.
3. What are the two types of meditation involved in this process?

Chapter 33 - Glimpses of Joyful Living
1. What is the difference in the nature of desire prior to and after reaching Joyful Living?
2. Will there be any change in the environment after getting enlightenment?

Chapter 34 - Summary
1. What are the four stages in life in the journey to Joyful Living?
2. What is the purpose of the creation?

Chapter 35 - Summary Stage I
1. Why are people working to correct the world?
2. In what way we are different from a cave man.
3. What is the purpose of reviewing the history?

Chapter 36 - Summary - Stage II
1. What is meant by 'vacuum' in this chapter?
2. Is doing profitable business a non-spiritual activity?
3. What is the meaning of 'piety'? (as described in this chapter)

Chapter 37 - Summary - Stage III
1. Explain the Skiing blades example.
2. What are the six steps detailed in this chapter?

Chapter 38 - Summary - Stage IV
1. Explain the Anna Nagar example
2. Explain the Ramanuja Experience
3. What are the three steps in the journey of gaining knowledge?

Chapter 39 - Conclusion
1. Explain the example of riding a vehicle two feet above the ground.


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