This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
               Title   -  Sadhak and Sathi
               Author  -  Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)

      CHAPTER - 10



      Study of Self is a basic necessity in various stages of spiritual
      progress (Sadhana).  It is incomparable and indispensable.  It
      yields immediate reward and is considered to be the guide to all
      other means.  All the preceptors of various schools of
      philosophy in the world, have accepted its unique importance.
      Each one of them has given it its due place in the methods of
      Sadhana propounded by them.

      Looking from the absolute point of view, the fruit of engaging
      in self-studying is self-realization.  To obtain the benefits of
      self-study, association with another self-realized soul, or the
      following of his spiritual instructions, is necessary.  Three
      stages can be considered in the development of the Sadhana of

         1. Obtaining time for study.

         2. Careful study of scriptures.

         3. Attainment of the supreme state of self-study, by
            continuously practicing contemplation of the acquired

      In the first stage, the aspirant requires contact with the noble
      and learned persons.  If he is firmly convinced that he wants to
      indulge in self-study, he will spare an hour or two from his
      busy life from business or service or domestic work.  He should
      then put his efforts into the acquirement of knowledge in this
      spare time, and gradually go on creating greater and greater
      leisure by resorting to a secluded life and create more and more
      interest in advancing his scriptural studies.

      In the second-stage, study of good scriptures means those that
      lead to higher spiritual knowledge.  If one studies the
      scriptures in the proper order, as laid down by the experienced
      and the learned saints, greater benefit will be derived.

      During the course of this study, one can constantly or
      occasionally stay in an Ashram with learned saints.  He can also
      strengthen his knowledge by reading, writing, thinking,
      memorizing, pondering, and discussing with others.  These
      different methods of studies, when combined harmoniously with
      success and joy, lead to great advancement of knowledge in a
      short time.  As the knowledge acquired in this way is
      methodical, purposeful, useful, and blissful, and again, because
      it has been acquired in the presence of and under the guidance
      of some enlightened saint, it leads the aspirant to a great
      height of spiritual progress in a very short time.

      In the third and the last stage, further progress is required to
      be made by practicing in life the principles, which have been
      learned so far.  This leads to the experience and conviction
      that the soul (Atma) is a pure consciousness, and its nature is
      truth, knowledge and bliss (Sacchidananda).  Once this happens,
      all impure and sorrowful thoughts are gone.  The aspirant
      realizes that passion (Kama), anger (Krodha), and infatuation
      (Moha) are doors to hell, he cultivates the virtues of
      non-attachment, forgiveness and contentment.

      Whether in worldly activities such as bathing, taking food,
      business, and other exchanges, family relations and their
      problems.  Or in spiritual activities such as devotion,
      association with saintly persons, self-study, worship, daily
      spiritual activity, meditation, and so on the routine of the
      continued divine awareness should be cultivated.  The feeling
      that I am "Sadhaka Atma" should be persevered with such
      intentness that life becomes remolded and the fragrance of
      virtues spreads in each activity of our life, and our entire
      life becomes propitious to ourselves as also to others.

      If we could accomplish this successfully, self-knowledge
      (Atma-jnana), self-meditation (Atma-Samadhi) and self-joyfulness
      (Atma-ananda) will surely manifest themselves, because of the
      principle that the appropriate causes having been provided the
      invariable association must manifest.


      1. We cannot make headway on the path of salvation without
         knowing what it is.  We must therefore know the path through
         the sermons of a learned preceptor or through the study of
         the sublime scriptures.

      2. True renunciation (Tyaga) is not possible without a proper
         understanding of what is to be given up and what is to be

      3. Real compassion cannot be actually practiced without proper
         knowledge.  Knowledge is therefore a forerunner of the
         practice of real compassion.

      4. In this world of ours nothing is more sacred than knowledge.

      5. Acquisition of the best of things is not possible without
         best efforts.  Hence with a firm determination, a person must
         constantly cultivate the vow of self-study (Svadhyaya).  He
         should not give up self-study in spite of difficulties, only
         such a noble and great aspirant attains to an established
         state of self-study (Svadhyaya).

      6. By following this method and also by constantly engaging in
         study, one attains to concentration in Svadhyaya.  Self
         realization and equanimity of the soul dawn on their own in
         this very life as the reward par excellence of Svadhyaya.

      7. Indulgence in self-study reveals countless virtues.  One
         becomes conscious about truth and untruth; intellect dawns;
         doubts are set at rest; the grasp of Reality dawns; the habit
         to resort to illogical attitudes leaves the mind.  The fame
         of such a aspirant spreads far and wide.

      8. Pride, anger, negligence, disease, and laziness are the five
         obstacles in the acquirement of knowledge (Vidya).  With
         diligence and care, the aspirant should avoid these and exert
         constant efforts to acquire knowledge.

      9. Just as humility is essential for acquisition of knowledge,
         similarly even after knowledge is acquired, it shines forth
         only through humility.  A really learned person is always
         humble and ever continues to be so.



      About 150 years ago, Maharaja (king) Jagatesh of Jaipur, of the
      state of Rajasthan, India, who was very just, impartial and
      devoted to the service of his people.  Many educated scholars
      visited his court and were duly honored.  One of his ministers
      was Shri Jaichand Chhavda, a scholar of great merit.  He had a
      son name Nandlalji, who was also working for the state.  Both
      father and son were very famous and high ranking scholars.
      Their knowledge of the scriptures was shining forth with their
      spiritual Sadhana.  They had contributed uniquely by translating
      Jain scriptures in old Hindi Language.

      Once, a great scholar (pundit), who had defeated many other
      scholars in different parts of India, arrived at Jaipur and made
      the following announcement, "If nobody enters into a discussion
      on the meaning of scriptures (Shastras) with me within five
      days, I shall take myself as victorious over all in this city
      and the state."

      The king was puzzled, no scholar in the city came forward to
      enter into discussion with this outsider.  On the advice of
      some, the Maharaja approached Shri Jaichand and requested him to
      save the prestige of the state.  Shri Jaichand sent his son
      Nandlal for discussion with the Pundit.

      Nandlal defeated the pundit easily.  The King decided to honor
      the father and the son in public.  On learning this, Shri
      Jaichand told the Maharaja, "I do not believe in disputation but
      I arranged this dialogue on the scriptures (Shastras) only to
      save the prestige of the state.  I do not need any certificate
      of honor.  If you are really pleased with me, please release me
      two hours earlier from my duties to the state.  This will enable
      me to devote more time to my spiritual progress and study of
      authentic scriptures (Shastras), so that I can make my life more

      He was a real Pundit.  His detachment and indulgence in self-
      study prove that he was a man of great spiritual heights.  Let
      us give honor to this great man Shri Jaichand Chhavda!


      In the 18th century, after finishing his studies in Logic and
      Philosophy, Pundit Shri Ramnath settled near a town called
      Navadwip in the state of Bengal, India.  He taught students
      religion and literature.  He did not accept any salary or other
      benefits from the state.  One day his wife told him that she had
      no wheat flour to make bread (Chapatis).  He replied, "Cook
      whatever is available in the house."  She cooked rice and boiled
      tamarind leaves.  He praised how delicious the meal was.

      Maharaja Shivachandra of Krishnanagar had heard about this great
      Pundit and his economic condition; and had invited him to the
      palace.  But Punditji never visited.  At last the king visited
      and inquired, "Punditji, do you have any inconvenience?  Is
      there any way I can be helpful to you or your family or deliver
      household goods?"

      Pundit answered, "As far as my household goods are concerned,
      inquire with my wife!"

      The king went in the house, bowed to the lady and inquired the
      same way adding he will consider himself lucky to supplement any
      need.  The lady in a very dignified way indicated, that their
      needs were more or less met with.  The king bowed to this
      detached personality of the lady and left.  The next day he sent
      various items to the family but they returned everything except
      provision for three days.  The king and the citizens worshipped
      the couple in their hearts.


      In 1927, at a farewell function at Kashi University, the
      Professor of Logic inquired of all graduating students, "What do
      you aim of your life?"

      Someone wanted to become a Judge, someone else a college
      professor, or a principal etc.  However, when it was the turn of
      Sumeruchandra Diwakar, he replied, "The ultimate goal of my life
      is to attain godliness".

      The professor said, "Look, how high the goal of life is of this
      Jain student!  His feeling is that spiritual attainment is more
      blissful than worldly status!"

      The inspiring words of the professor had a magical effect on the
      minds of the students.

      Shri Sumeruchandra is today a life-long celibate, busy in the
      devotion of the Goddess of Learning.  He has propagated the
      Aryan (traditional Hindu) culture and the Jain religion
      (Dharma) in many countries.

      Even today, at the age of 72, he is busy in studying the
      scriptures and has written many authentic and scholarly books
      and articles.  Some time back Justice Dwivedi sought the meaning
      of the word "JAIN" from him and he replied, "A `JAIN' is one who
      is endowed with the following virtues:

      J = Just - he loves justness

      A = Affectionate - he is really affectionate

      I = Introspective - he is the tester of his inner-self

      N = Noble - his dealings are always noble.

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