The Stages of the Ascent
by Swami Krishnananda



  1. REALITY AS SOCIAL:
    ARTHA; ADHIYAJNA; GAUNA ATMA; SOCIAL EGO AND INTELLECT.
    1. World History and Culture; The philosophy of History.
    2. The World Political Complex; Monarchy, Republic Capitalism, Socialism; The System of Law.
    3. The Social Groups, Institutions and Organisations Complex: Human Community and its Traditions, Customs, Manners, Beliefs.
    4. The Economic Complex: Production and Consumption of Food, Clothing, Shelter and Wealth in General.
    5. The Ethical Complex: Kingdom of Ends; The Four Classes of Society and the Four Orders of Life; The Five Great Sacrifices (Panchamahayajnas); The Duty of Man to Man; The Five Yamas as regulative principles of society.
    6. The Compulsive Rationalisation and Moralisation of the need to recognise “others” as “subjects” like oneself, by means of social organisation, or what one calls, humanism.
    7. The Recognition that the desire to abolish the “other” is an expression of dependence on the “other” and one’s “aloneness” is thereby defeated; Insecurity because of the “others” also being subjects like oneself, who can treat oneself as an “object” in return and this destroy one’s “aloneness”.
  1. REALITY AS PERSONAL:
    KAMA: ADHYATMA: MITHYA-ATMA: SENSES
    1. The Aesthetic Complex: Architecture, Scripture, Drawing, Painting, Music, Dance, Drama, Literature; The Nine Rhetorical and Aesthetic Tastes (Rasas).
    2. The Psychoanalytical Complex: The Five Painful (Klishta) Vrittis; Self-reproduction by Sex, Self-esteem, Name, Fame, Power, Life-instinct as Libido; The Ten Desires as Seeking oneself in “another”; Freud, Adler, Jung, Patanjali, the Upanishads.
    3. The attribution of al change and process to “others” alone: The desire to destroy the “other” by actually consuming as in food, by love as in sex, by satellisation as in exercising power, and by actual destruction in hatred; The desire to abolish the independence of the “object” by physical or social love, or hatred in the instance of actual annihilation; Love for food, sex, children, relatives, friends, humanity; The desire to be “alone” for oneself is the reason behind all these attempts, for Consciousness cannot tolerate an “object”.
    4. The Psychological Complex: Personal Self-consciousness and Self-affirmation; The Five Painless (Aklishta) Vrittis; Body, Mind and Soul and their relationship; Manas, Chitta, Buddhi, Ahamkara, the Five Senses of Knowledge, the Five Organs of Action, the Five Pranas; Perception and is Implications; Patanjali and the Upanishads.
    5. The Biological Complex: Hunger, Thirst, Self-preservation; Greed for wealth and property; Physiology, Zoology and Botany.
    6. The Chemical Complex: To go with Biology.
    7. The Physical Complex: Bodily Individuality; Brute Consciousness hidden in Matter.
    8. The Split of the Universal into the Male and the Female: the Positive and Negative Forces of Nature.
  1. REALITY AS TRANSCENDENT:
    ADHIDAIVA: THE DIVINE LAW: THE REGULATIVE LAW OF THE UNIVERSE
    1. The Traditional and Formalistic Religions of the World: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Sufism, Shintoism.
    2. The Ideal of Humanity as laid down in the Valmiki Ramayana: Rama’s Life and Rule; the Cooperative Life of humanity with a conceptual blend of the social, personal, physical and the transcendent.
    3. The Epistemological Complex: Sensation, Perception, Cognition (Understanding), Intuition: Their Meaning in the Organic Structure of the Universe; Recognition of the Interrelatedness of the social, personal, physical and the transcendent.
  1. MOKSHA:
    THE UNIVERSAL ADHIBHUTA INCLUSIVE OF THE OBJECTS AND THE SUBJECTS OF ALL SPECIES: MUKHYA-ATMA: INTUITIVE INSIGHT: UNIVERSAL INTERRELATEDNESS OF EXISTENCE: THE FOUR CONFLICTS CAUSED BY THE SEPARATION OF GOD, WORLD, INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY.
    1. Tentative and Inadequate Attempts at Rise from the Finite to the Infinite: The Charvaka or Crass Materialism; Dialectical Materialism; Political Nationalism; Humanistic Naturalism; Existentialism; Scepticism; Agnosticism; Logical Empiricism; pragmatism; Realism-Idealism difference; Mimamsa; Vaiseshika; Nyaya; Samkhya.
    2. The Integral Approach: The Vedanta Philosophy and Practise: The Recognition that the social, personal, physical and the transcendent should not only stand coordinated in harmony but they are all, really, phases of One Being.
  1. THE PRACTICE OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE ASCENT TO THE INFINITE:
    THE OUTWARD APPROACH:
    1. The Conflict of the Individual with Society: Attempt at harmony by Concepts of Family, Community, Nation and World-Union, based on the Doctrine of Love for the Universe as a whole: The Theory and Practise of Karma Yoga.
    2. Rise through the stages of the Bramacharin, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyasin: (Remedy for stages 8, 9, 10 above)
    3. The Eighteen Stages of the Struggle of Life towards the Supreme Reality as delineated in the Eighteen Books of the Mahabharata: The Battle of the Universal Evolution of the Absolute.
    4. The Rise from Social Conflict to Universal Harmony as explained in the Bhagavadgita in the Eighteen Stages of its Chapters: See “The Struggle for Perfection”. (Remedy for stages 1 to 7 above)
    THE TRANSCENDENT APPROACH:
    1. The Theological Universe of Gods of Divinities: Pitris, Gandharvas, Celestials, Angels, Indra, Brihaspati, Prajapati as Ideals to be attained after Death; Ritualism, Symbolism, Animism, Polytheism, Hemotheism, Dualism, Monotheism, Monism; The Way of Devotion by Nine Modes and Five Attitudes.
    THE INWARD APPROACH:
    1. Tantra Sadhana: Vedachara, Vaishnavachara, Saivacharya, Dakshinachara, Vamachara, Siddhantachara, Kaulachara.
    2. The Way of Kundalini through the Seven Plexuses (Chakras).
      • Yama: Non-recognition of others as different from oneself.
      • Niyama: Personal Discipline for Health and Peace.
      • Asana: Contribution towards steadiness of Breath and Thought (Remedy for stages 13, 14 above).
      • Pranayama: Contribution towards steadiness of Thought (Remedy for stage 12 above).
      • Pratyahara: Non-recognition of objects as external to oneself (Remedy for stage 11 above).
      • Dharana: Fixing the Integrated Consciousness in the Universally Interrelated Being.
      • Dhyana: Continued Affirmation of Dharana.
      • Samadhi: Eight Stages of Samadhi: The three Transformations; Absorption of Consciousness in the Absolute-Being.
  1. THE DIVISION OF THE ABSOLUTE INTO THE PHYSICAL INDIVIDUAL, SOCIAL AND THE TRANSCENDENT, WITH RETENTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS OF THEIR ABSOLUTE BEING:
    THE UNIVERSAL APPROACH: THE WAY OF KNOWLEDGE:
    1. The Yogavasishtha Doctrine of Universal Reality and Acosmism.
    2. The Absolutism of the Upanishads
  1. THE OBJECTS OF MEDITATION IN THE SYSTEMS OF THE ASCENT:
    1.  The Astronomical Universe, inclusive of all objects and subjects, the Five elements, plants, animals and humans in their totality.
    2. The Universe of Molecules, Atoms, Electrons, Space-Time-Gravitation-Motion-Force, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Wave Mechanics, Relativity, Unified Field, Universal Ingression due to the Fallacy of Simple Location, Leading to the Principle: Know the Knower.
    3. The Transfiguration of the Physical Universal into the Universal Consciousness in Universal Selfhood of Being.
    4. BHULOKA
      BHUVARLOKA
      SVARLOKA
      MAHARLOKA
      TAPALOKA
      SATYALOKA
      BRAHMALOKA
      VIRAT
    5. HIRANYAGARBHA
    6. ISHVARA
    7. BRAHMAN THE ABSOLUTE.