The Stages of the Ascent
by Swami Krishnananda
- REALITY AS SOCIAL:
ARTHA; ADHIYAJNA; GAUNA ATMA; SOCIAL EGO AND INTELLECT.
- World History and Culture; The philosophy of History.
- The World Political Complex; Monarchy, Republic Capitalism, Socialism; The System of Law.
- The Social Groups, Institutions and Organisations Complex: Human Community and its Traditions, Customs, Manners, Beliefs.
- The Economic Complex: Production and Consumption of Food, Clothing, Shelter and Wealth in General.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- REALITY AS PERSONAL:
KAMA: ADHYATMA: MITHYA-ATMA: SENSES
- The Aesthetic Complex: Architecture, Scripture, Drawing, Painting, Music, Dance, Drama, Literature; The Nine Rhetorical and Aesthetic Tastes (Rasas).
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- The Biological Complex: Hunger, Thirst, Self-preservation; Greed for wealth and property; Physiology, Zoology and Botany.
- The Chemical Complex: To go with Biology.
- The Physical Complex: Bodily Individuality; Brute Consciousness hidden in Matter.
- The Split of the Universal into the Male and the Female: the Positive and Negative Forces of Nature.
- REALITY AS TRANSCENDENT:
ADHIDAIVA: THE DIVINE LAW: THE REGULATIVE LAW OF THE UNIVERSE
- The Traditional and Formalistic Religions of the World: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Sufism, Shintoism.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- THE PRACTICE OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE ASCENT TO THE INFINITE:
THE OUTWARD APPROACH:
THE TRANSCENDENT APPROACH:
- 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.
- Rise through the stages of the Bramacharin, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyasin: (Remedy for stages 8, 9, 10 above)
- 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.
- 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 INWARD APPROACH:
- 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.
- Tantra Sadhana: Vedachara, Vaishnavachara, Saivacharya, Dakshinachara, Vamachara, Siddhantachara, Kaulachara.
- 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.
- 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:
- The Yogavasishtha Doctrine of Universal Reality and Acosmism.
- The Absolutism of the Upanishads
- THE OBJECTS OF MEDITATION IN THE SYSTEMS OF THE ASCENT:
- The Astronomical Universe, inclusive of all objects and subjects, the Five elements, plants, animals and humans in their totality.
- 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.
- The Transfiguration of the Physical Universal into the Universal Consciousness in Universal Selfhood of Being.
- BRAHMAN THE ABSOLUTE.