Acharya Prashant (AP): Even before you go to the teacher, that is needed, the body must be such that it doesn’t fall off in the middle of a session, the senses must be such that they do not start wandering when the teacher is speaking, that kind of inner discipline needs to be cultivated even before you face the teacher. So that reverential attitude has to be there and then as you sit in front of the teacher you listen carefully and what you have listened must continue resonating in your mind the entire day, the entire week that is ‘Manana’, listening attentively is ‘Sravana’ and continuing the inner process of resonance or inner remembrance is ‘Manana’ and then there is ‘Nididhyāsana’.
Nididhyāsana is when the heard substance gives up its form in words and becomes your lifeblood, that is Nididhyāsana. As long as the inner processing is merely cerebral it is Manana and when the intaken substance becomes a silent continuous way of living with you that is Nididhyāsana. And then from that Nididhyāsana comes the perfect solution- ‘Samādhi’. These are the four classical stages that you will find repeated at many places- ‘Sravana’, ‘Manana’, ‘Nididhyāsana’, and ‘Samādhi’.
Something interesting for you. When we are discussing how the student gains Jñāna or knowledge then it proceeds in this order- ‘Sravana’, ‘Manana’, ‘Nididhyāsana’ and ‘Samādhi*’. When it comes to the teacher it proceeds in exactly the reverse order. The teacher starts from *Samādhi, lives his love for Truth, from that life come his thoughts, and finally, in front of the student, those thoughts are expressed as words. For the teacher, it is much more difficult than it is for the student. Because for the student it is an upward climb and upward climb is obviously difficult. Right? You are going up the hill so you listen to the teacher and then you rise a little up. And what are you doing then? You are chewing on his words. And what do you do then?
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Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More