Part 3. Requirements to study the Knowledge of the Self.
1. I (Adi Sankara) am composing this Athma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) for those who have
(a) Minimized their negative attitudes and tendencies; strengthened their noble thoughts and deeds through austere activities such as prayer, meditation, virtuous living, etc.
(b) that has resulted in their mental peace and tranquility where emotions are held in check, reflection and analysis is natural and ignorance is challenged through knowledge and learning;
(c) which in turn has created a calm contentment in their mind and hence the desires and agitations are held in check; and
(d) have become a sincere seeker wanting to liberate oneself from his/her self-imposed limitations and constraints in their personality.
These are the qualifications for those fit to study this Knowledge of the Self.
From birth through childhood, young age, adult life to our current age and experience we are born and brought up on the Cognitive side of the Self. Yet, in a large crowd some one calls out our name, many with the same name respond instinctively. The moment we acknowledge that there are many more with the same name we also realize they also have body, mind, experience, circumstances, etc. which we call as individual life. What unites all of us independent of our individual descriptions and circumstances? What unites us as individuals made of matter with all other matters known and conceivable on this earth and Universe? What unites us as individual living beings with all other living beings known and conceivable on this earth and Universe? What unites us as individuals with thoughts and feelings with all other thoughts and feelings known and conceivable on this earth and Universe? This process of inquiry is the true search for the Knowledge of the Self. Such inquiry requires a preparatory discipline and frame of mind as described above by Swami Adi Sankara.