Pre-requisites for Spiritual Progress:
In the long course of evolution towards liberation from re-births developing keen interest in the Spiritual Goal is the turning point. According to Vedanta the latter half of the Vedas, which deals with this subject, there are, four pre-requisites that a spiritual aspirant must fulfill to become eligible for realizing the goal. The primary requirement is the capacity to discriminate between the eternal and ephemeral. When it becomes clear that the self (Atman) is the eternal reality, the aspirant must develop detachment towards enjoyments of this world and that of heaven. Next is the position of control over the senses and the mind, enduring adversities of life with equanimity and finally, faith and conviction in the scriptures and the preceptor (GURU).
Spiritual knowledge cannot be gained by studying books on the subject. It is a state of being to be realized by sustained practice under the guidance of the GURU. So, every person has to make effort in this direction. It must become apparent that the joys and sorrows of close relations like spouse and children that afflict an individual because of his attachment to them. Actually should not affect him because each one has to reap the fruit of his karma. When this truth is understood then one can perform all actions as duty without expecting any thing in return. It will also become clear by constant reflection that the body with which one identifies is not under one’s control. It functions according to the karma, which has brought about its existence.
For living in the world it is important to see only the good in every situation but for spiritual progress. Just the opposite was true. Though these two are contradicting it is important to appreciate that what is true of worldly life is not so of spiritual life. It is necessary to learn to make this distinction, development and detachment so that one does not loose sight of the purpose and ultimate goal of human life.
The dream state may seem less real than the waking state but the dreamer reacts to it. Dreams can become true. Spiritually it is beneficial if one dreams of being initiated by a preceptor in a dream. The Ramayana states that Lakshmana was able to counter Indrajit’s missile in combat by a Mantra received in his dream.