Notes on Study Method (adhyayan vidhi)


“Study is the combined procedure of Listening, Reflection & Absorption of Meaning (Shravan, Manan, Nididhyasan)  “

  • ‘Reading’ is not ‘Understanding’. Reading is the first step to understanding. Logical analysis is a stage in understanding, but not understanding itself.
  • The time taken to complete our ‘Study’ is dependent on our priority for the same. It is a ‘circular-process’- from step 1 to 3 below. With any of the ‘later steps’ occurring, the previous ones increase in maturity.
  • Reality is progressively ‘understood’ in the following manner during the course of Study:
      1. Reading/Listening,[श्रवण]: – from having a glimpse of reality (hence makes sense)  – [bhaas-abhaas]
      1. Reflection on the meaning [मनन]: then semblance/discernment of reality (becomes apparent) – [abhaas]
      1. Absorption  [निदिध्यासन]: then certitude/perception of reality, (confirmed)  – [prateeti]
      1. Realization [अनुभव]:  finally, realization of reality as-it-is;


The following is indispensible for study (adhyayan) to be successful:

    • Systematic Study of the Literature with aim to understand reality (shaastra-adhyayan)
    • Self-Inspiration  (swa-prerana)
  • Evidence: A human who has this knowledge and lives it (pramaanikta)

The following is necessary for Study:

  • Conducive environment
  • Seva, and physical work

The following is useful for Study:

  • Sharing, conducting workshops, etc.


Study means deploying our ‘imagination-capacity’ (kalpanasheelta ka niyojan) or ‘paying attention’ for:

  • Literature Study-Practice (शास्त्राभ्यास)
  • (systematic study)of the Madhyasth Darshan Literature (shaastra-adhyayan) with aim to understanding reality leading to getting a ‘glimpse’ (sense) of reality [bhaas]
  • Contemplative Practice (साक्षात्काराभ्यास)
  • progressively goes through the 3 stages of study below
  • Behavioral Practice (व्यवहाराभ्यास)
  • Practice in living along with study: in accordance to the sense, intuition of the information received.Living with complementarity with humans and rest of nature[व्यव्हाराभ्यास, कर्माभ्यास].Living in-line with ‘social-law’; ‘intellectual-law’ & ‘natural-law’
  • Occupational/work Practice (कर्माभ्यास)

This practice results in the following progressive stages in study/understanding:

Stage#1) “Listening”: (shravan) [श्रवण, भास-आभास होना]:

  • Listening/ Glimpse
        • The “Ultimate Truth in the form of Coexistence” coming in Imagination.  forming an image, ‘imaging’). (अर्थ कल्पना में आना, चित्रण होना). Truth getting accepted in the form of the meaning of read and listened language. Information coming in memory with the ‘meaning’ & not just the ‘words’. ‘Listening’ is in the Self (conscious, jeevan), listening to the ‘meaning’, not just the words (hearing)
  • Having a semblance/discernment (apparence) of reality (abhaas).
    • Usage of logic for accordance of meaning, meaning getting clear in the form of an entity in existence and hence becoming in accordance with logic.
    • Systematic investigation: (shodh):- Probing, delving into the details and making inter-connections. Inquiring into the information which is in memory in the self: (not just in the books). Extracting the essential entities/realities to be understood and getting a semblance of their inter-relationships 
  • Self- Scrutiny, Examination of the activities in the Self (jeevan)
  • Stabilizing’ in the ‘required entities’ (realities) of ‘nyaya-dharma-satya’: (vaanchith vastu mein chitha-vritti sanyat hona)’:- Our Desires & thoughts are ‘established’ in the desired entities (realities). Desire to become an evidence (in understanding, living) oneself. (swayam pramaanit hone kee ichha)

Stage#2) Reflection:  (manan), [मनन, आभास पूरा होना ]: 

  • Completion of semblance/discernment (apparence) of reality (abhaas)- ‘Weighing’ or tulan on the basis of Justice-Religion-Truth or nyaya-dharma-satya is possible
  • ‘Convergence’: (shravan ke sarbhoot bhaag mein chitha-vritti kendribhoot hona) - Desires and thoughts converging/concentrating or centering onto the reality/entity to be known with aim of knowing the realities in ones right; bring them into ‘self-possession’.
  • Priority for reality (nyaya-dharm-satya or justice-religion-truth). Coming to the point of ‘I cannot live without this’. Minimal dependence on external inputs/books for information. Information has come into the Self, in Imaging/Chitran


Stage#3) Absorption-of-meaning, Preformation: (nididhyasan,  avdharna) [निदिध्यासन, अवधारणा]

      • Direct-identification of entity and getting certitude/perception, (vastu ka sakshatkaar, prateeti) [साक्षात्कार, प्रतीति].
  •  ‘Study-Comprehension’ or  ‘adhyayan-bodh’:  Assimilation of meaning & interrelationships in the Intellect (buddhi). Certainty of the meaning, of the entity or reality established. Credibility established, become firm. Reality understood is Definite, Continuous & Universal (nischit, nirantar, sarvbhoum)
  • Once the above has matured and complete, then this state is called avdharna or preformation

<‘Completion of Study” thus results in ‘preformation’  and ‘comprehension’ which then leads to>

Realization: (anubhav)

  • Occurs on completion of ‘Absorption’, or Nididhyasan, on reaching the stage of ‘Avdharna’ or ‘Adhyayan-Bodh/Comprehension’
  • Complete acceptance, knowledge of existential progression: coexistence, development-progression, development, awakening-progression & awakening
      • after Realization, living with Evidence, in Human-Consciousness, Awakened human [अनुभव प्रमाण, जागृति, मानव चेतना]


Note #1: Study is a process of ‘sequential progression’

  • “Study” consists of steps 1 through 3, which is a ‘circular-process’- from activities 1 to 3. The initial ‘round’ is step-wise, and with any of the ‘later activities’ occurring, the previous ones increase in maturity. [if manan (semblance) occurs, then the next round of shravan (glimpse) is quicker, if prateeti (certitude) occurs, then next round of shravan (glimpse) and semblance is quicker: this takes place until certitude is complete (sakshtakaar and adhyayan-bodh or ‘direct-identification’ & ‘study-comprehension’) ]
  • “Completion of Study” (adhyayan poora hona) is the stage of Preformation (avdharna) and after ‘avdharna’ is realization (anubhav)
  • Awakening or living with human-consciousness means realization, and living with its evidence (pramaan) as evidence of realization and evidence of behavior, with complete-humane conduct. (anubhav pramaan, vyawhaar pramaan, manveeyatapoorn aacharan)


  • Literature-Research, Listening (shravan) & Reflection (manan) take place as a combination of the jeevan-activities  of tasting-selecting; weighing-analyzing; and imaging
  • # Study requires usage of the perspectives of justice-religion-truth (nyaya-dharma-satya) in the activity of weighing (tulan) – paying attention to the changeless dimensions of reality.
  • Glimpse (bhaas) takes place in the combination of mun & vritti (and goes to chitran or imaging); Semblance (abhaas) takes place in the combination vritti- & chitta; Certitude (prateeti) takes place in the combination of buddhi & chitta; and realization takes place in the combination of buddhi & atma.
  • Direct identification of reality via sakshatkaar is the confirmation of the reality existing and certitude in buddhi is then its details (why it is, how it is). This keeps building up over a period of time, until sakshatkaar (direct-identification) & certitude of all realities to be understood has taken place (indicated by the aphorism: nyaya-dharma-satya**). Such completion of ‘study’/ adhyayan is the stage of preformation (avdharna).
  • [**Realities to be understand (‘desired entities’) have also been indicated in 5 aphorisms: coexistence, development-progression:development; awakening-progression; awakening, physical-chemical formation-deformation. In hindi: sahastitv-vikaskram:vikas, jagritikram-jagriti, bhoutik rasaynik rachna virachna]
  • Once sakshatkaar-certitude of an entity (reality) have taken place, there are no more doubts regarding that reality. It is now certain.
  • The above has to be explained, can be explained, only by a human who understands the above.

Definitions related to  ’Method of Study’

Hindi English Definition in English
श्रवण (shravan) Listening Activity (in the Self) that listens (sunane kee kriya)# Notes: Shravan or Listening, means to get a glimpse, bhaas
भास (bhaas) Glimpse (sense) The Ultimate Truth in the form of Coexistence coming in Imagination.Truth getting accepted in the form of the meaningof read and listened language.#Translator note: origin: from Latin sensus ‘faculty of feeling, thought, meaning’, from sentire ‘feel’. The verb dates from the mid 16th century
मनन (manan) Reflection ‘Desires and thoughts (chitta & vritti) getting restrained in the desired entities (vaanchit vastu) – in space (place of living, relationships) or ‘desh’ & in essence (truth) or ‘tatv’Desires and Thoughts (chitta and vritti) getting centralized (kendribhoot) in the ‘essential-part’ or the ‘desired-part’ of the entity (which we have ‘heard’, is in ‘shravan’,  in imaging, memory)* Translator notes: This particular definition is yet to find mention under the heading of ‘manana’ in the madhyasth-darshan literature.
आभास (abhaas) Semblance (Apparent) Language along with meaning getting accepted in the form of an entity/reality in existence. Usage of logic for accordance of meaning, meaning getting clear in the form of an entity in existence and hence becoming in accordance with logic.Ordinary acceptance of the ‘naturality’ of Truth
तर्क (tarka) Logic Bridge between expectation and possibility.Entire possibilities are: Actuality, Reality & Truth and their evidenceEvidence of essentiality is meaningful  when it is based on resolution, necessity, utility and purposefulness
प्रतीति (prateeti) Certitude Entity in the form of Coexistence coming in Comprehension, by a method that is in accordance with logicUnderstanding the meaning in the form of an entity (reality) in existence itself is Certitude# Notes: Certitude takes place in the buddhi (intellect). First sakshatkaar (identification of the reality) then, Certitude, resulting in Preformation (Comprehension), then Realization
अवधारणा (avdharna) Preformation Fortified Inference# Translator notes: synonyms: Substantiated, Strengthened Estimation: which can be relied upon, can be trusted. This activity takes place in buddhi (intellect) – and is the previous stage before realization (anubhava).
निदिध्यासन * (विगत से भिन्न अर्थ में है)(nididhyasan) Absorption-of-Meaning The establishment procedure of definite preformation is itself  absorption-of-meaning Realization only takes place after preformation# Translator Notes: This activity takes place in buddhi (intellect)
बोद्ध (bodh) Comprehension Decisive Acceptance (nischayatmak sweekriti)Natural Acceptance (sehaj-sweekriti)
अनुभव (anubhav) Realization, Experience  
अधिष्ठान (adishthan) Unchangeable Nucleus of the conscious unit, the Atma is unchangeable (adishthan)madhyasth-bal, madhyasth-shaktee, madhyasth-kriya
स्मरण (smaran) Memory Acceptance of words in accordance with completeness, activity of using words according to need
प्रयास Endeavour Definite program towards development and awakeningActivities carried out for accomplishment of the greater goal
अध्ययन (adhyayan) Study Study is a combined form of listening, reflection & absorption-of-meaning.Activities, Procedures and Endeavors made along with Memory, in the attestation of the unchangeable (fixed, adhishtan) and the illumination of realization.


– Download a tabular representation of the activities in the Self and the placement of the study activities in them here

– Student Article: Important sutras and terms related to Adhyayan, in addition to Adhyayan Bindu (अध्ययन संबंधी मुख्य सूत्र, अध्ययन बिंदु के अतिरिक्त). Read here

– Student article: on pointers, etc in Study/ Adhyayan (अध्ययन संबंधी स्पष्टीकरण, बाधाएं पर विद्यार्थी लेख). Read here.

  • shriram n, student, january 2013