(Swami Jnananda Bharathi)
First one should develop strong faith in Iswara. Then let him perform karma (as per Dharma) with desire for pleasure here and hereafter (Swarga etc.). Then realizing the impermanence of these pleasures, he attains gradually a state without such desires. As he develops sufficient maturity to discriminate between eternal and ephemeral, he develops keen desire for Brahma jnanam.
One of the first requirements for a person to start on path of acquiring Athma Jnanam is to develop aasthikya buddhi. Aasthikya buddhi is having strong faith in Iswara and in scriptures. With aasthikya buddhi one must lead a dharmic life performing all nithya, naimithika, prayaschitha karmas as stated in the earlier part of Vedas avoiding nishiddha, papa karmas listed in the Vedas. These can be done in the beginning for worldly pleasures and for enjoyments in other world after death. This will lead to a stage where he realizes the transient nature of these pleasures and reaches a state where he frees himself of such desires, developing vairagyam towards them. As vairagyam grows, his vivekam and desire for Brahma Jnanam also also grows.
Malam and Vikshepam are the two obstacles in the way of attaining Jnanam. First, these two have to be uprooted as they are obstacles in mind. He who performs action without having any expectations [concerning fruits of action] is freed from Malam. Then for attaining good mental concentration, he should perform Nishkama upasana.
Malam and Vikshepam are the two obstacles a mumukshu has to overcome for attaining Jnana Yogyatha, fitness for assimilating the Jnanam. The six qualities; kama, krodha, lobha, moha, madha and matsarya constitute Malam. Karma yoga is the sadhana for getting rid of Malam and attaining chitha suddhi, purity of mind. Vikshepa is the result of extrovertedness and nishkama upasana is the sadhana for disciplining the restless mind and acquiring chitha ekagratha, single pointed focus of mind. The pure, focused mind makes one Jnana yogyaha.
After gaining a pure mind through Karma (yoga) and Upasana (yoga), one has to follow the scriptural injunctions and serve a perfect guru to attain self-knowledge. Then from him, he should listen about higher knowledge and reflect on it for removing all doubts. Practice meditation on the clear (doubt-free) knowledge and when established and steady in the Jnanam will attain eternal peace.
With chitha suddhi and chitha ekagratha the sadhaka has now a mature mind fit for engaging in Vedanta vichara. He should then approach a guru who is strotriya, well-versed in sastras, and Brahma nishta, one who is established in the knowledge “Aham Brahmasmi”. The sadhaka should serve the guru and seek Brahma Vidya from him. Sastras are the pramana for the knowledge of Brahman which knowledge will transport one to the goal of Nithyananda sukham. Serving the guru with sraddha helps to get rid of one's Ahamkara, which step is necessary to get established in the knowledge when he acquires it. Vedantic study consists of three levels: sravanam, mananam, nidhidhyäsanam, in that order. One has to go through all of them one by one gradually. Sravanam Implies continuous, systematic listening with sraddha to the exposition of the Upanishads by the guru to arrive at the central teaching of the Upanishads. During listening many doubts will arise. Mananam is the doubt removal process and this is done through questions to the Guru, discussion with fellow sadhakas and self-contemplation. When sravanam and mananam are successfully completed one has doubt free knowledge of Self as given in Upanishads but this knowledge has to be assimilated and internalised to reap fully the benefit of this knowledge. The process of assimilation and internalisation is achieved through Vedantic meditation and is called Nitidyasanam. When the doubt free correct knowledge is internalised one will be established in the advaitic Jnanam described in verse 4 and enjoy the eternal peace and joy, the goal of nithyananda sukham.
Even after gaining knowledge about Brahman, one has to attain vasana kshaya and mano-nasa gradually. After this, even though he lives in the world he will always be happy with himself, as jivan muktha. When prarabdha karma is exhausted, and his physical body is dead, he attains liberation. He merges with the attribute-less, limitless and highest satchithananda Brahman.
When a sadhaka goes through sravanam and mananam diligently he acquires clearly Athma Jnanam, no doubt. If as a sadhana chathushtaya sampanna adhikari he had gone through sravanam and mananam he would be ego-free and it is easy for him to assimilate that he is Brahman only with the upadhi of body-mind complex. If one has not imbibed sadhana chathushtaya sampathi before acquiring the Athma Jnanam, one has a two-fold task to accomplish as he engages in Nitidyasanam to internalize the Athma Jnanam and attain purnatvam. They are as given here, Vasana kshaya and Mano nasa. Vasana kshaya here means Durvasana kshaya as not all vasanas can be destroyed while still alive. Asuri sampath, described in the 16th chapter of Gita constitutes durvasana. All those durvasanas, he should weaken and destroy by leading an alert life. Mano nasa is total understanding of the mithyathvam of the mind. Thus he will be able to get rid of dehatma buddhi and be immersed in Brahma jnanam and interacting with the outside world with the sense of purnatvam. He continues to live in the body as a jivan muktha until the exhaustion of prarabhda karma and attains videha mukthi on exhausting prarabhda karma. At the time of Videha mukthi casting all the three bodies, the jivan muktha merges in Brahman totally liberated.
Thus as laid down by the Vedas, called eternal Dharma, we have commenced our journey following Varnashrama (Varna Dharma and Ashrama Dharma) lifestyle. We are moving gradually. Let Guru bless us to have the same dedication and devotion with determination until we reach the Blissful State of Moksha (Nithyananda sukham).
Acharya starts the concluding verse with the remark that all those who have got the Vedic guidemap and have chosen to follow the instructions given in the Veda should count themselves as fortunate people. Vedas are eternal and valid for all time. The instruction based on Vedic teaching or Vedic statement called Dharma is also eternal and valid for all time. Those who have started in Vaidhika marga adopting the lifestyle prescribed therein i.e. Varna dharma and Ashrama Dharma, must pursue in the path patiently and firmly until the goal of Moksha revealing Svarupa Ananda is reached. Acharya concludes this work seeking the blessings of Guru and through him of Iswara for these travellers, for sraddha, bhakthi and strength of resolve in their journey to reach the goal of Nithyananda sukham i.e. Moksha.