The Kaivalya Navaneeta opens: “The Sages say that there are four prerequisites for realisation of the Truth,” the fourth being “the long for Liberation” (Kaivalya Navaneeta: The Cream of Emancipation, p. 3.).
We learn more about this intense longing for Liberation in verses 12-14:
12. He alone is fit for knowledge who, suffering from the three kinds of troubles rising from the self, the elements, and Providence (from hunger, thirst and so forth; from heat, cold, wind, disease, and the like; from robbers, wild animals, etc.), squirmed like a worm scorched by heat and panted for a dip in the nectar of wisdom, so as to put an end to the series of rebirths.
13. As the desire for Liberation grew, he became unconcerned about his wife, children and property, ran away from them like an antelope which had extricated itself from the noose of a hunter, sought a holy Master and respected him with all his heart.
14. After eagerly saluting his Master, he stood up and sobbed out his heart, saying, “O Lord! I have suffered long the torture of worldly life, which is after all so false! Gracious Master, save me by tearing off the cords which bind me to the five sheaths, so that my heart may be at peace!”Ibid, p. 4.
How does this discussion apply to us?
1. We must have been existentially opened such that the longing for Liberation becomes primary–so beyond all else as to make it the sole focus of one’s endeavors.
2. This longing for Liberation is brought about by dukkha while also being heightened by the acuter attention paid to the prevalence of dukkha in human life. This, for us, I take to be the gist of verse 12.
3. As this longing for Liberation grows, it becomes abundantly clear that one must regard the world as being unreal. This is viveka, or the discrimination between the unreal and the Real. It’s not necessary for us to swear off one’s loved ones, but it is of vital importance to cease to indulge in vasanas, or the outward-going tendencies of the mind. So much for verse 13.
4. Verse 14 tells us that we must come to the Guru–in physical form or in some other form–out of deep, reverent humility. Not only must we recognize our plight; not only must our longing for Liberation be intense; but we must also trust that abiding peace itself is possible–indeed, possible during this lifetime.
All of which is to say: such is a sketch of sraddha or, in my translation, earnest resolve.