The Aspirant Who Longs for Liberation
This section deals with the preparations required of the person who seeks God and the moral and mental qualities necessary to qualify for the spiritual path. Vasishta states that peace of mind (shanti), contentment (santosha), keeping the company of realized sages (satsanga), and inquiry into the nature of the soul (vichara) are the four sentinels that guard the gates to moksha, or liberation. The belief that one is confined by fate is severely condemned and the person who seeks spiritual development is urged to rely on personal efforts for progress on the spiritual path.
The person should not shun action but should learn to be indifferent to its fruits. One should not be affected by the pleasures and pains that are the inevitable accompaniment of action. The person is advised to keep the company of saints and to study the scriptures (shastras), particularly those dealing with self knowledge (atma vidya).