When was the last you ever read any book? If your answer is in ‘months or years’, you just identified the first barrier to overcome! – Lack of self study or Svadhayaya a term in Sanskrit synonymous with self study. I once read a book ‘Kundalini’, by Robert E Svoboda in which I came across the path of ‘5S’s for Anusthan (a term in Sanskrit meaning ‘firm place’). Since then in my own ways I have tried to relate these 5S’s to individual’s learning and development including my own. The first question to ask is – ‘Do we need to discipline ourselves to ‘learn’ any subject? A definite yes! Our efforts to learn and imbibe a new subject either in life or at work will not be much fruitful if the 5’S’s of Anusthan disappears. What do these 5S’s mean? They mean – Sthana, Samaya, Sankhya, Samagri and Samyama.
Sthana – Means Location. Decide the location, where you wish to study. This location could be a study room in your house, a library, or any other such place which can be conducive for self study. Avoid studying in noisy places, studying in front of a television or with earphones. A labelled place for self-study will create and preserve positive energies necessary for effective absorption of learning.
Samaya – Means ‘the time’. Fix a particular time for your self study. If you are a parent, you ask your children to fix a particular time to do their homework or reading, why do you do so? Because ‘samaya’ plays important role in effective learning and development. You should fix a certain time for self study and try to adhere to it.
Sankhya – Means ‘the number’. How much do you wish to carry out each day? Is a good question to answer which will help you with a plan to carry out, as they say ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. So a plan to carry out certain known quantum of learning every day, expressed either by chapters or pages to finish is essential.
Samagri – Means ‘the materials’. Organize for necessary aids for self study – a pen or a pencil, a note pad, calculator, an Internet connection on a tablet or mobile for necessary web reference if needed.
Samyama – Relates to ‘perfect control of the mind’ in one sense. In other words during self study prevent the mind to wander on other matter, than you are focusing or reading. This is most difficult to gain, if you lack concentration. If you practice meditation regularly, it will help you achieve ‘Samyama’.