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Defn. For Terminology

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The 4 stages may be Shariat(Dharam), Tariqat(Kaam), Haqiqat(Arth) and Marifat(Moksh).

Shariat means to follow the laws of morality that surround you when you are growing up as a young adult. This means family customs and also the law of the land you live in. It corresponds to Dharam or Dharma in its lower sense. And most importantly it means not to speak bad about anyone or think bad about anyone.

Tariqat means the way or method which a person uses to locate the true essence of things. This stage occurs when a person has fulfilled his duties to the world and has a desire to see something different. This way or method may be spiritual excercises, reading prayers, simran, self-awareness, donating to the poor etc. This stage is the same as Kaam because at this stage a desire for something otherworldly springs up in the heart.

Haqiqat means Gyaan or wisdom or truth. A person through following a certain Tariqa attains the truth by faith in his practice and perseverance. This is the same as gaining Siddhi or gaining Arth (remember the Buddha's name was SiddhArtha) This person now has knowledge of the essence of things, he sees things in reality and not in illusion. He is not hypnotised by the outer world so can use his acquired Gyaan for accomplishing missions in the world (Artha) for the benefit of others.

Marifat means Sehaj Avastha, Turya Avastha, it is the same as Moksh. It is beyond Mind. It occurs when a person becomes totally humiliated and annihilated before God.

Also bear in mind these stages are not discrete seperate stages but interpenetrate each other. Shariat also equals Sleep(Tamas), Tariqat = Dreams(Rajas), Haqiqat = Waking(Sattva), Marifat= Turiya

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