Guruji, What is Self Realization?

Self-realisation is an essential requirement for all human beings. Whether we achieve it in this lifetime itself, or we take many more life-times to achieve it, depends upon how we use the basic intelligence, bestowed upon us by our Creator. The desire for Self-realisation is inherent in every human being, though it flowers in each person according to his or her level of spiritual growth and development.

Every person has taken birth with many unfulfilled desires and purposes, but the final goal for each one is to realise the Self or God.

Earthly pleasures come from without, while real joy comes from within. In our ignorance, we are unable to distinguish between earthly pleasures and real joy. We often mistake the unreal for the real, and thereby get caught in miseries and misfortunes. We have a bundle of earthly desires to pursue, but we lack the understanding that all desires are not worthy to be pursued. We are trapped in the web of pleasures and pain, old age and disease, life after life, until we evolve further spiritually, and are able to distinguish between worthy and unworthy desires. All desires for worldly objects must eventually come to an end. The sooner one realises it, the better. Earthly desires are barriers on the path of Self-realisation.

Human life has been given to man, not for accumulating earthly relationships, wealth or social status. These may be interim goals, but the final goal of every man is to realise the Self or God. Desires can destroy a person’s peace of mind, hinder the thought-process and understanding. Desires confuse the mind, and when one’s desires are thwarted or frustrated, they invariably lead to anger and restlessness. It is very important to remain inwardly calm and detached. When you are able to cultivate the habit of pursuing your desires objectively and with dedication, while remaining calm and unattached within, then your work acquires a sense of balance and proportion, and the outcome turns out to be beautiful.

It is very important for schools to introduce a balanced system of education which gives due importance to spiritual training and character development of the students. Instead of filling the students’ heads and minds with a huge volume of facts with the idea of preparing them for their future careers, it is essential to nurture their spiritual nature, so that they are better prepared to fulfil their chosen careers. It is very important for parents and teachers to understand that in all facets of a chosen career, whether it be business, profession, arts or science, the inclusion of spiritual principles and values will enable the students to progress much better, financially as well as career-wise.

Our scriptures and ancient rishis have always directed us towards the sole purpose of our existence – the purpose of realising the Self or God. The fortunate ones have the guidance of a Guru who can help one realise God in this life-time itself. Those who seek the pleasures of this world, in their effort to find happiness, eventually find out that inspite of having material prosperity, they lack the necessary happiness in life. The happiness that they seek outside, lies deep within themselves. Seeking happiness within oneself is the first step towards the supreme goal of Self-realisation. It is only the rare ones who have achieved Self-realisation, without the guidance of a Guru. It is essential to understand that even though a person’s efforts are necessary and important, it is ultimately only through the grace of God and Guru that the disciple can succeed in realising the Self.

Always cultivate good thoughts and emotions, during every moment of your life. It is only when you have good thoughts that your ‘Kundalini’ rises automatically. When you think and cultivate bad or evil thoughts, the ‘Kundalini’ automatically starts moving downwards. ‘Kundalini’ is not awakened only by the yoga techniques one learns. It is a fact that when one encompasses others with love and affection, or thinks kindly about them, the Kundalini is awakened naturally. Reversely, when one thinks about others hatefully or in an unkindly way, the Kundalini descends automatically. So, do not concentrate on the negative side of anything, unless you are capable of finding a permanent solution to the matter you have been finding fault with, and are prepared to take on the task willingly.

Carry out your chosen spiritual practices with love and dedication, try not to socialise much with people. When you crave for outside companionship, you are bound to distance yourself from your inner Self, and the final outcome will be restlessness and dis-satisfaction. Therefore, ensure that each day of your life is spent in seeking your inner Self through the process of meditation. Prepare yourself for meditation by relaxing your body and mind. Engage yourself in a simple practice of Pranayama – inhaling and exhaling the breath, several times, and then sit perfectly still. Meditation will happen automatically. After meditation or after completing your kriya practices, do not hurry to get back to your other activities. Practise to sit still for a comfortably long time, and enjoy the inner peace that you have accumulated through your meditation or other spiritual practices.

As one advances on the spiritual path, one begins to work for the general good of all, rather than for one’s own benefit. A stage then comes when the dedicated ‘sadhak’ evolves spiritually to such an extent that he or she goes beyond lust, rage, attachment, envy and pride. The ‘sadhak’ experiences peace, joy and bliss within, and finally reaches a state where he or she carries out the duties and responsibilities of life, while remaining completely immersed in God-consciousness.

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