What is Self

Self is a complex concept with multiple levels of existence and interpretations. The simplest and the universal understanding of the self is the individual person. This is the physical level of the self, as perceived by the reflective consciousness. As per the spiritual definition, the physical self is the embodiment of the perception of a person by oneself through the senses. Accordingly, each person perceives oneself with reference to the body and mind.

Levels of the Self

The physical level of oneself is subjective and hence varies across people. This level of the self has two basic components, the Body, and the Mind. The body of each individual is different in features, so as the mind too. The body and mind are inseparable entities of the self and continuously interacting with each other as well as the surroundings or the environment. Most of the people are not going to think beyond this level of the self throughout their entire life. Very few attempt to think beyond and rarely few are capable of understanding the higher levels of the self. This understanding requires a continuous quest for finding the unknown, defined by various terms and concepts like the truth, the knowledge, the God, etc. by different philosophies and streams of thinkers. The physical self is the first level of self and visualized by all.

The mind is a collection of thoughts, thought processes and conscious responses of the self with the environment as felt by everyone. But the mind has different states of existence, described in psychology as the conscious and subconscious minds and described in the Hindu spirituality as “Jagrata”, “Swapna” and “Sushupti”. Of these, the first two dimensions of mind described in psychology and spirituality correctly match with each other while the Sushupti is not well defined in Psychology. The Hindu philosophy defines this as the advanced awaken sleep. Learning to identify the existence and differentiation of these states of mind is considered as the first step in the process of self-realization and a milestone in the spiritual path of oneself. The mind with its all states or forms makes the second level of the self and often realized by few individuals.

Intellect (wisdom) is the power of differentiating among things, materials, thoughts, etc.  in ordinary meaning and the power of discrimination between the right and the wrong, in terms of spirituality. The intellect is considered as the third level of self and guides the mind and the person in the right direction at every point of time and drives the mind of the enlightened.  Obviously, this can be felt or understood by very few individuals. Above the intellect lies a still higher entity of the self, called the Soul or the Athma (Bhagavadgita Chapter 3, Shloka 42). This entity of the self represents the supreme being or the Paramathma in all individuals. During the course of self-realization, an enlightened soul connects itself with the Paramathma and attains the sovereign knowledge of the self. At this stage of maturity of the self, the Athma drives the intellect and the mind which in turn enables the individual to get rid of delusions and desires of worldly life.

Help Us Now

Donate to Surabhivana Gaushala to save and protect Indian Cow Breeds.

All donations are exempt under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. All donation receipts shall be mailed to the address given by the donor or may be collected in person, at request.

Click the below button to donate through credit cards/debit cards or Net Banking via Razor Pay.