Self Knowledge vs Self Realization
(Image from internet)
are many paths to God. Followers of each path aver that their path is the best.
The Gyanis or the knowledgeable feel that the correct knowledge of the reality
is sufficient. The followers of the path of devotion feel they are superior.
knowledge enough? I feel it is not. Personal realization alone is the solution
to the threefold misery that grips one while in the physical world. Self
realization is about that experience. Self knowing is not sufficient.
self realized are called Siddhas. Sri Ramakrishna had compared this state to
fully boiled rice. That rice retains its form but has become soft. The Siddhas
become soft and full of love. Sri Ramakrishna also said that there are no
desires or tendencies in the Siddhas; like the boiled rice their samskaras have
been boiled and destroyed.
Ramakrishna was great in parables. He used to say, you may have all the
knowledge in the world but in times of stress that knowledge falls apart. The
self knowing are like parrots. They may be taught to repeat the sweet name of
Rama. But when a cat jumps at them they forget Rama and start screeching with
their original harsh voice.
are all like that parrot.
realization is about practice. Meditation is central to that practice. So is
Japa - the chanting of the Guru Mantra. The practice is also about positioning
yourself based on read knowledge. This requires a shift in attitude. You read
that the world is an illusion. You should also practice by constantly reminding
yourself that the world is indeed an illusion. Many great souls have achieved realization through this alone.
are three Vedantic statements that reflect the reality.
God alone is real,
the world is unreal,
the individual is none other than God
we make this statement, "Brahma Satyam, Jagan Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Na
Parah" a part of our existence?
practice there is indeed a change in attitude. One becomes detached. One
develops the stance of a witness. The world remains, you perform and function
within it, but with a different mindset.
alone is the solution to the misery called life with its mixture of pleasure
and pain. To become free you should rise above both. Seek not pleasure or pain.
Essentially they are both the source of suffering.
Discrimination & dispassion (Vichara & vairagya)
three can be practiced without much effort.
meditation you lose body consciousness. Japa using sanskrit mantras loosen the
force of illusion and attachment. Discrimination and dispassion saves you from worldly
is a small flash between two voids; the pre birth stage and the post death
state. You have experienced these states again and again just as you forget
yourself in sleep everyday. Death is but a sleeping and forgetting. Both birth
and death are inevitable for those who do not seek realization.
Self Realization is very difficult. But it must be attempted. There is nothing
else in life that is equally important. We spend our days in vain and then in
old age repent as we realize we have not really gained anything from our
There is a saying in Hindi;
Bachpan beeta khel khel mein, bhari jawani soya, bhudape mein yaad ye aya kya khoya kya paya. (The childhood is spent on playing, the youth exhausts in sleep, old age brings repentance upon the assessment of what is gained and what is lost)
learning must be available to every child. It is at the beginning of life that
it is most needed. The child that acquires this knowledge does not sink in the
quagmire of the world.
is the parents duty to provide the child with good health and good education.
The rest is up to the tendencies in and the efforts of the child.
who think, "My child should enjoy the world", lead their children to
is important but it is practice that makes one perfect. In the Kali Yuga
practice is very easy. Just take the name of God and remember him as often as
you can. Constantly remind yourself that the world is an illusion and that the
consciousness in you is the reality behind the diversity. The world arises from
within you, being facilitated by your mind. The less thoughts you have the more
peaceful your life is.
do not have to worry about yourself. Your life is decided prior to your birth
and you simply go through the motions. That will happen even without your
thinking and applying yourself. So why fume and fret? Apply yourself to
spiritual practice without any anxiety or worry. The world knows how to take
care of itself.
realization gives you fulfillment, peace, and rest. The self realized enjoys a
pleasure that is infinitely greater than the sum total of all the pleasures of
the physical world and without any of its traps.
If self realization
is the only thing to be attempted in this life then why ignore it? Why not try
and open the door?