Q. What is Self-Realisation?

Ans. When you are no longer dependent on anything external at all, when you are no longer dependent on people, on circumstances, on things, on achievements, on attainments, for happiness or lack of it, you are Self-Realised. When you can stay in that state, no matter what,all the time, every moment of your life, you are Self-Realised. When the only thing you give out, is Love, you are Self-Realised.

When the only thing you can do, under all disagreeable circumstances, is Forgive, you are Self-Realised. Because, these are the signs of a Self-Realised person. They have limitless Compassion, Generosity, Forgiveness. Because, when you are Self-Realised, you come to understand that this is what life is about. Naturally, what you feel for everybody is Compassion. Anybody’s pain will cause you as much pain and agony as the person who has it. That is Self-Realisation.

Why? Because you start to see everybody in you, and you in everybody. I am not talking about the physical body. I am talking about the purest form of your soul, something we may call ‘Self’ or ‘Soul’. And that is all you have got to remember. 

Q. As a Householder, how can we progress on the Spiritual path? Should I leave my responsibilities and follow the (renunciation) path? Nothing seems to happen in my life.

Ans. It’s a very good question. I have said this earlier, but I will say it again : If you leave your responsibilities and try to get any God, you will be so distressed and so guilty, that you will end up going back to your family. So, it’s not the path for a householder.

The best thing you can do, is to turn every act of yours into Sadhana (Spiritual Practice). And that comes with practice, with Mindfulness. For example, when you get up in the morning, and when you are taking bath, think as if you are doing Abhishekam of God, when you are feeding your children or when you are feeding yourself, think “I am feeding God”. When you are eating, think as if you are doing a ‘Yagya’, as God has said :

अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रित: |
प्राणापानसमायुक्त: पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम्

It is I who take the form of the fire of digestion in the stomachs of all living beings, and combine with the incoming and outgoing breaths, to digest and assimilate the four kinds of foods.

Your duty (Karma) is a Yagya in its own right, think “I am doing my Karma, I am doing my Yagya”. If I am sleeping with my wife, I am doing a Shiva-Shakti Yogya. When you start to look at everything with a perspective of Sadhana, if you start to look at everything as a Sadhana, as a Divine act, not only will your Sadhana go to an entirely new level, not only will you experience God as well, you will become Super-super-efficient, and productive and creative and successful in your life! Because your concentration will build to such an enormous degree, that nothing that you want, is unattainable. Everything that you want, will come to you, by your feet!

And, I have to give you a short example : If you look at Sunlight, it is reaching everywhere, but nobody’s getting burnt. But, as soon as you take a magnifier, and let sunlight pass through it, then, it can burn. That’s the power of Mindfulness. 

A person who leads his/her life with Mindfulness, asks to himself/herself before doing an act : Do I want to do this? The path which I am walking on, do I want to progress on this path? Do I want more wealth, or do I want some more time with my Family? Do I want to live in a temple, and perform devotional service to God, or do I want to live in society, and want to do something for their welfare? What it is, that I want to do? 

Nothing is happening in your life, because you are making nothing happen. You have accepted that nothing will happen in my life. When we were children, how ambitious we were, how many dreams we had! We thought : “We will not speak of anything less than moon”!! But, as you grow older, as time passes, we think : “No, I am like everybody else. My life is just like theirs. Just slog everyday and die one day”. But, it doesn’t need to be that way.

 

References : 1 and 2 

 

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