Six Simple Steps Towards Self Realisation
When the outside world seems to be chaotic and disturbing, we tend to forget our true nature which is nothing but pure bliss. We generally believe what the world makes us believe. The world is nothing but the reflection of our belief in the world. An optimist would generally see everything in this world to be a great opportunity and will take the world to be a great place to be there. A pessimist on the other hand will see everything in this world negatively. He will see everything in the world with the eyes of pessimism or negativity. Normally, a pessimist person cannot be happy in any given situation.
By changing our basic outlook towards life and our existence in this transitory world we start enjoying our lives. When this life no longer makes us suffer; we get ready to explore those aspects of life which we normally ignore, in our attempt to master the world of illusions. Our real happiness comes when we start knowing the self or the real essence of our existence.
We will take the journey to the knowledge of the self by following six simple steps towards self-realisation. These are discussed step by step in the coming chapters. If we follow these steps carefully, we will be able to achieve happiness and bliss. We no longer will need to curse anyone for our failings. Our optimism and knowledge of the world around us improves.
First Step – Transformation:
It is a general perception that a human being is just made of bones, flesh, blood and other organs? However, most of us will agree that a human is a broader concept than just the physical aspect. The major part of it is the energy which we are made up of which hypnotists calls as inner mind, a person related to metaphysics call it as mind and the Hindus call it as ‘Aatma’ or soul, it is also known as self.
Transformation means the ability and willingness of an individual to live beyond one’s form (physical aspect). Transformation requires us to believe that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences but spiritual beings having a human experience.
We should understand that we are much more than the physical aspect we are made up of i.e., we are divine, being energy, we can never be created or destroyed but can be transformed from one form to another. We existed from times immemorial and we will exist till times immemorial. The life, which we are witnessing, is the negligible fraction of life, which we have already spent in this universe.
Maybe, the present life is just a dream where we are imagining everything as real, but when we wake up, we find everything vanishes in thin air.
The realization that we are much more than the form links us to the world of pure thought or God. We exist just in thought without the need for physical form, being the part of pure thought, all our limitations are over and we find ourselves as a boundless source of energy and we are no longer required to be a slave of anything, rather we become the master of our own destiny.
Suppose God had the physical shape, then which part of it would you consider as God? Certainly, all parts, likewise being the part of the pure thought transforms us and we get the realization that we are God.
Second Step – Thoughts:
The human form which we are witnessing is just a thought and might be that the physical form we are made up of is really formed in a dream, where we believe it to be real until we wake up. Being just a thought, we can change our life considerably by changing our thoughts.
Surprising, but true our thoughts make us as Jesus Christ has said, “As you think, so shall you be”. Whatever we are it is because of our thoughts, if we are sad it is because we think we are sad. It can be said that “there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way”.
Our success in life is directly proportional to our thinking about life, if we are always thinking in terms of scarcity it is what we generally witness throughout our life. On the other hand, if we think in terms of abundance, that is what we witness throughout our life. Therefore, as far as practicable we should avoid any negative thoughts and think positively, irrespective of the present circumstances.
In Vedanta, thoughts are considered to be just a by-product of the mind. When thoughts can be controlled, we can achieve a no-mind state. We can control the content of the mind by controlling our thoughts. A harnessed mind is a powerful mind which can easily achieve anything quite easily. Thoughts can be easily controlled by being a witness of our thoughts and by not taking the onus of our thoughts. When individual thoughts are not given much importance, it ceases to exist and then it cannot control the mind.
Step 3 – Belief in Abundance and perfection of everything in the Universe:
We have already discussed what our thought makes us. Therefore, it is important that we take the positive aspect of everything in this universe. Maybe, that I might not have sufficient drinking water around my writing table or even in my room, but when we consider the total water available in the world, we find out that it is available in abundance, in quantities that cannot be consumed by any individual even in his wildest dreams. Our belief in scarcity is because of the fact that we are not able to live beyond our form. There might not be ice cubes in our refrigerator that doesn’t mean that there is no ice in the world. We will find it abundantly if we go to the North or South Pole.
We have already seen that belief in abundance can really create abundance in our life we should therefore always try to think in terms of abundance. We can always feel good when we figure out things that we really possess without being disgruntled about things that we do not. In this way, we can not only feel in abundance but can also actually create abundance in life as our mind is free to do things that we want to do instead of being unnecessarily bogged down to needless prejudice and negative thoughts.
On the other hand, thinking always in terms of scarcity can really create scarcity all around us, no matter how much we possess it is not enough to satisfy us and we live in scarcity irrespective of our prosperity. Actually, such negative thoughts create scarcity in our life, we are always in the fear of losing something or the other, our mind is unnecessarily worried about non-existing things, decreasing our work efficiency considerably.
Now, with this, we come to the obvious discussion about the perfection of the universe. Synchronicity is everywhere in the universe; there is the exact quantity of air to sustain our life, exact sunshine, the exact quantity of water available on the earth. When the river flows down from the mountain it has the exact speed to take it to the ocean. The reason for our belief in terms of imperfection is our attachment to form.
We create imperfections in us when we create boundaries in our life by classifying and sub classifying ourselves. A minute study of the universe will reveal that nature creates no boundaries. There is no boundary dividing water and the earth, the place where the earth ends water starts, there is no partition between air and earth and even between two celestial bodies, e.g., there is no boundary between the Earth and Sun.
Our attachment to form creates boundaries in it. Such boundaries make us a commodity sold in the supermarket having a commodity name and a price tag. We virtually become a slave of our own boundaries and experience imperfection all around us. In a truly enlightened state, all the boundaries will vanish even international boundaries.
Boundaries can be made in terms of professional attainments, place of birth etc. To break these boundaries, one has to think always in terms of the abundance and synchronicity of everything in this universe. There can be no limit to your growth when you refuse to be that commodity in the supermarket by not creating boundaries in your life.
Step 4 – Detachment:
Attachment to anything is the cause of all human suffering. Remember the last time we were sad or unhappy and try to figure out the possible reasons for such suffering. Most probably it would be because of the fact of our being attached to a particular idea, place or person. I don’t consider attachment to be a bad sign but a needless thing, because the more we are attached to a particular thing, the lesser is the likelihood of our attaining it. On the other hand, the more we are detached from that thing we are most likely to get that thing in life.
Detachment can be considered as the only means, which takes us from striving to arriving. The uniqueness of nature is the habit of giving when we are not actually expecting anything.
To be truly detached one should never try to own anything. We should understand that we are in our physical form for some time, we cannot own it forever and we stay in it subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
Firstly, we have to take care of our form and protect it as a responsible Aatma. Secondly, we are free to leave the form when our form is not able to carry us. This leads us to an obvious fact, that if we cannot even own our own body. How can we possibly own anything in this world? The entire world is fluid and so are our possessions and we. The things which we might own presently was owned by someone else in the past and they will be owned by someone else in the future. This chain never ends. Our foolishness is when we try to own it.
Consider that all the possessions and the material things are like a flowing river, the tighter we squeeze water lesser can we hold it. On the other hand, we can experience abundance when instead of trying to hold water we float with the natural flow of the river and enjoy the comforts of being in the water as long as we like. Still, being free to come out of it after being satisfied. It means we can enjoy our life by being the user of all material comforts, which comes in our life without the need of actually owning them.
Detachment not only means being detached from your form and material comforts, but it is also applicable to all human relationships. The main reason for discontentment in modern society is attachment.
We always try to figure out our expectations from a particular person e.g., from our parents and we feel sad when we don’t find them coming up to our expectations. Unknowingly, we are trying to own somebody, which we have already seen, is nothing but foolishness.
I am not in any way advocating about running from our responsibilities for being detached in life. I just want to say that we should do our work instead of needlessly trying to figure out the outcome of such work, detachment also includes detachment from the outcome or result of our endeavour. As Lord Krishna has said in Gita “You have just got the duty to work and not to think about the fruits of such work”.
Step 5 – Oneness:
Consider our existence in relation to the universe. Our earth is not more than a small dot in relation to the vastness of the universe and individually we are not more than a small dot in this earth. Then what are we in comparison to this universe? Not more than a small cell. Forget about the universe, even if we consider this earth as a body, we are not more than a microscopic cell in this body. We feel different because each and every cell in the human body has life, but a cell can survive only when the body survives. This makes us a single heartbeat in the body called humanity. This is the fact that relates to every person in this world.
We may not believe in this because we have the tendency to believe what we have been taught and what we see virtually making us the frog in the well, who feels that the entire world is in the well. Consider the similarity of two individuals one born in the USA and one born in India. Both, of them, feel hungry, feel thirsty have other psychological needs. Both need association, love and care, both bleed when we cut him. We create differences that are apparent is only in the outer covering or the form, forgetting that the real thing in us is the Aatma, which is divine. As we have seen that life is just like a dream the differences in the life of two persons may be just the difference in their dreams.
We may wonder how we are related to a person who is born under different circumstances altogether, perhaps in a different country. As we have already seen that we are no more than a cell in the body called humanity. We can, therefore, understand our relationship with other human beings by closely examining the human cell. A cell in the liver, which sees only the cells around it, cannot even think that there is a cell in the brain and it is related to it. But we all know both are related as both has to depend on one another.
A human body can exist only when all the cells perform their work properly. If a cell starts creating problems by killing its neighbouring cells. It behaves like a Cancer cell, which not only kills the body slowly but also kills itself, as it cannot exist without the body.
Likewise, in metaphysical terms, there is no difference between a male and a female of any species. As the difference exists only in the form, the energy force is the same. We create differences when we consider dissimilarities. Therefore, in a truly enlightened state, all such differences will vanish.
Step 6 – Forgiveness:
Most of our sufferings are caused by our interpretation of the action of others and the fact that we are always blaming others for the problems in our life. Now, let us try to understand why we blame others. We blame others when we are expecting something from the persons we blame. And, quite often the person whom we blame is not ever aware of this fact.
For every practical reason, we should not blame anyone. As we blame something when we feel that thing to be the cause of our problems, but as and when we blame it, we allow that thing to control our life even when we are not present in association with that particular thing. By doing that we waste much of our energy in thinking about the subject of blame, in a way doing the work of our enemy in his absence. Further, if we stop blaming him, we can not only clear our minds from needless prejudice but can also take steps to patch up with our enemy. And the best way to win over an enemy is no doubt by finishing enmity.
We should take the entire responsibility of our life on ourselves. Then, what to do next, should we carry on the burden of such guilt throughout our life? No, we should forgive ourselves for all our failings because forgiveness starts when we are able to forgive ourselves. We can be kind to others only when we are kind to ourselves. As soon as we forgive ourselves, we feel free, our energy doubles and we can work more efficiently. We feel that the burden, which we were carrying for a long time is removed in a minute.
Forgiveness takes us to a stage, where we are able to forgive everybody who has been able to cause major harm in our life. As is evident from the life of many enlightened souls in this world. One of them is Jesus Christ who is still remembered to date, because of the act of forgiveness. On the day when Christ was crucified, the last thing which he said was “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do”.
I am a Vedic astrologer by profession. I have done Jyotish Acharya from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. I am devoted to my Sadguru Shri Sai Nath of Shirdi. I am also interested in spirituality. I love to guide people.