Path to Self-Realisation
SRI SWAMI CHIDANANDA
This article is from the book Forest Academy Lectures on Yoga.
It is given only to the rare blessed few to be given the opportunity of talking about God, of listening to spiritual discourses and to enjoy the Satsang of sages like Gurudev. Blessed is the tongue that utters the Lord’s Name, the ear that hears the Lord’s glory, and the eye that beholds the Lord’s Vibhutis.
Life is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end – God-realisation. Life is wasted if it is not utilised for God-realisation. Man can deserve to be called Manushya only if he thinks alright, applies himself to Sadhana for the realisation of the Eternal Reality. Even though this body is considered a great hindrance in many respects, it is the vehicle with the help of which the Jiva is able to soar into the realms of Infinity. Even the Devas aspire to take a human birth : for they can attain Self-realisation only through the human birth. (They have attained Devahood by doing meritorious deeds when they were humans, and when those merits are exhausted, they will have to take a birth here and then only proceed further towards the Goal.)
Why should we at all aspire for God-realisation? Because this world in which we are born is full of misery, every object here is fleeting. We cannot get eternal satisfaction and perennial bliss in any objects here. God- realisation alone can confer on us Sarva-Duhkha-Nivritti (freedom from all miseries) and Paramananda Praapti (attainment of the Supreme Bliss).
Having attained this human birth, therefore, it should be our constant endavour every moment of our life to attain this through intense Sadhana. We should be ever burning with the desire to get ourselves released from this bondage of Samasara. In order to maintain life, we may have to engage ourselves in Vyavahara; but we should not think that Vyavahara is all. We should realise that our main purpose here is to do Sadhana for Self- realisation and that the Vyavahara is only incidental. We should constantly discriminate between the Eternal, Permanent Reality, and the ephemeral phenomena. We should shun all sensual pleasures like poison. God is our all. God is our father and mother. The earthly father and mother are only accidental. To think of God and God alone is our business. He knows what we need and will certainly protect us. The world of names and forms is illusory; we should not run after any objects here. That is the work of discrimination.
When this discrimination has been awakened in us we should resort to the lotus feet of Mahapurushas like our Gurudev and through their Upadesha attain the Highest Knowledge, Supreme Bliss or God-realisation. If we are not able to enjoy the Satsang of Mahapurushas, we should take to the study of scriptures which they have provided us with.
This is the Path to Self-realisation. God descends only into a Pure Heart. We should strive by every means in our power to purify our heart. First purify thought. Purify your speech. Purify your sight. Purify your actions. Purify your motives. Remember these five. Think only sublime thoughts. Let no evil or vulgar or untruthful or hurtful word escape your lips. See no evil and let your sight be divine. Do good. Serve all with Atmic-Bhav or Narayana-Bhav. Do not be egoistic. Thank the person who gives you a chance to serve the Lord through him. Watch your motives for it is the motive that really counts more than the actions themselves.
You can keep the discriminative faculty bright, you can keep up the fir of Mumukshutva, if you engage yourself in the ceaseless repetition of His Name. There is nothing that the Lord’s Name cannot do for you. It will help you, purify your heart. You can transform your own home into a Vaikuntha if you sing the Lord’s Name and engage yourself in His service. All that you do is His Worship. There is no unholy place for you. All places are holy. The place where you live becomes a holy place. The work that you do is His worship. Adopt the mental Bhav. Have a regular programme of Sadhana. Evolve. Purify the heart. Attain Him in this very birth.