Self-Analysis, Self-Reliance, Self-Determination


Sri Swami Sivananda

This article is a chapter from the book Yoga And Realisation.

Every moment analyse yourself through introspection. Remember the triplet: ‘Self-analysis, Self-reliance, Self-determination’. It will be of immense use in your spiritual Sadhana. Find out the nature of your Vrittis. Find out what Guna or Vritti is predominating at a particular moment, whether it is Sattva, Rajas or Tamas. Find out how long your mind can be absolutely fixed on the object, say, rose and rose alone to the exclusion of all other objects; whether it is for two seconds, two minutes, or five minutes or half an hour. This is real self-analysis. Rely on your self alone. You are your own redeemer and saviour. Nobody can give you Moksha. You will have to tread the spiritual path step by step. The book and the Guru can only show the path and guide you. This is self-reliance. Make a strong determination, “I will realise God. I will have Atma-Sakshatkara or Brahmanubhava this very moment, and not in the unknown future.” This is self-determination.

Just as you will have to take back with care your cloth that is fallen on a thorny plant by removing the thorns one by one slowly, so also you will have to collect back with care and exertion the dissipated rays of the mind that are thrown over the sensual objects for very many years.

When there is faith, the mind can be easily concentrated on the subject to be understood and then the understanding quickly follows. A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many things. Through concentration he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge. He concentrates all the energies of his mind into one focus and throws them out upon the materials he is analysing and so finds out their secrets.

When there is inflammatory swelling on your back with throbbing pain, you do not experience any pain at night when you are asleep. Only when the mind is connected with the diseased part through nerves and thinking, you begin to experience pain. If you can consciously withdraw the mind from the diseased part by concentrating it on God or any other attractive object, you will not experience any pain even when you are wide awake. If you have a powerful will and a strong power of endurance, then also you will not experience any pain. By constantly thinking of any trouble or disease, you only augment your pain and suffering.

You are away from God when you entertain useless thoughts. Do not allow the mind to run into the old grooves and to have its own way and habits. Be ever vigilant and careful and watchful. Do not waste even an iota of energy in useless thinking. Conserve all your mental energy. Utilise it for higher spiritual purposes in divine contemplation, i.e., Brahmachintan and Brahma Vichar.

When you hold in your mind a bouquet made of jasmine, rose and Champaka flowers, the sweet perfume pervades the whole hall and tickles all alike. Even so the perfume of fame and reputation, the Yasas and Kirti of a Yogi who has controlled his thoughts spreads far and wide. He becomes a cosmic ruling force.

Concentration of the mind on God after purification can give you real and lasting happiness and true knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. You are carried away to external objects through attachment and infatuated love. Drive off negative thoughts from your mind. Become positive always. Positive overpowers the negative. You can do nice meditation when you are in a positive mood.

Free yourself from the base thoughts of the mind, the various useless Sankalpas or imaginations. Ever make ceaseless enquiry of the Atman. Then only there will be dawn of spiritual knowledge. The Jnana Surya or the sun of knowledge will arise in the firmament of Chidakasa or knowledge space. Feel there is no world. There is neither body nor the mind. There is only one Chaitanya or pure consciousness. If you rest in this, you have absolute success in your spiritual path.

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