What Is The Purpose Of Self-Realization?
Before we dwell on the question asked here, let’s take a small quiz first.
Does one like happiness or unhappiness?
And what kind of happiness would one like – temporary or permanent?
What would one prefer in life? Ignorance or knowledge?
Knowledge, isn’t it?
And what kind of knowledge would one want – Partial or Absolute knowledge of everything?!
If given a chance, who wouldn’t like to be an Omniscient? ☺
A wrong vision that shows things in a distorted form, or a right vision to see things ‘as is’?
Anyone would choose the latter; it’s a no-brainer!
Now, the last one! Suppose, one is drowned in an ocean of weakness, would he desire to remain there or would he clasp the hand of someone, who promises to bail him out and make him the strongest in the world?! What would one do in such a situation? What would You do?
You or me, or any sane person in this world, in such a case, would exercise the second option only.
To get what is mentioned in the answers above (in italics), is exactly the purpose that Self-Realization serves!
Through Self-Realization, one discovers the answer to the fundamental question of really who am I?
When the right understanding of ‘I am a Pure Soul’ is established within, one is said to have attained Self-Realization. The Soul’s main properties are infinite vision, infinite knowledge, infinite strength and infinite bliss. We get the taste of this bliss in Self-Realization, as Soul, by its inherent nature, is a source of eternal bliss. This knowledge releases us forever from the bondage of the vicious cycle of birth and death. Through this knowledge of the Self, we find the inner freedom from the suffering and the miseries that come across in our life outside.
Therefore, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, an enlightened being says,
‘The essence of human life is to come into one’s nature of the Self (Soul), get awakened and remain only in the ‘Self’.
Hence, Self-Realization is the ultimate purpose of human life.
Let us explore the benefits of Self-Realization in further detail.
You begin your journey on the path of liberation.
Through the knowledge of the Self, you are able to remain unaffected during the bouts of worries, tension, insults, or miseries, due to the line of demarcation that Gnani puts in at the time of Self-Realization, between the real Self (Soul) and your worldly or relative self (body, name, ego, intellect, mind, speech, etc.)
The knowledge of the Self is absolute and extraordinary. Just as the curd and the whey remain separate after the yoghurt has been churned, so do the body and the Self, after Self-realisation. The firm belief of ‘I am the Pure Soul’ prevails in every circumstance and with every interaction.
After Self-Realization, since you’ve been detached from the effects of your mind, body and speech, you can see all your mistakes now, much more clearly and vividly.
With the grace of Gnani, neither the intent to hurt, nor the lingering of annoyance or frustration will be present during moments of anger.
You now persevere to enhance your real strength (the property of the Soul) by trying to overcome the inner weaknesses, that of anger, pride, deceit, greed, attachment or abhorrence, with the right understanding given by Gnani, and thus start solving the day-to-day problems with equanimity.
Real pratikraman (asking for forgiveness for our mistakes) begins after Self-Realization. Once the enlightened vision is attained, the right vision, the vision as the Self arises; only then will you be able to do real pratikraman. Until then, one can still decrease his faults with pratikraman.
You begin to put in your right efforts to enhance your blissful state, by being free of all internal agitation or disturbances, regardless of externally induced circumstances.
Fearlessness and detachment increase day after day in those who have attained the Self.
After attaining Self-Realization, you obtain the right vision – the enlightened vision, through which you see the world as flawless.
Even if someone hurts you, the feeling of taking revenge, getting even, will not remain after Self-realisation.
After Self-Realization, no future karmas are bound.
Indifference towards worldly pain is the first experience of liberation. You experience it from the first day after you attain Self-Realization from Gnani, the enlightened being, who is fully Self-realised. The second experience is when the burden of this body (a result of karma), breaks away. Then there is so much bliss; that which is ineffable.
Following Self-Realization, you start seeing things as is, which is very different from what you did before Self-Realization. From this experience, you will be able to judge whether you have achieved the first stage of liberation or not. You can know this because you are a Soul. The Soul is the greatest judge in this universe. As an awakened Soul is impartial to whatever judgement it gives, it will always be correct.
Thus, the purpose of Self-Realization is ultimate. It leads to the ultimate experience of the Soul, it leads to our ultimate liberation.
Just like a lit candle can light millions of other candles, Gnani, The Enlightened One, has the divine, spiritual powers to enlighten our Soul! Whenever such Gnani is present in this world, an ardent spiritual seeker would instantly clasp his hand, so that with his help, he can come out from his innumerable weaknesses that give him pain and suffering, and attain the eternal bliss of the Soul.
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