Do all roads lead to self realization
By Kapil Kakar
Self-realization or merging with God or Nirvana is something every individual will find some day including atheist especially those who are always trying to prove that God is non- existent or a fear creating illusion. The time of self-realization can be this very minute as it also can be millions of years ahead. But the main question here is how does one achieve self-realization?
Self- realization as the name suggests is to realize self. Who are we? Where did we come from? What is our purpose of existence or is there purpose of existence or not? There are myriad of similar questions, which we have often neglected initially and eventually ignoring them completely, as so busy and engrossed are we in our lives about which strangely we hardly know about. There were millions of people who existed hundred years back who are no more and there would be millions of more hundred years from now of whom we would not know anything. Despite of all these facts we human beings are not inquisitive to discover our real self. One does not know whether one should call this ignorance of human being as sad or unfortunate but definitely one can call not discovering of oneself as living in a fool paradise.
Therefore, if one does not want to be static in life by being an agnostic one will have to act to take action and wipe out cloud of ignorance with the weapon of knowledge. If one believes in God and Bhagvad Gita then one finds Lord Krishna very clearly informing and describing about self-realization.
Text 18 Ch-III A self-realized man has no purpose to fulfill in the discharge of his prescribed duties, nor has he any reason not to perform such work. Nor has he any need to depend on any living being.
Text 8 Ch-VI a person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self- controlled. He sees everything-whether it be pebbles, stones or gold-as the same.
IN CH=VI TEXT (20-23) LORD SAYS: “IN THE STAGE OF PERFECTION CALLED TRANCE OR SAMADHI, ONES MIND IS COMPLETELY RESTRAINED FROM MATERIAL MENTAL ACTIVITIES BY PRACTICE OF YOGA.THIS PERFECTION IS CHARACTERISED BY ONES ABILITY TO SEE THE SELF WITH PURE MIND AND TO RELISH AND REJOICE SELF. IN THAT JOYOUS STATE, ONE IS SITUATED IN BOUNDLESS TRANSCENDENTAL HAPPINESS, REALIZED THROUGH TRANSCENDENTAL SENSES. ESTABLISHED THUS ONE NEVER DEPARTS FROM THE TRUTH, AND UPON GAINING THIS HE THINKS THERE IS NO GREATER GAIN. BEING SITUATED IN SUCH A POSITION, ONE IS NEVER SHAKEN EVEN IN THE MIDST OF GREATER DIFFICULTY. THIS INDEED IS THE ACTUAL FREEDOM FROM ALL MISERIES ARISING FROM MATERIAL CONTACT”.
IN CH=XVIII TEXT (53) LORD SAYS: “BEING PURIFIED BY HIS INTELLIGENCE AND CONTROLLING THE MIND WITH DETERMINATION, GIVING UP THE OBJECTS OF SENSE GRATIFICATION, BEING FREED FROM ATTACHMENT AND HATRED, WHO EATS LITTLE, WHO CONTROLS HIS BODY, MIND AND POWER OF SPEECH, WHO IS ALWAYS IN TRANCE AND WHO IS DETACHED, FREE FROM FALSE EGO, FALSE STRENGTH, FALSE PRIDE, LUST, ANGER AND ACCEPTANCE OF MATERIAL THINGS, FREE FROM FALSE PROPRIETORSHIP, AND PEACEFUL-SUCH A PERSON IS CERTAINLY ELEVATED TO THE POSITION OF SELF-REALIZATION”.
Self- realization can be achieved through Bhakti or Devotion, Karma or Action and Gyan or Knowledge. These are three roads, which are said to take one to God. If one looks at these three closely one will find that devotion has to be complimented with action. You got to act to show your devotion to God. Similarly one has to perform action to search for knowledge, no matter which knowledge spiritual or material. Also what instigates us to act is knowledge and devotion. That means without the purpose of knowledge or devotion action cannot take place. This simply suggests all these three things are interconnected and they do not form three different roads but constitute of one broad road, which takes a person to self-realization.