(Excerpts from Satsang of Pujya Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu)
Self-Realization becomes very easy for those who consider God To be the Supreme Reality and endeavour to attain Him.
‘Shri Yoga Vashishtha Maharamayana’ propounds that God is not far from us, there is no distinction between Him and us and it is not difficult to realize Him either.
Indeed it is not difficult to realize God and yet it seems difficult, because we do not listen to or contemplate on divine knowledge and hence we fail to develop love for Him. Just as one who is illiterate and has not practised reading and writing thinks that it is difficult, so too one who has not practised spiritual discipline thinks that it is difficult to attain God. However if he practises spiritual contemplation, it is not difficult at all. During the formative years in school, learning the alphabets appeared quite cumbersome, but today you can write them with ease; so is the case with respect to God. Practice alone brings perfection and is the key to success!
‘My Beloved dwells in my heart. I can meet Him at will by just delving within.’
‘My brother slapped me” the memory causes pain. Find out who feels the pain. Pain is felt in the mind. Be a witness to your mind and the pain will disappear. Your body is sick and is paining. Be a witness to the aching body and you will laugh at it. Once this (my) body suffered from a malarial fever and an adverse reaction of anti-malarial drugs. A severe pain left me groaning. I would ask my body, ‘Hey! What is this nonsense’ Why do you groan” ‘and laugh out at its condition. Then I would tell my mind, ‘Keep groaning. I am watching you.’ ‘and it would stop groaning. Those who saw me were extremely pained and would secretly shed tears, ‘What a painful state!’ But I did not feel that way. The body suffered the pain and I watched it like a detached observer. Once this practice is developed, one can see oneself as a separate entity from the body, even in deep slumber. Like we observe another person, we can observe our own body. Sustained practice increases the subtlety of the intellect and one can develop such witness attitude towards the world.
Similarly, we can become a witness to even pleasures and pains. If one practises being a detached witness, it becomes easy. An actor in a play claims, ‘I am king Vikramaditya’ I will not allow this to happen in my kingdom” but in his heart he knows what he is. In the very next scene he dons the garb of a beggar and evokes a sense of profound sympathy among the audience. Only a while ago he was acting the part of an emperor and now he is playing the role of a beggar. But he knows fully well that he is only playing a role. Similarly, he who practises detachment from the body, transcends pleasures and pains.
The deceitful, dishonest and cunning people cannot succeed in this endeavour. The more innocent and honest one becomes, the quicker progress he achieves on this path. Identifying oneself with the body and trying to seek happiness in this illusory world, assuming it to be real, is at the root of all cunning and deceitful acts. Howsoever dishonest one may be, if he starts believing in the truth of his own Divine Self and comes to realize the futility of this world, his deceitfulness and vices will disappear and he will soon attain greatness.
So long as one is ignorant about the glory and greatness of Self-realization, one suffers all types of misery. Treachery, deceit and other vices exist only so long as people do not realize the importance of Self-realization and appreciate that God alone is the Absolute Reality. Once one realizes the importance of satsang and of Self-realisation, gradually one’s mind becomes pure; deceit and treachery begin to wither away and all complaints disappear. Then one will admit to have committed mistakes and will be ready to rectify them as well, rather than making excuses for the same. One, not inclined towards Self-realization, tries to give excuses when a mistake is pointed out to him; thus unwittingly he only strengthens his own faults, little realising that he is hurting nothing but his own interests.
Those, who have become used to giving excuses and practising deceit and dishonesty, impede their road to real progress in life. Those trying to cheat others are badly cheated by some greater cheat. A fraud is bound to suffer the consequences of his evil deeds and dishonesty engages one in evil pursuits with their root cause lying in the erroneous notion of taking the body and this world to be real. When the world is taken for real and one remains engrossed in the thoughts of this world, having no love or devotion towards the Supreme Self, it becomes the root of all misery.
Self-realization becomes very easy for those who consider God to be the Supreme Reality and endeavour to attain Him. Self-realization becomes easier still when the aspirant renders sincere and selfless service only for the sake of attaining Divine love, Divine grace and Divine knowledge. Such an aspirant realizes God very soon and is also delivered from all his troubles forever. He experiences Self-love and an everlasting contentment in the unity of his True Self with the Bliss-personified Supreme Self.