The Consciousness we need to realize is called Self Consciousness i.e. to “Know Thyself” as Socrates said, and which is carved into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. He also said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and that people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. Thus, knowing yourself is essential for spiritual awakening. All religions of the world ought to teach this maxim to their adherents so that they could make swift progress in their spiritual life. Satguru Kabir emphasized the same principle when he told his disciples, “What is the point of knowing the many if you do not know the one.” The Bhavad Gita describes what you are in reality, “Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot wet it. Wind cannot dry it. Weapons cannot cleave it. It was never born and it never dies.” This is your Reality. Wouldn’t it be great if we can develop knowledge of this Self?


The Self refers to the soul that is inseparable from God, as mentioned previously by Emerson (“There is no place where the soul stops and God begins.” God’s Omnipresence ensures this. Can religion, as practiced, enable this realization? As long as religion is interpreted by people who are not God-realized, it remains in the realm of faith and belief. These are not valid means of gaining Supreme Knowledge. We have to go on an inner journey. Thomas Merton said, “We become contemplatives when God discovers Himself in us.” I think that it would be better if we take the initiative and say, “We become contemplatives when we discover ourselves in God.” When God discovers Himself in us, we are in the image of God. Therefore, let us bring God in us! The process is meditation beautifully described as, “Meditation is of the Self, for the Self, by the Self.” (Oral communication by Usharbudh Arya). There are no outward agencies when we are dealing with the soul and God. Scriptures, priests, rituals, and other pursuits, are only preparatory stages. Thus the quotation by Allan W. Watts, “The work of the church ends when the knowledge of God begins” becomes meaningful. However, to reach this stage in spiritual life, there is need for a realized teacher or Guru who can guide you on the “straight and narrow path” to your goal. Kabir Saheb said, “The path of God’s Love is narrow. You cannot enter it along with your ego.




“Go deeper …

Past thoughts into silence.

Past silence into stillness.

Past stillness into the heart.

Let Love consume all that is left of you.”



This life-changing and most beautiful journey is internal, and no one would know that you are on it. But you would need discipline, dedication and persistence to be on it. Besides, you would need purity of heart in thoughts, words and actions, The Bible taught, “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” This would indicate freedom from anger, hate, greed, egoism, lust, and other negative propensities. Replace these with love, service, charity, forgiveness, meditation and attaining to God-realization. The reward would be inner peace, harmony, equanimity and a happy life. It would be like a paradigm shift in your life that would contribute to world peace and harmony. This is what the United Nations envisages in promoting Interfaith Harmony Week in the first week of February annually, and the Parliament of World’s Religions every 3-4 years in international cities. The world is in sorrow because people are not embarking on this essential journey.

Dr. Jagessar Das

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