The REALIZATION is the watchword of Vedantic beliefs. The path toward God or realization starts with a question who am I ? Why I die ? Who are my real father and mother? What is this world ? Why the changes always occurring before me. I take birth as a child my body is growing and one day I will die, why all this happen still I am being the same ? The quest for answer take us toward path of Sadhana and initiation from an Enlightened GURU.
If there is a God, we must see Him; if there is a Supreme Self, we must realize it. Otherwise these theories about the existence of God and the Soul have very little value. If we cannot put them on a practical basis and realize the truth of them, they remain for us but mere words. This realization is the only thing that can bring satisfaction to us. No amount of theory can ever satisfy our minds.
In giving religious instruction it is always important to show how principles can put into practice. People some times think the principles are all and that when one has learned them and talk glibly about them, nothing further is necessary. This is as great a mistake as to suppose that looking at a well-spread table is all that is needed to satisfy hunger. Unless we not only eat the food, but also digest and assimilate it so that it becomes part of our bodies, nourishing and preserving them, all the food in the world would be of little use to us. The aim of this is to show how to avail ourselves of the great principles of Vedanta , so that they will become part of our daily lives; to teach us how we can put them into practice and live by them every moment of our existence. When we can thus assimilate them, they will nourish and sustain our spiritual nature, just as food preserves our physical frame. So Vedanta is eminently practical and can put into our day to day lives. We must always bear in mind the purpose of all spiritual practice ; that is, to open a channel within us by which we may feel the presence of God and see what is now invisible to us. The channel is opened when we are able to drop the consciousness of the little “I” and free our mind from impurities or from the attachment to material things only.So the whole object of our practice is to make us pure and humble, that we may approach God with openness of heart. There are various methods by which this may be accomplished – by prayer, by meditation, by work, devotion, self- sacrifice and self control. If, however, we follow any one of these methods without remembering the purpose it. it may produce just the result we are trying to avoid; that is, it may stimulate the ego and thus prove a draw back. No matter what we do, therefore, we must never lose sight of the fact that God is the Supreme Reality, the Highest Self ; He is the only one to be depended on, not the lower self; and constantly surrendering ourselves to Him in our thought will so purify us that we shall be able to find a connection or open a channel by which we may unite ourselves with the Supreme.
This is what is meant by religious practice: To have a definite consciousness regarding the Real, regarding Spirit, not through books or through some one else, but it through one’s own self. Each one must be able to awaken his own inner nature. He must be able to grasp the meaning of life, to perceive the existence of God directly. This is the aim of all study and practice,. A man who lives here and performs the duties of life must know he purpose of life; he must know his relation with the Unseen Dower; he must understand the Force which is constantly working within and without him. The science Yoga teaches this.The very word signifies man’s union with the Supreme. Until he has attained that union and feels that he is being guided by God along the right path, he cannot have ant sense of security; and so long as he does not feel that is safe, he cannot enjoy life. If, however , at every moment of his existence he is wholly devoted to the Supreme , then he can never feel separated from Him. When under all the circumstances, in our walking and sleeping , we carry the thought of God and put in into all our action, then we are living in spiritual life. The aim of spiritual life is not to destroy our present life, but to enrich it to make it fuller, more effective. We never think that we are abandoning or neglecting anything which we try to do the right thing towards our soul. On the contrary, we cannot say that we are working for the world, if we do not pay proper attention to our own soul. Thus awakening of soul-consciousness is the very first step that every individuals being must must take. And in that all the problems of life are included. When it is accomplished, then what we now regard as unseen becomes seen; what we now believe to be impossible; for as the channel opens,there comes the flow of Reality.
At present the channel is blocked on account of our ignorance, or because perhaps we are unconsciously turning away from Real. If there is a beautiful picture before you, but you are looking in the opposite direction, you do no see it. And this is what bars the vision of Reality. we are constantly looking to the external things which only gives us sorrow and and sadness. Those who are born with a certain established relationship with God are very fortunate, because they begin with something definite. They are not going hither and thither searching an indefinite way; but they already have an Ideal to start with and therefore they find it natural to follow the spiritual path. But we can all have a definite Ideal in our mind, we can all make the spiritual life a reality to us, as real as our earthly life and earthly relations. Now we depend upon earthly support, but we can in the same way learn to find our support in God or Truth. As our spiritual nature unfolds and we grow more and more conscious of our relationship with the Supreme Spirit, we shall feel less and less bound by the material world; the fetters will fall off, as it were of their own accord. All our imperfection will seem to drop away of themselves, as welcome in contact with a Perfect Being. By merely disciplining our mind and body we cannot gain perfection. A man arrive for ages to root out his physical and mental imperfections, but even then he will not realize perfection. As, however he thinks constantly of a Perfect being, he absorb the attributes of the Being; or he opens a channel by which he establishes a relationship with the Undying, All-Knowing, All-living, Effulgent Spirit and thereby he breaking bondage of material life. It is very necessary to subdue the senses and learn to control the body and mind as Lord Krishna tells to His disciples, but He says again that although one may starve the senses and thereby deaden their feelings, he has not gained much spirituality because desires still linger in the heart;when, however, one has seen the Supreme, then all desires and limitations drop forever. So whatever we do, whether we give discipline to the body and mind or whether we turn our thoughts in the opposite direction, we must not forget that the main objects of all practice is to educate our inner being, tob unfold our spiritual nature and to bring us face to face with the Supreme; for He is the one real aim and object of all our search.
When we mediate on Him with conviction, then our heart becomes illumined with His Light and we attain super-consciousness, the consciousness which include all lesser forms of consciousness. As we go about out our ordinary life, therefore,we should sometimes stop, draw ourselves within and try to get the other point of view , to see that other aspect of our life. It is this balancing of the two sides and gaining a state of equilibrium which prepares our mind for the knowledge of the Supreme. So long, however, as it is overpowered by one aspect of life – the physical and material – we can never know our inner being and our soul will be starved even though our body is fed
EXPERIENCE is the real and only way of acquiring strength. Real strength comes through realization. When a man has seen God he can declare with conviction that there is a God.When we have seen a thing, no matter how much people may deny the existence of that thing, we can still stand up boldly and declare. ” I know it exists. ” Tat Twam asi ” ( Thou are That ) – the Lord does not exist apart from you; find Him out yourself within yourself.” Let be this realization is the goal of all mankind. ” THOU ARE THAT ”