What is Self-knowledge?
Self- knowledge has a double meaning.
The one is related with the lower or external self which in vedanta it is called as non-self since it is not our true identity but only an instrument of our inner or true SELF.
The second meaning is related with our true identity, the inner or true SELF.
The lower self is impermanent, changeable, finit, bound by time, space and causality, it is subject to birth, decay and death and its existence depends on the true SELF. He experiences pleasure, limited happiness, pain and suffering; He is affected by the forces of the universe and he is subject to diseases.
The true or higher SELF, is infinite, immortal, begginlesss, eternal, beyond time, space and causality; He is Self-luminous, Self-existent, free from birth and death, free from change, unaffecfed by what happens in the body and mind and all universe, free from suffering. He is an ocean of absolute peace, bliss, love and freedom.
Due to ignorance, desire and egoism, rajas and tamas we identify with the external self and especially with the physical body as well as the mental-emotional formations. Thus although we are the immortal SELF ever free, peaceful and blissful we suffer due to the egoic tendencies which grow in the mind due our identification with the body, the mind and the external objects.
The ego with all its tendencies together with the the rajas and tamas gunas hypnotize our Buddhi (intellect) and obscure its capacity to discern between the real and the unreal, the SELF and the non-self. Because of it we are manipulated by the lower egoic energies and we become blind to see things as they are; and thus we fail to realize that we are the SELF and not a body-mind entity.
In order to regain our pristine state and realize (to know by direct experience) our inner SELF or Atman whose nature is Satchitananda we must know first the lower self. We cannot free ourselves from the lower egoic energies the rajas and tamas gunas without to know them; without to be aware of them; to know and understad deeply how they function, how they delude us and impede us discernir that we are not them but the consciousness (Atman, SELF) which is the permanent substratum and the source of them.
Only when our mind and intellect are free from the egoic energies can function in their higher aspect and in harmony with higher SELF. Only a pure Buddhi can realize its identity with the SELF. But in order to free or purify our Buddhi from the egoic energies we must know how they (ego and egoic tendencies) function in ourselves by detached or dispassionate self-observation, investigation, reflection and meditation. In short we must know our mind in all its levels and purify it from the egoic energies.
By knowing what we are not (the ego and the upadhis also) and by eliminating the ego (in all its aspects) which bounds and identify us with the external self we finally come to realize our true identity; to realize that we are the higher SELF, the Atman.
To know the lower or external self is the first aspect of self-knowledge. To realize (to know by direct intuitive experience) the true SELF, Atman, is the second and most important aspect of Self-knowledge; this is Yoga and Wisdom too.
Self-knowledge, liberation, enlightenment, Self-realization, God-realization are synonymous terms and are referred to him who have managed to dissolve the ego totally (all egoic tendencies root and branch) and fuse its intellect in the SELF loosing any sense or awareness of separation with the SELF; He (the liberated one or Jivanmukta) realizes that IS the SELF which is identical with the Divine or Universal SELF, the Brahman of Upanishads.
The liberated one is free from suffering, birth and death, experiencing always effortlessly the Oneness, the freedom, the peace and bliss eternal!
May God bless you realize your true nature in this very life!
Bhole baba ki jai !
Bolo Sri Haidakhandi Baghavan ki jai !
Bolo Sri Haidakjandeswari mata ki jai !
Yoga: Means union with the true Self or God. We call Yoga the realization that we are one with God but we call also yoga the process to achieve this realization of unity or identity with God. The main paths of Yoga are: Karma, Raja, Bhakti and Jnana Yoga.
Sat is the Truth Existence absolute, Exist in eternity, never cesases to be.
Chit is Consciousnesso or Awareness absolute. Atman is self-luminous therefore does not any other factor to know Itself.
Ananda is Bliss Absolute. The very nature of Atman is Bliss without limits.
Since both the external world and the internal world of the mind are made of matter, the qualities of the three gunas are seen in both.
For example, in the external world we see:
Sattva -- equilibrium and serenity
Rajas -- dynamism and movement
Tamas -- inertia and stagnancy
In the internal world of the mind, these are experienced as:
Sattva -- Purity, compassion, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, comprehension, recognition, generosity, patience, kindness
Rajas -- Desire, anger, attachment, greed, possessiveness, envy, jealousy , hyperactivity, agitation, fear, nervousness, anxiety, aggressiveness, competitiveness, power, prestige, name and fame
Tamas -- Impurity, dullness, , delusion, confusion, depression, stupor, unconsciousness, coma.
Upadhi: A superimposed thing or attribute that veils and gives a coloured view of the substance beneath it; limiting adjunct; instrument; vehicle; body; a technical term used in Vedanta philosophy for any superimposition that gives a limited view of the Absolute and makes It appear as the relative. The five sheaths (koshas) annamaya, pranayama, manomaya, vijnamaya and anandamaya are the upadhis of Atman or consciousness.
Peace, Love, Harmony