Self-knowledge has been regarded as the be-all and end-all of human-hood. The place of importance, the exclusiveness and the comprehensiveness given to Self-knowledge in our country has been very very remarkable.
This knowledge of the Self, to begin with and at the end, are entirely different and is quite dependent on the intensity and extent to which a seeker considers it Supreme and the strength, the clarity and the potential the seeker brings to such his/her seeking. Depending upon you, the seeker, your conceptual ability, the readiness and resolve with which you can pursue your concept will determine the extent of Self-realization you have or will have. This is point many seekers often forget.
The saints and sages of this land who have come to lime light is not because of their mere knowledge of the Self, but because of the qualities and excellences that they have been able to develop in the name of that knowledge. There is a great gap between one knowing the Self and his making that knowledge functional and qualitative.
A sage merely by his knowledge is nobody. But if the Self-knowledge drives him to a stage of Universal love – some facets of which others are able to see – then he will be considered a unique person. If there is a sage by whose side a tiger and deer act in friendliness then people understand that there is something unique in him. That uniqueness is because of certain quality of his mind.
Between the knowledge of the Self which people take to be an intellectual outcome and the knower who grows after that knowledge, who cherishes that knowledge, and elevates himself, enhances his mind, sublimates his mind, there remains a gap of oceanic dimensions. The seeker must understand that the Self-knowledge is only like a broom stick, one has to sweep through his / her personality bringing about transformation of perception, thinking and action. The extent of one’s ability to sweep, wipe and clean determines the degree of one’s attainment.
To begin with it is a point, then it becomes a circle which becomes bigger and bigger, ultimately it covers the extremities of the universe. Sitting in the ashram you will learn to say that the whole universe is contained within me, I have no desire to go anywhere, I have no desire to gain or to lose or to be this or to be that.
Psychologically, it will set you right in fullness. Intellectually it will set you right in all clarity, there being something called ease, facility, relaxation and composure within you. With these qualities if one were to remain inactive, it is easy, however, these qualities have to be coupled with the state of activity.
In the present day education what we find is that the input in the form of knowledge is enormous. But a corresponding input to make that knowledge functional is absent. Similarly, we find that people who visit the Ashram, they come and they go, they seek spirituality or they claim to become spiritual, but the mental enrichment, the quality of the mind required to live in this world – in the world of contradictions, in the world of conflicts, in the world of disparities, in the world of this and in the world of that – that kind of insight, that readiness we are not able to find.
Poojya Swamiji says that every one has a right to exist whether he is good, bad or indifferent. In this world not only propriety prevails, impropriety also prevails and we cannot turn our back to it. We may not be improper and yet will have to accept propriety and impropriety whether we want it or not – everyone has a right to exist. The fools, the dacoits, the disobedient, the rascals, the madcaps – all of them have a right to exist. Now our success lies in giving them their right of existence and taking our right of existence and remain unruffled and not to ruffle them also. This requires at the very minimum an openness of thinking – some are born to it, others will have to acquire it.
What are the qualities which the mind lacks in order to get enriched? This is an inquiry all of you will do well to carry on with. Is my mind sufficiently flexible? Does it have that endurance? Does it have that tolerance? Can I contain dejection? Can I contain greed? Can I contain intolerance? Or am I going to be given our to all these things? So this holding oneself against all possible internal and external onslaughts – Poojya Swamiji says this readiness, that this mind to be so, should be recognised by everyone. In spiritual life, this is all the more the primary consideration.
This Ashram is meant to allow people to realise this and grow into the dimension, making their knowledge ripe, functional and overflowing.