Due to avidya (ignorance of our true Self), we don't really like our self. That is why we have relationship – vasanas, or excessive attachments towards objects and people, to make ourselves more pleased with ourselves and our lives.
But here is a suggestion: with acquired Self-knowledge, maybe you can try to attempt a new, but vital relationship with your pre-existing inner perfection, the Self? And how do you do this? By contemplating upon Self-knowledge and then making effort to manifest a teacher who can help you in your Self-inquiry.
A Guru always appears when the student is ready. A living Guru who can speak to us, like Lord Krishna spoke to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, would be ideal to impart you Self-knowledge. We may not even be looking for a Guru per se, but somehow, a specific Guru’s teachings will reach you, ending in you ultimately owning your own inner beauty, sovereign and divine light.
I also sincerely hope that my voice will start you on a journey of radically accepting yourself more, by recognizing that there are hidden aspects of yourself and you have an infinite potential to not only be happy, but share this happiness with all beings.
In this sense, all my teachings are about learning to accept ourselves at our innermost level, that is autonomous and independent of the other two types of relationships – with objects and people, because they begin and end in time. But our own Self is always with us, unconditionally.
Which self will you want to accept, since inside you right now, one part is real, and the other unreal? Since we have projected our essential self-hood onto the jiva (ego based personality), we begin to fixate on it to somehow become more perfect. It is like an attempt to claim ourselves back by fixating on our own image in the mirror, and controlling its every move, while forgetting our own pre-existing inner perfection. This is the irony. No matter how beautiful, how learned and how shiny the reflection in the mirror is, it still-remains a virtual image of the original Self, which is here all along. We are simply looking in the wrong direction.
In my own life, there came a turning point where I simply stopped decorating, promoting and edifying my ego self (jiva) beyond what is reasonable. Interestingly, when I accepted myself radically, I was surrounded by people who wanted to be with me. Yes, my outer egoic personality, too, I am sure has gaps; I can’t be everything for everyone. But inside me, I am everyone. So how does it matter how many times I change my outer wardrobe?
I invite you, come meet me, once you can see with your inner eyes, who I am.
Come meet me where the moon, sun and stars hang out, all shining with the same light of Brahman (Supreme Reality), and there, I shall smile and sparkle for you. Come meet me as my guileless student, the forgotten old woman, the lonely bird with broken a wing who sat outside my window, the snake who died on my door peacefully, the animals who found me deliberately or a simple weed in my garden who dazzles and delights in my love, and you shall know who I am and how I care. I host the inner light of all beings, stay awake, and awaken them, too.
Yes, you will find a whole different Inner Being, that you won’t find in my outer being. You will find you. You will find love. You will find our common truth.
Thus, Self-acceptance comes from our familiarity with our true Self and our inner agreements with our Self, that we will no longer seek acceptance in the world of objects and people alone, but be willing to turn inwards to quest our own inner hidden potential. There is no greater mission than your own Self-discovery mission, because the ones who become fulfilled from within, having drank from the cup of abundance that overflows in divine consciousness, come back as gifts for the rest of the universe. Such embodied spirits become the path showers to self-ascension, and role models of the way to live, love and let go in transcendent inner fullness.
Thus, in the Vedic tradition, the core of your being is an infinite life principle, which is variously called Brahman, Purusha, Atman, Sakshi or Chaitanyam in Sanskrit.” In the English language, it is called soul or spirit, but do not purposefully use these words, since Brahman is very different from the Judeo-Christian usage of soul and spirit. That is different for each human being and attached to the material body, whereas Brahman is an impersonal Ultimate Reality, Pure consciousness that is all pervading and transcends individuals, worlds and god. Consider exploring a whole new possibility of your Self.
The Upanishads declare: “The wise know that the Self is bodiless, all-pervading and supreme (even though) it dwells in perishable, impermanent bodies.” (Kathopanishad)
In the beginning of our inquiry, we all seem to possess two selves – the one we are all too familiar with, which has a given recognizable name by parents, and has an earth-bound residence with an address and recognizable marks on body and face; and the other, which is eternal but invisible, all pervasive, and dwells inside us, like fragrance dwells inside a flower.
Fragrance cannot be seen, or touched, or located exactly in which cell it resides, yet its presence cannot be denied, nor mitigated, and always experienced, especially if we quiet our mind. A silent mind reveals a beautiful quiet blessing presence. And with that recognition comes an infinite sense of peace, familiarity, knowingness and contentment with all that is.
Yet, in our day to day lives, we live in estrangement with our own Self. We do not seek it, let alone trust it. Instead, we seek externalized peace and all that is beautiful and complete in the world. But whatever we grab hold of outside us (in the world) always escapes us invariably, as the external world keeps changing – that is its nature.
If only we were to make friends with the invisible eternal being that dwells in our inner world, and never changes, always remains constant in the highest state of self-expression – then all will be well.
Pass the ocean. Sit by it sometime. Lose yourself in the ocean. Come back an ocean. Spread your drops everywhere. Let the ocean live through you.
The waves will rejoice on greeting you.
The joy is felt in your heart, which is the core of your large ocean body.
You wonder if you are them or they are you.
It does not matter.
Once when you were calm and still within, an ocean came by and sat quietly next to you and became you. Now the ocean speaks of you in every wave, every drop, and every rise and every fall.
Thus, our spiritual nature is primary, existing independently as pure consciousness, while our psychological and biological nature is secondary, and dependent upon our spiritual nature. An expansion of the self-concept is helpful. When we do not know our true being, our spiritual Self, we pretend to be what we are not. That is painful at every level – personal, social, existential. Rarely do we intend to pretend in this way; it is simply a situation that must be addressed with the right kind of knowledge. Worldly labels can only describe our body and mind, and since both are locales of ceaseless change, one never really knows with certainty who one is!
So, this is the essential inquiry: Who am I?
Awakening to the Self and receiving the answer to this question from within is a life-changing event. This inner enlightenment is every human’s birthright – it is not magic or a super state, as it is often made out to be.
Realization of Self leads to resting in our true nature, even while our mind and body are active in the world.
Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda, Vedanta and Yoga. She is the driving force behind an online wisdom school and worldwide spiritual community, and the author of best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017) and forthcoming second book with Sounds True to be released in 2020, Sovereign Self. Acharya Shunya is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga. Receive her free online teachings and browse her current eCourse offerings here or see more about her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel where she holds live Global Satsangs once per month. Study Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya in her online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.