Why does one need to know about the knowledge of self-realization and
how can this knowledge be used in daily life?
THIS IS NOT EASTERN PHILOSOPHY OR EASTERN
We are told in the vedic literature labdva sudurlabham
bahu sambhavante that after many many births, it is very rare
for someone to get a human life form. If you look around the world and
you see all the different species of life, you’ll conclude that
human species is a very rare species indeed. And if you examine all these
species, you’ll see they offer living beings different facilities.
Ahara nidraya bhaya mathunam ca there is
eating, sleeping, sex, defense, these are all going on in different forms
of life including the human species. But then the question comes, what
is it that is exclusive to human species that separates it from animal
life? Dharmena hina pasubhi samana without dharma or self-realization,
spiritual realization, there is no difference. Just like we see, this
is the only species where we educate. We educate ourselves. Because we
understand this intuitively, this is not eastern philosophy or eastern
religion. This is common sense understanding. And you can connect this
to dharma also. We have a natural tendency
to investigate our existence, the purpose of life. This is natural to
human beings. You do not see reindeer in the forest having a philosophical
discussion. That is not inherent to them but you do see them going about
getting food, mating, protecting themselves. So really, even by analyzing
the environment carefully that self-realization is essential for human
THINK THAT EDUCATION IS SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP THEM LIVE AND THRIVE
IN THIS WORLD. THEY THINK THAT SPIRITUAL EDUCATION HAS A TENDENCY TO MAKE
ONE WITHDRAW FROM THE WORLD AND THAT’S NOT GOOD.
In the teachings of Prahlada Maharaja, there is one verse, na te sva
artha gatim hi vishnum durasaya vimukta maninah…, and the people
who have made a vow to live in the material world, they chew the chewed.
Just like the cows they just chew over the cud over and over again trying
to extract some sort of pleasure. People who’ve made a vow to live
in this world, taking this world as the all in all, that there is no other
existence beyond this. They have spent all their time, knowledge and ability
cultivating material existence and chewing the chewed. Really, what people
are searching for is rasam, ecstasy, pleasure. Some higher taste
but they are trying to extract it, a conscious being is trying to extract
pleasure from matter. Srila Prabhupada would give the example of sugar
cane. People chew and suck out all the juice from the sugar cane and throw
it away. If someone else takes that and tries to suck it again, its foolish!
So generation after generation after generation for thousands and thousands
of years, human beings have been preoccupied with the same activity, trying
to squeeze a little juice out material life and unsuccessfully. So much
so that people even conclude that maybe it doesn’t even exist. But
there is a call from the literature saying srinvan
tu vishye amritasya putra “No, no, please listen, you are
children of nectar, you are not of this mortal world and environment,
you are children of the nectarine world.
YOU WERE BORN TO TASTE NECTAR.
You must not be satisfied by anything but nectar”. Uthishtahata
jagrata prapya bhorana bhodata. Now you’ve achieved human life.
Wake up and understand the opportunity that is in the front of you. This
opportunity is not available in any other species or any other part of
the universe. It is here and now, right before you. Tasyaevta hetoh
prayateta kovidah na labhyate bhramata uparyadah. This opportunity
you won’t get by wondering the length and breath of this universe,
throughout millions and millions of species and life forms. It is only
available to you now as a human being. And what is that? The opportunity
of understand your nectarean existence.
THAT IS SELF-REALIZATION, TO DISCOVER
THE LAND OF YOUR DREAMS.
How can we apply this in our daily lives is by associating with those
who are similarly interested; just you find clubs, lions club, rotary
clubs. There is a club for businessmen. So you find all businessmen who
were interested in buying or selling a particular product, they would
make a club to meet with each other, exchange ideas, encourage one another.
So, you need to make this something practical, you need association. If
you want to become a drunk, you can read about it. You can read a few
books about it and you can start to get some idea of what that must be
like but if you enter in the association of drunkards, within 15 minutes
you’ll know what its like. It will be very clear to you. You won’t
understand it fully, but what they feel, you’ll feel something of
that. So we want the association of those who are intoxication with the
Krsna Conscious conception. That will make it something living, vital
and reliant to our lives.
[Srila Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Maharaj -
reknown preacher and scholar]