Related Questions

What is Self Realization?

Scientific separation of Self and Non-Self

What is Atma Gnan (Self Realization)? It is the understanding of the inherent qualities of Atma (Purush, Self) and the anatma (prakruti, nonself). The one who knows the qualities of the Self and of the non-self, and has been through the process of separation, is said to have acquired Atma Gnan. When you become aware of the inherent qualities and differences of the Self and the nonself, you have acquired Atma Gnan.

It is not possible to attain Atma Gnan on your own. This is because right now, you are living and behaving as prakruti and you are trying to destroy the prakruti while being in it. How can this be possible? You will only be able to scratch the surface, but you will not be able to totally destroy prakruti. For example, if this cloth becomes dirty, you will need soap to remove the dirt. In the process of cleaning, the soap will leave behind a residue. While you remove one kind of residue, another kind will set in. Then you have to use Tinopal (a branded cloth whitener in India) in order to remove the residue from the soap. The Tinopal will also leave its own stain. I am giving you this analogy to help you understand why it is not possible to attain Atma Gnan through one's own efforts. Unless one receives Atma Gnan, it is not possible to destroy prakruti. It can be weakened, but not destroyed. Once you recognize the attributes of the Self and the non-self, you have the solution. The Gnani Purush (The Enlightened One) can help you know all of the attributes. Only a Gnani Purush can separate the Self from the non-Self for you. For example, this gold ring is a mixture of copper and gold. Who do you think will be able to separate the gold from the copper?

Questioner: Only a goldsmith.

Dadashri: Yes, a goldsmith can separate the gold and copper because he knows the qualities of both these elements. Similarly, a Gnani Purush knows the qualities of the Self and the non-Self and therefore, can separate the two. The gold and copper in this ring are in the form of a mixture rather than a compound. The goldsmith, therefore, can easily separate the mixture. Similarly, the Self and the non-Self are in a mixture form and not in a compound form, which is why it is possible to extract one from the other. If they were in a compound form, it would not be possible to separate the two. That is why the Gnani Purush is able to separate the two, and one is able to understand the Self.

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