Swami ji said …
In today’s world man is busy chasing dreams. Dreams of wealth, fame, fortune and other finer things in life. Everyday is a hustle. He deals with others around him the way it suits him – smiles at some, frowns at others ; makes promises to some and excuses to others. In this hullabaloo of life he forgets to do something extremely important – वह स्वयं का ‘आत्मनिरिक्षण’
करना भूल जाता है … which he must do time and time again , regularly and unfailingly. He seems to find time to do everything that interests him – but , somehow , fails to spare those few minutes needed to sit awhile , and , interact with the ‘self ‘, and , ask himself how he has been doing ? How does he really feel about himself ? What has he become ? His reluctance to do so makes one feel that he is afraid to face the honest answers that he would receive from his ‘self ‘.
Like any journey, the journey of life , too, makes a traveller weary – and that traveller in this case is the ‘soul’. The numerous ups and downs; trials and tribulations; joys and successes leave their mark on a person’s character. What one sets out as – is nowhere close to how one emerges – at the end of this journey. It thus becomes important to stop once in a while and take stock of our ‘self.’ Self – reflection thus becomes important. Do we pay attention to what we are evolving and turning into ? Are we very happy with the kind of individuals that we are becoming ? Most of us love ourselves the way we are – our nature , temperament – every single thing about ourselves – and do not hesitate in declaring that we are perfect ; that there is nothing wrong in us. If this is not a delusional thought – then what is ? A thought of this kind can only be a figment of our imagination ! There is always room for a lot of improvement in ourselves.
Do we raise some honest, critical questions to ourselves ? ‘ Am I as good as I project myself to those around me ! Do I play games with people – of pretence, deception, dishonesty ? Do I tell people that I like them on their face and talk ill behind their back ? Do I find it easy to lie ? What sort of a person am I ? Am I the sort of person I would like to see around me ?’
Believe me , you will find all the answers within yourself, as similar to the manner in which a mirror never lies – the conscience too only speaks the truth.
Repeated failures can make some of us highly negative and we might not even realise it. Some of us might have become very comfort-minded over time and not seen the subtle changes in our behaviour. Some of us might have become susceptible to dishonesty in order to escape the various stresses of life. It is only periodic self-reflection that can make us stay alert and aware of these changes that take place in our character.
Just like in our childhood – when we used to clean and decorate our classrooms for inspections and make rigorous efforts to ensure that our class was awarded the prize for the best classroom – we must also make regular efforts to inspect ‘ourselves’ – and just like we used to clean away the dust and cobwebs that had begun to spread – we must curtail the growth of bad characteristics, wrong habits , weaknesses in us – overcome them and be an honest, genuine version’ of ourselves.
For the spiritual practioner, ‘self- reflection’ – and on seeing his shortcomings – constantly improve and correct himself ; overcome his weaknesses and purify his ‘soul’ further – is what leads to self-realisation. It is only when we observe ourselves keenly – our mind, its thoughts, the actions that these thoughts yield – it is only then that we start the process of understanding who and what we are – and also the main purpose of our life – which is to merge our ‘soul’ with our Creator.