What are the different ways people try to realize the Self?
Some people try to realize the Self by empirical, philosophical speculation, while others by devotional service. (BG 3.3)
What are the stumbling blocks on the path of self realization?
Attachments and aversions are stumbling blocks on the path of self-realization. One must follow the principles that help us regulate these emotions. (BG 3.34)
What should be the consciousness of the person aspiring for self-realization?
Although Krishna is the ultimate creator, He’s not affected by His work; He doesn’t aspire for fruits of actions. Whosoever understands this truth doesn’t become entangled with the reactions of his karmas (BG 4.14).
Krishna is the supreme. He is not bound by activities and their results. A person who realizes the greatness of Krishna becomes attached to Him, and therefore, doesn’t have material expectations. Moreover, such a person realizes that when God doesn’t expect results, how we can have expectations. We are only a small part of His creation.
The liberated souls in the past acted with this understanding. So we have success stories/case studies. Krishna advises us to follow their footsteps. (BG 4.15)
What practices a person aspiring for self-realization should adopt?
- Use intelligence to purify oneself
- Control the mind with determination
- Give up the objects that gratify the senses
- Become free from attachment or hatred
- Eat in moderation
- Control body, mind, speech
- Become free from false ego, false strength, false pride, lust, anger, false proprietorship. (Krishna is the ability in humans, he is the creator of everything, and therefore, we should be humble in our mind, body, and speech.)
- Become peaceful
What’s that knowledge that facilitates one to become situated in the Self?
The transcendental knowledge about devotional service, about Krishna is the purest knowledge. It situates our awareness in the self. This is the perfection of all types of knowledge. This knowledge is eternal. Moreover, it gives joy and bliss. (BG 9.2)
What are the qualities of a self realized person?
Krishna has stated the traits of liberated souls in the Bhagavad Gita (BG 5.20):
A liberated person doesn’t become excited when he accomplishes something. He doesn’t lament when he loses something precious. This person is self-intelligent. That is, his intelligence is fixed in his original self. He knows who he is, why he shouldn’t be attached to his activities or their results. Nothing can bewilder this person. He knows the science of God! He understands his actual, eternal position, so the temporary pleasure and pain don’t bother him.