There is no wealth equal to Self-knowledge in the whole creation. That is why people were/are willing to give up kingdoms for such knowledge. The Buddha is a case in point. He was a prince—the-king-to-be. He gave it all up to discover the truth of his existence. What he found has inspired millions ever since.

What is the process of self-discovery? How can I get self-knowledge? First, it requires an intense desire, tīvara icchā, to be free from all limitations. One has to become an informed seeker—a mumukṣu. How intense the desire has to be? The śastra, wisdom texts, give two analogies: like a person whose head, as if, is on fire and wants to dip it in water or like a person whose head is held down in the water and wants to come up to breathe.

When this desire attains the requisite intensity, the seeker, mumukṣu, becomes a seeker of knowledge—a jijñāsu. At this stage, s/he starts looking for some teaching, or better yet, a living teacher who himself or herself has gone through this process and is established in Self-knowledge. How to find a good teacher? The answer is: first be a good student. There is a law: One gets the teacher one deserves. There is also some truth to the saying that ‘when the student is ready the teacher appears.’ It is at this stage alone the real journey of self-discovery truly begins.

The seeker presses on: But why do I need a teaching or a teacher when the subject matter is to know myself. To reiterate: Even if we have eyes, we still need a mirror to see our face. The teacher, the teaching, acts as a mirror.

One cannot stumble upon Self-knowledge, much less Google it! Even in the fields where the subject-matter is other than the self—like medicine, arts, sports, etc.—one needs to train with a trainer. How much more so when the Subject himself/herself is the subject-matter!

One cannot discover “who am I” by chance.

Other Blog Posts

Share this post
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Buffer this pageDigg thisEmail this to someonePrint this page