5) Self Knowledge (Atmajnan) – Is Self-Realization Easy?

Talk 5 by Prabhuji



How easy or how difficult is Self-Realization?

There was a king called Janaka, he invited various scholars, who are realized people to his palace, to get a view on Self-Realization. He wants to know about Self-Realization. One day a person called Astavakra walked into King Janaka’s palace. Astavakra means his body is deformed at eight different places, he looks very odd. So looking at him all the people in the King’s court started laughing. Astavakra also started laughing, then King asked why are you laughing. Astavakra said, ‘Oh King, I thought your court is full of wise men, that is why you have invited people to speak about Self-Realization, but looks like you are shoe makers, cobblers in court’. Everyone was angry, ‘how dare he calls us cobblers?’. Janaka says, ‘please explain’.

Astavakra says, ‘a cobbler is expert in looking at skins, similarly the people who are sitting in your court are looking only at my skin, they are not looking at the Atma or soul inside. How can you have such idiots here’. Suddenly the King realizes that this person is a Jnani.  He comes down and bows down to him and say, ‘You are Jnani, can you please give me the wisdom of Self-Realization, I have heard Self-Realization can happen in a split of a second, but I have not got the wisdom from anybody so far’. Astavakra says, ‘I can give the wisdom, but I want Guru Dakshina first itself, whatever you can offer you give now itself’. So Janaka says, ‘Whatever you want I will give you, the whole Kingdom is yours, please take it, give me Atmagyan, Self-Realization’. So Astavakra, starts laughing again, ‘ok you are offering the kingdom, but the kingdom belongs to the people, how you can offer something that doesn’t belong to you’. Then Janaka suddenly feels ashamed, ‘Oh sorry I will offer myself, I am your servant’. So Astavakra says, again laughing, ‘you call yourself the body and mind, the body belongs to the Prakrit, when you die its goes to the nature, when you were born it came from nature and it grows by nature, how can you offer your body, this belongs to nature. Tell me something which you have, that you can give it to me. Then Janaka realizes and says, ‘Oh, Master only my foolishness belongs to me, neither this kingdom nor this body belongs to me. I am offering my foolishness to you, the ego I am offering to you’. The moment he says that, Janaka gets enlightened. Enlightenment is nothing but realizing that, ‘I am not the body, I am not the mind, and I am not the intellect’.

How easy or how difficult it is? And it is said Realization happens in a ‘split of a second’. But to get to that ‘split of a second’ you need to undergo lot of struggle, and that’s called Sadhana. To go to that ‘split of a second’ you need to struggle, but when you come to that ‘split of a second’ the Realization is instantaneous. So, it is as simple as that.

Imagine there is a dark room, you don’t know what is there in the room, and ignorance is like that, you don’t know. So, if you ask whether a chair is there, you don’t know, a table is there, you don’t know, that’s what dark room is about. To find out what is there you have to switch on, and you see everything. Similarly Self-Realization is like switching on the light, the moment light is on you can see everything. Earlier there was darkness and in that darkness you cannot see anything. All that you have to do is switch on the light. So, my students say, ‘I cannot find the switch itself’(laughs). So Atmagyan is instantaneous, like switching on the light, to locate that switch, the searching goes on and that is Sadhana. To find out the right switch is the challenge. This is the challenge in spirituality, you don’t know where to go, because it is darkness, but if you hit the right button, light is there, it is instantaneous. That is Self-Realization.

Now, let me ask you. Did you have head ache at any point of time? What tablet you take for headache? You take some analgesic tablet, how much you pay for it, may be just one rupee. But you know how much money has been spent on the research that has been done to invent that one rupee tablet. Billions of dollars have been spent to research that formula. Thousands of doctors have worked, thousands of scientists have worked. And the thousands of doctors’ work and  scientists’ work is available to you at one rupee, which removes your head ache.

Similarly for Atmagyan thousands of Rishis, thousands of Sadgurus have worked their lifetimes and the jnana which they have given is in the form of clear wisdom, ‘Tat Twam Asi’, Aham Brahmasi’ etc. Their effort they are giving it you free of cost, not even one rupee. So information is available to you, to activate that switch. In the dark room you have to find the switch, but somebody who has already found can show you the switch. You don’t have to struggle. Your Sadhana time comes down. And the person who has found the switch and can show you the switch is called Sadguru. You don’t have to go through the struggle that those people have gone through, you don’t have to go through the struggle which Sadguru has gone through, that is why he is called Sadguru. He is exactly pinpoints the location on where you have to work. Your Sadhana is to find such a Sadguru, and that also in darkness.

The whole aim of spiritual Sadhana, is to get a realized master, to get to the realized master. Once you get the realized master, it is the end of Sadhana, he shows exactly where to work on.  Meeting of the Sadguru is not the beginning of the spiritual journey, meeting of the Sadguru is the end of the spiritual journey. You don’t have to go through the struggle, lot of learning will be passed in a very simple way. This is the role of Sadguru in life.

Transcription by Atmajyothi Satyavathi

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