Why Self Knowledge?

We are used to the application oriented approach. This makes us question the need for Self knowledge. Any person with common sense will raise this question. Our Shastras provide various types of benefits due to the self knowledge. All of them are generally grouped in five broad benefits as below:

Jignyasa Nivirthi Quenching the quest for Knowledge
Vidhyananda Prapthi Happiness emerging out of discovery of one’s own self. Self knowledge becomes a permanent source of Joy.
Jignyasa Nivirthi Quenching the quest for Knowledge
Paara Thantra Nivirthi Self knowledge being a perennial source of happiness, eliminates the desperate dependence on the worldly source of happiness and pleasures.
Aagada Nivirthi Self knowledge provides a psychological comfort and acts as a shock absorber during the difficult phases of life.
Dakshatha Prapthi Self Knowledge provides a balanced mind with a high emotional quotient, leading to better performance and decision making.

Self knowledge make a person independent (ie) free from dependence on the external world. As the ego is destroyed fully, the rebirth cycle gets discontinued. A person who has lost their independent identity have nothing to perform or get and hence do not a need a body to experience any thing more. Hence they attain salvation when the body is shed. They mix with the total consciousness, the total power. Without this realization, there is always a desire to attain or do something and hence they need a body to satisfy their desire. Hence they undergo the rebirth cycle.

Path to Self Realization

Our scriptures act as a guide and provide us the path to the realization. Our qualities determine our action.

Healthy Attitudes bring within us the good qualities which lead us to the good deeds. Karma kanda of the Vedas provide the religious practices to be followed by the individuals. When they are performed without a desire for the benefits (ie) with a good attitude, they become Karma yoga. This over a period of time conditions the mind making them fit for pursuing self knowledge.

Karma yoga combined with self knowledge get us the freedom from the dependence on the worldly things for our happiness. This freedom is termed as Moksham or Jeevan Mukthi.

In the next Article let us analyse the qualification for taking the path to realisation.