Self Transformation – In Gita Verse 16.23 He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

Krishna says whose own whim is totally different from self-actualization.

Both the person renounce the scripture but the seeker will experiment with all the words given into scripture. And who is in his own whim will renounce the scripture for the ego.


This question means that if all the scriptures, all the shastras, were destroyed that truth would also be destroyed with them? Is truth dependent on the shastras or are the shastras dependent on truth?

The truth has never been attained by means of the shastras. On the contrary, the shastras were obtained and revealed after the truth had been realized. It is not the shastras that are of value, it is the truth which is of value. The fundamental thing is the truth, not the shastras. And if truth could be attained through the shastras it would be a very cheap truth indeed. You could attain it without making any change in yourself.

But the shastras can only fill your memory, they cannot give you knowledge of the self. And in the direction of truth a trained memory doesn’t help at all. For truth, you have to pay the price of self-transformation. The shastras can make you a pundit, a scholar, but they cannot give you knowledge. The shastras can give birth to more shastras though. This is only natural. The material can only produce the material. But how can knowledge come out of this? Knowledge is a form of consciousness. It cannot be born out of unconscious matter. The shastras are without life, without consciousness. This is not so for the truth. The shastras can only enrich the unconscious, lifeless memory. Conscious knowledge cannot be attained through them but can only be attained by going into oneself.

You ask how the truth can be known without the help of the shastras. To this Krishna asks how can you know the truth as long as you confine yourself to the shastras? It is a false notion that truth can be obtained from someone else, from the shastras or from a guru, because this does not allow you to search for it within yourself. This idea is a big obstacle. This is also a search in samsara, in the world. Bear in mind that the shastras are part of the world as well. Whatever is outside is the world.

The truth is there, inside and not outside – within, where the self is. The self is the real shastra. It is also the only real guru. By entering the self, truth is attained.

Also remember intellect is thinking. Intellect is not knowledge. Thinking is groping in the dark, it is not knowing. The truth cannot be thought – it is seen, realized. It is not realized through the intellect but is realized when the intellect is quiet and empty. This state of inner knowledge is intuition. Intuition is not thinking, it is insight. To one who wants to see the truth, intuition is like acquisition of sight to a blind man. No one ever gets anywhere by thinking. It is endless, groping. A blind man may grope for years but will he be able to attain light? Just as there is no relation between groping and light, there is none between thinking and truth. They are altogether different dimensions.

Many times we get carried away with our vision as truth. To this we call spiritual experience.

No, this is not a spiritual experience. No vision is a spiritual experience because on that plane all experiences are psychological. As long as there is the vision or realization of someone else it cannot be the realization of the self. Even in such experiences you are still outside yourselves, you have still not come into your selves. That coming into one’s self takes place when there are no outer experiences. When consciousness is not related to any object it settles spontaneously on the self.

Only a consciousness without object can settle on the self.

Outside myself I am surrounded by two worlds, the world of matter and the world of the mind. Both of these are outside me. Not only is matter outside, the mind is outside as well. Because the mind is inside the body it creates the illusion of being inner, but the mind is not within. The self is inner, behind the mind, beyond the mind.

We do not mistake physical experiences for spiritual experiences, but our psychological experiences do create the illusion of being spiritual because the mental images we see are different from those of the world we know and we also see them after we have closed our eyes. But among mental experiences we do not think of dreams as spiritual experiences even though they too only appear when we shut our eyes and even though awakening, contact with the outside world, puts an end to them.

There are certain mental experiences that create the illusion of being real and spiritual. These are mental projections. The mind has the capacity to hypnotize itself to such a degree that it can see the dreams it sees with the eyes closed even after the eyes have been opened. This happens in a kind of waking sleep. Thus we see God as we want to – Krishna or Christ. Such visions are only mental projections in which we don’t see what really is but whomsoever it is we wish to see. These experiences are neither spiritual nor divine. They are simply psychological experiences and are caused by self-hypnosis.

Krishna says being surrounded by the ego creates the illusion of being different, of being separate from life. This is your distance, your separation from God. And in actual fact, no distance or separation is possible – the very illusion of “I” is the distance. This separation is because of ignorance. In fact, ignorance is the separation. As such there is no real separation at all.

The infinite, boundless, creative life-force that is realized with the dissolution of the ego is God. The experience one has after the death of “I”, after the extinction of the ego is the true vision of God.

And then what do I see? Nowhere do I see “I”; nowhere do I see “that”, the “other”. That which is in the waves of the ocean is in me; that which is in the new spring blossoms is in me; that which is in autumn’s falling leaves is in me. Nowhere am I separate from the cosmic being. I am in it; I am it.

This is the true vision of God. A seer has said, “Tattvamasi svetaketu – thou art that.” The day you feel and experience this you have realized God. Whatever falls short of this or is different from this is all imagination.

What is the vision of God if it is not the identification of the self with him? What is the vision of the ocean for a raindrop? It can only lose its identity and become the ocean itself! As long as it is a raindrop the ocean is different from it, very far away from it, but once it loses its identity, its entity, it has become one with the ocean. In truth, the drop has become the ocean.

Krishna says do you search for God? Then seek the attainment of godliness. The path of this search is the same as the raindrop’s in its search for the ocean.


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