Life brings out the best of us by putting us into situations that are the worst. Why does it do so? To make us wake up from our beginningless slumber of forgetting our true nature: blissful, ever existing, and absolutely conscious. It tries to shake us from our dream of the world. Just as in a dream it is difficult to see ourselves, so in this dream of worldly existence we cannot see our true nature, the Atman.
Even when we think that we ought to start our spiritual journey, what do we do? We chalk out a programme, a routine, make some feeble attempts at meditation, do some scriptural studies, bring changes to our lifestyle, do some devotional practices, and try to help others.
All these are at best preparations for the spiritual journey. Almost all of us remain stagnant at this stage of preparation, our entire lives, and do not progress further because we lack both vision and passion. We lack the vision of Atman, our true nature.
We fail to understand the import of the Upanishads who try to give us an inkling of our glorious nature. Constantly studying them and meditating on their meaning gives us a grand vision of our reality beyond what we perceive: the seer behind the seen.
With this vision we have a roadmap to start our journey. We know what it would be to reach the destination. We know, from the seers of the past, that the arrival at the destination would be a state of complete fulfilment, a state of complete doubtlessness.
What is self-realisation or God-realisation? It is a doubtless understanding of one’s personality. That is the vision we need to have to be spiritual aspirants, to aspire to be free from suffering.
Source - Prabuddha Bharata Magazine Editorial August 2015