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Self Alone Is Friend Of Self, Self Alone Is Enemy Of Self – Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, a revered scripture in Hindu philosophy, delves deeply into the nature of the self and the path to spiritual liberation. In Chapter VI, Lord Krishna imparts wisdom on the dual nature of the self, emphasizing that "Self Alone Is Friend Of Self, Self Alone Is Enemy Of Self." This profound statement highlights the internal struggle within every individual and underscores the necessity of mastering the lower self to attain true peace and bliss.

At the core of this teaching is the distinction between two aspects of the self: the higher self and the lower self. The higher self, or the Conscious Self, represents our true essence, the soul, which is eternal, pure, and seeks liberation (moksha). It is aligned with dharma (righteousness) and the ultimate truth. On the other hand, the lower self is composed of mind and matter, often driven by desires, emotions, and ego. This lower self is prone to ignorance and attachment, which lead to suffering and bondage.

To achieve spiritual enlightenment, the Bhagavad Gita advises that one must conquer the lower self. This conquest is not about suppression but about transformation. The lower self must be disciplined and aligned with the higher self. When this alignment occurs, the lower self becomes a supportive friend, aiding in the journey towards self-realization. However, if the lower self dominates, driven by uncontrolled desires and ignorance, it becomes an obstacle, the greatest enemy of one's spiritual progress.

Krishna's teaching highlights the importance of self-awareness and self-discipline. The mind, often compared to a turbulent wind, needs to be steadied through practices such as meditation, self-reflection, and adherence to righteous living. By cultivating virtues like patience, perseverance, and detachment, one can train the lower self to support rather than hinder the higher self.

The concept that "Self Alone Is Friend Of Self, Self Alone Is Enemy Of Self" also reflects the notion of personal responsibility. It teaches that one's inner state determines one's happiness or misery. External circumstances are secondary; the real battleground is within. By conquering the lower self, one can transcend external challenges and remain centered in the face of adversity.

This philosophy aligns with modern psychological insights into the nature of the self. Contemporary psychology acknowledges the existence of different aspects of the self, such as the conscious and subconscious mind, and the importance of integrating these aspects to achieve mental health and well-being. Techniques like mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are modern equivalents to the practices suggested in the Gita for harmonizing the self.

In conclusion, the Bhagavad Gita's assertion that "Self Alone Is Friend Of Self, Self Alone Is Enemy Of Self" encapsulates the essence of the spiritual journey. It calls for an inner conquest where the lower self, composed of mind and matter, must be transformed and aligned with the higher Conscious Self. This alignment brings about inner peace, strength, and ultimate liberation. The teachings encourage self-mastery, personal responsibility, and the realization that true bliss lies within, achieved through the harmonious union of the higher and lower selves.