Achieving and Manifesting Self-Realization Though Sahaja Meditation
Self-Realization, like the very nature of meditation itself, is transcendent, allowing us to experience a higher sense of identity and consciousness beyond the personal Self. Sahaja meditation can be a powerful instrument through which we can experience Self-Realization and Self-Transcendence, and in a very real and practical way.
If you’ve found that discussions of Self-Realization are sometimes over-complicated and confusing, the practice of Sahaja meditation can not only serve as a method for achieving Self-Realization, it can quickly clarify your understanding of it.
First, the practice of Sahaja helps us understand, experience and verify the underlying instrument that enables Self-Realization: the subtle energy system. Meditation provides clarity on what is really meant by the “Self” and what “Realization” really means, and in a very personal, experiential way.
Sahaja meditation provides a method of experiencing and verifying the Self-Realization process in a consistent, practical and repeatable manner that leaves practitioners with no doubt about whether they’ve achieved a higher state of consciousness, rather than simply some mystical or intangible feeling of achievement or satisfaction.
And notably, Sahaja meditation ultimately debunks the myth that spiritual and mystical experiences are confined only to faith-based practices.
Next, Sahaja mediation offers a clear, stratified approach to manifesting the longer term effects of Self-Realization. Mediation provides a built-in diagnostic tool that can give us constant, tangible feedback on our psychological and spiritual progress, as well as illuminate areas that need improvement.
Over time, Sahaja meditation allows us to venture deeper into the journey towards complete Self-Transcendence. We are inspired to transcend our personal growth needs and strive to make a difference in the world around us. We begin to realize that inner peace within each individual is perhaps the only way in which the world at large can ever become completely, permanently peaceful. We come to understand how a tangible, practical method of achieving inner peace at the individual level could ultimately help solve the world’s most vexing problems. Sahaja meditation can be that tangible, self-regulating method of achieving inner peace for everyone.
How do you achieve Self-Realization?
First, you must have a strong inner desire to achieve a higher state of existence. This “higher state” of consciousness enables us to transcend the Self and the normal, physical plain of existence. It is a state of awareness in which we seek to improve our personal qualities and traits and aspire to pursue values that are based on the subtle rather than the materialistic. Once this desire gathers strength in us, we begin seeking opportunities to cross the threshold into Self-Realization.
The actual process for achieving Self-Realization, from a Sahaja perspective, is short and, in fact, may even be described as near-instantaneous in a sense. In fact, Sahaja can be thought of as a “fast track” to achieving Self-Realization. Once the Kundalini energy is awakened and passes through each energy center to achieve a connection with the all-pervading power of the universe, you’ll begin to feel your Self or Spirit in your primary attention and your focus begins to turn to the subtler things in life. (For specific details on Self-Realization and the subtle energy system, see the Inner Energy Guide.)
The experience of Self-Realization involves reaching the state of thoughtless awareness, a unique state in which our minds seem to “switch off” and we experience a complete sense of relaxation and tranquility.
For some, there’s a feeling of having achieved something new and profound, and even a new sense of relief and emotional detachment, as if we are completely liberated from the internal shackles that were holding us back and causing problems in our lives.
Most people tend to also experience some kind of physical sensation on the hands and fingers and even at the top of the head where the 7th energy center (chakra) resides. But while the process of attaining initial Self-Realization is quick, sustaining the experience requires us to follow through with regular meditation to keep the connection alive and continue strengthening it.
While many people tend to view Self-Realization as the ultimate end or achievement, Sahaja practitioners would say that it is only the beginning of the journey and that there is more work to be done to actually live a Self-Realized life. Being a truly Self-Realized person means walking the walk.
For Self-Realization is also about our deeds, our capacity to embody higher values and reach ever-higher, transcendent goals on a daily basis, rather than just having a one-time experience that makes us feel good.
One of the greatest benefits of Sahaja is that it makes this journey to Self-Realization so much easier than it would otherwise be. However much time you may need to devote to it, the relative effort and time commitment is a mere fraction of what it would be without a technique like Sahaja meditation.
Perseverance and patience are required to achieve a truly meaningful, Self-Realized life beyond the initial Self-Realization experience, even for Sahaja practitioners.
Typically, the initial days and weeks of a Sahaja meditation practice involve trying to connect the Kundalini energy to the universal cosmic energy in a consistent and reliable manner and becoming sensitive to the Kundalini energy moving through our chakras. Achieving the state of thoughtless awareness will be the main focus, and through regular meditation, the frequency of achieving thoughtless awareness and the duration of the state gradually increases with practice.
After a few weeks, you’ll come to understand our subtle energy system and are able to diagnose the flow of energy, including the presence of obstacles to its flow. You can use this information to clear out the obstacles so that the meditative experience and the strength of the connection to the universal energy will be more powerful and effective.
Simultaneously, the Kundalini energy starts doing its work of healing and strengthening our chakras, and our personal traits automatically improve. During the initial weeks, nearly everyone practicing Sahaja meditation reports that they feel calmer inside and more patient, less stressed and less emotionally reactive to problems.
As the months pass, Self-Realizing practitioners tend to become intrigued as to how the changes inside them are happening and seek to learn more about the intricacies and details of how the subtle energy system works. This knowledge can then be correlated with their experiences in a tangible, verifiable way. And since the chakras govern the physical, mental and emotional aspects of our functioning, practitioners begin to notice a holistic improvement in personal traits and are able to easily correlate them with their own thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In short, one can see oneself with complete clarity and understand and experience the true inner Self.
Transcending the self
Once we begin to understand the authentic inner Self, we may evolve to the pursuit of Self-Transcendent goals, such as “causes beyond our own skin,” as Maslow referred to them (e.g., public service). This Self-Transcendence may become an important — even the most important — aspect of our lifestyles and the central driver of all that we become.
As the Self-Realized live this rejuvenated, re-oriented and repurposed life, they begin to see the bigger-picture problems of the world, the causes of those problems, and sustainable ways of making the world better in the longer term. The innate realization is that if everyone — or at least as many people possible — could become Self-Realized, the potential to solve major global problems becomes much greater. Quarreling, revolting, agitation and overactivity would significantly decrease. People would be more focused on doing what’s right for generations to come than on what offers short-term benefit and pleasure for themselves.
The Self-Realized individual may tend to view the benefits of impacting the world at large as more important than the benefits of improving their own personal lives. This of course, does not mean that they aren’t fulfilling their own needs or pursuing their personal goals. They are simply able to lead a “normal” life effectively and then some, since they’ve already mastered the art of living their own lives contentedly, meaningfully, peacefully, relatively stress-free. They’ve mastered the fine art of balance. Now, the new challenge that inspires them is helping everyone else in the world achieve this state of existence.
The Journey of Spirituality
Simultaneous with achieving Self-Transcendence and becoming a better custodian of the world at large, many Sahaja practitioners also progressively pursue deeper levels of spirituality. The inner drive to reach a higher state of consciousness that originally lead the practitioner to Sahaja meditation may now allow them to appreciate the role of spirituality in their lives and more importantly, what it really means to them on a day-to-day basis. They may realize that the pursuit of spirituality can have a place in the modern lives of normal people — one doesn’t have to be a yogi living and meditating in a cave in the mountains to achieve the subtler states of consciousness.
Meditation and thoughtless awareness may ultimately become a means to discover our place in the universe and the hidden truths within us, to learn the history of spirituality over thousands of years and how various religious traditions differ from true spirituality, to understand the powers and existence of the divine, and the ultimate achievements possible on the spiritual plane. The practitioner’s focus may eventually progress to concepts such as doubtless awareness (known as Nirvikalpa), a state in which one can experience absolute knowledge with no doubt whatsoever.
We may also pursue higher states of yoga or union with the divine that have been discussed in ancient scriptures. Our overall maturity is significantly improved and our perspective of the universe is broadened, thus we may come to realize that we’ve developed some unique subtle powers that work silently but effectively. For example, we may find that we’re better able to simply get things done, influence pretty much anyone, solve others’ problems, and, in fact, actually live in a state where any prayer we might have gets answered and all our benevolent wishes are fulfilled.
Ultimately, Self-Realization becomes the entry point for Enlightenment.
Continued self-discovery in the longer term and ultimately, transcendence of the self, makes Enlightenment possible.