The meaning of Self and how karmic law comes into play

I would like to ask you: What is meant by Self? Is it the body we have left? Are not the samskaras carried forward? Whether Self includes them? When we die, do we transform through births or we leave a self at death and become a fresh new self when we are reborn?

Answer : In the vedic tradition there seem to be two kinds of Self, which is why you and many others find the word Self confusing. One kind of self is very familiar. It is the ego, the ‘I’ who is born, lives in the world, and eventually passes away. Under the name of jiva, this ‘I’ is said to survive death and reincarnate over and over. It carries a person’s personal karma as it moves through the cycle of this life and all other lives.

But what is the jiva made from? Is it just a bundle of karma, meaning past, present, and future actions? That wouldn’t satisfy the question, because even when there is no action, there are two things that require no individual self. One is existence, or Being. The other is consciousness, which is awareness of existence. On the basis of this fact, the vedic tradition says that there is a Self that consists purely of being and consciousness, known as Atman.

We should not, however, let tradition dictate to us. Any self, however you define it, must be tested against experience; otherwise, it remains merely a theory whose truth is abstract. Vedic seers were aware of this, and they suggested that by going within, the jiva can meet the Atman. When this happens, a new perspective starts to develop.

At first, the jiva or ego is vaguely interested in going inward; it experiences a touch of being and greater Self-awareness. But as time passes, if you keep going inward, the balance begins to shift. Being and consciousness become more and more interesting. Why? There are two reasons. First, they are appealing in themselves. To be comfortable with your own Being and to have Self-awareness, adds to one’s wellbeing, at first in a subtle way but later with increasing satisfaction.

Second, the exposure to Being and consciousness changes the jiva. Vedic sages indicate that pure Being contains three elements — sat chit ananda — or eternal bliss consciousness that uphold life and make it more creative, evolutionary, and enjoyable. As exposure to these qualities intensifies, the person undergoes a profound transformation, nothing less than a new identity. Instead of saying ‘I am SK’ or ‘I am Deepak,’ the jiva says, ‘I am That,’ where ‘That’ means eternal bliss consciousness.

There are countless other ways to describe the spiritual path, but the brief outline just provided is a description in terms of the Self. I hope this helps.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shaku Jiyu
    Jul 27, 2016 @ 15:50:51

    Namaste, Acharyaji!

    I love your posts and website – profoundly inspiring!

    All blessings! _/\_

    Aum Namah Shivaya.



  2. Shaku Jiyu
    Jul 29, 2016 @ 13:27:46

    Dear Acharyaji,

    Namaste! I’m not sure if you have yet managed to read my email ( Richard Fairley – scotmonk@hotmail.com ) but I was wondering if you would consider me as a disciple? I can resend the information, if you require.

    Richard _/\_



    • Acharya Priti Bhargava
      Jul 29, 2016 @ 16:43:35

      Dear Mr.Fairley,

      I am really sorry to tell you that I am not qualified to be your teacher. I sincerely hope and pray for your spiritual upliftment. Keep walking on this path and Shivji will surely send a worthy Guru for you.

      Priti Bhargava



  3. Shaku Jiyu
    Jul 29, 2016 @ 18:23:44

    Dear Acharyaji!

    Okay – I wish you well, too! 🙂

    Namaste! _/\-



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