The entity we called inner self is consciousness, spirit existing in our heart also called soul atman. Life exists in cosmic system due to existence of inner consciousness. Every single living being possesses inner self including amoebas (single cell formation). On mother earth life starts from level of amoeba, the first manifestation by our inner self.
Does this mean the soul atman possessed by human beings was of the same essence as possessed by amoeba, yes both Hinduism and Jainism scriptures say so. None on earth could prove otherwise. The living consciousness within all living beings was the same.
The cause of all yoga meditation indulged worldwide was reaching our inner self. Those who indulged in physical aspect of yoga (asanas) for improving body profile had nothing to do with spirituality. Indulgence in yogic exercises (asanas) was different than indulgence in yoga meditation. Indulging in yoga meditation human beings finally succeeded in reaching stage of self realization, god realization… enlightenment! Yogic exercises (asanas) were only a means to keep the body fit and fine and were no different than aerobics that were performed dynamically. Yogis to maintain a healthy body gave preference to asanas (yogic exercises) than aerobics.
Belief in inner self stemmed from our deep underlying faith in existence of a supernatural power, consciousness within us! If we believed in existence of god, existence of world of souls’ atmans, we also believed in presence of inner self in our heart. Everything followed automatically from within. Our inner self is the real self of us, the outer garment the body merely a means. Our true inner self manifests the external body to cleanse self of dross impurities within as of its own it could not do so. Of its own and without an external body, the true inner self could never regain its lost original pure prime pristine primordial form.
This is what reincarnation, rebirth all about. To evolve from within our true inner self keeps manifesting body after another after death of present body. This cycle of birth and death continues until our true inner self reaches stage of absolute purity. A pure consciousness devoid of dross impurities within finally lands self in the house of god. The pure inner self, the liberated soul atman finally free from bondage of life and death forever merges with god. Due to this reason, as a human being our goal of life should always be permanent liberation from cycle of birth and death forever.
Metaphorically, spiritually we were a spiritual being, a cosmic traveler existing in our heart as true inner self. But most human beings whose goal of life is not spiritual gave more precedence to ego within than the real inner self. In many cases this resulted in heartburning. We start living two lives, one dominated by our bloated ego and the other by our true inner self, consciousness within. If we can make a balance between the two, the best for us and also the community! Human beings who learn the delicate art of maintaining a balance between the egoist nature and the true inner self were all the time happy and considered successful in life.
A balance between true inner self and the external physical manifest life can be made only by indulging in chintan (contemplation) most of time. Logically separating truth from false, we could slowly overpower ego, demolishing it forever. If we had a materialistic goal of life, then demolition of ego in totality was not necessitated. Taking a positive attitude we could pursue any goal in life.
Ego in life is not bad but the approach sometimes can be. Human beings with a positive approach in life always used their ego positively. Those dominated by a bloated ego often suffered at the hands of fate. Maintaining positivity all the time is the real crux of life that leads to absolute success in all walks of life. Spiritual or materialistic whatever our approach in life, we must all the time remain positive. This way we may not promote the interest of our true inner self within yet, we would not be lacking behind. At least we would succeed materialistically.
Belief in true inner self is necessitated if our goal of life was spiritual, never otherwise. If we were religious (believed and indulged in rituals), then also belief in existence of true inner self was not necessary. Travelers of spiritual path could never forego belief in inner self existing in heart. The domain of god, world of souls’ atmans always mattered to seekers, never commoners’ masses.
How to find my Inner Self
To realize presence of inner self existing in heart, to realize we are primarily a spirit, consciousness existing in heart; our indulgence in spirituality was necessary. Travelling spiritual path we have to contemplate on vital inherent issues of life contained in scriptures of different religions of world; only then we can reach the hidden underlying meaning. The inner journey initially seems difficult but slowly we start loving the journey into the unknown.
To know everything relating to inner self, we have to follow principles of spirituality as laid in scriptures of Hinduism alone as scriptures of different religions of world primarily dealt with subject of religion not spirituality. Taking route of Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (independent treatises) we could definitely expedite our spiritual journey.
As detailed in Bhagavad Gita, reaching our true inner self demands our establishing control over five senses and mind! Control over senses and mind could be established in one lifetime only if we were born a Swami Vivekananda. As the reality was not so, teachings of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita further say, we must start our spiritual journey in present life. Only then we can hope of continuing spiritual journey even in next manifestation.
To overpower five senses and mind our indulgence in contemplation (chintan) was the first task. This helped us distinguish truth from false, right from wrong. Contemplation can be indulged any given moment of life. Even when indulging in day-to-day routines of life we could easily indulge in contemplation. For contemplating on inherent vital issues of life, we need not go to Himalayas (deep dense forests) in present times. Remaining wherever we were we could easily indulge in chintan most of time.
Apart from contemplation, our firm belief in existence of god was the second necessity. If we did not possess 100% faith in God, we could never learn anything spiritually (spirituality as detailed in Hinduism scriptures). Every spirit, consciousness was miniscule part of God Almighty. We just could not separate consciousness from god. Our firm faith in God results in our firm belief in existence of world of souls’ atmans, the inner self. Apart from 100% faith in God, we have to follow path of truthfulness all the time. Untruthful people cannot successfully indulge in spirituality.
Remaining truthful all the time, we have to demolish traces of dross impurities within our inner self. Initially a difficult task but not for those who are hell-bent on reaching God in their lifetime. Swami Vivekananda the famous student (Shishya) of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was one of them. As happened with Swami Vivekananda, we can also indulge in teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa to extricate the hidden inner values of life. Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa helped us distinguish between dharma, religion and spirituality.
The spiritual journey rightly starts from the day when we learn to differentiate between dharma, religion and spirituality. I took above 8 years to understand the underlying difference between dharma, religion and spirituality. The moment that happened, my journey extradited phenomenally. This helped me curtail all religious practices forever. For me, visiting places of worship like temples, churches and mosques carried no further meaning. I continued remaining a total introvert always busy with contemplation going on inside.
Whenever any query within me dissolved forever, my spiritual journey extradited multifold. When my kundalini awakened fully totally unknown to me I reached end of cosmic life but I knew nothing about it. I could feel the internal bliss all the time but could express it to no one. It was only in the wee hours of third of August 1993 when God Almighty gave me a lengthy dictation; I realized what had occurred within me! For all practical purposes I had become a pure soul atman, pure consciousness forever. I had finally realized my inner self. This is what self realization, god realization all about.
How to stay connected with my Inner Self all the time
Indulging in spirituality when our kundalini awakened fully, we remain in contact with God Almighty all the time. This is the stage when desire to connect all the time with our true inner self vanishes forever. We primarily become the inner self; regain our lost original pure prime pristine form! As pure consciousness we can differentiate self from the external body manifested by us. For a purified soul, the role reverses. Earlier we were a body, a human being in search of inner self. Now we were the inner self with an external body. This magnanimous change cannot be felt by those around us but as a spiritual traveler we realize reaching the cosmic end of life.
Once our kundalini awakened fully, once the bud changes into a flower, the whole process could not be reverted back! All spiritual gains after reaching stage of full kundalini awakening were permanent forever. None world over; not even God Almighty could make the flower become a bud again. For accomplished spiritual travelers like Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana, all spiritual changes were permanent; both having reached state of enlightenment forever. In the chain of serious seekers, Swami Vivekananda is the next in line to gain enlightenment. He would do so in next manifestation positively.
A self realized soul; an enlightened one could remain in communion with God Almighty every second of life! What more could one desire out of God?
How can meditation help to know about inner self
Indulgence in yoga meditation was the only path to realize our true inner self existing in heart. In absence of teachings of spirituality none world over could ever reach god, teachings of spirituality as contained in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (independent treatises).
If we desire travelling spiritual path, reaching god (not in present life time but future manifestations) we have to initially realize the meaning of yoga. Once we realize yoga is the Hindi word for indulging in meditation, we start indulging in yoga as detailed in Bhagavad Gita. To merge with god, become one with god is the sole aim of yoga. Realizing we were a spirit encased in a body, we start spiritual indulgence to separate the spirit from surrounding dross impurities within. And thus starts our indulgence in pranayama (breathing exercises) and Neti (not this, not this) to separate everything that was not god.
At the end of spiritual journey when we negate everything what remains is God Almighty himself. This process of self enquiry practiced and preached by Maharishi Ramana is a sure shot method of reaching our true inner self in present life time. If Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana can do it in one lifetime, so could we. What we need possessing is the absolute faith Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana had in god. Yoga meditation is the path, reaching stage of self realization the ultimate goal of life.
How is the experience of connecting to the inner self
People who succeed connecting to their inner self permanently, like Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Maharishi Ramana remain in a state of bliss all the time. For such enlightened ones ephemeral values of life carried no further meaning. All earthly relationships and ties, attachments of every kind finally come to naught. One who experiences self continues working for welfare of mankind all the time.
Search for inner self is never meant for people who preferred indulging in day-to-day routines of life. The journey towards inner self is for serious minded seekers whose only goal of life is reaching God in present life. Such people all the time worked for entire mankind than individual self. We often find after crossing ripe 65 years of age people primarily in India seek spirituality. Already having lived two third of earthly journey, what could the Oldies expect out of a late spiritual pursuit? Nothing much but whatever little one can fathom, one must always try!
Going by entire spiritual history of mankind, every single seeker in search of God started early in age. I myself commenced spiritual journey when six years of age. By indulgence in contemplation (chintan) at that young age was exemplary. This I realized while talking to elders in the family and outside. The elders usually were mesmerized by my company all the time. This interest of elders in hidden abstract values of life gave a great impetus to my spiritual pursuit. The more I thought about it, greater was my indulgence in contemplation (chintan).
Inherently my love for Lord Krishna when 6 1/2 years of age was beyond bounds! I somehow wanted to meet him and ask him about his spiritual pursuits. Not realizing that he lived many millennia ago, I kept searching for him in the various grass fields with the hope of finding him around his herd of cows with flute in hand. When an elderly villager confronted me what I was looking for, I told him my story. He just laughed and politely replied to me that Lord Krishna is no more. He lived long ago. If I wanted to know about him, I had to read stories about him.
It was at this time I started contemplating on death. It took almost 2 to 3 years when my fear of death subsided forever. The moment that happened, I became as ferocious as ever from within. Mounted on the white steed of absolute truthfulness, I plunged into cauldron of inner fire head-on. Remaining truthful all the time, I could practically confront anybody no matter what the age. My discussions with seemingly spiritual elders of those times increased day by day. To my surprise, none of the elders had answers to my queries.
Slowly all the answers started coming from within. Deeper the contemplation (chintan), nearer I was to my true inner self, God Almighty himself. As my interaction with God started on day-to-day basis, there was no looking back. I could talk to God as if sitting across the table. Physically none was present; all discussions were abstract but not futile. I could really talk to my inner self, God and seek the answers. Interacting with my inner self was not only a daily routine; I was indulged in it all the time consciously or subconsciously.
Even while indulging in sports, swimming I was more or less talking to god, my inner self. As an individual in search of god I often experienced states of total bliss something that could never be defined in words, could only be felt. On a personal note, I was extremely happy pursuing God all the time. For my parents, other members in the family I also did not prove to be a nuisance. Whenever someone gave me an errand, I indulged in it dutifully unmindful of what others think or say. I was somehow able to make a delicate balance between external and inner life.
Full 31 years of spiritual travail, I finally realized self, realized god in the wee hours of third of August 1993.