First Step For Self-Improvement – Know Yourself
“That guy is a snob”. “He is very shrewd”.
“X is stupid”. “Y is cunning like a fox”.
These are some examples of the refrains we keep on speaking or hearing so frequently in our day-to-day lives. We are always observing and describing others. We are constantly perusing the traits, attributes and characters of each and every person we come across through out our lives. It is our wont to keep dissecting other persons’ behaviours, mannerisms and attributes with the intention, most often, of finding their faults, loopholes and weaknesses, so that we can exploit or manoeuvre them for our own benefit.
Whenever we meet a new person, the first thought that comes to our mind is – whether he/she is good or bad, likeable or not; whether we can benefit with his/her association or not; whether he/she can serve our worldly interests or not. That is to say, we have a reflexive attitude to assess a person’s worth based on his/her ability to serve our interests. Our minds seem to be programmed for observing people with a view to picking out their faults and shortcomings.
But, do we ever observe ourselves in the same manner – to find out our faults, shortcomings and flaws in our own behaviour and character? We spend most of our lives in focussing our minds (Chitta) on observing, appraising and assessing others, but do we ever undertake the same exercise for ourselves once in a while? Probably not and very rarely, if at all.
This is the crux of all our problems, all pur unhappiness. All the mental and emotional turbulence, disharmony, anxiety and unhappiness we keep facing all through our lives is the result of our journey outside – towards others. Very rarely do we undertake a journey inside ourselves – to know the Atman (soul) to understand our own psyche, to observe our own behaviour towards others. Hardly ever do we take up the exercise of appraising and assessing ourselves. Unless we do this, there can be no hope of self-improvement.
Meditation is the only way to undertake this inward journey. When we meditate, we shut off our outer senses and our Chitta starts its journey inside – in the realm of Atman. The Atman is the sole guiding light for our lives. Unless we awaken and empower it, no improvement in our lives is possible. Empowerment of the Atman can only be achieved through meditation. There is no other way.
Samarpan Meditation (SM), propounded by H.H. Shree Shivkrupanand Swami, with His International Ashram (abode) at Dandi in Gujarat, India, is a unique, simplest and most profound way of awakening and empowering the Atman.