Jayant B Dave

Self-analysis is indispensable for attaining success in one’s professional and spiritual lives, as it touches upon virtually all spiritual practices. Swami Shivanand lead grade emphasis on this respect and prescribed it as an important chapter in is “20 Spiritual Instructions”. He advocated recording one’s daily Sadhana in a spiritual diary and reviewing one’s progress periodically. Self-inspections, also known as ‘first party audit’, is an important part of any modern management system. Here, selected personnel of different departments, barring one department being audited, serve as auditors. Any non conformance is recorded; root cause investigation is made and appropriate corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) are initiated.

Any spiritual parlance, Self-inspection, or introspection, involves only one individual. The higher (purer) mind serves auditor and lower (impure) mind serves as audited. Introspection should be performed everyday, before retiring to bed and involves very honest reflection on thoughts are harboured and actions performed in a day. The exercise has three objectives. First, to find out defects, investigate the root cause and try to correct/prevent by suitable methods. If one method fails, another or combined methods should be employed. This is why Bhagavad Gita and sages prescribe Yoga of synthesis combining action, devotion, will and intellect, which means, applying all dimensions of human personality to bring about desired results. Negative qualities will be spotted first. But the objective should be to control the negative and unspritual instincts, residing in the subconscious mind, as deep-seated impressions emerging constantly, depending on external stimuli and one’s Karma, that is referred to as fate. These subtle impressions should not be underestimated. They lurk like thieves and attack when one is vulnerable or when there is extreme provocation. The deep rooted impressions of lust, anger and greed manifest in a subtle way and one tends to rejoice in them mentally even in absence of any physical objects. The senses weaken on ageing, but the mind tends to remain young and continue to yearn.

Containing these subtitle impressions demands great patience, preservence, intellect and courage. This is along drawn-out process. Restraining senses and mind is the first objective. The second objective is to cultivate virtues independently or as antidote negatives referred to above. Make resolves are pledges on a daily basis every morning: ‘I will speak the truth; not bear I’ll will for anyone; I will serve the sick, read spiritual books, do Sadhna and fearless.’ This is analogues to measuring key Quality Performance Indicators (QPI) in an organisation and reporting in a management review meeting. Practice of Karma Yoga, bhakti yoga and Raja Yoga helps in free in the inner Self of all impurities and distraction. One perceives oneself as mere instrument in the Lord’s hands and offers oneself wholly in the service of the Lord and his creation.

The stage is set for dawn of Selfknowledge and the culmination with Jnana Yoga, like launching satellite into space. The third objective is to transcend the purified mind and to take it deeper until it reaches the very core of one’s soul. One perceives oneself, as silent witness of all movements within and without and finally, as one, homogeneous, non-dual self-dwelling eternally and pervading everywhere. This is the divine destination, intimate, immediate experience of the Self peace and bliss.

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