Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
18th July 2017
Man and woman are interested in self–enquiry. Self-enquiry means to enquire who you really are. They are interested because it is believed that self-enquiry leads to enlightenment. But every man and woman who is interested in self-enquiry finds it difficult to become enlightened.
Why is it difficult for man or woman to become enlightened by self-enquiry needs to be understood.
Firstly, a man or a woman understands what he or she knows. Secondly, what he or she understands to know is not up to him or her. It is a belief that it is up to his or her efforts that makes them understand.
This is not possible because understanding is a function of intellect and neither man nor woman has any control over intellect. Intellect evolves and so does the understanding of what is known.
Thirdly, a man or a woman does not know what enlightenment is and, therefore, it is impossible to recognise enlightenment when it does happen to them due to self-enquiry.
It is impossible for man or woman to recognise enlightenment because man and woman can only recognise what is known to them. They are able to identify anything only if they recognise it and will not be able to identify it if they do not recognise it.
If man and woman are honest, they will understand that what they know has evolved in them. This is because it is obvious that primitive man did not know anything and came to know as intellect and understanding evolved in him.
Similarly, if man and woman are honest, they will understand that they will come to know what enlightenment is if intellect and understanding evolved to make them understand it.
The enlightened deeply understand that what the mind thinks of the self is not only illusory, but also that the mind cannot make the self be what the mind thinks the self is or what it should be.
The realization from self-enquiry is the understanding that the self is not only illusory, but also that the self cannot make what he or she knows. Honesty about the self opens the door to deep understanding of the self, by self-enquiry, that the identity of the self is an illusion of light.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017
Volumes of books have been written over the centuries on self-enquiry, hours have been spent reading and re-reading treatises and philosophical works expatiating on the essence of self-enquiry, countless words have been spoken and listened to in places esteemed as holy, lifetimes have been devoted to sacred and revered practices regarded as necessary to self-enquiry. This has been, is and will continue to be a human commitment in search of self-identity.
Deep understanding of the self as revealed by the enlightened in this article is a wonderful gift for those on the pathway of self-enquiry.
Julian Capper, UK.
German Translator’s Note:
The books „The Illusions Of Life“ and “The Power Of Illusion“ by Dr. Shankar are subtitled “Self-Enquiry“. They contain detailed explanations of how various aspects in life are illusory and not real – and this is wisdom, a deeper understanding of daily life knowledge. If read with honesty, as pointed out in this article “Self-Enquiry“, the books reveal wisdom in daily life.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.