What is self-realization?

Sir, what is self-realization? What is to be realized and by whom? If it is for the self to realize itself to be Atman or Brahman or God or whatever, must it not firstly understand what it is presently, before any realization? If one thinks the self to be illusion52 and it is for that illusion to dissolve, then what remains of the self after the dissolution, to know whether or not, it is self-realized? On the other hand, if one thinks of the self to be Brahman that is under the veil of Maya or illusion, must one not ask, if Truth or Brahman can ever be self-deceiving ever? Truth is not self-deceiving otherwise it ceases to be Truth, whereas illusion is, on the other hand, is it not? If one understands this about one’s self, then what happens once the falsity dissolves, can never be assumed, or speculated while the self or falsity exists.

To assume there is an underlying substratum beneath all illusion is again the workings of one’s imagination. When one has an understanding of, or contemplates on, what the ego is, or the centre, from which, all thought arises, that very centre falls to the ground by itself. Once that falls, what happens thereafter can never be predicted or assumed. Truth may operate on that fertile emptiness but one can never assume that, for it will be part of the illusion thrown by the workings of the mind, is it not? When one contemplates on the question,” what has truth got to do with the false?”; One realises atleast intellectually, that the answer is “nothing” ; then why must there be so much assumption that when one removes the false what remains is the Truth? An understanding of this not merely intellectually but as a fact, as factually as one knows for oneself upon seeing the rope that it is a rope and was never a snake as had been mistaken; not, that, the snake was always the rope, but that, the snake never did exist, and hence, it is rightly called an illusion. Can the false ever rise above itself? The false is that which doesn’t exist, it can never leave a mark on that which is, is it not? Only a sound understanding or constant contemplation on this question will bring to light the falsity of the ego/ self. Can self-realization be anything other than for the self to know this about itself?

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