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In our hectic world, where we rush from one commitment to the next, we often lose sight of who we really are. Many long for inner peace, but have no time for extended meditation rituals. We forget ourselves and plunge into the endless spiral of daily life. But what if I told you that the answer to the question “Who am I?” can be the key to inner peace and self-understanding?
In our hectic world, however, there is an elegant solution: Advaita, an ancient philosophical tradition from India that can help you on your quest to find yourself without having to sit on a meditation cushion for hours on end. Here are the basics for beginners who don’t want to waste time exploring their inner self.
Welcome to the world of self-inquiry, inspired by the ancient Indian philosophy of Advaita.
The key question – “Who am I?”
The roots of self-inquiry lie in the question that Advaita places at the center: “Who am I?” This seemingly simple question is actually the beginning of a profound journey into your innermost self. It reminds us that we often identify with our outer roles and identities instead of recognizing our true nature. When you lose yourself in this question, you begin to peel away the outer layers and realize that you are different from what you have previously assumed.
Observing your thoughts
Our thoughts are like clouds drifting across the sky. They can easily distract us from the truth about ourselves. In the practice of self-inquiry, we learn to observe our thoughts. In doing so, we realize that we are not our thoughts, but the calm observer of these thoughts. This is an important step on the path to self-inquiry, enabling us to establish a deeper connection to our true self.
Beyond words and concepts
Advaita teaches us that our true nature exists beyond words and concepts. Words are limited and cannot capture or convey our essence. Neither can I with this blog article. It is therefore courageous to write about it – I think. By learning to look beyond the limiting concepts, we experience the indescribable nature of ourselves. That’s the whole art of it. It may be a challenge at first, but with practice you will realize that it is indeed possible.
The oneness of all things
One of the profound teachings of Advaita is the idea of oneness. It states that everything in this world is interconnected and comes from the same universal source. When you realize your true nature, you will also understand the oneness of all life. This can create an exhilarating sense of inner harmony and connectedness with the world around you.
Patience and practice
The journey of self-inquiry is not a rush job. It requires patience and regular practice. Do not set yourself any time limits and allow yourself to grow at your own pace. Daily meditation and self-reflection cannot help you on this journey. Others have probably told you these exact phrases. It sounds exhausting, boring and tedious. But it’s all much simpler – just recognizing it is enough. If you understand what it’s all about and use the question: “Who am I?” constantly in everyday life, like a tool – that’s all it takes. And I promise you: the effect can change your entire life! It’s not about understanding these words, it’s about going beyond understanding. And for that, it might be helpful to ask someone who knows about it. That brings us to the masters. Don’t let the word put you off. It’s someone who knows about Advaita and can help you further – that’s how I see it.
The wisdom of the masters
The writings and teachings of great Advaita masters such as Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Adi Shankaracharya are valuable sources of wisdom. They can provide you with a deeper understanding and inspiration on your path to self-inquiry. Of course also the books by Papaji (HWL Poonja) and Madhukar.
Where can you apply self-inquiry?
When meditating, you need space and time for yourself. You sit down, close your eyes and go inwards. Self-inquiry, on the other hand, is not location-dependent – it can be applied anywhere. You can live the search for your true nature and then later be this nature anywhere. There is no dependence on place or time. This constant “journey”, which is not a journey at all, brings you inner peace and it radiates from you. You can continue and enjoy self-inquiry in the midst of the hectic world, at work, at home or anywhere else.
Acceptance of yourself
The quintessence of self-inquiry is the acceptance of yourself. Accept yourself in your entirety. This does not mean your strengths and weaknesses. It is also not about a path. You only discover your true self, your true nature, which has always been there – you just overlooked it until now.
Self-inquiry is a journey that never ends. It leads to an ever deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you. Use this guide as a starting point to begin your journey. You are on your way to discovering yourself and this is the most exciting journey you will ever take.
Good luck and may this journey lead you to a deeper understanding of your true self.
What does a master of Advaita say when asked?
I would now like to share with you a moment that I experienced myself in India. We had a few people visiting us at the retreat who were interested in self-inquiry. One of them had apparently been using it for over 30 years and had not been successful. Madhukar speaks English at the retreat in India because he was addressed in English.
So I will translate his answer to the question for you: “I have been meditating for more than 30 years. I have been to hundreds of satsangs. I have read all the books. So why am I not enlightened yet?”
Answer from Madhukar:
Because you have a certain idea of enlightenment. Obviously you have been to the wrong satsangs. And you have read the wrong books, otherwise you would have been enlightened to the fact that who you are is already free. And. When you are free, all ideas about enlightenment disappear.
The dialog goes even further and the questioner gets an introduction to self-inquiry. I recommend you watch the video to the end, it’s only a little over 10 minutes. You can also find it directly on YouTube under the title: The ultimate Advaita Satsang Meditation / Enlightenment NOW
Conclusion: Your ultimate guide to starting self-inquiry
Self-inquiry doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to meditate all day to find inner peace. Advaita offers simple but effective principles that can help you on the path to yourself, even if you are short on time. I would like to send you on this quest. You are more than your thoughts, your past, your mistakes, emotions, relationships, fears and opinions of yourself. You are a valuable human being who deserves inner peace. Follow these simple steps to begin your journey to self-inquiry and discover your true nature. ✨🙏
The journey to finding yourself can be easier than you think. Start today to find your inner peace and explore your true nature! 🌟
Tell me in the comments what you’ve discovered?
Hi, I am Shivani
Blogger and podcaster at Madhukar Enlighten Life. I’ve known Madhukar since 2004 and do what I can to help this important message of happiness reach a lot of people.