Dispassion (vairagya) is the sure step towards Self-realisation and this is gained through discrimination (viveka). Discrimination is the ability to distinguish between what is valuable and what is not, to recognise the real from the array of the unreal.

Lord Krishna and Adi Sankara exhort mankind to search for true happiness by dissociating oneself from the material world. This exercise alone can lead to one’s salvation. The chronic cancer of samsara is cured when one begins to reflect on atma tatva (truth of the Self), assert spiritual preceptors in one voice, said Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha in a lecture.

But this choice to remain detached from the material world is hard to make and harder to maintain. Though we know that the spiritual quest is the only path to salvation, it is generally difficult to opt for this gain.

The strongest challenge for the jivatma desirous of liberation is ignorance of the truth. To break this barrier is not an easy task. We have to reject untruth and follow truth.

Each individual is the owner of his/her intellect and mind. An individual’s mind is accessible to only that person. No one else can access it.

The mind has to be coaxed to be one’s friend in this spiritual quest and reject the more attractive worldly pursuits. Great feats have been achieved because of the power of the individual’s mind.

There are many imprints the mind carries. These are in subtle form when the mind contemplates on them.

For instance, when the mind imagines an elephant, it is the subtle and not the gross form of the animal. Neither its enormity nor its actual weight become impediments to the mind which carries the imprint of it.

Even the impossible can be made attainable if the mind is set on the goal. Have not the small feet of men scaled tall and high mountains that are truly formidable?

But even if this path is chosen, it is still more difficult to remain steadfast in it because the mind pictures the world as if it is real. Krishna extols the man of steadfastness and assigns the highest place to the Yogi who has realised the Self and is hence free of the worldly pulls.

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