CHENNAI: When every individual strives to deal with a whole range of the demands of life such as education, career, marriage, sickness, etc., depending on one’s age, status, family and so on, this interaction with society leads to frustration or depression. These modern contexts of stress ridden life style have given rise to discussions on the development of the human personality. In a lecture, Swami Atmashraddhananda pointed out that scriptures, with their comprehensive sweep of ideas, provide excellent answers for many pertinent doubts — the source and origin of life, the reason for living the life of a human being subjected to misery and sorrow, or the final goal of our life.

The philosophy of the Svetasvatara Upanishad, while discussing the nature of the Supreme Being who is hailed as the cause of this entire universe, lays stress on meditation and its uses/effects on the individual engaged in exploring the riddle of life. Meditation helps one to gain control and mastery over one’s self in a gradual manner. It teaches the individual how to effect an inner transformation in one’s personality that makes the growth meaningful, and not merely stop with external polishing in one’s demeanour and habits. The thrust is on an inward looking probing when the self is able to understand its perennial and undying nature that remains unaffected by all the changes and challenges that the human being undergoes during one’s lifetime.

The Upanishads state that every Jivatma carries the Samskaras inherited from previous births that are reflected as the deep rooted habits of mind governing our present day life responses, reactions, etc. By constant meditation, one slowly gains knowledge of the self, and gets freed from bondages, not merely the external ones, but in one’s inner consciousness. The ultimate goal of life is salvation and this, scriptures say, is attained through knowledge of the ultimate truth of the self and its place in the cosmic self, gained through meditation.

By knowing the truth that the self itself is the reality the knowledge and the object become one. This knowledge frees one from bondage and confers spiritual freedom.