CHENNAI: Crossing the cycle of birth is the ultimate ideal to be attained by the Jivatma. For as long as one is caught in samsara, the Jivatma is subject to joy and sorrow. It is not an easy task to dispel the effect of Maya which envelops the Jivatma in a state of Ajnana. Spiritual preceptors have been born time and again to help and guide the individual towards the knowledge of the Self (Atma Jnana) that leads to salvation. Lord Krishna assures that enlightenment is attainable to all but there are various stages of knowing that one has to cross through in this quest, said Sri N. Veezhinathan in a lecture.

The realised souls were liberated because their pure hearts and intellects enabled them to realise the Self within through contemplation, meditation and reflection. In their consciousness this awareness is ever present. There are others who are on the right track — performing their actions in the spirit of dispassion, engaging in philosophical enquiry of the Prakriti and its relationship with Purusha, etc. Such people have to attain realisation through constant meditation until the truths are assimilated in their consciousness. Next in line are those who practise Karma Yoga and these people have to cultivate the right spirit, that is, dedicate all to God and renounce the sense of I and Mine in regard to actions, persons and possessions. Others who are not aware of these paths merely follow the instruction of their preceptors. If they continue to do so with faith in the preceptor and his words, they too can gradually attain realisation.

Lord Krishna calls the knower of this Supreme Truth as a Kshetrajna. This knowledge clarifies the discrimination between the Self and the body. He who has experienced the Self and knows it as distinct from the Prakriti and the Gunas will alone be able to cross the cycle of birth.

Sanat Sujata, the mind-born son of Brahma, while explaining to Dhritarashtra his doubts about death and immortality, states that as long as one knows the presence of God in us, one is immortal. This realisation is the touchstone of immortality for all created beings, including celestials. Immortality is within reach of all if only we understand the truth of God.