Be not self-conscious; be conscious of the self

The word ‘self-conscious’ refers to an excessive awareness of one’s appearance and actions. For example, when we give our first public speech, we may be self-conscious, that is, too worried about how we look and how we speak.

Self-consciousness can be crippling. It can divert our mental energy away from concentrating on doing our actions properly to conjuring images of what others are thinking about our actions.

When we are thus self-conscious, the self that we are conscious of is a pseudo-self. It is our surface appearance that is visible to the public eye. In fact, it is not even that – it is our conception of what the world is seeing when it sees us. This conception is derived mostly from our material desires, our notions of what kind of appearance will attract us and thereby make us feel good. 

Gita wisdom helps us break free from such self-consciousness by enabling us to become conscious of the self, our authentic self – the soul. The best way to become conscious of the self is by becoming conscious of the Supreme Person Krishna with whom the self is eternally related as an integral part, as a beloved child.  The process of bhakti-yoga brings dynamism to our consciousness of our self by providing us multiple ways in which we can serve Krishna.

The Bhagavad-gita (06.18) urges us to give up material desires and thereby situate ourselves in consciousness of our true self. The more we live in our harmony with our spiritual identity, the less we worry about our material image because we understand that it is peripheral to our actual self.  Once we start relishing the fulfillment of our true spiritual identity and glory, the need to be self-conscious and seek flickering pleasure through a positive self-image in the world disappears.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 06 Text 18

When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in transcendence – devoid of all material desires – he is said to be well established in yoga.

 

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Might my own thing not be my own thing?
The purpose of discipline is not to torture ourselves, but to transcend ourselves

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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6 Comments

  1. hank you pr ji for defining The process of becoming bhagvata-atmarama ( one who is self saisfied as in the SPOGH )

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  2. thank you pr ji, for teaching us how to adjust our material lenses by focussing on the FIXED mind process. one whose mind is fixed in SPOGH is said to be conscious of self…this is also called KC.we have to wear the spiritual spectacles to change our , out of focus lense number, to relaize oneself.

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  3. hare krsna, self conscious is material
    conscious of the self ( KC ) is spiritual.
    one has an eternal relationship with LORD, but we have forotten this relationship since millions of births. one has to revive this relationship to go BTGH.the only process is BHAKTI -YOGA…the process of conscious of self, as when you become consious of who you are , your relationship with KRSNA is revived and even a little done in LORD’S SERVICE IS NEVER LOST. it is carried forward eternally , birth after birth.

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  4. Thank you pr for being our mirror mirror on the wall, revealing and exposing everything required to realize about our existence…,

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  5. Hare Krishna! Thanks for this concept leading us to Krishna consciousness developing the bhaktiyoga.

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  6. as one gets older he understands this better that what will transform people is substance not the container. although we cant neglect the container, we have to concentrate on the purity of substance which is to be transferred.thank you prabhuji.

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