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Self-Knowledge is God-Knowledge
Self-knowledge is not different from God-knowledge. The sacred knowledge of God and the sacred knowledge of the immortal self are one and the same. They are the one divine wisdom. When you realize the one self everywhere, you become established in unity consciousness. Then you see only the oneness in all the diversity that is around you. From that moment on, you transcend worldly existence and gain the immortality you have been seeking.
What is the basis for this supreme knowledge? Its basis is purity of the mind. To purify your mind you must suffuse your whole life with spirituality. Engage yourself in noble activities. Associate with spiritually-minded people. Observe exemplary conduct in your daily life. Strive to do your duty to perfection. Live your life so that it is one of selfless service and virtuous deeds. And study the wisdom teachings of the ages; put them into daily practice; let these teachings serve as your guideposts. Then your mind will become purified. And with a pure mind you will be able to discriminate between the permanent and the temporary, between that which is beneficial and that which is detrimental to your spiritual progress. Then all your ordinary daily activities will become sacred and God's grace will be showered upon you.
Now, you may be highly learned in secular knowledge, you may be a great scholar or you may be a world-renowned expert in a number of fields. But all your titles and achievements cannot confer on you real wisdom. To be truly wise and remove the grief from your heart, you must know who you really are. You must realize your immortal self. You cannot transcend grief by any other path. Only the knowledge of your true self will allow you to overcome all suffering and misery. This is the only knowledge that can bestow on you all happiness. When you master a worldly field of knowledge you earn the respect of your peers. You may become famous and fulfill your worldly aspirations, but it is only when you acquire self-knowledge that you deserve and earn the grace of God. When you have that, you become ever blissful. You enjoy the ultimate happiness.
Who are those who deserve to learn this sacred knowledge? Is it, as some would contend, exclusively reserved for old people, or does a child deserve to learn it? Is it to be given only to religious initiates or should it be made available also to those who have no previous religious background? Should it be kept for men alone or are women equally eligible? Truly, to gain this wisdom, race, color, age, gender, nationality or social status are of no consequence. The sage Valmiki in his earlier life had been a highway robber, the sage Narada was born of a lowly maidservant; yet, they both became great spiritual lights. Everyone is equally entitled to acquire this supreme wisdom.
The Lord comes to those who have devotion for him; he looks at the heart and not at the outer status. Develop your devotion. Devotion is very important to human life. The Lord said in the Gita, "You become very dear to me when you serve me with a loving heart."