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Develop Wisdom through Inner Inquiry
We have seen that if you want to overcome body-consciousness, you must first overcome your attraction or repulsion to sense objects. Once this goes, duality will be destroyed. And when duality disappears, ignorance will vanish. This will all happen when you develop wisdom. Therefore, the Gita has declared that it is through wisdom that you will be able to destroy ignorance and reach your ultimate reality.
What is this wisdom that you should develop? Can it be gained by acquiring secular knowledge in the world? No. It does not deal with external phenomena at all. It deals only with internal experience. It is only when you have developed self-confidence, confidence in the indwelling atma, that you will be able to develop a strong confidence in the Lord. If you do not believe in your self, you cannot truly believe in God. When you have faith in yourself, then you can have faith in God. To develop such a firm belief in yourself, to realize the indwelling divinity which is the same in everyone, you need to constantly engage in the practice of self-inquiry.
From the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night you go on saying I, I, I, and myself and mine. But even when you say I, do you know who this I really is? You say 'this is my body', 'this is my intelligence', 'this is my inner feeling', 'these are my senses', but do you ever ask yourself, 'Who am I ?' If you never inquire into your own truth what good is all the education you have acquired? If you will not make the effort to inquire into your truth, then who else will come and remove the writing that is on your forehead? Who will remove the karma that is imprinted there? Instead of engaging yourself in self-examination, you just allow impure thoughts to enter your head, and so all your thinking becomes dull and null.
You should realize that when you say, 'this is my handkerchief', the one who is the you, is different from the object which, in this case, is the handkerchief. You say, 'this is my body'. You do not say, 'I am this body'. When you say, 'this is my body' you are declaring that you and the body are different and separate from each other. If you then inquire who is this you who is saying this, then you will be led to the indweller. You must inquire who this indweller is, in other words, who is owning all these things. Only when there is an owner can there be any meaning in saying 'this is my property, this is my land'. Only the master who owns the property has the right to say 'this property is mine'. For the body-mind this master is the indweller. This master will not undergo any change. He will never leave you. Therefore, by means of inner inquiry, you should try to discover and recognize this unchanging indwelling divinity which is your true reality.
Every spiritual aspirant should take up inner inquiry. In all your spiritual practices that you engage in, you should spend three fourths of your time on self-inquiry. Then you will get the full results. Only by using your time properly, by sanctifying your body and by sanctifying all your actions, will you be able to reach the goal. The most important reason for all these sorrows you are prone to, is the weakness you develop because your senses are not under your control. Use the strength you have to keep your senses under control. Put your mind on the right path and develop a firm resolve. You will gain great strength thereby.
The Gita declared that you should control the senses, not that you should destroy them. The Gita does not say that you should renounce action, but that you should renounce the fruit of your action. Therefore, you have to do your work. Although there is no need for the Lord to perform any particular work, you will find that he is working all the time. If he is working constantly, should you not be working also?
Perform your work and use all your senses correctly. Use them within the proper limits for the purposes for which they were intended. Do not ever use them in the wrong way. This is the message of the Gita.