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Realize the Atma through your Direct Experience

As long as you think that your body is real and your divinity is not real, you will not understand the principle of atma. And as long as you identify yourself with your body and not with your essential truth, your real self, you will not be able to gain the direct experience of your indwelling divinity. The atma has been spoken of in many ways, but you can comprehend it only through your direct experience.

Someone may describe the exquisite sweetness of mango nectar to you in elaborate detail and with great enthusiasm; but unless you have tasted the nectar and experienced it directly, you will not be able to appreciate its unique sweetness. When the nectar is on your tongue and you delight in its taste, then you understand what is meant by its sweetness. Similarly, unless you seek the direct experience of the Lord, unless you engage in spiritual practices and develop the noble qualities that are dear to the Lord, you will never be able to savor the divine sweetness arising from the atma.

What is the way to immortality? It is the removal of immorality. Swami has often spoken of this. Only when you remove the immorality within you, will you be able to gain immortality. When you remove the weaknesses, such as jealousy, hatred, anger, pride and all the other evils which have obscured your truth, then you will be able to enjoy the strength of the unchanging presence of divinity inside you. It is when you embody at least one or two of the 26 virtues which have been mentioned in the Gita, when you understand their deeper meaning, practice them and make them part of your daily life, then it will become possible for you to realize the immortal nature of the atma. Of the many virtuous qualities that a devotee can develop, forbearance is at the heart of all of them.