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First spiritual realization is to understand oneself that "I am not matter; I am spirit." This is the first stage of spiritual realization - when one firmly convinced. How? By knowledge

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Expressions researched:
"First spiritual realization is to understand oneself that" |"I am not matter; I am spirit" |"This is the first stage of spiritual realization—when one, firmly convinced . . . how? By knowledge"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

First spiritual realization is to understand oneself that "I am not matter; I am spirit." This is the first stage of spiritual realization—when one firmly convinced. How? By knowledge. By knowledge. Just we are conscious, "I am Indian." You are conscious that you are American. One is conscious, "I am Hindu." One is conscious, "I am Christian." So similarly, when one is fully conscious that "I am spirit. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman," that is the first spiritual realization.


So yoga means, here it is stated, yoga ādhyātmikaḥ puṁsāṁ mato niḥśreyasāya. Yoga system means to lead one to the ultimate benediction. And ādhyātmikaḥ. Ādhyātmikaḥ means "pertaining to the soul." Yoga, practice of yoga, does not mean to gain some material profit. Actually, those who have attained to perfection to some extent in the yoga process . . .

The yoga process which is very much advertised in your country, that is more or less bodily exercise. Yoga process is very difficult for the modern age. I have several times discussed this point.

The preliminary process—yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, samādhi—the eight processes, to control the senses, to control the mind, to practice sitting postures . . . under certain physical posture the mind become concentrated. So there are different āsanas.

Then meditation, then contemplation, then absorption. These things are preliminary process. But actually, the yoga means to attain ultimate benediction, niḥśreyasāya. What is that niḥśreyasāya? The spiritual realization. That is niḥśreyasāya.

Spiritual realization . . . there are different stages of spiritual realization. First spiritual realization is to understand oneself that "I am not matter; I am spirit." This is the first stage of spiritual realization—when one, firmly convinced . . . how? By knowledge. By knowledge. Just we are conscious, "I am Indian."

You are conscious that you are American. One is conscious, "I am Hindu." One is conscious, "I am Christian." So similarly, when one is fully conscious that, "I am spirit. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman," that is the first spiritual realization, that knowledge. Knowledge means consciousness.

So this consciousness has also . . . a development of consciousness. There are different stages. And when one comes to the ultimate stage, niḥśreyasāya, that is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. And how that consciousness acts? That "I am a servant of God. I am servant of Kṛṣṇa." When this consciousness is firmly fixed up, this is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.