SB Canto 3
Self-realization ultimately means to understand the Personality of Godhead and the living entities; to know the individual self and the reciprocal exchanges of loving service between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entity is real self-realization.
SB 3.27.28-29, Purport: Actual self-realization means becoming a pure devotee of the Lord. The existence of a devotee implies the function of devotion and the object of devotion. Self-realization ultimately means to understand the Personality of Godhead and the living entities; to know the individual self and the reciprocal exchanges of loving service between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living entity is real self-realization. This cannot be attained by the impersonalists or other transcendentalists; they cannot understand the science of devotional service. Devotional service is revealed to the pure devotee by the unlimited causeless mercy of the Lord. This is especially spoken of here by the Lord—mat-prasādena, "by My special grace." This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Only those who engage in devotional service with love and faith receive the necessary intelligence from the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that gradually and progressively they can advance to the abode of the Personality of Godhead.
Real self-realization by means of controlling the senses is explained herein. One should try to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one's own self also.
SB 3.31.19, Purport: Real self-realization by means of controlling the senses is explained herein. One should try to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one's own self also. To think oneself the same as the Supreme is not self-realization. Here it is clearly explained that the Supreme Lord is anādi, or purāṇa, and He has no other cause. The living entity is born of the Supreme Godhead as part and parcel. It is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā, anādir ādir govindaḥ: [Bs. 5.1] Govinda, the Supreme person, has no cause. He is unborn. But the living entity is born of Him. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, mamaivāṁśaḥ: both the living entity and the Supreme Lord are unborn, but it has to be understood that the supreme cause of the part and parcel is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Devotion
Missing Kṛṣṇa means missing one's self also. Real self-realization and realization of Kṛṣṇa go together simultaneously.
Nectar of Devotion Preface: The Nectar of Devotion will give us practical hints how we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill all our desires in this life and the next. The Nectar of Devotion is not presented to condemn any way of materialistic life, but the attempt is to give information to religionists, philosophers and people in general how to love Kṛṣṇa. One may live without material discomfiture, but at the same time he should learn the art of loving Kṛṣṇa. At the present moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are missing the real point: Kṛṣṇa. We are watering all parts of the tree, but missing the tree's root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Kṛṣṇa means missing one's self also. Real self-realization and realization of Kṛṣṇa go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly, unless one has realized Kṛṣṇa there is no question of self-realization.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
There are five different rasas or humors, in which we are eternally related with the Supreme Lord. In the liberated stage of all knowledge, we can understand that "Our relationship with the Lord is in this way." That is called svarūpa-siddhi. That is real self-realization.
Lecture on BG 6.1-4 -- New York, September 2, 1966: "After many, many births, when a person, when a soul, is perfectly elevated to the platform of real knowledge, transcendental knowledge," then what does he do? "He surrenders unto Me," Kṛṣṇa says. "He surrenders unto Me." Vās... Why? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19], "You are everything, Vāsudeva." Vāsudeva means Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But Kṛṣṇa says, "Such...," sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ, "such great soul is very scarce, rarely found." But any intelligent person, if he understands this philosophy, that "My ultimate goal of life is to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, why not surrender immediately? Why shall I wait?" Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante. "Why shall I wait for so many births?" So that stage is called real sannyāsa. Kāryam. Kāryam means "It is my duty." I am not forced, but voluntarily, out of love, transcendental love. Just like mother serves this child out of love. There is no question of salary or remuneration. The mother loves this child. Similarly, you can love the Supreme Lord in many ways. You can love the Supreme Lord as master, you can love the Supreme Lord as friend, you can love the Supreme Lord as child, you can love the Supreme Lord as your husband. Any way. There are five different rasas or humors, in which we are eternally related with the Supreme Lord. And when we are actually in the liberated stage of all knowledge, we can understand that "Our relationship with the Lord is in this way." That is called svarūpa-siddhi. That is real self-realization. That is real self-realization. Everyone has an eternal relationship with the Lord, either in the conception of master and servant, or in the conception of friend and friend, or in the conception of parents and the child, or in the conception of husband and wife, or in the conception of paramour and lover, and the beloved. So these relationships are there eternally.
You want some planet, but if you cannot get planet, then you come back in this planet. Again in this material world. Therefore we have to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is real self-realization.
Lecture on SB 3.25.17 -- Bombay, November 17, 1974: So that is... Because we are after ānanda, sac-cid-ānanda... Simply to rise to the platform of Brahman, that is sat, partial realization of the Absolute Truth, sat. Then cit. Cit means knowledge. That is also partial. Ānanda. Sac-cid-ānanda. When there... Ānanda you cannot get. Just like if you, simply in the sky you fly, you don't get ānanda. Therefore you have come to down, come down again to the airplane, airport. Without that, there is no ānanda. Similarly, simply rising up to the Brahman effulgence, there is no ānanda. Ānanda means you have to enter into the spiritual planet, where Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, is there. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. You have entered to that eternal planet. You must get some residence. The impersonalists, they do not get that. They remain... Just like you remain in the sky. You cannot be happy. You want some planet, but if you cannot get planet, then again you come back in this planet. So āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Again in this material world. Therefore we have to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is real self-realization. And what is that? Very simple thing. Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ.
We are all envious. That is the nature. So we are serving all these propensities. This is called pravṛtti-mārga, progress towards sense gratification in different ways. And if we stop that and make progress to our real self-realization, real happiness, that is called nivṛtti-mārga.
Lecture on SB 6.1.1 -- Melbourne, May 21, 1975: When one comes to the point that "I have rendered service in so many ways. So neither I am happy nor the person to whom I have served, they are happy. Then what is the remedy?" That is discussed in the Vedānta-sūtra philosophy. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now inquire about your real master, Brahman, or the Supreme, the great, the Absolute Truth." That is required. So we should be prepared like that, that we have served our propensities, different propensities, lusty desire, greediness, anger, kāma, krodha, lobha, mohaḥ... Mohaḥ means illusion. I am doing something wrong, and I am thinking it is all right. This is called illusion, mohaḥ. Mātsarya. Mātsarya means envious, to become envious. Every one of us, either individually or socially or community-wise or nationally, we are all envious. The Russians, they are envious of the Americans, and the Americans, they are envious of the Russians. Similarly, everyone. That is the nature. So we are serving all these propensities. Now, this is called pravṛtti-mārga, progress towards sense gratification in different ways. And if we stop that and make progress to our real self-realization, real happiness, that is called nivṛtti-mārga.
When we say "self realization" it does no means that one should realize that He is the Supreme. Real self realization means to understand that you are the eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and perfection is to develop love or bhakti, loving service in relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Letter to Trista Hubbarth -- Bombay 3 May, 1975: They all confirm that Krsna is the supreme truth, the Personality of Godhead. Although this is plainly described throughout the Vedas, you will not find it in the teachings of the so called swamis and yogis who are teaching nowadays. Therefore you have intelligently discovered that in my Bhagavad-gita the approach is very different from what you have found elsewhere. That is because I am not trying to avoid Krsna or give some misinterpretation, but I have accepted the actual Bhagavad-gita, wherein Krsna says, Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7], there is no higher than Me. Nowadays so called gurus are promising us that we ourselves can become equal to God or that God is impersonal, or that everyone is God, but nowhere is this stated in the Bhagavad-gita or any other Vedic literature, nor is it taught by any of the great spiritual masters above mentioned. My point is that when we say "self realization" it does no means that one should realize that He is the Supreme. Real self realization means to understand that you are the eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and perfection is to develop love or bhakti, loving service in relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who teaches other conclusion from that of the Bhagavad-gita and the succession of acaryas is certainly not a guru, and in fact according to Lord Krsna, he is a fool, (the word Krsna uses is mudha, ass, rascal). So we have to examine whether the person who is presenting himself as our guru is actually in knowledge of the science of Krsna or whether he is leading us away from Krsna, or leading us to hell in the name of yoga mysticism. In this connection, the chanting of Hare Krsna is very efficacious because it develops personal relationship with the Personality of Godhead and cleans the heart of sinful reactions.