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Aatm-Nirbharataa may be experienced by its fruits, namely inner peace and happiness, but can it be defined? As deep and simple experiences are mostly found difficult to express, define and describe!
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Aatm-Nirbharataa (absolute independence) is an all-encompassing vision of reality. If one really transforms into an absolutely independent entity (aatm-nirbhar- ekak) then, other than exuding happiness and peace while engaging in selfless service through one’s chosen field, what else would there be left unattained? Be these individuals or nations.
But, is not the pursuit of happiness, in the environment of peace and prosperity expressly cherished and the ideal goal of global human society?And, looking at it from a spiritual point of view, it is definitely possible for entities to attain the vision of absolute independence (Aatm-Nirbharataa) through efficiency in work (purushaarth).
Like, in fields other than spirituality, we can easily figure out whether we have become Aatm-Nirbhar (self-dependent) or not. For example, it is not difficult to figure out whether as a country we are self-dependent in certain commodities or services or not, but can we figure out and define Aatm-Nirbharataa (absolute independence) the same way in the spiritual field too?
Yes, it may be defined in many ways though, yet, these definitions are limited to inferences and indications alone. Defining Aatm-Nirbhartaa as ‘absence of Atma-Pravachana (self-deception)’ would be an apt description for our times as, looking at the incidents across the globe, we feel that many of us are cocooned in self-deception. And, we get cocooned in self-deception by indulging ourselves in repeated improper practice (anuchit-vyavahaar). Should every one of us not ponder over how to stay away from this trap? The answer lies in the affirmative; therefore, this definition would work as a reminder to correct ourselves.
And, when by correcting ourselves and travelling in the right direction we attain that which is spiritually possible to attain, then, it may be replicated in all other fields which are comparatively material in nature and are defined by a gamut of intricately woven interdependent identities. This interdependence exists in every sphere of existence. For example, today, science has become capable of asserting that the mind is the subtlest matter or matter at its subtle most state is mind. Doesn’t this assertion sum up all in a gist? When such is the nature of essential unity of the two, how can mind and matter maintain their separate identities? Still, at the gross level, we keep sailing smoothly despite considering mind and matter as separate entities. But, can we sail smoothly when we go deeper, and their identities begin to merge by becoming a single entity? That’s where sense and experience attained through spiritual attainment of Aatm-Nirbhartaa comes to our rescue, and we realise through our Smriti (remembrance) that which have been spoken at the outset that “Aatm-Nirbharataa( absolute independence) is an all-encompassing vision of reality”.
For example, as a living human being, can we say with certainty whether our physical identity is dependent on our mind or our mental identity is dependent on our physical body? Pondering a little deeper we find that we can’t deduce clearly that who depends on whom. All that we, as an entity can say is that our identities across fields are interdependent. Clearly, higher we go in consciousness more we keep realising that our interdependence defines our identity as well as relationship both.
All that we, as an entity can say is that our identities across fields are interdependent. Clearly, higher we go in consciousness more we keep realising that our interdependence defines our identity as well as relationship both 
And, this relationship is nourished by Maryaadaa-sheelataa (conscientiousness) and nurtured by twin principles of not exceeding limitations (Maryaadaa-sheelataa) and protecting boundaries (Maryaadaa-sheelataa). If someone’s vyavahaar (exercising or conducting oneself) is always as it should be, then we identify such a person as Maryaadaa-purushottam.
How (who) to identify uchit- vyvahaar (right-practice)? Well, choice in this regard is open to free-will and, chances of making the best choice are best when openness is reigning in our heart. That is the only counsel which may be offered unasked as it is stating a fact. In the guise of counsel, it is just a reminder. We all know the story of Vamanaavataar. Vaamanamurthy had covered the apparent world in a single step, this distance between atma-pravachana( self-deception) and aatm-nirbharataa( ultimate independence) may also be covered in one step.
But, for taking that one step interrelationship between spiritual reality and material reality needs to be grasped, threadbare then alone materialisation of real spirituality will not appear ‘otherworldly’. Nor would the world appear as‘other’. And, the meaning of Aatm-Nirbhartaa (self-dependence) will be absolutely clear when there would be no other, only consciousness of self would reign.
(The writer is the propounder of Sahaj Smriti Yog System of Self Realisation and founder of Darpan Foundation and Darpan Ashram)