Svadhyaya- Self Study

Svadhyaya – The University of Being

Svadhyaya is a profound practice that involves the study of oneself. The word “Svadhyaya” is derived from the Sanskrit words “Sva,” meaning “one’s own” or “self,” and “adhyaya,” meaning “lesson” or “entering into.” Together, they form the term “self-study.” While some interpret Svadhyaya as the study of sacred scriptures, which teach about the self and how to transcend it, our focus here is on delving into the depths of our own being.

Often, we find ourselves engrossed in reading scriptures or chanting mantras, seeking external sources of wisdom and guidance. However, Svadhyaya invites us to turn our attention inward and embark on a journey of self-exploration. It prompts us to question the nature of our existence and inquire into the true essence of “I.”

But who is this “I”? What is the self? These questions lie at the heart of Svadhyaya. In a world where we constantly identify with external roles, labels, and possessions, it is easy to lose sight of our true nature. Svadhyaya encourages us to peel away the layers of conditioning and societal expectations to discover our authentic selves.

Imagine your mind as an investment portfolio, and your ego as the portfolio manager. For years or even decades, your portfolio has been accumulating steady returns, and you have been reinvesting the dividends. However, there comes a time when you may decide to withdraw or cash out. It is at this point that you realize the true value of your investments.

In the context of Svadhyaya, your ego serves as the portfolio manager. It invests in the idea of being a separate, self-governing entity and relies on beliefs, assumptions, creeds, and spiritual doctrines obtained from gurus and books. But is this investment strategy truly serving your highest good? Are you confident that your retirement plan is in capable hands?

Svadhyaya invites you to reevaluate your primary investment, which is the core belief that “I am the body.” Is this belief actually true? By exploring this fundamental assumption, you open the door to a deeper understanding of your true nature. Svadhyaya encourages you to question the limitations of identifying solely with the physical form and to explore the vastness of your being.

Engaging in Svadhyaya requires courage and curiosity. It is a process of self-inquiry that goes beyond surface-level examination. It involves a willingness to confront and transcend the ego’s attachments and illusions. Through Svadhyaya, you can uncover the truth of who you are and align with your highest potential.

The “I-ego,” the root false you

Here you reach the final knot, which is typically called Chit-JadaGranthi . This is the knot that binds consciousness to the body. This knot represents the root belief of being an individual entity, and it is severed once you realize your true light of pure awareness. In other words, once you dissolve the wrong identification with the body-mind as being “I,” this knot is destroyed.
Basically, after realizing through direct experience (and infusing it as deeply as possible into the kernel of your identity through the subconscious) that you are neither a particular object, nor another, and so on, until there are no objects left for your consciousness to identify with, then you (as consciousness) remain objectless and pure (without “I”). After removing everything, what remains is What Is. Staying as That is the way. This work is best done within the realm of Self-Inquiry, Self-Awareness, Parvastha, or similar “nondual practices.” That’s how you graduate into the final level.

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

Leo Tolstoy

Pure Consciousness—that which is aware—the real You.

The Truth. You are the unbounded and deathless consciousness. That’s “You,” but obviously not “You” as a person /identity/personality/mind/ ego. Rather, it’s “You” as an impersonal infinite consciousness, transcending all known and unknown dichotomies of life. By going through each layer of “You” conditioning, you begin to gain insights into your life, personality, behavior, thinking patterns, mind, and eventually, consciousness itself. At the bottom of the rabbit hole you will discover and realize your true Self. This is the real and pragmatic use of Svadhyaya, the study of being

To practice Svadhyaya, set aside dedicated time for introspection and self-reflection. Create a sacred space where you can explore your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs without judgment. Journaling, meditation, and contemplation are powerful tools that can support your Svadhyaya practice.

As you embark on this journey of self-discovery, remember to approach it with compassion and patience. Svadhyaya is not about achieving a specific outcome or reaching a destination. It is an ongoing process of deepening self-awareness and expanding consciousness.

In conclusion, Svadhyaya is a transformative practice that invites us to study ourselves. By delving into the depths of our being, we can transcend limiting beliefs and connect with our true essence. Embrace the opportunity to embark on this sacred journey of self-study and unlock the limitless potential within you.