We all heard of self-realization. The concept of self-realization became very popular since the founding of the “Self-Realization Fellowship by Paramahansa Yogananda“. But what does it really mean when we talk about self-realization?

Defining Self-Realization

Self-realization is a term used in Eastern religions, yoga philosophy, psychological theories, and other spiritual traditions. It refers to a condition in which an individual is content with their true self-understanding.

In simple definitions, self-realization is to know oneself. But what does it mean to really know oneself?

Self-realization leads to the discovery of the true self, which is different from the persona or ego-self. The true self is the soul or spiritual self. It is the part of us that is eternal and divine. When we gain knowledge of our true self, we realize our connection to the Divine and we experience a sense of oneness with all existence.

It’s not about being static; it’s about continuous self-discovery. We are constantly evolving and growing and as we deepen our self-realization, we come to know ourselves more and more.

The Importance of Achieving Self-Realization

For personal growth and development, self-realization is essential because it provides us with a clear understanding of who we are. It gives us a sense of direction and purpose in life. With this awareness, we can focus our energies on what is truly important to us and live our lives in alignment with our authentic selves.

Spiritual awakening is also a result of self-realization. When we awaken to our deepest nature, we experience a deep sense of peace and stillness that comes from knowing who we are at our core. This can be a life-changing experience that leads to a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.

Moreover, self-realization is not only a personal journey but is also important for the Western world and the rest of the globe as a whole. When more and more human beings gain a deeper understanding of their true nature, it will bring about positive change not only for their well-being but for the entire world as well.

“When enough people have awakened to their true identity, the dream of the separate self will end and the reality of universal love will be realized.” –Paramahansa Yogananda

History of the Concept of “Self-Realization”

SRF Online Meditation

The history of self-realization can be traced back to the ancient teachings of yoga and Vedanta. But the modern concept of self-realization began with Paramahansa Yogananda, who wrote extensively about the subject and founded the Self-Realization Fellowship to teach its principles.

According to Yogananda, self-realization is not a new concept. It is age-old wisdom that has been forgotten in the modern world. He said, “The self-realization doctrine is not something new, strange, or esoteric. It is the oldest and most universal of all doctrines, the common property of all great religions.”

Since then, many other teachers have emerged to share their insights on self-realization, including Eckhart Tolle, who has written extensively about the power of the present moment and the importance of non-dual awareness.

The 3 Shamanic Realms of Self-Realization

There are three shamanic realms of self-realization: the lower, middle, and upper worlds.

Lower World

In the lower world, we explore our dark side and confront our fears. This is a necessary step in self-realization as it allows us to face our demons and deal with them head-on.

Moreover, the lower world teaches us about the power of our subconscious mind and how to use it for our benefit.

Middle World

In the middle world, we find balance and harmony. We learn about the balance of opposites – light and dark, good and evil, etc. This is an important lesson as it helps us to see that everything has its own place and purpose.

We come to terms with our dualistic nature and learn to accept all aspects of ourselves in the middle world. This is also where we find our “inner child” and learn to integrate all aspects of ourselves.

Upper World

In the upper world, we experience unity and oneness. This is where we connect with our divine nature and realize our true potential as spiritual beings.

Furthermore, the upper world teaches us about self-transcendence and how to rise above our limited ego-based self.

It is important to journey through all three realms as each one offers us unique insights into who we are. The lower world helps us to confront our shadows and the middle world helps us to find balance and harmony within ourselves. The upper world brings us closer to our divine nature and allows us to experience unity and oneness with all things.

The Process of Self-Realization

So how do we go about realizing our true self? The process of self-realization is not easy and it takes a lot of effort and dedication. But here are some of the things that will help us on our journey:


We need to look at ourselves honestly and objectively and see who we really are. We cannot change what we do not acknowledge.

For example, if we are always reacting negatively to people and situations, we need to ask ourselves why that is. Is it because we are egocentric and self-centered? Or maybe we are afraid of intimacy?

Only by looking at ourselves honestly can we begin to change our dysfunctional patterns and create a more authentic life putting our well-being at the center.


We need to be aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It will help us to understand ourselves better and fulfill our personal potential in life.

Applying this in real life, an example would be if we are feeling angry or frustrated, we need to ask ourselves why. What is the underlying cause? Once we become aware of our emotions, we can begin to work on resolving the issues that are causing them.


We need to accept ourselves for who we are, faults and all. We cannot grow and change if we do not accept ourselves first.

For example, in real life, if we have a habit of self-criticism, we need to accept that it is not healthy and work on changing it. We need to be kind and compassionate towards ourselves, even if we do not meet our own standards.


We need to go beyond our self-limiting beliefs and habitual patterns and strive for excellence in all that we do.

In order for self-realization to be truly transformative, it needs to include self-transcendence. This means rising above our limited ego-based self and expanding into our true divine nature.

This can be done through practices such as meditation, prayer, or simply by being open to the experience of love and compassion.


We need to have more control and the discipline to follow our spiritual practices and keep our minds and hearts open. An example would be practicing meditation techniques.

For example, if we want to be successful in meditation, we need to have the discipline to sit for a certain amount of time each day and keep our minds focused on the object of our meditation.


We need to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and failings. We are human beings and we will make mistakes but it is important to forgive ourselves and move on.

A great example would be when we do something that we know is wrong, but we end up doing it anyway. We need to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them again.

We need to accept ourselves for who we are, faults and all and have the discipline to follow our spiritual practices.


We need to love ourselves unconditionally – beyond the aspects of the physical body. This does not mean that we are perfect, but that we accept ourselves and appreciate who we are.

For instance, if we are struggling with self-esteem issues, we can work on building self-love by accepting ourselves just the way we are and making positive affirmations about ourselves.

The Different Paths to Self-Realization

There are many different paths to self-realization and no one path is right for everyone. Here are some of the most popular paths:


Yoga is a system of spiritual practice that originated in India. It is a means of enlightenment and self-realization. Yoga helps to unite the body, mind, and spirit so that we can experience our real nature.

When doing yoga, it is important to be in the present moment and focus on our breath. This helps us to connect with our inner self and transcend the limitations of the ego. Remember to practice with patience and gentleness – Rome wasn’t built in a day!


Meditation is a technique that helps us to focus and still the mind. This enables us to connect with our inner thoughts and feelings and discover our truest selves.

One tip for meditation is to find a comfortable place to sit or recline. You may want to practice for a certain amount of time each day and keep a journal to track your progress.


Psychotherapy is a process of self-discovery and self-realization. It involves working with a therapist to explore the roots of our problems and find solutions.

The therapist provides a safe and supportive environment for us to express ourselves freely and work through our issues. This can be an effective path to self-realization for those who are struggling with personal issues.

Self-Help Books

There are many self-help books available on the market that can help us on our journey to self-realization. These books can offer us guidance and support as we explore different aspects of ourselves.

It is important to choose a book that resonates with us and read it with an open mind. We may want to highlight passages that resonate with us or make notes in the margins.

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer is a type of meditation where we focus on the Divine or our Higher Power. It helps us to connect with our spiritual self and experience the oneness of all existence. This path to self-realization can be particularly beneficial for those who are religious or spiritual.

Creative Expression

Creative expression can be a path to self-realization. When we express ourselves creatively, we are tapping into our innermost truth and this can help us to connect with our true selves.

Creative expression can take many forms, such as writing, painting, sculpting, dancing, and so on. It is important to find an activity that we enjoy and that brings us joy.


Spending time in nature can also be a path to self-realization. Nature is a manifestation of the Divine and when we spend time in nature, we connect with the Divine within us.


Service to others is another path to self-realization. When we serve others, we put our own needs and concerns aside and focus on the needs of others. This helps us to connect with our true nature and find our place in the world.

“The greatest self-realization is when we recognize that we are all one.” –Eckhart Tolle

When we begin to see ourselves as part of the larger whole, we realize our interconnectedness with all life and experience a sense of oneness with the world. This is a profound realization that can bring about lasting peace and happiness.

Benefits of Self-Realization

So what are the benefits of self-realization? Here are some of the most notable ones:

Peace and Tranquility

When we come to know our true selves, we experience a feeling of deep inner peace and tranquility that is unaffected by the external ups and downs of life.

Happiness and Joy

We experience real happiness and joy from within our soul that is not based on external circumstances. For example, we may still experience happiness even in difficult times, because our happiness comes from within.

Compassion and Love

We develop greater compassion and love for our family and all beings as we come to see the unity of all life. In turn, this creates a more peaceful and harmonious world.

Purpose and Meaning in Life

We come to see that our lives have a deeper purpose and meaning that is beyond mundane everyday tasks. Moreover, we come to realize that we are not just our physical body but we are much more than that. “The greatest truth is that I am not separate from you; I am you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spiritual Growth

We undergo spiritual growth and evolution as we come to know our true selves. This helps us to live more authentic and meaningful lives. “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you are.” –C.G. Jung

Sense of Fulfillment

We experience a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from within our hearts as we come to realize our true potential and purpose in life. “The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.” –William Saroyan

What is a Self-Realized Person?

The Self Realization Fellowship

A self-realized person is someone who has realized their true potential as a spiritual being. They have awakened to their true nature and they live in accordance with their authentic self. A self-realized person is at peace with themselves and the world around them.

How to Gain Self-Understanding or Be Aware of Your Own Self

1.) Look inwards and examine yourself honestly. Are you living in accordance with your values and beliefs?

2.) Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. What are they telling you about yourself?

3.) Be self-reflective and ask yourself the tough questions. What makes you happy? What are you afraid of? What do you want out of life?

4.) Seek out feedback from those who know you best. Ask them what they see as your strengths and weaknesses.

5.) Spend time in nature and connect with the Divine within you.

6.) Serve others selflessly and put your own needs and concerns aside.

7.) Meditate and still your mind to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Reflect on who you are and what your purpose in life is. What is your highest aspiration?

8.) Be patient, self-realization is not a quick process but it will come in time as you work on it diligently.

9.) Follow a spiritual practice or path to gain a deeper understanding of who you are. It can be anything from yoga and meditation to Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam.

10.) Forgive yourself and accept yourself for who you are. Doing so can be the catalyst for self-realization.

11.) Look inwards and examine yourself honestly. Are you living in accordance with your values and beliefs?

12.) Love yourself unconditionally. This means that you accept yourself completely just the way you are.

13.) Make self-realization a priority in your life. Dedicate time each day to exploring who you are and what your purpose in life is.

14.) Journaling can be a helpful tool for self-reflection and self-awareness. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and impressions about yourself on a regular basis.

15.) Be compassionate and kind to others, as this is a sign of self-realization.

16.) Be patient, self-realization is not a quick process. Remember that self-realization is an ongoing journey and there is no one right or wrong answer. What works for one person may not work for another.

17.) Seek out guidance and support from others who have also undergone self-realization.

18.) Stay positive, patient, and open-minded as you travel on the path to self-understanding.

What Are Some Signs That You’re Realizing Your Own Self?

1.) You feel more at peace and content with who you are. A simple example would be that you’re no longer as interested in material possessions and status symbols.

2.) You have a strong sense of inner knowing and intuition. For instance, you may start to trust your intuition more and follow its guidance.

3.) You’re more accepting and forgiving of yourself and others.

4.) You’re more compassionate and loving towards all life. This could come in simple ways like being more patient with others or not getting angry as easily.

5.) You have a greater sense of purpose in life. The purpose could be anything from wanting to help others to want to make a difference in the world.

6.) You feel a sense of connection to something larger than yourself. What does this mean? It could be the universe, a higher power, or simply a sense of oneness with all life.

7.) You have a greater sense of self-awareness. This means that you’re more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and how they influence your decisions and actions.

8.) You’re more interested in personal growth and self-development. This could manifest as an interest in different self-help books or attending self-development workshops.

9.) Your relationships are changing for the better. You’re attracting people into your life who have similar values and who support your growth.

10.) You experience greater happiness, joy, and peace from within. You start to see life in a brighter light.

11.) Your outlook on life is more positive and optimistic. No longer do you see the world as a place full of problems, but instead as a place of beauty and endless possibilities.

12.) You’re less concerned with what others think of you. When that happens, you’re freer to be yourself.

13.) You have a stronger sense of self-confidence and self-love. You feel more authentic and genuine in who you are. You don’t feel the need to fake anything.

14.)You find fulfillment and satisfaction from within your heart. Nothing beats the feeling of self-realization when you know that you’re living your truth.

15.) Your thinking has become more clear and concise. You’re less likely to get wrapped up in your thoughts and emotions.

Reaching The Ultimate Goal: Self-Actualization

Self Actualization

The self-realization of one’s character is the process of becoming who one truly is and not the attainment of a final goal. So even when we achieve self-realization, we continue to grow and evolve.

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is the highest need in humans and it can only be achieved after all the other needs have been met.

Indeed, the ultimate goal is self-realization is self-actualization. This is the ultimate state of self-realization where we become all that we are capable of becoming; where self-transcendence takes power. We realize our full potential and manifest our divine nature in the world.

Self-actualization and the existence of God-realization are not static states but are journeys that continue to evolve and grow. It is an ongoing process of realization and growth that takes us to new heights each day.

The Challenges of Self-Realization

Along with the many benefits of self-realization come to some challenges too. One of the biggest challenges is that we are no longer content with living small, mundane lives. We become restless and want to do more, be more, and contribute more to the world.

We may also experience a sense of loss as we let go of our old identities and ways of thinking. It can be unsettling at first to venture into unknown territory and explore new aspects of ourselves.

We may encounter resistance from others who are not ready or willing to see beyond their limited perspective. This can be frustrating at times but ultimately it is a journey that we must take alone.

The path of self-realization is not always easy but it is ultimately rewarding. With patience, perseverance, and a positive attitude, we can achieve great heights and realize our full potential.

What Are The Signs That You Are Resisting Self-Realization?

There can be various signs that we are resisting self-realization. Some of the most common ones are:

1.) We are attached to our ego and do not want to let go of it. For example, we may be very attached to our opinions and views and are unwilling to consider other perspectives.

2.) We are afraid of change and do not want to face our true selves. We may be comfortable with the way things are currently and do not want to change.

3.) We are not ready or willing to commit to the process of self-realization. Sadly, many people are not ready or willing to change and grow. They are content with living small, mediocre lives.

4.) We resist self-growth and self-improvement. We may be comfortable with the way we are currently and do not want to change.

5.) We are attached to our negative patterns and habits. This can be dangerous as it can keep us stuck in a negative spiral.

6.) We are afraid of the unknown and do not want to explore new aspects of ourselves. This can be daunting and uncomfortable but it is essential for self-growth.

7.) We are in denial about who we really are. We are afraid of our own power and potential. We may be afraid of what will happen if we actually become who we are meant to be.

8.) We judge others and ourselves harshly. This can prevent us from opening up to new experiences and relationships.

9.) We live in a state of fear, anger, or resentment. Some people are so wrapped up in their negative emotions that they are unable to experience peace and happiness.

10.) We are not connected to our inner guidance and intuition. This can make it difficult to discern what is best for us in life.

9.) We have a lack of self-love and compassion. These are essential qualities that allow us to be kind and understanding towards ourselves and others.

10.) We are not open-minded and flexible. This means that we are not willing to change our views or opinions even if they are proven wrong.

If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is a sign that you need to work on your self-realization more. It is a process that takes time and effort but is ultimately worth it.

How Can You Maintain Your State of Self-Realization?

To maintain our state of self-realization, we need to be mindful and present at the moment. We need to stay connected to our inner selves and live with a sense of openness and curiosity.

We also need to be authentic and true to ourselves in everything we do. We cannot pretend to be someone we are not; it will only lead to suffering.

It is important to cultivate a sense of self-love and compassion for ourselves and others. This will help us to stay positive and peaceful even when things are tough.

Lastly, we need to keep exploring and growing as individuals. There is no limit to the amount of growth and evolution we can experience in this life. The journey is endless and the possibilities are endless.

Quotes on Self-Realization

Quotes on Self Realization

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

– Dalai Lama

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

– Steve Jobs

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

– Michelangelo

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how hard they may try.”

– Andrew Carnegie

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”

– Arabic Proverb

“When you stand up to be counted

Tell the world this is my voice”

– Seal

Embarking on the Journey of Self-Realization

When we embark on the journey of self-realization, we open ourselves up to a whole new world of possibilities. We become in direct contact with reality. We come to know ourselves in a deeper and more meaningful way and we experience a sense of peace and joy that comes from knowing our self.

How Can You Encourage Others to be More Self-Aware?

One of the best ways to encourage self-awareness in others is to be a role model yourself. Show them that it is possible to be open and honest, even when it is difficult. Help them to see that self-awareness leads to happiness and peace.

Another way to encourage self-awareness is by providing a safe and supportive environment. Let them know that it is ok to question things and that there is no need to be afraid of the answers.

Lastly, provide them with tools and resources that can help them on their journey. Books, articles, workshops, etc. can all be helpful in this regard.


Self-realization is the process of understanding who we are at our deepest level and achieving our full potential. It is the journey of becoming all that we are capable of becoming and realizing our divine nature in the world.

The highest goal in self-realization is self-actualization, which is the ultimate state of realization. This is reached when we manifest our full potential and become all that we are capable of becoming.

Reaching self-actualization is an ongoing journey that takes us to new heights each day. The path to self-realization can be difficult but it is worth it in the end.

There are many signs that we are resisting self-realization, such as being attached to our ego, being afraid of change, and resisting growth.

However, there are also many ways to maintain our state of self-realization. We can stay mindful and present at the moment, be authentic and true to ourselves, cultivate a sense of self-love and compassion, and keep exploring and growing.

So let us embark on the journey of self-realization and discover the true self that is inside of us. It is a journey that is well worth taking and the rewards are many!


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